March 31, 2011

The Unforgettable Clash

I deliberately stay away from topics such as cricket, politics etc. because I believe there are much better pundits and gurus out there and we can do without having yet another. But what transpired today has literally forced me to write it here. I would like to capture the moment today.

For the last one week, media especially Indian media has been super-hyping today's Indo-Pak Cricket World Cup Semifinal clash. It was ridiculous the kind of theories that were put forward last few days. Each and every move of the players was being analyzed and deliberately misinterpreted to add spice. And when you have the PM of the Pakistan visiting your country on the invitation of our PM to see the match, it becomes that extra special.

Had to bunk (I like to call it 'miss' since it seems more polite) the afternoon lab and rush home to see the match today. But exactly as I anticipated, there was a big crowd returning home in the searing afternoon.  There was abnormally high amount of rush on the road (for the afternoon) and I could see that everyone was trying to speed up. And there was an insanely high amount of calls and messages being exchanged on the route. The buses were so crowded that I had to miss a few of them and as a result reached home 10 mins after the match started. Everybody and their dog seemed aware of what's gonna happen today. One could sense the tension reaching its boiling point. It was as if pushed a bit more, some volcanoes will erupt.

In the quarterfinals against Aussies, I had an electricity blackout for more than 10 hours, which meant I could only catch up the last 20 overs of Indian innings in that match. I was a little bit worried about that repeating today and there were a few more like me, who were making sure on phone that there was still electricity at home.

For all that was going to happen, I knew one thing for sure; that it was not going to be a dead rubber. It will live up to the hype that was created. And how well it did. And it was kind of predictable too:

Sachin-Viru doing the initial assault. Pakistan coming back from the blue with some smart bowling; but also dropping catches whenever they got an opportunity to do so. India's famed batting not living up to its potential. The fightback from the tail-enders. The explosive start from the Pakistan batsmen, but one wicket after, such an inspired fielding and bowling performance from Indians. Pakistan loosing wickets at the regular intervals, at times that were least expected. Shahid Afridi playing a suicidal stroke. The match not being over until the very end. And the fire crackers at the end.

It was as if it was all scripted. That's classic Indo-Pak key clash for me. If anything that was missing, it was lack of clashes on the field (there were some minor ignorable moments though) and no run-outs (where did you go Inzi :)

It really was a roller coaster ride emotionally. There was euphoria, there was pride, there was hopelessness, there was hopefulness, there was desperation, there was worry, there was prayer, there was fun, there was sadness. Finally India won the match. The last 8-9 hours have now become an integral part of cherished memory section, just like a few more India-Pakistan matches.

What cricket does is that it unites this nation. It even unites families. After a really long time, I spent so much time with my grandfather (watching the match on system through Internet streaming) and dad (watching the match on TV downstairs). I actually had to juggle up and down a few times, so as to spend equal time with both of them. Even the ladies in the family weren't complaining about not seeing daily soap today and were showing interest in the match. And of course, sharing comments with friends, throughout the match made it all the more enjoyable.

Next up is the big final against Sri-Lanka. And that is certainly not going to be easy, because Sri Lanka is one of the most clinical side in this tournament. But I still hope and wish that India wins the cup. That would mean, Sachin will say good bye to the biggest platform on a winning note, I would see India bringing the cup in my lifetime (live). Certainly don't want a repeat of 2003, just like Sri Lankans won't want a repeat of 2007.

March 27, 2011

Can't Let It Go

Warning: Highly sentimental content. Adults only. Not for the funny hearted.
"Alright then, Best of Luck for the future. Good Bye..."

Those were the last words I said to my ward yesterday, whom I have been tutoring for last 3 years. 2 weeks from now she will be moving outside India and there is a very good chance, we won't meet again. I had a very weird feeling going back home afterwards, almost like I didn't like that the tuitions were ending, which is funny because I have been wanting them to end for the last 6 months or so. I was kind of feeling tired tutoring and wanted to make time for some other stuffs.

Friends = (Tuitions)^Infinity
And it is scary because if I am feeling like that for leaving tuitions where I had to invest only 15 hours per month, what will happen when I have to leave college friends (even teachers) in 3 months from now, with whom I laughed, quarrelled, danced, played, goofed around, watched movies, listened to music, had lunch, felt embarrassed, jealous, cheerful, proud and what not. Of course, we will have each others' number and email ids and all but lets be honest: Long distance relationships don't work :) 

It hurts 
Well it is still difficult to leave things when you know you can get them back someday; but when you know, deep down the heart, you are never going to get it back, never going to see it again; then it becomes heartbreaking. When some relative, blood or otherwise, goes forever, it hurts. All the old memories come rushing back. Frustration builds up, because you are not getting what you want. It is said that time heals everything. After sometime (few hours, days, months, year) people move on; but not me. May be I require a life time to move on. 

