Tuesday, November 27, 2012

And then there were tears!

I wrote this a few months back- right after the Wimbledon final, but never really got a chance to upload it here. I've talked about my absence from the blog world ad nauseum, so I'll fleetingly mention the reason for my sudden appearance- it just so happens that I think it will be real bad luck to go an entire year without a post, don't you? So, here goes nothing!

This year's gentlemen's singles Wimbledon final witnessed not just a gritty clash of nerves, sinew and blood but an avalanche of salty water too. You'd assume it to be sweat, given that the tennis match lasted more than 5 hours, but surprise surprise- crying in an arena has become fashionably sporty!

Andy Murray started off on a promising note and initially looked all poised to pocket his first Grand Slam, but then if Federer has decided not to lose- he won't. With all the pressure the British was under while playing on his home ground, it isn't surprising that his runner’s up acceptance speech was marked by a dazzling display of water-works. He wept and narrated his sob story and we cheered.

Roger Federer himself, is no stranger to crying on the court and on numerous occasions his misty dewy eyes have quadrupled his following. The Swiss maintains that this public display of emotion helps him establish connect with his fans and highlights his passion towards the game. With now 17 titles under his belt, who are we to doubt his tearful advises?

Moral of the match? Tears, widely regarded as weapons of the fairer sex, are being utilized in an equally deadly fashion by the male species in the current age. Was Pablo Neruda specifically questioning his counterparts when he asked "Do tears not yet spilled wait in small lakes?"

The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep. ~ Henry Maudsley

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

IndiYeaaa! IndiYeaaa!

Ok, so India won the world cup- that’s old news. But why is it still important? Well, if you are an Indian, it is the most significant thingy, because 1st of all- it is cricket, 2nd of all- everything is about winning and final of all- it is the most prestigious international event, hence naturally ecstasy runneth over!

Even if you are disinterested in cricket, the way I am, you simply can’t escape the euphoria and the madness. Cricket binds us, heals us, soothes us and ultimately makes us crazy. And since I couldn’t escape the insanity, I decide to join in- I saw the India-Sri Lanka final at the ebay office, where the management had organized a special screening for Indian employees.

For someone who hasn’t seen a cricket match in quite a while, let alone ever in a stadium or even on the small screen lately, the event turned out to be thrilling, hilarious, confusing, all at once.

The following for me were the highlights of the match:

The feeling of singing the National Anthem was absolutely exhilarating. It sent shivers, at the speed of a 6, down my spine and goose bumps, the size of a cricket ball, across my arms. 

It’s kind of sleepy to watch a match at 2 in the morning. I ended up catching not-too-peaceful 40 winks at an interval of 10 winks apiece.

An intimidating-looking Sri Lankan couple came on screen and the guy sitting behind me promptly informed us all that we are lucky to witness the modern day incarnation of Ravana & Mandadori!

There were quite a few members in the audience who wore blue lights on their bodies. Kinky, you’d say- it was- weird type of anklets, bracelets & necklaces that dazzled as these Men In Blue ran hither and thither every time anything remotely significant took place.

Every time Lord Rajnikanth came onto the screen, a particular southern section of the audience started clapping, shouting, hooting, and applauding, not necessarily in the same order. These expressions of admiration were way higher in decibels than the kind of clap, shout, hoot and applaud reserved for a successful Lankan wicket or a smashing India run. Just imagine, what if Lord Rajnikanth decides to join the Indian cricket team one day? He can, any day, u know- he invented the game after all.

Sachin Bhagwan G’s presence on screen was met with nothing but wonder and awe. Even if he misbatted, misballed or misfielded, he was cheered on and on and on and on. Lords, be it Sachin or Rajni G, just can never be wrong. But to say the least, Sachin does deserve to be applauded for everything that he does or doesn’t do on the cricket field. Is there a higher embodiment of craftsmanship, honesty, perseverance and humility anywhere?

