Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Personal jinx!

Lately, I have a feeling that I'm cursed! Any IPL team I support seems to be losing! It started of course, with CSK. I admit it,it was me who was in the way of all their defeats! Took me long enough to realise what the problem was..

It started last saturday. CSK lost against RR. My status message was "Go CSK go!" And they promptly lost the match! There was a match after that - Mumbai indians vs Delhi Daredevils. I was told to "pray that Mumbai wins, cause if they do, CSk goes to the semis". So obviously, my status was "Go Mumbai!". Guess what? They lost the match too!

Coincidence? That's what I thought too, until there was a Mumbai vs RR match.

Jaipur needed 35 runs from 2 overs! Everyone assumed that Mumbai will sail to a finish, but sadly they didn't know that I had just joined the Mumbai cheering squad! Just to irritate a friend I said "Mumbai rocks. Go Mumbai Indians!". The next ball, jaipur hit a six and went on to win the match!!!

It finally dawned on me what I had to do! Switch loyalities! CSK vs Deccan Chargers. CSK's final chance to get into the semis. My status message: "Go Deccan". And guess what? It worked! CSK won! There was much celebration afterwards. Though my team (DC) lost, I was kind hearted enough to be happy for my friends... ;-)

Now I switch my loyalities again:

"Go Punjab! Go Delhi! Go Jaipur! Go Go Go!! Lets kick some CSK ass!!!"


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A racey post!

Recently, Aquila accused "tams" of taking a lot of pride in their race. "Second in the line", she claims,"right after the bongs"! A statement which caught me completely off-guard! Do we really?? The fact is, this is the first such accusation I've faced in the past 21 years..

It all started off with me correcting the way she pronounced "Madras". It's Med(as in short for Medical)-raas. That's the way we pronounce it. Truth be told, I dunno if that's the right way of doing it, but that's the way the localites fondly refer to it as and that's what stays. She insists on "Ma(as in mother)-da-raas". I correct her and she says that's how they write it in Marati and then goes on to accuse me of acting like a bong! * Huh? *

Lemme clear a few things right now. It's not my race/language/culture I'm proud of. They're as good as any other (except maybe America). No better. No worse. But when it comes to my city, it's a whole new story.

Most people assume yhat the 45 degree temperature which forces everyone to flee and the obvious conservative and traditional lifestyle which the people there are so scared to come out of doesnt leave much to be proud of. And now, a cricket team which insists on losing all it's matches doesnt add much!

There is much more to the city than that, but i don't wanna get started on why I love my city again. I promise I'll dedicate a whole post to that when i come back. For now, lemme just state that I love that place and can bear no criticism of chennai or it's people. I mean, will you be quiet if you family is being criticised? :-)

Coming back to the accusation. Yes, if you accuse me of standing up for my city, I shall bow and admit that it is true. So shall every other fellow Chennaite I know. But we do not claim that tamil food is the best. Dosa's are alright, but we can survive on naan just as well. And yes, we crib and crib about not having the perfect filter kaapi, but it doesn't take us too long to realise that Bru is a good substitute - it has a slight chocolatey taste to it too!

But that wasn't her accusation. Her accusation was about how we're proud of being Tamil. Are we, really? It's easy to see why one would think so. Our absolute refusal to accept Hindi as our National language, for starters. For the record, I'm completely with my state government on this. I think it's ridiculous for the Central govt. to force a language upon me. I agree we need a unifying language et al, but why Hindi? It's bullshit to argue that the majority speaks it, cause majority of what? Majority of the people I know don't speak the language! And i live in a Metro!! Why not English? Please don't reply with "English is a foreign language", because Hindi is just as foreign to me as English is. Plus if I learn English, I'll actually be able to communicate with people all around the world. In fact, knowing Tamil, will probably help people much more in Singapore and Sri lanka - where Tamil is a national language. The only reason I see for me to learn Hindi is so that I can watch Shah Rukh Khan movies! But hey, I'd like to learn Chinese so I can watch Bruce Lee too!!

The august before last, we had gone to Nainital on a college trip. We had to buy a few curios and stuff and had to bargain with the peddlers there. We had to speak to them in broken Hindi and every single one of them made it a point to scold us for our lack of knowledge of Hindi. One of them even said "Hindi is an international language - everyone should know"(!!!). We meekly heard them out, took our shopping bags and came home. After all, their territory, their language. We were the outsiders. What can we say? Back home, on the other hand, my North Indian friends crib all the time about how the auto-karans here speak only Tamil. No meekness there. No acknowledgement of how it's okay for a person to speak their mother tongue in their part of the world!!

How can we be full of pride after all this? After not being able to speak our language in our own cities? After being imposed upon from all sides to learn a language we don't want to?

