Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Football Match and Other Things

In other earth-shattering events this week was the game between Italy and Australia. After chasing the ball around for 89 dull as an empty saucepan minutes, four men stood up to the challenge and made the game ever so slightly interesting. Suddenly stretching yawns snapped shut and drooping eyelids lit up in absolute attention. Ah, how a dead game can be brought alive with a little controversy.

So this is how it plays out, this poor (metaphorically speaking of course) Aussi player, Lucas Neil, stumbles and trips over the last thirty seconds of the game. As Lucas falls, a smart (or maybe just plain lucky) Italian, Fabio Gross, who has been wildly chasing Lucas around these dying seconds, trips over him, and over the last thirty seconds now lying crushed somewhere under Lucas, and also falls.

Clearly there is no foul play here, there’s no space for any dying minute drama. And right here, perfectly on cue our little twist makes an entry. The referee blows his whistle. “PENALTY!” he screams out. How? Where did that come from? Hello? And awards the elixir of life to the Azzurri. The football-loving world squirms, boos and jeers. But really, as bad as it was, I don’t blame the poor referee. Come on; put yourself in his worn out hi-end shoes. Imagine trotting around this hopeless game for almost 90 deadpan minutes. Just the thought of thirty more, will bring the whistle flying to your lips and your finger, pointing to the penalty spot. And the referee is just as human.

Now, getting back to the game, Francesco Totti takes the kick. Scores and Italy are home. It is this kick that has me all bewildered and speechless. This, is my earth-shattering moment. See, all this while, as the game was crawling on, I was fighting battles of my own. I was violently chasing sleep away from the corner of my eyes, and in the midst of it all I failed to notice Francesco’s boring new hair cut!

Why in the whole world would (Ah! How's this for alliteration?) you chop those stunning locks off? WHY, PRAY TELL ME, WHY? Why would you trade this absolutely yummy look for a downsized just-a-really-good-looking look? I’m baffled. This has left me more perplexed then the referee’s bizarre decision. That I could figure out (read above), this I just can’t.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Plain is Perfectly Fine!

They’ve done it again.

Blasphemy, I say.

Why would you take something perfect and tarnish it with change?

This is my war cry, come gather around.
It’s time to save the best snack in town.

This saviour of bad cooks.
The road to instant salvation.
It’s ok Mum, if you step out.
I have my plate of Maggi. I’ll be fine.
With a full stomach soon I’ll be satisfied.

But now I hear whisperings of sabotage.
I sense foul play.

First they put wheat in it, and now it’s sambhar.
Don't insult my taste buds.
I deserve more then that.
Leave my noodles alone, plain and nice.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Sour grapes are my favourite fruit.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Karma Strikes Back

Himesh is what happens when you tempt karma and lose.

Love you o Sayonee,
Love you o Sayonee,
Koi shaak?


Bloody crap!

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Day Order

You know how some days just work out better then the rest? How certain days make the cut, while others simply fail? Well, I call this the Day Order, a standing of the best days of the week to the ones that need to try harder.

To give it some semblance I start with the top day and continue in the flowing order. The ranking of the days are not necessarily in that order.

Yes, we start with Thursday. King amongst days. Thursday is full of hope and joy with a Friday riding on its back. No matter how screwed you are, you can always bask in the shortcut of an escapist weekend being just a few hours away. How can you fault such a day? I so love Thursdays.
Rank Order: Bestest day of the week
With Thursday leading, Friday can’t be far behind, can it? They'll tell you it’s a whole working day but if you negotiate half of it, you're almost there. Hit lunch, press snooze and look forward to two and a half days of the perfect life at your disposal.
Rank Order: Second bestest day of the week

It’s Saturday, it’s time to party in abandonment. After all Saturday comes with the knowledge of a clockful of hours still left to indulge in the sweet caress of laziness. Inspiration so great, that your Saturday smile can rival only Thursday.
Rank Order: Rock solid spot number three

Oh god, what a bittersweet day. It’s the day for laundry. It’s the day for dusting. It's the day before a whole new week begins. But still it’s hard to fault a day that wakes up so luxuriously only after the clock strikes noon.
Rank Order: Low down the pile at number five

First the good part, Monday means new, a start afresh. And Monday kicks into action only past eleven on the clock everyday. But Mondays are dangerous. They should come with an injurious to health warning. After two and a half days of doing very little, how can Monday expect you to operate at full throttle? Don’t fault your body for revolting on this day; there is a reason the blues hit only on a Monday.
Rank Order: A crappy number six

