Thursday, April 23, 2009

IPL’s Deep Throat

I have again taken a long hiatus from posting in my blog. I would like to say, it is so, as I was a bit busy these days but somehow my conscious doesn’t permit this and I would be fair enough to accept that IPL has got a lot to do with this. Well I know few people who haven’t wrote anything in there blog for more than one month so I am considerably well off (Any Similarity or reference to Persons Living or Dead is Purely Coincidental.)

I always believed Cricket is the only thing that unites India. It is undoubtedly followed as a religion here. I remember watching India-Pakistan Under –15 Final in Shillong with around 50 people in a pub in 2003 and the excitement there was simply unmatchable. It somehow amazed me how this game, which we imbibed from our colonial imperialistic hangover, is bigger then religion, gender, caste, language, geographical boundaries that India is very famous for and is quite evident specially in this election season. So it hurt everybody when our biggest cricket extravaganza- IPL was shifted to South Africa (I hope SA also reciprocates the same by shifting some soccer world cup matches in 2010 to India preferably Kolkata, but again this is one of my wishful thinking).

We are already down with around one and half week of IPL and excitement seems steaming up. We have already seen how IPL has taken the thunder from election and suddenly cricketer and film stars are seen everywhere replacing politicians from newspapers and TV news channels. The other day one TV news channel “Till Today” featured an IPL special series called “Priety ko Gussa kyun aaya” showing Preity Zinta’s reaction in slow motion for every King’s Eleven wicket in a match again kolkata for nearly 30 minutes. Recently I checked IPL news has also got its very own space in the world of blogosphere with a new blog, namely under the name fakeiplplayer.

Apparently the blogger – calling himself Fake IPL Player claims to be a KKR team member has been writing about happenings in and around IPL, from dressing rooms to team meeting discussions to night parties and its various other ramifications. The blogger also uses names coined by him to refer to cricketers and owners. So the pieces are about Badshah dildo, Coachie, Skipper (Brendon McCullum), Calypso King (Chris Gayle), Lord Almighty or Lordie (a former skipper) and fast bowlers Kaan Mool (Ajit Agarkar) and Little John (Ishant Sharma). Then there are non-KKR personalities like a commentator, Kishen Kanhaiyya, a star batsman, Prince of Patiala and a pacer, Appam Chutiya (for sreesanth..Just love this name), among others.
Here are some of my favorites from his various posts:

“Lordie took over the match briefing, and boy, was he charged up or what. He just let loose, telling the boys what is expected of them – imagine the slowest member of the team chastising guys twice as fast on matters such as agility, speed and throwing.’’

Little John skipped as it was optional training. I can understand it, he is after all a fast bowler and he def needed some time off after the "intense workout" he must have had last night. This is what I love abt top sportsmen. No matter how gawky u look or how squeaky u speak, u still get the chicks

“Learnt a very interesting piece of news. Not sure if it's true or not. Apparently, Appam Chutiya wasn't slapped by Meera Bhai during last yr's tournament. He was crying because his team owner Babli hugged everyone after the match other than him. The Prince of Patiala saw an opportunity to take Meera Bhai out of the equation and accused him of slapping Appam. I think Appam is still waiting for that hug.”

Its time for me to sign-off now as Dada(Oops Lordie) is coming to ball against Rajasthan Royal now and yes I am still betting for Gayle’s 48-ball century in this match(another of my wishful thinking).


Monday, April 13, 2009

Bungee Jumping---Fall of Life!!

“My feet were trembling as I was about the jump (same say fall) from the height of 130 feet (i.e. approximately 10 Floors) and hesitantly waiting for my turn on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. A curious looking instructor glanced at me with no sympathy, probably he had seen these emotions before a lot many times. My friend who accompanied me for the event came back relieved after his turn was over. He had the same expression one has after a smooth bowel movement while suffering from severe constipation. Now it was my turn to go through all this agony.

The lead instructor called my name as he was checking cords and connections before my turn. I walked up to him and asked for any danger as such. He assured me nothing will happen and pompously told success stories of Bunjee jumping(BG) for last two days. I got a little encouraged by this as he tied my body and foot with elastic cord, which seems quite strong. Once it is finished he told me to board the box, which was connected to a Crane. I boarded the box with two instructors as they started explaining right technique for the jump so that there were no jerks and damages as such in midair, considering software engineers are more prone to these experiences. I asked him whether I could wear my sunglass so that my photo/video comes nice while jumping, but he denied saying it would hinder me from true experience and can also lead to some eye problem. I somehow forgot to ask him “Why and How”.

