The whole city, is battered by the recent rains and every where I see, road blocks and diversions and huge traffic woes.I dont intend to go back home for the next 2 days.I plan to stay in office as the winds and the rains are threatening and menacing to any driver riding his vehicle on the road. As observed in the mumbai rains, people longed to come back home,but I kinda differ, I feel more at ease at office than, being at home, as its worse at home with no power and all water all around.My only source of worry, is that my mother and grandmother are at home,and are pretty much marooned back home. I just wish and pray the rain clears, so that I can try my luck going home in this rain. I couldn't start from office at all, with the heavy rains through out the day,and given the fact that I need to bike 22 km's, the whole journey seems so unsettling and scary.
Right now, I am armed with my chair and trying to take a nap, in my cubicle,even as the winds threaten to blow away Chennai.
I hurried my way through the traffic and met my friends at a predefined point, and then proceeded to locate this marriage hall titled “Om Sakthi”. After 10 minutes of “vulture” eye, tactics my friend swooped on the place, where a small board said “Om Shakthi” Manadapam.We parked our vehicles against the adjacent wall and went inside to observe that the marriage had long been over and people were belching there preparing themselves for a god siesta at about 10 30 in the morning. My friend Kishore, the intelligent guy that he is , gave a stunning explanation, that since the marriage muhurtam was at 11 00, they were waiting for the right time to arrive and assemble there
Waiting ?? ok , but that doesn’t mean the hall would have a deserted look.” Anyway, exceptions are in vogue, this season “ that’s what I said to myself and proceeded to search for my colleague “Ramachandran”(whose sister was getting married) who was not to be found anywhere across the lengths and breadths of the marriage hall. Since I had already spent a good 10-15 minutes searching, and was hungry,I decided to go and quench the call of hunger, hoping that “Ramachandran” would turn up to serve me food.That didn’t happen, and I was all to absorbed in having the idli,dosa and pongal drenched in mouth watering Sambhar of a typical “Tam Brahm” wedding.
After having our food, in between the belching, we felt odd that we didn’t know any one in the marriage hall, and there were no signs of Ramachandran.The time was 10 50 am now and as per Kishore’s logic, the bride and the bridegroom must have been on the altar now,but the bride was busy waiting someone after having her tiffin in the same session as us. Since , I had to also return to office,I wanted to get done with gifting the bride and pushing off,but it would’nt sound nice if the gift were to be given to the bride,without she actually knowing us. So we waited, for what must have been another 200 seconds,but seemed like eternity,before I mustered courage to stop this wait any longer.
I went up boldly to the bride and turned around and looked at her with a confident look,and suavely asked her “ U must be the sister of Ramachandran? “ . She gave me a quizzical look akin to a 4 year old boy seeing calculus. I cleared my voice and told that “I am for Sulekha.com and I have been searching for Ramachandran, your brother” , expecting that atleast now, she would put that faint smile that a bell would ring when she hears “Sulekha”, but alas ..she gave me an even more quizzical look, askin to a 4 year old kid in a topless bar. This was it, the height of insouciance, the bride cant be so irresponsible, not even knowing where her brother worked.Before I could figure out what to say next, the bride blurted “ I don’t know Sulekha.com” …..splash..just felt like a squashed tomato hit me and I retorted “ Its not about the company, but its about your brother” .
The bride all of a sudden pressed the panic button when her quizzical looks were spotted by some rather jobless family members who were contemplating when to doze off, with some paan(paaku) stuffed in their mouths. An old man , asked me what I wanted, to which I bluffed “ I wanted to give the gift, but forgot to address all the three gifting people involved” so, with that I bought some time to save further embarrassment , and went immediately to the next set of empty chairs and sat down with my two companions and gave them suicidal looks and asked them whether the marriage hall was the intended one. Just as the Bollywood movies would inspire a “ma –ki –saugandh sey bolta hoon”, Kishore gave me a stern look, to say “he’s absolutely damn sure that it was Om Sakthi Kalyana mandapam”. Having wasted eons chatting in an unknown place,I decided that I would go and check the name of the mandapam from outside, pretending to write the name of the Bride on the gift wrapped material. To my surprise, the board was stuck at a bout 10 metres saying “Om Shakti”, but what we missed was a board stuck 2 metres below it that said “Murugan Kalyana Manadapam”, to which I simpered like an idiot, though a furnace of anger was spewing within me, for having made a fool of myself in front of the bride.”Om Shakti” was on the first floor and it took us a minute to digest the fact that we had eaten in a marriage, of whom we were not related in any way.
