Cricketers of the Decade

90’s were a time for bowlers, a decade where you had Akram and Waqar, the sultans of swing in Pakistan. The mean McGrath along with wily Warne in Aus, Donald , the white lightning in SA, and the fearsome duo of Walsh and Ambrose in WI.. India too had some semblance of pace in Srinath, yet the only bowler we had was the leggy who goes by the name Anil. It was a period of the banana swing, the toe crushers, the balls that turned 90 degrees, balls of the decade, and a wide eyed off spinner who turned the ball even on glass.

Yet when you come to the current decade,it was one of the glitter of records of Sachin, Ponting’s batting, Gilchirst’s sixes, Hayden’s bludgeons, dravid’s walls, Sehwag’s gluttony it was all there and yet the moments for bowlers were far and wide. A pattern which eveovled even more towards the end of the decade with the emergence of IPL and test matches being played with RPO > 6!

This was also the decade of retirement, almost all the players we loved and grew up watching finally left the world of cricket with only Sachin and Jayasuriya being the lone warriors from the days gone by and even Jayasuriya doesnt seem like staying for too long. It was the first time that we saw players who earlier had debuted in front of us,  are now retiring. Sad, but life has to move on somehow!

I thought of listing 5 Most influential players of the decade for me! (As expected from this decade 4 of them are batsmen)

Sachin – What can I say that hasnt been said and written already about the guy. A genius, a spectacle, A God, a national hero, youth icon he is all this besides fulfilling his normal duty of scoring runs and winning matches for India (an attempt foiled many a times by his team mates). In India, Sachin is cricket, he is the new religion. If last decade was of youong brilliance, the time for the star to burn bright, this one was the story of reaching Zenith. Getting into the next decade, he has almost every record there is, in circketing books. Despite losing 3 years in the decade, he still makes into it because of his effect as well as the fact that he is still here. Entering into the 4th decade of his career, definitely his last one, as always he is carrying a billion hopes.That he was a success story again this decade with 2nd highest Avg in ODIs isnt even needed to accord him greatness.

Ponting – Love him, hate him but you cant ignore him. He is the most succesful captain of the decade, the most succesful batsman, he has 2 WCs in his cupboard and almost every batting reconrd which Sachin doesnt own, is owned by him. Hating him is not a hard thing. Most polished and elegant people of the society could develop a hate for the game just by looking at a man spitting on his own palms, even if you leave aside his brash attitude. Yet no one can deny the fact that he is the most succesful batsman of the decade.

Murali – 15 degree bend, doosra, teesra he has it all and more, a tanker full of wickets! An idea of his stature can be had from the fact that even the Australian Prime Minister used to talk about him now and then. He may not have Shane Warne’s charm, his hollywood looks but he definitely outlasted and outrecorded him. He has 565 wickets this decade to 380 by Ntini,almost a ratio of 1.5, speaks volumes about him along with being the highest wicket taker in ODIs. The only batsmen I can remember who ever got a measure of him would be Brian Lara, who was rarely at his best this decade.

Gilchrist – If 80 was the decade of All-rounders, then this one was of Wicket Keeping Allrounder and Standing head and shoulders abover everyone throughout the decade was Gilly. One of the very rare Australians, who everybody respects. Between Sehwag who scores at 8 RPO in tests and Jayasuriya who started scoring more than run a ball in ODIs, there was s Gilly. When it comes to batting he can be considered to be the precursor of Sehwag and with more than 5000 runs to his name, you cant judge his talent and the fact that he had the record for most dismissals doesnt diminish his reputation too much. He is a pathbreaker of the sort which come once in a few decades.

Kallis – Could be referred to as the SA counterpart of Dravid with additional capabilities of bowling Medium Pace and with a claim to the spot of the Legendary Sir Gary Sobers, Kallis has been the success story of this decade. He was as Beatles would say, “Here, there, Everywhere”, batting, bolwing, taking catches at slips. He is the most complete all rounder I have (and I guess will ever have) seen. Born ages after Sobers and the All rounders of the 80s, my first introduction to all rounders was our dear old Prabhakar. Kallis is the man who can give balance to any side in the world, a player who is double as effective as almost any other man wearing those whites, and its his numbers which speak for him. Highest avg in both formats for players who scored more than 7000 runs, are stats enough.

