Thursday, June 30, 2005

When the Universe conspires against u.........

Have u been thru times when u get the feeling that the whole universe is conspiring against you, when you feel that every move of yours is being watched by people who are wishing for ur downfall waiting for the moment when u fall probably to never rise again and they can grind u into the dust of mediocrity that surrounds them all. In times like these nothing seems to go right and you feel whether its worth all the pain, the grind, the effort but ‘the moment’ drives you on. The moment which u hold so precious with whatever you have so that it cant slip away and u can snigger and mock back at your detractors with that air of defiance and be proud to settle the records straight.
Today I watched Venus Williams come through in the first semifinals against Maria Sharapova. Now Venus Williams was already being talked about as the have beans of tennis with all talk about her being past her prime and lacking the hunger to win another big one. But after she won the match you couldn’t help but notice the look of mocking defiance that came into her eyes almost as if she was answering all the critics that had been doubting her abilities. Then somehow as if she realized that it wasn’t the outside world that was doubting her abilities it was only to herself that she wanted to prove anything to. And as if on cue she broke into a smile that flowed and ebbed from a self realization of abilities of things she always knew she had in her and her eyes twinkled with a smile of realization of another lesson that life had taught her in that instant.
As I was watching all this I gained an increased appreciation of Russell Crowe’s emoting abilities coz he had successfully already demonstrated this entire gamut of emotions in his movie called Cinderella Man that I had seen a few days back. F you have happened to miss it you better grab it anytime soon….one of the best movies of this year.

P.S. I shall not be discussing who i was rooting for during the tennis match and how angelically beautiful Sharapova is. Probably I shall reserve that for another blog :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Instead of going thru the beaten to death routine of going to the gym in the evening (I wish) I went to play some basketball or shooting some hoops (yeah that does sound kinda cooler) yday evening. Now even though I am one of those guys who would get picked right up in case ppl are splitting teams, no I am not African American (in my continuing attempt to stay politically correct) its just that at 6'1 I do stand a shade taller than most of my fellow Indian basketballers (is that even a word?) its just I have never played the game actively enough. Wat the hell I'll admit I really suck at the game. So nyways we r just getting warmed up when this friend of mine starts calling me 'Duncan'. For the uninitiated Tim Duncan happens to be the most valuble player of the title winning San Antonio Spurs at this year's NBA finals. So even though I continue with my horrible run with the game of basketball probably making a miserable (216/10850)* 100% of my shots I return home really smug feeling pretty nice about that Duncan compliment. As I went into the shower I promised myself that I would stick at the game from now on and try to live upto that nickname. However as I wiped my mirror clean of the accumulated steam I realized that the compliment was by no means a judgment on my gaming abilities and I could manage a silent snigger as I looked at myself in the mirror sporting my new (French beard - moustache + soul patch) = Tim Duncan look which I had unknowingly adopted the same morning while shaving :)

A brilliant aerial shot of the Yellowstone National Park. If u click on the picture and look hard enough u can see people taking a walk around this brilliant Grand Prismatic Spring holding scalding water.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

A Story

Housed up in its home for what seems like ages now
Desperate to see the world outside
Knowing it’s the answer to prayers of so many down there
Waiting to spread its wings
Swoop down waiting to meet the parched soil
The silver lining across the sky signals the onset
It’s out on its own now in the big bad world
It braves the cold knowing all that joy it provides to all
Will make the pain worth it all
It startles a bird mid flight but then a smile breaks across
Between the 2 souls a muted thank you uttered
As it seeps thru the parched feathers
It moves on falling upon the leaves of an ageing tree
And it smiles as its never looked greener
It petters down through those leaves
Upon a body upraised heavenwards
It seeps thru my body my pain my sweat my longing wait
All my emotions quenched in the purity of the moment
And the raindrop smiles a know it all smile

