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The eleventh edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup is upon us and I along with several other die-hard fans don’t quite feel the same excitement as before. Has the excitement faded because too much cricket is being played throughout the year or is it because grit and determination that characterized the sport for so long have been replaced by flash and theatrics?

Cricket in India is considered a religion but like most religions today, fans or devotees if I may, are questioning the authenticity of this sport. Since the cash cow called the Indian Premier League (IPL) made its debut in 2010, Indian cricketers have been granted celebrity status overnight. It doesn’t seem anymore that the love of the game or the pride to represent ones nation is the main motivation behind a youngster picking up a bat or in an extremely rare case, a cricket ball.

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand the need for players to earn a living but if that living comes on the back of doing something that one loves, then I believe that it should be enough to lead a comfortable life. And if my research is correct, Indian professional cricketers get paid quite handsomely in comparison to their hockey counterparts.

My problem with the IPLs, CPLs and BBLs of the world is that youngsters today are looking at Cricket not as a sport but as job to make a quick buck. Just to cite an example, Sunil Narine, the main spinner of the West Indies team was ready to jeopardize his spot in the West Indies Test team just so that he could compete in the more lucrative final of the Indian Premier League. This is sort of attitude that is exactly what is wrong with the sport today.

I do agree that the IPL has given opportunities to a lot more youngsters to showcase their talent compared to the Ranji or Duleep trophy, but at what cost. With bucket loads of money coming into the sport, youngsters like Sreesanth become greedy and decide to fix matches jeopardizing their entire careers.

I don’t want to single out Sunil Narine, but that man is again in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Just ten days before the World Cup, he withdrew his participation from the World Cup citing slow progress on his remodeled action. I am sure that his action will be perfectly ready when the IPL is upon us in another months’ time.

It is just not him; there are other players like R.P Singh and Irfan Pathan, who somehow always seem to be fit during the IPL. As soon as their tournament gets over, they declare themselves unavailable for the domestic season citing long term injuries to magically reappear for the Champions League. Why is it that players of the past would battle through any mental and physical pain to participate in this tournament? Is it that the new generation of cricketers is shallow or is it that they have lost track of the main reason that they started playing the so called “Gentleman’s Game”.

After reading this, people might question me watching the sport at every opportunity I get but I don’t have a response. Cricket has been a part of me since I was a child and I’m sure it will remain with me until I die but I just hope that it doesn’t sell it soul before it’s too late. Let me conclude by wishing all the viewer’s an amazing month, full of hard fought and competitive cricket action. May the best team win.

World Cup Baby :)


Dear America,
Please don’t be shocked to witness random shrieks of anguish or tears from the nerdy intern at work or the gorgeous girl sitting at the library for the next 42 days. There is no cause for alarm as this uncanny behavior is not due to depression or a hormonal change. It is purely the charm of the Cricket World Cup that comes around every 4 years. Yes, I’m emphasizing the word “World” because countries from all over the globe participate in it unlike something called the “World Series” of baseball. Oh also pardon me for being ignorant but for the one’s who don’t know anything about Cricket, there are still 13 hours for you to learn all about this fascinating sport. So stop pretending to do work on a Friday and get on Google and read up.

Dear Observers,
It would be highly appreciated if you don’t call the cops if you see some kids in the streets walking around with a paddle and flags that you don’t recognize. This is perfectly accepted behavior from where we come so please don’t ruin our party.

Dear Neighbor,
Please don’t call the housing company if you hear loud cheers at wee hours of the morning, as this, in no way, is our response to that crazy loud party that you threw three months ago.

Dear Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts Employees,
Please don’t feel offended if we sound cranky first thing in the morning. We have either had a fight with the missus or our beloved team just lost a nail biting game to our all time foes.

Dear Boss,
Please don’t mind if we look tired and occasionally take a nap during the staff meeting. The timings of the matches are not best suited to our work environment so please try to understand.

Dear Significant Other,
Please don’t mind if we fail to pay attention to you. It is not that we are cheating on you with another man/woman; it’s just that we are pursuing our first love 🙂
And finally,

Dear Bangladesh, England, West Indies, South Africa, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, Canada, Kenya, Ireland, New Zealand and Zimbabwe
Please don’t mind if we slaughter your asses and you go back home hurt. We i.e. Indians don’t mean to be so harsh on you but this is probably the Almighty, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar’s, last World Cup and we owe this to him as a team, country or simply a fan of the sport. There will be no respite so we suggest you don’t take this mauling to heart and carry on playing this so called gentleman’s game. Here is a rehashed jingle that our friend, Enrique Iglesias created for our oppositions.
“You know our motivation,
Given our reputation,
Please excuse us we don’t mean to be rude
Coz on game nights we are f**ing you”

