Sunday, August 7, 2011

Behind the Wall - The BCCI story?

So one fine English morning, Kris Srikkanth wonders "What's wrong with these Indian batsmen? I say, in my days we used to attack the English bowlers with a cross bat and somehow managed to get the ball to the boundary. OF course, Sunny thought differently but he also thought scoring 36 runs in 60 overs would make people call him the Wall. Tcha, I thought I'll get more batsmen from TN by giving Mukund and Vijay chances. Inna pasangal la thirundada (Translation :These boys will not improve). Useless fools pa, I say".. And off he goes for his nicotine break.

The Indian cricket team, meanwhile on this fine English morning, is 'practising', in a match against the Northants. One of the spectators, a 11yr old kid asks his mother "Momma, why are they calling it a practice match? Their players are all getting out the same way. And why is Donhee not captain momma? Has he been sacked?" His mom, smoking a joint, is utterly pissed that Stuart Broad is not around as he had promised to meet her during the lunch break, to help resolve her divorce case. But her son had asked a pertinent question and she came out of her reverie "Well son, they are practising after all. How the hell do you think they get out in a perfect manner every other match. And Donhee, I suppose got his bollocks crushed by Zaa-hear Khan while offering no shot in the nets. He was trying to practise the "no-shot" shot to which he got out in the previous match. So if he aint got no balls, how the hell can he be captain!". The kid is intrigued now. "But momma, why do they want to get out so fast? Can't they practise some strokes instead?". His mom being a business graduate, responds "Well son, these chaps get paid a hell lot of money for playing a match. Why work for it when you are going to get it anyway. So when one can earn the money in 4 days, why work for 5 days!" Her son is baffled now but he doesnt realize that so are a set of 1.2 billion people in an Asian subcontinent.

By the time this English morning has transformed itself into evening, Rahul Dravid is having a chat with Kris. A certain news network overheard the dialogue and reported it as follows:

Kris : "So Rahul, what are your plans for the future?"
RSD : "You mean apart from anchoring your test team's innings in the coming matches, until Dhoni comes and screws it up?"
Kris : "Ayyo. Let's not discuss Dhoni now, shall we. I like him pa. CSK is winning the IPL. He gives my son Aniruddha a chance to bat for CSK. So I'm bound to like him and am also bound by my contract not to criticize him."
RSD : "Your contract?"
Kris : "You know, if I criticize him he wont give my son a chance. Then I cant even recommend his name for the India A-team. You see how helpless I'm?"
RSD : "Oh poor you. Just like how helpless I was when I was the 2nd highest run getter in that ODI series in South Africa but was still dropped. What to do, I'd a contract with time to abide. I couldnt get younger or go back in time after all"
Kris : "Oh yea, you are right, I say. But how if I give you a chance to play again in the ODI series coming up?"
RSD : "As what, an umpire, coz I am the only one who can stand up to the English bowlers?"
Kris : "Well the latter part is true. But as a batsman, not an umpire"
RSD : "Phew, atleast you told me that I wont be playing as an umpire as well. I thought that was the only thing I'vent done on the field in the past. You know, keeping wickets is portrayed as a hobby for me these days. And well, you dont want me getting injured if I start bowling, else you'll lose me even before the English bowlers have sweated it out in the day to get my wicket."
Kris :" Oh Rahul, I knew you would accept this offer..."
RSD : "I will, under the condition that I get to retire after the ODIs, of my own accord so that heart-attacks like these dont make a 'comeback' in my life?"
Kris : "Oh that would be so wonderful. You see, after that we'll have a series in India where our young lads can practice on home grounds and be ready for the next IPL. If they play here and get injured, you see how it affects their IPL career right?"
RSD : "Right! Good luck to your son for his IPL career. I wonder why you wanted him to get into India-A anyways, when clearly IPL is more important than Test matches. And with his technique (or lack of it, within his head), and you around, he's bound to succeed"

And we end the day with a cup of tea. Earl gray please. On to Edgbaston, shall we?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Philo Sophie

It's been a long time since I left my carbon footprint on the blogosphere (roughly 9 months, whoa!). So I thought, I'll write something on this virtual piece of the space time continuum. And for once, I attempt to write a serious article, a bit philosophical (if I may) in the hope that I'd be back here again, sooner than I think (hope so!)

