Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Godfather IV

The completion of the Wagah Trilogy..

Mathews, judge for yourself and may i specially recommend the sequence between 45 to 56 on the timeline!



video

Monday, September 29, 2008

Photology













Waahgah

This is going to be a few broken thoughts-:

Imagine a trip where everything goes as planned and you have loads of fun.. for some it might be oxymoronish and definitely not the 'eurotrip' but sometimes there is joy in clockwork perfection too..

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Right from Nish scaring(:P) us by turning up at the station as the surprise addition to the group to the auto chap who surprisingly agreed to drive down to Noida on the way back everything was just perfect.Although on our way to Amritsar the train was a couple of hours late but that two hours spent at the station in itself was a nice snapshot of how the trip was going to be; how else can you explain 22 year olds playing gold spot on the overbridge at Nizammudin and making complete fools of themselves.

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Amritsar the city, was surprisingly Chandani Chowkish, something which I did not really expect. But considering that we decided to hole up in a budget hotel, you really couldn't expect the city at its opulent best. The city might not be a thriving metropolis but it sure has traces of history littered all over the place. Statues springing up at every intersection, the old buildings, the incredibly grand Khalsa College and of course the holiest place for the Sikhs, The Golden Temple.

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While the most important thing that I was looking forward to was the Wagah Border, I did not quite expect myself to be lost in the magnificence of the Golden Temple nor feel so disturbed by the Jallianwala Bagh. To think of a place where nearly 2000 people were brutally killed can shake you up, to be at the place where it happened gives you quite a jolt. Makes you understand why we must never take our Independence for granted.

-X-X-X-X-

But the best of the trip was the visit to the border. I have always wanted to be near the border and the closest I had been to it was in Dholavira in Kutch but that was different- Miles of No Man's land separated the two nations. Here it was a white line which clearly said "This land is your land, This land is my land"--Not quite the sentiments of the song by Woody Guthrie but a strange concept of the so called 'non neanderthals' but more about that some other time.

-X-X-X-X-

Megs had warned me it would be quite an experience and it was just that! Everything there seemed to be the last--the last petrol pump, the last gate, the last toilet, the last coca cola branded restaurant ! Of course all that could be the first, based on where you are coming from.!...!

-X-X-X-X-

The Golden Temple by night was a sight to behold and that walk to the sanctum sanctorum in the middle of the water body was special. So incredibly peaceful that I just hoped the walk would continue. The number of volunteers there and the way everything was organised was as Saurabh rightly pointed out " A perfect micro example of how an ideal country should function"

-X-X-X-X-

The night was dull and uneventful and everyone was so exhausted that they just did not feel like sitting around for a chat. Hic Hic,Excuse me

-X-X-X-X-

The ride back, hmm, how can I forget the bread cutlet which makes every train ride a joyous one. I ensured I skipped lunch just to dig into the cutlet. Of course a few other things that have to be left unsaid but will remain with me for a long time. Every moment was a blast and the trip did enough to ensure three weeks of work could be swept away and recharged the body !

-X-X-X-X-

Forgive the broken nature of the diary but I will follow this up with a photology

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This is going to hurt just a little bit

For some reason brushing my teeth in the morning has become an ordeal. If I decide to show some zeal and enthusiasm in the process, I somehow end up bleeding my gums; if I don't show much interest then the whole exercise is a waste. But the bleeding gums.. Not a fun feeling and I don't even feel like going to the dentist. It is that thought the brings me to the post today.

Back in 10th class we had a brilliant poem in our syllabus written by Ogden Nash. Every line is filled with wit and makes you grin. The best part about the poem is the fact that he captures the predicament of a visit to the dentist perfectly. I wrote reams on how the poem is a metaphor for blah and blah and blah but in all honesty it just seems he wrote it right after giving the dentist a visit-:

This is going to hurt just a little bit

by Ogden Nash

One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open.
And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopen.
Because some tortures are physical and some are mental,
But the one that is both is dental.

It is hard to be self possessed
With your jaw digging into your chest,
so hard to retain calm
When your fingernails are making serious alterations in your life line or love line or some other important line in your palm,
So hard to give your ususal cheerful effect of benignity
When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity
And your mouth is like a section of road that is being worked on
And it is cluttered up with stone crushers and concrete mixers and drills and steam rollers and there isn't a nerve on your head that aren't being irked on.



