Wednesday, May 04, 2011

We've Moved



Blogspot was a good home. It kept me warm and patiently heard all my thoughts. However, things change, people change. Thankfully, we have not. However, our address has.

I have moved to wordpress and this is my new address. Not much has changed, just the zip code.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It is a Gentleman's Sport

My dear brethren of a divided sub-continent,

The day that we have been waiting for with bated breath is finally inching closer. While some have planned to figuratively gorge on seafood on Tuesday and conveniently send in a quiet note of regret the next morning, others have called in IOUs to ensure that they are party to the hype that is one of the biggest challenges in the limited sporting histories of our respective countries.

The problem with hype is that there is often a mob mentality associated with it. When bar one, all others are screaming of it will be an epic final before the impending regulation final, the contrarian view is often drowned in the din. And few can make a din and create a ruckus than those from the sub continent. Given that I am not one of the select few who hold such a view, we shall not walk down that road.

What the game offers is more than a place in the final to compete with Sri Lanka. The game, a semi-final match-up between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the Cricket World cup, represents the first time in nearly three years that the two teams will battle it out on a non-neutral venue. The history is long and fraught with acrimony. There is the historical and political past of a painful partition following the British Raj. There are the multiple wars the two countries have fought. There are the allegations and counter-allegations of terrorism from either side. There is the support for an Azad Kashmir in Pakistan on one hand and the role that India played in the creation of Bangladesh on the other. There is the bus diplomacy, the train diplomacy, the hockey diplomacy and now the cricket diplomacy. And not much to show in tangible terms for all that diplomacy.

In sports, the countries have competed against each other primarily in two sports: Field Hockey and Cricket. The rivalry has been legendary and those amongst the diaspora would know how difficult it is to find a parallel to explain it to those dimwits who believe that cricket is all about those annoying insects who rear their ugly head at twilight.

The two teams do offer a lot of commonality. Both teams may be considered mercurial, with talent and flair exhibited in copious abundance. Both have a strong fan following of fanatics; who amidst all the hate do have a grudging respect for the opposition. Both teams also have devout fans that are as volatile as they are fanatic. They exhibit a rare sense of schizophrenia, equally worshipping and despising one God and several demi-gods. Scenes of both joyous celebrations and irate annoyance are not uncommon with the language on the plaques and the state of the effigies dependent on what the dices may have rolled.

With an attempt by the Indian regime to reluctantly return to the discussion table, much has been made of the political and strategic importance of the game. With a rivalry arguably comparable to none in the sport, the game may not betray the fact that it is in fact a semi-final to an ignoramus bystander. In all of the ensuing brouhaha, the game of cricket may have been shouted out. Yes, it is a game. And no, it is not just another game.

I decided to pen my thoughts when I read the following words "It’s only a game." While I understood where the person was coming from, and I agreed with the need to tone down some of the jingoism and the discussions, which have been replete with hate, try telling that it is merely a game to Tendulkar, who despite a multitude of attempts, has not been able to replicate the glory of the Prudential Cup for his country. The whole country may hold him on a high pedestal, skipping a beat when there is an LBW or caught out appeal against him. It may bestow upon him the sobriquet of "God." Given that he is playing his last World Cup, the lack of glory would be a scar that would forever remain a blot on his otherwise illustrious career. Try telling it to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Captain of Team India, who carries the hopes and aspirations of millions of people on his broad shoulders. Check with Shahid Afridi on the reception he fears if his team were to surrender to the Indians like Governor General Manuel Vassalo Silva did in Goa. Or speak of a dropped catch to Kamran Akmal and see a shiver visibly run down his spine.

Agreed, this is not just another game. However, it is a game. A game of cricket, which will have a winner. Sadly, as with most things in life, there will be a competitor who will follow the leader across the finishing line. It would not mean that he is any less a champion than the winner or that he devoted anything less than his very best effort into the battle. It would mean that on that day, his rival was the better player. So spare a thought for the player. He who loses will feel he has let down the hopes and aspirations of his family. Recall, the scenes in Eden Gardens on that fateful day when Vinod Kambli’s tears were forever etched into the minds of the cricketing aficionados. While I do not know whether it was the defeat, the crowd trouble or his clairvoyance of the end of his career that induced Kambli’s reaction, I do believe that our cricketers deserve better than how we treat them in the face of defeat. Yes, they may peddle a motorbike one too many, but stop a moment and think whether you wouldn’t mind raking in that extra bit of moolah given the opportunity.

And so, my dear brethren of a divided sub-continent, I respectfully request you that irrespective of the outcome of the game, please do not burn effigies of the players. Please do not protest outside their houses. Please do not hound their families. They have proudly represented their country and performed to the best of their abilities. We do live in a cynical world. A dropped catch, a silly run-out, a lost game and the world cries hoarse from the top of the roof of some funny business. Yes, there has been funny business in the past and there may be some in the future. Some may be in works today. But, if you believe that there is funny business in the game, you should do yourselves a service and not watch the game. There are better things to be entertained by.

