Monthly Archives: June 2006

Set, Game, Championship: Agassi

The summer of ’92, the stage was set for the finals of Wimbledon. Match between Agassi and Ivanesevic. Being the young teen-to-be, I was totally taken in with the long haired, earring sporting, rebel Agassi. Sitting next to my grandmother on her bed, the rest of the day passed in a blur of intense praying, google-eyed look and unabashedly rooting for the person who singlehandedly managed to inculcate in me the love of tennis. I should perhaps confess here that I was more interested in the bad -boy look of Agassi, than in the poetry of his motion and the grace of his shots. Times change and so do hormones and things I had overlooked before came into sight like the way he returned a serve or the way he hit his shots. I didn’t get inspired to play tennis, I was lousy in sports and still am. But that did not stop me from gaining inspiration from a bunch of men grunting and hitting a ball around. Agassi’s comeback was amazing. He went from an obscure could have been to a legend in a span of five years. It is amazing to see the transformation in him. For a man who refused to play in Wimbledon because of its white rules, he waited to make it his comeback vehicle. In a lot of ways he awoke a rebel in me. Someone who wanted to wear pants all day and hang upside down on bars. I believe every person has this rebel streak in them. People are like fruits or maybe onions, they have a skin which they torture, get hurt, bruised, pinched experiment with and ultimately the skin is removed , revealing a much more stronger person which is the real version. The skin was just a show perhaps, a tough shell with which they would experiment with life till they realize they were searching for someone who was inside them all along.
Whoo.. NOTE TO SELF: Concentrate on topic at hand. Anyway, And so my love story with the legend grew. I had dreams about him and dreams about a dream team who would be so invincible that they would beat any mixed doubles. The greatest day of my life was perhaps when Agassi married Steffi Graf. Oh God, I couldn’t stop grinning. I went around town singing. I was acting as if I had got married. I shall talk about my idol worshipping in another blog. But the point is, m dream team had arrived. I realise now that they technically haven’t played any game together, but I often visualize them playing against each other, or maybe toget in a mixed doubles. Ooohlala. Agassi just announced his retirement. He will be hitting his last serve in the US open. Man will I miss him.

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ATTENTION!! Straight Line..MARCH

This is my take on this: http://treadsoftlyupon.blogspot.com/2006/06/matchmaking-and-more.html

