Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sachin - For the last time

For the past two months since Sir Sachin Tendulkar announced His retirement from all forms of Cricket, I wanted to write something which could sum up my feelings about this fateful decision of His. So much has already been shown/written/read that whatever I say/write actually doesn't matter the least. And I am no writer, so it is all the more difficult to pen down correct words to describe His greatness, not only on the field but off it, and also what He has meant to me for over the past 17 years that I have followed Cricket. But still, I am trying a make an effort in this direction as He had always believed in giving one's 100% in whatever one does, and it doesn't matter if he/she fails - the more important thing is that at the end of the day one should not have this regret that his/her effort was not up to the mark.

So let me clear this upfront - I didn't cry while He was giving His farewell speech just a few hours ago at the Wankhede Stadium. It was not my place, for who am I to cry at His departure? What have I done for Him that I should take credit of anything He said or did today? We all saw Anjali's eyes well up, and even Sara was about to cry, it was inevitable and rightly so. His family has sacrificed so much, and the thought that He is finally done and dusted with Cricket will obviously be overwhelming.

Then there is Vinod Kambli - an old 'friend' and a 'Cricket expert' who never missed a chance to spew venom against Him in the past few years, just to get some footage on his stupid TV news show. He was 'seen' crying on that show today; I don't know why? Either they were just crocodile's tears or just the thought that now as Sachin is retiring, he will not be getting similar air time after this whole retirement carnival gets a rest.

Ram had Lakshman to accompany him to the forest during their exile. His younger brother, his aide and shadow. Well, Sachin had Ajit, His older brother, His friend, philosopher and guide. Ajit never married, so that he can give his full attention to his younger brother's career. It was because He had Ajit is why we have Him today. Kambli also had talent, but he didn't have someone like Ajit. So he faded into oblivion, and today we all just know him to be a clown on a terrible TV news show. That is the power of family, and family values. So, if Ajit wants to cry today, he deserves to do that.

The whole point I am trying to make here is, that success has many fathers and failure is an orphan. Today, Sachin is synonymous to success, so everyone wants a piece of Him. I mean, Siddhu cannot just stop reminding us about how, back in 1994 in New Zealand, he had a stiff neck and thus Sachin got promoted to the opener's position and there we found the best ODI batsman the world has ever seen. What the hell man! What the hell is wrong with you? Not many people know that you were in a night club the night before the match and got your neck bruised in a scuffle. And it was Sachin who came to the team's rescue and took additional responsibility as an opener. Thereafter, His talent and hard work made Him the best in business, not your stupid break!

We Indians are very emotional people. We get moved very easily. I am not saying it is a bad thing, as I too am very emotional. I only have a problem with emotions which are not genuine. God knows I cried when we lost the 1996 World Cup Semi Final to Sri Lanka, or when we lost the 1999 Chennai Test match against Pakistan, or the 2003 World Cup Final defeat against Australia, or 2009 Hyderabad defeat against Australia when Sir Jadeja was not able to make 18 runs off 3 overs after He made 175 out of the required 351! I can recall countless instances of sorrow as well as happiness. Who can forget the desert-storm innings of 143 at Sharjah and again the swashbuckling 134 two days after? Or 241* without a single cover drive in the whole innings lasting some 10 hours. Or 200* when He broke the most coveted ODI barrier. But then I cannot just forget the headline 'ENDULKAR?' from The Times of India in 2004. Or Sanjay Manjrekar's jab after jab in 2007. Or Kapil Dev's rants since the 2011 World Cup win.

People, I am no expert, but I am very clear over one thing. If I support something/someone, I go with that thing/person till the end. It is not like an 'add salt to taste' approach with me which is with most of the Indians. Please try to understand what I am trying to explain here. Not taking away anything from the fans, I just want to highlight that it was us who have been the most cruel to Him over the past many years. We were cruel to Him when He was injured, but He said nothing. We constantly questioned His integrity on our 'prestigious' primetime TV shows, but He responded with His bat. We, practically, were sucking His blood during the period from 99th to 100th century, but He didn't show that on His face. The only time something was visible was a sigh of relief after that 100th century. It was neither joy, nor happiness, but relief - because we couldn't just let go!

I don't know what will be the readers' reaction to this post, but that is how I feel. I bid Him farewell, and hope that He finds some way to remain attached to Cricket, because even I know, He just cannot live without it.

#ThankYouSachin #BharatRatna #TakeABowMaster #GodOfCricket

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Am I against the USA?

It has been brought to my notice recently that every time when I post anything related to the USA, I become overly hurtful, dramatic and biased; and apparently it seems that the post is being written in a bad taste. Well, I just want to clarify that I believe that the USA is a great place to live and work in and Indians who are talented and fortunate enough to make their way all the way to America are definitely in a better place than India. Not even in a hundred years from now, India can catch up to what the USA has achieved today - not because we don't have the resources, or the capability to do so, but because we are still not ready to change ourselves. Even if someone tries to do something different around here in the positive direction, we have forces working continuously towards dragging us behind even farther from where we actually started. The way things are, we can never provide a level playing field to our next generation and this is the biggest reason why the USA is better than any other country  in the world, because they give their kids an equal opportunity to thrive and succeed, and any kid can dream of becoming the President of the most powerful country in the world.

