Sideways

The racquet and the canvas

File:Roger Federer Signature 2013.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Seldom we see individuals who are destined to become legends in their own rights who can leave an impact on millions who remember an event in their lives and realize, either there is a small sparkle in their eyes or an unstoppable expression of joy in their hearts gently visible through a tickle of smile on the face. Few generations are lucky enough to see such people in their lifetime and I am no exception and cannot express my gratitude on how happy I am to be part of such timeline. Two individuals whom I have never met in person yet bring moments that can be cherished forever are Sachin Tendulkar and Roger Federer.

I was ignorant enough to believe that cricket would no longer be fun to watch when Sachin decided to tie the laces together, but soon realized the canvas that he left behind was an eternal masterpiece. Today though, albeit a heavy heart, this tribute is for Roger Federer.

The racquet in his hands move like an artistic brush meant to paint the court with colors brilliant enough to stamp immortal etchings on our hearts. The no nonsense aura that he brings to the court with an unnerving calm on his face make his fan’s heartbeat that resonate with the ball hitting his racquet’s strings. When his hand becomes one with the racquet and begin painting the court canvas with strokes of flamboyant lines, there are few options but to witness the artistic masterpiece in making. His backhand baseline looped return strikingly resembles a rainbow in making with vivacious forehand winner giving the final touch to the artistry.

Be it a green, blue, or red canvas, the brush (racquet) in his hand effortlessly moves with strokes of brilliance and mastery. He may have aced few canvases more than others, but his sheer presence creates a picturesque setting to treat game’s immortal lovers. Gentleman to the core, he wears his personality as dress, his mental balance of stamina and the body working in one unison with on objective of producing a game that can also sound like a song. The smile on his winning face is an invisible ink of autograph for his fans and his defeats are heartbreaking.

We may see a nemisis on the other side of the court but Roger’s vision witnesses a co-artist. Be it a cause of celebration or being better, there is no dearth of memories for tennis’s fans. Every game is a painting and every shot a stroke of artistry, his skills were unparallel and his talent screams genius.

Thank God! for giving me a timeline that I can be very proud to share with the legend. Thank you, Roger for giving us the game that was painted on an eternal canvas.

May the lights shine forever

Happy Diwali!

Its been a while for me to re-visit my ‘freedom’ and ponder upon my thoughts and let them fly freely. Diwali is an apt moment for myself to reflect upon and see, where I have been and how I am doing. Festive season has started with great enthusiasm both at work and home and all around. With elections concluded and Obama won his second term, couple of bad news from India, reactions were mixed but, that only strengthened the position of time against human race. My regular hearings of perfectly rendered mythological speeches from ‘Shri Changanti’ bring me peace and tranquility in my everyday commute.  Looking back, there is little or no improvement on who I am and what I do. As a man sometimes I go low and seldom excel. Diwali reminds me the fact that the festival is not about lighting up your house but your soul. Victory of ‘Good’ over evil signifying the billions of lamps that are lit in every Hindu household is a mere representation of what we can do in the materialistic world, while ‘alarm’ us that the real meaning lies within ourselves to see if the ‘God’ inside each one of us is still lit.

I now do not hesitate to give myself a good amount of beating on all the wrongs I do, but the habit of putting myself up there for a small achievement still makes me a downturn brat. I hope, with each Diwali in my life, I shall resume myself and make sure my soul is still lighting inside and keep myself away from the dark thoughts and deeds. Everyday I learn repeatedly that there are people who love me most and I don’t share the same with them. My selfishness and ego sometimes endangers the light that I have inside but more than anything it is their love and prayers that keep me going.

Whatever way we celebrate Diwali, there is only one way to celebrate it with happiness, of sharing love and showering love unto others who matter the most. Blessed I am like most of you that I see, hear and talk. Do I use my senses to see light or darkness lies within my conscience and wisdom. I pray, I pray to God that Diwali be celebrated by every human inside their hearts and keep their souls lit forever.

May the lights shine forever…

2011…2

With the new year around the corner (few hours literally), sitting down leisurely and writing this blog post is a real blessing. Family is asleep and like my usual monstrous early wake-up jitters, today is no different than others. Being Saturday does not qualify itself to be on the calm morning for me as I am someone who like to waste as much time as possible in a 24-hr slot. Sleeping is like doing NOTHING and for me, WASTING precedes NOTHING.

