Monday, October 30, 2006

India vs Australia - Live from PCA

It was touted as the biggest match of the tournament - India v Australia and that was happening just 15 km away from my home.
Logic said that it shouldn't be missed but the tickets were sold out within hours of the counter being open. It was a lucky stroke of luck just half hour before the match when Parul informed that she had 4 VIP passes and that we could take them. It was a hectic one hour then - of trying to reach the heavily guarded stadium.
One of my dreams is to watch(Live in a stadium) Sachin make a century. Today was the day when he could thrash Mcgrath on the way to his 100. It was a comfort to see Sachin and Sehwag batting in the stunningly beautiful greens as we found seats and made ourselves more comfortable.
The match - as I saw from there on:

  • Sachin got out - to mcgrath. Some signs of what was to come.

  • There seemed to be no gaps in the field while Australians were bowling.
    Fielders amazingly came running from third man to covers to stop well hit shots. These things are not very evident on TV where the camera generally follows the ball. But seeing Australia Live on the field, I realized why they are such a great side.
    Compared to that, Indians were Pathetic - to say the least

  • When the Aussies ran - it was in a perfect rythym. Their running was something machine like - similar for almost everyone in a certain kind of rhythmic pattern - even the 12th, 13th man - who came in drinks break.
    I cried watching Powar (not in playing 11), Munaf Patel, Sehwag etc run. On TV they look fine but in real, I honestly felt there was a lot lot lot left to be done.

  • Commitment was a big Zero on the part of Indians except for some one like Raina and kaif. 2 incidents I distinctly remember:

    a) Harbhajan Singh on widish long off. Ball hit to covers. Ball rolling away (at not a very fast pace) to the fence. And bhajji strolling away like in a park - no serious attempt to save the boundary. And had he been in the crowd at that point, he would have been killed. Because everyone knew in our stand (towards which the ball came)- that it was very much possible to save that four.

    b) Ball goes between midwicket and mid on. Sehwag chases it from mid on.
    Dinesh Mongia standing on deep mid wicket doesn't move an inch.
    The concept of relay throw was omnipresent while Aussies were fielding.

  • Finally saw it in the real that how woefully pathan is out of form. He was a picture of a misery. Getting carted all around with disdain. No real zeal or enthusiasm or grit visible from his body language.
    Add to it the poor fielding of Munaf Patel. He can be arguably called the poorest fielder around these days. And you don’t bring in Anil Kumble citing poor fielding and old blood. Whereas your new blood can neither run to chase balls, throws under arm from the boundary and can't hold the bat.

  • Finally, I felt ashamed to see the Indians so out of shape when compared to the Aussies. Each one of them was perfect - not an inch of flab seemed to be hanging from their bodies. Then you looked at Sehwags and Powars and you could see why India can't win. Others like dinesh mongia, sreesanth etc seem fit but each and every Aussie looked a class apart.

Based on what I saw yesterday, I am in no doubt that India will NOT win the World Cup. It simply CAN NOT.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Happy Diwali

The king of festivals is here to rock again… Diwali…The festival to mark the home coming of Lord Ram after a 14 year ‘vanvas’ in the jungles..
But I still don’t know whether Ramayan is just a fiction written by Valmiki, like another fiction novel which we read these days or does it consists of actual incidents which took place.
What I believe is that they were characters born out of imagination. But doubts arise over these beliefs as there have been some reports of NASA finding the bridge built between India mainland and Sri Lanka. Also some landmarks like Sugreev’s caves are mentioned in Wikipedia.
So my point of view is still surrounded by confusion. The atheist in me still gives the benefit of doubt to the fictional view of the story.
Anyway, fictional or not, the 24000 verse epic is there for sure. And is a source of some great philosophies and teachings. It is in fact a holy book for the Hindus, which they regularly read to satisfy their religious needs.
But does everyone follow it??
I have not read ramayan… but came across a thought provoking excerpt. I wish all a very Happy Diwali and leave you with this excerpt to ponder over.