I guess, it is because of my reluctance to leave the things I get accustomed to. And I don't think I am the only one who feels that way (the way we deal with these situations may be different though). Buddha says that root cause of all suffering is *Desire* but it is hard not to desire to be with people/stuff whom/which you like. I don't know about hermits but I, as a normal vulnerable human being, can't live with people I care about, without desiring to stay with them forever. 

Bloody Nostalgia 
People go from life, but those who matter remain stuck somewhere in that subconscious mind. When you get emotionally attached to things it's hard to let them go. Like your best friend of primary, mid, high school. your favorite teacher of 4th, 10th class etc. Your bua whom you get overly dependent in your homework, people with whom you used to spend the evening talking rubbish, the protagonists from a long TV series or even strangers with whom you get to spend just a few hours with. I think this is what that bloody nostalgia feels like. 

Both worlds? 
Life goes on. New comes only when old goes. Would I have got new (better? :) friends if old friends weren't left behind? Would I be able to become self dependent if my childhood mentor didn't marry? Would I be able to find more good stuff to watch if the old ones didn't ever end?... But then, can't I have the best of both worlds?  

I read somewhere that the key to happiness is to "let it go". While some things are there for which I can't turn back the clock; I still do try to gain stuffs that I lost during the life. I try to get in contact with that friend whom I lost due to unwanted circumstances, I still try to find out the whereabouts of the teacher I liked very much in mid school, still try to meet someone once a year knowing that good old days are not coming back. The efforts may not yield perfect results but at least I get to relive the past in someway.

I am not giving up, at least not that easily.

March 14, 2011

So What do You Think?

As you know, my blog right now is under limited preview (kind of like the beta version to remove any bugs that might have been left). So, only you who is reading this right now, has the right to comment also. So, comments, for me are mostly like feedbacks whether you are liking what I am writing or not. Unfortunately, I don't get a very regular stream of comments. But I know, most of you read what I write (even if that's only for friend's sake). So, I keep wondering what goes into your mind when you read my blog.

Is it like...

VK: Oh, cut this same old stuff. Why can't he write on something interesting. This is like he is telling me his autobiography. Wish, he could write something related to current affairs like politics or even sports. Seems like he is afraid that I will shut his mouth down with my reasoning.. Hehehe (Evil Laugh >D

Katy: Yeah, good. He can write some pretty good stuff. I always knew that this kid had potential. He is always the smart one while commenting on my posts, so obviously he had something to say. But, well can't he write a few poems; I would wanna see how good is he in there. Not as good as me, I know (Wide Grin :D

YogS: Wo, Wo.. What the heck has he written here. This is just a piece of crap. But well afsos, I can't tell him. 'Cause he is my best buddy and I can't risk quarreling with him lest he will get pissed off. Hehe, but poor guy thinks he is writing something coo! (mischievous smile >) But I would like him to write about his girl friend sometime.

XP: LOL. I can't think anything else but LOL, reading this. I mean what the LOL is this. Baah.. But thank God he didn't write anything about me, otherwise I would have screwed him. LMAO. LOL. (And he faints ROFLing XP

SJain: Well, he didn't write anything about me? Then what's there anything to read or comment about anyways. Well he is OK but not that coo! OK, let me get a Job first and then I will restart my blog and tell this guy, who the real blogger uncle is.(faint smile :/, mixed with sorrow expression :(

Laloo: Why does he keep messaging me about this buzzRSH every alternate night? And what the gobar is this? Why waste so much time writing and reading this. He could have made a animated gif out of it. Or asked me to make it. End of matter. (Sheepish smile :?.

Manish: ..... (Sorry, he is still to figure out what this is all about, so I can't think what he would have thought reading one of my typical posts). (No expression :|

PK: Hmm.. This is good. But my last post was way more hilarious than this one. Of course, I can't comment that, since he is one of the permanent commentators on my own blog. So, let's write all the goody goody things. May be one or 2 sentences of criticism/differences thrown in sometimes. BTW check out (innocuous laugh with an ulterior motive ;D

Alright, so that's it, that's what I can imagine what you might be thinking. Now, I may be way off the radar, but then how can I tell correctly when you don't open up with me. So what do you think of this one?

