Friday, September 15, 2006 

The Middle of the bat

Its been a long time since my birthday, but my parents insisted that i buy a birthday gift. So while hanging out in a near by mall i bought it. Now for those who know me this is a surprising gift. For those who dont, i am not too much into reading books. Yes thats right, i bought not one but two books as my gift. What might seem a little less surprising though is the subject of these books - Cricket.

John Wright's account of his tenure with the Indian team starts with his experience as coach before that. Wright has never been an inspirational figure, which is becuase of his silent attitude, but i rate his contribution nothing less than saurav ganguly's. That is probably apparent from the fact that i felt it was worth spending 450/- on his controversial story 'Indian summers'. His experiences after retiring from test cricket were pretty terrible, and how they inspired him to go back to the game he loves makes we wonder sometimes if i can still go down that road. I havent completed the book as yet, and not started with the other one which is a biography of the greatest indian player ever...Rahul Dravid..

As these thoughts start occupying my mind, there came a moment when i started actually contemplating it. After all my aim is to do something i like, isnt it for everyone? But the sheer impracticalability of the situation gets big on me. Although it is a lost cause, i am still hanging in there, trying to find out the perfect match for my capabilities.

There comes a time in every batsman's innings when he has had enough time to gauge the condition and start making runs. But if he still doesnt do that it makes him edgy and sends the wrong signal in the dressing room. I hope i am not crossing that time before i start to find the middle of the bat.

Friday, September 01, 2006 

One Hundred Thirty Four

I turned 23 last tuesday, in all honesty I have stopped enjoying birthdays for a long time. there was a time when i would look forward to the 29th of August but that feeling has deserted me for some time now. Perhaps that reflects the kind of person I am, sinnical at times and very composed at others. While most people would say that they can relate with this, what gives me my individuality is the fact that I am composed in the most difficult situations and can lose it in what may seem a normal situation to most (ofcourse it doesnt seem normal to me). So in a nut shell what i mean is that on a special occasion as a birthday I act normal. Probably not the best thing to do.

But this birthday was very very enjoyable for some obvious reasons (ofcourse obvious only to those who know me, but then again those who dont know me dont read my posts anyway). It was actually the quietest birthday I had which started with some mild spanking from my room mates and ended at my office desk. Probably the biggest celebration of the day came when I ate a 'dark temptation' all by myself sitting alone in a Barista. Not to mention that there was a cake and a very good one that my company gave me and was eaten up by my colleagues, but that was really not the kind of celebration i was looking for. Since i had reached my office very late that day I had to stay till arnd 12 AM to send out some important mails and complete my work. Its a nice feeling at times to be the last person to leave the office. And Ofcourse my birthday ended with the beginning of my roommates birthday and since i was very tired, this time we had even milder spanking.

The real fun about this whole birthday story though lies in the flashback. Since me and my roommate have back to back birthdays we decided (or rather a jigri friend of ours tricked us in) to throw a party to people in Gurgaon on the 26th. We decided that the party be at our place and then went on to deciding the menu. First we went to McDonald's tasted some burgers and had almost finalised it when we came across Nirula's. I would strongly recommend people to eat subz burger at nirula's...its only Rs 19/- and its awesome. So we finally agreed on this one. Dominos for pizza was a uninanimous choice. Then we ordered a cake and faced a rather embarresing situation where we were telling the vendor to write stuff on the cake for ourselves, that was really funny. Then came the invitations. We prepared an excel sheet with separate columns for guys and girls. We forecasted a whopping 8 girls coming to the party. And then there was chaos, the whole apartment started to look dirty. Its amazing what difference girls coming to our place can make. We got the apartment cleaned by the bai, and I spent around 30 mins cleaning the toilet.

Then the living room was set with dim lights and perfect party ambience and then people started showing up, not just from gurgaon but even from bangalore and other parts of the world. Although the wait was a little long but we finally cut the cake. It did not feel too embarressing as I had imagined before. Probably in that moment you never realize that so many people are actually looking at you and waiting for you to cut the cake you feel a sense of gratitude that they are there to sing a song for you. It was great fun talking to old freinds from college and listening to their stories. Above all it was the satisfaction of not really boring people with our party. I guess everyone enjoyed and had a nice time. After all thats what the party was all about. Although we were not expecting any gifts i didnt know people had realised that already. But no one brings gifts to such parties anyways.

I believe if I have to relate this story to cricket then the biggest birthday treat that i can remember was given by Sachin Tendulkar on his birthday in 1998 at Sharjah. That innings is forever etched into the memories of even those for whom that match was their only cricket experience. On the back of a sensational century in the previous match Sachin played like no one knew how to bowl. For me that would rank as one of the 5 best innings in one day cricket. Maybe not in the top 3 because India lost that match. I wish some day I can treat millions of people like that with the ball :)

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