Finally on the first floor,I saw a gleaming “Ramachandran” welcoming me, and enquiring why we were late? I had to name my boss as the villain who called me in for a surprise 8 am meeting (by the way the office starts at 9, which I forgot).When confusion and chaos reigns one realizes, that it takes seconds to start blabbering. He asked me to wait and have lunch , to which I politely refused, but he seemed adamant that he wanted me to see the bride,as he wanted to introduce us. Thankfully we only had our names on the gift wrapper, not the other “bride’s” name. But the bride, was busy dressing up …and we couldn’t eventually meet her. But I was suffering from too much guilt and was being the butt of my 2 other friends chaffs about my “ 30 second dialogue with the other bride”. After a few apologies, about returning to office, I left the building to start my vehicle, and just as I was waiting for my bike to start, I saw the guard in front of the “Murugan Kalyana mandapam”, with a wry look at we three, which seemed to silently mock at our Mandapam Misadventure.
A hundred and twenty four years back, when the English cricket team lost for the first time to the Australians at the Oval,The Sporting Times in 1882 carried a satirical obituary stating that the English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.
Fast Forward now to 2006, Yesterday, October 21st , the 7th match of the ICC Champions trophy , where before the toss, the match seemed to have all the makings of a thriller, but the contest flattered to deceive and was a totally one sided contest, with England being a pale shadow of what it was a year back when the Ashes was won by them. Cornered tigers, they say are more dangerous, but the cornered Kangaroo can actually be more ruthless, and this match hyped as the “Ashes “battle, saw a clinical display by the Aussies to demolish England. Having seen the way England has performed in the last 26 one day internationals (winning 5),I assume its time they renew the “ashes” and burn another bail, to mourn the obituary of English cricket all over again.
English cricket fans could have never had it worse, this is their team’s worst patch in recent years and it doesn’t seem like improving any soon though. Ricky Ponting won the toss and inserted the opposition, as is the wont of most captains preferring to bowl first during the afternoon, than to lay their hands on a moist ball later in the evening, with the dew compounding their problems manifold. The English openers got off to a splendid start with Bell and Strauss, going hell after leather; bring 50 from the first 10 overs. Ian bell, was severe on Bracken and Mcgrath, with 60% of Bell’s runs coming in the region of point and midwicket as he packed 6 boundaries in those regions. At 83 for no loss from 18 overs, England was well set for a 250+ score, when their usual listless batting style came to the fore.
Bell seemed a totally changed player, from what had one seen him against the Aussies in the last ashes series, and just as he was about to get into change gears, the brakes were applied by a rather ugly long hop from Shane Watson, which Bell mistimed into the hands of the cover fieldsman Mike Hussey. This was the beginning of the end, as batsmen fell like 9 pins, no one showing resilience to spend some time at the wicket and accumulate runs. Peterson, the next batsman in, did his reputation no justice, when he poked his bat at an away going delivery by Mitchell Johnson, whose delivery had just done enough to elicit the edge, straight down Gilchrist’s throat, and the Aussies were cock-a-hoop with the Poms reduced to 85-2.
It took some excellent bowling from Australia here on, to stifle the run scoring from 5 an over to less than 4 runs, as Strauss and Flintoff seemed to struggle to get runs, after the double whammy that the Aussies struck. Soon frustration gave way for 2 indiscrete shots from the skipper Flintoff and his deputy, when they departed in the space of 3 overs and 5 runs, with England in a huge mess at 115/4. In came Michael Yardy, and his promotion ahead of England’s highest run getter this season, Paul Collingwood, certainly warranted a debate, but even before you could spell d-e-b-a-t-e , Yardy was gone, to a doubtful decision, caught down the leg side, but even if he had been given the benefit of the doubt, he hardly looked convincing in the 4 runs he scored, consuming 15 balls. After that it was a procession that followed that more or less sealed England’s fate at 169, hardly looking like troubling Ponting’s men.