The past few months have made me go through almost every kind of emotion I could ever experience - joy, anxiety, agony, dejection, schadenfreude, sympathy, exhilaration.. you name it, I bet it'd be there (not sure of Nirvana though :) ). Taught me a few lessons which I thought I must jot down for my own self, in no particular order. Most might seem cliched, but I believe that until I experience something personally, I'll never understand its true worth :

a) Time flies at a constant rate. Relativity accounts for the rest of what humans feel about it. Kipling must have understood this true worth ,when he wrote those immortal words. I wish I can do so myself. Or if dreams did come true, a time machine would do.

b) Life is like a cryptic crossword. Solving the clues one at a time gives more satisfaction than seeing the answers all at once. Maybe it's another way of looking at other cliched statements on the same subject, but I hope I can accept this part and continue ahead, rather than blaming everything on Murphy.

c) Smiling in times of crises is tougher than I thought. I respect those set of few people whom I've seen do so repeatedly, without the usage of psychidelic shit. I'll be quite happy to emulate them in this respect, if not as often (oh no, I dont want a calamity befalling me to try this out, but in general, would hope to do so)

d) The world respects you if you can do/ever did what you ask them to do. Until then it just listens to you until they're fed up of those 'blank' statements and retort back, to make you realize this truth, if one hasnt still. I thank a friend, who made me realize this quite recently and maybe this is one of the biggest lessons this sem (academic courses nothwithstanding).

e.1) You neednt lead the race at any point of time, but can still end up ahead of them all. Thank you Mr. Vettel for reminding me of a lesson which Mr. Raikonnen had already taught, but I seemed to have forgotten.

e.2) Play this innings like a test match. You might not be an SRT but Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid is still worth an option (no offence to Dravid, who along with Stephen Waugh, are my sources of inspiration, but at times, the eternal skeptic in me makes me wonder whether SRT is human at all.. ). Still not experienced the set of moments to fully justify my findings , but felt the same in bits and pieces, and hence decided to put it down to verify in the future.

f) Karma is a bitch. Not really, our actions are what we are. So if we behave like one, then cant blame Karma can we.. This is another big lesson learnt over the course of the last 3-4 months, out of a nightmare, I never thought I'd ever see in my life. Might be one of the most valuable lessons in my stay in this amazing place called IIT Madras. I still admit, it's a tough nut to crack but keeps me wary of the future, every passing moment.

g) Somehow, I've found the allegory of life and, the making of a piece of art, to be appealing. From my personal experience, no art work seems good until finished (and finished well that too :) ) , and uptil then speculations are always arife, internally or externally, as to how it'll come out to be. This is quite similar to what I've found in my experience while handling Sponsorship activities as well, but considering that it's a subset of life as such, might as well be treated as subset to move along.

h) Living in the present might be good, but reflection into the past is a must according to me. I mean it's a simple closed loop system (of which I detailed karma separately), and without a retrospection, somehow I've never had the courage to look into the future. What one looks for in the past is also a questionable issue, but suffice to say, to each his/her own.

Maybe, if I become famous one day, I could increase my revenues by writing a book on the above '8 Lessons of Life' or '8 things one needs to know in life', et al, adding to the already huge pile of these non-fiction stuff, which to my disbelief are at bestsellers!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

24th February, 2010 A.D.

Well, titling this post with a date may seem stupid but considering that this date is historic in more than one sense, I'll continue with my 'stupidity'.

First things first : It proved the existence of God. One of the names of this God is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. People know me as a die-hard Dravid fan and I still am despite witnessing this magical knock of 200* against RSA at Gwalior. Maybe VISA should "adopt" Master Card's ad campaign with the following lines : " Buying a ticket for India vs RSA @ Gwalior : Rs. 500. Travelling charges from Chennai to Gwalior, to and fro : Rs. 6000. Food and India jersey for the match : Rs. 1300. Watching God perform magic : Priceless!" ... One of the ad taglines in today's (Feb 25) newspaper took this a little further stating " Sachin is the secret of India's energy! " (the ad was obviously by Boost). Well, I never did any of the costly things which Visa Power could buy me but preferred to watch this miracle from my hostel common room, which looked more like a stuffed pillow, with seemingly no space and yet being filled in with more people as time passed by and as Sachin neared his Double Ton. This experience was truly amazing, even beating the experience of watching India beat Pakistan in the T20 World Cup finals, from the same "venue". And this was something I just had to blog about, even beating my laziness!

