It’s family time

August 7th, 2011

Not complaining about the lack of oxygen these days in Hyderabad, Iam having a great time with the family. With father’s 60th birthday celebration going in full swing in ‘most Hindu’ tradition, family members length and breath have attended and are attending with great happiness. It was both ‘experience’ and wonderful to meet most of the cousins after such a long time and baring the long travel they had, everyone was happy to meet after such a long time.

Sometimes humans are defined as they are, but are ‘enhanced’ by their relationships and the threads that run through their blood streams and I am no exception. My father being the last sibling in his family of 9 members, he was pampered and treated as kid brother for all. He being at 60 makes all others the great grand dads and moms and all of their children and their children and sometimes their children all adored the celebrations.

Elders were bestowing their blessings while the younger ones had a great time chatting digging through history and politics. Experience is such a wonderful word that has a ‘human touch’  to it and as everyone say, it has to be experienced. Spending time with all my cousins, aunts, uncles, grand dads, grand moms and what not is one such blast of a life time.

Family Time…:)

Devil’s Paradise

July 20th, 2011

Idle mind is.. you get it!

Forced bachelorhood is a curse, at least for me. Not having the family around just did not get well with me. With constant thoughts on “How’s the family”?, there was not retreat in sight. Will be leaving shortly to join them in India and hopefully I will not be at my fussy-best and get along well there. With gray hair ‘side-lining’ my head, I have become a boredom to myself. I do not recall anything that made me useful during family’s absence and frustrated I am, I went back to my old ways of ‘retrospection’.

Potterfied: The last decade had been shared with Harry’s journey into magical world, be it the books or the cinema. With a large heart (heavy), went on to immerse myself into the final saga of the epic and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it but left the theater with an unusual sorrow. No more potter movies or books, and bidding adieu to the charming boy took some toll on the heart.

The rescue: Last night watched the Hindi movie ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ (No second life). Not only the movie lightened up the heart, it taught me what I am not best at, life. There were many before but, this movie had in it what we all call ‘aura’. The light will strike places in your heart (if you have one) that shall remind you where you are, why you are and who you are.

0600 EST: Nor I can complain nor I wait. At 2100 hrs today I write these lines in anticipation of tomorrow to wake up early by 0600 and watch the ‘God’ step into the Lord’s Cricket Ground. As much hype as one can, around the world the Cricket lovers will be waiting desperately to catch the wholesome experience of raining themselves into watching a competitive game of ‘Test Cricket’ between what everyone believe as the best batting line up in the world vs a ‘tall’ bowling attack.

Devil’s paradise has enough blood to suck upon and its happy now.

….all things 🙂

The face of the coward

July 14th, 2011

Call it jihad or terrorism, extremism or fanatism, when it ends with the loss of innocent lives, the most appropriate meaning of such action is nothing but ‘cowardice’ and the group or person responsible is nothing but a coward.

Wednesday’s Mumbai bomb attack, make no mistake is not a lapse in intelligence or governance or democracy; it is nothing but a bunch of impotent individuals or groups who hide their faces behind and perpetrate an attack on innocent civilians who does not either care their ideologies or don’t give a ‘damn’ to what ‘principles’ these cowards adhere to.

My heart goes out for all those innocents who have lost and got their lives effected by the bomb blasts.

Our biggest opponent

March 7th, 2011

Being a ‘curious’ cricket fan, nothing draws me more than the game towards controversies. My continuous engagements of arguments only yielded hostile comments and commensurate rhetoric. Nevertheless, my relentless support for Indian Cricket Team unabatedly walk the talk. Just before the World Cup build-up, several of my wonderful friends had discussed and are discussing spending considerable amount of their lifetimes (nonetheless, I always win in quantities!) analyzing and anticipating the outcome. One thing that always stood common among everyone except me (till now) is that they never refute from passing on invaluable comments on the team.

I always wondered, what it takes to be a good Cricket Team and I do not have to think for a second for an answer. Its the opposition. More nerd, this is not an uncommon feature of all our friendly debates. The media, commentary and even our lunch chat always end up in the same mundane analysis that, it make me think often, why are people so dumb? Its so easy to ‘pass on’ comments on a team sitting relaxed in a chair with little bellies popping up while the receiving end is a fit gentleman, who knew nothing but Cricket and works out 10-16 hours a day, thinking, walking, talking and eating the game.

