For the past few weeks, the media have been drawing our attention to just one place: A place without Sachin Tendulkar. In a world of my own troubles, little did I care about the much hyped scary thought of a cricketing world without this gifted right handed batsman. A country where our people have been ridiculously calling him 'God'. I didn't need to waste time thinking about how jobless the media people were in trying to divert the way of life of this country by using catchy phrases that promoted Sachin's retirement all the more glamorously. These promos reached fever pitch in the last week, and I still didn't care. I honestly felt the significance of his leaving had lost it's charm way before the series even started. Our media behave like Gujarati aunties, over filling our plate, standing by our side, feeding us right until we beg for mercy and ask them to stop. It wasn't even the end of the World Cup 2011, and SET MAX started feeding us with ads "Don't miss next week's IPL". And us, like idiots, don't know when to say no. The same with "Prince ko bachaana hai" of a chaotic story where a kid was trapped in a hole for two days, and how we dug him out. Two days of just that story. The day after, we were all back to normal- and we'd stare at our TV for other reasons. I was convinced that we would get past this whole 200th test drama. Just the way we saw off a 9/11 event or a Hurricane Katrina.
I heard stories of people reaching out to politicians and the who's who of the cricketing fraternity only to get a promise of a pass to his last match. Some I heard went up for sale at a price of Rs.50,000 a ticket. Really??
Even for the most die hard Tendulkar fans, this was unheard of. I only felt sorry for Sachin; thinking about the kind of pressure he must've been dealing with. The pressure to perform on his final match. I had always been following this fascinating sport ever since the 99 World Cup. Yes, when we donned those jerseys which had funky fluorescent yellow and blue going on, and it was in England. It looked all too good to miss. I came to know of this man named Sachin Tendulkar only because my dad would have this habit of recording every single innings that he batted. He'd ask me to help out a few times. After recording the live match, he would go back to the same videos and edit out the ads (He'd do that with two VCRs working with each other, and don't ask how)
I always considered myself more of a Ganguly fan. Loved his aggression, his on-field ruthlessness to win, and his off-side shots. Sachin to me was just the chosen poster boy who I felt got a lot more attention than what he deserved. I would question this ever lasting, unfazed love my friends and family held for this cricketer with the number 10 on his back. Sure, he'd make the occasional hundred and drive the ball down the ground with the straight face of his bat. But then people's comments like "Ahhh! Did you see that??! What class. God is playing" just wasn't enough for me to appreciate him the way they did.
Further to that, we launch a show dedicated to showcasing Sachin's memorable matches. Uggh.
Having said all that, I still wanted to watch his final innings. Not because I wanted to see him bat, but for watching his fan's reactions as he stepped onto the ground for the final time. Sachin went about making his runs like another day in the office. Nothing extravagant from a seasoned cricketer who knew how to make his runs. He composed himself really well to make his 70 odd runs before getting out and breaking the hearts of all those people who thought he'd score another 100. A slap to those ever optimistic fools who wanted him to come back to bat again (even if it meant that his team-mates would lose their wickets quickly) Sachin's wicket stated that Life ain't all full of sunshine and roses. Job well done, Sachin. Thanks for not turning this into another Bollywood movie.
But on the final day, when Ravi Shastri handed over the mike to Tendulkar, I was expecting a quick "Ok thank you, goodbye" kind of message that he'd leave us with. Who are we kidding, i'm sure that everyone of you expected that mundane farewell that has been so overly used by every departing sportsman, and you'd be alright with that since Sachin's given us so much already. My thumb was already on the next channel of the TV remote, since I was expecting his speech to be a quick one, that we'd conveniently forget in the next week.
The chants at Wankhade reverberated the word "Sachin" as every person in the stadium made it all the more difficult for him to speak. I felt sorry for the chap and was hoping that the crowd would grant him due credit that he deserves and let him finish his thank you note in peace. Sachin had a different plan for us. He took Sachin Mania to a whole new different level of nostalgia, as he spoke about the most important people in his Life. His child-like smile, and absolute humility as he went on thanking the people in his list made me realize just exactly why India love him so much: An honest hard-worker who touched the sky with his brilliance, but yet remained grounded as a true example of a great sportsman. The adoration and mutual respect he shared with his supporters, and he never, never put himself above them.
