Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Muddied Oafs

Except that there was no mud out there that day. Only concrete. Concrete and those mosaic pieces to cover it, so that it would grate your skin if you tried to slide. Slide we did, nevermind the consequences. Reminded me of those rugby union ads that came on TV, 'Sometimes without pain, there is no gain'. An option between spending your evening singing 'Who'll stop the rain' and getting out and having fun doing something new. So the terrace of B4 witnessed the first ever game of mini rugby played on concrete, putting the NZ imported rugby ball I so insisted on having brought finally into use. Here is a pic to give an idea of the setting. Four floors above, wet concrete, a few willing boys; willing both to play and listen to my rendition of whatever makeshift rules I knew of rugby, chairs for goal, big rain drops and the great lake beyond.

The last time we had tried this, a year back in the football field with a football, most of ended up taking a booster dose of ATS injection. I must thank that day for sparing me another visit to the hospital. A few others were less lucky, bruises, battered bones, sprains...best part was those very people coming and telling me that it was a good idea and we could have a game sometime soon.

Even better, a few foreign exchange students who have actually played this game, agreed to hold a session and maybe continue it further. The ball has been set rolling, let us see how far it can roll.

Maybe it's time to dust off that skateboard and bring it out in the open. Any takers (that's an anagram for skater :P) ?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

the blog post about a blog post

And you never thought this was possible? Anyway let us make this an anniversary post that never was.

A year ago I had written this post about sleep patterns in a classroom. Had made me a minor celebrity that time. Mess, canteen, class; sometimes I was approached by people I hardly knew and told that I had done a good job. Publicity helped, people had it as their status messages, forwaded in IM's mails and someone suggested me to send it to Desipundit. It got linked and that put me thick into all this blogging business. Reading, hopping madly, writing, linking, commenting, fighting, bitching, sulking.

A year old, a year wiser. Thankfully all that is passe. I would like things the way they are right now. Few people that I read now, few people who read me now.

Blogging is one place I learnt to despise collective whining and groaning. People talking about 'issues', holding a view that is no different from a multitude of others and yet thinking it's important to put down, being the yes men...oh now I'm whining. I am but one of them.

Not that I'll stop doing that :)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lincoln's letter to his son's teacher

He will have to learn, I know,
that all men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that
for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician,
there is a dedicated leader...
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy,
if you can,
teach him the secret of
quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that
the bullies are the easiest to lick...
Teach him, if you can,
the wonder of books...
But also give him quiet time
to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun,
and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him
it is far honourable to fail
than to cheat...
Teach him to have faith
in his own ideas,
even if everyone tells him
they are wrong...
Teach him to be gentle
with gentle people,
and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son
the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon...
Teach him to listen to all men...
but teach him also to filter
all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good
that comes through.

Teach him if you can,
how to laugh when he is sad...
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics
and to beware of too much sweetness...
Teach him to sell his brawn
and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag
on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears
to a howling mob
and to stand and fight
if he thinks he's right.
Treat him gently,
but do not cuddle him,
because only the test
of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage
to be impatient...
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always
to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have
sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order,
but see what you can do...
He is such a fine fellow,
my son!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

IITB Litclub Open Quiz-9 (answers)

1. X was a 16th century French reformation theologian and the originator of a system of Christian theology named after him. Y was a famous 17th century philosopher whose most famous work influenced western political philosophy. However their last names find a very important place in popular culture. Funda.

A: John Calvin and Thomas Hobbes. Hence Calvin and Hobbes.

2. Connect these two pictures. Name of the shop has been blanked out intentionally.

A: U2. Bonavox hearing aids from which Bono got his name and the U2 fighter plane.

3. What's common to the Norse god of thunder, a Greek titan honored for stealing fire from Gods, a mortal woman from Greek mythology who was the daughter of Tantalus and wife of amphion and the Norse Goddess for fertility?

A: Thor, Prometheus, Niobe and Freya ( Vanadis) --all have elements named after them.

4. This picture represents the first ever instance of what?

A: Computer bug and hence debugging.

5. While at college, this company's founder was given the Cornell Lacrosse team cap by his grandfather. People would turn to him to solve their problems and he was referred to as that guy in the ___ ___. He lost the cap, later the manual of the company's product had an appeal to readers (anyone finding it) to return his ___ ___. Easy enough, name the product.

A: Red Hat

6. T.S Eliot said that "The Waste Land" was inspired by the books "From Ritual to Romance" by Jessie L. Weston and "The Golden Bough" by James Frazer. These books are shown as a part of collection of a very famous movie character who quotes from "The Waste Land" in the movie. The character and the quote?

A: Colonel Kurtz from Apocalypse Now (I mistook the quote as being 'this is the way the world ends/not with a bang but with a whimper' but Kurtz although he reads from 'The Hollow Men' doesn't get to this part, it is uttered by the photographer. All apologies.)

7. The protagonist of this very popular show of 70's-80's was written out of the show in the 6th season, leaving to join the US Army because the actor wanted to pursue his desired and later highly successful career in direction. Who?

A: Ron Howard from 'Happy Days'.

8. Famous picture. Identify both.

A: JFK and Bill clinton

9. This place had maximum requests for songs on Vividh Bharti radio programs during its heydays (as in people from this place had the maximum number of requests for songs to be played). Most people thought it to be a fictitious town because of its rather uncommon sounding name, much like Timbuktu. Identify.

Jhumri Tilaiya (I planned to give the Google Earth image too. Tragedy being I couldn't find this place.)


___________________ I stand
___________________ I stand
A sprig of wattle in my hand
A native of my native land
Australia you little beauty.

Fill in the blanks, with the same phrase, and connect to David Boon.

A: Under the Southern Cross. Autobiography of Boon (singing tradition in the Aussie dressing room might be a vague connection).