I am not for or against any type of marriage having seen the ups and downs of both sides. I guess the debate has more to do with the procedure of modern marriages than the actual life after. I say modern because what we see today is now what it was intended to become. Just the way writing horoscopes, not letting pregnant women go out in the evening or children play outside after six has taken on modern versions, so has he whole matchmaking scheme. Marriages in India are at fault not becuase they go through this whole charade of girl examination or boy examination but because they have truned a really respectable and necessary procedure in a dreaded ceremony.
In the olden days when communication was not good and the only source of information going around was through word of mouth, it was necessary for parents to consult people, relatives, friends on a prospectives boy’s habits, actions and income. Caste was seen so as to enable their daughter to have the same level of omfort in her husbands house as she had in her father’s something that was relevant to that age because caste was mainly based on the person’s income. gothra’s and nakshatra’s seen because there is a strong Hindu belief that people of the same Gothra descend from a common ancestor, so intermarrying to result in genetic disformity. The writing of Horoscopes technically is done only when the girl/boy reaches puberty where in a learned man comes in assess their behaviour till date, sees their living habits, family, culture, education, money and predicts generally what the person might be like and what kind of life the person might have.
The procedure of seeing a girl before marriage came about becuase the girl being generally secluded and not having a chance to see the boy who is usually away on trips to earn a living or learn, gives them an oppurtunity to see each other, and since it was considered rude to directly stare at a boy, the girl typically gives him something to eat or drink so she could get a chance to glance at the boy slighly. The singing was typically to woo the boy, not impress him with her talent or show him she has a voice. It was also a tradition for the girl’s parents to question the boy about his work, income and such. Infact girls actually had more power and authority to refuse a boy on grounds she needn’t necessarily revel and had the power to choose the boy. They were even given the freedom to go around the town and choose their own boy, especially if the parents of the bride were well off.
Cinema, Serials and general misinformation and magnification of incidents which were menat more as a convenience than a norm have resulted in these traditions of today. It is the people who have abused the culture. I am not against love marriages or for arranged marriages. These are people who are grown enough to get a job, go abroad, and make a life out of nothing, and they can definelty be given the chance to choose a boy for themselves. And a lot of people are these days open to the idea of their kids choosing their own partners. But what sucks is the fact that due to a few people who go to the extremes a rich culture is going to dust. I do not approve of Horoscopes or twiddling around waiting for the right match to come along. If the parents want it, well then set a time limit, if no go ahead and ind your own boy, much like it was done in those days. Arranged marriage is not a business, it is just a chance for the parents to get involved in a singular most important event in their kids life, even though it is the kid who is going to live the life. Unfortunately or fortunately, we come from a country where the immediate and extended family is privy to every little detail that goes on. It is tough luck. Marriage is much more complicated. Just because people fall in love and get married or get married and then fall in love dosen’t make it simple or sane. When one falls in love and gets married, there are already certain things that one knows about their respective partner, and whatever things that come later might take you aback or not and both of you will still have to compromise, work around the rest. In an arranged marriage, the compromise starts a little early. Arraged marriages are not demeaning and have never been, it just has been made that way. The person who is getting married has the ultimate power, they can stand up for themselves and tell that they don’t want to be put through this thing and they will find someone for themsleves. Parents sure are not very open minded, but then how will they know if we keep wuite and go through whatever is being offered. I didn’t want horoscopes to be seen and stars to be connected for my wedding and I said so, I fell in love with this person and I waned to marry him and they were alright with it. I am not defending arrnaged marriages of today or am not agianst love marriages either. If not for two people falling in love and standing up for their love, I wouldn’t be here. What I am against is the corruption of a beautiful culture and little knowledge making respected norms into cattle shows. These convoluted forms of advertising our culture is what makes us look wierd and people talk about India as if it were a wierd place with people floating in air and talking to snakes. I know this blog seems to be like all over the place, but then so were my thoughts and what is a blog for if not throwing down all my thoughts as fast as I can type.


Gather the Herd and make them Decide!

For heaven’s sake people, talk to each other , really just sit and talk before you spurt your research findings.
Thank God I live my life without paying heed to scientists who research stuff. I ‘d be bonkers by now if I did. To give you a rough idea of the things that have been brewing.
I have to drink coffee to protect my body. But I shouldn’t drink it becuase of the Caffeeine. I shouls drink Tea because of the its antioxidants, but coffee is better than tea for heart disease. I mus t keep myself active when I age otherwise I will rot, now I work when I am old I risk heart attack, I have a walk roughly about 3000 steps on an average a day, but the pedometers are faulty. tomatoes are good for their lycopene, but are addictive given their relation to the tobacco family. Milk clogs arteries, but is required for calcium. fish if required for proteins but has mercury so be warned. grilling food is good for health, but the charcoal used to grill is carcinogenic. Chocolates are very very rich in antioxidants, but they are highly fattening. red wine causes to you to go woozy, but is an esential to prevent heart problems. I mean come on don’t you guys have anything better to do.
I just give a call to my grandmother. I still believe she knows best, after all she realised turmeric is good for health and beauty long before these people rattled of the statistics.