Thanks,
Indian’s in America

Yes, I know it’s been long since I updated this blog but I can’t be faulted this time around. The past few month’s have been quite eventful to say the least. I finally found a job to counter my extravagant lifestyle and have gotten sucked into the so called “8-5” routine life. Then there was an entire month dedicated to family, especially to all the home cooked delicacies that I got to devour (gobble, gobble, burp). Let me tell you it was an awesome month as I got to attend a lovely wedding followed by a visit to the Big Apple. After acting really silly and posing for pictures with wax figures of famous people at Madame Tussauds I think I finally grew up when I saw the famous Broadway show Mamma Mia. I am known for not being impressed really easily, but after watching such wonderful artists give stellar performances in this amazing musical, even a big mouth like me was left in awe joining the rest of the audience in giving a standing ovation and clapping like a 5 year old who finally saw his favorite Disney character. For those who have never seen a Broadway show, I highly recommend it. Even though it can be quite a harrowing experience in trying to attain tickets to such shows thanks to the long waits in the cold, I promise that this is every bit worth the effort.
So, now that all these events are of the past and that I have time to myself, I don’t quite know where to start and what to do. I feel extremely productive during the weekdays thanks to my new job but it is the weekends that make me fell utterly useless. I remember I used to criticize my friends who held jobs that they had become so boring and lame since they started work. Now I totally symphathise with them when they used to say that they are tired and don’t feel like doing anything after a long day at work.
Now before I get sucked further into this deep, dark black hole of no return I want to find a hobby for myself that will keep me upbeat and motivated in the evenings after work. With the onset of winter in Boston and darkness looming at 4 p.m. I know that I won’t last the winter without doing something new and exciting. So any help in this regard would be really appreciated, what say you??
On a positive note in the sporting front, all the teams I support are making hay while the sun shines. The Indian Cricket Team seems to be doing really well after resting stalwarts like Sachin and Sehwag, which is a big relief. Australians still don’t seem to know what hit them in the Ashes. Celtics seem to be getting stronger, game after game, and Rajon Rondo, what more can I say, Sir, please take a bow. Last but not the least there is my favorite, Arsenal Footbal Club, that never seizes to provide excitement in my otherwise mundane life. It will be thanks to this football club that I might die of a cardiac arrest at a really young age. With their week in-week out of beautiful football perfomances that provide orgasmic moments followed by moments of sheer madness, life would be so much easier if they could settle into a rhythm. Now I’m sure you all get the point that I’m trying to make and please help me find a creative hobby that will save me from rambling on this blog without any particular reason =)
Ohh and before I forget, as the holiday season is upon us I would like to wish all a Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year or whatsoever festival that you celebrate. Have fun, be good and stay safe 🙂

Home Sweet Home Nomore :'(

Labor day weekend last year, I was ready to move into a basement studio in Boston that reeked of gasoline. I was nevertheless still excited that I wouldn’t have to commute two hours back and forth from Burlington. My sister and brother in law graciously let me stay at their home for six months so that I could save money and get a nice place of my own in Boston. Even though they were sad to see me leave (thats what it seemed like at that moment correct me if I’m wrong here :P) I was really excited to finally have a place of my own in Boston even though it was not to my liking. I have to thank my stars that somehow things changed and I got to live in a luxury apartment without having to break the bank. Now, one year later, when I’m packing and trying to move out of this place I’m finding it extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact that a year went by so quickly with so many pleasant and few not so pleasant memories.
Apartment 427 in the Atrium became the rendezvous point for birthdays, tea-parties, cricket meetings, pre-gaming and most important of all friendships. I have been trying to pack for the past two weeks but everytime I get to it I feel nostalgic and find an excuse to shy away from it. I have been trying to put up a brave face when my friends say “we had some great times here” with my usual retort being “What do you mean?? There are better things to come”. I know it will be difficult to replicate the ‘good’ sorry I mean the ‘great’ times that some of us experienced but I have to let go with a heavy heart. I will miss everything from David (the hilarious concierge) to Keiki (the maintainance guy) and the crazyness experienced at this place. Hopefully there are better things to come for one and all who share the same emotional attachement to this recently so called, “Refuge center”.

