Thursday, March 25, 2010


            Don’t let the title mislead you! This is not a self-help blog to decipher the nuances of Indian Premier League T20 Cricket or navigate through the maze of IPL jargon.  May be a more appropriate title would be ‘Dummies and the IPL’.  So now that you are suitably unimpressed, adventurous enough and more importantly, if you don’t mind wasting a few more minutes of your life, do proceed further, by all means.
            When everyone is gripped by the IPL fever, I thought it the right topic to write about.  What a cunning move to garner maximum readership!! (Did I hear you snigger?)  But a little problem confronted me-should I not know cricket (not the six-legged variety) in order to write about it?  I bolstered my self-confidence by recalling the words of wisdom, that no one who feared the waves ever found a pearl and plunged into my task.
            I decided to equip myself with at least a rudimentary knowledge of cricket.  What better way than to watch the IPL3 matches?  I was glued to the television set keeping track of the teams. Within a week I was familiar with the colors of the teams ranging from sunflower yellow to hideous purple, not to speak of the golden pads and silver gloves.  I was an encyclopedia of knowledge about the team-owners and their sartorial styles. I started waiting eagerly for the off-field cat-fight between Ms. Kat and Ms. Deeps who were both promoting the same team.  I knew all about the hands-on (!) style of Ms. Zinta and the aloof hands-off style of Ms. Shetty in supporting their respective teams.  Priety pranced about all over the field jumping up and down like a yo-yo all the time and giving out ear drum-splitting screams resembling the battle cry of a T. Rex.  In complete contrast was Shilpa who chose to sit demurely beside her richie-rich hubby displaying her fashionable shades and other random accessories and diamonds the size of rocks which our very own Chandrayaan brought from the moon, her sound-bite never progressing beyond a giggle.
            After a week, I sought the help of my friend to bolster my attempts at mastering cricket.  After all, there is strength in numbers.  So, it was a combined effort thereafter.  But sadly, no two women agree on anything.  So, as we sat drooling over Dhoni’s biceps, we had our eternal arguments about whose curls were wilder-was it Malinga or Murali, who had the highest cuteness factor-was it Lee or Gilly, and in between, trying to spot the similarities between the Pathan brothers.  We derived sadistic pleasure in choosing the teams for the last two spots-would it be the Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders or the Kings XI Punjab?  Two weeks just flew by in a haze of fours and sixers. 
            So what if I haven’t mastered cricket?  When the commentator says that Harbhajan has bowled a maiden over, I know that he isn’t referring to a Bollywood starlet.  I may not know what fine leg/square leg/leg break/leg bye mean, but I do know they are not anatomical references.  I know enough not to think dirty when I hear about the Asking Rate.  I’m quite happy with my progress so far.  There are a few more weeks to go for the grand finale of the IPL Season 3.  By then I’m confident I will update my knowledge and know for a fact how many swigs of Kingfisher beer Dr. Mallya takes during every match, if not what the googlies/yorkers/bouncers mean!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a door to which

there is no key

a screen beyond which

no one can see

what lies beyond

gnaws at the heart

not a flicker of light

seen through the night

hope that springs eternal

keeps the mind sane

trudging through the mines

lurking in the uneven terrain

Saturday, March 20, 2010


        Many of us would have watched the incredibly wonderful movie ‘The Bucket List’ starring Morgan Freemen and Jack Nicholson. The lyrics of the song It is better to say too much / Than never to say what you need to say again remain fresh in our minds. I’m sure at least half of us who watched the movie would have felt compelled at some point of time to prepare a Bucket List ourselves. For the uninitiated, the Bucket List derives its name from the phrase ‘to kick the bucket’ or to die. So, a Bucket List is essentially the list of things that one would like to do before kicking the bucket. When I tried to draw up my own Bucket List, I was not really surprised that I wanted to set right a lot of wrongs committed, advertently or inadvertently. Some wrongs could be set right, however late in life, whereas we can only make amends for certain others.

         Does the true realization of Death make us better human beings? It would appear so from my limited experience. I have personally come across instances of people stricken by major illnesses, or faced with a major tragedy or near-death experiences, learning to appreciate their lives and those of others around them better. They learn to ignore the miseries of life and prefer to savor the small joys in their everyday life. They have learnt to live in the present and celebrate life by accepting it as it comes. What a lifetime of religion has not taught them is achieved by the extreme pain and suffering endured for a short time.