We will be soon moving into a new home, bigger, probably better in the next few weeks and leaving a home where we’ve been from last 7 years plus does give some sentimental goosebumps. I hope to see that the new year shall bring something which I have been asking, trying, praying, failed-to-get, not-so-successful-at and positively distant; the so called RESPONSIBILITY. My wife works hard, hard enough that kids barely miss me in a given day and things run at their efficient best when I am not around; a strange nostalgia I digest and look at it every time I walk in front of a mirror. I quoted yesterday to my colleagues in my office pantry, “don’t look at the new year adding an year to your age, but think that you are 1 more year wise”, and yet the words stop at the tip of the tongue which I should have gulped with, if not lucid then normal.

Retrospection is a way to cheat one-self so convincingly that you pat your back saying you’ve done it and you are good to go. But actions matter, and I need to sit down and think hard about them. My girl friend days were so ‘magnificent’ , that they branded me ‘versatile genius’ and yet here I am memorizing those days, chewing them hard and look at myself in awe (in more distressful way though). Is this what I am, I was and I will. In all honesty God gave me a wonderful brain and a beautiful heart, but placing them in right place earns one-self, but often not, I failed miserably in putting them at good use.

365 days have passes since my thoughts take shape for yet another new year, but things have improved little and I am not only adamant to change, but would like to see the ‘change’. My biggest bad habit is to ‘argue’, to a point where the opposite gives up because the argument looses its logic and they fear a fight. I know ways to improve and win them, but I hardly try so. My knowledge has hardly transformed into ‘wisdom’ and my passion dies before its born and lately I don’t see eye-to-eye with my own reflection.

Either I started hating stuff too much (like Apple, Inc) or love others too much (too many to list), a concept which is so hard to find in me in my early days. Either I excelled or have not given a try, the only two things I knew I am better yet. I haven’t been to Temple for long, I am at my usual best in arguing if God does exist? But, deep in my thoughts I know what I trust to be God and I go to temple, not to pray for myself but for the rest. It gives me an egoistic satisfaction that God had left nothing from me and gave me enough ego, fortitude and prejudice to pray for others. I have to teach my kids the concept of cultural harmony and why Hindu temples are epicenter of wisdom hubs. Neither of my kids are best at sports and yet have commensurate skill sets and as a father I have failed them.

Parents are thousand miles away, and sometimes you need someone elder and wiser to tap on your head and bring conscience and consciousness. Unfortunately, its been me and myself. My wife often not is the one who does that work for me and I thank her less, may be NOT. Its time that I change and bring peace to myself and everyone around me. Often not I have to keep myself remembering that my Family is a gift to me and not the other way around. Keeping my heart and soul together is what I need to do and continue to do. My wife likes simple things, while I am the most complex person to seek for answers, she often pacifies herself. One remarkable difference I can find in myself is that I have started ‘reading’ and its a good thing to do. It helps me in keeping my head down and utilize unused corners of my brain.

If I go and complain to God, its an injustice, not to me but for God himself. There are more fortunate being than me and even more unfortunate, its a gift that God gave me that I should cherish and live, my life. Great things are often simple and I am convoluted. From a person that I am, its time to be a MAN. I do pray God sometimes for myself, only to be good to others and give me the strength and fortitude to be strong for others and to be selfish in wisdom. So God, come 2012, please watch me over my shoulder, not to inflict pain or difficulty to anyone, good or bad.

From the bottom of my heart I wish everyone a very happy New Year.

Devil’s Paradise

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

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.

On a given day

“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.

The Idol

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.

Smart(er) Phone

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.

Where the ends meet

I have been craving to write for long time, but my thoughts never met it ends. So much to read and so little to write, somehow the equation is not setting right. There is a void in the air with kids spending their summer in India this time. We both miss them and dear, it is heavy! There is so much time now for me and my wife that we spend it thinking what to think. One by one things pile up and the weekend goes by in a zip with complete ineffectiveness, keeping our lazy spirits still at bay. Reading continues and my mind found its solace, it is the heart that turned into a monkey just jumping from nowhere to everywhere. Its confusing and yet clear, its hard yet normal. Its more of WTF attitude you know.