On the last hour, he gave something to his fans that was completely unexpected; a chance for them to look at things in his perspective as he brought up anecdotes from his past, filling our hearts with smiles and tears. What was truly great was his ability to hold a straight face especially in such an overwhelming occasion. So emotional was this ride, that he not only brought back his past memories, but he also reminded us of our own. Flashes of his brilliance hit me straight away; His hook shot against Carrick against England, his match winning 99 against Pakistan in the World Cup, his Sharjah fury against Australia- and all those times when my friends would forget personal relations if it meant defending Sachin against trash talking.
I found myself slowly gulping, and I have to admit that i'm going to miss him like hell. I can't begin to imagine what a true Sachin fan must be feeling right now. For a world of cricket without Sachin.
I realized how wrong I was in thinking that Sachin was just a passing phase, and wrong in thinking that we'd just be able to go back to our own lives waiting for something new. Sachin Tendulkar, the number 10 and his time with the bat were not just his own memories, but they're ours as well. Sachin fan or not, like it or not, he's been part of your Life too, and you may never know how.
Losing teaches us much more than what winning does. It teaches us ways of finding possible root cause, dig deep and feel better about it by feeling worse.
Life's like Poker at these times;
You tell yourself to wait for that good hand which may or may
never come, and you slowly watch your stack of chips drain out without any impact on the table.
What started off as a harmless visit to Atlantic city, ended up to an experience of a lifetime. I thought I'd play slow, pace myself and cash out the moment I'd hit a breakeven mark. Amongst the table with Italians, Koreans and Afro-Americans, I slowly count my chips, I've almost hit that break even mark. "But I just got here, maybe a little more". I hear the discussions around the table were about my play. I loved the attention. I kid myself into believing that I can actually walk out with a big win and make that impact. I'm almost out of jail and recovered my losses. I step away to take a leak break, and I get back feeling confident than ever. Oh, that blood rush. But a few hands don't go as planned, and I start seeing a small seepage in my full-sized tank. I see the stack slowly capsizing. I am pissed at myself, my resolve to be rock solid is slowly turning to dust.
And with the heat of it all, i place big bets, stupid bets. Why didn't I walk out when I had the chance? Of all the decisions I could've have made at that time, why did I go for the most stupidest way out?
Even now, as I write this, I think about how i kept convincing myself that the stack sitting in front would be cashed-in right away, just 2 more hands. The vision of the Fort Knox reduce to nothing in a matter of a few stupid decisions plays on like a non stop tape in my mind.
As I Watch my stack slowly capsize, I end up being pissed at myself for even being in this position. How could I let my emotions take over mind, blind me- to the extent that i am just left with myself regretting.
I walk out with nothing in hand, only a big ass debt to remind me of being such a fool. I only wonder how long would I take until I snap out of this wretched feeling. Hell, this is just what I needed. A chance to fucking snap back at myself, a kick in the ass- tell me to get up to tell me how insignificant this is.
How insignificant. This is something I know I can direct my mind out of. I shouldn't let this thought consume me so much that I trash the rest of my hard earned holiday.
Losing is easy. That feeling of regret is hard. Recovering from it is the hardest.
I am stronger than this, and if this is the "holy shit" jolt I needed, it was a damn good one.
Maybe this has a point. Maybe this is completely random. Maybe I found a solid way to document my feelings. This is satisfying. I was sitting on my desk at work just a week ago, writing an email to my customer, thanking him for his patience and cooperation while I handled his ticket. Now I’m sipping on a Café Mocha at one of those hundred thousand Starbucks café’s, at Central Park, New York.
I have no plan- and I feel GREAT.
Be random. Be crazy. Explore.
This world has so so much to offer, and it is always for the taking.
Go out. Your friends give you that much needed company, but you restrict your movement. So much like dancing. If you are with a friend, you take one step to the left, and one step right, keeping your front to your friend. This dance floor is yours. You are here for a reason, to dance. You think about it, and you realize that you aren’t doing justice. Snap out of your left right, and turn around, clap your hands randomly to make some noise and treat this like your playground. Forget that you even came with someone.
Aaah the possibilities open up if you only keep an open mind! Be Crazy. It’s alright to let your heart make all the decisions. Dance! I think I found a point to this. This is a toast to myself for making this decision of coming here. Halfway across the globe, just a passport in hand, and my imagination to help me
Here’s to craziness. Here’s to randomness. Here’s to things may-or-may-not working out.
Here’s what I just got in my mail:
Instituting civil and or criminal proceedings against the noticee having deliberately failed to pay an outstanding due amount for the client's telecom services."
