Friday, July 22, 2005

Family ties

I was thinking about what movie dialogues,not that famous ones,made some sense to me.I recalled this one from Garden State,a movie which I enjoyed until the ending which curiously resmbled the FRIENDS season finale.Anything that compares with that sopacom can't be good,and quite obviously I hated the ending.
But then I liked most of the movie,and especially this dialogue exchange.

Andrew Largeman
: You know that point in your life when you realize that the house that you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? All of the sudden even though you have some place where you can put your stuff that idea of home is gone.

Sam: I still feel at home in my house.

Andrew Largeman: You'll see when you move out it just sort of happens one day one day and it's just gone. And you can never get it back. It's like you get homesick for a place that doesn't exist. I mean it's like this rite of passage, you know. You won't have this feeling again until you create a new idea of home for yourself, you know, for you kids, for the family you start, it's like a cycle or something. I miss the idea of it. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place.

After 2 years in college,some of this is sinking in.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

End of an innings

Just read a bit about Bradman's last innings and this is so funny :))

Judith Morris (wife of Arthur Morris): We were sitting with a group of people one day and the conversation turned to Sir Donald's last innings. Arthur said, "Oh, I remember it, I was there." This one gentleman turned to him and enquired, "Oh, were you? What were you in England on, business or holiday?" Arthur replied, "No, I was at the other end."

Eric Hollies:Best ball I have bowled all season, and they're clapping him. (quoted in Rosenwater)

AM:Amid all the tributes and the emotional farewell, my innings of 196 was forgotten. The umpire had enough of me, I guess, and gave me run out.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Bastille Day

Bastille Day celebrations would have been just over in Paris.I have a song for every occasion,wasn't tough to find one for this one.
Listened to Bastille Day,most of the day,by Rush.Nice song.
My contribution? Copy pasting the lyrics:

There’s no bread, let them eat cake
There’s no end to what they’ll take
Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
Wash the salt into the earth

But they’re marching to bastille day la guillotine will claim
Her bloody prize free the dungeons of the innocent the king
Will kneel, and let his kingdom rise

Bloodstained velvet, dirty lace
Naked fear on every face
See them bow their heads to die
As we would bow as they rode by

And we’re marching to bastille day la guillotine will claim
Her bloody prize sing, o choirs of cacophony the king has
Kneeled, to let his kingdom rise

Lessons taught but never learned
All around us anger burns
Guide the future by the past
Long ago the mould was cast

For they marched up to bastille day la guillotine -- claimed
Her bloody prize hear the echoes of the centuries power isn’t
All that money buys.

And this is what Thatcher had to say about French:
"Who can trust a people who celebrate, as their national event, a jailbreak?"

Shopkeepers and jailbreakers,huh!
And yeah they ruled most of the world.
Bloody imperialists.

Had read A Tale of Two Cities as a kid,and my vague memory suggests there was something about Bastille there too.Wonder what.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Wish you were not here

There are moments in life,when walking down the memory lane you stop and ponder for a while.There are some historic,revolutionary,unique or amazing incidents where you halt and say "I was there".This one I look back and say "I was there but I wish I wasn't".

You would know very well what I am talking about by seeing the photograph if you were any Indian or Windies player.Or even a cricket fanatic who can put 2 and 2 together.For others,it's that unforgettable bottle throwing incident that almost cancelled the match at Keenan Stadium,Jamshedpur.

I always wished I would write about that day.Well I've got my moment now.

Spending 500 bucks for a cricket match is a huge investment,especially when you're the one who always runs short of cash when friends decide to go for a movie.I had harrowing experiences with cheaper tickets so I took the risk.At 6.30 A.M in the morning and the line alraedy about a mile long,things weren't looking good already.But somehow the arrogant me was convinced that there was some other entrance for people paying more,as there should be.Well I was not entirely wrong for all the other gates had separate entrances except mine,which was shoved together with the student stands.Too late before I realised this and the line was already 2.5 miles long.

So I stood there at the back.Acquaintances all over the queue offered me a better place.But don't know why,I was bent on experiencing the worst.The match had already started in the stadium.Ironically we were left to ask scores from neighbouring houses.

All the excitement was dead once I reached the gates.A few agitated officials were shouting that the stands were jam packed and there was now way we could get in.They were offering a refund of course.But I hadn't withstood all this for nothing.I chose to go in,for I had not withstood all this for nothing.