The problem plaguing English cricket, is that apart from Pieterson, Strauss and Collingwood, nobody really has the ability to turn a match around or the confidence to pace the innings. Andrew Flintoff is just back after a long lay off, and will take some time to get into the groove, while the rest like Dalrymple, Read and Hardy , being more so batsmen who would prefer the safe mode of stroking singles. Another major problem for England has been pacing the innings, as their batsmen don’t seem to rotate the strike well, and consume a lot of balls before getting out, helping the team cause to no end.
The Australian chase started like the bullet train, with Gilchrist and Watson putting on a quick fire 30 in 4 overs before Gilchrist succumbed to rush of blood, being comprehensively bowled by Mahmood, off the latter’s first delivery, which followed a brief flood light power failure break, that seemed to have undone the Aussie’s concentration. Ponting didn’t last long before, playing an Anderson delivery to the slip cordon which Strauss juggled, but managed to hold the ball for dear life and England were ecstatic with the cheap dismissal of the Aussie captain. More disaster was to follow when Shane Watson, under edged an intended pull on his stumps to the leave the Aussies tottering at 34-3.
IMAGE SOURCE-CRICINFO AND GETTY IMAGES
Did some body say “we have a match on here”? Martyn seemingly didn’t’ hear that and went on to produce an innings laced with audacious shots that seemed to bludgeon the English bowlers into submission, while Hussey on the other hand was content playing second fiddle. Martyn picked his bunny in Harmison, who seemingly was still fresh from the insipid bowling effort against India, and Martyn clubbed him for three fours in an over, and that scathing attack that Martyn delivered seemed to knock the wind out of England’s sails with Martyn reaching a quick fire 50 off 35 deliveries.
Martyn’s swashbuckling innings came to an end when Harmison priced him in the dying stages of the match, after Martyn knicked an innocuous delivery from Harmison. Martyn’s initial carnage had brought Australia 19 short of a victory, before he was dismissed for a strokeful 78. Hussey and Clarke carried out the formalities by seeing the Aussies through by 6 wickets.
So one elimination has been decided here, England will most probably go back home after their next match against the West Indies, but can still expect a favor or two technically speaking from India. If India beats both the Caribbeans and the Aussies, and England managed to defeat the West Indies by a huge margin, then it will boil down to net run rate amongst West-Indies,Australia and England. But whether India has the might to do England a favour is question that hangs in balance,as India’s one day form all too recently has not been that impressive to make the Ladbrokes put their money on them.
The fact that I had a 4 day long weekend, and some time to spare on saturday helped me compose this little piece.Cricket related journalism is something I'd love to do, so hence a write up on the match, with me envisioning myself to be a sports columnist. :-)
There are times you just cling on to hope, with the hard work in the background, its one of those times now.There's a lot of frustration, coupled with a few moments of joy.Its about balancing these emotions in a fine ratio that helps you face the worst of adversities in the best possible manner.So hoping for things to get better.
After seeing Autralia's bewildering collapse last night,I am convinced the law of probability is finally catching up with the men from down under.
The Chickungunya threat seems all the more menacing,as there is a huge stagnant pool of water almost round the year, surrounding my house.As of now I am with Odomos, a fan and an AC as a team to ward off the chicungunya threat, as inactivity due to any damn virus infection may prove problematic,with exams round the corner.
Yesterday afternoon,I happened to chance across the television commentary team of SET MAX, and their inane ramblings left me exasperated. Sample this
Mandira Bedi: Cricket is coing to the Brabourne after 11 years after a match was played here way back in ………err…. 1996(Mandira, thinking it was the Wills World cup).Brabourne, they say has a history behind it, so in terms of history, it’a a famous ground.What about the other grounds Charu?
Charu Sharma: Oh yes, I think Shonali Nagrani, our team reporter who has covered the 4 matches may want to share some of her experiences on the ground.
Charu Sharma :Hi Shonali, in all the 4 matches that you have seen, which ground has appealed to you the most?
Shonali Nagrani: I actually like the Chandigarh chicken with white Makkhan, but amchi Mumbai is the best,where Igot to party all night with my friends.The gujrati lunch at Ahmedabad,was awesome,but I gotta saw the jaipur cuisine was also great.
Charu Sharma: ( Head starting to perspirate, attempts to divert the question after a perfectly inane answer). Well Shonali, great to know you are having fun there.I heard you met Murali and Sangakkara.How confident are they about the match.
Shonali Nagrani: Yes Charu, They are cho chweet.They talked to me so well and they are very confident about winning against the West Indies, but they were saying that it’s a one day match and they have equal chances of losing too,so I feel that Srilanka is going to rock today’s game. By the way,I saw Murali’s kid, and Murali wants him to be the next-ace spinner after him.