“So what’s the worst that could happen?” is the question that my parents would warn me against asking myself, ever. Yet, this question always runs through my mind whenever I get into a situation that has a potential to open Pandora's box full of troubles, such as this one. An open threat to take me to court if I fail to pay my telephone dues.
Most would be careful enough to avoid that trouble and sort it out beforehand. "Pay up, and get it over with". They want to restore everything to the way it was, and get back their shit. Ha! The words “restore” and “back to the way it was” have just one significance. It means Living backwards.
Instead, I see this as an opportunity; to experience things in my Life (good/bad) that others haven’t had the courage or madness to cope with. It’s probably an ego issue, or that sudden touch of craziness- a
stance to challenge the system; no matter if you are right or wrong, you just want that thrill of getting involved with something that you’ve never really faced before.
On a similar context, when you know your house is in a twister prone region. Every now and again, you will hear reports of a possible storm that could destroy your house, put your life at risk, and that never ending list of reasons why you must seriously think of relocating. But no. You stay put, and you wait it out, angrily. In spite of everyone’s sermon and public warnings, you express your intent to stay, trying to prove a point. Then comes that time, when the situation gets worse, that you see this massive twister making its way into your neighborhood which was already evacuated a few days ago, and you only stare in disgust at this magnificent work of nature that people keep running away from.
You feel a sense of power, this act of defiance speaks volumes about you, this sets you apart from the rest. Most would call this utter madness, there’s minimal chance of survival- and yet, you are rock solid in stance.
Now for just a single second, your mind gives in to the possibility of the worst thing that could happen. Maybe all those warnings were made for a reason. Everyone else has left for a reason. That single doubt that seeps into your head snowballs into you questioning yourself “Damn. I should’ve listened”.
It’s too late, you panic, you pee, and you weep. Time to pray. Whether or not this storm consumes you, you’ve lost the game you’ve been playing by yourself. You just want out.
Darn it, I just debated with myself and realized that I better pay up the money I owe these people and go back to restoring things the way they were, before I end up in prison for not paying a lousy telephone bill. That would just be plain stupid.
If played at the right time, or the right place- any song will seem like a message from God. "Leaving on a Jet Plane" is that song which i'd hate listening to on any other occasion. But if it's relevant to the moment, i'd find myself in a huddle with other people, singing my heart out, tear in the eye and pointing my half empty beer bottle to this hero who's leaving town. We make things look like he's going to war, or he's going out to the Wall, saving us from the Night Walkers, and he may never come back. We want to remind ourselves how much we love this guy, and we want to believe that this guy may never come back again. And you are one of these people. You act like you're that only best friend who was always there to protect him, and this is the end- because this is where you let him go.
Holy Shit. Wake up.
He's only relocating to a better place, with a better job, better lifestyle and a much better salary than you. And if you're worried about not being able to see him again, don't. He'll make sure to visit once in a year, for his own reason which is more or less like a reality check, to gauge how much he's progressed in Life. And
if you think that sounds brutal, fuck you, because you would do that too if you were in the same place. I'm not saying that he'd come back and gloat or anything. He will miss all those good times with you, we're all human- and moving on is always tough- but he will only realize how tough leaving is when he's eventually left, and when he's by himself in a new place and he will have no one to tell him just much he's being
I spent my Saturday evening at a send-off for a close friend, and this one did not have any of those
points I just mentioned. Just a fun evening with friends, dancing, music and drinks- without a single "we will miss you" chant. The only thing that we did do wrong, I felt, is call it a "Good-bye" party; a title I feel we could have done without as well.
My point? That I feel the whole sequence of you swaying around with your friends, crying over that "Jetplane" song and all those "We will miss you" messages to that friend who's leaving, eh, it's just too much drama. This poor guy isn't even feeling that bad about leaving, he's probably excited- and here
we are putting up this show for him to force those tears out of him and make him admit that he will miss us.
If he doesn't give in, and if he holds his ground by telling us to chill out, then hell breaks lose, everything's gone haywire, and yeah I've even seen fights start over this "how could you not be emotional" shit.
It's a Monday now, and that person's gone, and we're back to doing what we do, carrying on with this
endless loop of keeping ourselves busy. If we think about how did our weekend go, we'll probably think
on the lines of "Bahut hogaya. Enough drinking, enough drama, it's time I concentrate on my own job
See? Now this is what I call waking up.
There are those people who said the same thing to themselves even before that send-off party happened on the weekend, and they were considered the outcasts at that time because they were sitting quiet and
watching, while the rest of us were in the moment.
