Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We still have hope!!!

As I boarded the train thinking about India’s chances in Champions Trophy, I was happy to see these two gentlemen I love to hear. Their conversations have always been interesting.

A: Hey how are you?

B: I am fine. Just a little more tired.

A: Why?

B: Slept late last night. I was waiting if the match was going to start.

A: But it was called off pretty early aint it?

B: Yeah but I was watching discussions etc.

A: Huh!!! Why do you follow cricket so much. These guys are no good. Rain saved them last night else they would have got another pastering.

B: Dude, Australia was saved because of rains, not India.

A: So you believe thse guys would have made it i.e. chasing down 300 plus score against Australia?

B: Who knows? Remember – you haven’t lost it until you lose it.

A: Huh!!! Fool hardy.

B: Dude, I have told you earlier also. Cricket is a passion for me, not a fashion. I believe India can still win CT.

A: Hehe!!! You are expecting a miracle.

B: I have seen a few. You know what is the biggest achievement of my 20 year career of cricket viewing?

A: You saw Arjuna Ranatunga sprinting for a single to long-on?

B: Haha!!! I saw the entire match of Eden 2001 hoping for a miracle. I saw it ball by ball even when we were down and out after second day. In a population of 200 in our hostel, I was the only one who did it.

A: Don’t tell me? You were expecting India to win?

B: No. Infact I don’t know. I was just hoping or rather praying for a miracle. I got it.

A: So take a leave and see the entire match tomorrow. When you see them ball by ball, miracles happen. Isn’t it?

B: Not necessarily. I saw 1986 Sharjah match ball by ball. Miracle did happen on the last ball but for the opposition.

A: Oh, and Natwest?

B: I was watdhing it at friend’s place as we didn’t have a TV set then. As soon as Ganguly got out, I came back to my place.

A: So you msisses it?

B: No. I watched it on a roadside panshop. As SRT got out, he was switching the TV off. I almost fought with him to keep him on.

A: So you told him the miracle thing.

B: Yeah I did. It worked.

A: Great. So you have seen all these matches where India won miraculously.

B: No. I missed one the main ones – Dhaka 1998 when we chased down 316 against Pakistan.

A: Damn. How could you? Even I didn’t miss it. We were always in with a chance even when SRT got out. Dada and Robin Singh always kept us in.

B: Well, what to say?

A: What to say?

B: I committed the cardinal sin like of mixing drinking and driving.

A: So banged your bike?

B: No, I mixed female with cricket.

A: What? But there were no cheerleaders in those days?

B: No. I went to meet the girl I was trying for.

A: Haha. And?

B: And what? We met. We talked. She talked some rubbish about some electronics course. My ears were onto the sounds that were coming from nearby hostals. There was a roar with evert boundary. I was counting the roars and trying to guess the score.

A: So what happened? You got hooked?

B: Nope. She got hooked with someone else.

A: Oh, that’s sad.

B: No it was not. I learnt a lesson for life. If you have to choose between female and cricket you should always go for later.

A: And why is that?

B: See. If you get emotionally involved with a female, you will feel as if you are emotionally titillated but after sometime you realize that you get terribly exhausted either financially or mentally or both. It is just cricket which can not only titillate you emotionally but can also give you the kick generally missing in day to day life.

A: Hmmm….

B: You can complain day in day out about the game, your team, opposition’s team or whatever. They will never complain back to you. With females, it’s just the otherway round. They keep complaining to you, about you but you are not allowed to return the favour.

A: Wow!!! That’s some philosophy.

B: Thanks.

A: So you still hope we can win CT.

B: I don’t hope. I believe.

A: And what if we don’t?

B: Don’t worry. India will surely win IPL next year.

A: But India doesn’t play in IPL. Clubs or franchisees do?

B: They are just the means. It’s India who is winning in IPL. So don’t worry. We will win CT otherwise we will have our revenge through IPL.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Beedi Jalai Le!!!

Every Friday I feel extremely tired and nearly sick. I know what I lack. I am suffering from SLAB – serious lack of alcohol in blood. So I go drink with some of my friends. Well, on a Friday evening there is nothing better than having a pitcher and telling people about your college stories. Here is one of those many stories I talked yesterday.

In our engineering college, there was a big temple. Outside this temple there were a few shops where we used to have idli, coffee¸samosa etc. The place used to be our regular hangout.

So once, I along with three other friends X, Y and Z went to have some idlis there. While Y and Z decided to have idlis, X decided to have a smoke. He took me to the panshop along with him. As we reached there he, who was a casual smoker anyhow, suddenly demanded

“Let’s have Bidi today in place of cigarette”
“Why?” I asked.

“That is because I want to have it”.
“Okay” I said.

He asked for a bidi from the shopkeeper. Shopkeeper obliged.

A bit of technical difference between bidi and cigarette here - when one is lighting a cigarette, he has to inhale it because a cigarette is tobacco wrapped in a paper which doesn’t catch fire easily. Lighting a bidi is a bit different. Its outer wrap consists of leaves which catch fire more easily than paper wrap. So even if one is inhaling while lighting a bidi, he has to be more careful. It can always backfire.

X, being a completely naïve, put the bidi in his mouth, lit the lighter, put the bidi on fire and inhaled with all the power in his lungs – thinking leaves wont burn. To his surprise, leaves caught fire.

X was known in the college for the densest moustache ever seen in the entire city. It was believed that he reincarnated with his moustache of previous life else it wasn’t possible to develop such density in 21 years. If he had a fight with anyone, he would hit him with his moustache. There were more stories about his moustache than Phantom and Rakhi Sawant put together. If Angelina Jolie is proud of her lips, JLO is proud of her butts, X was proud of his moustache.

As X lit the bidi, he started shouting because he had virtually pulled back the fire in the leaves towards his moustache which started burning. He immediately put his hands on his moustache to put it off. It all happened with in a matter of few micro seconds and X thought it went unnoticed. But yours truly, with his eagle eyes, had spotted the entire episode in slow motion like “The one – Neo”.

I told X that his moustache were burnt. He refused to accept. I told him again. He refused again. We decided to head back to the idli shop where Y and Z were feasting on idli. Just before we reached the shop, X accepted that his moustache did get fire and took a promise from me – “Don’t tell this to anyone.” I broke the promise as soon as we reached the shop.

X again refused to accept the fact that it happened. Now we were three and he was alone.

We told him “There are white marks on the moustache which only appear when you get your hair burnt. You got your moustache burnt which is clearly visible.” But he kept refusing.

Anyhow, when we were just 10 meters away from hostel gate, X accepted again that he did get his moustache burnt. He again took a promise, this time from Y, Z and me, that we wouldn’t reveal the entire episode to anyone. By the time we were 9 meters away from the gate, X had disappeared. Anyhow, none of us were interested in keeping the promise. First room we entered in our hostel had at least 10 guys sitting. We exploded the story like a bomb. All of us burst into laughter. But suddenly other guys wanted to see the legacy which was supposed to have continued for X from his last life to this one. They wanted to see it burnt.

We started searching for X. We checked every room. We checked the mess. We checked the TV room. We checked the ground. We checked everywhere. But X was no where to be found. We thought he wasn’t there in the hostel. As all of us were returning back to our rooms, one word suddenly stuck our minds – Toilet. We all started looking for him in the toilets and he was found in the last one.

X was found in one of the toilets. He was using black marker pen to colour his moustache in black.