The first difficult part was finding the way in.There were so many people blocking the entrance,the aisle and the passages.I began with "excuse me,could you please" aimed at virtually anyone who could listen.Immediately I got an insight from someone in the crowd.

"This way you are never getting in.This is not your school,you have to push your way in".

I knew this as a matter of fact,but thought would'nt have to try it.By then I was very irritated and manners were the last thing that mattered to me probably.Plus I had seen a lot of Super 12 rugby lately and was eager to perform in a simulation and score a try.Nevermind my pace but after 15 minutes of wriggling,pushing,elbowing and what not I finally managed to touchdown.

But there was a bigger problem at hand now.As you would have guessed,the entrance was just precursor of things to come in the stands.Obviously I got no seats.I was luck enough to somehow manage to get a foot in near the zoo-like cage type thing that separated us and the greens.I figured out that it was impossible to stand the whole match.The experience of being punished in school reguraly came in handy here.I knelt down effortlessly on the concrete and got my first look at the action.

The first look i had at the scores,17 overs had already gone by.I didn't give up though.I changed positions and somehow managed to sit through the entire 50 overs.At the end I half expected someone to come out of the pavilion and congratulate me for my awesome feat and offer me drinks.But I guess since a thousand others were doing the same thing,they held back.

Lunch time meant that few people in the stands had realised that they had more important work to do than to sit in this pig-sty like environment they had bought for half a thousand.And for people like us it meant salvation.My knees were sore,but I don't know why I didn't feel the pain.I was thirsty though,and hungry too and this is where I saw the glaring mismanagement that took place.

The authorities had banned any food,water bottles and other things like firecrackers,electronic items etc.And the first thing I saw when I entered was a man going around with a handycam!No,he was not a cameraman.Needless to say cameras were plenty.

The thing that pinched,and pinched hard though was the water management policy.Having banned bottles inside the stands,JCA was expected to provides water pouches a la railway platforms.But here the main sponsors (Pepsi,Pepsi,Pepsi.I don't plan holding back the names) were making merry by selling bottles at DOUBLE the MRP.Yes double! No wonder people thought that they might as well put the bottle to some other use to compensate for the extra bucks.This was blacmarketing in the open.

My throat was parched dry.25 overs were left in the game but I already felt like leaving.Some kind gentleman got some water,and was kinder still to give some to me.That refuel somewhat changed my mind and I decided to stay.But already there were signs that something was about to give.Bored and frustrated people,exhausted and thirsty and disappointed with India playing the way it was,were discovering novel ways to entertain themselves.

The songs between overs made a group of boys stand up and dance.What were they thinking? Dancing in the sun is never fun,and dancing with people waiting with empty bottles looking for an outlet of their frustration is hardly sensible.The imminent happened.

Boom!! Bang!! Bottles from all sides crashed onto every part of their anatomy.The ones hitting the head drew the loudest cheers.Needless to say,they sad down immediately.

A teenage girl got up to leave.This was too much distraction from the match. Bang!! Crash!! Bottles from all side converged upon her.She sat down,almost reduced to tears.

A bald man got up to look for a friend.Wait,Bald man? This one required special treatment.Everyone aimed at the shiny target.Few missed.He turned around and shouted expletives for a while.He turned back and even more missiles were aimed his way.He figured out he was fighting a lost cause here.

Minor skirmishes here and there followed.The police tried to interrupt.So they were made the next target.They shouted,they waved lathis menacingly.They were hit even harder.

Almost as a symbolic next stage the bottles started entering the ground of play.The first few hardly made it beyond the advertisement boards.The people at lower tiers thought this was a revolt against them,they retaliated and were hit back hard.They realised it was much more fun joining hands and targeting the players.So Jyoti Yadav became the next target.At fine leg from one end,he became the epitome of bottle throwing success.

Luckily he was alarmed a bit before things got ugly.He complained.Police and senior officials came around to placate the crowd.Instead the crowd was aggravated by now.DSP,SP-no one was spared.The SP,I remember stood upright and stared meanfully at the crowd.No one liked this.He was hit immediately on the forehead.He stood staring to feed his ego.He got hit again and left immediately.