          Death is inevitable; so wisdom suggests that we live our lives to the fullest today. There is profound truth in the lines ‘I came not of my pleasure, I go not at my leisure’
‘One can deny the existence of God but
one cannot deny the existence of Death;
Life is that which must go and
Death is that which must come’

              It is true these words are known to us all, but we never stop for a moment to try to decipher the profound meaning of the words. Thanks to a wonderful friend, who has personally been through such a life-changing experience and come out through it shining bright and strong-YOU HAVE MADE ME REALIZE THE TRUE SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE WORDS. My prayers are always with you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


North Korea - The Craziest Country in the World



Most of us cannot do without our daily/weekly fix of favorite fish fingers, chicken lollies or mutton biryanis.  Kids these days prefer having their birthday parties at KFC, Marry brown or McDonald’s and their special menu seems incomplete without some golden roasted, lip-smacking chicken wings.  

We end up consuming non-vegetarian food inadvertently too.  For example, some desserts contain pork, such as most kinds of gelatin, or other non-conforming substances and foods like noodles contain additives such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) that may use enzymes derived from pig fat in the production process.   

Many religions preach vegetarianism, but certain religions like Islam and Judaism allow consumption of meat if the ritual method of slaughter i.e., Halal or Kosher is followed.   But the fact remains that a living being is killed just to satiate our taste buds. The video by PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) which I have posted here may make us aware of the real horror story behind the meat on our plate. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


‘Little knowledge is a dangerous thing’
Never more truly said;
Tried fiddling with my blog and
Abracadabra-all the comments vanished!

Asked a couple of friends to help me out
“lost all my comments” I wailed;
Almost read their minds, I could:
“Why didn’t the posts accompany the comments?”

One dear pal assured me I’m not alone
there are more dimwits like me;
She guided to a website and said
“Post your problem in the thread”(!)

All that I know is the one I use with the needle
Gnashing her teeth, I could hear her
praying all her Gods for forbearance
but managed to ram it into my head!

Followed her instructions, I did
and now waiting with bated breath
and crossed fingers for the day
comments choose to come back to my blog!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ask me not who I am

and why I stand forlorn;

A traveler who has lost the will

to reach my destination, that’s me

Monday, March 8, 2010


       The World Wide Web is abuzz with International Women’s Day wishes today.  Text Messages, Telephone calls and Personal greetings keep pouring in from friends and colleagues who are determined to remind us it’s Our Special Day.  
       Many companies and organizations make elaborate arrangements every year on Women’s Day.  The celebrations actually run into days prior to the D-Day with competitions galore-never mind that the events could be as silly as musical chairs, memory games etc., which are not even played by the high school crowd these days.  The idea probably is that the Poor women, who are hounded at home and workplace need to let down their tresses and de-stress.  Some events are also held for both the sexes, especially to appease the men, who, more often than not, happen to be the bosses too.   Women celebrities, news-makers, movers and shakers are in great demand this day to make not-too-long speeches that are sufficiently serious, extolling the achievements of women in all fields and berating the role of men in their lives, if necessary.  After some free snacks and a lot of new-found bonhomie with the gathered women, everyone feels suitably privileged. Maybe the husband or the boyfriend takes them out to a candle-lit dinner in the evening, buys them a suitably valuable gift and the day ends on a dreamy note.  But then, dawn does not really bring a new day-it’s back to the drudgery of home and workplace. Do these celebrations make any tangible change for the better in women’s lives?
            The average woman is a glorified servant in her home.  It is seen the world over that the unpaid services of women are considerably greater than that of men.  A working woman is no different from a juggler, expected to keep so many balls in the air at the same time, with no appreciation for the tricky manoeuvres, but immediate criticism for the slightest mishap.  She is, no doubt, the Mother-of-all-Multi-taskers.  The contribution of men towards running the house-hold in most cases is limited to lifting the telly remote.  Even if the woman earns more than the man or her job comes with more responsibilities or is more demanding, it is the woman who is expected to do the cooking, cleaning, supervising the domestic help, tending to children’s and elders’ needs.  The man would happily be parked on his haunches, not lifting his little finger to ease his woman’s burden.  If a woman is to succeed in her chosen field, she has to develop a considerably thick skin towards her detractors, turn selectively deaf to her colleagues’ barbs, be blind to her family’s short-comings and selfishness, manage to keep her other half always happy, her children and the elders in the family well-fed and healthy, learn the fine art of humoring the domestic help-in short, forget about her own self totally and live her life for others.
Every woman is indeed a miracle for what she accomplishes in her day-to-day life in spite of all odds.  This brings to mind the poem ‘Accomplishments’ by Elizabeth Ralph Mertz. 

