Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thought for the day

There is no such thing as too much Coldplay*.


*replace with band of choice and current state of mood swing.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Finding a voice

Maybe you’ve seen this; a response to Dow Chemical’s "the human element" campaign. But if you haven’t, take a minute to stop here, and here.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Stuck

He tried to free his hands. Man, sometimes he could be so damn stupid. If some one walked into the room right now, how would he explain this? As he worked his way through the little knots and clots that bound him, he wearily thought, “Who says there isn’t a flip side to being Spiderman?”

Saturday, March 24, 2007

A mistake

They sat next to each other, awkward and uneasy. This whole thing had been a big mistake. It had seemed like such a great idea a few hours ago, and yet now they could barely look each other in the eye. “Listen, let’s not mention this again, okay?” she said. “It never happened”, he agreed. And just like that, their world cup came to a crashing end.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Murder

He had a history of being stalked by the dark side of cricket. Kerry Packer, Hansie Cronje and now death. Ironic how the game he loved so much, took away so much from him.

R.I.P

Bob Woolmer
1948-2007

Friday, March 16, 2007

!!


Yaaaaaaaay! Leprechauns on the cricket field!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Getting it right

She switched on the News as a last resort. Maybe the tragedies of the world would be enough to distract her mother. Or at least get her started on something other than marriage. It didn't work. Her mum just kept on going; past the shattered Iraqi buildings, across the Zimbabwean protesters, over to the sullen Russian, and his not so sullen ex-wife. But as the figures of their multi-billion dollar divorce settlement flooded the living room, her mother trailed off, quietly adding, “That’s what happens when you marry right.”

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Quack

I had a good sports day yesterday. Chelsea won, in one of their rare Drogba didn’t score, Ballack did, games. India got through a warm up game without any (too many) scars. And I came across this

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Bits and pieces

I switch on the TV and I see bits of Africa being torn to shreds. I go to the movies and I watch Africa bleeding a brutal death. I open the papers and read obituaries of a place I treasure. And it breaks my heart.

I grew up in Africa. In a small country called Zambia. And in the ten years that I spent there, I learnt almost everything that makes me who I am today. I discovered books there, I poured through libraries full of them, in a childhood not hounded by homework but in the shadows of leafy green trees, behind paperbacks and watching Hindi movies. It is where I first began to write, which in the coming years, I realised, was the only thing I was any good at. It’s where I fell in love with football: the Africa Cup, then the World Cup and then the European Leagues. Tennis followed football and paved a future for cricket.

I spent my holidays in the most amazing places – in safari parks where giraffes reached somewhere above the jungles, chewing leaves off the top of trees and elephants tapped at our windows in the middle of the night. I remember the guides telling us of man-eating lions on the prowl and pointing to a leopard in the tree overhead. I remember having breakfast watching crocs and hippos sunbathe. I remember being completely over awed at the Victoria Falls, not realising that not every kid gets to see what I was growing up with. And I remember almost falling into a river infested with crocs. Happy, happy memories.

Of course, something dark was always looming around. Crime was common and we constantly heard of coups and civil war around the neighbourhood. Rwanda happened when I was 13. And it happened next door. Uganda, Angola, South Africa and Zaire were always near by. And AIDS had just kicked-off. But it still didn’t seem so morbid. It always seemed like things would eventually get better. They never did of course. They just got so much more worse. War. Refugees. Genocide. Landmines. Maimed Limbs. Failed economies. Civil war after civil war. Poverty. Hunger. Disease. Pain. AIDS. Death. Africa.

When I left Zambia, it wasn’t just Zambia, but Africa I rooted for - African teams, African athletes - because they took me back to a time I so loved, bringing back memories of a happy place, full of people with the warmest smiles.

One day, they will get their smiles back.
I hope.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Still Counting

It was early in the morning and the air was sweet and crisp. Just the way he liked it. He had been bringing the sheep up here for over 2 years now. Alone. It was his most favourite chore, and if he could tend to sheep all day, he would be the happiest. It was easy, really. All he had to do was lead the sheep safely to the grazing site, make sure they didn’t get eaten or lost and then take them back home, safely. And while they nibbled at the grass and made baa-baa noises, he would stretch out on the cool green floor, bite on a twig and dream. He’d dream about a bottle of ice-cold coke and girls and movies and football and silly things like the other side of the world. It was easy to see why he liked doing this. Who wouldn’t? The only thing he had to be careful of was the wild dogs. Occasionally he’d get lucky and kill one before it got to the sheep. He would take the dead animal home and ceremoniously present it to his parents. But sometimes a sheep would wander off too far and disappear. Those were the worst hidings he’d receive. He remembered each and every one of them, all four. He still had marks to show. He was particularly proud of the purple patch on his leg; every boy in the village was envious of it, even the bigger ones. He smiled as he propped himself up on his elbows. It was time to head back home. Come on, let’s go, let’s go, he yelled at them. One, two, three, he started gathering each one. Four, five, six, something wasn’t right here. Seven, eights, nine, oh god! Ten, eleven, where was the last one? He frantically looked around the landscape for twelve. No, no, NO! Not again, this couldn’t happen to him again. He clutched at his hair for support, he yelled and he cursed, even his purple wound began to burn. But twelve didn’t come.

Far away from the boy, on the other side of the world, where it was still dark, a young man lay twisting and turning in his bed. He kept getting stuck and he kept losing count. He just couldn’t get through. I hate the bloody sheep and I sure as hell hate their bloody fence, he thought as he reached for his bottle of sleeping pills.