Archive for June, 2006

Andre Agassi

The man is retiring. I just hope that he wins either the Wimbledon or the US open in style, and exit the courts that he has graced so well, and for so long.

There can be endless debates about who is the better player between Sampras and Agassi. But to me, I would always prefer to be on Agassi’s side. For his rebel attitude that caught everyone’s imagination in the early nineties, for his sublime tennis in the mid nineties, for his re-invention in the late nineties, and for the extraordinary tennis that he has played in the last three-four years, Agassi has been a player who has always kept me hooked to tennis. Maybe, the extra dimension Agassi got in the game, may be the fact that he used to go to the court and do something previously considered impossible ( base liner winner Wimbledon, his matches against Rafter in Wimbledon, where he was written off before the match, but where he produce scintillating tennis).

Perhaps, the Agassi-Sampras rivalry is the best ever, and may remain unmatched (Ah! who can compete with the magician on court: Fedrer).
As Aggasi said on Sampras’s emotionally charged farewell in the US open, “You grow up with a guy, you compete against him for so long, he’s such a big part of your career, something that’s pretty special, so you do have that sense of personal regret that he’s not around any more. You miss having that around.” That just sums up the rivalry.

In many ways, Agassi’s life is so fit for a movie. It has it all. Again, the rebellious young age, a sad and long drawn affair, that (at least to me, prevented Agassi from winning two-three grand slams) with (the bitch) brooke shields, amazing commitment shown by agassi to come from 141 to rank 6, playing the challenger series and all, reinventing his form in the way, finding a true soul-mate in steffi graf along the road, is just so like a filmi story.

Hoping that the Agassi legend lives on and on. Through his Tennis academy (where I hope he goes as a coach) and through his charity, may his name live on.

And what say, fifeteen years down the line, we might have a player with the tennis genes of two legends taking the courts by strom.

Cannot wait for the farewell show (hopefully one is organized) for Agassi at flushing meadows!!!


Hydrangalore: The best

Hydrangalore? = Hyderabad + Bangalore
Hyderabad + Bangalore? = Reunion trip to meet friends
The best? = The best trip ever!


Chat as much as you want on Yahoo messenger, feel as close as possible with your friends on Skype, talk for hours on the phone without bothering about your phone bill, scrap as much as you want on Orkut,
but NOTHING beats the fun, happiness, contenment of meeting your friends in person!

A trip long planned materialized last weekend, with two days in Hyderabad, for a reunion of the first year gang ( and quite literally, reunion after first year of all four of us!), and then a 10 hour trip to Bangalore on Monday to meet my foreign bound and foreign returned classmates.

For such a wonderful trip, it started on the wrong note, horrible Hutch, refused to activate my roaming for some reason (demanding a security deposit at the last possible moment), and long draawn verbal fight over the phone ended with me getting a semi- roaming activated where I can recieve only incoming calls.

I was more than excited to go to Hyderabad, as it is the first time I was going there and was very very eager to see the city, and complete my list of having seen all the metro’s of India!
Reached Hyd at 5 AM in the morning, and then waited for 3 hours for Anshu to reach. Suku and Bhavani were our gracious hosts. But all my plans for site-seeing was flushed down the drain, when lazy suku and anshu decided that the best way to spend the weekend was by eating and lazing around at home.

There was a time, not so much in the past, when this lazing around was the only thing we did. Firstly there was the canteen at college, where all the four of us would, eat and chat incessantly about all the mundane things possible (like assigning each-other characters from Harry potter, friends etc, like discussing who has lived in more number of cities, blah blah), and then in the evenings, after dinner, where we lazily walked to our other ‘hangout’ – the research and development block of RVCE, for our research into life and subsequent developments as a result of that research!)

Back to Hyderabad, Anshu’s treat at a place named ‘Our place’, turned out a amazing treat, and the heavy feast virtually closed the lids on a afternoon trip to Golconda fort. Hence, the evening emulated our walks. And for the first time ( or maybe the second, but i would prefer to forget the actual first), the whole gang (all four of us) went for a ‘walk’ (all other possible combinations of going for a walk had been realized).
Nothing special but really special.

Dinner was at ‘Bawarchi’, and each of us tucked into lots and lots of biriyani.

Sunday was guys day out. Bhavani had to go to meet her cousins. And, not surprisingly, the day was spent typical guys style, beer and F1 and football and Fedrer v/s Nadal.

One year has passed since we passed out. This one year has seen all of us change so much. The phrase ‘moving on with life’ has accuired so much meaning, when only a year ago, it was just a cliched phrase to be used as a consolation. You know that the past is behind, that you are not living in the shadows of your past, you have patched up the holes in your sweater and feel ‘warm ‘ now, when you are infact,in a position to laugh at a your younger self.

The last hour in Hyderabad, will forever be etched in my memory for precisely the same reason. Engineering days, these issues were matters of life and death, warranting hours and hours of discussion, advice, introspection, ‘walks to the R n D’, midnight calls, etc etc to be solved/ Understood, but in that final few minutes in hyderabad, those exact, the ‘then-life-changing’ events in our lifes were dismissed amongst so much laughter, dismissed as jokes from the past, dismissed as our naivety, dismissed so that we start a new chapter to our friendship.