We already reached the height of around 80 feet and it already seems too high to me. I thought of asking him whether I can jump from this height but I know it will be fruitless as height of the fall depends upon cord length and it was not possible to make it short now. But at one level I know 80 feet or 130 feet doesn’t make any difference, as any technical snag will lead to the same biological fate in both cases.

After sometime crane stopped and I knew its time!!

A whole lot of emotions (grief, fear, shame, regret, resentment, anger, hostility, interest, enthusiasm, laughter, empathy, action, curiosity to name a few) were engulfing me and I tried to focus on the jump as told by instructors. Slowly I started living in this moment more then ever before. The past was completely forgotten and future certainly looks very uncertain. My heart probably was beating at double its speed; strangely I remembered a dream/nightmare, which I saw some days back where I saw myself falling from greater height with any stoppages at all.
I took around 10 steps forward. I knew the moment has arrived. Slowly I leaped forward and plunge myself in air and let my destiny be hanged on the elastic cord.”

This would have been a true story if an untoward incident that happened last weekend in Bangalore would not have taken place.25-year-old marine engineer, Bhargav, from Chennai, plunged to his death as the harness snapped while he was attempting bungee jumping near Bannerghatta on Saturday. It is evident from initial reports that the organizers had not followed basic safety procedures, and it's cut short the life of a young man who was seeking some fun.

Check this TOI story which appeared next day in front page.

When I heard about this news from my friend on Saturday evening I was left utterly shocked. The unpredictability of life simply overawed me. I had called the organizer the same morning asking for any slots available for Saturday for one of my friend (incedently he has Bungee- jumping listed in number 2 in his bucket list) who was supposed to leave for Chennai in night. Now I consider ourselves lucky that he told us , “We are very overbooked and any chance of getting your number is very remote”. This entire incident left me with much bitterness and my heart goes out for deceased person’s friends and relatives. But surely this hasn’t dented my spirit for another go at Bungee Jumping. One of my friend wrote me a mail today saying, “ Bach gaya tu saale…Dekhke kariyo bhai yeh sab…India mein yeh sab bada risky hain”. I wonder if India is ill equipped for all this adventurous stuffs where safety and security in these games are given secondary priority. As far as I am concerned I have taken his advice for time being but I am pretty sure I will get another opportunity of bungee jumping and who knows next time it could be from ALPS!


Monday, April 6, 2009

The weekend that wasn’t

I had a great plan for this weekend. We were supposedly about to go to Pondicherry representing Oracle for Paintball competition. I thought I would start my tourist meter once again which is currently stuck at around 1400 KM for last one and half month and 15K km on road, which I had promised myself at the advent of this year, seems quite elusive. I thought I would again have pleasure of 3 Bs simultaneously after a long time.3 B is basically a concept which I had cofounded with my friend when we were enroute to Goa for the first time .It basically stands for Beaches…Beers…and Babes (in GOA you can call it Bikinis). This sub-concept is again derived from another base-concept, which I had cofounded with another friend while I was working in Kolkata supposedly called 3Ws(namely Wine…Women…and Wealth). Nevertheless the plan was not to be. Perhaps we didn’t have any ‘tryst with destiny’ this time. We were not selected and I spent the whole of weekend with my very own 1B i.e. Bed. I tried to spend some quality with one and only B I am left with this weekend and I must say I had a blast. I had my laptop (yes official one) and some books for my company. So at the end of this weekend I am down with these many stuffs/experiences not necessary in chronological manner

Movies: I had a huge backlog of movies for last few weeks and I was just about to crumble under enormous pressure of finishing those. So I am glad I close some of it. These were the movies that I destined upon this weekend essentially in chronological order: Pyasa-Turistas-Good Luck Chuck-The sum of all Fears-The Devil wears Prada-School of Rock-Hostel-Ghazini.

Books and Magazine: I finished last two weeks Outlook predominately ‘on net in bed’, finished about 100 pages of Joseph’s Heller Catch-22, started Richard Bach’s Illusions (found it enormously boring so fall asleep after 10 minutes), picked ‘Direct from Dell’ and finished its timeline and preface. Apart from this I had my regular encounters with Times of India and Hindu on a daily basis for last two days again ‘on net in bed’.

Calorie Consumption: During all this period of hard work I didn’t wanted to get tired so I make myself had a constant supply of eatables and I over-indulged myself by having too much food of non-vegetarian variety essentially fish and chicken. Apart from this I had a constant supply of Port-Wine to keep myself hydrated throughout this weekend. Some say it’s my new addiction but isn’t wine is called ‘Elixir of life’.

