Friday, February 26, 2010

Life isn't a suction pipe!

Wondering what the title's all about? Just look at the number of people around you who say that Life sucks. Oh well, it might be easier to count people who don't say or think so.

We have so much negativity around us that keep a positive attitude is rather difficult these days. Everyone seems to be having a lot of problems and the worst part is many of them say they face only problems in whatever they do. There are some people who keep finding faults with everything around. Aren't we responsible for most things that happen to us?

Look at children themselves. Say a decade back we had the spirit of competition and yet we were happy that our fellow mates won a prize over us. But today children begin to despise their friends for the very same reason. The spirit of healthy competition has metamorphosed into a feeling of selfishness, an anger.

Then there are the ambitious young people. They aim high in life. There are tough times and they struggle to achieve their aims. At this point they crib about how nothing is going right for them. Once they do reach where they want, they talk about the pressure they are in and that they can't spare time for anything else.

Well, it is our call, isn't it? What we want to do! Can't we as a generation learn to be happy with what we have or what we are doing? The grass will always be greener on the other side. No one is devoid of problems. One must get right his priorities in life. What is it that is more important to you? The others may not agree. But once you have decided it for yourself no one can stop you from feeling good about choosing to do what you want to. Feel good and make others feel good too.

At this point I must make a confession. I am a pessimist of sorts. But that has been changing. I have been setting my priorities right, doing what I want to and feeling good about it.

I shall leave it at that and say 'If the world din't suck, we would all fall off.'

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The God of Cricket

Yes. Every Indian knows who I'm talking about. Sachin Tendulkar. And yes I know a million people who would also be talking about him now. What better time to pay tributes to his batting genius. He has become the first batsman in the history of ODIs to have scored a double ton. YIPPEEEE. I can't explain how excited I got hearing it. Yes. I didn't watch the match today. I didn't even listen to commentary today on the radio. Further still, I didn't even log on to cricinfo to check the progress of the match. I was caught up with some work all afternoon. It was only after a friend called me in the evening that I got to know. It may well have been a plain batting wicket, a fast outfield and an ordinary bowling attack. But a double ton is a double ton. And SACHIN is SACHIN.

He, for me, is cricket. I love watching the game. There was a time when I wouldn't miss a match. Having never been able to play, I still knew quite a few technicalities of it since my childhood, the knowledge of scores and statistics notwithstanding. I remember despising having to prepare for a class test. I would console myself that there was a match that day and I could prepare whilst watching it. After the match-fixing scandal when the cricket craze diminished amongst many, it didn't affect me much. But gradually ofcourse it sunk into me that merely watching every single international match (and many of the English County matches) isn't serving a purpose.

I do follow the game though not as closely. But Sachin was always my favourite. His was the only poster I ever stuck in my room; and that poster I had for almost a decade. There were times when like half a billion Indians I would say a prayer for him as he took strike as an opener. I used to be very superstitious for the first ball he faced. I felt I should watch it without batting an eyelid or else he would get out. I'd feel like switching off the TV once he got out but I wouldn't. After all, he is supposed to be part of the game and not vice versa.

Lets leave all that aside- My love for (watching) the game, my unconditional favouritism towards him and the fact that I'd written a (one and only one, mind you) letter to him. Let me also inform you that I NEVER had a crush on him. Far from it. I need not talk about all his records for they will be splashed over all newspapers tomorrow. We will have many cricketing greats praising him to no end. So let me in my small way laud yet another of the little master's amazing feats. He is the first sportsperson who created an impact in my mind, the first cricketer that I can remember watching. And by far the most enjoyable. I just love it when he hits a six over the bowler's head with a dead vertical bat. My favourite shot of his.

Most people acknowledge that he is one of the best batsmen of all time. What more praise than from the Don himself! How he faced criticism. Not through words; through action instead. To accept the lean patch as only a passing phase and bouncing back to form. To play like a winner. To play like the best. His grace, his style, his dedication and passion for the game, his range of shots, his placement, his timing, his level of concentration, his ability to predict the next delivery and above all his sportsman spirit. A toast to everything that he stands for as a cricketer, as a sportsperson. It is only befitting that he is the first to have established this record. It just had to be him. One more to his tally of records. This, like many other records, will be broken. But, as Gavaskar once remarked; ' Thousands have conquered the Everest, but every child remembers only two names: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.'

And one very striking detail of his example is that he hails from an average middle class background. It is a reassurance that if you put in your best efforts, work with all your heart you can become the best. That not everyone need be born with a silver spoon.

Three Cheers to you, Sachin.

Friday, February 12, 2010

A strange nostalgic feeling.... Is it pain or joy, I know not!

Wonder where you are dear friend....
More seasons have past since you left
than the hours we had spent together.

I don't think of you much
for I have much else to think about.
But think about you I do.

When I hear a soulful melody... of a reminiscent past.
When a feeling of nostalgia overcomes me..
In my moments of solitude.

I think of the innocent conversations we had
and the games we played;
for a short while though it was.

Just you and I. And our bright colourful world.
And you had had to leave. And we parted
not knowing what it meant.

I don't know where you are.
I don't even remember much about you.
Not even enough to be able to find out.

I don't know if you ever missed me in all these years.
Or if you even thought about me once.

But I will always keep you in my heart,
my long lost friend. As a sweet tingling feeling
at a corner of my heart.

This special feeling is all mine.
That I wouldn't share..not even with you.
So special that I wish I wouldn't ever find you..

Such is life....

A cool breezy winter weekend, a warm cosy restaurant.

An elderly couple sitting on the couch right behind excitedly discussing their children's visit and how their grandchildren will soon come to spend the winter break with them.

A little girl coaxing her dad to buy her ice cream as her mom does not approve.

A bunch of teenagers celebrating a birthday.

Just then I notice a couple walking in.

The girl is literally hanging on the guy's arm. They take the table next to mine and do not even realize the waiter standing beside them. The Menu cards are handed to them; she closes hers and shares his,warm shy smile on their faces. I notice the look on his face and it instantly makes me happy. He insists that she order for the both of them and she gracefully obliges.

Once the order has been placed and they are left alone, she picks up her phone and chatters away while his eyes are fixed on her. He watches the way she is giggling in the midst of the conversation. He smiles as she glances at him from across the table still busy oh the phone. His smiles gleefully as she is finally done with her call. I am amused at his restlessness; something felt good. She begins talking to him and he listens quietly. He watches and watches while she animatedly seems to recount some incident. It is indeed so refreshing to see such a couple. He moves his hand towards hers. She pulls away and begins texting on her phone. She keeps him waiting again but just as he picks up his cell, she looks back at him and resumes talking.

Then the food arrives. She begins eating while he doesn't seem to be too pleased with the food. My main course arrives and I shift my focus.

After a while I glance at the couple. He seems to be struggling with his food and sipping water instead while she is happily eating. She offers to exchange plates much to his delight but he soon enough discovers that this too he is unable to eat. She helps him out by finishing both dishes. He doesn't seem to want to order anything more and she indicated that she was too full for even dessert. She suddenly seems very tired and starts talking loudly. As he pays the bill, she complains about how frustrating the day has been and tells him that nothing has gone right today and that she is feeling miserable... She just wants to get out of it and unwind. She says that a friend of hers is picking her up, says good bye and leaves. I can't explain the look on his face.