Don't get me wrong. I love you over-the-top-emotional people, because that's what makes every send-off
so much more draame-baaz. But i'm just saying it's fine if the one who's leaving doesn't join our rona-dhona charade, and it's absolutely fine if we never play that bloody "Leaving on a Jetplane" song on every damn sendoff..!
"Pass.. Pass.. Pass!!" somebody shouts, as my player makes his way down the flank. "Hit square, cross it..!" somebody else yells. Everyone's eyes are glued to the TV as my player flicks the ball to Rooney who's standing close to the goal. Ball's almost there, hovering above him and now everyone in the room sits silent, waiting for me to tap the right button. This is FIFA.
Hours go by, and we're still there, staring at the screen, tapping the buttons hard, swerving ourselves as our player makes a run along the pitch. Girlfriends, wives, uncles and dogs wonder how long more until we look away from the screen to give the rest of the world some attention. Though it just carries on with one word at the end of every game, "Rematch".
There's never that feeling of guilt for having played too much, never a time that's inappropriate for playing football. But then again, you would find yourself in conflict with non players. They wouldn't understand.
Look at what I've turned into. This game seemed pretty harmless when I used to play with friends in school and college. It was just one of those titles sitting on my shelf until I felt it had been long since I played football. It was hardly competitive, and even if it was- I'd put the game back in it's case and give time to games like "Mafia" "Mortal Kombat" or "Prince of Persia".
So I come to Bangalore and I'm doing my bit with exploring this city and it's people. I make a few friends, and we're sitting at Jimmy's café. Good times, good conversations. One of them casually asked if I like playing FIFA. I nod in agreement "Yep, and I'm pretty good at it too" and smile to myself thinking about all those hours I played back at home. That's the end of that topic, I thought.
"Really? How about we play some at your place after this beer?" says this newly found friend. I didn't see that coming. What was concerning was that grin on his face, the "just you wait and watch" kinds.
Never even done that before. I mean, don't get me wrong- I've hung out with friends outside and met up for a beer. But inviting someone I barely know to play FIFA with me in my living room just one on one? This was like taking things to a new level.
"Sure, let's do this" had to be said. And an hour later, we find ourselves with a controller in our hands, and in front of the TV.
"Who the hell does this guy think he is?" I want to make this quick and show him where he belongs, outside.
This is my living room, my Playstation and MY domain: That's what I am talking about.
He selects a familiar team, and I go with my all time favourite 'Manchester United'.
Game time: Not like I knew the players by name, nor had I ever even seen them play on TV, but this was the team I would always use back at home and show my friends how ruthlessly I score.
But hold on, this dude's doing something different here. In a few minutes, I feel like I've seen stuff that I never thought existed in FIFA. And in a minute after that, he scores.
Silence. The only words I could find to say were "How.. how did you do that?"
Along the course of the match, I found my players running around like headless chickens, like the start of the movie Lagaan. But this guy was quick, accurate and had a plan. I kept asking him the same question again and again "How did you do that" and he only kept smiling. That same Jimmy's café grin. How the fuck did I get myself into this.
"Rematch" happened, and another one after that. Same result.
More than the scorelines, what I found really embarrassing was when he would pause the game to give me advise. "Dude, you should build your game play. Use more of through balls".
I pretend to understand, but I'm thinking to myself : "What the fuck are through balls?!"
There had to be an explanation to this madness. In a few games, I felt robbed off all the credit that I gave myself for being a good player. This felt was worse than Dexter going back to the drawing board. Atleast, I didn't have an annoying DeeDee to laugh at me- Thank god for that.
This was not over. I sucked it up, and kept in touch with this guy who showed me that FIFA was not just a game, it was an identity in itself that you need to learn, understand and live with.
The next morning, I messaged him over Whatsapp. "Hey there. Need to ask you something. What's a through ball?"
Girls, if you think the best way to impress a guy is through cooking, or a fancy dress- think again. I'm sure most guys would agree to this one code of life:
Too much work for such a simple thing. The process involved of making it, lighting it up, smoking it, and showing the people around you that it's "working", arrghh. Too much work. And i'm sure you must be raising your eyebrow and your mouse pointer's already hovering around the "X" to close this page, but wait. Before I lose you, let me explain myself.