Oh some people are unfortunate to be worked on by thumbs,
And others have things done to their gums,
And your teeth are supposed to being polished
But you have reason to believe they are being demolished.
And the circumstances that adds to your terror
Is that it's all done with a mirror,
Because the dentist may be a bear, or as the Romans used to say, only they were referring to a feminine bear when they said it, an ursa,


But all the same how can you be sure when he takes his crowbar in one hand and mirror in the other he won't get mixed up, the way you do when try to tie a bow tie with the aid of a mirror, and forget that left is right and vice versa
And then at last he says, That will be all, but it isn't because he then coats your mouth from cellar to roof
With something I suspect is generally used to put shine a horse's hoof,


And you totter to your feet and think, Well it's over now and after all it was only this once,
And he says come back in three monce.
And this O Fate, is I think the most vicious that thou ever sentest,
That Man has to go continually to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition
When the chief reason he wants his teeth to be in good condition is so that he won't have to go the dentist.


-X-X-X-X-

My favourite part of the poem is -:

"So hard to give your ususal cheerful effect of benignity
When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity"



image courtesy: www.dineshsoni.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The week that was

What a fun week it was! Although, I must say as good as the trip was there is nothing that feels as good as your own bed. This was the first tournament I covered and it gave me quite a thrill to see some part of my press release finding its way into the major newspapers.

The best part and the worst part about the golf course was the fact that it was so far away. While it took an eternity to get there, once there, you felt so blissfully detached from the rush of the city. With the weather being at its best, there was very little else you could ask for.

I spent most of the day lazing around, covering a few groups and then slid back into my couch in the room that we were given in the clubhouse while I was not out on course. But it used to get hectic in the afternoon. I had to write the release as soon as the scores were in and dispatch it to all the contacts in the sports media across the country in a very short period.

It also gave me an opportunity to interact with the players, I guess the start of a few new friendships. I would be looking forward to the next tournament just to catch up with some of those chaps. The next tournament is sometime in November in the lovely city of Chandigarh.

I just wish there was some way to get to that course without having to do all that driving. It took the life out of me. Despite living close to Gurgaon, it took me a good hour to get there and that is the only thing I would like to change about the week.

The setup of the course was also so different from some of the courses I had been on previously. This one had a more links style feel to it and why not considering the fact that the owner of the golf course has not missed a single Open Championship in the last few decades.

-X-X-X-X-

Just a couple of pictures from the course-:













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The bit that I loved was reading my press release in some of the Hindi newspapers. The best one was on the day I had started off saying "On a day when the sun god played hide and seek with the clouds....."

Here is a clipping from Hindustan. For some reason I found the translation of the first line very amusing-:














(Click on clipping to read the text)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Two Thoughts and a half

Why is it that we don't understand that each time we react with rage to cowardly acts we are in a way strengthening their will and doing exactly what the terrorists want us to do, feel enraged, worried and in a way deranged. We have got to stop reacting like this.

I heard someone dish out the choicest of words, while someone else encouraged us to go out with sledgehammers and hunt down the people responsible for the blasts. What you guys don't realise is that you are happily falling into the trap set down by those people whose single aim in life is to leave civil society feel disturbed. They succeed in breaking the very fabric that binds together people with a conscience.

Once we lose that, then there is nothing else that can hold us together.

Quite often we spend too much time expressing rage and anger without really bothering to figure out why we are caught in such a situation. As individuals we must make an effort to act responsibly and ensure that we thwart every attempt made to disturb society as we know it.

Don't mistake me. I am not saying there should be no grief. I cannot recall how many many times we have had golgappas next to the Prince Pan Corner in M-Block Market after school. How many many times we have used that spot as a meeting point before we went to eat some place inside the market. All that I am saying is that this grief should not give way to the kind of madness that fails to differentiate between human beings and those who don't know how it feels to be human.

"In all things it is better to hope than despair"

- Anonymous


-X-X-X-X-

I am off on my first real assignment and my test at work starts tomorrow onwards and I cannot muck up. Spent the better part of the morning explaining to my dad how the game of golf works. After nearly an hour of patient explanation all that I got in return was " Golf just feels like a terribly boring game"

I have to leave at five in the morning tomorrow to be at the course by seven. Now that I am going to set up my temporary base in Dwarka for a week, I am looking forward to catching up with a few good friends after quite some time.

The two other things on top of my mind this week are-:
  • My first few golf lessons
  • Some good photography
Let us see how it turns out.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Karle tu Zyaada ka Iraada

I absolutely loved this ad. It has been running on t.v. for the last few days and I fell in love with it the first time i saw it. Finally, I have managed to hunt it down online.

