Friday, December 26, 2003


Its interesting how different words describe & therefore colour otherwise one given state of inertia, event or action. And interesting too is the time and purpose dimension attached while forming our opinions. For example, a state of inaction could be called lethargy or patience, a telling of truth could be honest or tactless. And all of this so circumstantial, that one is constantly bombarded with a myriad of choices & therefore the consistency of our basic persona is violated every once in a way.

And to eliminate this incessant need to flex, we may decide to choose a fixed, well thought out demeanour for our social, personal & professional lives. However, this too in itself is not way out from this quandary. For one, its difficult to be tactful in your professional life & continue to be honest in your personal & social lives. Second, it is demanding at the least to isolate traits of oneself, change just that to a certain degree, & yet retain to a very large extent the pluses that one has. For example, if one chooses to be tactful, he or she sacrifices a certain amount of eloquence or flair at the same time.

So we come back to the struggle to find an equilibrium, to learn to live in our skins.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

A reason to smile

Cricket has always been a close accomplice! Right from the days of learning to divide faster & faster to keep up with the required run rate, to learning that a projectile thrown with the same force covers the maximum distance if released at 45 degrees - so that’s you throw the red cherry back to the wicket keeper - , to learning the art of chewing gum, to learning poetry from a lethargic, almost reluctant, Azharuddin flick past square leg, to learning flight from a certain Jonty Rhodes, cricket has been a constant, fun filled, philosophy of life.

In the recent Brisbane test, the Aussies were bowled out for a respectable, at best, 323. This after they got off to a brilliant start and getting upto 260 odd for the loss of just two wickets. They had lost 8 wickets for a paltry 60 runs. It was India's turn to bat.

India had had a despicable start to the tour & pathetic memories of Aussie stints in the last decade or so. They had a lost to a county side leading up to this test. There was moisture in the air & clouds further up. There were talks of 'chin music' that the Indians will face from the Aussies. We debated if we could save following on even if the rains curtail play. Our cricketing faculties were crippled and would perish, sooner than later, I concluded.

India scored a clinical 350 odd runs that day at an average of over 3.5, helped by exquisite strokeplay by VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly.

It isn't often that I get my cricket wrong. And It usually does not feel this good.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

American societal nuance

Two of top stories featured in CNN today tell the tale of a eleven year old child being starved & beaten to death by her parents and a woman biting off part of her boyfriend's tongue. The element of shock lies not in the sheer brutality of what ensued, but in my own vague rosy notion of a civilized society. I never did think that the USA was a country of freaks though I did see ample evidence of this during my stay in Minneapolis, more on television than on the streets of the city; but then America does on the whole come across as a wealthy, educated society which values the institutions of common virtues.

Is this a country of acute intolerance of even the slightest frustration? Is this a country of so many triumphs, of so many opportunities, of so many comforts that the flimsiest adversity knows no precedents?

Sometimes the burden of worries, problems and constraints on our shoulder keep our feet firmly grounded. It is not such a bad thing, after all.