The media never hesitates to criticize the team when they loose and never backs out to demoralize if they win, small. In the end, the headlines bring me more boredom and dissatisfaction than enjoying the win.  If India drew against England, they feel bad that we did not win and could not stop England hitting that last minute six that Munaf conceded. While it really goes behind the scene how the other 5 balls in the over prevented them from actually winning it. So, I ask my friends to think like this. “You worked so hard all your life till now and you are finally recognized to be fit to play for Indian Cricket team out of billions of people. On top of it, you are selected for the World Cup squad. Now, you are asked to bowl to an opposition who requires 10 runs to win from the last over. What are your chances that you would want to bowl a bad ball that even a tail-ender from a stupid team like England can hit a six?” Think!

So, before we even talk about competition, we have totally eliminated it. Whom does Indian Team have to play against. Unfortunate but totally true, it will have to play against its own people, who love and die for a game that is bigger than their religion. It is so sad, that thousands of people come to look up to their team and still are not satisfied with their team’s win. I feel pity for those unfortunate souls. A heart or brain that cannot rejoice a victory is worthless to the core. Mahabharata was actually called ‘Jay’ and not ‘Vijay’. As Devdutt Patnaik puts it, “Vijay mean victory over someone, where you always win because someone looses, Jay mean victory and yet no one loose”. Now, you decide, you want India to be Jay or Vijay; I should put that right, you want to believe that  you want to side with Jay or Vijay.

Not England, not South Africa, not Australia and neither Pakistan and either Sri Lanka, India’s biggest opponent is YOU!

On a given day

September 13th, 2010

“Whatever that exists in this World, exists in this story and whatever that doesn’t, it either exists anywhere”. This was Vyasa’s quote on his book ‘Jaya’ widely popular as Mahabharata. Obviously he was talking about the knowledge and wisdom that the story has to offer and also about the intricacies of humans and their relationships. Seldom he would have thought that the same is applicable to India today.

If someone consolidates all the news about India on a given day, it would be so overwhelmingly astonishing to observe that there is literally nothing that you can image that you cannot find it in there. A mother killing her only child, a daughter being raped by a father, person killed for a penny, student abused by teacher, teacher shot by a student, wife killing her husband, husband burning his wife, student committing suicide, people of same language fighting amongst each other, war over property, demand for separate state, atrocities of the minority, religious fanaticism, etc., the list is so long and unending that even Gods above would spend their entire life gulping it.

It is no wonder that India remains the only place on the planet which is pluralist. The gamut of cultures, religions, races, traditions, languages, all contribute to its rich vibrancy and simultaneously participate into its myriad problems.

On a given day, everything under the sky happens in India. The corrupt politicians still live in their 80’s, more than national life expectancy eating national resources like mud worms, raping their own children and sleeping with their own mothers.

On a given day, if God has to decent on earth and clean the sinners, he would ask for two days, one for India and the other for the rest of the world.

God bless India.

HBD

August 25th, 2010

Last time I think I celebrated (did I?) my birth day without my family was in 1998, the year that I came to US. 12 years after here I am; alone and aloof (wrong word!). Wife and kids are having their time in India with Kids specially having tons of fun.

Well, everyone has their resolutions over new year and I normally (usually, actually generally) don’t. So while messaging my wife this morning I promised her that I would do some things that I suppose to and be a good dad (which I am :). Conviction is a step away from realization, and when they both meet together, you need will power to stay put. So, for a change I make my resolution over my birth day that I will always try to do my best, for the best. God had been kind, very kind and bestowed me with everything I wanted and I did not, so no complaints there. If there is a way to become a good human, I guess all my strengths should be there, which I will try to. If there is something that I still wish to ask God, it would be me.

My wife always tell me that I have so much that I can give to my family and specially my kids. Yes, I do have a lot that I can give and I haven’t. So for a change it is time that I give gifts on my BD. One that stays for ever and one that lasts for ever, LOVE.

May God bless me on my BD to share only my LOVE to all others. Happy Birth Day to me 🙂

The Idol

August 15th, 2010

Happy Independence Day.

