Thursday, February 26, 2015

704. I hate (like) idlis

When I was 5 years old, I used to run away from my home when ever my mom made idlis for breakfast ( 8 am).

I will run to the end of the street, wait there for some time and when no one cares about me, I will walk back slowly to the house. (8:15 am)

I did not have enough money to run back to Bangkok; nor did my mom tell me that she will make me the party president of the house to lure me back home. 

I will slowly walk back home only to find that no one at home had even missed me for the short period I ran away from home.

The front door will be locked. I will slowly walk around the house and try to sneak in through the back door. My mom knew all my moves. So she will lock the back door too. I will finally start saying  "I am sorry mom. I won't run away again". She will hear me; but would pretend as if she had not heard my cry. 

I will go on asking sorry for some more time. In the mean time she would have finished her household chores and because of that she would allow me inside the house. She will open the back door and I will walk in with my head hanging down low.( 9:30 am) I would think that the problem had ended; but in reality the problem for me starts only when I return home.

My mom would bring those 4 idlis (Now they would be super cold) and ask me to eat them. I considered eating idlis as a big time punishment even when they were hot. But eating cold, dry and hard idlis was capital punishment for me. I would plead with her and ask her to make maggi noodles for me. Mom would take the plate and keep it on the floor near the bathroom and tell me to go and kneel down near the plate and finish the idlis. I will swallow the idlis in no time.

But at times, when my mom places the plate of idlis near the bathroom and asks me to kneel down and eat them; I would wait for an opportunity to check if she was watching me. If her concentration was not on the plate of idlis, then two idlis will fly out through the window to the neighbours house. 

On one such idli throwing day, my throw ended up falling on the neighbour aunty's head. She created a big scene and my mom got so furious that the punishment intensity went on to a whole new level that day. My mom never punished me with big canes or sticks. All she used was a couple of coconut sticks. 

The coconut sticks are evil sticks. They look so thin like Ishant Sharma but they sting like Mike Tyson. They leave their mark on the legs. On days when I had marks on my legs, I will pull up the socks all the way to my thighs so that my classmates (girls) do not see the marks and mock at me.

So with the neighbours house rules out, the next location I chose to throw the idlis was the toilet. I became an expert in throwing the idlis that Limba Ram would have started to feel jealous of my aim , if only he had seen my idli throwing skills. But that did not continue for a long time too. 

My sister caught me red handed on one such occasion. I pleaded with her not to tell mom. But how could she miss such an opportunity especially when we were like a cat and a mouse at home? This time I went to school with my thigh high socks for almost a month. The impact was so deep. Mom hated anyone wasting food.

Now I am married and I have a kid of my own. Now Idli is my favourite food item. This morning when my wife was feeding idlis to my daughter, she said " Enakku idli vendaa" and I thought to myself "History repeats".


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

703. The Most dangerous cricket team of all time

Every college would have had a cricket team. This was the Rajagiri cricket team (2004-2006). We all did MBA together. We did not win any cricket tournaments during our playing days because we did not participate in any tournament in the first place.

We played every evening. Before I begin to write about how we played, I should first give a short introduction about the players in our team. Let me write about the people from left to right.

Subash : We have millions of photography pages in Facebook these days. But 11 years ago, this guy walked around with a camera. He was the official photographer of the batch. He would have all the photos of all of us. He is now a HR big gun. Subash is wearing a green shorts, blue socks and is holding a stump in his hand. The stump in his hand is a clear indication that he was in the winning team that day.

Anto : Anto is a fast bowler and a genius in Financial accounting. He was the main reason for many of us clearing out Financial Accounting paper in our exams. Anto went on to marry our junior. We never knew that innocent Anto also had a romantic heart during our MBA days. He is the only guy wearing a pair of glasses in this picture

Prason Christopher Robin :  Yes! That's me in that red shoes. I am holding a stump too :P I used to be a leg spinner and a tail end batsman. I was fast on the field and performed well when the ladies were around.

Jose : He had the most deepest bassy voice in our batch. He would open the bowling on most occasions. He was the main strike bowler of the team and the captain ( I will write about him later in this post) always banked on Jose to make early inroads in the opposition team. Being the lone spinner, I would give ideas to my captain suggesting him to open the bowling with a spinner. But he would not listen to me

Arun Simon:  We used to call him Simo (Rhyming with Remo) because he had a Yamaha bike. We used to beg him to give a ride on his bike. 

Attender : I forgot his name. He was the hostel attender. He used to play with us when we run short of 11 members.

Surya : Surya is the guy in blue jean trousers. He was the body builder of our batch. Girls went gaga over his body. He was also the opening batsman for our team. He was also an excellent dancer who played like Afridi. He would get out soon; but would have done the damage already before getting out

Vyasan : This guy was the Vice captain and the opening batsman of the team. He was very good in almost all sports. He was the second best dancer in college. The best dancer in our college was Clement (Clement is not in this picture).

