Sachin knows: A fan’s take on critics

Sachin ka number kab ayega? When is Sachin’s number coming. This was part of the title of a show that one of the prestigious Indian news channels was running almost all the day on 20-02-2012. So pathetic it was that I almost laughed at the foolishness of the host and the people who were discussing about Sachin being dropped from the one day side.

Nothing can be as disrespectful for the God of the Indian cricket. And I have decided to write about this here as an almost die-hard fan of Sachin. They were talking about Sachin’s retirement from a long time and now these mad people have gone insane and asking for Sachin to be dropped.

Sachin knows. Yes, he knows better than anyone else on this planet about when he has to retire. He knows when it’s time to say a goodbye, for he has dedicated more than half of his life till now to a sport which is not any less than a religion in India.

Every time these crazy stupid media guys start discussing about whether it’s time for Sachin to retire, I cannot understand the foolishness behind this debate. May be they are real fools. Now that Ponting is dropped from the ODI team, the Indian media is going crazy whether Sachin should also be dropped. The very same guys are discussing about Sachin’s retirement from at least five years and yet they haven’t learned. Paradoxically as it may sound, this shows the foolishness behind the arguments. For almost five years, he answered them with the bat. And remember, never with a single word or not even with a single gesture. That’s why he is the God of the cricket.

Is this what a man or shall I say ‘the God’ expects from a country for which he played for more than two decades.

Isn’t it tremendously disrespectful to say that Sachin should be dropped from one-day team?

Why don’t you guys say that our politicians should retire? Has any channel said that a politician should retire?

Either these self-proclaimed critics with a microphone in their hands are out of their brains or they are unable to accept that a man can achieve something so superhuman. It’s jealousy rather than patriotism. It’s foolishness rather than criticism. It’s sheer madness rather than intelligence.

One guy, I am sure who hasn’t played a single international cricket match himself, says, ‘Country is more important than an individual’. Stupidity at it’s best. For whom Sachin played then?

As a a teenager he made India proud. He was an inspiration for a whole new generation of cricketers in India. He has showed that Cricket needs no God fathers. And now that he is nearing forties, we still see that very same innocent eyes which are hungry to hit the ball to the boundary. When in the field, he still patrols the boundary lines as if it’s our country’s border.

Yes, he is not in the best of the forms in this tour. So is almost everyone in the team. Why point at only Sachin. Why do we expect mathematical perfection? Are we perfect in everything we do? I am sure in whatever professions we are, we make mistakes. Then why do we expect ruthless perfection from cricketers? Yes, I do feel bad when India loses. But not to a point to make any statements like, Sachin should retire or someone else should retire.

The biggest myth is that when Sachin hits a century, India loses. Please check this wikipedia link and that data speaks for itself.

Personally, I strongly believe that no one in this country has any right to talk about a man like Sachin. This might sound very exaggerating. But honestly, what is our eligibility to talk about Sachin? Is there someone who is parallel to him? No, and we are sure never in near future we will find a parallel. Someone may remotely match his cricketing skills, but sure they will never come any closer to Sachin as a person. How many times we have seen the young players getting into controversies in the recent past, from showing middle fingers to slapping team mates and to insulting other team-mates in the press conferences. They have talent but nobody has got the skills of Sachin to last long for well over two decades as an idol of perfect player on the filed and as one of the best human beings off the field.

Most of Sachin’s critics are driven by jealousy.

The fact that a man can achieve so many humanly impossible things, makes these critics go mad and make statements which are outright foolish and should be condemned.

Two decades have passed and this man lived with almost no controversy. Now these critics have got a last chance to defame Sachin in the only possible way by dropping him from the one day squad.

To all those Sachin’s critics, you go and dump the rotten shit in your brains somewhere else and accept the fact that Sachin is beyond anyone’s criticism. If you cannot do that, please shut your mouths and better find some other job which earns you bread and butter.

When a man attains to such a perfection to the envy of the bests in the game, this is bound to happen. Everyone is looking for that one, one single thing which would make the God a normal human being. But God will come back and answer you with the bat. It happened before and it will happen again.

And the day Sachin retires from the ODIs, cricket will definitely loose a part of it’s glory in India. It will never be the same again for the millions of fans who dare not even to wink the eyes when Sachin is playing.

We must be fortunate enough to witness this man for almost two decades. After a hundred years, he will be like a myth which is believable only on the page. But we are fortunate enough to have seen him play. Play to a godly perfection. And rejoice the days till he decides to wave a goodbye. You will know that never again the Indian cricket is going to witness a man like Sachin.

And the pathetic mediocrity of Indian media is reaching its heights, or should I say its lows. They want Dhoni to be axed, they want Laxman, and Dravid to be retired. Guys please stop this nonsense. There are better people to decide this stuff.

