Wednesday, March 30, 2005


End of a tiring day capped off with a meeting that lasted an hour and a half!!! By the time the meeting ends, you are wondering what you met to discuss :-)

I find writing for the blog a nice release, except that most occassions there is hardly anything substantial to pour out. Meditative, vegetative, same difference! So, here are some brain dead reflections

1. Yesterday, I saw a hailstorm for the first time in my life. Big pellets of snow racing each other in a hurry to reach the ground and perish. Beautiful beautiful sight. Amidst this splendor was a singular thought: I am so glad my car is parked underground. This, from a guy who thought that sitting on a beach and watching the waves is a thing that can be done till the end of time! The world forces you to grow up, doesn't it? :-)

2. Two contrasting music releases. Taj Mahal and Kaal. Taj Mahal marks the return of the grand-daddy of Indian music composers. Naushad. In the 50s-70s, there was no other who could match his exploration of Indian classical music when composing film music. Mughal-E-Azam, Baiju Bawra, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Mere Mehboob, the list is endless. Easily one of my favorite composers off all time. I was super-keenly awaiting the release of Taj Mahal's music for this sole reason. What't my take on it? Naushad has not sold his soul (like he did in Guddu) for this movie. He has tried to keep the essence of his music alive (with modern day orchestrations). The songs are really good and grow on you. I would say that the music will be enjoyed by lovers of Naushad's music, but can't guarantee the same for everyone. The songs are great by today's standard, but I don't find them matching up to Naushad's earlier work. Hariharan is good while seeing Preeti Uttam as a lead female singer made me pull my hair out in frustration. Please try to enjoy the songs despite her. Kaal on the other hand is a smart producer at work. Karan Johar is going with the times and coming up with a movie that is different from his usual work and the music is going with it (SRK is the co-producer). The songs are composed by Salim-Suleiman, the whizkids who are the current kings of giving background music(Bhoot etc) The songs are fast paced and at go with the mood of the movie. You will enjoy Nassa Nassa and Tauba Tauba (what's with repeating the same word twice? :-))

3. My cricket team has reached the semi-finals of the B league this time. One win and we will be onto the A league. Terrific performance this time, winning 5 out of the 7 matches. In fact, I got to captain the team on one occassion. The match is on Sunday. Let's hope it works out for us.

4. I went to this shopping complex called Globus in Bandra last year in Bombay. This is a multi storey shop with some theatres at the top. I saw 'Ek Hasina Thi'. That movie has a scene filmed, guess where, in Globus. I was watching 'Socha Na Tha' last night (light hearted comedy, watchable) and was surprised to see another scene shot in Globus

5. I seem to blog every 4 days on an average. If my blogs are shorter, the frequency of my posts increases.

Monday, March 28, 2005

India loses test series

The actual headline today morning was ‘Pakistan square test series’. To me, they are both equivalent. This is a shame, a national disgrace. A relatively inexperienced bowling attack like Pakistan’s ran through a ‘strong’ Indian batting lineup on a docile pitch on the final day of a test match. How come it happens to us? How do we let it happen to us? Until last year, we were anointed Contenders to Australia. Indeed, had we won this series 2-0, we would have also been listed as number 2 in the ICC test rankings. But contenders do not grovel like this, they register victories (a draw in this test match would have been akin to a win). We are Pretenders at best.

Look at the way the series went. We let Pakistan draw the first test match even though there were only four wickets to take on the last day of the match, somehow managed to register a win in the second test and were wholesomely humiliated in the third test. Sehwag and Dravid notwithstanding, the other batsman did not get going. Pathan was woefully out of form, and the other bowlers were good in patches.

I don’t personally care about the one-day matches. For me, the charm and importance is reserved for tests. In all probability, we might end up drawing the one-day series 3-3 as well. I feel angry and cheated by a team that shows promise and doesn’t live up to it.

There will be some fallouts of this test series. The test career of VVS Laxman will end. Ironical as it may be, the duo of John Wright and Ganguly will make way for the next coach and captain at the same time. Ganguly has done some great things for the team, but has outlived his nine lives. Of course, these are simply my predictions, and a lot may be forgotten if we do really well in the one-day series. That is how our selectors function anyway. In the meanwhile, I’ll wait, watch and expect better from my favorite cricket team in this whole wide world!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Featured, Flattered, Honored featured me as Blog of the day for today. Its unexpected, pleasant and surprising. Thank you.

Hey, the page will change tomorrow! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The best condolence letter ever

True story from 5th grade at school. Our English teacher Mrs. Prabha Nair asked the class to write a letter of condolence to a friend who has lost his father. Here's what one of the geniuses in the class came up with

I am sorry that you have lost your father. I hope the police will help you find him


Monday, March 21, 2005

The names people play

Here's a list of some interesting names on my MSN Messenger contact list (an example of an uninteresting messenger name being Parth). I am glad that people I know are more creative than I am. Ya, its that kind of a patch in my blogging journey.

