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Saturday, July 08, 2006

It’s cricket...

Its arguing with Saad over who’s better,
Sachin or Lara

It’s drinking tea with Ehtesham
As over the radio you hear
Zaheer bowl Steve Waugh

It’s discussing Sachin’s batting
With Kabir, India vs England, 3rd Test,

It’s calling up Nikhil at 3 am
To tell him Saurav won the toss

It’s waking up to check the score,
And then wishing you’d never gotten
Out of bed

It’s hearing Chattha talk about
The time he bumped into Shoaib

It’s Imran telling you he stood
Up in the stands at Gaddafi
To clap for Sachin

It’s finding out that you
Were once at the same
Match in Bombay as
Karan and Nilesh

It’s telling Cato that India
Will beat Zimbabwe on
February 19, 2003

It’s Cato telling you that they can’t

It’s Jamal swearing by
Wasim Akram as the
Greatest fast bowler

It’s sitting with Deval
And Avais as India
Struggle against Holland

It’s getting an extension wire
Down to the basement of

It’s walking to Lowry
At a quarter to seven in
The morning to get coffee
After Sehwag has blazed his
Way to a century against England

It’s talking with Tim
The cable guy about
India’s chances at the
World Cup

It’s telling Mrinal to
Bet on Symonds not scoring
And then watching him
Hit an unbeaten 143

It’s Mrinal cursing you
On the phone after he
Has lost twenty-five dollars

It’s running to Andrews in
The middle of the night when
Varun tells you that India
Is batting

It’s remembering with Zoheb about
The time when Akram
Squared up Russel Arnold and then
Clapped for him

It’s square driving in your
Room in the middle of the
Night as Yuvraj drives McGrath to
The fence

It’s Ankit telling you to
Keep it down since he’s got an
Exam in the morning

It’s Ankit dancing three hours later
When he hears India won

It’s analyzing the toss
With Imran and hearing
Chattha give his own opinion

It’s talking about Kwazulu-Natal
and the Nicky Oppenheimer XI
with Mustafa

It’s giving Zareef a hard time
After Canada upset the

It’s figuring out at 4 am on
A hot night in July that
The guy who’s name you and Saad
Were trying to remember two hours ago
Was Atul Wassan

It’s Shikhir telling you about
A South African batsman
Called Callaghan or Collins who couldn’t face
Shane Warne

It’s telling him that he means
To say Daryll Cullinan

It’s Jamal telling Mustafa
And you that Steve Waugh
Is a fighter

It’s planning the whole World Cup
Set up with Varun and
Then breathing a sigh of relief
When its done

It’s sixteen guys packed into
A dark room in Babcock, regardless
Of race and religion, cheering
India on to a famous series
Victory against Australia

It’s Sajal emailing you an
Article highlighting Nepal’s
Win in the ICC Championship

It’s Saad Dada asking you
What time the match begins

It’s explaining to two football jocks
That those things in the middle
Are called wickets

It’s discussing Wooster’s chances
Against Haverford with the president
Of the College

It’s watching the connection
Come and go over the internet
As the West Indies steamroll

It’s driving back to Wooster and
Laughing and listening to Springsteen
After a loss to Wittenberg

It’s Kirtiman telling you
That South Africa will beat
The West Indies

It’s waking up at dawn and
Putting out the mat with
Sajal and Banduki

It’s watching the rain play

It's talking to the dish and pleading
It to work so that you can watch
The remainder of the match

It's Antoney fixing the connection
In a sudden burst of intellectual

It’s Deval asking you
If he can ‘keep in the practice

It’s watching Zoheb and
Mustafa put on a hundred and
Sixty runs together

Its taking two slip
Catches in the same match

It’s collecting money from
Everyone for the World Cup

It’s rooting for Steve Tikolo
Even as Kenya are dismissed for
Less than two hundred

It’s telling Kathy that you
Can’t come into work because
India is playing

It’s getting coffee with Avais
At an ungodly hour of the
Night, only to return and
Find out that two more wickets
Have fallen

It’s the feeling that your team
Has won

It’s winning a match and then
Picking up the kit

It’s sitting with friends and
Reliving every minute of
The match

It’s cricket

It’s just cricket

Tapori ki shaadi

[Matrimonial advert by a Mumbai tapori for a suitable girl]

Apun Pakia!!!

Umar 30 saal, wajan 80 killo aur 6 phoot height kya!
Abhi who bole to kaya hai na apun ko bhi life me settle hone ka
Maangta , isi liye yeah advertisement apun paper me chaap re la hai...

Maanta hai apun Tapori hai bahut log ka pungi bajayela hai magar
Kya hai naa apun ka bhi izzat hai baap markit me!!! apun ko bhi
Public shaadi bia me bolati hai who bhi izzat se!

Saaal ka 5/6 peti to apun aaram se kama leta hai...

Buri aadat bole to daaru aur bidi, ab who kon nahi pita yaar akkha
Bada bada log apun log se jaasti chada leta hai...

Ab chokiri apun ko aisi chahiye ke saath me nikele to public ki
Jalke Raakh hojawe! bole to aik dam jhakas maal, patakha aik dam
Patakha... thoda padi likhi hogi to chale ga kion ke saala yeah kabhi
Kabhi form bharne ke liye apun ko 25 log ka haat pair jodna padta

Apun jo hai na shaadi ki baad aik dam sudhar jaayinga, iman se...
Apun ka baccha log ko pada likah tapori banayinga... bole to
Tapori Doctor, Tapori computer waala aur bohat kuch...
Maa kasam shadi ke baad apun aik bhi chikni ko line nahi dega...