You and I are in no way have any credibility whatsoever to decide the future of few of the top cricketers this country has ever produced.

There are two kinds of cricketers in India. One is Sachin and other is the rest. And unfortunately we are at the verge of Sachin waving a good bye. Till then feel yourself fortunate enough to see the God live on the screen!

As a die-hard fan of Sachin, it makes me very sad when I see the stupidity of people who are not willing to accept Sachin as the epitome of what is humanly achievable in any sport.

Because Sachin knows better than anyone else, so please stop this non-sense about Sachin’s retirement.

If you are not in that ignorant minority of Sachin’s critics and if you liked this post, please share it.

Posted in: Cricket, India | 7 Comments

Remembering Grandpa

Article type: Personal
Reading time: 5 to 8 minutes

Almost for the first time, I am attempting to write something very personal and sort of a small memoir here.


If you are fortunate enough to experience the love of grand parents, I am sure you definitely know that they love you more than your parents do. At least, that’s what I believe personally.

I was in my engineering second year, when he left us forever. Death is a full stop. It ends everything. He was there with us a day before playing caroms till the midnight, but then he was no more on the next day. It was year 2002. I remember every moment of that fateful day. We went to a hospital and then we returned home, he walked on his own when we came back from the hospital. We had no idea he was going to leave us in few minutes. When my doctor uncle declared that my grandpa was no more, I wished my uncle was lying. I wished it was just a dream. I prayed to God to bring him back to life. But then time never stops and never reverses.

Things happened so quickly that we learned to live without him. We learned to see that empty place where he used to sleep. We learned to accept the fact that we can never play caroms with him again and quarrel during the matches. And we never played caroms at home again.

That was my first experience losing someone so dear to me. So dear to me that I find no words to explain.

After a decade, the memories still seem so fresh that it feels as if everything happened yesterday. Almost ten years passed without knowing when. But I still miss him even today. At least once in a week I will think about him. Why can’t I forget? May be I will never forget even when I become a grandpa.

He wasn’t anything extraordinary. He was a simple, honest, well educated man; and a retired government teacher. When I was studying at home, he was my virtual dictionary. Whenever I wanted to know the meaning of a word, I would ask him and he always had the answer.

In many ways, he gave us the gift of education. He was strict though, when we were growing up. We never had a cable TV at our home for most of my childhood. He wasn’t behind us to study though. But we knew he was a learned man. He wanted us to study well too. He fought life in a hard way to earn his respect and of course money. He knew education was the only way out. He wanted us to be successful in life. Now that we are moderately successful, he is not there to share the joy with us.

When I was out of my hometown for studies, he wrote me letters. Letters which were so simple. Innocent affection put into words. A simple postcard asking me how I was doing and conveying that everyone else was doing good at home. And of course asking me to study well. He never bothered about my marks and ranks though. We had no phone at home. It was late 90′s and neither email  nor mobiles were so common as they are today.

One more thing I will never forget. We used to watch cricket together. Of course, my father used to watch too. I still remember that 1996 world cup semifinal we watched together where India lost. I used to bunk school and watch the cricket matches with him.

Many memories. Starting from going with him in a bus, eating breakfast with him in the hotel, watching a cricket match, sending money orders on behalf of him, helping him with his bank work, stealing few coins from his pocket, using his rented bicycle without he noticing it. Everything feels as if yesterday. Everything feels as if now. But decades stand in between.

He taught us many things in life. He never cared for material possessions. He never talked bad about anyone. He was a perfect man except for one thing. He smoked a lot for few years without knowing it will take away a decade of his life. He was so healthy even when doctors have lost all hope of his survival he lived for almost three more years.

One more incident that makes my eyes wet and I remember it quite often. One day when he was in hospital for treatment, he compared my height with my father’s height. He was so happy that I was a grown up boy.

He wanted to buy a motorbike for me – to the envy of my father – when I got good percentage in my engineering first year. No one knows the sadness I had to bare when I was the college topper in the next semester and my grandpa wasn’t there to see it. Sadly, he passed away only two weeks before I got my result. I missed him so much that day that I couldn’t sleep.

Yes, when he was there, there were time when I quarreled with him, when I disliked him, when I liked him, when I hated him, when I loved him.

One thing that I still remember even today, which he told me once about his driving. Sometimes bicycle guys used to overtake him while he was on a moter vehicle and they used to laugh at him. But he told, he never really cared for hose things. He never really cared what people thought about him.

He was a simple man without any extravagant aims in life. One thing for sure, he never really cared for money.

I will miss him for sure even when I become a grandpa.

We owe a lot for what he had done for us. We owe a lot for his love.

Why should death do us apart? Why can’t we life forever? Why life after all if we are destined to vanish some day.

Posted in: Personal | 4 Comments

What is Biryani?