“The Injunctions of Worship of Gods, sacrifice, gift and penances have been laid down in sastras by clever people to rule over people”
source : The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen

Monday, October 16, 2006


“No! no more rotis for me”, Sameer replied when his mother asked out from the kitchen.
He would feel sleepy if he filled his tummy. “A nice question to be put to the chemistry teacher”, he thought “Why do we feel sleepy after eating too much”
However, it was time to study physics now as he had a test at the tuition early morning – Fluid Mechanics and Optics.
It was a routine now from the past one year. Class 11 and now 12th – the pressure had been unceasing. Tests everyday - one day it was maths, next day chemistry, then physics and so on as the vicious cycle carried on..
Sameer climbed up to the stairs to his room. He had an exclusive or rather reclusive room on the top floor of his 3 floor house. There was just 1 room on the expansive roof top with an attached bath. Besides that, a small artificial garden had been constructed decorated with beautiful flowers, pots giving a green look to one corner of the barren roof.
As he reached the top, a lovely fragrance came floating towards him. It was heavenly. Only a slight aroma, tantalizing the smell buds coming with a smooth breeze.
How he wished he could just sit there forever. But he had a test tomorrow. “Need to be back among the fluids again.”
He marched towards his room, with his heart and brain still in a tussle. “Why can’t be there a moment when I can just think of nothing but sit outside smelling the flowers and watching the sky”. He loved the openness and the hugeness of a night sky with million starts twinkling to him – forming different patterns and molding them any way you wanted them to look like. But the time to do all that was becoming lesser by the day. As he entered the room, the uneasiness increased further – seeing the similar old setting – a study table in front with a book rack on its side – lined with thick science books. On the left was a single bed with a poster about “Positve Thinking” hanging above it. A simple 2 –in -1 in a corner completed the room. There were many days when he just hated to come to this room. He had the option of taking his books outside and study under the sky but it was too distracting. The simple setting of the room took away all the distractions.
Today was again one such day when he felt that uneasiness creeping in. He took out ‘H.C Verma’ – the larger than life book on physics. Soon he will be immersed in fluids studying about the Eureka of Archimedes and forget all about the stupid smells and the light breezes.
Before he could turn to the chapter on optics, it became black all around. Instead of “oooooohh shit!!”, it was “oooh yeah!!!” today. He happily closed his book and got out to be with the good ol’ sky, lovely smells and the breeze which, noticing that the light had gone, picked up some speed. Sameer took out a chair, put his feet on the parapet and sat there looking at the sky – forming imaginary images. The flowers, gently caressed by the breeze, gave out pleasant fragrances which acted as lullaby.
Slowly, Sameer went into a trance – enjoying the free moments of life wishing them to never cease.
And then as suddenly as it had left, the light came back. The trance broke, breeze slowed down, stars became invisible and Sameer, with a heavy heart, headed back to the table.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

RDB revisited...

Plz Note:
1. To understand this post u must have seen Rang De Basanti. And it is better if u also remember the original dialogues.
2. The blog is basically a series of mails, exchanged between me and my friend Ripudaman aka Rompy, which also brought forth the imaginative capabilities in both of us.
3. The mails (which includes modification of RDB’s dialogues) were written from memory.. so minor variations may be there from original dialogues.
4. I don’t know if you find it funny or not.. but I couldn’t stop laughing hours after. Hope it tickles a rib..

A little bit of background:
Rompy sent a mail in which was written that “It is the 2nd Death Anniversary of veerapan today… so we should shut our PC’s for 2 minutes in remembrance”
Along with it there was a photo of a grave and on the tombstone was written – R.I.P
(which by the way means Rest In Peace)

So I replied back :

From: Sid

What does RIP stand for - Remember in Prayer?????????

And u r talking of switching off pc for 2 mins.. today eveing I will switch off the pc for 2 days !!!
Long live Veeru…

Then there was some exchange of mails in which I was not answered so I again asked:

From: Sid

Par RIPu, R.I.P ka matlab to bata do….
Lash pe R.T.P likha hota to bhi samjh aa jata.. (Rovo Te Pitto) – par R.I.P ???

From: Rompy

O relax yaar…
Puch le sue se…mainu koi matlab pata hai….

Veeru da inaam pakka…!!!!

(This is the dialogue which DJ says in the send off party for Ajay
It goes… main koi peeti hai.. puch le sue se… )

From : Sid

O sue taan kehndi – R.I.P means Routing Information Protocol..