Rocky Roads and Dark Forests…

Nah, it isn’t about the icecreams, although it does sound tempting enough. Man just talking about it makes my eyes glaze. The sure fire way to catch my attention is to give me an icecream. I guess I am getting distracted here…
I was off camping for a few days. It is such an amazing feeling to be away from computers, TV’s, phones, and generally normal life as I know it. I took a lazy hike, which ended up being a wee bit not so lazy when I had to climb a 60 deg angle of rocks to reach the top. But it was all worth it. The vast expanse of greenery and concrete as the sun is just coming up is stunning. I ws basically lazing around all day, chatting with near and dear who cared enough to tag along and to advertise that we were Football fans to a bunch of people who call it soccer we played some and showed them real football. There was also eating in the midst of all this, or should I say the rest of it was amidst all the eating. There were chips, goold ol’ Haldirams, Corn freshly grilled on camp fire, bread Sandwiches, Pav bhaji, Crackers, cookies, lemonade-loads of it, and to top it all of some really awesome Ice-cream. We sat around chatted till the last rays of sunlight vanished at around 10.00 PM. The tent was pitched near a lake and the sun ray reflected of it beautifully, people paddled at night. There were sounds of laughter and happy chatter all around, the birds were saying their goodnights. I then went to bed to the happy sounds of a guitar strumming and laughter and songs from the neighbouring camp. Okay well I didn’t really snore of into a blissful sleep. I should have probably mentioned this, but this camp is supposedly notorious for bears. I didn’t spot one, but I made sure I made a lot of noise wherever I went. That option is however not available when I sleep, so I sat there on a chair outside with a lantern for a few minutes till creepy-crawlies started falling from the trees above. I probably must have proved to be a souce of entertainment when I went around hopping on one knee, dusting my back, wiggling my hips and bending over and rubbing my hands up and down the other leg. It is technically not possible, but then it is not all the time you have that eerie sensation that something has gone somewhere. So there I was staring at the starlit sky as it filtered through the nets in my tent, inhaling the smell of night and listening to the croaking of a frog and thought to myself whether bears came near restrooms!!!
The best part was the sudden halt in your life. It gives you time to catch your breath, laugh, laze around and sleep under a blanket of stars and think about the stories your grandfather used to tell. It was a break from routine, from life and from time. Turned out to be one beautiful break


Of Friends and Roads

One of the things that i enjoyed most about growing up was my ability to make friends real quick. One of the things that I hated the most about growing up was the number of times I had to make them. I moved around quite a bit when I was a kid, changing four different schools. It is probably not as much as compared to people who study all around India courtesy of the banks, but it was enough to lose track of friends. The oldest friend I have managed to keep in touch with so far is from ’96. I actually lost touch with her for close to 5 years. We are kind of rekindling the flames to see if we still walk on similar paths. What amazes me is not the fact that we both have changed quite a bit. Life has taken has far enough from the ribbon plaited days of middle school, but the fact that deep down a lot of our attitudes and perspectives remain the same. Maybe I am just real lucky to have found someone who grew in the same direction as I did under very similar circumstances. There have been a number of people in my life who I would regret not knowing really well, or even failing to keep in touch with. Some of the best moments I had was with a few of my primary school friends and my greatest regret was having to leave that life behind. Things would have probably been different if I had lived that life, but then I wouldn’t have met this person with whom I shared my growing years and another wonderful friend of mine with whom I see myself ages from now. I see myself as I am now, as I was then and how my life will be when I am with these people, and that perhaps is the true test of friendship, the ability to survive, thrive and grow. Here’s to friends and the lives we live.


