Jai Ho – India and the Commonwealth games

So now the games are all over and the probes, the scams and Kalmadi are all back in the media. But inspite of all that I am still happy that the CommonWealth games took place and took place in India. And I really don’t care if wet blankets are saying that ALL the good players pulled out of the games or that india is just a big fish in a small pond. I am still really proud of India’s performance in the games and am proud of all our athletes coming from small towns, medium towns and all other towns.. I see this not as a triumph of Delhi pulling it all off¬† at the last minute, but a triumph for all those unheard of athletes who have come into the spotlight. We were undoubtedly competing with strong nations and still coming out tops. That is just plain inspiring.

I am not saying that India is all set to top the charts in the next Olympics, we need to put in a lot more effort to outshine China’s dictatorship ūüėČ , but I am just saying that it was a great platform for sports of different kinds and athletes of different genres to showcase their talent. Even I have always been quick to dismiss India after abysmal performances in the Olympics, but the common wealth games really opened my eyes. Not only do we have a top-seeded Saina Nehwal who plays brilliant badminton and won the gold, we also have¬† 17 year old Deepika who held her own against an Olympic Medalist with three times her experience to clinch the gold in Archery. And I have to mention the determined Ashish Kumar in Gymnastics. The firang commentators kept saying he is all heart but not much technique and he managed to win a silver with sheer ambition and determination. Yayy..¬† I had never been prouder of our country. With no history, no training centers around in Gymnastics and no popularity, for India with a team strength of¬† 1, to win a silver beating¬† world champion countries is no small feat!

There were so many events that gave me goosebumps, literally! The women’s 4*400 Relay was one of them.¬† I had no idea that we¬† would be able to beat the “afro” heritage runners who all seem to be born with extreme stamina and lighting speed genes. It was a thrilling moment to see our women cross that finishing line first. And the clean sweep at discus throw was a rare moment in Indian Athletics…

Ofcourse I have to mention Shooting, Wrestling and Boxing where we won medals by the dozen.  Kudos to these men and women. I take pride in their ambition to do SOO well at such a platform. I am sure with all the encouragement they are getting now, they will go on to win Olympic Medals for us. Sushil Kumar especially won his event with such flair that it was easy to see he was an Olympic Medallist and will go on to get more medals for us.

All in all, I had such a great time watching all the events that I am missing it sorely now that it is over. It was a refreshing change to have India seen as a country with a lot of talent in various events. I hate seeing all the scams and probes now – a real black spot on such splendid performance by Indian Athletes and Sportspersons. It was so good when the news was all about which golds did we clinch and which countries did we upstage . I feel that the commonwealth games has exposed a lot of us to the kind of talent we have and I am hoping that it will bring a positive change to the state of sports in our country. With recognition and encouragement, the athletes will definitely feel more enthused to make our country proud. I hope that people are inspired enough to let their children pursue a career in professional sports. I am glad it happened in India this time ūüôā

DY Patil, Chennai SuperKings and the Semifinals

There was no person more thrilled than me about the fact that the IPL semis were shifting to Mumbai..Sorry Bangalore,your loss!!¬†¬†After the Super Kings qualified, I was soooo excited about going for the match that I was refreshing ticketgenie and bookmyshow the instant I heard on the news that the match might be shifted from bangalore ūüôā So anyhow we managed to book¬†a Level 3 ticket at the “L” stand for 1500 Rs. We checked out the¬†360 degree views of the¬†stadium on the DY patil¬†¬†and it looked pretty good..

On the day of the match, we reached 2 hours before time since we were pretty¬†apprehensive about the crowd and the security and all that. One of our friends warned us not to take our car all the way to the stadium because of possible rowdy elements showing their friendliness towards cars! So we parked it around 5 km away at a friend’s place and took an auto from there. Ofcourse even though DY Patil is supposed to be super new, the people managing it are still old so ofcourse the sign saying “E-ticket redemption here” was just a ruse they play so that you can get some exercise, walk around the place, see all¬† the gates , talk to a lot of policemen..:).So yeaaaah we¬†had to walk quite a bit¬†before we¬†could find the place where they were redeeming the e-tickets. Surprisingly, actually not THAT surprisngly, it was a very casual system of redeeming e-tickets. They were 2 people sitting under the tree¬†informally, no tables nothing,¬†checking for IDs and giving the “real” ticket. Anyways once we got the tickets, we finally made our way to the gates. As our luck would have it, the e-ticket failed to mention that mobiles are not allowed inside. Although we tried pleading our way in,I was also carrying my hand-bag which was another strict no-no. It is incredibly stupefying how they¬†have such rules without¬†having alternative arrangements¬†for storage or security. And why can’t they just inform beforehand?? Ugh…The security¬†has the gall to say¬†you can’t take it in , keep it in your car! When I¬†told them¬†I’ve come by an auto, they¬†said kuch nahin ho sakta..Rules are rules..Dejected and irritated we¬†walked all the way back to the road and some more..caught an auto¬†and went¬†back to the friend’s place where we had kept our car¬† just to keep our¬†mobiles in.¬† It was good that we started all the stadium drama early, because by the time we got back to the stadium we were just in time for the game.¬† We were just praying that the match better be good with the day being so eventful..I was praying like mad that CSKs win this after the ordeal I had been through — with uncomfortable slippers and all the walking, it WAS a huge¬†ordeal :p. Ofcourse the drama doesn’t stop right here, we go back to the gates and Lo! and behold, I see the security allowing people to go in with handbags, mobiles! I went up to the main security and asked them “What the hell? I had to go back all the frigging way to keep my stuff somewhere and you are allowing these people in with everything?”¬† The security very coolly says “Kya karein Madam, yeh log America se aaye hain” ..(What to do madam, these people are from America) Iwas so infuriariated!! Bleddy¬†hell¬†you can’t bend rules for someone because they¬†are Non-Resident Indians.¬†¬†Why can’t¬†you givie special treatment to people who live in YOUR country? ¬†If I wanted to break the rules , I could have and I know of so many people who did just that by¬†hiding their mobiles in their socks, shoes, caps wherever and got in anyhow. Just because I wanted to be a good citizen, you take advantage of it? Ugh..I was seeething with rage…To make matters worse, there were people from “London” who were also let inside with frigging HUGE handbags which could carrry 4 AK 47s for all I know ! Grrrr..Now the CSKs BETTER Win was what was going through my mind. Once we went in, I cooled down , the seats were nice , the view was brilliant and¬†the stadium was pretty much empty so it wasn’t really chaotic. Atul went ahead and bought a CSK flag for us to cheer so we sat down , flag in hand, all set to cheer the living daylights outta the Men in Yellow :)..