Symbiosis of aesthetically pleasing blissful notes, colossal happiness of rhythm, blissful and revitalizing sensation of flawless music, electrifying yet sensual sound, an ecstasy of boundless experience, mixed in proportions of mathematical precision, Indian Idol 5 journey was a true yet inspiring magic. It is not wonder that the breath of singing talent comes from a nation who listens with heart and soul and made music their walk and talk. Kudos to Sreeramchandra to have become Indian Idol 5 to have proven once again that talent and hard work are so precious that it takes someone to excavate and refine it. When Independence Day celebrates with such melody, the nation simply sails on, millions of people were at their blissful best listening to the chorus of their proud sons and daughters.

There were participants and there was participation. People who believed that they are competing against their soul to discover their inner sanctum are no doubt have come to the finals. Most musical shows have one thing in common, melodious music with suspenseful twits, turns, comments and commodities (ads). What they achieve in the end is more than all of these combined. Personification of one’s soul, discovering inner-self, glorification of talent and expression of love.

It is our boon to have watched and cheered the contestants all along, traveling musical miles with the thirst for talent and bestowed with blissful music. More than anything, voice is a God’s gift and when it reaches millions, the soul is happy and more than anything, God is happy. One is not an Idol because of the crown, one is not an idol because of victory and one is certainly not an idol because of a prize. Idol is ‘IDentification Of Love’. A truth so deserved for winning one-self and respecting the sanctity of voice, a gift, that one got from God.

I am happy to have followed if not the complete journey, at least some of it and truly have enjoyed every single moment of it. Thanks again God for giving me the ability to hear and hear Go(o)d.

Congratulations! to all the participants.

Test…..Cricket

August 7th, 2010

I am not writing because India has won the test match and leveled the series, I am writing to explain myself why we won and why we should win.

Perceptions are like mirror, you see what you see in front of it,  you see what you also want to see. I do not know if its a mistake to come to an opinion based on few incidents but, I can say for sure that given some circumstances, if a person acts out of selfishness and disguises himself to overcome defeat, then I would definitely say that opinions can be changed. I had great respect for Sangakkara and Jayawardhane as they are two of Cricket’s most prized bastmen. However, recent incidents have prompted me to change my opinion not on their batting abilities but their deceptive practices. There were a total of 5 incidents with Sangakkara appealing caught behind when very clearly either the ball has missed the bat or the bat the pad are in different zip codes and the ball has brushed the pads and was given out. These incidents happened during a spinners spell and keeper stands right behind the sumps. He is no ordinary wicket keeper nor an inexperienced campaigner. For his stature, he knows what is right and what is wrong and yet he chose the path of deception. Jayawardhane normally stands in slips again during spinner spells and either he held a catch off of the pad or taken it after a pitch, repeating this incidence again more than 6 times recently and yet appealed and got the wicket. Anyway, the discussion is not about these two individuals. Its about team India.

So Jayawardhane had an opinion  that India does not deserved to be #1 in Test ranking because they were able to beat them by 10 wickets in the first test match. He was partly right for the fact that Indian never went with their #1 team to Sri Lanka. Had that been the case, Jayawardhane would be putting socks in his mouth for all the three tests. He is wrong because his team is almost in second place but have never won a test match against India in India and Australia in Australia. So their credibility does not give them an advantage of speaking about ranks. There is a difference between #1 Team and #1 Side. While the Team means that a specific set of players needs to be present, a side is any player playing for that country. We did not took our #1 Test team to Sri Lanka and only represented with a #1 Test Side. However, a commendable performance from the team made sure that they draw the series and with thumping authority. Had Sri Lanka lost any toss, they would have never won a match, forget about winning in my opinion it would all have been innings defeat for them. India showed why they are #1 side, placing their first and second innings of the 3rd test match to perfection. Had not our run-rate is in excess of 5 in the 1st innings with Sehwag’s blistering batting literally putting his left leg on Sangakkara’s head, there would have not been any result for the match as Sri Lanka were always trying to save the match rather than winning it, they displayed their ability in the second test match by exactly doing it.