From: Rompy

Jhoot bolta hai…
Sue to khali BA pass thi…usko kya pata Routing Information Protocol…hahahaha

From: Sid
Sue: maaji, apka beta to tester hai…

DJ: O yeh software jaaanti hai… O tu ne bataya nahi mereko..
. tu..tuuu sab samjhti hai???
Sue: Haan
DJ: O yaar.. yeh software samajhti hai.. badi gadbad ho gayi yaar

(This comes when DJ introduces sue to his mother and realizes she can speak hindi..)

From: Rompy

SUE: Kuch kaam kar lo…

DJ: (thoda sa code likhata hai) : har taraf sab kuch bikhar raha hai, main khada tamasha dekh raha hu
Hum jaison ki koi aukat hi nahi hai, agar hum RIP ka matlab nikaal bhi lein, fir bhi koi farak nahi padega, tab bhi kuch nahi badlega…
Veeru ek acha terrorist tha, ek acha gunda, achi achi moochon wala…us bande ne kabhi kisi ka kuch nahi bigaada yaar…kabhi kisi ka galt nahi kiya..
Aur apni banto(supposedly veeru ki janani) yaar, apni bachi…

(This comes when DJ cries while eating after Ajay’s death and the lathi charge where Ajay’s mother is injured)

From: Sid

DJ: Humen kuch aisa karna padega… jo unhe jadd se hila de…

Banto(veeru ki janani): Zinda kar do usse…

Sukhi: zinda kar den usse.. Veeru ko zinda kar de..

Pandey : ojha baba ka intezaam main kar dunga…

Sukhi: bhadka mat Pandey… baat baat par logn ko zinda karna tere liye aam bat hogi..

Karan: Zara si baat… veeru ki maut zara si baaaat hai…

Sukhi: par karega kaun,.. zinda kaun karega usse…

DJ: main karunga…

Pandey: roz raaat 12 baje .. chaand baadlon mein chupta hai… tabhi kar denge…

Khoon chalaaaaaa… khoooon challlaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa… veeru ki ragon mein… fer se umad ke … khoon chala….

(This is the next scene in the movie where all of the guys decide to kill the defense minister)

