Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fakr hai!

I got an SMS early yesterday morning that read:
Sydney 1992 fakr hai...
Bangalore 1996 fakr hai...
Old Traffod 1999 fakr hai...
Centurion 2003 fakr hai...
Johannesburg 2007 fakr hai...
They have asked us many questions on a Friday, repeated it on a Tuesday, and like always, we'll reply on a WEDNESDAY.

I was much amused as it brought a smile to my lips and made my day! Indo-Pak matches are always fiercely fought ones and have always been a highlight of the cricketing action in the sub-continent. A lot of hype and hula is build up on the run-up to the match and the whole of nations tuned on to their idiot boxes. Yesterday's match was no different. The ever present Sachin fan Sudhir Kumar Choudhary was in his usual best and his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Abdul Jalil a.k.a Chacha Cricket was also there to cheer their sides. Interestingly even the load-shedding in the hostel area was rescheduled from 1130hrs for 3 hours instead of the usual 1200hrs-1500hrs!

Walking in to bat after winning the toss was a wise decision made by M.S.Dhoni, which Sehwag later proved by his quickfire runs.He made a mockery of Umar Gul's bowling as he sprayed the ball around. As a Sachin fan I was deeply disappointed as he gave so many chances to the opposition. Such a great player shouldn't give such options for the opposition to make inroads. The review taken was a good move, but I felt Sachin was itchy in the crease which the Pakistanis failed to capitalize on. The others were not that impressive save Raina. Nawab Riaz was the man of the day with his five wicket haul. He was impressive. I felt the target was achievable. But Pakistan faltered. They started off very well but lost steam somewhere in between. The bowling attack seemed unexpectedly well and the fielding impressive. Yuvraj was impressive with the bowling, only in the end was he belted by U.Akmal. Nehra and Munaf held their nerves and Bhajji found his purple patch. Although the Pakistan lineup looked formidable they lacked the consistency and failed at the time when most required. Misbah was left as the lone man to fight as he kept running of partners. The team that held its nerve won!

The usual thing that was missing form the Indo-Pak matches was the aggression and the heated exchanged of words; the verbal volley. Afridi and Sachin had some friendly moments so did Saeed Ajmal against Bhajji. Bhajji once again proved to be immature trying to charge down the track after the intimidation. I missed Shoaib the most. I wanted him to be torn apart by Sachin, a repeat of  2003. He will have lots of time post retirement to contemplate on his folly of bowling to a legend like a school boy on that fateful day. The event was star studded as lots of celebrities came to watch. I particular feel that the Paki Prime Minister was kind enough to come and personally escort the team home. And BTW I guess it was held in Mohali so that they could cross the border directly from there instead of splurging on the flight tickets! xD

Now that Pakistan is out, Shiv Sena can watch the Finals feeling relaxed! Will the 1.2 billion unanswered prayers be answered? Only time will tell...

Monday, March 28, 2011

VSOP. Mera # 1

The awareness of the little use of my past and possibly my future came to me after an agonising semester. Agonising to such an extent that "I didn't want to live with myself". The thought kept repeating itself in an infinite for loop. For(i=0;i>-1;i++) it seemed! And once my internal journey to discover my "real" self began, my sufferings and agony seemed to vanish!  I wanted to stay and complete my graduation here. I was in joy. The thing was I was carrying it all the while without realizing it. To explain let me quote a parable. A box was the permanent sitting place of a roadside beggar. He would ask for change from the people. One such passerby not having anything to give him asked him how long he was seated there. Having lost count he replied negatively. The man asked him what he was sitting on. He replied "nothing", and to just please the persistent man he open the box. To his astonishment it contained gold coins. Looking back I feel like that beggar in the story during the first six months of my stay in Trichy!

Then on it was a smooth journey. As the journey of my graduation comes to an end with today being the last working day of my college and graduation. Only the formality of exams are left for me to depart! Here are the few things I would miss from this place during 9th July 2008 - 25th Mar 2011!

My "Recognised" status in my college. I was probably one of the very few students who was known in all of the college (for the right reasons ofcourse!). As I was associated directly of indirectly with all the departments atleast once in the three years. I was in my modest opinion "The best amongst worst of students" of my place, who is otherwise just an above average student!

The hostel. All through it may have not been the best place to stay as far as academics is concerned, but I vouch that it is one of the better places to stay with a lots of freedom and good amenities (not considering the food though). Had lots of fun with seniors, pals and juniors. Taking lots of memories home.

