157, 106, 80 and _ _

November 30, 2006 at 12:44 am

If you have just written CAT, then you will be thinking on the lines of arithmetic progression or geometric progression or some such math stuff. Anyway, those blanks will get filled on 3rd December. Get it now?

Except for the first match, we had South Africa in our grip in the last two matches. I think the margins are not entirely a reflection of how well our bowlers have done. 76/6 and 154/6 are dream situations to be in against a team of South Africa’s calibre. In fact, I don’t think they are a team of very great calibre. They have a good set of bowlers who can be quite a handful on a friendly pitch. And that’s about it.

 

In this particular series what has happened is this: Ball rises above blue pyjamas, blue t-shirt is scared. Bat comes in handy as a tool for self-defense. Helmet which is worn for saving your head is used as a black box for recording the information. And also used for adding to the total through accidental leg byes. The master blaster had come with arm guard, chest guard, elbow guard, and what not! Thank God, he didn’t come with his usual Z level security guards! ;)

On the bowling front: Zaheer Khan bowls incisive first spells to create inroads into the SA batting lineup. At the other end, we have the awful Agarkar/ pathetic Pathan (inspired from here) combination striving to negate whatever little Zaheer Khan has gained. Kumble and Harbhajan are our saviours anyday. Bhajji wasn’t given a fair deal and so weren’t many other people. So, let’s leave this at that!

Overall while our bowling lacked in finishing skills, and our batting – neither would it start nor sustain nor wag at the end. We needed one person in our batting lineup to just be there for the entire 50 overs. (Overheard: When entire 11 people couldn’t sustain for the 50 overs where is the question of one guy being there?!) Well, ahem… err…

With Laxman back in the side for the final ODI, let’s hope he conjures up some magic and pulls one back in our favour. Highly improbable though.

Breaking News: Saurav recalled for test team. Laxman named Vice-captain (??)

The team:

Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman (vice-capt), Rahul Dravid (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, VRV Singh, Irfan Pathan, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh.

Source: http://content-ind.cricinfo.com/rsavind/content/current/story/270425.html 

Chinna chinna aasai

November 24, 2006 at 10:29 pm

My father came back from office that day and was surprised to see me back home so early from my street cricket. We used to play in a small ground next door. He asked me what the matter was and why I was so excited? I reminded him of the “Roja” cassette and his promise. He was casual about it and said that it will be done by tomorrow. And I was gung-ho about it!

I got up much before my usual time the next day and was ready to remind my father. But he had it on his mind and said, “It will be done today, don’t worry”.

Evening set in. My father returned. I opened his briefcase and he shouted, “What is it that you want there?” 

“Appa, Roja”

“It is done, but my colleague said that he will get it tomorrow”

“Appa, you said you will get it today and annu is asking for his cassette too”

“Tell him that I have taken it to office and the cassette will be returned to him tomorrow”

Needless to say, I didn’t have dinner that day. And sat with a long face throughout. If anyone would have seen me that day, they would have thought I was bereaved!

Next evening. Same story. I was in tears. But I had dinner. Very hungry you see! ;)

Day 3 evening, my father came back home and I didn’t even bother to return home from my cricket. I went home as usual and tried hard not to make a sound while opening the briefcase in the verandah. But still it made a sound that my father would have surely heard who was sitting in the drawing room reading some book. But he didn’t react. So, I thought he was planning a surprise and wanted me to discover for myself. But alas, no Roja in there.

No tears this time round. Nothing. Emotions die down with time they say. Very true. To have cried two days for something is in itself was a big achievement for me!

I strolled into my room, grabbed a towel and went in for a wash. After street cricket you are quite dirty, if you didn’t know that. Came back, changed and went to my two-in-one to play “Saajan” – the musical hit that I was listening to then.

And I didn’t believe what I saw lying next to “Saajan”. It was “Roja” - Annu’s cassette. And below it was the TDK 90 cassette. I took it out of the cover and carefully put it into the two-in-one and pressed “Play”. It didn’t occur to me to go and thank my father.  

The flute sound that played to signal the beginning of “chinna chinna aasai” brought tears into my eyes. And oh man, “Roja” is an all-time favourite for me and for many of those who love good music.

Everytime I hear “Chinna chinna aasai”, this entire sequence unrolls itself in front of me and I am transported back into the Mysore era, the high-school era and my school friends group!

Various Rahman albums transport me back in time as well as into those ecstatic musical moods! Every Rahman album is a milestone with which I can relate every part of my life to. I intend to write about what each album means to me and where it takes me back into in my future posts. So, stay tuned! :)

About THE Guru

November 17, 2006 at 11:35 am

A R Rahman-Gulzar-Mani Ratnam, a combination that has come together again after Dil Se… And i was waiting breathlessly for this. And though I am in no position to pass my comments yet on this one, let me just say this: This one too will rock the nation!