Saturday, October 07, 2006


“Mast movie yaar”, I said, as Tarun, Mayur and I moved down the steps after watching late night show of Khosla ka Ghosla.
“Arrey yaar Bedi, you should also try writing something fictional in your blog”, Mayur said.
“Fictional??”.. I pondered.
“yaar, the blog is according to a theme – about my life..can’t write fiction in that”, I tried to give an excuse – a poor one, which I realized immediately after I said it.
The topic changed but the thought lingered on with me. ” What’s the harm in trying?”, I I put on a Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali khan cassette which I had just bought from Planet M.
As I moved on the deserted roads, I kept thinking about what would the story be like?
Should I write a love story.. naah!! It had to be something different. But this is the first time you are writing. Why not stick to the tried and tested formula, as they say.
But not a love story. Then a mystery?? or a comedy??
“Guess, I need to consult with Amrut – the Story teller”, I concluded as I diverted my attention to NFAK’s ‘Ho jave je pyaar te sauna bhul jaanda’.
“Why did I took the shortcut at this ghostly hour”, I thought as I passed through a dark stretch of road with overgrown trees making the road a tunnel. But then it struck, “why not write a story about ghosts only?”
A sharp explosive noise blasted me out of thoughts as the car took an uncomfortable bump. Then again – accompanied by a similar bursting sound. As the car limped towards the left, I realized,
“I must have run over something sharp and both the front and rear tires are punctured. Shit! Shit!!”
Hoping Tarun had taken the same road, I pulled out my mobile to call him as I got out of the car to analyze the damage done. As I started going towards the rear of the car, I saw 2 dark figures scurrying towards me. “Ghosts?? How is this…..”.
“Idiot.. it was a trap.. they are coming to rob you”. I rushed back to the open door. “Where are the keys?”.
“Where did you keep the keys. Damn it??”. I put my hand deep into the cargo Pockets as the other rolled the window up. The mind rewound back few seconds, and got back the picture of keys dangling at the place where they should be – in the keyhole. The hand responded quickly and found them. “Now don’t act filmy and refuse to start”, I begged the car. Thankfully it did. And precisely at the same moment a huge hammer came crashing on my rear window – landing in the middle and making a gaping hole with pieces of glasses still sticking to the sides. Scared to the hilt, I pressed the accelerator as I hard as I could.. With two tires punctured, it was pretty hard for the car. “chal dhano.. aaj teri basanti ki ijjat ka sawaal hai”. From where did that come? Strange mind!!
The old maruti limbered on. The black figures were running besides me. With their big hammer looking ready to thud again. One side of the car was literally on the rims as it sparked its way along. The robbers were not in a mood to give up. They were following with full vigor on foot. How far could the car go without wheels on the long stretch of the road? Then I heard a loud burst again. It must have been another blow on the rear. I quickly checked the mirror. There was no hole but what I saw scared me more. Another car had gone over the trap.
“It must be Tarun!!! Oh Shit!”. The robbers stopped and turned their attention to the new prey.
I got hold of the mobile which I had thrown on the seat and quickly dialed Tarun’s number.
It was difficult to decide – whether to move on or stop for him. I decided to keep moving and warn him to not stop.
“Tarun!!”, I said as I got connected. “Don’t get out of the car and keep moving”
“Why what Happened?” he asked.
“it is a trap… puncture.. just get in the car and drive… fast”..
In a daze, Tarun got in the car. I had not stopped, not wanting to lose the momentum car had picked up. I kept on shouting on the phone. It was then I heard a loud thud on the phone. I couldn’t make out in the mirror, if the car had stopped or not. Then I saw a figure moved in front of the headlights.
“What should I do now? Where is the nearest police station?? C’mon c’mon… sector 7.. 8.. no..”.
I heard some loud voices over the phone. I had to go back I decided. ‘Dekhi jayegi”. It was heart over the mind decision. It was time to test if picking up heavy pounds everyday in the gym was of some use or not. But deep inside, I knew I was no match for those bulky dark bodies with a hammer and don’t know what else with them. I got out, took out the lever which is used to push up the car jack and started running towards Tarun.
Simultaneously, I called out 100 on the mobile. I had never dialed 100 before and was also not sure whether something has to be added while dialing from a mobile.
“Chandigarh police. How we can help you?”, the voice crackled.
“Hello… there are some robbers on the road in 26.”, I huffed away.
“Which road sir?”, the voice was alert now, may be simultaneously trying to connect to some Patrol vehicle.
“This road.. near Khalsa College”.
“What is your name?”
“Send some one quickly .. damn it...”
“Sir. I need to know your name?”
“Sidharth… they have caught my friend.. please do something”. I turned off the phone.
As I came close, I shouted “ Tarun…”. No reply. “Tarun… Are you ok.”
I slowly came closer, getting my breath back.
Suddenly a shadow appeared from the side and pushed me to the ground. The weapon I had, fell away.
In a deep Haryanavi he said, “oh.. you are planning to hit with me with that”… he said pointing to the metal lever.
“acting smart with me..saale”, the thug said as he took out a knife which distinctly shone in the dark..
Strangely there was no fear inside me
I replied back, “Where’s my friend??”
“Very concerned about your friend… you don’t worry about yourself?? Hahahahaha”
“We have tied your friend to the tree..Now its you turn”. He took hold of my arm and in a flash twisted it and put the knife on my throat . Then he began searching my pockets.
“The phone! No way I am going to let him take my 18K phone”. Strange motivation but motivation at least. I gathered all my courage and power and hit his groin with the elbow. A shrill shriek disturbed the silence of the night.
He doubled up in pain. Meanwhile the second thug – the one with the hammer came running towards me. I was in no mood to get shattered. I quickly picked up the lever and ran. Tarun was somewhere tied to the tree. I Hoped he was not injured. I went around the car and called out for him. I didn’t have much time as the bulky second figure was coming close.
“Ya. I am here”, Tarun called out. Then I saw him sitting besides the tree.
“They must have hit him”. “Where is the police?? Do they always have to come after the show is over??”
The hammer guy was on me now. We stood face to face. My jack lever looked comically miniature in front of his thick hammer. But at least I had a weapon. It was then that we heard the sirens in the far. For a moment everyone was distracted and I took the opportunity to land a swinging, merciless blow to the hammer guy’s face. He fell screaming to the ground. The PCR was there now. And in true filmy style, the policemen got down and caught the robbers. They always know who the villain is. Never have they come and by mistake caught the hero. Well it was the same case here. The robbers had hit Tarun on the head but fortunately the Sardar’s Turban had saved him, leaving a minor cut on his forehead. But he was shocked as was I. It was still unbelievable that all this had happened.
But I had a story – a real one, for Mayur.