Firstly let me apologize to the small number of readers of my blog for not being regular. The last few months I have struggled to cope with this unusual sleep disorder where I survive on naps. One thing I can say for sure is that I definitely appreciate sleep a lot more now that is alien to me :). Last night I tried to sleep and lay motionless staring at the ceiling for two hours when I finally decided to do something more productive with my life and update my blog.
Somehow most of my experiences are related to nights that are spent with friends drinking, either celebrating some joyous occasion or when they are fed up with how their lives have panned out. Well I have been through a lot of ups and downs recently and thank goodness for my friends that I have come out stronger and more determined. It’s not easy being unemployed after putting oneself through five years of rigorous engineering courses. When other smaller things also don’t work in one’s favor then one feels that the world is conspiring against them. Don’t get me wrong here, I am neither sad or depressed; instead I’m actually relishing this experience :).
Getting back on track here, I was under fire for the best part of an hour for being a nice guy in a very awkward setting. I don’t consider myself being a nice guy but if you are in a room with three inebriated souls then you would usually go with the majority won’t you?? Jokes apart, a lot of serious things were said and I would like to use this blog post to answer some of my so called “critics” and they definitely know who they are.
Some people smile to show that they are happy while some use it as a way to hide their sadness. I know I smile a lot and usually it’s more for happy reasons than sad ones. I know it can get annoying to some that I smile in pain and in happyness but what can I do, I’m just weird :). It took a long time developing but this happy go lucky attitude is here to stay so just learn to deal with the fact that things don’t affect me as much as they should. I know that this world is filled with people who are materialistic and take advantage of others but why can’t there be exceptions. I really appreciate the concern of my friends as they don’t want to see me get trampled upon but this is the lifestyle I choose and wont change it for the world. Just because people might have taken advantage of someone’s simplicity doesn’t mean that they should stop being nice because for all we know that there maybe someone who genuinely needs help and why should they miss out on this opportunity. “Do good and good things will happen to you in return” is what I have built my life on and I don’t intend to change it just because some people believe in the most ridiculous saying that “Good people end up last”.
I don’t want to sound like Mr. Perfect and accept that I have flaws too. It’s not that I have not meant harm to others and it’s not that I have not been mean to people in my life. All I trying to say is that each individual is different and it’s this idiosyncratic behavior that makes us appreciate one another as otherwise this world would be a really lousy and boring place. So people take a chill pill and appreciate all the goodness that is around you :).

Let the Good Times Roll

We're the 12 best frens that anyone can have


Boston University Cricket Club participated in the American Cricket Championship held at Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the second time in two years. Last year we lost all games and came back home with a heavily bruised ego. Before I get into the gory details of this particular trip I would like to say that I have not had so much fun since leaving high school and would like to thank all the players for making this possible. This trip was definitely a break that I needed to get my mind off the recent events and the uncertain future.

Day 0 (Boston)
There is a saying that “boys will be boys” and this nicely sums up the day of our departure from Boston. As usual apart from one person nobody showed up on time at the airport. Then there was the confusion regarding seating, luggage and the uncertainty whether we will all make it to the same flight as we were travelling by a carrier called Spirit Air that is best known for heavily overbooking. As things would pan out we all made it to the flight but not without a few facing the brunt of the usual TSA bullshit. There are two Pakistanis amongst us but as luck would have it one of them had to go through the harassment of being repeatedly checked for holding a green passport. Once this was over and we settled into the flight one could see the excitement amongst the so called “MIAMI Virgins”. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale at around midnight and just to get the ball rolling decided to meet at Denny’s for dinner and our first official meeting. We enjoyed a perfectly unhealthy meal before our first game and went to sleep in anticipation for the next day to arrive sooner.

Day 1 (Fort Lauderdale)
Excitement got the better of a few and we were up well before our alarms went off. The whole team got into their crispy new uniforms and head out to the stadium to show that they are here to compete and not make up the numbers. We showed our intent first thing in the morning when a few choice words were exchanged between our Vice Captain and the whole NYU Poly team. We were upbeat and ready for the challenge but little did we know what fate would have in store for us at the end of the day. Just before the game started we were dealt a blow when we were informed that the official scorer had failed to show up and that the teams would be self scoring which more often than not usually leads to controversy. I won the toss and elected to bat first so that we could put up a big score and pressurize the team chasing. Our main batsmen failed to deliver but still we ended up scoring 127 in the allotted 20 over’s. Our bowling being our strength led the fight back and we had the NYU team reeling at 36 for 4 in 10 over’s when things started going against us. The scorer’s from the NYU team randomly started increasing runs and made the target for them easier. We still fought hard but it was only a matter of time that we realized that the cricketing God’s weren’t on our side when the umpire too failed to give a batsman out for being bowled. Yes, the umpire overturned a bowled decision!!! The game ended on a sour note and let’s says that it was a miracle that the teams didn’t come to blows by the end of it. Thoroughly disappointed, the president of the club and I went to talk to the organizers and his lame response being, “You guys should just be thankful that you are here” strengthened our resolve.