Looking into the next decade, the stars are many yet its only a few years later that we will come to know which ones of them are real and which ones will just fade away. The way things are going on, I would put my money on Gambhir as one of them. Would have definitely chosen Dilshan, if he had age on his side.

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On Days like this

On days like this
when the sun meets chill
I stand back and take a breath
from a life so busy and yet so nice

On days like this
when I see them all
so young and fresh, yet only a year less
the chill of freedom and the laze of time
they have it all and I have none

On days like this
Accolades for the assignments done
are replaced by the bugs killed
its killing them which makes us live
graded still we are
though the scale has changed
from 10 to 6 but all’s the same

On days like this
I look at me seated in a seat so soft
the comforts of world all around
I look at time, a resource so scare
the world I have at my feet now
but the feet have places to move anew
Rest is not the word for us.

On days like this
I look to see
the life has changed
its just a year but the person changed
the path of life never stops
it takes me to a stages new
and then again to another place
With different worlds and people strange

On days like this
I realise its all just moving on and swimming around!

PS1:- 11th post for the month, first time in last 4 yrs that I have managed this. Have achieved 10 many times but 11 has always proven elusive 🙂
PS2:-100,000 visits on my blog 🙂

Dream Girl

Dreams are the most essential part of a human’s survival, they are what drive us. Some men say, dreams are the most important things in life. Dreams with closed eyes are a wonderful experience taking you away to a world very different from your own, while you are engulfed in the sweet and wonderful world of sleep. Dreaming with open eyes is more often than not supposed to be a forte of crazy people or ones under some influence. Yet what do you say when you experience a dream unfolding right in front of your eyes.

Almost a decade has passed since that glorious afternoon, I dont remember any details about the day as in which day or month it was. Jogging my memory, i understand that it was a similar winter day like today, although that being Lucknow and this being Hyderabad, you wouldnt find much similarities in the temperature, yet the diffused sunlight is one which again reminds me of that day.

The day I saw that face! All our lives we are surrounded by faces left,right and center, some of them we see daily, some rarely, some of them we love, some we hate and some we cant live without. And yet there are many faces which we just see for an instant,a moment, after which the person passes away from your sight and most probably from your memory. And yet some faces, those rather scarce leave an impression on you, an impression which even 6 years later is strong enough.

I remember the day as being a chilly winter day, the types that you would generally expect in the great Indo-Gangetic plains! Fog blocked the morning sun from shining at its fullest until 1-2pm, which is when you would finally have a look at that glorious yellow visitor. In india, unlike the west, which longs for the spring. Winter is supposed to be the romantic season, the season of the cold winds, of pullovers and jackets. When you could finally roam the streets at day time, after being forced indoors due to sweltering summers and the pouring rains! When you could really look good without all the sweat dripping off your face.

It was in such romantic settings that I saw her, who has remained just a ‘Her’ in my life, although one who’s memory has stood a test of time, which many names werent able to! I have often heard the term Dream Girl but never met someone who could inspire the same amount of excitement and wonder as only a dream Girl would do!

I dont know if there was a strange love potion, but for just the first and last time in my life I was flummoxed at someone’s beauty! Girls, I claim to have seen many, and a fair share of them were good (talking about days before Hyderabad) and some just blew me away. You ask me to describe how she looked, I would never be able to do full justice to that lady, yet she was a beauty beyond dreams and hopes.

The eyes which were of such a hazy shade of green and blue that you could have felt it was a torquiose floating in the blue sky. The flowing manewhich was of a golden brown colour, the delicate shade between the very light and very dark of browns could alone have made you a zealot, the length of hair alone could have choked you in her love. Traces of makeup none on the face, you could see the sunlight falling on that fairsest skin, and the shivers I had running through my body were unparallaled. I was shook, i was taken aback, i was amazed, wondered at her beauty. If i coud ever design someone the most beautiful in this world, she would have to be the one. That one moment awakened in me a belief, a belief that wonders can happen.