Though I am constantly listening to this one in the background, I don’t want to blog a review on it. Because then I would be hurrying to pass a verdict on this one. Let me wait and let it grow on me. Rather I would say, like every other album let me be engulfed into it slowly and when I write a review in that state of mind, it will be the truth. Also, I do believe that when you write a review about something you need to totally understand what you are reviewing. And for a person of my IQ, I need time to understand & review A R Rahman’s music! (But for now, let me leave it with this: Shreya Ghosal’s voice is sexy!)

The official release date of Guru is 18th ie. tomorrow. But as it always happens (with any good supply chain and Sony-BMG has a good distribution policy) the CDs and cassettes arrived today at 9PM so that tomorrow first thing in the morning they are available. And what do I do? Like a dutiful A R Rahman fan, I rush to the nearest Music World (Pondy Bazaar, for the chennaites) and grab my copy and also one for my brother-in-law (who incidentally is a music composer and a big fan of ARR again!). When I was in the Music World (it was raining outside and I had to wait for 10 minutes to get back home), the guy was playing “Guru” on his system. Someone went upto him and asked him to change the cd. I immediately ran to him and requested him not to play something else. I didn’t want to waste my time by not listening to “Guru”!

If you thought I was mad, I should tell you about my fascination for A R Rahman. it extends to the time I was in my 8th standard. ‘Roja’ was just out. Everyone was talking about him. I was in Bangalore on some vacation. Since I was in Mysore then, we used to travel down to Bangalore very frequently. And during one such trip, my doDappa (Father’s elder brother) introduced me to A R Rahman. He had bought a new Philips Powerhouse just then and during those days a powerhouse was BIG for me. He played “rukumani rukumani” on the system and said, “Listen to this, nobody has ever used drums so confidently in Indian music so far!”. From then on, I have been hooked on to his music like a baby-in-the-womb is to the heartbeat of its mother!

Roja DVD coverMy pocket money those days were Re.1 per day paid once a month. And that cassette of ‘Roja’ costed Rs. 28/- if I remember right. I don’t need to tell you what my budget included for the next month. But my boss (father), like a good finance man, didn’t approve my budget saying “unfair allocation” (almost 95% of my monthly income was allocated to one item). According to him that would mean that would mean a hefty downfall in my yearly savings to buy a headphone (so that I would not disturb everyone in my house [my father claimed that everyone in the neighbourhood complained to him and that's why he didn't go out of the house once he was back from office] with my music). And he gave me an idea. My neighbour friend actually had a cassette of Roja. I still remember the cover of that cassette. A top angle shot of Madhubala lying on Arvindswamy’s lap against a perfectly white background with Mani Ratnam’s ROJA in tamil prominently displayed at the front and A R Rahman’s name in tamil at the bottom. There as an insert of A R Rahman’s photograph at the left-top corner too. Coming back, my father asked me to get that cassette from my friend for a day and he would get it copied onto a blank cassette through his friend’s tape recorder so that we would get it in good quality. Though we had a two-in-one tape recorder I refused the suggestion that we could record it ourselves saying I want it in the same quality as the original. So he had to say he would get it done from outside. (read outside as a place where maybe the same recording was done but I wouldn’t know na! Appa, you have really taken me for a ride so many times when I was innocent and small na?! Poor me!)  

I was ready to run across to my friend’s house and get the cassette at 9PM in the night. 9PM was considered unrespectable during those days! So, I had to wait till I came back from school the next day. The whole day in school I was just waiting for it to get over! I remember rushing back home on my Hero Ranger (it was a famous brand of cycles then). I changed into colour dress (you get the drift?!), had my tea and snacks and ran to my neighbour’s house. I was literally breathless when I reached there. It is the same breathlessness I experience till-date when I wait for an A R Rahman album to release. I borrowed it from them with a guarantee that I would give it back the day after tomorrow (I remember that they almost made me swear! Mainly because they couldn’t part with the music for more than days and partly because of my reputation!). I took it carefully with me in my hands, since the pocket of my stretchlon half-trousers was too small for the cassette, and deposited it at home with a specific instruction to my mom -
“Don’t misplace it!” (I still laugh aloud when I hear that! I was so careful about something for the first time in my life I guess!). My father would come back from office and take it with him the next day to get it recorded and then I would have my own copy of ‘Roja’. It was a wait which was the most anticipated…

…To be continued