The amount of competitions that take place in this part of India is enormous. An inspiration that kept me going with the urge to outperform myself! Be it the Rotary competitions or those organised by other colleges. They were great.

BARD Fest. The annual cultural fest of our University was always an event I looked forward to with a lots of anticipation. It gave me immense pride to always represent my college and representing my University in last year's South Zone cultural festival was an all time high. The events gave me lot of contacts and some BFFs!

The staff of my college who more often than not have really helped me and always been a place I could fallback in case of need. They have been a wonderful support.

The times I used to get to stay away from college owing to the steady flow of competitions I used to attend. No one used to question me. Not that I was a very good student, just that they knew "a known devil is better than an unknown angel"!

My dear friends who for most part of the year used to write my assignments and records. To be honest more than 99% of my paperwork was done by them. Not that I imposed it on them just that they were too eager to do it for me. This reinforces the already known fact of me being dead lazy when it comes to writing anything.

My class friends who were ever supportive in all the initiatives I undertake and provided wth lots of good memories.Good or bad, looking back now it seems fun.

My college lab provided with some very amusing incidents with students and staff alike(Hehe). Lab was always fun because of friends around and second year onwards I've always managed to finished the whole of my programs in a couple of lab sessions while the whole lot used to sit with it for the whole semester. Latea vandalum latesta vanden :P

The feeling of standing near the window outside my class and having my ID card tag wound around my hand swinging it to and fro, instead of having it around my neck. Then scanning the horizons to be on the lookout for the staff!

Am sure ten years on when I'll look back, these will be the special memories and the people associated with it
Very Special Old Pals

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Hindu!

My blog covered by The Hindu and a small paragraph written about me from the telephonic conversation they took. A special thanks to one of my friend without who it would not have been possible. 

Although this is not a great achievement, a modest step forward. But all great voyages start with a few small steps!

P.S. To read the whole article published in the paper Click here

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Indignity galore

The path en route to realising the great Indian dream of a "developed nation" is ridden with thorns. One such prick being the rampant caste system and the INDIGNITY OF LABOUR followed. How much ever we may say that it has been eradicated, the harsh fact is that it is still prevalent in not only the small-time villages but also in the nearby towns!

The caste system in ancient India was conceived with the idea of classifying people according to their profession. The Brahmins were invariably priests, the kshatriyas the warriors and so on. But somewhere in the between the real meaning of the caste system was lost and it became hereditary. In ancient India this was not the case as a person could move to a caste higher, on the basis of his merit or knowledge! Every profession was respected. A washerman was as respected as a sage. Classic cases of it being the great Veda Vyas who was born to fisherman, sage Valmiki who was a hunter and the great India poet and dramatist Kalidasa who was a shepard. Somewhere something went terribly wrong in between.

Sometimes it really pains to see educated people getting into the act of degrading a person on the basis of his caste or social status.

I study in the temple town of Srirangam in Tamilnadu. The famous presiding deity of the temple Lord Ranganatha a.k.a Nam Perumal(our God) on his traditional route to another place stops by in a college. The Lord coming to that college is celebrated with great pomp and with the whole college being decorated with banners. The day is known to all and the staff and student take the blessing of the lord. Locals also come for the annual event. As we were all standing in the line suddenly a sound and a man was shoved back-

Ne ellam inga enna panra?
[What are you doing here?]

The man was dressed in crisp white dhoti and a spotless white matching shirt. The man was a watchman. He had come there early that day only to catch a glimpse of the Lord and take His blessings. He was taken aback as were we, dumbstuck! Poor guy denied the opportunity! All this done by a man who looked pretty educated. why? it because he was just a watchman and came form a lower economic strata of the society? Is it a sin to be a watchman? Where is the  dignity of labour taught to us in schools? Imagine a day without these type of workers? We'll witness the roads littered, the toilets smelling, the gutters overflowing and the thieves roaming freely unquestioned. These people may not be like the beautiful music that appeals to everyone but they are like the silence between two musical notes. Sound of music will have no meaning without the silence. In fact the silence is "eternal" and the sound of music "perishable"! They are like the space in which a beautiful piece of art exists but everyone sees only the art and not the space. But that does not mean it does not exist!

Ironically the watchman's name was "Perumal"!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A guilt ride!