Dekho baap apun shadi ke baad me koi chokri ki phamily ka lafda
Nahi chahiye han bole to kabab me haddi nahi baane ka kya!

Abhi yeah sub accha lage to apun ko contact karne ka, kya!

Munna Mobile
Pappu Pager Ka Right Hand
ShanPati Nagar, Hairan Gali No. 420
Pareshan Raod, Bhai Ka Area

Much more than jazz by the bay...

Enjoyed a good evening of classic rock yesterday. My friend Anil and I headed down to Not Just Jazz By The Bay to check out this cover band 'One Night Stand', who are all old MTV buddies of Anil's. They rocked. It was a dry day - another stupid reason or something from the Maharashtra govt - but we were hooked up with rum n cokes now and then thanks to the band. We didnt really need the drinks, because these guys were awesome. They belted out classic rock numbers from Cream, Deep Purple, The Who, Van Halen, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Guns n Roses, and more.

As Nina Manuel and her After Hours entourage prowled the backstands and a quite 'happy' Cyrus Broacha made a vocal guest appearance to cheer his rock buddies on, the band kept all of us jamming with classic song after song.

Just before the close, Sarosh, the lead guitarist, played the sweetest version of 'Where the Streets Have No Name' that I've heard since U2 live at the Boston Garden. It was intense. The band's encore number was an 'Sweet Child of Mine' and it capped a great evening.

There is hope for good classic rock in Bombay.

That said, it was the band's last gig, as the drummer, Rahul, heads to Singapore.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

City rain, city streets

The monsoon season has begun in Bombay. It has been seven summers since I last experienced it, and I don't know if I really missed it at all. While it's refreshing to have a shower take the humidity away, the tension of wading through the muck and travelling on the local train in a downpour is far from comforting. It's not all Monsoon Wedding, as Mira Nair would have you believe.

The monsoon hits Bombay in the month of June; tumultuous showers, sporadic though they may be,last till the end of August and make the climate pleasantly bearable. Last summer, on July 26, the city witnessed the worst case of rain and floods. Floodwaters poured into houses in Bombay’s northern suburbs, streets and houses were wrecked, buildings collapsed, and doubledecker buses were submerged. Tens of thousands of people were stranded for hours on roads in Bombay, and its airport, one of the busiest in the country, was shut on Terrible Tuesday. After six days or monsoon carnage the death total hit 1,000 and Bombay was paralyzed.

While we can only pray that the city is not ravaged in the same manner this season, for now it is best to take it all in and make sure to have an umbrella at all times.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The case of Laxman

Take that 281 at Eden Gardens and lock it up. Wrap it preciously in satin, place it securely in a treasure chest, and don’t look back at it. At least not until the end of VVS Laxman’s international career.

Laxman, the man, the cricketer, the victimised, needs to be freed from the expectations that succeed that breathtaking innings. An innings that made us proud to be Indians, for India brought Australia to their knees in stunning fashion. This was the Australia of 16 successive victories humbled by the most gentle craftsmen, soft of hand but brutal in mastery.

After Laxman's golden run against Australia, Steve Waugh said: “If you get [Rahul] Dravid, great. If you get Sachin [Tendulkar], brilliant. If you get [VVS] Laxman, it's a miracle.” No miracle this, for Laxman now finds himself caught between the past and the future. Adam Gilchrist wondered aloud: "Everytime he plays against us he comes up with something special and the next thing we read after the series is he is dropped! It leaves me completely bewildered."

Forget the irony and brush aside the weighty expectations of a domestic giant -Laxman’s career has been a predicament. His early years in international cricket were riddled with an urge to bat at one-drop met with a job he didn’t want – the opener’s. He didn’t plead any different, but he shuffled and twitched – “I always had the feeling that I was trying to do something which I'm not really made for” - each time he was thrust in that spot. There was one whirlwind act of defiance, though, which compounded the public’s confusion over this man called Laxman. Few can claim to have flayed Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Shane Warne to all corners of the Sydney Cricket Ground for a 198-ball 167.

Scratchy displays against South Africa and Zimbabwe at home came in between a fantastic domestic season. In 2000-01, Laxman was the king of the Indian domestic circuit. Nine hundreds in nine games – a run that saw him become the first to score two triple hundreds in Ranji cricket – earned him a spot against the touring Australians in 2001. Again, he said that he wanted to be in the middle order, or at No.3. His wish was granted, and a tour de force was unleashed. No side following on as far behind as 274 runs had ever come back to win a Test match, but Laxman changed all that.

“This is only the beginning,” he said after that Kolkata epic. "This success of mine is only a base on which I have to build my career". Laxman promised to be one to score runs involuntarily, on any track, against all opposition. What happened to that punitive blade there after remains a head-scrather, in many ways.

And today, in 2006, the predicament continues. When India have opted for an extra bowler, Laxman’s head has been first on the block. But with his a hundred and a fifty in the recent St Lucia Test against West Indies, he has done much to resurrect his image. These were two supreme knocks; in his hundred, there was a conscious effort to play straight and with bat and pad together. He read the pitch perfectly, waited for the ball to come onto him, and drove with aplomb.

Is there life after Sydney and Adelaide? What does one make of stonewall efforts at Bulawayo, Kolkata and Chandigarh? His hundred at St Kitts was an effort dripping in perseverance, but there still remains that lingering doubt: will it be enough for Laxman? Can he ride on that performance and stay in the groove?

Not even Laxman would know, it seems.