Also, another interesting thing happened. One could call it a part of the social experiments I've been trying out over the past few months, of how people react to various stimuli and how much their actions seem to reveal about themselves. As it happened, I filed my nomination form for the post of Co-Curricular Affairs Secretary of IIT Madras the previous day (Feb 23rd) despite most people seeming to think that I was just joking about it. Well, I was serious about the joke I wanted to cause. And my! it seemed more like some kind of chaos theory developing around me. Never have I seen so many people united, against and pro my decision at the same time (trust me, it's always been a overwhelming majority for any side, for or against.. never 50-50). Insti politics is something I never wish to be a part of although I wouldn't mind observing how things shape up, considering it's worth a paper to publish if carried out in a scientific manner, with readings and all. Maybe I'm a bit late this time, but must attempt this stuff next year. Anyways, let's hope all these guys who claim to understand the dynamics of student council "politics" (for the lack of a better word as I haven't begun my GRE prep yet) are 'strategically' correct else I would feel that their decision to force me to withdraw my application would be gross injustice to a democratic right I fundamentally deserve. Oh wait a min : Wasn't I pro-dictatorship ? Oh screw it, I'm a sadistic hypocrite but whatever be the case, I must admit it was real fun to see the pained look on their faces after they realized that the "wolf story" I had informed everyone about was actually true. I've taken a couple of their photos as well for documentation purposes... in a hope to realize my dream of a publication :) Oh and yes, to clarify any doubts, the title of this post is also the date when this "social expt" officially ended. Hoping for some more opportunities to try out random experiments in an attempt to understand human psychology without having to do a PhD in the same!

PS : Mourinho's revenge on his former employers was also sweet! The date is referential to this incident as well, although nothing historic about it. Nothing great about Inter beating Chelsea; for me at least.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bas ek aur!!

Well, Schroeter cricket has been yet again, another disappointing moment this season, but this time there was a difference. We played Alak last year in our 2nd group match and played them first up this time. Alak missed the services of their studdest bowler, DB. We missed (not sure if we missed or not) our last year's captain and sports sec in the team. In essence, we were really underdogs but we had a heart and passion to win, something which we lost halfway during our previous encounter thanks to certain misgivings. Cricket is something according to me where statistics cannot tell you why things happened but how they happened, in terms of the scorecard. Of course, it never gives the complete picture but I'll attempt to fill in the blanks wherever necessart. In summary, this is how it was :

Jam lost the toss and were put in to bat :

After 10 overs, 50/2

After 13 overs, 64/6!!

After 18 overs, 102/7 (thanks to a superb batting display in between by our captain this year, Sixty, playing his final schroeter match!)

After 20 overs, 111/8

Well, the question posed by the umpires to us was a valid one "Do you think you guys can defend 111 on this track ? " Frankly, we didnt know it ourself. All we knew was if we gave it our best, we were through to the leagues and would have definitely pulled off what other hostels might call an upset.

Begin Alak's batting :
5 overs : 31/0
9 overs :69/2
10 overs : 80/2 ( this was my only over in the match where my plan to get one of their best batsman out was foiled thanks to a dropped catch when most would agree it was a regulation catch! The guy went on to add another 17 runs after that and maybe he could be in a position to remark in Steve Waugh style "You've dropped the cup mate!")
16 overs : 104/5
18 overs : 109/7
18.5 overs : 112/9!!