"Teet teet - Teet teet", Ashwin heard the familiar sound of his Nokia 1100 mobile Handset. Involuntarily he opened the message by the ritual of unlocking the cell phone keyguard. A ritual he has so often done to the extent of such expertise, wherein he could unlock it even with his eyes closed, single handed!

An unprecedented wave of shock passed from his head through his spine to the last muscle in his feet. A Tsunami of sorts, as he read the message on his cell.

Is this just friendship?
The timing on the message showed 22:30:36. He checked to find out that it was just sent.

Had she really found out? There was something strange he had felt about her, the very first moment he had seen her in the back of the bus during their Industrial Visit. He had never noticed her before that in the college. Eyes that bore a greenish tinge, bespectacled and hair long and straight. She seemed reserved and quiet, responding to the questions only with mono-syllabic answers. The first time he'd seen her speak he instantly registered in his mind that she, Brinda was an above-the-rest-girl.

As they came to know each other better, the bond grew and within the short span of time, became really good friends. And on one casual talk, she confided in him about the love of her life, a guy called Dhruv! Ashwin was breathless as gasped for air, twitching uncomfortably in his chair and trying to appear normal. After her disclosure he stepped down on his plan (to proceed further and take their relationship to the next level) and stuck with her, as "just friends". She all the while being unaware of his "innocent plans" and its "decommission"!

But now the message! Had she somehow sensed his intentions through his non-verbal actions despite his sincere efforts to camouflage his feelings and getting used to seeing her in a new light? Hands trembling he answered to the text message:

As: y the sudden ques?
Br: Sounded pretty absurd? (22:32:17)
As: ofcourse it did!
Br: I'm sry.. got a li'l confused.. (22:34:44)

He was still in the pretty jovial mood. He typed a message and left a loooooooong gap after the first part!

As: I jus <3 [love]............. disturbin u!
Br: yu serious? (22:40:22)

He calls her, she cuts the call!

Br: I'm wit mom.. (22:46:35)
As: k. tel me
Br: This can be amazing friendship..right? (22:49:05)
As: It is, wow y da ques?
Br: And let it always be nothin more than friendship..pls? (22:50:54)
As: bt y u sounding idiotic?
Br: Jus wanted to be sure. hope yu didnt get offended (22:57:51)
As: np, bt u sounding un-BRINDA lyk :|
Br: ok wait.. can we jus forget whatever happened? And make a new beginning? Cos i feel terrible..(23:19:29)
As: r u gone bonkers? terrible 4 wat?
Br: i feel terribly guilty and yu know y. so is it ok of i cal yu after a few days? need to get a li'l clear! (23:22:44)

She had once confessed during one of their usual post-dinner chit-chat, the he was the only other guy save Dhruv with whom she has been so close, speaking with such frankness and sharing such intricate details about her life devoid of inhibitions. That too after just two days of knowing him. And now the guilt! She was feeling guilty for being close to a guy other than her "love"! Ashwin was desperately trying to pacify her and reason out with her that being emotionally close to a person of the other sex does not mean transgressing the line. Brinda was guilt-ridden and he couldn't understand why! He told her to speak to Dhruv, but she rubbished the idea by saying that he was way too possessive to understand it. Ashwin was taken aback, head whirling he asked her where is the love without trust? She was speechless! He felt like slapping her and telling her that she should have thought about it before getting all "friendly". He kept his clam though. His conscience clear, he replied,

As: ok, bt i stil cant figure out y?
Br: pls understand.. giv me a few days. Trust me.. we'll always be good friends. rly (23:32:22)
As: :)

He had clearly understood one thing, that Brinda was a complex mixture of high IQ and low practicality! She was into a guy who loved her yet could not trust her on the contrary intrigued her under the lame pretext of "possessiveness". She was confused she said..... for what? Was she confused between Ashwin a guy she had met barely 3 days ago and Dhruv her longtime "lover" who she was happy with but somewhere deep inside her heart wanted him to get better! Only Brinda knew the answer. But all Ashwin knew was that he loved Brinda with all his heart but kept away form professing his love for the only fact that she was already committed. He realised at that very moment :-

Lots of things go unquestioned,
lots of things go unanswered,
some words go unsaid,
some go unheard,
few dreams are born dead,
few are buried alive,
THAT IS LIFE; where everyone has
an unspeakable truth,
an irreversible regret,
an unreachable goal,