Day 2 (Fort Lauderdale)
Feeling a little disappointed we reluctantly got onto the field on the second day facing one of the strongest teams in the competition. Rutgers University had got a lot of press for this tournament and were the favorites to win the group and proceed to the semi-finals of the tournament. This time around I lost the toss and we were sent into bat. Out batting clicked this time around and we ended up scoring 142 for 6 in the allotted 20 over’s. Rutgers University were off to a flying start but we persevered and gained control of the match. One of our bowlers bowled a magic three wicket over which turned the match on its head. We ended up winning comfortably and proved to the organizers that were not here to make friends but compete with the so called big boys. This was the first game in the stadium that was recently approved by the ICC to host international matches and we had marked our names in history by winning it. This historical event was covered and the report can be seen here . We celebrated this victory by heading out to the world famous South Beach in Miami. After a night of fun and frolic we came back to get some much needed rest before the DO or DIE Saturday.

Day 3 (Fort Lauderdale)
Not being known for its physical fitness the team showed signs of fatigue early Saturday morning. We knew that we could not afford to slip up if we were to reach the Semi-finals, and, this task was made even harder as we had a double header with a gap of three hours between games. I lost the toss again and York College decided to make use of the slippery outfield by batting first. Their opening batsman, a regular in the USA under-19 team walked out with immense confidence and nonchalantly dispatched the first delivery he faced for a boundary. Our bowlers showed their mettle and soon he was outfoxed by an in swinger. From there onwards it was all BUCC until fatigue started to creep into our game and unnecessary runs were given. We were set a target of 137 and lost our in-form opener to the very first ball he faced. This was a big set-back and the top order again succumbed to pressure. Our resilient middle order again came to the rescue and got us within striking distance. We ended up losing the game by one run which was a hard pill to swallow as we came so close to beating a team and securing a berth into the semi-finals. This loss affected in the next game against University of Pennsylvania and we lost that one by about twenty runs.
Some players resorted to alcohol while some to partying to deal with the sorrow of not making it to the semi-finals. Miami again lived up to its expectation and turned out to be awesome and the events of the night shall not be disclosed unless the reader meets one of us in person. No, this has nothing to do with picking up random women or going to a strip club as most people would assume which as much as I would hate saying would be a good story too :P.
Finally to sum up this trip, we proved that BUCC is no longer a push over and that other teams should not take us for granted. We caused a major upset and proved to be worthy adversaries as mentioned by one of the members of the opposing teams. As a captain I love the aggressive attitude and the fighting spirit shown by the team. In the words of a fellow team member, “It was an honor to have played with each one of you” and I whole-heartedly agree with these sentiments. I hope that this trip was a wonderful experience for one and all and that newer friendships have developed that will take this team to greater heights.

Life is Music!!!

I’m sure that a lot of people will agree with me on the fact that music has had a huge impact on our lives albeit indirectly. For some it might serve as an entertaining way to spend an evening with friends while yo others it might provide a deeper purpose. In the last ten years or so I have woken up and fallen asleep to music. Let’s just assume that my life is like a chocolate mousse cake and music is the cherry on top of it that makes it all the more worth appreciating. I have an eclectic collection of Hindi music that ranges from classical ghazals of Pankaj Udhas and Jagjit Singh to the trendy Honey Singh and Baadshah.
It was not till recently when some friends got together at my place to listen to some classical music with the occasional drink that made me wonder the important role that music plays in our lives. That night some stories were shared that is the foundation of many relationships and many more to come hopefully 🙂 I will not mention what was discussed but when Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, may god bless his soul, came on with the song “Dillagi” it was time for everyone to shut up and appreciate music at its best. I had appreciated this man’s music for decades but it was then that I realized that I had never seen such beautiful use of allegory before.
It is remarkable how he puts so much passion into the lyrics of a song that basically explains the difference between “love” and correct me if I am wrong, “lust”, “infatuation” or “flirting”. On hearing the lines “Tumhe Dillagi Bhool Jaani Padegi, Mohabbat Ki Raahon Main Aa Kar Toh Dekho” (You will have to forget mere flirting/lust/infatuation, Come fall in the path of love and see” one of my friends exclaimed “Waah Waah!! Kya sachi baat boli hai yaar” (Woah! These lines are so true guys). At that moment I thought that it was either the alcohol talking or a life changing experience that could muster such a reaction. Thank god it was the latter and on hearing this experience even I, yes, even I felt like going “Awww”. Music as far as I know had nothing to do in his case except for the fact that it had kept the desire burning in him while he was away from his beloved. The expression on his face while reminiscing about this experience spoke a thousand words in itself and for all those out there like me who don’t believe in such things might even have had a change in mind if they had witnessed this firsthand.
Before this night could change my whole perspective on music and its purpose as a source of entertainment the next song played and my faith was restored. I’m ashamed to even mention the song that played next but trust me it’s the cheesiest Hindi song that exists in my library as of today and no I’m not deleting it. As a result of that night I have started appreciating lyrics a lot more but songs like Aye Hip Hopper don’t really help, do they 🙂 All I’m trying to say is the next time you like a song please don’t like it just because the beat is catchy but also try to pay attention to the lyrics as it will make you appreciate a song all the more. Btw I have posted the youtube link to the song…Enjoy!!!

