Sab Theek Ho Jayega !

My photo
Kochi / Ernakulam, Kerala, India
A Doctor who loves to Live, Love and Laugh with the World! Absolutely crazy about Cricket ! Other Qualifications: A Tired Bathroom Singer, Retired Gully Cricketer and Satire Writer !

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Killer Instinct

The climax of the Mansoor Khan's Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar from 1992 has always been dear to me. We have seen umpteen movies with the David felling the Goliath theme. This particular movie can't be rated as an original. Neither can we call it a classic. But it was one of those movies that left you with a warm feeling inside the chest.

What made the movie special is the 'Killer Instinct' shown by the protagonist, a role played with gusto by Aamir Khan. This special talent of Indian Cinema has since gone on to act in many more wonderful movies. But for me, JJWS will remain the quintessential Aamir Khan movie. It required real courage and conviction to make a movie with cycling as the background in a country gone crazy about Cricket.

A country with a people who are easily satisfied has always excelled in underachievement. We will be happy if Sachin Tendulkar scores century even if India lose the match. We will find a zillion excuses from the Umpiring decisions to the pitch to the weather to the crash of stock markets for our sporting defeats!

We look at the magnificent heights achieved by our neighbors in Olympic games with awe and then are quick to cast aspersions about doping and cheating. We are not good to our own rare winners. Our burgeoning sport bureaucracy ill-treats even the nest in the business. So what are we left with? Bhindra fails during the very next opportunity. When we have our own sports bodies to demoralize and defeat our athletes, we don't need any opponents.

Cricket is a rare case where we can say a sport has been administered marginally better than other sports. The way we have managed our national game can be described in a single word; Shame! Even the sporting Gods have been unkind to Indian Hockey. They robbed India of a possible chance to win a title after a long time. We rarely win anything on the world stage. This happens only in reel life, never in real life!

With such a gloomy scenario, there is 'One and Only' true Champion among the gigantic mass of humanity we have in this country. And 'HE' has time and again lifted our morale every time the much hyped Cricket team went down tamely in ICC events.

Yes, he too has lost and was blamed for the lack of 'Killer Instinct' like any other Indian. This Gentle Tamil Brahman boy from Chennai has enthralled the Chess world with his lightening speed and sharp skills. But at the age of 40, he also has proved he has what we always doubted in Indians; the Killer Instinct!

Why is it that Indians lack in this instinct when our neighbors are all aggression and killer instinct incarnated. I am not only talking about China. Just look at Pakistan's overall records in Test Cricket. They took 112 lesser tests to notch up 100 Test wins and that too in double quick time. This is in spite of the chronic infighting and politics plaguing them. They have produced more quicker and aggressive fast bowlers in every single decade since 1947 than all those produced by India since we started playing Cricket.

Why are we lagging behind? The stock answer is lack of 'Killer Instinct'. But is this true? We have had guys like Sreesanth, Manoj Prabhakar, Saurav Ganguly and Harbhajan who have not only been aggressive with their game but also with the body-language. We are ready to suffer tantrums of the likes of Andre Nel, but are quick to pounce upon Sreesanth and admonish him and even ridicule him.

We have double standards when it comes to our own bad boys. Aussie bad boys are good but our own are not! No wonder we don't have many aggressive guys. This is where and why we lag behind. We are too harsh on externally aggressive Indians. It is true that Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid are Gentleman Cricketers who are also fiercely competitors without being demonstrative. But without characters like Sreesanth, we will definitely lag behind when it comes to giving back aggression with aggression.

With all the respect and tribute due to Vishwanathan Anand, the Greatest Indian Sports Icon; I would love to see a lot more aggro from Indian Sports-persons on the international stage. Something like this when repeated more often augurs well for India in sports and sports in India.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Laila O Laila !

Laila O Laila: Pondering over the Gender of Hurricanes and Cyclones !

Cyclone Laila is wrecking havoc across eastern India. I received a text message from a lady asking, "Why are all hurricanes and cyclones identified with feminine names? Is there a reason behind this phenomenon?

Wikipedia gave me some very interesting answers. I learned that there are hurricanes and cyclones happening all over the world almost on a daily basis. I also learned that Hurricane Andrew was not a Lady, he was a Gentleman. But I doubt any of those who suffered the trail of destruction he left behind will agree to call him that; a Gentleman!

It seems hurricanes used to be exclusively feminine till 1978. That must be the year when the sex change operation was invented; because we have had a lot of Mr. Hurricanes like Don, Alex, Gordon and Andrew since then. But if we look at the popularity and coverage of all those hurricanes; but for the rare trans-gender Andrew, we mostly remember Katrina, Wilma, Rita and now Laila. By the way, Laila is Pakistani by origin and is creating havoc in India. Is this a new form of Cross-border terrorism?