The batting was pretty disappointing although they managed to make a pretty decent total considering the situation they were in. Hayden asusual did not click and I don’t think he’s gonna be back with CSK next year. Murali Vijay, Raina all just couldn’t connect .. Even though we were 96/5 , Anirudh Srikanth and Badrinath managed to give the deccan chargers a decent 142 to chase.

In the meanwhile we noticed that the food going around was pretty decent – the burgers were great, there were¬†“Mad Over Donuts” , Dominoes Pizzas, Act II popcorn and Pepsi ! And to add to the fun, there was a ZooZoo going around waving to the crowd and dancing. It was adorable. In moments of¬†pain when¬† CSK wickets fell or Deccan Chargers hit¬†boundaries, I looked at the sooper cute ZooZoo¬†for consolation.¬†The CSK’s bowling streak was what really turned around the match. It was a delight watching the wickets fall and the run rate being kept at a very strict check. Felt like falling at R Ashwin’s feet and Kissing Bollinger’s hands! We shifted our seats and stood at the balcony after CSK’s batting and I think that really worked in CSK’s favour :)..We were wildly cheering for CSK, waving the flag around happily. Although I do wish it wasn’t SOO one-sided, I had a great time. The last 3 overs were¬†brilliant..Victory Sweeet¬†Victory!¬†Whistle Podu SuperKingskkuu…Chennai¬†Chennai Super Kingsss..¬†My heart felt lightt by the time I got out of the stadium and I was glad that both the CSK matches I had attended, I had made CSK win with my mere presence ;)..CSK CSK..SuperKings Dhaan Kingggggg…Yayyyy for CSKss

Cricket ‚ÄĒ That Unifying Factor In Our Lives :) :) :)

Aah..Sighh…What A Feeeling..How the heart leaps with Joy when the Indian Cricket team actually win something! It is a such a rare occasion isnt it? People were getting tired of burning effigies and throwing stones at the players houses..;)..The Twenty 20 World Cup and Young INDIA has it in their pocket…Woaahhh…

This new version of cricket, Twenty20 , is reallly exciting and triply interesting..Full of Masala and a fultooo mass entertainer…:) ..With average RPOs of 7, people hitting 6 Sixes in an over and the concept of Bowl Out similar to Penalty shootouts, all give it the right concoction for the fast-food generation that we’ve got goin :)..I am actually wondering if I will be able to watch an ODI with 100 overs after this!!!

So anyways point was, A India-Pakistan cricket match makes everyone seem so sporting , cooperative , fun and sooo much nicer.Consider my previous feelings towards Auto drivers (Ranging from Seething Fury to Extreme Dissapointment in mankind), And Imagine Me going in an auto , talking amiably to the auto driver, Sharing scores (I was getting minute by minute commentary about Pakistan’s innings by ISD call from my parents and the Auto driver, whose name was Sriraju btw , had overheard the first conversation) , talking about the Potential of Rohit Sharma, Praising RP Singh’s prowess with the ball ..all with my New friend Mr.Sriraju (aka Auto Driver :)) .Oh and yes All this was interspersed with screams of Joy from both Me and Driver, when India took their first 2 wickets :)..After which I had to get down..sadly..Sigh..and to top it all He happened to be one of the “good” auto drivers (very very rare..like our victory;)) If only people were so sweet everyday..Everyone on the road seemed to be rushing home to watch the match and there were motorcyclists who stopped and asked my auto driver the score instead of directions :)..And earlier that day , the whole office (that would be the 10 of us i.e) were animatedly discussing cricket in the lunch room and everyone in the office stopped working at 5:30 sharp (that was actually a PlANNED thing) and gathered in our “conference” room to watch the match on tv..There was chips (Slurpp), there was beer and there was a whole lot of “betting” on what score India will make! See? There’s somethiing about cricket that makes auto drivers Friendly, managers angelic , bosses – a whole lot MORE fun and the whole world a very very rOsy place ! ūüôā

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PS : I should mention though that the Amount of gifts and money these cricketers have been getting is not very amusing! And I should say I am glad the match was abandoned yesterday.I doubt after staying on “CLOUD NINE” for a whole week, these guys would be able to achieve an above 300 target..Plus I actually agree with the hockey players..Why should the STATE governments prefer cricket and reward ONLY cricketers? We cant stop the private companies from Showering gifts on them, but the government should have shown this much interest when we won the Asia Cup Too.And What about when Pankaj Advani won those World Championships and Vishwanathan Anand, who is actually chess no.1 in the world now and our football team too won the Nehru Cup..In true CHAK de INDIA style I heard ūüôā ..Sigh .. Cruel Cruel World..One minute it seems rosy and immediately after, Unfairness is discovered..