Happy Republic Day

Sixty years ago we became a republic and Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected the first President of India. India has transformed over this period and what makes me so proud today is the fact that it is presided by a lady by the name of Pratibha Patil. I hope that our republic grows stronger day by day and that we repay our debt to the nation by making it even better than it already is. Yes, I am feeling extra patriotic and this maybe due to the fact that I just saw a video where the biggest celebrities set aside their differences and came together to feature in a song Mile Sur Mera Tumhara to signify solidarity, national integrity and unity in diversity. To add to this feeling I have written a poem and just hope that it does justice to this auspicious day.

The air is usually polluted
The milk is always diluted
Today, it is because of you where we stand
India, O how much I miss my motherland!!

The birds chirp in the morning
The buzz is in the air
We come together on festivals
India, I want to come back I don’t really care!!

The culture is rich and colorful
Where growing up was so much fun
Our families make life more meaningful
India, you are the number one!!

Cricketers and actors are treated like gods
Being the largest democracy, the world lauds
Music is soothing to the ear
India, don’t change, that is my only fear!!

There are the poor and there is the rich
Don’t consider this as a major glitch
We learn to adjust when we are born
India, you protect Iqbal, Ram and also John!!

A thousand dialects and languages we speak
A few misguided people don’t make us weak
We can handle our neighbors taunt
India, a visit soon is all I want!!

I miss the rainbow
I miss the blue sky
Trust me this is not a fake show
India, I’m coming back, you now know why!!

EmoShun

Emotion is a subjective term that defines ones mood and personality. People think that just because one does not express oneself then they lack this quality. I beg to differ as the way I see it, people who are overtly expressive are not legitimately emotional. It’s usually just a show to sound affectionate and give them a false sense of security that life is good. This plastic nature has caught on to us Indians in the USA like wildfire and is pretty amusing. A person in the USA will shout out “bless you” when a stranger sneezes at the back of a bus but the second they are in India or in any other country this fake show is lost and life moves on.
Emotions are hard to fathom, I can understand that but that doesn’t mean we go overboard with it. It’s still a mystery to me on how some people get emotionally attached to anything for a matter of fact. Let me also take this opportunity to put it out that there that contrary to the popular vote I am not devoid of emotions. It’s just a matter of principle that I express them when need be. I can live with the label of a “cold hearted” guy among my friends till the time my emotions are heartfelt and genuine. So guys just take a chill pill and learn to bottle our emotions. Let us treat every situation with some discretion and react appropriately as emotions are complex and really hard to deal with. Let us focus our energy to live a better and happier life instead of trying to control involuntary reactions.

Tick Tock

Let us not get mistaken by the title of this blogpost as it is in no way connected to the chart topping number by Ke$ha and in no way do I want to wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy. “Tick Tock” here refers to our life that is ticking away like a time bomb. Recently while discussing some short term goals with a friend it dawned on me that our age always reminds us of what we are supposed to do and achieve. For example, at five one is supposed to start schooling, and then once you turn eighteen attend college, by twenty five get a wonderful job and by thirty get married. This list can go on and on but we all know that the eventual outcome is death like the triggering of a bomb. So instead of living in fear of how much time we have got to achieve something why we don’t start living and do things that make us happy now. We should go out and appreciate the things that matter to us most. Tell your sweetheart that you love them; help your friends and relatives not out of social etiquette but because you want to. Do all the silly things that you wanted to do like dance in the middle of a road with your loved one on a rainy afternoon and don’t worry about the consequences. Let’s not get old and regret all the millions things that we could have done only if weren’t chicken enough to do. I know saying all these things may seem easy but trust me I am trying to make the best of what I have got. My friends can bear testimony to that. Life is too short so let’s make the most of it and appreciate this precious gift that God has provided us with.