I do not deny that Sri Lanka is a good side, but they are immature and deceptive. Ishant Sarma’s wicket was a good example of Sri Lanka’s sportive incompetence and umpire’s inability to overcome pressure. Much hyped Mendis was nullified while “I don’t know why Malinga bowls” ended up expensive. To declare Mendis a spinner in itself is a big joke (sorry! but I do not have anything against him). He himself does not know what he is bowling. All he does is to vary his finger positions frequently and see what happens. Unlike orthodox spinner or an orthodox break bowler, his bowling is inconsistent to the best. You ask him to bowl two similar balls, forget about the spin, he would not be able to do it. His run up to the stumps and delivery far disqualifies him to be called a spinner. Sri Lanka always had these deceptive advantages, one with Muralitharan who got an exception from ICC to be able to bend his arm, as if there are no spinners in that country who can bowl without bending an arm.

Test Cricket and Cricket in general is a joke in Sri Lanka, they would like play on player’s disabilities and deceptive practices rather than playing on merit and skill. I don’t know whether Jayawardhane knows that his side does not even deserve playing Test Cricket or not, but definitely they should not be in 2nd or 3rd position. I am glad that India had won this match as more than themselves it was critics and unreasonable cricket fanatics (self declared Indian Team haters) who needed their win. It will satisfy their ego of going against their own team and give an opportunity to shut their mouths for a while until India loses another one.

All the teams have produced some of the best Cricketing ambassadors and yet India had the unique distinction of producing ‘the greatest’. Dravid’s legacy is much bigger than his failure in this test series and Harbhajan’s intelligent bowling is more than his failure (of course few people knew that he was not even physically fit to play for that matter any match due to flu). Suresh Raina has maturity in his batting and I am glad that we are again producing some great batsmen of his calibre. Irrespective of how consistently he scored, certain players show the ability to learn from mistakes that take them to great heights. Samaraweera is one such great example on Sri Lanka’s side. His resilience, attitude, ability is what makes him a great cricketer, I hope to see him and scale new heights in his career and contribute greatly to Sri Lanka’s cricket.

Understanding the game and thinking to have understood the game are different. Even a persona like Tendulkar says how he learn new things every time, we are mere mortals. The game has enough charm, brain, wit, fortitude and brilliance that it always scores above the pupil who play it.

Long live Test Cricket and Test…………Cricket.

Mera Bharat ….( ! Mayhem ! ) – Part #3

August 4th, 2010

Reading Maximum City by Suketu Mehta gave me wonderful insight into the ‘workings’ of Mumbai. Half way through, I felt that the city that I love is like a big onion with layers of truth, deception, lies, crime and everything under the Sun. While the interesting part is that Mumbai is actually India, the rest of the country is no different. They just have less to peel.

Hyderabad will and always has been my other soul. The city that I grew up with told and continue to tell me stories. Childhood’s perception was so nice and wonderful that I get to look only at paradise with occasional blips. Teens have been transformed into building wisdom around living and let live theories. College days were ecstatic and enthusiastic and PG days were eye openers. Life in that Metro had been a bliss. For every good story even like Ramayana, there is Ravan, a ten-headed evil doer who along with himself take his people down. Unfortunately for the modern day Ramayana, there are no Ramas; Ravans, aplenty.

Politics in modern India was more to do with power than people and the willingness to mud-sliding reminds me of the village buffaloes enjoying their time in whatever slut they find. Of course, it is not only crime but unapologetic to compare  our politicians to anything living or dead, even coincidentally! I do not know for certainty if ‘kharma’ is a Sanskrit word or not, but in India, politicians do the ‘karma’ and people bear the ‘kharma’. In Telugu/Sanskrit language karma is deed while kharma is bad fate.

The other day there was a small debate between few of us in the office over lunch about the Telangana agitation. One of the person argued that, what the agitation is all about is to get back to status quo when Telangana was indeed a separate state. I asked him “what is so significant about that particular period of history?”. We had many kingdoms in the past and for that matter much of India was under single umbrella when the great emperor Asoka was ruling the land. Why not go back to that Status Quo? While this is more of an argument, the pinching point of discussion was that of a B.Tech. student from Osmania who committed suicide because one of the Congress leaders lost his election. He had a oath upon himself that he will kill himself in joy if that person does not win the election. The entire Telangana agitators made that student a hero because he sacrificed for the cause of  Telangana. No where in his will nor his intentions point that fact. He was more of a stupid and a loser who doesn’t know anything but commit suicide. Never even once he might have thought that life is a gift of God and he could have utilized it for better. Nor he had thought of his parents and family as they grieve in shame over their son’s coward act for rest of their lives.

