Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali people! Be good, and enjoy! And please, it's a festival of lights and not of sound, so please remember that:-)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Greatness and failed predictions

I suffer from low self esteem, I really do. The only thing keeping me sane and confident all these years has been the belief that I truly understand the great game. I have a great gut feel for it and my predictions about cricketers have rarely been wrong. I picked Steve Waugh out as my favorite, when I was all but 6 years old. I marked him for greatness as a cricketer a year before Border did after the successful WC campaign of 1987. PK and I picked out Craig McMillan as a good talent and though he never quite became great, he did look good playing quality bowling. I marked out Ganguly as a trashy test match batsman 5 years ago and my predictions haven't
been wrong.

But, and this has been the greatest failure of my gut feel, one I would gladly exchange for all predictions bar the one about Waugh, I was wrong about Ajit Agarkar. He was 19 then, on a tour to Pakistan playing their 'A' side. He hammered a 100 and picked up 5 wickets in one of those 'test matches'. I remember both PK and I being happy and overjoyed like kids who had just been gifted with a year's supply of candy. What we saw of him on the international level wasn't disappointing. He had raw pace and the ability to move it in the air. He would bowl 4 unplayable balls and 2 hit-me balls. I was so keen to see the next Kapil Dev in him then (yeah,when the Pommies were busy finding their Beefy in every Ealham, Hollioake, Chris Lewis and Freddie, some Indians like yours truly were seeking out a Kapil Dev in Ajit, ..oh well, just Ajit considering there was no one else), that I convinced myself that it was just his lack of experience and that he would get better with time. Well, we all know just how that turned out!

I had marked Ajit out for greatness, and he did show the occassional flashes of brilliance but as they say,one swallow does not a summer make. Today I finally relinquish my faith in him and admit what has been evident for a while. The guy is a cretin. And I, an even bigger one, for believing in him so long.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Out of my Comfort Zone

Steve Waugh's autobiography is out. I purchased it online for a cool Rs 1600(800+postage) and can't wait to lay my hands on it. He hits back at Ian Chappell, is surprisingly critical of his great mate Ian Healy, talks about the great master Shane Warne and so also of Michael Slater and Trevor Hohns. Funnily, he also sheds some light on his brotherly love for Mark Waugh. And of course the story of Antigua, his watershed series, where he went eyeball to eyeball with big Curtly Ambrose. At 1600 I think the book's the best buy I've made for a long long time. To the only two people in my friends' circle who might want to buy it, here goes:
Minal: Buy it, you are bleeding rich.
PK: I am sure you won't buy it, but do try. For old times' sake. I can call up and we can discuss the book for an hour or so.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Influenza? No problem!

Came across this commercial on NBC, about some medicine called Theraflu. Hmm. So I just need to take Thera flu for mera flu and I'll be fine!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Of cricket, cricketers and Ganguly

It sucks that I have not been able to watch the Super Test. My life's pretty much been a super test these days, what with research deadlines, quizzes and homeworks. Voldy and Haydos got stuck into the World XI and I guess have led some of their Ashes demons to rest. And I can't help but feel extremely happy for Katich's failure. There are some cricketers who look like they belong on a cricket field; who, to quote Ian Chappell, look every inch a cricketer. You know, like Warney, Lara, Sachin, Dravid, etc. And then there are the Darren Lehmanns and the Saurav Gangulys. Katich, to my mind, falls in the latter category, a misfit in a team of modern day greats. I would dare any cricket fan worth his salt to point out how he is more worthy of a test spot than Damien Martyn. Does he play those silken drives of the back foot? Does he play those beautiful Mark Waughesque cover drives? Does he bat with the guts of a Steve Waugh? Does he have a sense of timing that would rival VVS? On the same note, while I am happy Ganguly is out, I am not overly thrilled about VVS' exclusion. I hope it's limited to the one-dayers only, and that he is not put on trial everytime he comes out to bat in a test match. Like I mentioned in another post, VVS brings to the side something no one else does; neither Sachin, nor Dravid.I am all for giving youth a run though, and I hope some of the young guys do come good. The dropping of Zaheer has clearly sent out a signal, I should hope, that indiscipline and laziness would not be tolerated. I am also not thrilled about Sachin's induction without sufficient match practice at the domestic level. I seriously think it's time for him to think about giving up on that prostitution of the great game, and concentrate only on playing tests. He has already made sure he will go down as the greatest ODI player of all time. But he has some way to go before he earns close to the same stature in tests. And the sooner he endeavors towards it, the better it is for Team India as a test match side. And Ganguly, ah Ganguly, good riddance to bad rubbish I say, at least for the time being.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Of the right way and the easy way

The big IIPM scandal.

The hero
Good to see a man stand by his principles. Way to go Gaurav!

Often, in life when one is offered a choice between the right way and the easy way, one takes the latter. Gaurav didn't and deserves all the kudos coming his way.

I wonder if I would have made a similar choice though. For one, Gaurav seems to be supremely confident of himself and his abilities. I am not. Secondly, I think IBM is too big an entity to be really affected by IIPM burning their laptops. The bad press would go to IIPM, and not to IBM.

But the deed has been done. The die has been cast. And time it is, for everyone to stand in support of Gaurav and Rashmi.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

How to spend a birthday

1) Since your research has not been going well, you have not had time to do laundry for 3 weeks and now its code red time. So the day before your birthday, be sure to do your laundry.
2) Ah, also, since you haven't shaved for 3 weeks, for the aforementioned reason, spend an hour doing that.
3) Take 12 am calls from your friends and family.
4) Go to bed
5) Wake up in the morning worried about a homework that needs to be submitted.Get wished by roommates.
6) Go to school, spend time doing homework.
7) Attend the class, and ask for an extension on the homework.
8) Go to the Discount liquor store and buy a bottle of Chivas Regal
9) Invite your friends over to your place, while you go to the best Indian restaurant in the area to buy craploads of food.
10) Drink Chivas. Straight. Only sissies have it on the rocks.
11) Talk about how at 26 you are going through a quarter life crisis. Have some smartassed friend comment about how optimistic you are for thinking you'll live to be 104.
12) Have the amazing food you've bought. Beautiful Beautiful food. Thinking about it still makes my mouth water.
13) It's almost 12 am again, welcome a friend whose birthday is on the 30th, i.e, just past midnight.Stare longingly at the bottle of Tequilla he's bought.
14) Think out aloud that it would not be appropriate to have Tequilla then as it would like driving an Ambassador after a Merc. Have a tequilla sunrise anyway. Make a mental note to celebrate the friend's birthday again in the evening for the sole purpose of enjoying tequilla.
15) Give him birthday bumps and basically kick his ass. Say you have been excused because you are old.
16) After some basically useless discussions about the relative merits of studying engineering in the US as against in India, drive out your friends out of the house.
17) Call it a day

We did celebrate the friend's birthday again,in the evening, and we cooked Chicken Malabari, shrimp sautee, lemon cake, and aaloo paratha, to go with the tequilla.