Reading Maximum City brings me back my ’96 days of spending some wonderful time in Mumbai. Thanks to Tassi Maama (my wife’s cousin) to have dropped two of the best books. Was little disappointed to look at my Sis (Prabha) after they came back from India, she looked tired, an expression and state she never knew before, at least I never knew. My VISA, Lakshmi’s passport; a bureaucratic tussle of sorts were finally done (not done done, but done). Now I need to go all the way to DC as if I can fly and get that stuff from the Embassy and the newly outsourced office next to Georgetown Mall. BTW, when I went this morning there, after parking in a structure, I realized that its right under the shopping mall. It was vintage in its look but was gorgeous. Sometimes its good to be in a place where you can ill afford to go by car.

Be it New York or DC, cities have always fascinated me. Again, Maximum City is just drilling my brain right now and shoveling those memories. In my usual ways, I keep reading the Apple bashing these days (wont’ lie, but I like it) and the gulf-oil leak and other potpourri. Like me their ends doesn’t meet either.

So I ask myself, should I walk on the left line or the right? In any case they don’t meet right now and I think I need to buy a chalk and draw a line across. Only, I don’t find one right now.

More later…BTW what is this fuss all about?

NEWS……..All things considered

Honestly, I did not know what the title should be! So, went with the traditional North, East, West and South. Anyway, had to cover lot of stuff for being lazy, lame, excused and guilty.

Mouse Magic

Our family spent the week of Spring Break @ Disney World bringing much required smiles on our cheeks, BACK. Awesome it is, we had great time there visiting Sea World, the 4 Disney Parks and the real icing on the cake was a brief stop-over at Daytona Beach. Obviously, kids had great time and both of them took time to snap their cute faces along with their favorite and not-so favorite characters. Dining at ‘Chef-Mickey’s’ was I guess the best that we had as my childhood fantasy of hugging Mickey Mouse came true. Princess dining was neither less, Nikhita had a dance with Prince Charming and Cinderella. In a nut-shell, the best Spring Break we had to-date. Well! the tradition is established now and we may have to follow the same next year. Looking forward to that. No matter how much I deny, spending time with Family is what makes a person like me a MAN, and more a Good Dad! Thanks to my wife for planning this one up and kids were just wonderful.

Work-O-Rama

Office is keeping me very busy off-late. Doing something really proud for the organization as well adding jewels to my resume crown. I hope it will pay-off and I shall cherish this wonderful milestone in my professional career. Really lucky to be part of the project and really awesome to be the chosen one. For the next few weeks, its all work-o-rama……

iWon

Well, my hatred towards Apple is just growing day-by-day. Not only the company sucks but it successfully made at least a million fools with their iPad. People have long forgotten that iPhone is also a phone (its a different story that it is a useless device as a phone) but have been hearing complaints that people have been suffering from social disorder. Most of them knew that they can ill afford to drop their iStuff than their relationships. My garbage can has more ROI and I feel proud about that. What more strange is that, well, we’ve all built a Frankenstein out of Apple, its market cap is very close to Walmart, ridiculous as it sounds, one day it will be worth pennies.

T20

Cricket is being played so much now, watching it makes me feel that its actually one single match being played an entire year. Next year’s IPL will have two more teams and God only knows how many matches will be played, 90, 100, million, sucks!

Big House – Small House

Yes! we almost did it and Thank God, we kept our urge under control. With house prices coming down (this is probably the world’s firth false truth), we were almost tempted to buy a bigger one and then in the last minute, something bit, very alien, but Godly and we are living happily in the same house again. A small debt is what we chose and I hope we chose the right one. But God it was some experience, granite counter tops, gourmet kitchen, dark Brazilian wood floors, master suite with 6×10 closets, lake view, green lawns, deck, patio and what not, dreams were flowing like Cumberland and at the end, we did not drown.

Turtle in the head

On my way to drop Tanmai to his school one day, a baby turtle was crossing that deserted street on a beautiful sunny spring morning few days back. I slowed down a bit and let the turtle come between my wheels and peeked into my rear-view mirror to make sure I haven’t ran it over. Cute it was but something told me that I should have stopped by the side, picked him up and leave that life by the small pond next to my kid’s school, but I did not. I dropped my kid off and when I was on my way home, I saw that creature by the shoulder with his head down, probably sad being departed from his family. I haven’t stopped then yet.

The next day, my eye balls were circling around to spot that bastard, but I was out of luck and felt bad thinking that I should have stopped yesterday and did what I wanted to. Its been a week now and I still check my luck to see that little rascal again. I do not know where it was then, but I know where it is now, in my head. Sorry turtle!

64 Squares

I may not follow the squares closely, but I am fascinated by its aura. Congratulations to Vishy on keeping his World Chess crown, AGAIN.

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