Nice hummable song and a brilliant storyline. It prompted me to come up with this gem-:

"When you have what you wish for, you wish for what you have"

NO Rifa, I did not flick that line from anywhere! Go ahead and have a watch. No idea how it is related to life insurance but a nice ad anyway.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ba da Dum da da Dum

When you cross two successive traffic signals just before the the light turns red and it reads 105 and 92, there is nothing else that gives you more joy. It is just the kind of thing that makes a long, tiring ride a joy ride out of nowhere

Had a fun day today. Was at a press con where Riya Sen was the main celebrity and for some reason I was looking forward to it. THAT, I must confess is worse than some guy who would perhaps waste time worrying about who will get chucked out of BIG BOSS this week. Tsk Tsk Tsk


Let me set the record straight. I was under the impression that Riya Sen was Raima Sen, which obviously was not the case. The lady was nothing more than a 'pretend celebrity' who would probably be ignored even if she poses and pouts in the middle of Chandni Chowk. No wonder then, her only claim to fame is a silly mms clip with some other wannabe star.


What made the day for me was being able to interview Shiv Kapur, one of the biggest Indian golfers, plying his trade on the European Tour. He was practicing at the golf club and under the pretext of wanting to do a story on him, I had a 40-50 minute chat with him. Now that I have had my little '15 seconds with the star', I need to make a story based on that conversation :(

The twist in the tale- Even Shiv Kapur asked me why I was doing Journalism after Engineering. Have had to fend off that question from a million people but never thought I would hear that from someone like Shiv!


P.S. Were we not supposed to be swallowed by a black hole a while back? Or have they not yet collided the particles 'down' in zurich?

Update: Vikram Chandra tells me, the actual collision will take place only a few weeks later.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Joy at 3:30 in the morning

It's 3:30 in the morning. Federer has just saved two break points in the second set and the two guys are playing some amazing tennis. The kind of tennis that justifies getting up at this time when the rest of the world around you is still sleeping.

-X-X-X-X-

I just went outside in between games to spend a couple of minutes in the balcony and the weather right now is beautiful. Brilliant breeze hitting you in the face and not a soul on the street. I click a few pictures but nothing is visible in them. Proof that it is the dead of the night :)

Around six when I venture out, it would seem like it is the middle of the day. This is something that Krits and I noticed when we used to go the gym just around daybreak it would seem like it was too early. But once we started going a little bit before daybreak, 6:15 just seemed insanely late....

WHOA,,,, These guys are playing some tennis, Super Tennis. Wow!

-X-X-X-X-

There have been a few other occasions when I have had to get up at this time to watch a match. Back in 2006, it was around this time that I woke up to watch Yuvraj Singh try and guide India to victory in the last over. He hit two consecutive four's off Dwayne Bravo. We needed one run to win and three balls were still left. Bravo came in and bowled an amazing slower ball, and poof, that was that, we lost. The match finished around 3:45 in the morning and just a few hours later I had to trudge to I.P. College for a semester exam...

And another bit of MAGIC from Roger's racquet....Oh Wow. A beautiful pick from near the net, swinging forehand, the ball curls in and the champion goes up two sets to love....

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Just once, I have actually been up till nearly four in the morning on the phone. If you want to 'talk', that is the best time, anytime after one and till a couple of hours before daylight. You will know more about the person in those few hours than trying to figure them out through hours of talking during the mundane hours.

WHAT a SHOT. A delectable drop with amazing backspin. The master is giving the young man a fine lesson....

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It's going to be a long day. Anyone knows where I can buy a good cake ? If you do, please give me a buzz before six in the evening. It has got to be somewhere between Lajpat Nagar and Anand Vihar. Have to try and surprise a friend's dad on his birthday on 'behalf of my friend'. I hope he is surprised :). Yesterday, I wrote a feature story on a player after interviewing him sometime last week. It felt good. If you have time please go through the story and give me your feedback.
And the CHAMPION is back to doing what he does best, WINS another slam. Historic moment. He equals Sampras' record of Grand Slam wins. FedEx was back at his very best. I AM glad I was up to watch this match.


It's 4:30 and I reckon I can catch one hour of sleep. It was totally worth it.

WOOHOO. Roger IS BACK !

Update: 10:30 A.M.- It seems my dad was up at 02:30 to watch the match from the beginning. He went to sleep as soon as Federer won the first two sets. The weird thing is he is not even a huge tennis fan !

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What happened to your beard, Sir ?

The last couple of days, I have had the kind of sleep, one can only dream of (no pun intended). Pleasant breeze blowing into the room, the right amount of exhaustion and that morning dream just before you wake up that lingers on.

Yesterday was an oddity. Never before in my life have I woken up at 11:30, a real shame but if it counts for anything, there was a brief period between seven to eight in the morning, when I woke up, read the newspaper, idled around and then went back to sleep again.

And what a fun 3 hours of sleep it was, the kind where you long to sleep just a little more to let the dream continue for a little while more. Finally I was woken up by an Earthquake which was blissfully missed by most people.

The sleep last night was another one of those days. I was exhausted just the appropriate amount both physically and mentally, hung around till Roger whooped the Djoker but could not hang on long enough to see Nadal being sent scurrying around the court by the talented Andy Murray. A lazy day had taken a toll on me and a mix of happy n irritating chats had come to an end and I had dozed off before I could say Jack Robinson.