Midhun Raj :  The guy with the chequered shirt and full pants. What should I write about this fellow? He fooled us for more than 3 months that he did his under graduation in IIT Chennai. We used to call him IIT because of that. Midhun and I were partners in crime during the college days. We were always caught near the Engineering college ladies hostel or the MBA college ladies hostel. When we go missing from the cricket field, our friends know where to find us. Midhun was also the captain of our cricket team. Captains are known for their captaincy traits. There are captains who are known for their strategic field placements. If you see the above picture clearly you can see that he has placed the bat strategically too.

Jayakrishnan : The guy in silk shirt and formal pants. He played cricket in formal attire all the time. He will not slide nor fall down while playing. He literally believed in the phrase " Cricket is a Gentleman's game"

Unni Cherian : He was a silent guy who did his part well. I have not interacted with him much during the college days because of his calmness.

Dilip Cyriac:  He was the Rahul Dravid of our team. He can bat at any positions and he was a stylish batsman.

Sunil Thomas : Finally Sunil. This man had the biggest girl following in our college. One junior girl was crazy about him. But he said "My country comes first. I don't have time for love"

I have introduced all the people in this picture and I am already tired because of that. We never participated in any tournaments. We only played bet matches and took pride in what we did. What we treasure most are the memories that are deeply impinged in us because of those cricketing days. As I type these lines, I can visualise myself batting in the ground. Memories


Thursday, February 05, 2015

702. Five Bravest cricketers of all time

This post is a tribute to Five Cricketers who had the courage to battle it out in the 22 yard pitch even after they suffered deadly blows in their body.

1) The man who face 17 balls with a broken finger

Jan 2009 - South Africa was playing against Australia at the SCG. South Africa needed 376 runs to win in the second innings. With 35 runs on the board, Graeme Smith received a deadly blow on his left hand finger and had a fracture. He retired hurt. Soon South Africa lost wickets at regular interval and were stuttering at 257 for 8. Australia just needed one more wicket to win the match because Graem Smith had already retired hurt. Soon they took the 9th wicket too. Just when everyone got up to celebrate an Aussie victory, the unthinkable happened. Graeme Smith walked on to the middle and took guard with one hand.  Even the Aussie supporters stood up on their feet and cheered the brave Smith as he walked in. He had to survive 8 overs to draw the test. He took blow after blow and he faced 17 balls like a warrior. Finally he succumbed and Australia won. But Graeme Smith became the Hero of the match. Check this video

2)  The Broken Jaw bowler

In the year 2001, India was playing against West Indies. Anil Kumble was one of the finest medium pacers of the word. His leg break balls were a treat to watch. Some say that he is a leg spinner. But that is a topic that will be debate for centuries to come. In that match, Kumble received a nasty blow on his jaw from a Merv Dillon bouncer. He had to retire hurt. Watch that nasty ball here

When West Indies batted, the unthinkable happened. Kumble took the field. His face was bandaged. It was a sorry sight to see. He could not move his jaw and he could not appeal too. But he bowled his heart out and even got the wicket of the mighty Brian Lara.

3. Late Marshall's one hand four

Anil Kumble is a decent enough batsman who has got a test century to his credit. Graeme Smith is a class act. But the man I am gonna write about now is not known for his batting skills. He was dangerous with the ball. He was short; but had a fiery pace. The late Malcolm Marshall who is not with us now played one of the bravest innings in cricket. Batting with one, hand, this genius even scored a four. Check this rare video here

4. Malik's batting with a sling hand

Salim Malik has tormented spinners at his prime. He has had his lows with match fixing. Let us not get there. The Pakistanis were facing the Caribbean storm in that match. Curtly Ambrose who can make any batsman to pee in the groin guard was pounding balls at the batsman. Salim Malik suffered a fracture in his left hand. At the fall of the the 9th wicket, Salim Malik walked in as the 11th batsman with his left hand in a sling. He faced his first ball with the stance of a left hander so that his left hand is not exposed to the fast bowling attack of the West Indians. He face the deadly Ambrose. He later changed his stance and enabled Wasim Akram to score his first test 50.

5. Chronicwriter's batting with a bruised back.

When Chronicwriter was in class 12 (He was 17 years old). Mahendra Singh Dhoni was also in class 12 in Jharkhand. Chronicwriter was scared of his Maths teacher - Mr Arulanandam. When Mr Arulanandam asked any questions on Mathematical formula, Chronicwriter would literally pee in his pants and would forget the answer. On one such occasion, Chronicwriter's butt was pampered to glory by Mr Arulanandam with a cane. The stripes on his butt exposed the brutality of Arulanandam's arrogance. That afternoon, Chronicwriter participated in a book cricket competition with his classmates Jaffer, Suhail and Shine. He even went on to score a century. There is no video evidence of that brave batting because there were no mobile phones during that time to capture that brave act.

- Chronicwriter