If your team loses, man up and take one on the chin. Don’t cry foul, don’t let your disappointment get the better of you. Be honorable and classy in both the joys of victory and the jaws of defeat. It is a sport, there will be a winner and consequently a loser. Finally, it is a gentleman’s game, let’s be respectful. To the winner, to the game, to the players and to the country. Be it Pakistan or India.

May the best team win.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Subah Jo Naa Ho

Log toh hai chaaro aour
Phir tanhayee see kyun hai laage
Jo maanga woh toh mila
Phir udasi see kyun hai laage

Kya chahe ye dil
Woh usse bhi naa hai pataa
Aise mein dimaag kaise chale
Aie rabb tu hee bataa

Roshni ki chakaa-choun mein
Jaise khade ho Surdas
Patri se utri hai gaadi
Aisa bhalaa kyun aabhaas

Bachhpann ki woh yaadein
Jawaani ka woh josh
Bade hokar kya hai mila
Neend ka nahin aaghosh

Boj toh hai bohout
Ek kandheka nahin aasraa
Palat gayee hai baazi poori
Jaise zindagi ne pheka doosra

Kapdon ki iss nagri mein
Hum nange hee hai chale
Aahista se saamne humaare
Suraj ki roshni hai dhale

Na chandrama na laaltein ki roshni
Raat ke andhera ka nahin darr
Vidhi ka vidhaan jo jaye toot
Subah jo naa ho agar...

-max

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Woh The Tum

dekh rahee hai aankhein nazar
hai jo dur dur tak andhera
suraj toh abhi dhalaa thaa
lage kyun hone ko hai savera

tha toh woh ek jhonka hawaa ka
par lagaa kyun jaise baarish ka ho mausam
thi toh woh bijli ki ek kiran
par kiya suraj ko usne madhamm

kar salaam hai woh ab laa-pataa
do shabdon ki hai nahin fursatt
gulaab ke liye jo ho kaanta
neta ke liye jo ho jamuriayat

woh the tum... woh the tum... woh the tum...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Some right, some wrong...


Picture Source:Random email Fwd
With time on hand and a blackberry for company

Life is like a stream
ever so often, it meanders along
we do what we have to do
some right and some wrong

Judged we are by our actions
the context never to be seen
care one should not of the world
as long as hearts are clean

Some of it black some of it white
most of it is full of grey
we remain true to ourselves
that's for all we pray

Listen to your heart
do what the head has to say
and you will live long and happy
not at war with self all day

The heart yet has its way
plays it havoc every other time
lest you let it get its way
You will pay for that dime

Self redemption is easy
second chances come few and far
the head slept in peace
the heart walked to the bar

So choose your steps carefully
think of what you do
not that village bumpkin in town
the one that has no clue...
-max

Somethings never get old...


Picture Source: Travellers Point
With time on hand and a blackberry for company


the child in her mothers eyes
the story of timeless laughs
the curry that nani made
a story that she always told

the pictures of us together
laughing loud, smiling wide
etched on rock, not in sand
unaffected by the tide

reflect and recollect
of times of the yore
watching the setting sun
sitting on the shore

Somethings are like good wine
they age, and age they well
and while they do age
they never do get old...

-max

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Why we work

We work... to pay for our sins!

Speaking Songs

Some songs just speak to you... more than others do

The Tingling Charm

With time on hand and a blackberry for company

You just do not do it
When you don't feel like it
You just will look away
When you don't feel like it

Do that what you want
And not what you can
Do something different
And not what's the plan

Think of your self
Remember your dream
For no one else will
As selfish as this may seem

Always have a plan
Just don't stick to it
Do something different
Just go right for it

Life is not that long
Go chart some unknown path
In just toeing that straight line
Where is the tingling charm

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Communicate


Picture Source: First Friday Book Synopsis
To misquote the late legendary Paul Newman in Cool Hand Luke,

What we had was a failure to communicate.
Some women you just can't reach,
so we ended with what we had then.
Which is the way it would finish in the end.
Well, you get it.
And I don't like it any more than you...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dear Google...

Dear Google,

I truly and completely appreciate your stand on censorship and am in awe that you are okay with losing all that business that you will in the biggest market in the world. Not to forget all those relationships with channel partners that is now on shaky ground.

In the argument between corporate finance and professional responsibility, you have put your own ethics before any business decision. Kudos to Sergey Brin for standing by the principles on which Google was started. Power to you Sir for wanting to “do no evil”. Furthermore, for prevailing on Schmidt et al; it must not have been an easy feat to achieve.