And as we all know dreams dont come true in real life, I have no idea who she was, where she came from and where she went, but when i came out of that stupor, she wasnt there. I saw her in the conference hall once again, mesmerized by her beauty and yet I did neither have the guts nor the intent of approaching her, to date I dont know what stopped me but it was something I hadn’t felt before!

Beauty is among the most subjective thing in universe, my dream girl could be just average for someone, (i can assure you no one could call her ugly or anything) but for me she would be the one who introduced me to The Word

Resnick Halliday

I was in class XI when I was taken to Universal, the most famous book shop in Lucknow driven around in our Maruti 800, I was but a tiny little teenager, a boy who had dreams, who was excited about entering a new world, a step into the adult world. I was now supposed to prepare for something bigger. And as anyone preparing/has prepared/will prepare for Engg knows that Resnick, Haliday is the bible of Physics (you could even say Bible is the Resnick, Haliday of Christianity depending on your choices). Its the first book you have to read if you want to know what Physics is. Irodovs and Krotovs can wait for later, when you are through with learning!

To this day I remember that iconic cover, the first image which might come to the mind of many engineers around when you talk of Physics. As is case with many course books, nobody might exactly remember the name of the book, instead its the name of the author which defines the name of the book, and almost everybody calls it Resnick, Halliday even though the version people around my age must definitely have Walker as the co-Author. Yet I didnt know his name until I googled out!

The best part about this book which sets it apart from other books is, its not exactly designed like a course book, instead being more of a story book. It started with a very interesting phenomenon or question being introduced to you by a photo.Once you had read that chapter you would understand the phenomenon or answer the question. Even the questions at the end of the book were more like puzzles with real world cases and diagrams used everywhere to mantain the interest, after all they are students of class XI,XII!

Had always read that books are a man’s best friends. Being a normal guy never gave any thought to it. Yet when I look back at the cover of Resnick, Halliday, that red and black design, Fundamentals of Physics, Sixth Edition (which ofcourse was the default edition). I realise that I miss it, now when I want to delve into the world of leptons, the hadrons, when I wanna be charmed by the Strange charm. Just like I would miss a friend when I need a company for a drive to DLF or a quick smoke, a ride to Dhoolpeth or a shopping expedition.

Rasnick Halliday
The Legendary Cover

Smoker’s Guide!

PS : SMOKING KILLS , Author of the post asks everyone to refrain from doing so but if you are addicted to it, then in the words of Led Zeppelin (whose t-shirt I am wearing right now) just Ramble On
Smoking must most definitely be the oldest means of recreation along with may be sex. Although it is amongst the things supremely harmful for humans, and yet in a company of 10 males you would generally not see more than 5 non-smokers, this is definitely the biggest addiction that the world has ever found, even bigger than that of money.

According to Che Guevara, “A smoke in times of rest is a great companion to the solitary soldier.”

So I thought why not share some of the info I have with the newbies, who might be taking tiny steps in this direction 🙂

Cigarette The most used method of blowing up the fumes. By and large the sole winner in the race. Smoked by everyone from a rickshaw driver to Shahrukh Khan. You might not be able to find water if you need but a smoke will always be around the corner if you want one.
Avg Price – Rs. 5 for a unit
Ranges from 1 – 10

Beedi – Poor man’s cigarette! Bloody affordable, I guess you get a bundle of 10 or so for 2 or so rupees. Wont generally see people in cities smoking up a beedi, its generally more of a rural tendency. Gulzar and Bipasha Basu had quite a role  in increasing its popularity, a few years back :).
Price – Rs. 2-3 for a bundle

Cigar Smoke of the rich and the sophisticated, cigar is generally considered a sign of eliteness! Normal people with the culture as stature as me would generally have a cigar once in a while, may be to celebrate an occasion or to try the novelty for once.
Price Range – Starts from 30 can go on to anywhere

Pipe – The most popular man to have smoked a pipe in the history would be Sherlock Holmes. Without any doubts he would be the first name to come to my mind when you talk about Pipe. This is the most sophisticated and elite way of having smoke. Practised more as an indulgence rather than need even in the sophisticated and the higher echelons of society. It might be the oldest method of smoking, which has lost its sheen with time.