Why Hurricanes were, are, will and should always remain feminine; I have a dozen authentic reasons!

The very names 'Hurricane' and 'Cyclone' are completely un-masculine beyond doubt.

Men can never be so cold, so vicious,  so aggressive and yet so hot and humid at the same time!

Men are not known for hurricane, worry-cane or curry-cane and you'll never see them cycle-lonely.

Hurricanes mostly last for 3 - 7 days, quite like menstrual cycles and there is bloodshed during the periods.

They take ages to get decked up and then arrive suddenly to take everyone by surprise.

They always come with little notice like the women do all the time.

They want everyone to notice them. If not, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

They love the spotlight. Laila has sidelined both Deepika and Aishwariya at Cannes Film Festival.

They not only play with your lives, but shed enough tears to flood the neighborhood.

Look at the videos and still photographs, they all look stunningly beautiful from a distance!

Fight with your wife and see how things fly in the air; you know Hurricane is a woman!

And most importantly, when they leave; they will leave a trail of destruction behind to last for a lifetime!

Friday, May 7, 2010

This is Life !!!

Long long ago, when my uncle came back with a PhD degree and a designer beard, I was told PhD stood for Doctor of Philosophy. I came to understand my uncle had reached the epitome of knowledge! The little boy that I was; I wanted to be a Philosopher. I believed you can become a Philosopher by attaining the coveted degree and growing a beard and smiling at other people when they ask questions!

Subsequently I grew up to understand better. I also grew up to hate Philosophy; any Philosophy other than my own! So I am not very sure how others will react to my shot at Philosophy. With Potshots perhaps! Welcome anyway!

Exactly the same time when I saw my handsome uncle with the pleasant smile, I also became aware of 'Life'. That was when I used to score marks with same ease with which I used to pick up injuries to my forehead. One relative believed, I was getting smarter with every knock on my head! He also blamed the teachers for granting me marks as if they were distributing puffed rice! When things came so easily to you so early in life, you tend to become lazy. That exactly is what happened to little me. I thought it was all easy and 'This is Life'.

High school was another world to me. I missed the adoring teachers from Primary School and suddenly there was a drastic fall. The marks were more psychological than numerical now. Though it wasn't the bottom, I was closer to bottom than the top of the class. Erratic behavior, over aged friends and lack of direction meant high school will be remembered as a not so pleasant period. Except for my all time favorite teacher Mr. Panduranga Rao, I have very little to cherish from those 3 years at school. And I started to think, "Nothing comes easy. We have to struggle for everything. This is Life"

Getting through Class 10 with just about first class was an accomplishment by my standards. Thanks to the  really generous Principal Prof. K. D. Kini, I managed to get a Science seat for my PUC course. Any combination that taught History was anathema to me. History was both misery and mystery to me. New friends, new ways of teaching and some really inspiring teachers brought life back into learning. Those two years were beautiful because of some really good friends. Vaman, Sri Hari, Guru, Rajesh, Kumar, Vishnu and I shared quite a lot of common taste. We enjoyed our group discussions at college and Cricket in the evening. We seldom missed any classes. Looking back, those were absolutely beautiful years. I believed 'This is Life'.

During all these years, I had a passion for Cricket and it still burns bright in spite of my extremely ordinary talent at playing. On some of those rare occasions I managed to shine on the pitch, I used to think 'This is Life'. Once I managed to score some 40 odd runs from less than 20 balls and everyone went gaga. In the very next match, I was bowled first ball to hand over a hat-trick to the bowler! I picked up 4 wickets for next to nothing from 2 overs in a match and followed it up with 3 no balls in one over in the next. So 'This also was Life!'

Medical College Bellary taught me not just Medicine;it also taught me about life and then about death! It was one real roller-coaster ride. I  have very sweet 'Memories' of Bellary thanks to my friends! Every up and down during the ride used to make me wonder, "Is this Life?". Like most of my friends, I too outlived the heat and dust and the cauldron of stress that was the Medical College. And I am here today to tell the story; a story of a journey of an extremely ordinary man!

Profession, marriage, fatherhood and responsibilities have come with such break neck speed, I realized by the way that I had grown up! I also realized I had become a 'Jack of all trades'. Some sad moments and some happy moments; the journey is on! Those beautiful holidays, meeting my childhood favorite Vishnu Vardhan, my daughter's dance programs and those cozy family evenings; all of these evoke the feeling, "This is Life". Then I see my Father in Law suffering from Alzheimer's Disease going from bad to worse by the day. He had to be hospitalized thrice in a short span of time. This too is Life!