Eternal Questions on a Sleepless Night

Choices have daunted men for quite a long time. Even Hamlet had to choose “To be or not to be” and Frost had to choose between the two roads that diverged in a wood. I have always wondered if life would be simpler if each person brought into this world was born with a to-do list. Kind of like instructing the person which path to take in life. You will be too advanced for kinder garden jump to primary. Concentrate a lot in math and science you will need it, pick math with biology, study computers on the side. You have to write GRE,GMAT. you will be doing biocomputers, marry the second girl you see, have kids after 3 years, run around kid, be chased by wife/husband for the rest of your life. Parents do take care of most of these things these days. I mean with the pressure that the kid is put through to take medicine or engineering is insane, but then they successfully manage to eliminate the bothersome job of choosing what to study. Even with marriage and kids, I’ve honestly heard parents discussing and eliminating scores of girls and boys amongst themselves while the prospective victim to be is sleeping thousands of miles away. They even instruct the bride to hav kids soon and then take a job, so the grandparents can take care of the kid. I mean could life get any simpler. I guess I am an anomaly amongst the many hundreds who take this path. I chose a group made up of just sciences so I could skip math, that was like a huge, insane thing to do in the math superior tambram communtiy. I then went one step further and took a bachelor of science degree. I virtually ceased to exist for a few weeks. People thought I was in there just to rebel. My people would talk about applying in places for medicine, waiting till my entrance exam results to come out, then quit and join medicine, or study alternate medicine. I would talk and whatever came out of my mouth disappeared into a vacuum. They just kept talking. There were quite a few incidents between then and now, which made me feel as if I was doing a huge crime. But I just realised something, I am not making a mistake, I am just following my dream. We have a seemingly limitless number of choices bfore us, but shaped by our background and community we often make a choice, to please people and assume that that is what we want to, only to end up miserable in our forties and blaming our parents for our childhood. I had the most amazing set of parents who supported me, even when they disagreed with my choices, and I have made quite a few absurd ones. I am sometimes scared of making choices for the simple reason that I do not know where I would end up and if I would regret the choice I made. I wonder if I should have just studied medicine or engineering just to have a future which would be certain. But then I stop and breathe. I love the life I am living now, I am making chocies which are often considered wierd, but there is this whole unknown in front of me, that makes it exciting, I am raring to go and unearth my life. I know for sure that I am not going to be in a cubicle or over a operating table. I am also excited to be an anomaly. It is the anomalies who make history. you never hear about a person who studied biology, ent to study medicine and become a doctor. You hear about the person who studied medicine and became an archaeologist instead. that is fun. it makes for an interesting, intelligent person. I just have to keep in mind that whatever choice I make I should not look back and regret. Ok have to make history and make my autobiography more interesting.


It’s a GOAL!!!!

My throat is little bit hoarse, and my neighbours are shooting daggers at me when I step out of the house, but who cares. World Cup is here, and there is every reason to scream, dance and bellow at the top of my voice. Oh God this is so exciting. Germany was absolutely beautiful in the first game. They do need to shore up their defence if they are serious about winning though. There is a Poland Ecuador match going on now and I took a respite from the tube. Guess who got me excited about Football..no you are wrong. It was my Grandmother!!! She cultivated my love for tennis, Cricket , Football. I remember watching World cup into the wee hours of morning sitting next to her. It was during those pre dawn hours I learnt the wide variety of expletives in my mother-toungue too. She is an amazing person. It is not often that you get a grandmother who lets you bunk school or college to watch a world cup final or bets you cans of coke and a huge chocolate cake that Brazil would win. Man that eclair on that cake tasted awesome. A lot of her cooking depended on how well the match went the previous night. some really plain, bland food meant the match wsa wash out, food so spicy that your eyes turned red and water gushed out of your nose meant somebone screwed up the match big time and mysore pa’s and vegetable fritters meant all was well in football land. I call her these days to update her and get her input. She is better that any Football commentator anyday.
It’s probably a pity that the country I come from is too busy concentrating on one sport and awarding bharat ratna’s to fledglings to worry about sending a team to the world cup. It is as if no other sport existed. And the coutry I live, don’t even get me started about people who play a game with Japan and call it the world cup. It is sad. I mean think about this, equador, Ivory coast, Iran, Saudi, Cameroon all have professional Football teams to play and win in International Football matches and we are stuck ranked 117th and examining Dhoni’s hair and dravid’s sponsor sticker on his bat. Cricket is a glorious game no doubt, but there is more to sports than just cricket. IF we could spend billions on stadiums, security, cricket coaching, advertisement contracts for cricketers, why can’t we spend a fraction on other sports. If someone does well like Sania Mirza, we adulate her, go over the top in publicizing her, give her a Bharat ratna and forget about her. This is a sad state of affairs folks, indeed very sad. Politics is too widespread in the country and we take pride in passing the blame rather than doing something about it. Anyway, equador just hit another hoal and I am running away. GOAL!!!!!!!!!!!!