Another new morning dream, one that is still clear in my head for me to discuss it. The setting was surprisingly a classroom in college. I was surrounded by friends, but not the usual lot. A lot of friends I have always been cordial to, but never close enough to expect to see them in my dreams. These people were a mix of people from college, school and a few were brothers and sisters of people I knew in school who did not have any siblings. Strange.

Yet in the midst of these people I hardly knew, or let us put it this way, people I might have wanted to know better, I was having the kind of fun that made me want to sit in class, something I never felt in the real world ! Even a couple of teachers, I never thought I would see in my dreams.

I was sitting with Surabhi in class ( I wonder what she is doing these days, have not seen her after college). Anika, Jasmin and Shikha were sitting somewhere in the front (school folks I haven't heard from in the last 4 and a half years). I was merrily flirting with Ankita Kochar's sister( who does not exist) and there was Dr Gill teaching in class but with a black beard. What happened to the colour of your beard, Sir ?

Meaningless dream, but one of those that makes you wake up with a spring in your step.

That was Fun !



Boomshine

It has come to my notice that there are a few regular visitors to this blog who come here just to while away time during office hours to play Snake and Copter. It is a serious nuisance for employers and we say....HooHooHaHaHa (Thanks Prerana for teaching me that laff !! )

This here is a game that had picked up quickly but then suddenly got yanked out of my uncle's blog and then people stopped discussing it. On the face of it, Boomshine looks fairly innocuous but has proved to be surprisingly addictive.

Instructions

  • Click on any part of the playing area
  • Try and create as big a chain reaction as possile
  • Sit back and enjoy the noise made by the bubbles( the high point of this game)

Cons

  • There are only so many points you can accumulate
  • Repeat Attempts are allowed
  • Does not help in determining who is the better player
I guess this game is not about competition. Just enjoy the chain reaction

Warning

Turn off the music on the bottom right of the main screen before you start playing. It is very irritating and does not sit well with the relaxed 'ambience' of the game.

Special Warning

TURN OFF THE MUSIC







No wonder then, Addicting Games is the version sponsor for this game

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

To me Mum and Dad

When I was young, my sister was enrolled into a music school and her teacher always used to ask my mom to enroll me for music lessons. I don't know whether it was a calculated decision or they followed their heart but they were smart enough to keep me out of it. Unlike others who would push their children too much to make wonders out of them, my parents were smart enough to realise that only a vocal chord surgery would be able to fish out some form of musical talent from within me.

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Fast Forward to a few years down the line and I was this kid who used to return from school, change his clothes, have his lunch and go out into the balcony with a tennis ball in hand and a makeshift bat and lose myself to my own make belief world of sports. Most parents would have contemplated doctor's help for their seemingly deranged kid. My Mom and Dad never ever discouraged me from it. Maybe that was the time, the first thoughts of wanting to become a sports journalist crept into my head and it was not nipped in the bud. This, despite the fact that a few neighbours used to ask them "Aapka beta pagal hai kya?" :-) .In fact, I remember my sister's friend asking her the same question in front of me!!

-X-X-X-X-

12th Class and my tryst with Brilliant Tutorials came to a rather abrupt end. The pressure got to me and it was just too much for me to handle. I had to quit and there was no other way out of it. All of a sudden, I began to doubt my abilities and I did not even know if I would be able to make it through the Board Exams. But my Mom and Dad were there with me, encouraged me to believe in myself again and provided the kind of support through that volatile period in July without which I would not have been able to make it through another 9 months in a board exam year. I don't know whether my results would be considered good or not but whatever it was, was due to their full support.

-X-X-X-X-

End of college and there were many roads leading out towards a new life. I chose a path that would have met with a lot of skepticism and most would have chosen to obstruct that path. But not my parents. They encouraged me to take the step and follow my instincts.They chose to support my new endeavour. Now that I think about it, it must have been a terribly hard decision to support me down a path not oft traversed, but they did.

-X-X-X-X-

They say you learn things along the way and my little honeymoon with my new venture came to an end. I decided to part ways and have started on another new adventure. While the past three months were truly educational, sometimes things don't work out and you have to move on. Most would have given up hope but my Mom and Dad still stood by me. They gave me the kind of support that I could only have dreamt of and helped me through the transition period. Buoyed by their support, I take a great degree of confidence into my new job and a belief that I would be able to move ahead with it.


While my 'pursuit of happYness' continues, they have always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and never ever discouraged me. They have stood by me on all occasions and as I drove down to office today I realised, they have always backed my dreams and stood by my side through out.

One day, I WILL make them Proud.

To me Mum and Dad, Thank You.