Article type: Writing exercise, non-fiction
Reading time: 5 to 8 minutes

I am writing this quick post to make sure I get into the habit of updating this blog more frequently from now. Being busy is a lazy excuse. My friend, Karteek inspired me with his 100th blog post.  I started blogging at least a couple of years before he did, and I was happy and at the same time surprised to see his milestone. But I really hope Sachin reaches his 100th 100 before I reach a ton of posts here.

This isn’t fiction.  This isn’t a story. This is just a recollection of an incident. So, you may not find the ending interesting.


So what is Biryani? Well, most of us do not need an introduction. Biryani and Hyderabad have become kind of synonymous these days. Just in case if you do not know what is Biryani, please check the Wikipedia article. When anyone comes to tour Hyderabad for the first time, eating Biryani will be in their to-do list for sure. And we, software engineers, whenever our clients visit Hyderabad, we will make sure they eat the best of Biryanis. Before they eat, little do they know about what’s going to happen to them the next morning.

Well, I am not going to give any recipe or write history of Biryani here. I am recollecting a small incident which happened in my hometown, I guess three years ago.

One fine sunny afternoon, I wanted to eat Biryani and we went to one of the best restaurants in my hometown. My friend joined with me. We ordered two Biryanis and couldn’t finish them. My friend suggested we could get the remaining Biryani parceled and give it to someone on the road instead of wasting the food. He was sure we could find someone at a temple on our way back home.

He was right in guessing as we found a boy in his early teens begging(couldn’t find a suitable synonym) at that temple. It was around two in the afternoon and I wasn’t sure whether he had already eaten his lunch. We stopped our bike and I went and gave him the cover.

“Have you had lunch?” I asked him.

“No, Anna(elder brother),” he replied putting the cover aside on the basement on which he was sitting.

“That is Biryani. Eat it.” I have told him and I was about to turn and leave.

“Anna…” he called me and I turned back again.

“What is Biryani?” he asked without a hint of mockery in his voice. It was an innocent question.

I was surprised and shocked. I realized that’s the reality of the world we live in. We take many things for granted from our childhood.

I din’t know how or what to answer. My friend was also shocked. We told the boy to eat it and we told him it will be really good and tasty.

We never knew whether he ate it. We never knew whether  he really thought it tasted good. We never knew what happened to him. We started our bike and left, discussing about the harsh reality that surrounds us and the probabilistic good fortune most of us have.

I know that there is nothing wrong in not knowing what Biryani is.

I do not want to get into any kind of philosophical stuff here. I wanted to recollect the incident the way it had happened. I hope you liked reading it.

If you have read this, you have made my day! Thank you for your time.

Please ‘Like’ it if you like it.

Posted in: Life, Musings | 8 Comments

Book review: Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat

Revolution 2020 is the story of three childhood friends: Gopal, Raghav, and Aarthi. The story is setup in the holy-city of Varanasi. Gopal and Raghav are schoolmates from the childhood and share the same bench in school. Aarthi is also from the same class. Gopal loves Aarthi from the school days.

The story’s narrator is Gopal. I am not going to tell you the entire story and be a suspense spoiler.

Gopal comes from a filmy-Indian-middle-class background. Raghav is from an almost well to do family, where as Aarathi comes from a kind of bureaucratic and political family. Three of them have their own ambitions in life. Gopal wants to be a rich man, Raghav wants to change the world, Aarthi wants to become an air hostess.

After the failure in getting through JEE and AIEEE exams, Gopal is forced by his father to repeat the exams next year. But Raghav secures a good rank and joins the top college in Varanasi. Aarthi falls in love with Raghav.

What happens when Gopal returns to Varanasi after his one year stint at cracking the entrance exams is the main part of the story. Apart from losing his love, he couldn’t find a seat in engineering to fulfill his father’s dream.

How Gopal chooses corruption as an aid to become a successful person while Raghav tries to change the world(read as India) with his revolutionary ideals is what the middle pages of the book are all about.

In the ending, things kind of change though, and you will be left to yourself to wonder who is right and who is wrong. Except for a faint hint in the end, Chetan doesn’t really judge what Gopal does is good or bad.

Following the tradition of the latest Bollywood movies, you can find few swearing words which start with letters b and a and f. I leave it your imagination to figure out those words. I really wonder whether Chetan added those words in the drafts after those movies are released or those words were there from the beginning.

Few of my favorite sentences:

I am reproducing few of the sentences I have underlined while I was reading the book.

People come to my city to feel the presence of god, but I could feel her presence everywhere.

Ease of cremation is one solid advantage of being in Varanasi. The death industry drives the city.

Stupid people go to colleges. Smart people own them.

We don’t fix cases, we fix the people in the cases.

What I din’t like? (And may be you don’t like too)

You will miss the witty observations for which Chetan is known for. Two States has a lot of lol-moments for the reader. But in this book, even though there are few sentences which make you lol, the obvious fun factor is missing when you compare this to his previous books.