Nelson, a genial neighborhood Electrician helped us on many occasions. He used to consult me for his Blood Pressure and some other complaints. Once we called him urgently for fixing an AC in my room. He politely told my wife that he was stuck with some other commitment and we hired another chap. But Nelson dropped in later that evening just to apologize for his inability to help us.

Last Monday, my wife rang me from the market and said, "Do you know what happened? That electrician guy died suddenly this afternoon. Do you know what was wrong with him?". At 42, he had witnessed the demise of his Mother and Sister in a span of less than six months. Both he and his wife were a depressed lot due to these tragedies and also due to absence of children in their life. And then this sudden and ghastly tragedy! How his wife will manage to face this is beyond imagination. But she has to and she will, because "This is Life !"

Live every moment of life as if it were your last. We never know, some day we'll be right. So Live, Love and Laugh as much as possible. Because... This is Life !!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Happy Hartal !!!

People in Kerala celebrated one more 'Hartal' and it was business as usual for the Left Brigade. They came, they saw and they conquered the common man. After all, it was meant for the common man, so the common man too has the responsibility to make it a resounding success!

And a success it was for the organizers and also for the Kerala State Beverages Corporation. Hearty Congratulations! The SMS crazy youth of the state wish each other 'Happy Hartal' !

Hartal, the word has origins from Gujarati language. A certain Gujarati called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi made it an effective weapon against the British. Hartal has no place in Gujarat today. Everyone there seems to be in a hurry to work and progress, what a shame!

Communists were opposed to the Mahatma most of the time he was alive. But today, they are the only ones who have kept this 'Gujarati' tradition alive and burning. My only worry is about the Left's righteous indignation for Gujarat. If they realize the word Hartal was imported from Gujarat, they might dump it for some other Non-Modifiable name! Hartal is so much more glamorous and attractive than it's outlawed cousin 'Bundh'.

The Indian National Congress has altogether forgotten Gandhi; well the Mahatma I mean! They are too obsessed with that name for totally different reasons known too well to every Indian. Leader of the Opposition in Kerala, Mr Ommen Chandy said: “Including today, in the past four years, the Left has called for nine state-wide hartals. ..."

Mr. Chandy also told elsewhere that the Congress organized only one Hartal in the past four years against nine by the Left Front. In a football match, 9-1 scoreline would have meant a Brazil - India mismatch! This is bad Omen Mr. Chandy! Is this how you serve the common man? The Left has left you gasping.

Some people have called the God's Own Country "Hartal's Own Country". There is a tone of ridicule in these talks and I just don't like it. Let us look at the benefits of Hartal.

No Traffic Jams.
An added holiday for the over worked 'Working Class'.
Well deserved rest for tired travelers and tourists.
Huge profits for the Kerala State Beverages Corporation.
And don't forget the result: The Prices came down tumbling the very next day!

Price rise, Petroleum prices, Party Politics, Religious Intolerance, Atrocities against Minorities and anything and everything is a worthy cause for us to celebrate Hartal in Kerala.

Karnataka refusing to share Kaveri water with Tamil Nadu evoked a Hartal in Kerala while the irresponsible Tamil Nadu people went about their work with no concern whatsoever.

America's Iraq Policy and Israel's misdeeds against 'Innocent' Palestine have brought life to a stand still in Kerala, because we care!

The BJP without a single MLA and the Shiv Sena without even a Party Office can call successful Hartals in Kerala. Isn't this a glorious example of 'Democracy' at its best in Kerala?

So we have to legalize Hartals in Kerala. Encourage other underdeveloped states to take cue from us. Introduce the word in the English Dictionary. People like me will be more comfortable writing about Hartals.

We can say people are 'Hartaling' when they are on strike. It is so convenient to say 'Kochi Hartalized' instead of the old fashioned Life comes to a stand still in Kochi. The affection for Hartals shown by people of Kerala can be termed 'Hartalophilia'.

After celebrating over 100 successful small and large and local and general Hartals each in 2008 and 2009, we should name heartland Kerala as 'Hartaland'! 

We can borrow from A. R. Rahaman and Subhash Ghai and sing the Hartal Anthem! Everyone's 'Dil will be bechain' and there will be 'Raste pe nain' to see if there is any traffic! On the one hand we will be calling 'Aaja Saawariya aa aa aa aa..." and then sing "Hartal se Hartal Mila"!

And most importantly, like health tourism and monsoon tourism; we can also encourage 'Hartal Tourism' in Kerala. No other state will have such an attraction except perhaps West Bengal.

So let us all come together and make this a grand reality. "A State by the Hartals, of the Hartals and for the Hartals!" The ultimate Hartalocracy !!!