I dont know why but I just felt like writing a poem today after ages. Probably the first time I have penned down a verse after 7th or 8th standard but as I started the whole thing just flowed probabaly the only way to go.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Men are from Mars, Women from anywere else

Picture this scenario a guy is sitting around with his friends in a canteen when a girl comes up to him and asks him if he could speak to him for a moment in private. The guy has no problems in doing as asked, his only regret being that the remnants of the recently ordered coke and sandwich will no longer be around when he gets back most probably devoured by his buddy 'fatso'. Anyways when they finally manage to find a place of seclusion the girl whips out a flower from somewhere and tells him how much she likes him and then staring indefinitely at the floor (this is the moment when the guy is supposed to do an encore of the girl's performance as I discovered wiser by experience). Even though this scene might have been played out in this guy's nightmares he somehow lives on the hope that such things only happen to really really evil guys (read Saddam Hussein) and at this moment he wishes he was anywhere else. Even in this moment he allows himself a smile and reminds himself to ease down his charms when interacting with the ladies. Even though this girl is a great person and he has been best friends with her she is more like in the 'Betty' mode while he seeks a 'Veronica' (yeah guys are hypocrites 'Veronica' for girlfriend and 'Betty' for wife is the general motto). Now pushed into a corner the guy struggles with a sudden loss of words in his dictionary fumbling around for words coming up with a lame 'I don't think you and I are gonna work out but you are a great person and I am sure you are gonna find someone better than a hobo like me. Come lemme treat you to a Pepsi'. End of conversation.
Now cut to another scene where a guy nervously shifts around in his seat while waiting for this girl who is late as always. When she finally shows up and they are done with the pleasantries the guy begins to tell her how he feels that there has always been something special between them and how much he loves her. He then her right in the eye and asks her if she feels the same way about him too. now this scene has played out in her mind too many times the only difference being that she has all the answers ready. She begins by telling him that this comes as a big shock to her and how happy she feels that someone feels this way about her. But (pretty good indicator the dice is not gonna roll ur way) she already feels the same way for someone else. She tells him she has always thought of him as a friend and hopes they can stay friends forever.
The whole point of presenting those two hypothetical (not entirely I draw from my own and my acquaintance's experiences :) )situations is just presenting the 2 different ways guys and girls react to two similar situations. While guys are more direct girls like to beat about the bush often coming up with the 'Hope we stay friends' bit which I find really weird. Now that's the hardest thing to expect from a guy who has just been spurred in love. I will leave it up to all of you to draw more conclusions all I can say that 'Men are from Mars, Women are from anywhere but Mars'.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

KP the new Pom hope

Every sport has been fueled by a classic rivalry. 2 teams who revel in the very enormity of the moment when they love to step up their game and would rather die than lose to their sworn rival. These rivalries also provide for some very entertaining viewing for the sport lovers and lets the media have a field day in building up the hype before such classic confrontations. Every game has such a rivalry be it Man U vs Arsenal/Man City in soccer, Sampras vs Agassi or McEnroe vs Connors, New zealand vs Australia in rugby, Red Sox vs Yankees in baseball, India vs Pakistan or England vs Australia (as the English media would love the world to believe) in cricket. It takes a lot out of the players to play in pressure cooker like atmosphere like encounters and only the best step up in such situation to stand out at the men amongst the boys. This years Ashes has been getting some good pre launch hype thanks to some consistent and gritty performances by the English team over the past two years under an aggressive and very un-english brand of captaincy of Michael Vaughan. While the Aussie team has remained the same over the past half a decade (they will actually be fielding an unchanged bowling attack from the 97 Ashes series) the Poms have had 3 players who have been under the media scanner. Tall and gangly Harmison is supposed to have that extra pace and extra bounce to make the Aussie hopping around on the English soil, big laddie Freddie is supposed to fill in the all rounders shoes while doing the bulk of bowling while doubling up as an explosive lower order bat and last but not the least KP is expected to deliver the goods in the one day format with his ballistic approach to batting with talk of him getting an Ashes callup getting stronger by the day. Now KP or Kevin Pietrson is the latest import for the Poms squad which is always bristling with players from all around the world case in point being Vikram Solanki, Min Patel, Kabir Ali etc. He switched over from South Africa pissed off by the selection policies over there deciding he wanted to play for the English team colors. Ironically his second series he was playing against his country of birth. He received widespread admonishment and lack o support from the crowd in South Africa but he came out the series with flying colors ending up as the man of the series all along being booed by a partisan crowd. He has proven himself to be a big match player and the bigger the occasion the greater he has shown his ability to propel himself for it. He had no bigger occasion than when he was playing the Aussies (still smarting from a thrashing by a lowly Bangladesh sorry cudnt resist from putting that in) firmly in control of a match by first scoring 250 odd and then having the Poms tottering at 6/160. It was then that he decided to step up a gear and blast the Aussie bowlers into oblivion with an unbeleivable and morale shattering display of batsmanship. He currently sports a 'statistically unbelievable' and 'r u kidding me' avg of 160 in one dayers. He has shown himself as a big match player and whether he shall step up to one of the truly greats of the cricketing world shall only be determined in time but if his innings was any indication the Aussies are in for a hard time in this English summer. Btw check out Paul Colingwood's catch from the same match (pretty good I admit but hardly to be billed as the Catch of the Century).

