Wednesday, September 26, 2007

India Are the World 20-20 Champs

For this post I am going to user Browning's poem Incident of the French Camp. I am using the style and a few words to tell us what goes on in our mind.

You know, we Indians stormed the Wanderers stadium (South Africa),
A 1000 miles away,
In a desi (Indian) -bar, we (my friends at office and me),
stood, danced, drank shouted hoarse on our storming day (the finals),

With attitudes out-thrust, you fancy how,
Glass of Rum/Beer in hand, Mind running perms and combs,

As if willing our team to fight, fight to win, not to fall,

Oppressive with the cloud of defeat.

Just as perhaps we mused,
"Our glory that soar, to earth may fall,

Let once M S Dhoni, our captain, guardian of our honor
waver a yonder cricket pitch,
Out 'twixt the "sixes" barrage there flew A rider,
bound on bound,
Full galloping; nor bridle drew,
Until he reached the bowling wicket.

Then off there flung in business-like attitude (take the last wicket)
and bowled a neat ball,
after judging the batsman's intention,
you could hardly suspect him to take the wicket,
(So tight, lips compressed,
eye-brows clouded with sweat),
you looked twice ere, you see our own Conan,
Place the then high-flying, but now falling ball
into the hands of the fickle Goddess Victory.

"Well", cried the team "India i.e. Bharat", by God's grace
"we got you the World cup"
We are in the ground, where to our hearts' desire
Perched our Flag; Tiranga by name,
For all world to see.

Our eyes flashed, our Glory; like fire soars high,
The euphoria lasts for some time to come,
Presently senses reined in
unbridled pleasure and joy,
we raise a toast to our,
Boys in Blue,
who are now the men; nay the team in BLUE.


What more shall I tell you! a migraine was spoiling to mess up my plans for the night. But I will not be denied the Glory. I leave early, grab a nap. but get up late and reach the rendezvous - Kapila restaurant where Vikas, babu Bhaiyya, manu, Silky bhai, seetha, srini and uncle were already present. I miss the Indian innings, but watched it three times the next day. Oh! by the way, I am not the usual cricket fan. Lost all interest in cricket in my "those" days. But this team grabbed my fancy with their "Play-To-Win" attitude. As I take the seat, Pakistan lose their first wicket. Wow! thought I, can there be a grander entry. Pardon the images. (A little extra rum can do that to you.)
The bar all smoke-filled, they had provided a big-screen for our viewing pleasure. The place soon turned into a shouting match. Shouting what you dare ask??? just about anything. Sample these
"Bhhaaaaaaaaajjjjjjjiiii Wiiiiiiiickkkkket"

"Jeetega bhai Jeetga" asks one
India Jeetega reply the rest in chorus.

"bolo Bharat mata ki Jai" say one
Jjjjjjjjjjjai shouts the crowd.

But the one that rang true every time was

"ganapati bappa" - "Morya" - hail the elephant trunk.

What else did we do. well we were competing with everyone else in the out-shouting match that was going on. In this picture we were sitting silent (only those very very few times). a few drinks were already imbibed. Don't ask how many. I cannot remember. Then the lull set in. Wickets were not coming in for sometime. we are feeling despondent and unfairly criticizing our players, Conan the most. you can see srini wipe the perspiration from his balding head (Sorry for this Dora. But I had to. Your pose is too whatever..) Silky lights up yet again and babu bhaiiya uses the opportunity to asks for more bottles. Of what!!! if you don;t know, then you needn't know.
Manu needs some help by now. His voice has become hoarse and seetha is in his calculations (Sorry again) and explaining them to a fuddled-brain Manu. Where am I, taking the snap. Hands are bit shaky now what with all the jumping, dancing and shouting match we were indulging and of course because of good "spirits". Then a line of Pakistani keeping falling and each time babu Bhaiiya asks "Misbah?". No we say. "G****" abhi nahi gaya! Arre G**** usko out karo. and we are off to another shouting spree.

And then another wicket, but still no Misbah!!!!! "G**&$#^" goes babu bhaiyya again. Srini tells of my avocation to "India lifts the cup" with a lift of my own glass of good rum. This picture is the moment when India needed 1 wicket to win and Pakistan were needing a lot. Yours truly predicted that the wicket would fall and the picture is snapped. Then Bhajji goes on a generous spree of offering runs. 3 sixes in his penultimate over and Pakistan looked as if to give us an acidic stomach rum et al. Last over Joginder Sharma, India's dark horse who was running a bad luck streak on his back
bowls India to victory. The euphoria is yet to drain. The credit for predicting the victory wicket goes to Babu Bhaiyya, He stands up, picks up his glass, takes a swig and predicts, ab yeh B***C*** out hoga and we all jump up in joy and ecstasy. First I did not realise that we won. I only thought Misbah is out and now we will win. But we have won. That called for an extra round of drinks (Number count lost). We went on and on chanting "Dhoni" "Dhoni" "Dhoni" "Dhoni" "Dhoni" "Dhoni" "Dhoni" "Dhoni". And the whole restaurant took our chant. The victory lap by the team is one which we will cherish for a very long time to come.