All those players fielding their hearts out like Yuvraaj, Raina, Kohli et al, were given not just a round of applause but several of them and in most cases loud enough to stop a heart!

Ranbir came on the screen and waved to me! How very sweet! He was looking wonderful as usual. Saif was looking good too and surprisingly with a beard!  Moustaches too made an appearance and came in all shapes- Shahid carried it off brilliantly but Mr. Aamir, facial hair just isn’t your cup of tea.

Whatever funny little doubts I had about India winning the final were totally dispelled once I saw this:

All in all, I am quite glad I did not miss out on the opportunity of watching the final, and am real glad India won. It doesn’t matter all that much today, but that wonderful, glorious day, it truly did.

A highly recommended and fantastic article about cricket and Sachin-

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Gastronomical Equation

Ever since I have had to cook food independently and that too on a regular basis, my scientific faculties have sharpened. It’s really got nothing to do with the nutritious value of the stuff I’m churning, and is even more far away from the quality and flavor of the victuals.

What it is nearer to, is towards the deduction of the derivative of hours spent in burning calories in front of the burner over the relative unimportance of the calories ingested.

Put simply, given a bunch of veggies and adequate masale on any given day, KC’s gastronomical equation looks like as follows:

         A                        B                    C                    D                    E
      +     +     +     =   
A = 20 minutes of slicing & dicing
B = 40 minutes of brewing, boiling, flavoring & seasoning
C = 5 minutes of chewing & digesting
D = 15 minutes of washing & drying
E = Almost dead, wondering wasn’t I better off without food; no wonder they refer to the stomach as paapi!

Whoever knew the process of cooking could result in immediate expenditure of just-consumed calories and enhanced brain metabolism hence activity leading to derivation of ridiculous equations!

Friday, February 25, 2011

The khet of the Rani!!!

Ranikhet is a quaint, picturesque hill station, a mere 60 kms from the more popular, overtly crowded Nainital. An area maintained exclusively by the Indian Army, the location serves as a perfect escape from a bustling city life and offers the tourist a quiet, serene and virtually isolated holiday.
The excursion turned out to be absolutely rejuvenating; perfect to recharge life's batteries- dulled by the ennui of everyday life, sharpen the consciousness- muffled by the pollution of senses, and revitalize the imagination- subdued by the humdrum of employment.
The trip made me realize that I am not all that bad at photography- if I actually talk less and click more. But on sensible second thoughts, it really is not me; it's a good ol' camera and mother nature showering her benign blessings. Nature is far too smart to allow us mortals to mess her up. Kahlil Gibran said "Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair." And I allowed nature to feel my bare feet and dry hair, but in return I shot and captured her varied moods.

 Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen
 A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
and closed them beneath the kisses of night.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
 'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,
And robes the mountain in its azure hue.
Thomas Campbell
 Earth laughs in flowers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
 I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs.
John Keats
 The sky broke like an egg into full sunset and the water caught fire.
Pamela Hansford Johnson
 For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It's always our self we find in the sea.
e.e. cummings
 Into my heart's night,
Along a narrow way.
I groped; and lo! the light,
An infinite land of day.
To the next beautiful vacation and renewed camera batteries! Amen!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

With you! For you! Always!

That's what Delhi Traffic Police would like us to believe. And I, for one, want to believe.

I called up the DTP helpline and had an interesting conversation- well, remarkable enough to be blogged about.