March 05, 2011

That Elusive (Bus) Seat

I am a daily user of public transport (which is a classier way of saying that I travel by buses daily). And usually it involves long journeys (>=40 mins). This of course demands a seat to sit, otherwise one ends up draining all the energy in travelling only. Now I am not the only daily long traveler, there are many others like me, which means everybody wants seat. But like all good things in life, they are limited. And from here starts the competition to grab that elusive seat...

One of my long standing dreams is to get reservation somewhere, anywhere. Unfortunately even inside buses, I am out of luck. I don't qualify for ladies seats (unless I go for sex change... no thanks), conductor seat (I am eligible, but I think my career aspirations are a bit higher), senior citizen (not getting that for next 35 years or so), physically handicapped (I am more of artistically handicapped). So, almost the one row of seats (the left side) is not meant for me. Now, damn the skewed sex ratio that there are usually a lot of contenders for the other row of the seats.

Tactics to get seat

1. Early bird: I make it a point to travel in the opposite direction for some distance to get the bus from the point of origin in order to maximise my chances (if not confirm) of getting a seat. This can also cause a loss of some vital minutes and may result in not getting a seat in class room, but who cares until I have an exam that day.

2. Odd timing: It also helps to travel at odd timings, like very early in the morning or during afternoon, but then it depends on my schedule too.

3. Use alternative bus services: In short use, Bluelines instead of DTC. Since the DTC service has started to become regular and frequent people prefer it over Bluelines. So if you choose to travel in Blueline you almost double your chances of getting a seat. Alas, Bluelines will be a thing of past in near future, so this strategy is bound to become dormant. (Read more about Bluelines, in my previous post Bluelines. Please don't go. Please.. )

And when all above tactics fail, then comes the survival instincts:

4. Use Stats (Or common sense): People don't prefer to travel at the back of the bus, so there will be less competition in that area. Also travelling at the back of the bus has the advantage that you don't get into stampede in the middle of the bus (when other passengers try to reach the front or back gate). But I have also observed that people at the back seat generally are long distance travellers so you will have to 'ride on your luck' if you choose to be a back bencher :) How do I choose? Well it depends on the situation, but generally I go in the middle or front of Bluelines/old DTC buses and backside of new DTC buses.

5. Other strategies: I am not really a fan of these methods but I have learnt these tricks of trade over the years from fellow bus travellers (thank you all 'pushy' uncles and aunties, out there in the buses). Remember there is no room for a person in the buses, so don't expect room for courtesy. 
a) One effective method is to use the handles of consecutive seats as support. This almost negates the chances of anyone else getting an opportunity for the seat.

b) Also keep an eye on the amount fellow travellers are giving for the ticket. This helps in deciding which seat I am contesting for. 

c) Lastly decide which of the 2 seats on a single bench you want. If I want a window seat, I stand at the first half of the side; if I am hopeful of getting a passenger side seat, I stand to occupy the second half.

d) Regarding grabbing seats also, I make it a point to be clear in mind; if I am really going for the seat or not. Because once the sitting-passenger gets up, we have a fraction of a second to claim the seat otherwise it is gone. If I think I have less than half a chance, then I don't even try. Otherwise, bag always come in handy in claiming the seat! But sometimes, "for a change" I just let the seat go to a fellow passenger even when I have a chance.

And I have also made some ground rules:
1. If I don't have a seat:

        Never compete for a seat with an aged person, a female, a kid, a physically unfit person, or someone who looks to be in more need of the seat.

2. If I have a seat, I give my seat promptly if:
       2.1. a lady comes and stands beside me, but not to a girl (they are equals plus they have got reservation, so NO please). Except:
                2.1.1 If I like her, I may ask if she wants the seat :)
        2.2. a person is travelling with a baby.
        2.3. anyone reminds me of somebody I know/knew.
      2.4. anyone takes the courage to ask for the seat. In this case the age, sex, physique of the requester doesn't matter.

All above scenarios are of course valid under the assumption that I don't need the seat more than them.

So, that is it. You know travelling in Delhi buses is nothing less than a fight for survival. So, one must be fully prepared to tackle the wave. Wish Delhi Govt. could do more to easy the apathy of the bus travelers.

I believe I am good at heart, so I try to behave humbly but I also don't want to be taken for granted. I am not saint either.