Wednesday, 28 August 2013

The Kings of Hard Times

We, Indians, are in for hard times.

Well, by no means am I an economist. Or a philosopher, either. In fact, I am as close to being a philosopher as Viveik Oberoi is to making a sensible film. This is to say, pretty close, like a typo-free Manish Tewari. But joblessness can make you do things, like thinking.

The writing is on the wall-coloured business newspapers, which double up as notebook covers, that carry with them gory tales of bloodbath on the stock markets, of some random Government policy going wrong, and much more, that make as much sense to hostel dwellers as the mess food.

In fact, the writing has been there for quite some time now.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Much ado about pooping

The remnants of vada, kurkure, bhel, and the infamous IRCTC-approved meal from last night slithered down his large intestine. Like a snake that approaches its prey furtively and then at the very last moment strikes with such force that catches the toad unawares, the snake within him was already in position.
It was any moment now.

He was not someone who was easily bogged down. He fought with all his might, moved about the compartment in order to slacken himself, even tried to sleep in the hope of passing time.

But the damage had been done. A fart or two here and there did provide momentary respite, like a wicket or two when Dhoni is batting at the other end. That, however, hardly changes the overall scenario.

He, however, was determined. There are instances in people’s lives that make them apprehensive about doing things, like catching sight of the vendor picking his nose before serving golgappas. The solitary view that he had of the toilet in his coach while peeing last night had strengthened his resolve about not using it for ‘heavier’ purposes. He couldn’t. He wouldn’t.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

What's in a name?

Now, it could be misconstrued. But to make it clear, I am fond of my name the way our PM is fond of his silence. Or the way CSK is proud of RP Singh.

Mallikarjuna Kalika. Yes, yes, I know it took you more than one attempt to get it right.
No, I don’t get pissed. I have seen first timers produce variants such as Mallik Arjun, or Mallik, or something as far-fetched and off the mark as the Telugu old-timer Nagarjuna.

Even when available in the written format, people generally have trouble trying to make sense of what it is supposed to sound like, the same people who proudly cry aloud ‘Schwarzenegger’ in an apparent attempt to display their contemporary outlook, but start peeing their pants when trying to articulate ‘Mallikarjuna’.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Once Upon a Local Train in Mumbai

This post first appeared on AmreekanDesi

People in the front, those standing at the very edge of the platform are virtually a fart away from death. Behind them, a crowd builds up: a motley mix of smartphone wielding persons engrossed in flinging birds at pigs. A few others loiter around with their gadgets in hand and earphones in place, ostensibly listening to music, actually trying to be flashy.

Almost invariably, everybody, irrespective of gender, resembles a newly ordained mother. The bags lie to the front of the commuters, much like the bags hassled new-moms use to carry their babies.

(Continue reading here)

Friday, 9 August 2013

Romance of galli cricket

This post first appeared on Sportskeeda.

No sooner than the clock strikes the designated hour that kids, even adolescents, start trickling in and soon the paltry area between two buildings or the open parking lot lying in abeyance becomes the center of commotion and clamor, much to the relief of kids who couldn't afford an afternoon nap despite the repeated pleas of their mothers, lest they miss out on the action.   

Dead branches and bricks serve as stumps, with a solitary piece of rock doing the needful at the bowler’s end.  Lack of enough bats means sometimes the non-striker runs for his life, er wicket, empty handed, and the batsmen are again forced to meet midway through the pitch, if one can call that strip of dust and stones a pitch, where the bat is handed over.

The batsman at the non-striker’s end also has to dispense of his duties as a makeshift umpire, and is at the center of scandalous accusations of corruption and partiality. Hell, even the players don’t add up.
Name calling takes up more time than the game itself in case of brick-stumps. Because the imagined height at which the ball floated over them is different for different players, leading to oblique reference to the non-striker cum-umpire’s lineage.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Virat Kohli vs Hashim Amla: Comparing the two ODI run machines

This first appeared on Sportskeeda.

Kohli and Amla? Too many runs and too much consistency in one sentence already.
When it comes to batting in ODI internationals, very few names crop up when it comes to matching the level of consistency that Amla and Kohli have displayed throughout their careers.

Scoring runs, prolifically at that, has become such a differentia with these batsmen that a 30-odd score is subliminally thought of as an off day for them. And if a few innings pass by without being adorned by a sizable enough score, the anticipation building around those two is palpable. And invariably, they deliver, with eerie regularity. These similarities apart, who makes for a better ODI run machine?


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