Sports and Leisure: Probably the only active thing I did this weekend was to get up early on Saturday morning and went to play cricket. It was really very very hot and slowly global warming was beginning to sink in under my skin. I went for batting as an opener thinking I will atleast make myself stay in wicket for 7-8 overs but that was not to be. I couldn’t touch a single ball and got caught behind in my third ball. I have a feeling that somehow sporting genes in my body are fast getting diminished and my illustrious (yeah..I want to say so) sporting career is going to be finish soon. I left the field early after fielding for 10 overs under scorching sun and went straight for swimming.I had a very good time there (very is added to underline the feeling when you have three beautiful gals also swimming in the same pool).

In all I would say I had a gala time this weekend even if I couldn’t go to Pondicherry.But only destiny knows how long will it take for me to again bring down my tourist meter and must I say I am already filling fuel for that moment.Am I getting restless because of this?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Story of India-II

Well I believe, its time that I take the ‘Story of India’ forward (Don’t read too much between the lines). In my last post I wrote about the BBC’s six-episode enthralling TV series ‘Story of India’ presented by Micheal Wood where he narrates the story of oldest civilization and how it has moved forward in series of unexpected yet spellbinding events that shapes the history of this great nation. In each of the episodes Micheal describes about a significant period of evolution in India’s history from beginning till its independence. In my next two posts,I will be writing about two periods-covered in two episodes, my personal favorites, which, I believe describes the period that had indelible and significant mark in India’s glorious History.

Episode 2 - The Power of Ideas

The second episode of Michael Wood's journey through Indian history covers the last centuries BCE—the age of the Buddha, the coming of the Greeks and the rule of the emperor Ashoka, one of the greatest figures in world history. The theme of the episode is the power of ideas in Indian history, and among the people Michael Wood meets is his Holiness the Dalai Lama who explains the rise of Buddhism.Like any other Civilization’s History, India's History is also predominately covered in endless wars and struggle of power. But what makes India’s History so distinct is ,since ancient times, India’s civilization has also been driven by great ideas in search of knowledge and truth and this period predominately epitomizes the the zenith of this quest.

Historians have contested the idea that History can only be written by man of Wars but this period tells a different story and deals with birth of conscious which led to the elusive quest of true self and truth. The man who led this idea was none other then Gautam Buddha. Under a tree in Bodh Gaya, now known as the Bodhi tree, he vowed never to leave the position until he found Truth. At the age of 30, he attained Enlightenment. He was then known as Gautama Buddha, or simply "The Buddha", which means "the enlightened one", or "the awakened one". But the thing to remember is he basically is a protester. Through the whole of Indian history there is a tension between rulers and those who fought for social justice. From the wandering medieval saints to the freedom fighters to liberal modern poets and agitators he was first of the million mutinies. So profound was his impact on History that presently there are about 250-500 million people across the world who follows his preaching and practices, and follows the faith and religion founded by him called Buddhism. Starting in India, the religion evolved as it spread through Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.

All created things must pass. Strive on diligently” - Buddha’s Last word

Seen in front of Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya.

In later half of this series, we hear the dramatic story of the first great emperor (Chandragupta Maurya) who renounced his kingship and starved himself to death. Finally we meet his grandson Ashoka, who after a cruel and violent opening to his reign, renounced warfare and introduced the idea of non-violence, which runs down through Indian history all the way to Mahatma Gandhi and the Freedom Movement. All over India he wrote his edicts and laws in stones and pillars, which talks a great deal about human rights, moral conduct, ecological conservation of species and political order which were never been conceived in the world before. He even had police to enforce them. Surprisingly his edict not only covers Humans, but also Animals and were the first Animal Right Laws in World History. What makes his impact so important in Indian history is he was the first person who put forward the idea of united India and it was his vision which led the the creation of India’s geopolitical geography what we know today. Perhaps that was the reason why after independence, Ashoka Chakra replaced Charkha in India’s Flag.Renowned British author H. G. Wells in his bestselling two-volume work, The Outline of History (1920), wrote of emperor Ashoka:

“In the history of the world there have been thousands of kings and emperors who called themselves 'their highnesses,' 'their majesties,' and 'their exalted majesties' and so on. They shone for a brief moment, and as quickly disappeared. But Ashoka shines and shines brightly like a bright star, even unto this day.”

In the next post I will write about a another glorious period(Episode 4:Ages of Gold) when India was called “Sone ki Chidiya”,including how India discovered zero, calculated the circumference of the Earth and wrote the world’s first sex guide, the Kama Sutra.