I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A contest... at last

One of the best lines I have read about ICC, cricket, meaningless tournaments and politics, from Cricinfo, "Just when we feared that the closest we were going to get to an entertaining contest was the public hand-bagging between Malcolm Speed and Lalit Modi..."

Well said. Tomorrow, I make a brief appearance for a worthy cause. Then, back into hiding.

Give me two more weeks. Please.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sitar vs. Trumpet

Last month, a trumpeteer was stopped from entering an Air India flight in Paris with his instrument. He protested and the police broke his arm. Yes, exactly like that. I am happy that I didn't protest about the Bowmore at Hong Kong.

IHT reports that a sitar was seen entering the plane just before this incident, which has raised concerns about racial profiling of instruments in aircrafts.
Ponomarev protested vigorously, he said, because he had carried the instrument onto an earlier connecting flight and also had noticed that another passenger was carrying aboard a sitar. His angry complaints attracted the notice of an Air India supervisor, who summoned the police.
Four officers came running to take his trumpet case, but Ponomarev refused to give it to them, prompting one of them to subdue him by wrenching his arm behind his back, breaking it.
The Air India manager threw a rulebook at queries like any good Indian citizen, "Air India required the check-in of large instruments, although it would permit smaller ones."

The only question I have is what was Valery Ponomarev thinking. Does he not read 22nd floor?

Bad Joke

My blog has been taking a vacation lately, while I have been working. Some recent mails did wake me up a little bit.

Day before yesterday, candlelight wrote to me a mail with the subject, "coral acrimony"
Then, yesterday morning, advocate wrote to me, "calla backbone"
Then, bufflehead wrote to me, "bestirring curium"

Lastly, diagnose wrote to me saying "bad jokes"
All this is completely pointless and meaningless (my DU friends used to call it post-modern). A really bad joke, just as this new judgment.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My own little Ravan

I remember using a badminton shuttle can in class 6 to make a Ravan. It bombed. Okay, sorry for the pun, but the anticipated fireworks just didn't take off. But we did have a blast. Okay sorry again.

Anyway, we did discover that cardboard shuttlecock cans are better Ravan material than tin cans. We also learnt that whatever the result, the joy is in making the effigy. Plus, ultimately, we disassembled the tin Ravan and lit the explosive powder. It fizzed and crackled and blew silver smoke into the sky.

These days however, the joy of painting Ravan's heads on to chart paper and then sticking it on to a shuttlecock can is being replaced by personalised Ravans. For some people, at least.
In case you want a look at Ram Leela instead, Akshay has a photospread here.

Mera baap chor hai

Friend Maverick points me out to the fact that Chelsea FC has tied up with Yash Raj Films for Bollywood Film. I think it's a great idea.

The one thing which Chelsea did lack was stars. No, just kidding.

However, now, Jose Mourinho has a chance to go potty-mouth in Hindi. In fact, he will gain shorter punchier lines. My friend who works in the Yashraj stables has started writing the script for Jose already and he brought this to my notice.

"And I think because of the passion of every English player and every English supporter, and every English journalist for the game, most of the game is played with passion, love for football and instinct, but in football you also have to think."
"Humein abhi jasbaat se nahin, dimaag se kaam lena hoga"

"I think I am the special one."
"Hum jahaan khade hote hein, line wahin sey shuru hoti hai"

"I was nine or 10 years old and my father was sacked on Christmas Day. He was a manager, the results had not been good, he lost a game on December 22 or 23. On Christmas Day, the telephone rang and he was sacked in the middle of our lunch."
"Haan main SIGN karoonga, lekin main akele SIGN nahin karoonga. Jao pahle us aadmi ka sign leke aao, jisne mere baap se SIGN liya tha, pahle us aadmi ka SIGN leke aao, jisne meri maa ko gaali deke naukri se nikal diya tha, pahle us aadmi ka SIGN leke aao, jisne mere haath pe yeh likh diya, ke mera baap chor hai."

"As a player I cannot compare to Frank Rijkaard. His history as a player is fantastic, my history is zero. But as a manager you cannot compare Frank Rijkaard to me. My history as a manager is fantastic, and his history is zero. He has zero titles and I have lots of them."
"Woh ek gandi naali ka keeda hai"

"I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur. He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea."
"Kutte ki dum tedi-ki-tedi hi rehti hai"

"I want to give my congratulations to them because they won. But we were the best team. We didn’t lose the game. Ninety minutes was a draw and it was a draw after two hours. We lost on penalties."
"Har kutte ka din aata hai"

Monday, October 02, 2006

Dhunuchi competition

A small bloglet written on Saturday evening on my phone , just before I dove into kosha mangsho and all was well:

Watching matrons dance in religious frenzy is not my idea of a Saturday night well spent. Though it does remind me of the night spent in the Arabian desert, watching a belly dancer seduce a corpulent Scottish troupe. I mean the carpets are an almost exact replica. So are the garish lights and the sense of watching something so alien, that whatever the quality, it will be attractive. Except that the latter isn't true for today. I'm watching a dhunuchi competition, which is an event where individuals and groups hold chalices full of smoking embers from coconut husks and sway. Sometimes, they jut out their hips. Mostly, they take three steps forward and three back. Yet, it's the opposite of unison. They do this in front of the Durga idol who watches them without flinching. Wonder what the real Goddess would have done about such misguided lack of talent? The rhythm is provided by a dhaaki, or the drummer who is the saving grace of most such events.
The spectacle is bad enough when the young try to attempt the sway. It becomes far, far worse (I am trying to be very polite here) when the old try and match them. From their faces it can be seen that they are dancing a nimble dance, but the body doesn't keep up. Today, an young lass wearing a denim miniskirt provided some hope to the crowd when she started out in a Himesh pose (the dhunuchi replacing the microphone!). The hope was entirely misplaced. Even the relatives of the other dancers gave up. Someone started announcing the forthcoming cultural programme at that very moment, thus providing enough distraction to a lot of the watchers to make an exit. Dhunuchi competition was over, at least for me.

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