KC: I am calling from Vasant Kunj. This is to inform you that a traffic signal situated at the T-point of Sector D1 is not working. It starts working at 8:05 in the morning but before that, it does not and this leads to major traffic jams in the area.
DTP Official: What is the red light number?
KC: I do not know.
DTPO: What is the red light name?
KC: I do not know. (Inner mulling- do red lights have names? Like Ram, Shayam, Tom?)
DTPO: How can I help then Madam? I need to know where exactly the red light is…
KC: It is at the turn for Sector D1.
DTPO: (Very patiently) That does not help me Madam. I don't know where Sector D1 is, I haven't been there. I need a prominent landmark.
KC: Well, there is an Aggarwal Sweets nearby.
DTPO: (Absolutely patronizingly) Well, there is an Aggarwal Sweets around every corner. How does that help me?
KC: (Inventing wildly & a tad forcefully) It is known as the Sector D1 red light. That's the landmark.
DTPO: Fine. Ok. We'll see what can be done.
KC: Thank you. How will I follow-up on this complaint? As in how can I track the status?
DTPO: Follow? Track? (Long breath and in a tone taken to talk to a 5 year old) You will know when the red light starts working, won't you?
KC: (Hangs head in shame) Yes, of course. Thank you.

At the end of this chit-chat I realized that I am no where close to being teez than a panchvi pass. As rightly pointed out, I should have had my facts ready. And what do I need to track anyway- the number of jalebis the DTPO will have at Aggarwal Sweets?

Blatantly ignoring my logical incompetency here, let's focus on the outcome of this particular call. I logged a complaint last Thursday. This Monday the stop light was working. That is the kind of power the police is dispensing to the local populace these days. In fact, it is quite possible that the traffic sign was rectified over the weekend and was fully operational by Sat or Sun but then I did not take the trouble to ascertain that, did I?

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the DTPO and I think it's amazingly awesome that suddenly we have such a proactive traffic police force- a body that is both smart and savvy. For someone who stays miles away from social networking sites, I find it amusing that even I am aware that Delhi Traffic Police is now on Facebook. When responsible citizens bring to light gross traffic violations for the convenience of the police, the DTP's page status goes: "Relax and chill people. We are looking into all complaints and grievances!" How kewl!

Please do visit the DTP web site. It has fun poetry like:
Accident brings tear, safety brings cheer.
Don't be a hell mate, wear helmet.
Don't be rash, let's you crash.
Caution and care make crashes rare.

And then on a serious note, it's commendable that there is a growing sense of accountability and responsibility all around. Cheers to a brighter, safer and hassle-free future of traffic in Delhi!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Harry Potter and Maut Ke Tohfe!

Did Warner Bros. one fine day in their wrong mind, read my blog? Really? Well, let's not ask the wrong question and instead celebrate the cinematic progress of the Harry Potter franchise. Almost 70% of the cast came of age during the filming of the series, but apparently so did the technique and method of shoot.

The amazing thing about the 7th HP book was that it was extremely fast-paced and full of adrenalin that made it immensely enjoyable and succeeded in firing the imagination of its readers, without the bang and boom of audio-visual aids. To match that level of intensity in the movie would always be a challenging task.

Part 1 of the 7th HP movie tries it's best to remain loyal to the book and it does manage it admirably. It succeeds at various levels from establishing the characters and their various actions to explaining the tale and its numerous twists. This is a huge leap from the disastrous showcase of the 6th movie where the meat of the 6th book was simply glossed over.

It always is difficult to convert books into movies. A lot is lost, just like in translation. The intent with which a book is written is different from the intent with which it's captured on screen. No wonder the director's vision is different from the writer's idea. But, the underlying fact remains that they both are telling the same story and "nothing is more telling than a story".

A lot of times while reading books, I tend to imagine and visualize them in their onscreen avatar. Some stories are in essence so powerful that their progression to the big screen is indeed the next logical step in the process of evolution. And therein is where lies, the curse and boon of a good story- it just might in the process of this conversion lose its soul.

The pen has always been mightier than the sword, but when did it become swankier than the camera?

men to the last movie that will end an era!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oh, Sinnerman, where you gonna run to!

The following video depicts a step by step manual that teaches how to return a stolen painting and steal another one and go through all this trouble just for the fun of it. I know it's kinda old but quite a lot of fun and still all golden. Hope it proves to be educational!

From the movie- The Thomas Crown Affair
Clipped from- You Tube