Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It is sports time!

I love it when my brother comes home. This is the IPL season, so for now, cricket's the name of the game. It's that time when one-man & one-woman teams (depending of how many of us cousins,  which ones are playing) vie for the title (to be decided on the spot!). There was a recent triangular series between the one-man teams of MI,DC &KKR. Unfortunately, that series ended early owing to the disappearance of the ball into a flower pot on one of the top floors of the neighbouring flat!

Talking of cricket brings back memories of my trysts with cricket. Legend has it that my brother scored a record 48 runs in a single ball while playing as a kid. Having hit the ball into a thorny bush, he continued in his role as a batsman, running between the wickets. Whether it was the finding and final extraction of the ball from the bush, or shortness of breath which led him to stop just short of a half-century remains unclear to me. (Since then, everyone seems to have adopted standard cricketing rules - the fact that the ground is actually the middle of the street or the parking lot of an apartment seems to be accounted for in the rule that the wicket is lost in case of broken windows & complaining neighbours, & the match is considered (temporarily)abandoned in the case of ball lost into the balconies of unsympathetic neighbours). (Unfortunately for me, and for the rest of the world, the cricketing prodigy that was my brother now plays cricket with the standard rules, and watches the same!)

And now, while the rest of the world (read my family & immediate circle of friends) is lost in the cricket craze, I'm trying to stay awake to catch up with football matches (though I end up sleeping despite my best intentions and efforts, and the match reception is terrible the day I finally manage to be up at match-time).

It's only of late that I'm getting back to my fano'footie-hood. I used to be quite regular and uptodate with football, cricket, F1 & even WWE! Then came a period where less access (& the need to access) the TV remote putting me out of touch with the developments in the sporting world. So many new faces (& bodies :P) had come on the world stage during my hiatus. It now feels good to be back to being a spectator (at least) of sports.(believe me!;))

When the talk is about sports, it makes sense to include indoor ones as well. The carroms matches played at home amidst camaraderie and laughter are something I absolutely adore. Sometimes, I wonder when I grew out of trying to jinx the striker at the others' turns, and trying to negotiate a partnership when there were only two of us playing.

Chess is another game that I 'excelled in' as a kid - it wasn't my fault that my King was bestowed with superhuman powers & the preying instinct of a lion (he's royalty, after all!!!). My King (I chose white usually, and hence my turn came first!) usually did not let the ranks of mere soldiers (both his & the opponent's) stop him. He'd just fly across the board and go for the enemy King's throat and knock him down. But as noone was willing to play my version of the game where I always chose white and my King slew the enemy, the games of chess in my life came to a stop.

The next match is already being played, and it's time for me to end this post.

"That's all for now, folks"

Looking forward to my brother's next visit home...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A tale of two matches

Last night, I went to the IPL match at the stadium here.

How different it was from the Chepauk stadium experience a week earlier!

For one thing, the crowd here... There I found the crowd energetic, and even though most of us had written CSK off, there was still an air of excitement and energy. The last ball win was quite an experience. (The opening ceremony earlier was something of a damp squib). Here, somehow, the energy was lacking. If the DC innings had the crowd cheering somewhat actively, the KXIP innings had the crowd mostly passive, with only pockets of their fans cheering here and there.

Then, the edibles... There we had to go and buy snacks and drinks, here we could get them from our seats itself. As the only thing to do here while waiting for the match to start was eat, I had plenty to eat and drink while watching the players exercise. And had tried almost every drink that was on sale there - coke,limca,fanta and even maaza - by the time the first innings started.

(I wanted to go and collect the pitch report, but was restrained by my brother - otherwise I'd have been on the field, not in the gallery. I was offered the alternative of being present on the field, if I had some equipment with me - in the form of a broom-stick and a dustpan... Owing to the lack of the above-mentioned equipment, I did not get to go on the field... Alas....)

The match proved to be a lesson on cricketing field positions and nuances for my cousins (one of whom was trying to follow Duminy's actions, and the other was trying to follow a delivery guy - from Dominoes, not some bowler (bad joke!!!!)), though I doubt they were ready for it. And with an umpire-cum-expert-commentator with us, there wasn't even a need to look into the field or the screen to know what was happening...

By the time the first innings ended, what with all the drinks and the getting up to cheer every boundary, it was indeed time for a strategic time-out. But alas, when I came out of the gallery, it was almost pitch dark, with only a few stalls with some lighting, most of which was hidden by the crowds before them. It was impossible to even get some water, forget anything else.

The worst part for me were the unlit restrooms, without water. It was the most striking contrast from Chepauk with its big clean, restrooms with plenty of water, and all of it well-maintained.

Now, I have experienced cricket (if you can call it that, in this T20 format... Somehow this T20 thing doesn't strike me as cricket) live and in a stadium, from the gallery, and from the front rows...

And now, I hope to experience a Real Madrid match with its own flavour and experiences...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Slippers and shoes come in pairs!!!

Today's lesson :

While wearing slippers, it's good to pay attention to what's happening at ground level!!!

As I was wearing my slippers which I'd removed outside the lab, something felt different. While my left foot was comfortable and airy, my right foot felt stuffy. Only on looking down did I realize that I was wearing my slipper on one foot, and a friend's shoe on the other!

Thank God I had a sense to look down then!