Eternal sunshine of the clueless mind
Well Poised (hang-over from the 4th evening of the test match)
Dazzled by Reality
i hate 2 b dependent on others but human is a social animal
~~Rho Rho Rho your boat! ~~
First thinks last
Living on a prayer
LN proves his MITTAL in Steel
The Dude Abides
The times, they are a-changing

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Enough said

Time for some pictures. These are from my weekend hike to Snow Lake, WA near the Snoqualmie Pass. The trek was of moderate intensity and was 2.5 miles one way. What awaited us at the end was the grand view of the lake that my camera is well short of capturing. I hope to have better pictures of my hikes henceforth. Till then, enjoy the view.

View from the base of the trek

Some more mountains on the way

Sparse snow creates good contrast

Prize view at the end of the trek -> The entire lake was frozen!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


I took extra care to spell the blog title correctly. Gymnophobia is fear of nudity. Of course, that too surfaces depending on whom I am looking at!! I am referring to a fear of another kind. Its the place they call a gymnasium(from Greek gymnasion from gymnazein to exercise naked - weird, huh?).

I remember my first time. The rites of passage. Avinash, Sachin and Sushil had enrolled and I followed suit. Getting up at 6 to go and stretch my legs and pull a heavy piece of metal up and down 20 times was barely going to register as a favorite activity for me. The first day I was through with my exercises, I had trouble climbing a few stairs. However, at the time, the effort was aimed at a higher purpose. The sole motivating factor for going to the gym was to obtain a physique and impress girls as a result. Arnold Shivajinagar and Sly Stallone were role models, flexing my arms in front of a mirror was a thrice-a-day exercise and an unmistakable swagger set in to reflect my new found confidence. That was the time to gloat over gaining a couple of kilograms of weight, a tiny bulge in my biceps and adding the new expression to my vocabulary ‘I work out’. Then, the boredom set in. The ratio of time spent to gains achieved dwindled and the act of doing the same set of exercises over and over again got to me. Having paid 6 months worth of my father’s hard earned money, I at least ensured that half of it was well utilized. In the end, I quit after three months.

Cut to the interregnum. While my muscled friends muscled their way to pot-bellies and love handles over the years, I stuck to my flat-stomached non-muscular lean existence. I spent my time picking up and getting better at table tennis, badminton, cricket etc. I ate what I pleased, and it seemed to have no effect on me. Hanging out of trains and buses in Bombay was exercise enough. And I walked. Boy, I walked.

Cut to the present. The moment I started my sedentary work life, the pot belly appeared, I started feeling stuffed every time I ate, and a 3 hour cricket match made me huff and puff. I realized that perhaps being 26 is not the same as being 20. My job provides a few perks, including membership to a rather expensive sports club. I figured it was time to cash in. After several years, I finally ventured towards the exercise machines again. Things, as learnt quickly had changed. First, there was the ‘co-ed’ setup, unlike the gym I went to India. As a 15 year old kid, I used to feel like a dwarf among the big boys. Now, people of all shapes and sizes and sexes were panting and sweating in unison. Secondly, there was now a wide array of equipment to choose from. Treadmills, ellipticals, gravitron, steppers, you name it. I didn’t even have to lift a dumbbell and still feel drained out at the end of a session. With that also came the realization that the world was never meant to be for equals. There are the bawdy-builders, people whose bodies are more rotund than linear, enough love handles to hang onto if you are sinking, and enough weight to test the weight machines to the limit. On the other hand, there are the body-builders. They still make me feel like a dwarf. And then of course, there are the women. The ones in perfect shape dress up less than adequately to accentuate that. Are they mocking the rest of the ‘normally shaped’ men and women? Is this a media-fed image that they are attempting to confirm to? Do I really care? Hell, no. In the middle of all this, there’s me. Working out twice a week in a slightly purposeless quest. Sometimes, the Jacuzzi and the steam room seem to be the best reasons for going there.

I am probably not being fair on anyone who does go to gym for honest purposes. By nature, I hate the concept of running in one place for 20 minutes. Give me a competitive sport, any one of them, and I’ll jump right in. However, circumstances dictate that I can’t do that on a regular basis. Anyway, got to speed up work. I have to leave work a little early this evening. Any guesses where I am heading towards?

Currently reading: The rule of four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
Currently watching: American Wedding, Pulp Fiction
Currently listening: Mirza Ghalib by various artists
Current frustration: Inability to watch the Ind-Pak cricket series

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Rescue

Words drift closer
as worlds drift away
stringing phrases together
as relationships untwine

I construct a poem
as feelings deconstruct
I scramble my memories
as the images disperse

I salvage the past
from its present imperfection