Mandira Bedi: Oh! Is that so, but on a cricketing note, did you ask him, where Murali’s 1 year old kid would play cricket for , would it be India,Srilanka or Australia.
I stopped dead in my tracks and given that Mandira Bedi was in a Sari and not in her noodle straps , I muted the television, and pretended to be busy reading a book,even though I really wanted some expert info before the start of play.Just when, I muted the TV, Tony Greig and John Wright started to talk,so I again unmute to listen to a few seconds of cricket gnyaan,before Sony’s telecast policies take off the cricket experts and start to focus on Bollywood.
Their idea of marrying cricket with bollywood is allright, considering the fact that these are the 2 most watched modes of entertainment for the common Indian man.What I cannot tolerate is the essence of dilution, the coverage has in terms of commentators with Mandira Bedi,Rahul Roy and the likes of Shonali Nagrani simply vitiating the atmosphere,with greats like Barry Richards and Tony greig , pushed to the sideline.
This is where I miss the quality coverage of ESPN STAR, with the exalted company of Gavaskar,Bhogle and Shastri. Add to it a Ian Chappell,Tony Cozier and Richie Benaud and the frenzy voice of Bill Lawry, you are done, as a Channel you can have me hooked on to that television Channel for 9 long hours, increasing your TRP Ratings and advertisement value, rather than driving me away by throwing nonsensical ladies like Shweta Jumaani,Mandira Bedi and Shonali Nagrani at me.
If Max is going to still, continue with their “mixing cricket and entertainment”, I suggest they have Mandira Bedi,Shonali Nagrani,Shweta Jummani,Arjun Singh(The HRD guy),George Bush and Kanchi Illiah, One cant have a greater set of lunatics providing entertainment to us, a 9 hour comedy show, that also shows Cricket in between.
This is at the musuem,where the kids assembled for lunch
I am feeling pretty worn out and tired and have developed some back complications, due to studying with crazy postures and unearthly sleeping hours.The last few days are the slog overs that I am banking for my preparation, for both these exams.
I might end up putting a few short posts the in the next few days to break the boredom of forcing my eyes to be active in the wee hours of the night.Expect to see more pictures.
I saw this hoarding at the Mount Road Cenotaph Road Junction.It's one of the few good eye catchy adlines that I have come across recently.It's an ad that combines a Tennis affcianado's interest as well as fulfills TataIndicom's new service.Click on the Image for a more detailed expansion of the advertisement.Signing Sania Mirza probably may have increased brandrecall for the TaTa's, but nothing to beat the brand recall Adidas has in the form of T-shirts and skirts that Sania wears, where most of the attention is diverted to,rather than her game. Talking about endorsements for expression based services like Mobiles and pagers, earlier the route followed by Bharti pagers and RPG cellular were more geared towards presenting an advertisement that showed a whole family being united or a whole nation being united by the cellular service. Mobile phone branding has since then come a long way, with atrocious, but working ads like the "Sehwag ki ma" , reliance ad concept that seemed to appeal to every common man, who had grown up watching "ma-beta" bonding in Bollywood(a la Deewar-"Mere Paas Maa Hain").
Out of the brand positioning ad's that I have seen, in terms of quality HUTCH never seems to have pandered their product to the lower masses,betting their market on the suave upmarket Indian.Airtel for a while, did have few good expression based themes, but have managed to maintain a brandpositionng that attracts people in the moderately rustic-moderately suave, between Reliance and Hutch, in terms of the customer market.
Reliance after focussing 3 years on the rural -semi urbane low cost market, has also resorted to taking a bite in the suave modern Indian market by launching its just dial service.They have Mandira bedi and Riya sen, with plunging necklines wooing customers to call them.The ad certainly looks inviting and seductive, but I'd prefer to have Mandira Bedi here than to see her on SONY TV distributing cricket gnyaan along with experts on EXTRAA INNINGS from today.
