Archive | December, 2006

My First Cricket Test – Concluding Part

28 Dec

Continued from a previous post

I dont know if any writing can explain what it feels to “enter a stadium”. The feeling that you first get when you come up through a stairwell and see the playing field for the first time. It is an unbeleivable experience. Even to this day, it takes my breath away.

I still remember the first time I entered KSCA Stadium (Chinnaswamy Stadium now), the grass was green, and there was a full house at 8 in the morning. Once we found our seats (wooden chairs), we plonked all our belongings (large dabbas carrying our lunch for the day, binoculors, transistors etc), and while the adults “protected our territory” we went near the fences where the teams were practicing. Obviously there was confusion galore, duplicate tickets, same seats assigned to two people etc. So,in addition to the action on the field there was action in the stands as well.

The Windies were led by Clive Lloyd and had two youngsters were making their debut – Vivian Richards and Gordon Greenidge. Their team included Kallicharan, Andy Roberts, Vanburn Holder. We had never seen such big people before. Of course our heroes were there as well. G.R Vishwanath, Chandra, Gavaskar, Engineer. It was the first time we had seen some of the players in close quarters (other than the local Karnataka players).

The match started late because of rain. I still remember the first ball being bowled by Abid Ali (remember him?) to Gordon Greenidge. Straight Drive of the backfoot, behind the bowler for four. Monster shot! I vividly remember the excitement in the crowd when Chandra came on to bowl and the scream when the first West Indies wicket fell.

Among the debutants, Greenidge had a better one, making 93 and 107 (I remember this to this day because it added up to an even 200). Richards scored 4 in the first inings and 3 in the second. But he took a couple of super duper catches. Blinders both of them. I also remember Kallicharan’s classy 124 in the first inings, and Lloyed bludgeoning the Indian bowlers for 163 (in the second inings). That kind of power hitting was unheard of in those days. I still remember a boundary that Lloyed hit, there the ball hit the wall and then rebounded all the way back to the center of the pitch. It actually passed a fielder who was running to the boundary on its way back and he misfielded that as well… Brutal !!!

Anyway the Indians got beaten pretty badly in this test (they came back later in the series) but what stood out for me in the game was the sheer pace of Andy Roberts and Vanburn Holder and the “Rakshasa” hitting of Clive Lloyd. I still remember a guy called Hemant Kanitkar who made his debut in that test, trying to field Lloyd’s shots. The ball used to pitch in front of him and veer away.Of course the Indians were not known for their fielding those days.

For India Chandra was the fastest bowler :-)… those days, the so called medium pacers bowled 2-3 overs before the spinners came on.

Of course the best part of the whole thing was going to the game for the five days, and the camraderie. We actually came to know the people around us pretty well and even started sharing lunches together (more variety). I have since been to several other games since, none of them stand out in my memory as that wonderful first test in Bangalore. The five days (four and a half actually) of sheer excitement… and more importantly.. NO SCHOOL !!

CONCLUDED

BJP in power? LOL

27 Dec

When the JD(S) formed its alliance with the BJP I had commented on Churumuri that the BJP will never be allowed to be in power. I stand by that prediction.

Here is what I predict will happen. As the deadline for JD(S)’s 18 months in power draws closer there will be a set of events that will lead to the JD(S) not being able to “support” the BJP. This could be either a split or by JD(S) suddenly rediscovering its “secular” roots.

As the old saying goes, “Anthu inthu Kunthi makkalige Rajya illa”

Where the $%^* is my car?

27 Dec

Aditya’s post about frequent travel reminds me about an incident that my Uncle Ravi had some years ago.

So, he has travel to New York from Boston. He drives to the Airport in Boston only to find out that all flights are delayed because of a snowstorm. Now this being a critical meeting and all, he decides to drive to New York.

He reaches New York well in time for his meeting, finishes it, and by force of habit, jumps into a cab, heads for the airport and takes a flight back to Boston.

On reaching Boston, he tries to locate his car and cannot find it. The Airport police actually take him around the parking lot, tier by tier. Its only about half an hour into this that he realizes that his car is actually parked in New York !!! Of course the cops aren’t very amused.

He spends the night at a hotel (instead of going home), catches the first flight to New York and drives his car back to Boston.