The last 4 overs were rivetting to say the least, and the last over drama was comical from a non-biased sense of thinking. It was senseless batting, good captaincy and field sets, and barring the 5th ball of the 18th over, it was definitely good fielding where Alak batsmen committed harakiri. The 5th ball is an interesting thing to be noted : They need 2 runs to win of 8 balls, with one wicket in hand. The batsman played a shot to point-- non-striker calls for a run--fielder picks up and throws over the keeper from a peaceful place-- ball collected by backup who throws it to the bowler's end-- bowler is halfway down the pitch, and misses the ball, which misses the stumps by an inch, -- bowler's end backup fumbles-- Alak completes the second run and there goes the match which we could have won :( It just went on to show how teamwork and great fielding can have the probability of beating even the best of sides although bygones are bygones and I wont continue to discuss about it.

I blogged about this just because of the fact this was very close to my heart; was one of those cases when one was so near and yet so far, and this being cricket and me being a part of the team, I just could not digest this loss. My performance in the match of course was forgettable to say the least, and hopefully, we'll be back next year and even more hopefully, I would be in a position to write about our victory!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Carrying forward from my previous post (and thanks to a comment by an anon appreciator), I thought I will put forth some interesting trivia which I came across in different forms of literature. Needless to say, the interesting stuff is related to wordplays(mostly anagrams) again as indicated by the title of this post and I've tried to post only what I found out independently, but where the case seems extraordinarily strong, I've included externally referred ones as well :

1) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's/Philosophers's Stone by JK Rowling
The 'Mirror of Erised' is a play on the word Desire. It literally means to 'mirror' "erised' into our eyes, i.e. if we mirror it, we are in a way "reversing it back"..meaning Erised reverses itself to Desire. Rightly so, it reflected one's deepest desires/wishes as explained by Dumbledore in the book. It could work well as a crossie clue in fact, a simple one at that.

The most famous wordplay in the whole series is of course "Tom Marvolo Riddle = I am Lord Voldemort" which I hear has given many translators a headache! I will obviously not name the spells which derive a lot from Latin and of course English.

2) The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown :
Needless to say, this book had infinite codes decoded but I'll try and have a look at ones which I found have been left purposely undeciphered.

One of them is Robert Langdon's editor's name : Jonas Faukman. Interestingly, Dan Brown has managed to get his own editor's name anagrammed individually and made him a part of the book. Brown's editor's name : Jason Kaufman!

Another trivia which I picked up from the news is the name of Sir Leigh Teabing : Which is apparently an anagram of Baigent and Leigh, the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail (a very interesting and eye-opening book I must admit)

3) This one was totally an unexpected one and I don't know if the film-makers made it intentionally. In the movie, Ratatouille, the celebrity chef is known by the name of Auguste Gusteau. Not until I checked up the IMDB, did I realize that the Auguste was spelt with an 'e' at the end. If we see carefully, Auguste and Gusteau are anagrams of each other!

4) This one I'm not sure if I've come across in the TFE earlier, but also struck me independently while going through the wiki page for the movie "October Sky". Apparently, the movie is inspired by a book called "Rocket Boys". You would have guessed by now that "October Sky" is an anagram of "Rocket Boys"!!

5) Another one which I picked up on the net and couldnt resist posting here. Paul McCartney's album "Memory almost full" is an anagram of "For my soulmate LLM" where LLM fits the initials of Linda Louise McCartney, his deceased wife. Still unsure whether it was intended again. If it was,

6) This was an original : Shashi Tharoor Tweets == Oh, he sorta writes trash! :D Composed just for the sheer fun of mocking Tharoor's joblessness and nonsensical sense of diplomacy.

Will try and continue when I come across more such ones. Adios for now

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Hmm, as far as recent opinions about me go, I could well be described as a person who appreciates less and critiques more, and maybe is cynical about most things in life. The opinions might be justified coz I've always believed in appreciating something which lasts the test of time and is not a one-time wonder. Hence the few things which I do appreciate, I believe are real stuff by geniuses and sometimes I cannot differentiate between God and Genius (yes, with the capital G).