Death , of all human emotions teaches a person the maximum in terms of intensity of feelings and penitence.The first time, I encountered death of a close family member was when my Aunt was flown away by the flash floods in 1998.That is when I saw the seriousness of death and how much it meant to my cousin.Its been a source of irrepable damage and that incident has still left a lot of mental scars in his upbringing after that.To me, it was a shock, that made me sit up at nights and worry why people died,and how would they die.It was then that I saw , death could strike any time.It could be the moment of irrationality while on the road.It could be the carelessness of human nature,avoiding medical treatment and other easy routes to disaster.I was afraid when my parents used to return home late after work, a sense of insecurity tends to creep in days after an incident like that.It took some days to recover my first experience of death in the fanmily.I used to escape the very thought of death, by covering myself wrapped in the bedsheet, for the Chennai winter of 22-23 degrees :-) . That was my automatic cushion to escape any such scary thoughts of death,before the Chennai sun and the local madipakkam electricity board gave me enought uninterrupted light.
The second major incident was of course my grandfather dying last year.The day he died, I had just reconciled myself to the news that he wasnt there anymore, when at around 6 am, the local newspaper guy, came about delivering the newspaper ,when I quickly made a dash at the paper, more so by habit, and then to realise, as my uncle emotionally remarked, "dont hurry, Your Grandfather is no more going to compete with you for the newspaper headlines".My grandfather and I had this small cold war,where both of us were adamant in letting each other the first glance of the newspaper.He wanted a cursory glance of the headlines and the editorial,while I wanted a detailed sports news report in the few minutes I had before going to school or college.He won for quite a few years,but subsequently due to failing ear hearing problems, he couldnt hear the Newspaper cyclists's bell properly, so I won most of the times.I somehow had this innate pleasure of de-flowering the newspapers warm and folded virginality, and that explains why I still dont like anyone else laying a hand on my newspaper :-) .
Coming back to the phenomenen of death,My grandfathers death more so involved analysing what mental factors could have led to his heath problems and then getting back to the normal routine of work and life. Death of an extremely close relative is when the mind is filled with hallucinations,on replaying how could it have not happened and mind being filled with guilt.No other joy in life, now seems interesting or even worth laughing.I've had two such major deaths come this year in my life.When the first death happened,I felt like cursing myself and wept internally for not being around when it happened,as I was on a bus from Bangalore to Mangalore.My lovely moments with the deceased were thought on that journey through the night and I quickly gave up on my penitent thoughts,as I was hugely responsible for the death, and it seemed to be eating me from within.I got up in the morning,and saw the rising sun and seemingly took the matter in my stride,deciding not to worry about it further,even though I was reminded again and again of the sad incident on the STD public phone when I called home.
My friends, thought I was remorseless and careless,but it takes a certain mental level of maturity to not display your emotions to people who are by and large not remotely connected to you.My efforts at forgetting it, made me fel lighter for the rest of the trip.
The second major loss happened a couple of days back,when a rabid biker came and hit my bike on the side,when he did a mistimed swerve from the left of a corner road on to my stationary bike.I fell and in the jerk delivered, from behind, my closest confidant fell on the road, and was smashed to shreds immideatly by 2 company buses and a couple of cars.All I could do lying horizontal on the road was to see mutely my confidante being run over by the passing huge vehicles.It was too late, before I could go and gather the left overs.There is no worse feeling in this world than to see your confidante get knocked down and crushed right in front of your eyes, while you helplessly try to stop the vehicles running over.I was shattered.All my life's victories and losses are first shared with this confidante of mine,however lifeless she is.My Sony erricsson mobile's display is all screwed up,with scars of cracks through the mobile and other mangled remains of its backside.The first mobile"death" was that of my Motorola c650 handset,which somebody flicked from my pocket/or it fell down earlier this year.2 mobiles gone in a year and thats 22,000 of my money gone vanished into the air, and more than that, the lovely priceless monments I spent with my mute companions thats also gone.
I have to see if the mangled remains with a new display can still sustain the phone,else I would have to for the rather costly option of investing in an other phone,which would take easily a couple of months to save some money for it and then buy, as I have to save up quite a sum of money for my MBA applications in India and the International options. So , life's not that great at the moment with me going through a mini mourningof sorts every night,when I realise that my w550 Sony erriccson is lying but is lifeless like rape victim in coma.
When I see this, I get another doubt in my mind, which would be my next blog on whether, if the phone was a lady in my life and an accident criplled her for life, would I abandon the lady and go for a new marriage, considering that she is crippled for life,and I need a married life?
Some food for thought, till next time...when I compose a blog based on the above topic.Any similar feeling can be echoed to me in my comments box below.