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A nice guy to know

Today I bade goodbye to one of my really close friends over the past 2 years at Penn State. He went off on an internship and I guess he shall not be returning for the next 2 months. I did not realize it an that instant but if I land up a job in these coming months I might not be meeting him for quite a while. So let this post be an ode to him. I came to know him through another friend of mine initially during my 1st semester at Penn State when he was weighed down by a few more pounds and liked to introduce himself as Saurabh Bhatnagar. Over the last 2 years he has cut down on those pounds but he has been ironically been 'Golu' all along. Now this person is the eternal Mr. Nice Guy and I am pretty sure all those who know him will vouch for it. He hasnt learnt to say 'no' to all ppl around him (like me) a fact epitomised by last night when inspite of the fact that he hadnt started packing for his trip and he was tired by his 11 hour workday he still showed up to join us for a movie. He has a great sense of humor and he keeps soaking all jokes thrown at him be it abt his being 'golu', the gifts rolling in by a dozen to him from the 'friend' in India, him gifting his Dad chocolates on his bday just coz he wanted to eat some, his fat bones etc by coming up with the final say on things with a great punchline. We've had some gr88 times and shared some common interests like our love for the SPURS (mebbe not). Best of luck for ur internship man and hope we meet again sometime soon (God plzzz dont listen to me, all those were just incessant ramblings of a guy swayed by emotion plzzz get me a job and get me away from State College).

P.S. I hate to say it but I had predicted the beginning of the end in my last post and the wheels have started to come off the Aussie bandwagon already as they were beaten convincingly by Bangladesh.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

'Life is not about how many breaths you take, its about how many moments you live that take your breath away.' from Hitch