1. Only the first 8 lines of this piece are NON Fictional... Everything else - my imagination.
2. The conversation on '100' is imaginary and is no way related to what a real conversation would be like.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Its Back

The fever is back - no no .. not dengue but the Cricket Fever.
The Champions Trophy or the Mini world cup starts tomorrow with a low key match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh 15 kms away at PCA stadium.. And the runs will continue to flow long way till World Cup finals on 28th April at Barbados..
During the season - TV sales will rise, malls will be less crowded on week ends..offices will take a hit on efficiency while hits on cricinfo and cricbuzz grow exponentially..people will be crowded in front of Electronic shops...blogs will be flooded with cricket...everyone will be a cricket expert...some heroes will rise while some will go into oblivion...
The big cricket has also been made special by an explosive return of the God - Sachin Tendulkar...
And it will be foolish of people to yet again criticize him...He has proved what is he made of....Countless cricketers have come and gone.. they shine for a brief period and then fade away - never to return.. but god has been there 17 years..and still in the recent domestic matches in chennai, there were youngsters who retired hurt due to exhaustion while the master stroked on and on effortlessly...
May be this is going to be his last world cup so the sight me and millions of Indians would love to see and hope to see is a team in Blue overalls, a big Tricolour waving in the background with the a cup in the center throwing its shine on the moment...and God standing there with his usual childish smile - satisfied after having showered his blessings on the tournament..
Wishing Team India All the best!!!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Change - Can we???

Was watching Rang de Basanti Salaam yesterday in which some brave souls – some living and some departed were shown. The last one was Manjunath who gave up his life fighting the oil mafia and corruption in UP.
I also met some school friends and we were debating on Gandhian values, bribery, corruption etc. One of my friends, while referring to Chanakya Neeti remarked that we need to act according to the situation. E.g if you don’t have time and want a job get done- let’s say a license made- which can be done be done easily be shelling out some moolah – then take that option else if you have time – then do it yourself.
What will you prefer – generally the 1st one.
Now I come back to Manjunath’case. He knew that it was life threatening to take the path he took. So would it have been better to go along the mafia – turn a blind eye and let things happen?? And what difference did his death make? The malpractice must have stopped for 1 week .. 2 weeks… a month.!!!
As DJ says in RDB- “zindagi jeene ke 2 hi tareeke hain – ya jo ho raha hai hone do.. ya fir zimmedaari uthao usse badalne ki”.
People like Manju – did take the responsibility. Bringing it down to a small scale. If I get caught jumping a red light – will I try to bribe the havaldaar Rs 100 or prefer getting a challan for Rs 300. Ask yourself. More often than not anyone will choose bribing. The so called chankanyaneeti comes in.
Is it good? For us – yes. May be we are saving our Rs 200 or may be our life. We are not taking the responsibility to change as Manju did – because we see that it didn’t make a difference.
But how can we just assume that it won’t change without giving it a try? May be the death of 1 Manju didn’t make a difference. But what if every person who takes his seat also takes his path? Don’t you think something will change? How many people can the mafia kill without coming into notice.
All of us may not become Manjunaths and have the courage to lay our lives but in some small ways we can contribute to a change. And I say it again. WE CAN!!!
Why not try and be a maverick and don’t do what others do.
On a personal front, I have decided on 1 thing. I will not be giving a bribe in future.
And if that day comes when I break this vow, I will come here and tell about it. It’s a promise.

P.S: a definition of bribery may cover a lot of things. But here I would stick to the general definition we know – Monetary benefits to do some favor which is unlawful.