This post is related to something which is close to my heart - word plays. Be it anagrams or anything to do with playing around with words and giving them a new meaning. To most, this would sound like solving codes and getting the thrill out of doing so. To an extent they are right. Anagrams were the first kind of wordplays which caught my attention, way back in Class 2, through the mode of what still continues in the TOI supplements as JUMBLE. It was a different kind of thrill altogether, way better than those puzzle books which kids solve. And the only game which existed then to satisfy my appetite was Scrabble. No doubt then that I bought a board for myself as a birthday gift to satiate my love. Unfortunately no one in my family had played Scrabble properly or knew the rules and I got a taste of it only in Class 8 thanks to a great Prof whom I must thank profusely for igniting that passion again. This passion continued in me when I joined IITM where I realized that there were people of exceptional calibre in solving wordplays which I could not even fathom after an hour of thought on them. But I started appreciating the person who sets these codes (for the lack of a better word) because therein showed their ingenuity and creativity. The Hindu crossie sets my pulse racing and so does a game of Scrabble, but nothing has got me this close to heaven such as the wordplays (and in most cases, the p(h)unny ones) by 3 guys who have happened to leave a deep imprint in my life. Sadly, one of them is no more, being afflicted by an illness claimed to affect one in a million. Unfortunately the one in a million on Earth happened to be chosen this time. Coincidentally, all three happen to be a year senior to me : two from IITM, who passed out in 2009 and one from IITB, who'll pass out in 2010. I hope I can write in brief about this trio and do some justice at least to their brilliance!

I shall not name these seniors, but I have left a clue in the title of this post. All those interested can crack the names, which are written as they appear on my gtalk list. The two seniors from IITM were not known to me in the first month, although one of them did "interact/rag" me, being my hostel senior. He was the first guy from whom I took 'fundaes' on solving the Hindu crossie. Not extensive, but sufficient to get me going. Cracking came a year later through another senior, whom I shall refer to as MoJo ( first guy I know to get a nick of that kind thanks to his younger brother! ). So this senior of mine was known to be good at wordgames and stuff. I hadnt heard of the other chap until I encountered both of them in a game of Scrabble at Lit-Soc. Having beaten other seniors until then, I felt that this duo could also be beaten (considering the others were also veterans and played decent Scrabble). But boy, did they prove me wrong! I didnt even bother to play the next game in the tournament and preferred watching their moves, something which has never happened before whether I lost or won a game in a tourney. That was an ominous sign of what I would be witnessing in the next three years! Come Saarang 2007 crossie, they showed me that they weren't just good, they were God! Being in their second year themselves, they were giving their final year 'studs' a run for their money and with some luck, these guys would have run away as winners. That was to happen of course, the following year where they left the other 'studs' behind by a huge margin. You could probably say they were the Aussies dominating the cricket world (in the Steve Waugh era of course), with the only difference being these guys were pure class and everyone actually liked them! Nice men finishing on top is not a frequent occurence. And humility along with top class is another rarity. I was probably thankful to have seen both in this duo. The best part about them was this : they did the stuff the way they liked it and not how others wanted it to be. Have you ever heard of someone packing the finals of an event at Saarang just because it was overnight ? These guys did. No one would dare to attempt a triple-triple bingo in a Scrabble prelims when a straightforward bingo lay elsewhere, for the fear of losing points and missing out on the final. These guys did and to my utter dismay and other players' relief, their word although seemingly existing, didnt find a place in the Scrabble dictionary and made them miss out on a berth in the finals. The other senior (being from a hostel which shares its name with the "dead river of India" ) was probably more gifted in writing really really funny articles with the best set of wordplays possible, but the duo, once together were probably the best you could get in India. And I'm not joking about this having seen people who are amazingly gifted and yet have found it difficult to surpass these two. Their WTGW and Crossie prelims have been a delight to attempt and solve, with the kind of questions being way different from the stereotypical ones which any experienced guy can crack within minutes of seeing them. But their questions, probably only Geniuses at par with them can crack. I have seen a couple of juniors of mine who could probably reach their level but only time will tell regarding their status.