Hukka – Long before the advent of cigarettes, cigars and pipes, humans have always been smokers and its to that time that the roots of hookah can be traced, the grandfather of all the ways of smoking! It regains the excitement and following till date. A huge surge in its popularity has been caused by the presence of flavoured hookah in almost all coffee shops around, where you can have a smoke which isnt harmful and doesnt contain Nicotine or THC in it.

Chillum If pipe is associated with Sherlock Holmes, then chillum brings only one image to your mind, that of a fakhir smoking it on the banks of Ganga. Generally used to smoke cannabis can ofcourse also be used for smoking tobacco. Not much in vogue with the the aam junta as you might to refer to it as.

Joint The cigarette of doping! I guess ~80% (random guess, no figures) or so of cannabis must be smoked this way. Generally a joint is made by filling marijuana inside a emptied out cigarette and then smoking it like you would a normal cigarette. Another common method of making up a joint is doing it in a roller paper. Variety of roller papers being generally available in big paan shops.
Price – Depends on the cig you use, price of the stufff you’ve got!
Generally ~5 INR

Bong Could be called the hookah of doping! The smoke from the marijuana is made to pass through water or any other fluid before inhaling it, thus removing most of the particulated matter in the smoke. Considered a safer bet than a joint and yet obviously harmful. Even home made bongs using Cold drink bottles and bodies of unused pens is quite popular amongst the youth. Its recent moment of glory came when Michael Phelps was caught smoking one, some time back!

Thank You Twitter

Life changes at a very fast pace nowadays, there is an innovation which changes people’s lives every few years in contrast to the time when you used to have fire discovered or a wheel invented once every few thousand years, these days its eevry 5 years or so when someone comes up with a revolutionary idea which changes the world. It was gtalk sometime back in 2005-06 while Twitter is redifing things right now!

Of all the things twitter has done to the world, one has been getting to know our celebrities. The stars, the players, the netas even the Presidents. They are all famous people, rich and influential and nowhere in our league. Some of us were sent to the cloud 9 when Gul Panag (@gulpanag) replied back to a tweet of theirs (yet later unfollowed her later 😛 ), people were advising Shreya Ghoshal (@shreyaghoshal) on gharelu nuskhe to overcome common cold and even discussing her fashion statement with Priyanka Chopra (@priyankachopra). Online networking brings all and sundry to the same level.

The so called big people are always in a different stratosphere from ours, so all these times what we have known has been nothing but the image of such people as portrayed by media, it may be good or bad depending upon how the media sees them or even you could say, how the media wants to portray them.

Thanks to twitter I can now know what Mr. Sashi Tharoor(@shashiTharoor) is thinking about India’s foreign policy or such things. I can mock @chetan_bhagat, if I want. All these people dont have the mask of celerity status behind which they can hide, for the first time I am getting to know these people, their lives. I was never interested in paparazzi coverage of such people, its generally interesting to the stereotypical noobs who cant think much for them and are happy to be immersed in this wonderland. Its only after coming on twitter that i discovered the wittiness of @mallikala specially when it comes to the NV stuff :P. And just now I was amazed when i come to know that you can even find the accounts of @konkonas‘s sleepless nights on twitter.It has made them seems more like humans, instead of the 70mm wonders!

Yet the biggest contribution of twitter would definitely be the fact that I now sincerely respect a certain politician. All our lives we have been cursing our politicians for their lack of knowledge, for the lack of suavity in them, for being too lazy and greedy with no work ethic to boot for. Yet here we had a neta who had a twinkle in his eye, who had respect for people around him, who valued his working time and would be, and who for once is genuinely disappointed. Finally there is a neta who speaks the language we speak, I can never identify with a Laloo or an Atal yet Tharoor looks more like one of us.Thanks to twitter I can finally say that there is one neta who I really respect. And just for this feeling which inspires in me a hope for the system, I would like to thank Twitter.