[Guest Post] You know you travel too much when…

23 Dec

…you’ve calculated the mean and median for how long it takes you to get from your apartment door to the other side of airport security (27 minutes) so you can sneak in an extra fifteen minutes of sleep on Monday morning.

…it takes you exactly 12 minutes to pack for 4 days of travel.

…you have, by trial and error, figured out the optimal algorithm for putting winter coat, blazer, laptop, laptop bag, bag of liquids, suitcase and shoes on the security belt to facilitate efficient collection on the other side.

…you know when the algorithm is going to break because of someone in front of you.

…the flight attendants greet you like a long lost friend.

…you have your hands full with a suitcase, a cup of coffee, laptop bag but still stop to grab a newspaper when handing your boarding pass to the agent at the gate (a precarious balancing act to be sure).

…you know the “regulars” on the Monday morning shuttle by sight, and when one of them doesn’t show up, you wonder why.

…you can guess how long the line for taxis will be when you arrive (9:15 is a shorter line than 9:25).

…you can figure if a cab driver is the “talker” type or the “silent” type the moment you get into a taxi cab.

…the people at the hotel know you by name, and remember to tell you that the ice cream bar that you like is available in their little mini-market today.

…you know which treadmill in the hotel gym is the smoother one.

…you’re convinced that beds at the Courtyard Marriott are a lot more comfortable than the one at home.

Rooting for the little guy

22 Dec

When I originally started this blog, it was supposed to be nostalgic from a food perspective. However the topics have become a mixture of Current Events, Nostalgia, Ranting.

I have always wanted to write a blog on Business Trends and become a evangelist for the entrepreneur especially in India. If anyone I should know how tough it is.

At the same time, there is some interesting stuff going on in India and I am keen to know what that is and analyze it.

Hence my new blog Business Buzz

Suggestions and topics are welcome.

P.S: This blog will continue…

Adieu Shane Warne

22 Dec

Shane Warne retired.

He retired while he was on top of his game. Leaving on his own terms.

Compare this to some of our guys who have to be coerced into leaving either by dropping them or having them on the team despite bad performances.

As Vijay Merchant once said, “When you retire, people should ask Why and not Why Not?”.

I am not a huge fan of cricket, yet when Shane Warne bowled I watched with excitement. He had that look and swagger like he expected a wicket of every ball.

Very few players have that aura. The only other sportsman that I can think of along similar lines is Viv Richards and in basketball, Michael Jordan.

Nostalgia – My first Cricket Test

21 Dec

The time was late 1974. The event – the first ever test match in Bangalore. The teams – Our very own India and the West Indies led by a gentleman called Clive Lloyd. Two unknowns called Gordon Greenidge and Viv Richards were making their debut. I was in middle school.

Bangalore, I remember was agog with excitement. In our neighbourhood, every house had relatives who were coming in from all parts of the state for the gala event. Schools had declared holidays and it felt like the entire city were waiting for the “supermen” of cricket to show up. Of course there were no TV news channels carrying lame assed analysis so we carried out our own lame assed analysis. Rumors were spreading about how fast the West Indian bowlers were (it was later found out that these were facts and not rumors), and how one could die if you even touched a ball hit with force by Clive Lloyd. The kannada term used half endearingly and half in awe was “Rakshasaru”.

In my house, relatives from Mysore started showing up four days before the game. Logistics were being worked out. We had tickets in different sections of the stadium. Children would have to be accompanied by an adult. Not all adults wanted to be incharge of children as some of them were serious cricket buffs, so some major arguments. For the children (that is us), this was of great amusement. We knew regardless that we were going to the game. We didnt care with who.

Of course lunch had to be planned for the 5 days. What to cook, where to eat, how to meet for lunch etc etc. That was another major debate.

Finally transport. How to get to the stadium? We finally decided to go by bus although my dad offered to take us by car. Going by bus was part of the enjoyment.

The day of the test arrived. We were up at 5 AM getting ready. We did not wish to miss any part of the game. By 7 AM we were out of the house. With lunch, snacks, and 2 rupees each in our pockets just in case we got lost. Dire warnings were issued to us on our behaviour. “Dont get lost”, “Listen to you uncle”, “Don’t eat outside food”, were some of the advise given along with threats for non-compliance. It was as if we were being sent on a Himalayan expedition.

To be continued...