So, I begin with stating that I have nothing against that nation. My anger and frustration is towards those who undermine the importance of other people, places, races, communities and incidents. A person dies in America due to a terror attack, and suddenly everyone is reporting it, talking about it, condemning it, lighting candles in his memory, and doing what not. But no one gives a shit when scores of people die all around the world by the same bullet, bomb or tank. No one cares - not even their own people, media or government; so how can we expect Americans to care about that?
They made an African American man their President, but when an Indian American girl wins a stupid beauty pageant, she gets racially abused on the internet. And if I raise my voice against this nonsense, I am wrong?
They have the power to invade anyone around the world for no apparent reason, and I, who chooses not to be the part of their mission, am wrong?
Their companies flood the markets world over, with depleted and dangerous products which have been banned in their own country or tough guidelines have been set for their sale and marketing, but they don't care squat about people using those products anywhere else. All they care about is how to generate revenues, and I am wrong?
India has thousands of flaws of its own, and I am a vehement critic of that, but the USA is not perfect either. And we should be the ones to make sure that the truth comes out. But we choose to be politically correct. Well, I am different and am always ready to show them the mirror.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Charade

Rahul Gandhi’s opposition to the ‘tainted’ ordinance is nothing but a charade. When the President of India himself questioned the credibility of the ordinance and sought for a clarification, this was the only option left for Gandhi to save some face. This was nothing but a desperate act of damage control (which happened because of the questions raised by the President), by sacrificing whatever little respect our dear PM had left of. I think Gandhi got this idea from some old Hindi movie wherein the hero is not really a hero until he comes from behind and sweeps the stage by doing something unexpected, thereby getting applause from the audience and the tag of ‘Angry Young Man’ from the critics. But believe me this is not going to happen in this case.
As for our PM, he must be uttering, “Et tu, Brute?”

Friday, September 13, 2013

मोदी बनाम आडवाणी - कौन जीतेगा?

आज भाजपा के प्रधानमंत्री पद के उम्मीदवार के तौर पर नरेंद्र मोदी के नाम की घोषणा होने की संभावना है। इस खबर से आडवाणी और उनके कुछ समर्थक बड़े व्याकुल हैं। ८५ पार आडवाणी, पार्टी हित और देश हित से आगे अपना हित साधने की कोशिश कर तो रहे हैं, पर उन्हें ये समझ लेना चाहिए कि उन्होंने ये हक उसी दिन खो दिया था, जिस दिन वे पाकिस्तान जाकर जिन्नाह की तारीफ़ों के पुल बाँध कर आए थे। उनकी भलाई इसी में है कि अब वे राजयोग की उम्मीद छोड़ दें, और उम्मीद करें कि २०१७ के राष्ट्रपति चुनाव (अगर तब तक वे जीवित रहे तो) के समय उनके नाम पर आम सहमति बन जाए। और जहां तक रही सुषमा स्वराज की बात, उन्हें आडवाणी की अंध भक्ति त्याग अब दिल्ली विधानसभा चुनावों की तैयारी में मन लगाना चाहिए।

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Teacher's Day

After all these years, I have realized one thing about teachers. In order for the student to be a better person in life, a teacher should be strict with him/her. This modern day nonsense of ignoring their mistakes in the name of American style of schooling is nothing but BS. Tough Love is what is required. The motto of my alma mater Hartmann College, Bareilly is 'He who loves knowledge, loves discipline', which, in the long run, is possible only if the student understands that if he/she knowingly does anything wrong, it will only make his/her teachers' head held low in shame. An element of respect should be there, and fear of letting your teachers down is required for all of us to do the right thing, all the time. And then, once you have achieved something in life, go back to them, greet them and seek their blessings, because they were the ones who actually felt bad for themselves when they scolded you for your misdoings, as they thought that they had failed as a teacher.

P.S: Nowhere here, I support corporal punishment. That is the worst thing which could happen to a child’s self-esteem.

P.P.S: Happy Teachers’ Day!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dark Is Beautiful - A Nandita Das initiative

When I was a kid, no girl in my class wanted to sit beside me, or talk to me, or share their things with me. I was confused why in the world this happens to me. Slowly I realized that their behaviour towards boys with fair complexion was entirely different. The girls found those boys cute and behaved normally with them. This made me feel sad for myself and it created a feeling of insecurity in my mind about the colour of my skin. I seldom complained about this discrimination to my parents and taunted them that because they were dark skinned, I had to face the wrath of this world.

Later on when I was sensible enough, I decided that one day I will be someone where this divide will not matter, and then I will show to these people that skin colour is not important, and had they spared a minute to explore the inner me, probably I would have proved to be a better friend than those 'cute' boys. But to my utter disbelief, I still find some advertisements aired on TV that in order to bag a good job, or a beautiful girl friend, one should  be fair skinned. And in order to become fair, you should use this specific fairness cream. This disgusts me! So basically what they are trying to imply is that your skill, talent and confidence doesn't matter a bit when it comes to corporate world. All they want is 'cute' people working for their company. God damn this senseless mentality. I am proud of the colour of my skin and like being 'unfair'. At least I am not pretending to be someone who I am not. Thanks, Nandita Das for this campaign, now I love you even more. #darkisbeautiful