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The beginning of the end

Hurray millions of cricket fans around the world and billions from India are celebrating Australia's back to back losses against a rejuvenated England squad followed by another morale shattering loss to a not so great Somerset county side in today's game. While most experts would be quick to dismiss these as off days for the lean mean Aussie machine and not read too much into it, I think it is an indicator of what we can expect from the coming Ashes series. The Aussies have been a dominant force in the game of cricket be it the test arena or the one dayers for a long time now. I think they had started working on the Test cricket asect as far back as 1995 when they had a sole aim of being the first team to beat the West Indies in a test series since late 1970's finally fulfilling their dream in a home series chalking up a 3-2 victory. After their world cup loss at the hands of a relative newcomer like Sri lanka I think they did take take a long hard look at the shorter version of the game too. I think they were stung by the loss and knowing the Aussie spirit took it as a personal affront. I think they have been striving to improve in all possible department s of the game since then constantly chalking out new strategies injecting new blood in the team at the cost of experienced campaigners like Mark Taylor, mark Waugh, Steve Waugh, Michael Bevan, Darenn Lehmann, Michael Slater, Andrew Bichel etc who can make it to any other international squad any day. Their team has been very competitive with players like Macgill, Brett Lee, Symonds fighting for a place in the Test squad while Langer in spite of all his attacking instincts just cant seems to make a dent in the one day squad.
I can go on with this eulogical quip on the Aussies but I thought they actually reached a level where they started to get too good for the game. They began to make most cricketing contests boring and one sided. Therefore though i admire the Aussies for the way they play the game I have been praying for someone to rival and question their dominance. And seeing the England team over the past 2 years I believe they might just have the goods to do just that. I think the Aussies have had a wonderful run but as they say 'All good things must come to an End' so hopefully the end of the Ashes will signal the beginning of the end just as the Aussies had put and end to the Windies dominance of the sport and sending them into a loooong downward spiral.
For all those who might be interested in catching highlights of the 20-20 match b/w Aussies and England I have a lil surprise courtesy Sky Sports. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


As I lay awake at 3 in the night (an early night's sleep somehow not figuring in my plans lately) my attention was drawn to the usual bullshit lately adulterated by by some stinkier cow dung and pig poop on the Ipsu_grads group. Apparently someone sent in a forward abt some mountaineering group crapping on some mountain. I personally have never been a big fan of fwds, they are probably the worse by-product of the web leave alone viruses and spam, but I guess they are in mass circulation amongst programming geeks who have nothing better to do at times sitting in front of their computer all day. Anyways coming back to the topic I haven't read the forwarded article (and probably never will) but it gave an open opportunity for another attention attention starved ass**** to get famous like that previous A.G. (most ppl at PSU will follow who I am talking abt, having expressed a desire to kick that guy in his nu*s given an opportunity). Nyways this guy initialed R.D. who likes to call himself R for some dreary reason in the world seized upon this fwd and tried to make a name for himself by attacking the person who sent in that fwd saying that such fwd's should be discouraged. From whatever I have been able to follow he seems like a very attention depraved guy with ample time and a very 2 b sorry professor as his adviser. It would have been good enough to just ignore this guy and this would have probably would have laid low his intentions of gaining instant celebrityhood at PSU. But no some guy actually mailed in saying that Mr.R.D. nobody gives a F*** as to what he thought which was weird considering what he had written in his mail. By sending in another mail to that effect you are proving yourself to be equally publicity hungry and proving that u have moved to an extent that you deem it proper to write in a mail back to the group saying whatever wasting more of people's time who are already frustrated seeing this ongoing debate. In other words u really DO NOT 'dont give a F***'. When i checked last the war of words was still going on with some stupid dumbass newcomer joining in the thing preaching some ethics for such a grp..........weirdos all of them. People refrain from sending in more mails in response to that R.D. guy plzz. Wud rather read ur comments on this issue on my blog as comments.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Human Mind

Have you ever wondered what a queer thing the human mind is? I have often felt that it is one of the most fascinating and less understood marvels of the human body. I find it weird how small instances in our daily life trigger off a chain of flashbacks in our mind. Isn't it weird the number of times how when in the middle of something you feel that you have been there done it sometime in the past with that faint feeling of deja vu. Don't you find it weird it when your mind churns up some weird dream that stars ppl from your distant past for no rhyme or reason. Isnt it odd that the mind can concoct up images of you in your greatest glory sitting in Bill Gates chair, going on a date with J.Lo or lifting the Cricket world cup when you cant recall the first few big achievements of your life be it the time you took your first step or the first time ur spoke a non garbled distinct discern able word. I just find the whole concept too much to take in, a tad too overwhelming. Probably I shall write in more sometime in the fututre when i can grasp in a bit more of this without getting overawed by this whole concept.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Hazaron Khwashein Aisi