I'm a novice, and the seasoned ones would argue that I have no idea what i'm talking about. But don't we need stuff for us beginners too? Like a manual of some sort, or initial training. You guys expect us to stand around with you, watch you roll it, wait for our turn - and get down to it like we own the joint in our hands, and we know exactly what we're doing.
There are just so many terms for the same act of smoking up. WHY?
Why?? Isn't that one term cool enough? Or is that term so overused that we need to keep coming up with newer ones? Not only does the act itself has so many phrases, but even the objects used to "get us there" have different references.
"Give me a puff", "Do you have a joint?", "Ayye Sutta de na" and so many more.
Now what's my point to all of this talk? Nothing. Does there always have to be a point? Maybe NOW the ones who want to make better use of their time have clicked that bloody "X" on the upper right corner, closing the page and have gone back to Mark Zuckerberg's creation known as "Facebook". You know what? Let them leave. They'll only go back to their freakin' wall and admire the number of likes for that brilliant selfie which turned out so good only because they know what's the best angle to click from.
I'm sure you know what i'm talking about. Because we've all been there too.
So for those of you who are still here, "Hey what's up".
Back to the whole "give me my puff part". So I am a novice, and I am in no position to say how amazing or how useless it us, but I have tried it. And I still don't get the point of it. It gives me a headache, and it makes my throat hurt. But I'm always about following protocol and ensuring that others follow what I follow too.
So to help out the interns, I've come up with a list of rules that are silently followed by almost everyone at every random house party I've been to.
Rules of engagement:
1. Must be done in a circle: Whether you realize it or not, all your friends gather around in a circle, so that one joint is easily accessible by anyone.
2. The joint is passed around: Even if there are 5 to 8 people who usually smoke 15 cigarettes a day, there's just a single joint that's passed around and by the time it reaches you, it's that stub which you shouldn't even be smoking, but you do it anyway.
3. When you take a puff, everyone in the circle look away: they won't ever stare at you doing it (unless you tell them it's your "first time") but the moment you start coughing (if, that is) a few will give you advise starting with "I've been watching you the entire time, you not doing it right; you aren't taking it through your nose." Like they hold a certification for smoking up.
4. Either have slow rock, or no music at all: Anything else will be looked down upon, mocked, criticized, loathed and judged. I've been there. It does happen.
5. Guys with long hair and beards are suddenly taken way more seriously within that circle. Whatever they say is godly, period.
6. They all agree that the most awesome person alive today is: Batman.
It wouldn't ever be taken too well if my family read this, but I strongly encourage everyone to try it once in their life. Not smoking up in particular; but find a way of being accepted in that circle. Or at least think that way to feel awesome for that one evening.
Live this world, feed off the good times and share them..!
Its not everyday that i decide to do something different.
Most of them pass quickly staring at my phone, my desktop, my laptop, my TV or the ceiling. That's it. As boring as it may sound, those are the things that keep most of us going everyday. This is what we ARE..
Sure, we all want to disagree and try prove the world wrong by
taking those random, sudden leaps of faith. But eventually, we all get
here.. Back to staring at the ceiling, the TV or even an open balcony with a view.
The point to this site is not to preach, but to give you guys some time off and stare at something else for a change. You can use your mind if you like, or not. But it would help if you would since you'd probably learn a few more things about me.
I'm Nikhil, and i like my name, and i am 30 and I'm somewhat like you when it comes to deciding which ice cream flavour I want (except that I'm most of the times not afraid to tell people what's on my mind while in the process of eventually selecting chocolate).
I won't talk much about who I am and I want you to know me by what I write here. It's how every relationship works, a slow twisted process of finding our way into each other's lives. Let's keep it that way, and judge all you want.
My blogs are going to be about what I think, what i think people think and oh, I will entertain.
I won't lie, that I try too hard to impress. But sometimes, it actually works!!
This feels like I'm talking to myself. I don't like the idea of talking to myself;
I feel like I'm getting old, I feel lonely.. I'd rather say this in person to know what the others think.
I guess that's a good reason why they have a "comments" section below :-/
Just to let you know how much your comments mean to me- let me tell you that i'm that guy who'd watch a movie for the 15th time only to know how much you liked it.
Rocky, King Kong (the Peter Jackson one) and "Koi.. mil gaya" are a few of those which i'd watch a zillion times with you. Only just that while watching, i will NOT tolerate small talk that's not relevant to the movie.
Enough rambling. Now let the real rambling begin.. The ones that i am looking forward to are those
awkward moments I encounter and love talking about and to know what people think. So by all means, feel free to comment whenever you see the chance!