The central govt. has imposed a new rule that everyone working in a Central govt. academic institution must pass a basic test in Hindi. To read and write it. Not enought to know your physics/chemistry/math/mechanis. Nope, one's gotta know her/his hindi! No matter where the institute is. IISc and IIT-M come under this even though they're both in South Indian cities rebelling against imposition of Hindi. I, for one, will not pass such a test. I know exactly two letters in Hindi, and though once upon a time I wanted to learn the language, recent events like those stated above has put me off. It might be a fun thing to do - learn a new language, but I will not. Just because it is forced upon. "To take a stand", if I must use forceful statements. It probably sounds childish, but that's the way a whole state feels about it and the Central govt. doesn't seem to care.

I'm not saying my language is the best. I'm not claiming that Barathi was the best poet ever. I'm not saying that no one compares to Kris Srikant in cricket. I'm not saying that idlies are food of the Gods. I don't care how much you mutilate my name. I don't give a damn whether we're a pure Indian race or not. It really doesn't matter to me if Tamil is the oldest language. And I definitely don't wish to prove to you that we're the best.

All I'm saying is that, we're a nice bunch. Fun people doing their own thing. Let us be..

P.S: In retrospect, I realise I started talking about one thing and ended up somewhere else, but it all connects up in it's own way..

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The lions vs the chargers (?)

Before I begin an "objective" description, lemme start off with a few sad smileys:
:-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

There. That felt good. Not really, but it feels good to say it felt good.

Anyway, lemme start off by saying Chennai people are sweet. Right from the guy who gave me his 4/6 card at the beginning of the match when I asked him where he got it from, to the audience who clapped for Gilly when he got out, they're nice people. One cannot deny that. I dare you to. We may not have the hottest chicks, we may not have the most happening malls, our night clubs may have sad curfews and our theatre may show more regional movies and we may hero worship our actors, but we're nice people. Nice people who love their team! So I want no CSK bashing on my comments okay?

I've never been to Chepauk before and when I got there, what struck me was how surreal the whole stadium seemed. The green green pitch. The bright lights. The smallness of it all. It was quite different from what i imagined. And that's an understatement.

We bought this yellow 'Chennai super kings' flag, but sadly, the cops at the entrance took off the stick and gave us only the cloth. The sticks probably went back to the peddlers, but whatever, at least we got the cloth! And after CSK's batting was over, we converted the 4/6 board into a stick.

Anyway, we entered the stadium wearing yellow, (what? it's not a crime to like yellow, is it), just as the toss was over. Chennai had decided to bat and Karthik came to the front singing "theradi veediyil..". All the songs he sang that night were very local songs. Good pick. He ended it with "we will rock you"! That, you see, was before the match started. Before Afridi and before Gilly.

Shivamani came on next. He got more cheers than the entire CSK team! He played a few beats. There was this one he did, where he plays three beats on the drum and the audience clap in accordance and he does three more and so on.. He kept increasing the speed till at one point, we were clapping with him, because it was so fast. Good stuff! :-)

Anyway, the match started. We were progressively 11/1, 22/2, 33/3, 44/4.. Didn't continue on that line, thankfully.. We got 144/7, you will know if you watched the match. I'm not gonna bore you with the details. What I am going to tell you about is the crazy guy next to us who kept yelling out to the CSK guys. He kept calling them fools and was asking Dhoni to hit a six. Top of his voice. I believe his exact words were "fool CSK. fool Dhoni.. hit a six.. come on". Then, towards the end, he just started mumbling and started calling them bananas.. Yellow bananas, chilly bananas, fool bananas, cool bananas, split bananas. They even got a "mutaal valapazham"! It was hilarious!!

Finally, 1st inning ended and after 10 mins of the cheerleaders dancing around - the DC cheerleaders had nice hair and a pretty outfit and one dance sequence and all they did was blow kisses into the camera. The CSK cheerleaders has 2 dance steps, an 'ok' outfit and no enthusiasm - though i don't blame them for that!

The second inning soon started and meanwhile the crazy guy had disappeared. The 1st two overs, they didn't score many runs but soon the downpour started. Dipika and I suddenly decided to start screaming "we want wickets.. we want wickets".. We were the only ones screaming (none of the other idiots joined it) and the next ball, the bowler bowled it, Gibbs hit it and suddenly I say the bowler throw the ball in the air and everyone running towards him!! I was so amazed that I dropped the 'flag' I was holding.

Sadly, the next time we tried doing that, Gilly hit a six! He got out too, eventually, and the game became a drag. It got so boring. Until Afridi came and finished it off in one over! :-(

The thing about a live game is, you forget to watch the ball. There are no commentators reminding you to. You see a four and you turn around to crib and by the time you look back, the next ball has already been bowled. And you turn to the big screen for replays and by the time that's done, the next ball has already been bowled. And so on.. But it was fun, all the same. Worth my 600, definitely!

The game was well organised. There were PTC buses waiting outside the stadium. A whole long line of 'em. Covering almost all the locations in Chennai. There was a parking lot which had a different entrance and a different exit. The car was triple parked, but we didn't have to wait for too long to take it out and the stadium lights lit up the whole area and made it easy for us to find our way.

It was our third loss in a row, but as my gtalk status message says: "We shall rise again!"