Incident like this bloat the chapters of history with permanent ink of blood. They make the words underneath breath heavy highlighting the foreground and keep the writing in the background to fading black. The battle of good vs evil is a never ending cycle and people take sides that in their best interest. The people are really at war having no clue that the kings that are fighting with each other are counting how many soldiers have died rather than whose soldiers have died. They do not care about sides, they care about power.

Smart(er) Phone

July 17th, 2010

It looks like we’ve been behaving more like those idiots who inadvertently established self-imposed brand loyalty shelling money without self-realization. Stranger than fiction this truth changed the land scape of human relations. People take their brands to their hearts and arguments, debates and comparisons have dominated simple, loving, caring and thriving relationships. I personally do not have a favorite phone, because technology evolves and so does we. My calculations are obviously simple, do we get what we want for what we pay? However simple this may sound, the current smart phone market has changed the way we think about phones. Very unfortunately, Apple the company well known for their quality designs have completely changed the way people perceive their devices. I hate Apple more for making a smart phone a smarter phone. The phone is something that does what we want and how we like, however, we started liking what it does and what it gives. This is sad for civilized people who make decisions based on brands. I don’t own an Apple product because I hate it, it is simply because it is an useless product for me. I would rather prefer to buy a desktop/laptop, printer, web cam, good set of speakers, a 22″ LCD, smooth and wide keyboard and a mouse which responds to the way I want rather than buying a Apple Laptop for double the cost for these combined stuff. The math doesn’t match my requirements, that’s all.

No two people think the same, but when thinking is dominated by stature and the stature is dominated by a brand, you loose yourself. Many of my peers think iPhone is a superior product without even bothering to see if there is competition and how they fair with one another and ultimately what is it that makes more sense to them. Again, there are no comparisons here.

I have a Blackberry Pearl, i picked it up as a choice in one amongst the others that I was getting FREE for signing up a 2-yr contract with AT&T. I never had plans to check my email on a phone nor browse internet over it. And the so called APPS (most people think that Apple invented APPS, dumber!) were available on my Blackberry even then. For some stupid reason AT&T goofed up my monthly charges simply because I gave my BB to my wife as I started using another touch screen phone which I borrowed from my deceased cousin (a memorabilia of sorts). It took me 15 calls and 8 hours of talk-time to fix the issue (hopefully fixed). I bought a cell phone for being able to call someone from anywhere, whether in need or not. The current day so called smart phones have defeated that purpose. People are fascinated with their GPS on their bright LCD, but still carry a stand-alone GPS, they are fascinated by their browsing capabilities on their phones, yet 99% of their browsing is done when a convenient and a faster PC is available within their reach. Or they would simply browse something that makes no sense at all. People are buying APPS for money without realizing if it makes sense or not. Smart phone are now smarter and smarter people are now smart, actually dumb.

Why would a person stand in a line for days to buy a phone? I simply does not get it. I would like to ask that person what is it that made him happy at the end, having that phone or its usage? Of course humans are extremely smart for justifying everything they do. My friends ask me, “if iPhone is really not that great, why would people buy it with such craze?”, I do not have an answer that will satisfy them, but I do have for myself. Because, they are buying a smarter phone and not a smart phone.

Now its my turn. I need a phone, just a smart phone and nothing more than that. Why? Because I could not do somethings that I would like to do over the internet when I am at my office. This is ridiculous because you are supposed to work and not browse when you are at office, isn’t it? Anyway, as I said before, we have our own explanations for everything and anything we do. I am not buying an iPhone because it costs me more, I am not buying an Droid because it costs me more, I am buying a EVO (most likely) because it costs me less.

I hate to see any company dominating the land scape of technology because its simply is not in our best interest. I love Microsoft for not its products but making our lives simple over the period for much less that we get from the competition. Google’s Android is picking up not because its better than iPhone’s iOS4 but because its open and available. Microsoft is coming up with their Windows Phone 7 OS, which promises better integration between APPS which simultaneously helping enterprises incorporate their WAP, wireless based technologies work in tandem. Most managers love to check their emails on their BB, come Windows OS, I guess they would love to check their Outlook directly without mediation.

I hope to see one day we just buy smart phones and become smarter. Long live civilization.