Monday, November 26, 2007

18.55N 72.54E

In honor of the feedback received on the previous post, I am titling this one by the co-ordinates of the place I will be at in a week's time. That would be the city of Mumbai. I am heading over to the land I came from after a period of two and a half years. As always, I need to reintroduce myself to the place. The gap has been long and the changes must be plenty. So back to the shores of Versova, and the rickshaw rides. Back to the visit to the in-laws across town, and time spent with the outlaws, my parents. Back to tracing the evenings on the face of that city with my wife, retracing what we drew when we were dating each other, fresh out of college into our first jobs. Back to the meetings with friends of yore, reunions that have to be diligently set up. Back to watching cricket as it happens in broad daylight, and the movies that need to be seen in theaters close by.

The trip is long overdue. The house beckons, family beckons, city beckons. In the midst of this beckoning is the challenge of adjustment, the challenge of inquiry, the challenge of attachment. I am excited by it. To add to the excitement, I'll be making a stop en route. I am going to London to see the, err, Queen's palace? This is the touristy version of the trip, and I hope to do it all, the key attraction being a trip to Lords.

The outlaws are technophobes and promptly gave away my PC when I left the building. That opens up an interesting possibility for me. No internet access on the trip. I have done this on a previous visit and it is strangely therapeutic. I'll be getting my news the old fashion way, and I'll be taking along a sheet of paper with everyone's phone numbers on it. Its charming, to me (until I lose that sheet). That will imply a vacation from blogosphere. After a few days this week, I'll be away and won't be here, or there, on your blogs. I do promise to catch up once I get back. Till then, consider me latitudinally and longitudinally relocated.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mach 100?

Seattle to Mumbai
In two seconds flat.
I land smoothly
As skin grazes plastic.

P.S> I recently acquired a globe that sits atop my desk in my arm's reach. Geography questions anyone? Oh, and the title is not meant to be accurate; before I get riled for bad aerospace engineering skill :-)

Friday, November 16, 2007


I rise from the depths of my own Deep Thought. Is 42 really the answer to everything? I had mentioned once in my old posts on Tendulkar's 35th test century: "With apologies to Douglas Adams, the meaning of life is not 42. It is 35." Am I being made to eat my own words? Tendulkar has had a fantastic year in one day cricket. Over a thousand runs scored, fantastic average, and more importantly the starts that have allowed India to win matches against England, South Africa and Pakistan. The glitch? A small matter of scores in the 90s. Six of them. Three scores of 99 (no other batsman in the history of ODIs has them) and the tally of 90s now reads 16. Its heartbreaking. Tendulkar has scaled great heights as a sportsman this year for me. He has proved that he still has the sublimity of a genius, but is prepared to grind his way through like a journeyman when he needs to. He has the footwork and balance beyond mortals, yet pulls out his grit from deep within when he shows up on the job with two left feet. Eventually, it is not about the runs. It is about the one shot in the innings that might stay with you. It is that single cover drive he hits. It is as if perfection has been defined and achieved at the same time. The one shot that makes something in your mind click because you sense you have seen something special. The one shot, like a straight drive for six off Kasprovich's bowling in 1998 Sharjah, where you can sense that he had that extra second to hit that shot; like he saw it coming and time slowed down a fraction for him to execute it. Genius is a lot of things, but at the end of the day, genius is that which reveals itself to the hungry waiting mortals in a brief moment. For the longer he stays, the more he unfurls. When he does unleash his skills and go through to the 90s, the anticipation of the hundred is heart-pumping. The sight of a forty-second century celebration, helmet removed, arms raised, a look to the heaven is now a sight for the expectant eyes. The century is not for him, it is for us. Having watched him come so close six times in a row this year has been agonizing. It is a comma, followed by a semi-colon leading up to a full stop. Get it Sachin. The answer to our impatience lies in it.