The euphoria last for the night and the rest of the day. I watch the highlights thrice and still it is not enough. The hangover stays till the next day. The office chat still revolves around our victory.

This was last snap we took. The effect could be due to the Rum or the win.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Fiasco called the MA Team River-Rafting program

Well, well, John proposed and we accepted, but God disposed our plans peremptorily.
Date of trip: 8th Sept 2007
Place Kolad Village, Kundalika River
Offer: River Rafting, kayaking, Rappelling, and many more mountain water sports
Opted for : River rafting
Result: no River rafting
People: Employees of SAS - John, Deepak & Deepak, Navin & his BIL to be and of course yours truly.

Whats the story!
As Marco Polo would say, "What more can I tell you??"

The day started with The pick-up service coming up to my place (John and me are neighbors) and John comes 15 mins late.

Off we go to Navin's place to pick up his pair and the day starts on an Ominous note:Cannot reach him on phone. So cannot tell him we are on our way. Reach his place and wake him up. (Khadoos!!! He should have been awake and ready) the time 7:25 AM By the time we leave the place we, it is almost 7:45 AM and on the way, we stop for fuel and we notice we were driving with a flat tyre. What more can I tell you? A cigarette stop was in the offing. We lookup towards heaven and ask father above, "Is that all you got, bring them on?" and this was the beginning of the end of all our rafting - plans. We are behind schedule and finally near the edge of Pune we all are assembled in a rickety Jeep which had many undesirable features -
  1. Auto-Honking (Every time we hit a ditch, it honks baaaank baaaanak)
  2. Low-battery (Push start the goddamned vehicle)
  3. Auto-radio on off (Same story, hit a ditch and it starts blaring, cannot stop it)
  4. And a Homilies Non-comprehende of a driver we hired - he was all the time thinking we are on our way to boozeland - GOA
What more shall I tell you?

The drive was very scenic. You cannot complain of everything though and up whipped by camera-phone and shot this very nice picture. The moment I click, the jeep enters another hole in the road and you can see the effect.
The edge of the window peeps into the shot. But still it came out good. You can see more pictures in picasa.

Well we move on towards our destination and we see a host of cloud kissed mountains. At one point we had to stop to see the scenary, a cloud moving down a valley. We stopped here to have some breakfast and we lingered for sometime as the view was breath taking. City dwellers do miss out on the beauty of nature.
after breakfast we start again towards our goal. Along the way we the river meandering alongside our road and we had to stop yet again. This was something we will be missing for a long time to come. For posterity sake I needed some pictures. Forced the driver to stop (BY now he was confused and in a hurry to reach the end). The river is part of the TATA group's hydel project owning. Took some pictures with my phone from the moving cab before I decided enough, I need to get down. The pictures can be viewed here - picasa. by now everyone was in a trance - the effect of nature at it's virgin best.
got down and started clicking photos and here we found we have more to face. John's cam wouldn't work, Batter down a la' jeep.

And here i decided we need more pictures and we took our first people picture at this point with the river in the back drop.

We moved on and reach the destination just before lunch time. Our guide leaves us to inquire about our rafting program and we settle down for some chow. Post lunch we move and we acquire another Flat tyre. The jinx is still there. we top up the tyre with lots of air as the guide tells us we need to go only a short distance. We reach the starting point on a FLAT TYRE. and learn that the water levels are low and we need to go a bit up hill to enjoy the rafting. Yes the JINX is still with us. So we shift to another rickety JEEP and go uphill and enjoy the vision of a DRY RIVER BED. The jokes were on us now. Our driver, nice chap sounding incredulous asks us, You came all the way 100 KM (About 150 miles) to watch some mountains, trees and have lunch? Snigger!!!!

So we settle down for something second best - a dip inside a water fall. The road was littered with a host of waterfalls and we pick one which we liked

We pull up on the side and settle down in the water. Getting in was tricky, velvety smooth rocks did the trick on us, So gingerly we go in and then nobody wants to come out.

What did we do?,
Nothing just sit there. And I quote Anon
Doing nothing, but sitting and enjoying the bounty of nature's beauty is I suppose the best thing in the world

Spent a few hours under another fall before starting for home and I did not want to lose this so from the back of the moving jeep I clicked a few more. We saw two Rainbows parallel to each other and I wishfully thought, when can I go back to the stay in the lap of mother-nature?? Sniff!! Sniff!! Note: You will have to peer to see the second rainbow. It is faint.