Tuesdays. Tuesdays. Tuesdays are evil. Tuesdays are vile. Tuesdays mockingly remind you of the weekend gone by. Tuesdays taunt you. Tuesdays torture you. Tuesdays stand for the long stretch left to conquer before you can reach a happy smile. Tuesdays. Tuesday. You’ve just got to hate Tuesdays.
Rank Order: Worst day in the world

Wednesday is the equator of the week. Wednesday stands in the middle. It's an equal distance between the last break and the one coming up. Wednesday is cool, it swing both ways. Wednesday is when the week begins to look up. Wednesday is when the week gets brighter.
Rank Order: At number four, not to bad, could do better

And this brings us back to glorious glorious Thursday. A day when life gets good again.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Void Trenches

Did you burn midnight trying to keep the light alive?
Did you stretch each strand to meet at the end?
Was the walk uphill long and lonely?
Did the path curl around longer then it promised?
Did mediocre, strictly ok and my dad is a rich man pass you by?
Was it hard to accept these naked truths of life?

Did the platter taste bitter and vile?
Did the wallet heavy fiend steal your light?

Was this the way the script flowed?
Is this how it always goes?
The rich man takes his place.
The strugglers wait their day.
When money talks nineteen to a dozen,
Talent cowers, unhinged by burden.

And in this mess of names the void ever grows.

Play Red

Once upon a time I used pity football referees.

Poor guys. They make a living on the sidelines of action. Almost-ran ageing men scampering around with whistles and tiring lungs. They huff and puff and try to catch up with the ball and where it'll be sent next. Is it football? Is it theatre? Complex questions to be answered throughout the game. It’s a hard job with lousy returns. Eye-full of spit blobs from disgruntled players. Boos and jeers from rowdy fans all over. No part of the glamour. Not even the paycheck. It’s a job that no sane mind would willingly take.

That was then. This is now. A change of mind was always on the cards.

Today I understand the equations. It's crystal clear. I recognise the most powerful men on the field, I envy these red card-totting devils. The players might have the glamour but referees hold the strings to cut short their fame. Piss our men off and oops there goes your next game. Talk out of turn, roll around a little more, take your own time, stick your elbow out of line. Challenge fate. Bring out the colour red. The whistle blows and out you go.

The biggest names, the richest players, all at the mercy of these card-wielding outsiders.

Give me that kind of power any day. Let me be the outsider in this game.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Birthday. A Book

I have a young cousin, an offline version of Wikipedia. The more I meet him, the more certain I am of having accidentally missed a few crucial years of basic education. This super smart kid turned a year older recently. And the onus of buying him a present to match fell on my muddled shoulders.

Now here's a kid who lives for science and logic. For strange mechanical things he calls toys. For gadgets and computer games. None of these are words from my world. What do they mean? Where are they found?

I was stumped. Stumped till a timely bout of panicked inspiration hit me. And in his world, full of 101 questions, Pokemon and Midtown madness, I planted a magical tree.

If you've read the Far Away Tree Stories, you know just what I mean. I read this book as a kid and I still remember every twig in the story. I remember walking around trees, wondering which one was the magical one. Peering up in search of magical lands floating by. And waiting for strange creatures to show up and take me on a tour of their homes, hidden on the branches of the tree outside my room.

That's the beauty of a book. It's so much more then just a book. It's a whole lot of brilliance bound between the covers. It's a window that opens up to the past. To what life was before the arrow keys and the space bar. I suddenly had the urge to prise the old window open. And let the fresh breeze flow in. To let it drag me out of these four-cornered rooms of logic we are caged in. And to jump out and explore again. Those strange strange worlds of childhood. Did we live in those worlds or did those worlds live with us?

Let’s go back to the old times. A world of magic and wonder. Let's dump logic in the background of reality and get carried away in a swirl of make-real.

Instead of furiously clicking at an immobile mouse, your finger chases a crawling string of words that push each other endlessly across yellow doggy-eared pages. And your mind stretches and unwinds as little by the little the story unfolds.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Day One Disaster

The first showers hit Mumbai yesterday and the word of the day was panic. The streets were flooded. Drains were clogged. Trains stopped mid-track. Traffic was crawling. Networks were down. And people were angry. All this just on day one of the four month long monsoon season. Maybe it’s time we outsource the city management to private players. At least then we’ll be able to enjoy a break from the sun without breaking out into a cold sweat every single time.