The Day I Turned Ninety

Saturday, November 26, 2011 will always remain etched in my memory as a historic occasion, a day to remember and revere as I try to live out the remainder of my days painfully. I aged dramatically that day and it reminded me of The Last Crusade, where the bad guy drinks from the wrong cup and turns into an aged, shriveled skeleton in a matter of seconds.

It was a really bad decision to play a professional cricket match with no practice.

I used to play a lot of cricket as a kid. Played for the school and college teams and garnered a bit of pro experience here and there. I wasn’t a great cricketer, but I wasn’t too bad either. I could hold my own against the real professionals. But, its been an awfully long time since I’ve played competitive, professional cricket, and I’ve been woefully out of touch and practice. I have put on a few extra kilos around the middle and I don’t move as quickly as I used to. I had completely forgotten what a grueling ordeal it is to be out on a cricket field on a hot and humid day for six hours.

As I started with my warm-up stretches in the morning, I wondered whether the exercises had become tougher over the past few years. I soon realized that my body was resisting it after being accustomed to comfortable couches and soft beds. I forced myself to finish the work-out and to my horror, found out that the match had already started, that my team was batting first and that I was to bat at Number 3. For those who are uninitiated into the sport of cricket, if you’re third in the batting order, then you go out to bat as soon as the first wicket falls.

I padded up in a hurry, went out to bat when the first wicket fell and was clean bowled first ball. I didn’t seem to notice the ball zooming past my bat and my sluggish head was still trying to decide what to do about it, while I made the long walk back to the pavilion.

When it was our turn to field, I shuttled from one end of the field to the other after each over and by the time we were halfway through, I was ready to drop dead. I prayed for a natural disaster to disrupt the match, I prayed for the opposition to knock off the runs quickly and I prayed for an excuse that would allow me to get off the field with a feigned ‘injury’.

By the end of the day, after we had lost spectacularly, my feet were beyond pain and I had to remove my shoes and carry them with me as I hopped painfully into a cab to come back home. My entire body was one big bruise. I ached in places I didn’t know could ache. Muscles that I didn’t know I had, hurt each time I did something trivial. It was painful for me to spray deodorant on myself because my finger hurt when I squeezed the can.

The whole of yesterday was spent in recuperating at home, in bed, with timely cups of hot tea.

Saturday, November 26, 2011. The day I stopped being twenty-eight.

The day I turned ninety.

Indian Conspiracy Theories

conspiracy-pics

Blog-hopping got me to Keboch’s absurdly hilarious post on Conspiracy Theories here. Which got me thinking. I live in a country rife with political chaos, and every turn gives me to newer and better ideas to ponder on. So, I thought a complete compilation of possible “would-be” and “could-be” scenarios was needed, something that isn’t even there on Wikipedia!

Here I go, building conspiracy theories:

  1. Indian car manufacturers did not include air-bags for so long because the steering wheel had cocaine in them.

  2. The Indian cricket team intentionally loses a match every now and then in order to avoid being struck by the “evil eye.” (In fact, superstition runs so deep in the Indian cricket team that the job application for becoming a national cricketer has a question, “Did a black cat cross in front of you while climbing the stairs of this office?”)

  3. The highly successful Bollywood song – Kabhi Kabhi Aditi – when played backwards, reveals the plans for a top-secret mission in which Indian troops are planning to invade Kenya.

  4. Happydent chewing gum was invented by ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization –  as an alternative to electric lights on board Chandrayaan.

  5. Vaseline contains 90% alcohol.

  6. CNN IBN was sued by Ronald McDonald’s creator for calling him “The McDonald Duck,” but the lawsuit was never filed. It was settled out of court after Rajdeep Sardesai decided to write a whole blog post apologizing for the misnomer.

  7. Asprin, when it was first made available in India, was so named because of it’s powerful enema actions. The extra ‘s’ was dropped because it became apparent that people were using it from the wrong end.

  8. The Indian currency, especially the 500-rupee note, is made from super-strength alloyed cotton, which has surprising paper-like qualities.

  9. An Indian blogger named Nikhil, who blogs here, is an undercover agent for the Indian secret service. He is conspiring to ask a hot chick out on a date.

  10. Shah Rukh Khan is, in fact, an ugly woman.

There may be a lot of other such conspiracy theories going around. So, let me know if I’ve missed anything juicy. We live in a scary world, don’t we? 😀

One Tight Slap!

Indian cricket has always been colorful – the glam, the girls, the money, the fans, the poor performances and finally, the controversies. Cricket was known to be a gentleman’s game, and over the years, has become more a Man’s Game. The match-fixing controversies that plagued Indian cricket is still reverberating in the heads of all the die-hard followers of the game. Just when the dust seemed to have settled, the Einsteins at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agreed to the ridiculous Indian Premier League (IPL), and killed what was left of Indian Cricket’s hope.

All right, I know the saying: If you can’t beat them, join them! Fine, I agree, I live in a cricket crazy country and I’m somewhat of a die-hard fan myself. So, I went ahead and watched a few matches in the IPL. And when I was thinking that it probably is not a bad idea to have players from all over the world, mixing with each other, playing with each other, sharing their experience and thoughts and ideas, the idiot-child Harbhajan Singh throws every ounce of shame out the window and slaps Sreesanth in the middle of the ground!!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t players on the same team supposed to at least pretend to like each other? Say and do whatever you want to them in the dressing rooms, but not on the field, in the open, in the era of long tom cameras and satellites that can see every hair on your neck! I was shocked and disgusted by the incident! In a country like mine, where cricket is not just a sport but a religion, players acting in such an indignant manner is unacceptable. Suspending Harbhajan was perhaps the best thing to do.

He has always been an idiot-child, getting into unwanted troubles and being more verbal than sportive. I think its time the BCCI woke up to the ground realities happening around them and stop concentrating on those sexy cheerleaders – Indian Cricket is dying, and the players are getting more and more self-centered everyday. Idiot-child is barely 24 and already a millionaire thrice over, so what can we expect? Keep him in check or throw him out!

I want Indian Cricket to be revived! Enough glamor, enough showing off wealth. Let’s play some cricket, and for once, play it in the spirit of the game.