It was when Ganguly came around and pleaded people to stop the show stopped for a while.But not for long.When the home team gets hit for 13 runs in the 46th over in a tight match tilting the balance towards the opponents,the crowd isn't exactly pleasant.An explosion occured.

The people felt that the team was incompetent and decided to take matters in their own hands.I haven't seen anything like this.A swarm of bottles almost made a cloud above my head.It was incessant firing.Nevermind the target.We were hit so often.I wasn't even once tempted to return the favor or join the party.The two schoolboys beside me were.Perhaps one of the few good things I have ever done,I somehow managed them to do otherwise.And what was even more amazing,they listened to me! To make it clear,they weren't related to me.Total strangers.

Anway the scene was like the shown in the pictures.A few flares could be seen.Actual flares.Fiery ones.And a diwali "rocket" converted the canvas shade above us down to ashes.I wasn't scared but I was on the verge of getting a bit shaken up.This was the first taste of rowdy crowd behaviour that I was witnessing firsthand.Thankfully it was not a violent one and wasn't directed to anyone in particular.For obvious reasons play was halted.

It gets dark pretty early back home,and to make matters worse it was late november.Shortest days of year.Apparently our stand was causing the most trouble as it was literally on fire above.The match refree did a round.Amazingly not a bottle thrown.The canvas burnt away pretty quick.West Indies were desperate to win and more importantly it was not their players who were in the outfield facing the rage.

Mike Procter took a punt.After 10 minutes of stopped play the match was resumed.Amazingly India started to claw back.Nehra's 47th and 49th overs produced around 6 runs and about 3 wickets.Everyone was on the edge of their seat.Ready to throw a bottle if anything dared go wrong.Luckily for Windies that happened on the last ball.Needing 3 to win off the last ball.Agarkar bowled a fulltoss and Sarwan happily dispatched that to the fence.

Anticlimax of anticlimaxes.With no play to be stopped,no one to be afraid of,the crowd erupted.But this was just out of pure frustration than anything.Plus empty bottles are hardly of any use.So another round of bottle throwing followed.And this one was bigger.Even the seats above pavilion,seating the elite population couldn't restrain themselves.Bottles came in from all parts. Authorities ran for over and luckily got some.

I was past care though.I didn't stay to watch the presentations and suffer seeing any more paranoia.And I was on the verge of being dehydrated.I left with a heavy heart,a lumpy throat and sour memories.Tears would have rolled probably if I had had enough water.

I vowed not to watch another cricket match in my home city.But that's a vow I make everytime I come out of the stands,irked by crowd behaviour and authorities' handling of affairs.Probably the cricket lover inside me is strong enough to withstand all this nonsense,and show up for another match.I sometimes convince myself,that probably,probably someday I will get better treatment and watch a match without having any grievances afterwards.And most probably I won't get that here in India,where inspite of being such a money spinner crciket officials don't even care for the basic facilities that a cricket stadium have.

So until SCG,Centurion or Lord's I will just shut up and watch.With tears held back.

another one?

Going by the pattern of the unimaginative F.R.I.E.N.D.S people here's a QA.

Q: What would an episode with Neo guest starring called?
A: "The One With the One"

He He,one of my "originals",I'm bad but I'm still learning.

And they would make Neo fall in love with someone,then maybe bring Trinity later and make her pregnant.

Wait this is Sci-Fi maybe Neo would the one to get pregnant.

Seriously who cares?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Stupid things that I can't quite understand.

Why do people count money after taking it out of an ATM?

Seriously,even if they try and hit back,the ATM will win.Hands down.

Why do people use so many dots in between sentences in E-mails?

More dots more pleasure? Or as our Lit teacher would have written "vague,incoherent thought process".

Why do people make fun of other people drinking out of straw?

Recently I switched back to straw,to sample the public reaction.And it wasn't very nice.

Why do "ppl wr8 lyk dis 2 b supah kewl" ?

To hide weak spellings? Seriously why? It doesn't save any time but surely is a huge put off.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Dennis the Menace

Took the left image from a website and the right one from Google earth (my latest playtoy).

Typhoon Dennis as they call it,moving in to the florida coast.It's a lot clearer in the left one,although I was told that Google also shows satellite images.Maybe I was expecting a bit too much.

A passing thought

"We are born as our parent's dreams and die as our grandchildren's memories"

--(someone I can't recall)

I could explain this,but that would ruin the quote.Like so many others we have ruined in our school literature exams.

