Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Living Legend

Roger Federer is my hero. There is no other player (except Sachin Tendulkar) who commands more respect from me. And that comes not just from the fact that he is a legendary tennis player.

In a cricket obsessed nation, ours was a home of tennis lovers, thanks to dad. Every Federer match was an event not be missed. He was an artist in action. Absolutely class apart. The effortless ease with which he hit his shots, the graceful singlehanded backhands, his poise, his elegance. Even when two sets down, he looked unperturbed.  He knew he could clinch it. And that's what made him special. His confidence and self - belief.

He is not beefed up or super strong physically. But it's his mind that defines him. The sheer brilliance of his game - so intelligent - and superior mental strength. That's what won matches for him. That took him to beat and create tennis records, going down in history as the biggest tennis legend so far.

And that's the one thing that has changed in the last couple of years. Maybe his focus is now more on family, or he has let his critics make him believe that he is too old to play now. Whatever the case may be, I don't see that poise anymore. He gives up at some point. He thinks he will lose. And he does. That's unfortunate. Because he is still Federer, and he still has all it takes to clinch those titles. I just get so heartbroken. I still can't bring myself to see him lose to Djokovic (especially to Djokovic) or to Wawrinka. Sigh. I still hope that his inner strength will rise, and he will be number one again. That he will keep playing and entertaining us with such stylish tennis, an art that is all but lost these days.

And that's not where it ends. I respect him deeply for one more thing. Despite his blue-blooded looks and his legendary status, he has never been involved in a controversy. He has stayed true to his wife Mirka for fourteen long years, since they started dating, and I hope they will be together forever. Deep respect. He makes my belief stronger that true manhood is not about how many 'birds' you can catch, but despite having the ability to do so, choosing to be with your queen forever.

It's difficult not to be in awe of a person who stands for everything legendary. Like Sheldon Cooper says,  'minstrels will write songs about him'. And no matter who is reigning, for me, this era of tennis will always be defined by Roger Federer.

Roger Federer - my hero.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Kaisa bulawa aya hai?


Cricket in India is not a sport, it’s a religion. Popular cricketers are Gods of the nation, and India-Pakistan matches are undeclared national holidays. Winning the World Cup is akin to salvation. Prayers are offered and fasts are kept to ensure India’s victory. Cricket is the pulse of the nation. Not even a war can bring the kind of patriotic fervour that cricket can. And therein lies the beauty of the game.

Personally, I’ve never been a huge cricket fan. It goes on for too long, and there’s not enough excitement when batsmen are going tuk-tuk taking single runs. But even I’m not immune to the patriotism that this game generates. It is impossible not to do a ‘yahoo’ or chant ‘India! India!’ when our beloved Dhoni hits a winning stroke.

And that precisely is my problem with the Indian Premier League. Why should I or anyone waste their time watching a format that’s nothing but a business model? Hell, I don’t even know which team to support! Ideally I should be supporting the Delhi team. But when Kohli plays for Bangalore and Gambhir for Kolkata, and Delhi team has not one reputed Delhiite playing for it, where is the enthusiasm? The Sri-Lankan player who the men folk were colourfully cursing yesterday now plays in the same team that Sachin Tendulkar captained! Such a farce!

‘Blasphemy!’, I scream. The sacred game has been violated. Cricket is being played not for the game or the nation but for the money. The numerous scandals surrounding the format are witness to this. And on top of that, the channel broadcasting it has the audacity to use the phrase ‘Chalo bulawa aya hai!’, reserved for the revered Vaishno ma.


Kaise bulawa hai yeh? I would rather watch some B-grade Hindi movie than waste my time on this mercenary nonsense. I wish more people would wake up to this reality and do something worthwhile instead of watching the IPLT20 just for the heck of it!



Saturday, 19 April 2014

Some Chardonnay please!


Let me start with a disclaimer. I’m not a drunkard. I can’t have a beer without feeling severely bloated or stomach a red wine without getting a migraine. You will never catch me drunk at a party trying to walk in a straight line… But Chardonnay… Oh dear! There’s something about it that makes me crave for it unapologetically. It tastes great, goes with various kinds of food and gives you just the right amount of high – you can giggle your way to home without losing sense of time and place (or drunk dialling an ex).

Funny, my first ever blog post should be about alcohol. Tells you a lot about hidden personalities doesn’t it? Who would have imagined, that the simple, kurti clad research scholar would have a love affair with wine, but, oh well…

My most recent escapade with wine happened when SK came calling. Oh she’s one hell of a friend. You can talk to her about anything without being judged, and she will pamper you and cajole you and totally spoil you with her love (even pay your bills if you are short on cash, because she has such a big heart). And she’s an absolute foodie. If you are with her, you are assured of an endless supply of good food and she will travel the world with you for fulfilling that craving.

A date was set. SK was in town. And just in time for lunch! So what do we do? Pick up our favourite buddy AD, and go to the nearest fine dine restaurant just across the road. While ordering some vegetarian Chinese food, we come across the drinks section. Well, it’s still afternoon, and we have to get back to work, but she’s the best company to enjoy a drink… So, chardonnay it is!!

What followed were probably the two best hours I’d had in a long long time. Started with remembering our quirkiest B.Tech teachers and laughing our heart out with the funny things they used to do… Ah! Those were the times… Sigh… Followed by a lecture to SK on love, life and marriage, when everyone conceded that wine provided me with some deep insights on life that I must immediately pen down and share with the world… Ended with us laughing hysterically at the thought of how we’re going to find her the prince charming to settle down with (details are too scandalous to be shared online).

For those two hours, life was good. No deadlines, no research, no theses, no heartbreak, no family tension, nothing. It was just us, our jokes and our giggles. What’s there not to like? No one was harmed in the process and we were deposited back safely to work and then home. Just harmless fun.


So, ‘Waiter! Can I have some chardonnay please?’.

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