The story becomes too predictive in few places and you might as well skip through paragraphs at times.

I guess, in some places, the character development is not handled well. There were not enough reasons shown to us by the author previously in the book to make us believe the characters’ actions. The actions come as a surprise, but they don’t convince us to believe.

The first hundred pages don’t really add much to the entire theme of the book. It could have been easily conveyed in less pages without really degrading the overall effect of the story.

I would have liked the book more if it had handled the ‘revolution part’ in more detail instead of focusing more material on the triangular-love-story. May be Bollywood needs it.

So what do I have to say finally?

I usually hate giving a rating based on five stars. It’s really useless to rate a book like that.

If you are a Chetan Bhagat’s fan, I am sure you will definitely like this book. But I am not sure whether you will like it better than any of his previous books.

Even if you are a fan of Chetan Bhagat, you will be disappointed if you expect a lot of revolutionary stuff from the book. It is a regular love story with a modern backdrop and written in a typical Chetan Bhagat style. The book’s title could have been anything else, for Revolution 2020 is not the major theme in the book.

Four books after his bestseller debut novel, Five Point Someone, I guess Chetan is unable to re-create the same magic like he did with his first book.

I think Revolution 2020 is a good book, but not as revolutionary as one might guess from the book’s title and book’s back-cover summary. Of course, I don’t expect in people changing the world just by reading books. But from the book’s title and pre-release interviews and promotions on the Internet, it is reasonable for an average reader to expect more ground breaking stuff than a regular two-boys-love-the-same-girl-love-story sprinkled with corruption in India.

It’s a really good read if you like reading light fiction.

If you like reading books to pamper your literary senses, definitely this book is not for you.

If you haven’t read Chetan’s books before, I would say you better start with Five Point Someone.

If you are too lazy to read books, then wait, I am sure this book has everything in it to be a Bolloywood movie.

Buy from Flipkart – REVOLUTION 2020 (English)


Posted in: Book Review | 74 Comments

Aleph by Paulo Coelho: Book Review

Aleph Book Cover

Title: Aleph
Author: Paulo Coelho
Pages: 320

In this autobiographical account of what Paulo calls at few places in the book as ‘Journey back to my Kingdom’, he writes about his experiences through his journey of personal discovery. This is one of the most personal novels written by Paulo.

‘Aleph,’ as described in the book is a place where time and space converge.

In this book, Paulo writes about the journey he undertook between March and July 2006.

Below is an excerpt from Paulo’s blog article about this journey, and which is the subject matter of this book:

Between March and July 2006, letting himself be guided by signs, he travelled to various continents – Europe, Africa and Asia – on a journey through time and space, through past and present, in search of himself.

The novel starts with Paulo talking to his Master about the dissatisfaction in Paulo’s life and the stagnation of his spiritual growth. As per the suggestion from his Master, Paulo sets off onto a journey starting from Africa, and then to Europe and Asia via the Trans-Siberian Railway. Most of the novel or rather the book describes about the author’s experiences during the train journey he took with his publishers and a girl whom he meets in the journey.

The girl who insists that she will join the journey with him – as Paulo soon will find out that – is Hilal whom he loved five hundred years ago in a different incarnation. What follows is a very personal account where the author talks about the relationship with Hilal in the previous incarnation. Hilal in this life is a gifted violinist. Hilal is not the actual name of the real world character, but a changed name in the novel for privacy reasons.

Initially, Hilal’s joining the journey is not appreciated by the publishers, but eventually they understand that Paulo will be accompanied by her in the entire trip. Paulo will experience The Aleph for the first time in the train looking into the eyes of Hilal and discovers the details about the past life. The relation between the author and Hilal is expalined in detail.

Another important character in the book is Yao, the translator for Paulo in the journey. There are many interesting conversations between Yao and the author.

Paulo also talks in length about love and forgiveness.

Paulo describes about a technique he uses to know about his past lives. Though the technique seems to be very easy, and Paulo learned this while reading a book on the same subject, he warns us about not using it without really knowing what we are attempting at.

If you do not believe in reincarnation and related theories, then reading this book is not a good option for you.

If you have never read Paulo Coelho before, I would say you start with his other books, either The Alchemist or The Zahir will be a good starter.

I read Pualo Coelho not for his teachings, but for the beauty of few sentences that leave a lasting impression on me. Even though the novels are translated into English, the magic of his words in few places is overwhelming. My favorite book by Paulo is The Zahir. I have read this book two times.

Personally for me, The Zahir is really good when compared to The Aleph. But both are very different in the story-line and the subject matter too.

If you believe in reincarnation and related theories, you will enjoy reading this book.

Aleph is a really good read if you are a fan of Paulo Coelho’s previous books.

Posted in: Book Review, Books | 29 Comments