I still remember half of the essays started with "Man is a social animal",perhaps the worst opening lines for a work of literature.

Or maybe "It was a dark,stormy night" would pip it.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Two Face

Was having fun with GIMP and couldn't help but think about the school day quizzes which had such visually appealing rounds like identifying both persons in the two face created.The two face I have uploaded here amateurishly tries to relive the magic.I thought I would combine these two people as my first attempt at it for there is a funny story behind it.We were at the finals of the Limca Book Of Records quiz final and this came up as our question(well the picture quality was much better).My team mates,Shubho and Himanshu(he later went on to get a 2nd place in ESPN school quiz,proud moment that),were frustrated that they couldn't recognise one of the faces,I was frustrated for the same reason.We had about 20 seconds and this conversation took place:

Them:Dammit,we don't know one.
Me:Everybody can guess one.
Them:Which one are you talking about?
Me:Well..Stuart Macgill of course.
(frantic movement to snatch the mic from me and a stunned look aimed in my direction)
Them(to Barry O' Brien-the quizmaster,in chorus) :Stuart MacGill and Bill Clinton
Them (after answering) :How can you recognise MacGill and not Bill Clinton.
Me: I've met Macgill( I have actually,a tour match at jamshedpur,he was signing autographs)
They were speechless,and then they just laughed.
For the record we came 4th out of 10, and 1000 bucks at that time was a lot of money.
Happy times those.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

"LIVE"ly day

I wonder how much can one take in a day!
Spinal Tap started the journey(for me) and Floyd ended it,as we switched from one live event to another,never being failed to be amazed by the joys real time can give us.Well the Spinal Tap thing was not live but the movie This is Spinal Tap was quite good,and it set the tone for the day,night,late night,wee hours and finally morning.And I guess my record of watching TV continuosly is broken right here.

This is a monumental achievement on my part,for if I ever have to look for the causes that ruined me,there is one right here.Writing about it could be just another one,so I will just plain list the delights I was served today by the idiot box,and let you rue the fact that you missed it.

1.The Natwest Trophy final-England and Australia meeting these days is always fun to watch,but this was beyond fun.This was a thrill.After Oz made 196 nobody thought England could lose from there.But when fiery Lee and consistent Mcgrath made England scoreboard read 33-5,nobody thought Oz could lose it from there.In the end everybody was right,nobody lost,the match was tied and a low scoring tie is always fun to watch.Sets the tone for the Ashes.

2.Wimbledon-The Roddick Johansson match was a close one and mostly an exciting one,but the ladies final took the cake.Venus Williams came back from so many near dead ends to take the Championships winning 9-7 in the final set against a visibly unfit Davenport.She played well but ruined it for me by overdramatising as she did against Sharapova.Really that took away whatever applause I had saved for her brillianr performance.But the snob that she is,she wouldn't care what I think.Let it be then.

3.The Live8 concert-Wasn't really planned (the concert was planned,me watching it full time was not).But heck,I pretended I had nothing to do and I hung on.In a battle between you and the TV there is only one loser,any way you look at it.I didn't mind,I was entertained.More by people who came to watch the concert or something else I don't care about.Anyway most of the bands that played,you won't listen to their songs let alone watch them perform live.There was an All black vs. English lions rugby match going on to save me from such no names.The adrenalin kicked on rather late when Pete Townsend started asking Who are you ? Half sleepy,I didn't know the answer.Pink Floyd with their much celebrated get together gig tried to suggest I was Comfortambly Numb,but I was past care.The music was good,best I have heard in days (leaving out Modest Mouse),and it was 4 in the morning already.Sir Paul McCartney ended it all with the ever catchy Hey Jude and I'm still humming that.Maybe that's why I can't sleep.

Hey Jude,dont make it bad
Take a.....Shut Up!

Friday, July 01, 2005

About the title

Just finished reading The Great Gatsby.Once again it made me realise why classics really are classics.The lines with which Fitzgerald ends the book really summarise the Great American Dream,and it's a shame that he couldn't be inspired by his own lines,spending his last days the way he did.

Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter—tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And then one fine morning—
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

All this has inspired me to read his first novel,This Side of Paradise which opens with an extract from a Rupert Brooke poem.

Well this side of Paradise! ....
There's little comfort in the wise

So there you go.