Saturday, April 30, 2011


So the second half of April just passed me by in a jiffy and before I realized its already the end of the month. This means, I ain’t gonna get much time to write any more blog posts this month. Trying to squeeze in one before I say goodbye to April 2011.

Trying to live up to my blog’s reputation as a “sports blog”, I figured that I should give you practical tips about the only other game that I play (and have still never mentioned about it here) – badminton. I know the moment you hear the word badminton you have flashes of Asian people stepping around the court gracefully and smashing the shuttle down the moment it is inches above the net in between. Now if you imagined me to be anywhere close to that, you are way over estimating me. So let me set the record straight.

To begin with, like I told you guys before, I like to invest in top-of-the-line equipment for my game. That means I bought the best Yonex racket that I could afford (and to tell you frankly its way too good for me!). Well, I used to play with an ordinary non-branded racket before. But I kinda lost to every Tom, Dick and Harry that I played with. I figured that it was only the racket I could blame (for me, I was as graceful as I could imagine!).

So now with this new racket I go play at this really nice indoor court with a nice wooden flooring, excellent lighting and generally nothing to complain about. And I got this badminton buddy who plays with me after having done a 2 hour football practice (you can imagine his stamina). An ordinary game goes like this – I serve – he strategically places his return – I run – I return – he places the shuttle somewhere else in my court – I run – I return – he places the shuttle at the other corner of the court – I run again …. This ordeal continues till I start seeing multiple shuttles in the air (that's called – getting dizzy and hallucinating) and try to hit the wrong one. I hardly get to make a few points here and there (mostly because he makes a mistake rather than I earning it!) and he wins with such a wide margin that it further hurts my already hurt sports ego. I have tried all sorts of tricks with him, trying to drop the shuttle around the net, smashing him around etc. But somehow he magically takes everything that I do.

One thing that I truly like about myself is, I still don’t give up. I still go with him to play, and I still challenge him to a match and I still lose only to try again. So what is the moral of this blog post you ask? Well, the moral is – I play every sport equally bad.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Unsung heroes

I am sure we all know a person in our life who is a celebrity or has done something great. I haven’t had my share of celebrity friends (yet) but I think I know some truly great people. And here is a description of one of them.

We went for a company team building event yesterday. It involved a trek to a fort. I geared up in my usual shorts and t-shirt attire and off we went for the trek. Since its scorching hot in and around Mumbai these days, I carried a 2 litre disposal water bottle with me.

At the destination I figured that there were around 70 of us and most of us had anticipated the heat and were carrying huge water bottles. Now the average age of a person in my organization is 27 something. For such outings that average goes down to 24 something (yeah I was above average!). So you can imagine the entire group was young and fairly educated. That fits in the definition of – environmentally conscious people.

The trek was extremely exhaustive and in no time, we all finished all the water that we were carrying. The inclines were rather steep, and carrying anything on us was extremely tiring. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that a few youngsters started discarding their used bottles on the nature trail. It was disturbing, but considering that the circumstances that we were in, I felt it was “okay”. I kept mum (yeah I didn’t throw away my bottle – cause I didn’t find it that inconvenient).

The crusader

I have this friend cum colleague that I know for close to 7 years now. He fits the usual definition of what we call “a perfect guy”. Smart, intelligent, humble and nice. But what he did yesterday bowled me over. As everyone started discarding their bottles, he silently collected them on the trail. Without making any fuss about anything, he stuffed in as many plastic bottles that he could in his sack. Even after his sack was full he found out a novel way to carry more of those bottles on himself that involved using a rope to awkwardly tie the bottles around his waist. Just so that people don’t notice he kept at the back of the entire group. Now imagine doing all this on a difficult trek, all the way up and then bringing the bottles all the way down, only to discard them at the nearest bin that he found at the foothill!

We consider ourselves environmentally conscious, but how many times have we gone out of our way to protect it? Considering that the entire group was in the new generation, I would have assumed that we are more conscious of our environment. I have a million times seen people throw stuff here and there. But I never bother to go pick it up and throw it in a bin, if the person doesn’t do so. I just give them that “oh you are so uncivilized” look and walk away.

As for my friend, he generally likes to keep a low profile. But what he did yesterday proved to me that if you are really passionate about a cause, you will go to any extent to defend it. And after I noticed what he did, I feel bad that I didn’t even bother to help him in his crusade!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The “Like Me” Experiment

So, it has been two weeks since I started my shameless “Like me on Facebook” campaign. I am sure at least a few of you must be interested in what the results have been. Before I get into the statistics, I think you all need to know some background.

Long long ago, in the days of dial-up internet, I consumed most of my information on the internet through – news websites and search engines. So everyday I would login to the internet and then go to a news website (like Yahoo News, Google News, Times of India, etc). Then as the internet matured, I could subscribe to receive emails from these websites daily in my inbox. These emails were called newsletters and the internet was consumed through the inbox. Then we further matured, and I started using Atom/RSS Feeds. As I started reading more stuff online every single day, it was not possible for me to read it in my inbox (too many mails to go through!), the easier option was to login to a feed reader (Bloglines, Google Reader etc) and then consume the information from there. I have realized that over the last year, I have been mainly consuming all my news and information from the News feed of Facebook and my Twitter timeline. Though I still read news from my feed reader, it seems to me that slowly, we all are shifting towards friend generated news. That means, for my blog to be read, I have to be on Facebook. This meant that I had to make people “Like” my blog so that any updates I publish start appearing on their wall.

Now, why I want you to read my blog is beyond my comprehension. The only plausible explanation I can give is – I am a narcissist and I love it when you read what I write (yeah, it makes me feel as if I am doing something – influencing your thought process, making you laugh, smile, cry or simply – irritated!) Anyway that motivation put aside, now I come back to my experiment.

After cajoling, pleading, calling up and at times bullying people to “Like me” (at least a few of you), I have reached a number of 20. Now that’s an achievement in itself (Thank you for giving in to my pressure!). But alas, Facebook doesn’t give me an independent existence if I don't cross the magic figure of 25. So that is where it ends.

I am dejected, but that doesn’t mean I will stop writing here. You will hear me rant about my sadness for a while, and then I will be back again to my usual silly self. So enjoy!