BUT, forgive my naiveté as I question your methods. Is it not wrong for you to break the law of the land? You entered into an agreement with the Government of the PRC. You agreed to abide by their laws, however archaic may they be. You have rightly taken a step back and evaluated your stance given the current environment and decided that you cannot operate in this manner. It is truly commendable that you did that. In my humble opinion, I believe that if you do disagree, you should withdraw from the country and bring down the google.cn website. By your actions, you are imposing your ideas (however wonderful they may be; and I do believe that they are) onto others. Look at Go Daddy, they have stopped registering “.cn” websites because they are not comfortable with the documentation that is required of them (i.e. from their customers) from the government.

Having spoken to a lot of Chinese friends of mine on the topic, I realize that they value the freedom of speech and yearn to have this essential right back in their home country. They miss YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and the other simple pleasures of life. As for my beliefs, I too value this imperative fundamental right and its importance to humankind. I thank the Almighty for having given me the opportunity to have been brought up in a free liberal country and for having given me the opportunity to experience another. I wish everyone has this right someday.

Mahatma Gandhi famously said and I quote “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I completely agree with these thoughts. It would seem like Google does too. It believes in the freedom of speech and would like to champion the cause, vociferously and possibly at great personal difficulty. All is well and noble with that. There is just one minor problem that I have: One cannot take up arms against injustice. Google should leave the country if it disagrees; it should walk away. It should fight for its cause and fight it should hard. It should merely do what needs to be done within the ambit of the law.

Just saying. These are my two cents.

Peace be to all. Google: 8th wonder of the world. China: Respect, awe and envy.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snakes & Ladders

Picture Source: AgileFAQs

Snakes and Ladders must have been invented by a philosopher
It truly is the best metaphor for life there is...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Will

If you can't do the time,
don't commit the crime

If you will the end,
you should will the means

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Sick Leave

Person A: When is a good time to write to the boss and tell him i'm sick?
Moi: Never and always!
Person A: Huh? How so?
Moi: Never for the boss, always for you!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Face your own wrath

Picture source: Tweetymom

thy words so profound
thy words so deep
some maketh you smile
others see you weep

at the junction ye stand
unsure where to turn
take the road ye heart tells you
leaving else to burn

always been this far
yet never been closer
the right mind maketh the winner
all else sets you the loser

pick up the showel
choose the right path
and if ye so don't
face your own wrath

-max

Sunday, November 01, 2009

When the big tree falls

Around this time, 25 years back, when I was a mere toddler, a big tree fell in this country. The then Prime Minister, Ms. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her own security personnel. This brought about mass unrest in the capital city of New Delhi. Thousands of Sikhs were massacred in what was the largest genocide in modern day India.

Rajiv Gandhi, the 'heir' to the throne [figuratively] and the next Prime Minister had the following words to say at a Boat Club rally, "Some riots took place in the country following the murder of Indiraji. We know the people were very angry and for a few days it seemed that India had been shaken. But, when a mighty tree falls, it is only natural that the earth around it does shake a little."

A mighty tree did fall. Unfortunately, the subsequent tremors was far more devastating than a little shake, scarring Indian minds forever!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Socialism and its perils

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class. That class insisted that socialism [eschewed for long by India and made famous recently by Barack Obama] worked. It said that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on the Socialist plan". All grades were to be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade. Ergo, no one would fail and no one would receive an A. At the end of the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone received a B. The students who had studied hard were upset. The students who had hardly studied were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who had studied little studied even lesser. The ones who had studied hard decided that they too wanted a free ride and ergo, they too studied little. The second test average was a D. No one was happy.
When the third test rolled around, the average was an F. The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one wanted to study for the benefit of others. To their great surprise, all of them failed.

The professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great. However, when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

-via random email fwd

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A nobel joke

WSJ Article
Time Article

Fritz Henderson a more deserving candidate? This very mockery probably hits the nail on the head in trying to explain how the politically savvy, marketing guru with good sense of the pulse of the people got it horribly wrong by accepting the Nobel peace prize award for 2009.

In office for a grand total of twelve days when nominated, eight months into the presidency today, he is still working on his promises and his vision for the US and the world at large. Kudos to him for a job well done thus far, for attempting to create a new world order and for taking the US away from the cowboy diplomacy that it had come to be identified with off late.

Nevertheless, a lot needs to be done before being declared Nobel enough, or maybe not. Well at least more that rhetoric and propaganda. It would have been astute and humble to not have accepted the award, saying in effect, I will be back in three years to accept this award. Only, it may not have been there because the people who are on the committee have proved that they too are human and could have taken his 'no' as a snub and a question of their judgment.

Obama, on his part, showed he is human. He agrees that he is humbled and undeserving, that he is human [read: greedy] enough and is fallible. As for the Nobel, it lost a bit of its charm today. Just like when Sadat, Begin, Kissinger got it. Just like when Mahatma Gandhi didn't. Great guy that Obama, will probably be deserving in 3 years. Flatpacked on twitter put it aptly when he said that it would appear there is a Nobel "looks like you might do something for peace in the rest of your term in office" peace prize.