When Aristotle wrote his books,
When Milton searched for rhyme,
Did they have toddlers at the knee
Requesting dinner time?

When Dante contemplated ‘hell’
Or Shakespeare penned a sonnet,
Did Junior interrupt to say
His cake had ketchup on it?

When Socrates was teaching youth
And Plato wrote the Phaedo,
Were they the ones to clean the mess,
The Children made with Play-doh?

If Edmund Burke had had to work
On all kids’ ablutions,
Would he have the time and strength,
To speak on revolutions?

Did food get bought when Darwin
Sought the origin of species?
Or, did he have to hush the tots,
And tell them not to tease, please?

When Judges Holmes and Brandies donned their robes
And gave their wise opinions,
Was laundry piled a meter high
With socks mixed up with linens?

How much greater, then, the task
Of those who manage both,
Who juggle scholarship with child
Development and growth,
And how much greater is the praise
For those who persevere
And finish their advanced degrees
And take up a career!

This poem remains relevant even today, some thirty odd years after its writing.  This is indeed proof that not much has changed in women’s lives in the last few decades.  One only hopes that the next few decades at least would see some changes for the better in terms of male participation in the home sphere and ease the lives of women.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Arthur Ashe, the legendary Wimbledon player was dying of 
AIDS which he got due to infected blood he received during 
a heart surgery in 1983..
From world over, he received letters from his fans, one of which
conveyed: "Why does GOD have to select you for such a bad disease"?

To this 
Arthur Ashe replied:

"The world over, 50 million  children start playing tennis, 

5 million learn to play tennis,
500,000 learn professional tennis, 
50,000 come to the circuit, 
5000 reach the  grand slam, 
50 reach Wimbledon, 
4 to semi final,
2 to the finals. 
When I was holding a cup I never asked
GOD 'Why me?'. 

And today in pain I should not be asking GOD 'Why me?'

Happiness keeps you Sweet, 
Trials keep you Strong, 
Sorrow keeps you Human,
Failure Keeps you Humble, 
Success keeps you Glowing, 
But only God Keeps you going.....
Keep Going.....

Thursday, March 4, 2010


           The Board fever is here!  From the look of things, it seems worse than the deadliest of the deadly crop of fevers that seem to be afflicting scores of people these days.
            Come rainy season and the mosquitoes begin to compete with the Chinese and us Indians to multiply their numbers exponentially.  They seem to be everywhere.  These miniature demons seem to have built-in radar which chooses the safest nook and cranny of the human body to escape detection.  These pesky brats can successfully hoodwink even the most sophisticated state-of-the-art mosquito demolition contraptions.  There is even a fair chance that we can wrestle PoK territories back to our control but our war against the pesky moskis is a goner.
            These evil arthropods bestow upon us a variety of fevers.  We have run out of words in the English language to name these fevers, that we have to borrow from sundry African languages.  So we have these exotic fevers like Chikungunya, Dengue, Ross River fever, Malaria, Filaria and so on.  These illnesses can be debilitating, as anyone stricken by these will vouch for.  But this Board Exam fever seems to beat it all.
           Now, this Board Exam fever is raging high in our home too.  It’s been days since hunger pangs were actually felt; sleep is a rare commodity and counting hundreds of sheep resorted to as a routine.  The telly lies forlorn, untouched, uncared for, ignored, for most part of the day.  Any single sign of entertainment or recreation is frowned upon and shunned.  Books other than school text books and reference books are taboo.  We wait with bated breath for the D-day, our innards all tightly tensely knotted…
          Strangely, this fever seems to affect only us parents-my daughter is merrily going about her everyday business with not a care in the world!!

When light in my window fades, comes the night

I see your eyes and in them, the stars twinkling

When glow worms sparkle and flicker in the light

I see your face, lit up with the rays of the morning

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Teenage Daughter Emerges

As a Fresh and Fragrant Bloom!

No Flaws Mar the Whole Effect

But You Should See Her Room!!!