The third senior from IITB, is a chap one rarely comes across. For one he is a Tam chap sporting a mohawk! Get me the odds on that one, will you? And he is amazingly cool ( or atleast anyone who is a logophile would find him so). My appearances at Mood I for the past 3 years (including this year) have been satisfactory solely due to the existence of this chap. He is the guy who sets the wordgames there and boy, he continues to amaze me every single time. It's like you know there's going to be something new out there awaiting you, to mystify you and the only way one can demistify and get enthralled is by solving them. One's respect for him jumps every time you solve one of the questions (again, questions for the lack of a better word). I have attended WTGW/Crossie/Scrabble at other culfests down south, where there's a lot of competition apparently but nowhere does anyone come near to this chap (barring the IITM duo) in setting word games questions( and of course, cracking them). He mixes it with a bit of all kinds of trivia and an ingenious manner of setting questions which leaves the person with a smile on his/her face after reading it and you cant but help wonder, is this another Avatar of God ? He'll be passing out but knowing that Mood I outsources its events, I'm hoping I can have yet another go at cracking his wordplays! My last 3 attempts (along with my 2 other teammates) have left me just short, here and there. Maybe that is an indicator that you can try to match the geniuses, but you aint one until you succeed them. That is unlikely to happen in this birth for sure and I hope I can continue on this post some time later with a few delectable ones from their papers (although it wont do justice to them unless I provide the full questions, in the form they were).

To Mr. Jilanar, DNK and Makhow I toast!*

(*Names changed to reveal their identity only to those fit enough to figure them out ==> those who would have already figured it out by now!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The acronym was made up in the hope that it would catch people's attention and a random google search would eventually lead to my blog one day. Oh yes, the acronym stands for... well, I dunno what it stands for, but will post soon once I do figure out what it stood for. (Trust me, it did stand for some pseud name I'd come up with during Shaastra 2009 but I've forgotten where I kept that piece of paper where I'd written it down!)

To an avg IITM-ian, Shaastras come and Shaastras go. Well, that's to an extent the truth barring this point : Every Shaastra has had something different about it, or atleast in my last 3.5 years' existence on this amazing campus. And the last one for me was exxxxtra special. Yes, extra with the extra Xxxs. Being a member of the group which sat, envisioned and planned out a near flawless Shaastra this year (near flawless is an exaggeration, I know but just to humour me, assume it to be so), it was a privilege as well as a humbling experience working with a set of really stud people committed to something which we have all cherished as a part of IITM history (once again, at least for as long as we have been on campus). To give an example, I shall quote one of my co-cores -- " I would like to convert to Dual degree just to see next Shaastra da!" The fact that he was semi-drunk doesnt take the sheen away from his statement as it was still from the heart (most studies reveal that a person speaks the truth when he/she's drunk, which makes me wonder why can't they get a person drunk instead of asking him/her to swear on the Gita/Bible and allow him to get away with a lie. Anyway, more on that in some other post..)

Nostalgia is one of the right words which describes the series of emotions which filled my heart during the closing ceremony of Shaastra 2009. 5 months of hard work, inumerous decisions taken which I hope were all for the good and handling a team of 11 people whose calls would literally give me a heart attack, every single time I saw my phone beeping. Thankfully, I dont have any BP problems yet, else I might have found myself lying more often in the hospital than at any other place where I should have been. The Evolve dept of Shaastra might have had a DREAM, but I seemed to have nightmares, which luckily didn't materialize. If there was one word which could summarize everything I felt at the end of this Shaastra, it was 'relief'. Relief for having achieved against all odds, against arbit comments from arbit people who had no sense or knowledge of what they were talking and to some extent, against my own expectations. Another reason why I didn't have a Shaastra hangover, while others seemed unable to get out of it for upto 4 days post Shaastra!

Now that Shaastra 2009 is over, there seems a literal void in my life. Life is about asking oneself : What next? And after Shaastra, frankly, I've no clue of what'll come next. I wanted to write a loooooooong post on how it felt over the past 5 months, but I knew I wouldn't do justice and I thought of writing a brief instead. If I were to attempt to describe it in a few lines, I'd say " Life over the last 5 months was like the Sensex. You never know when it would be bullish and when it'll throw you down the roller coaster ride. It's a bit of regret that we cant control it as per our will, and the more we try to control it, the more it gets out of control"

Hope whoever came to Shaastra 2009 'adapted, evolved and enjoyed' it. Here's wishing you readers belated Diwali greetings. Dunno when I'll post next. Hope I can find time pretty soon, coz there's loads to write about and there's even greater inertia against it!