I recently had the good fortune of catching 2 very well made and thought provoking movies from the Bollywood. The first one titled 'Black Friday' took a behind the scenes look behind the Bombay (sorry have never quite like the sound of Mumbai) bomb blasts. The movie was made in a very objective and unbiased fashion exploring the underlying causes and main protagonists behind the blasts. It did not shirk away from taking any names be it of either politicians whose selfish and ulterior motives lead to the blasts in eventuality or of the members of the hardcore underworld who promoted and funded such a ghastly crime against India. Unfortunately this movie is yet to see the light of the day in India which is very unfortunate coz the whole underlying point of the movie was that you can’t blame the Hindus for the demolition of the Babri Masjid or by blame the Muslim fundamentalists for the bomb blasts. All it depicts is that both were crimes perpetrated by a select group of individuals with private agendas.
The other movie called 'Hazaron Khwahisein Aisi' took a look at India in the 1970's and the angst amongst the youth at the state of affairs in the country at that time. It depicts the dreams and aspirations of 3 very different individuals and how life teaches them many harsh lessons along the way while testing them as individuals and whether their so called morals and ideals stand those tests of time. The movie gave me an inside look at an India that was hitherto unknown to me. It showed me the turbulent times when students believed that it was up to them to change the face of India the way it was be it via means of a violent upheaval that resulted in a nationwide Naxalite movement. It showed how political power was misutilized by a group of individuals and how India as a democracy came down to its knees in the face an impending nationwide emergency. I thus considered myself fortunate to be born during a very progressive phase for India. I say that because even though I was born in 1980 my memories of India are limited to only visual impressions of my home till about 1985 and some audio visual impressions of my surroundings till early 1990's. I only began to understand the real goings on of India when I started following current affairs and expanding my vision of reading the newspaper from beyond the cartoon strips and sports page which should have been somewhere around 1992-1993. I think this was a time when India truly had started progressing in the true sense of the world in a direction that will lead us to be a true economic and global superpower. And coming back to the movies in spite of this truly great effort by these 2 directors the movies hardly got heard about in India as confirmed by both my Mom and Dad when I spoke to them last which is indeed a pity for Indian audiences coz these movies were made by Indian film makers with Indian themes keeping in mind an Indian audience. Also it will be gr88 loss for these directors coz two brilliant bodies of work will go down unrecognized in the annals of Indian cinema.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

See u can survive w/o Starbucks Posted by Hello

Nother good one Posted by Hello

One with nature Posted by Hello

A personal fav - A la DCH Posted by Hello

The crew and cast of the camping trip Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Guess who's bac

I have been busy lately with a recent camping trip and a few other things until today till i found the allure of the blogging world too tempting to resist. Over the weekend I along with Golu, Chilly and Sri visited 2 PA state parks including an overnight camping sojourn. Now for people unfamiliar with the whole notion of camping its essentially an exercise in nothingness in which u setup a canopy in the middle of 'Caution: Hunting area' and 'Be kind and respectful to visiting bears' (or something to that effect), try and get a campfire going somehow and grill some chicken to wash down with some beer (or at least try to). All in all its great fun. There was plenty of rain over the weekend too and it helped making the surroundings and tad more green and the whole parks as we hiked around them looked rivetingly beautiful. If the pics turn out to be even half as beautiful as the place looked in real life mebbe I'll put some up on this blog too.
Also I absolutely have to report abt yday's play at PCG. Although we had a good day on field with really competitive games there was an unusually large amount of distractions and nuisance created by the cars driving around. Usually we r kinda ok with them around but yday's drivers were being unusually rude (still cant believe i didnt give that lady a piece of my mind) and a tad too impatient while driving (of course it didnt help when Totti tried to reduce the throbbing pain in his right leg due to an earlier sustained injury by trying to knock himself unconscious by jumping in front of a speeding car). Had a good game personally too but i gotta get outta this habit of getting out to rank bad balls :)