Parting was really hard, especially with Anshu, who will be ‘flying’ away to the desert lands of Arizona in August.

All I hope is that, opportunites to meet again come again. ( I wanted to write something really senti here…..but am woefuly short of words!)

Moday dawned in Bangalore, and I felt I was back home!
My first stop was my first visit to Forum, where I met a friend from school, Sashi. 10 hours is too short, and I had to push, and hence, spoke for just one hour. Sashi, I just hope that you finally plan a trip to Bombay when Shriram comes here, to complete a ‘school-gang’ reunion.

Sendhil is flying to Florida.
DJ is going to go to Scotland.
Abijit plans to go to UK.
Avinash is already in Florida for the past year, and had made a quick visit back to motherland.

They were a part of the ‘chemical- brothers’, college mates, source of ‘infinite’ masti during engineering, especially the totally outrageous ways we enjoyed the final few days of the eighth semester, last year, a few weeks etched in each of our memories, for the unforgettable fun.
We had lunch at ‘Samarkhand’, and revived the magic of the last year.

As a surprise gift, I awarded myself, I took time out to meet my grandmother for an hour. Made both of us immensly happy. Poor granny, cannot travel to meet us in Bombay, was virtually crying when she saw me (after again! 1 year). As, usual, granny started of with advice for me. ( This time it was, not quite surprisingly altogether, not about the need to study hard, score good marks and get a good job etc, but about “THINKING” of the future, marriage, family, kids etc, and about planning all these ‘events’ in life). Somehow, I just love when patti gives me advice ( not so much with parents, I argue then).

12th June 2005, Bangalore City Railway station.
Firstly Avinash and then Parry, went back home as engineers. ‘Chemical-brothers’ gang was there in the station to see them off. The station witnessed a wild scene then.

Coincidentally ( I should ask Parry to write about imortance of coincidence in life, he can fill pages!), 12th June 2006, I was on my way back to Bangalore, and the remaining brothers of ‘Chemical Brothers’, those staying in Bangalore recreated the scenes at Bangalore railway station. Dj, Gunjan, Sendhil, RP, Zimba and Anshu were there.

Now, I am back to the monotonous, dry, listless life of Bombay. But, the happiness, contenment and ‘life’ of my friends in Hyd and Bang has caught on too, and the days here do not seem so long now!

Back in Bombay, I got another gift, quite accidentally, in a freakish way, I was contacted by an old – old, childhood friend. Called her up, and memories flowed.

Sometimes I just wish, that Time, not be so precious, that we get to plan really long holidays.
I just wish that I have Hermoinee’s time turner.
I just wish that there is a Galt’s gulch, where we take a month long holiday from everything every year.
I just wish that Everyone were here!

Photos (from top-down):
(L2R) Anshu, Bhavani and Myself at ‘Our-Place’
(L2R) Suku, Anshu and Myself at Charminar
Anshu imitating my posture
Lazing around on sunday afternoon at Suku’s place (suku’s roomie suresh is in there too!)

Bangalore photos will be uploaded shortly. Sendhil is ‘BUSY’ and will probably send it over this weekend.



1989: Big brother or Big sister
Due to some reasons, which I do not know, a small 3 year old girl was asked to wait, all alone, for 2 hours after school (which was 10 kms away from home), so that she can come with her 5 year old brother in the school bus, when his classes end two hours later. On the first day that this set-up was worked on, I was sitting with my (the then) best friend, Aritra Ghosh, concentrating on Ms Berri’s class, when my sister comes and stands next to the enterance of the class, crying. Berri miss, then quietly lets her into the class, and she sits right in between me and aritra, crying stopped, in the security of her elder brother.
Evening. The same day. I am out playing with my friend, my bully, a 5 year old, 100 times stronger than a thin, underweight me. And, as always, Kutush (my bully friend) finds an excuse to beat me up ( probably I got him out in cricket and demanded that it is my chance to bat! I dont know, why he would beat me up in such a case though, because, i would have barely batted an over!!!). My little sister, is there somewhere around, either trying to join us in our game, or playing some little game on her own. But then, she spots Kutush beating me up. She rushes to the spot, jumps up on poor kutush, and starts pulling his hair. He may be a bully, but does not have the heart to beat up a 3 year old girl. So, he pulls out of the fight. And now, I stop crying, in the security of my little sister.

1994: Innovative (stupid?) games
I was 11, my sister nearlynine(!)and all the creative and innovative juices were flowing inside us, minus, the weight of what will the world think, kind of feelings, minus the weight of am I acting stupid, minus the weight of having to act mature just because we were in the teens (which would come in a couple of years!), and all I remember of those glorious days were the games that we invented. There was “Journey to the centre of the earth” were we ran round and round the room and tackled all the obsacles that Jules Verne dreamed of and even more, in the quest to reach the middle of the room. There was Tennis during the grand slam times, when apart from actually playing the game in our tiny little room, we had put two chairs, were we would sip lemon juice made during change-over between games, and even put up imaginary fights with the imaginary chair umpire over imaginary decisions!
But the craziest of all would be the one where I used to piggyback her, and was her piggyback robot who used to take her to school and back. This being the basic skeleton of the game, different versions were made, like the one were the circuits went crazy and the robot kidnaps the hapless girl etc etc. And not to forget, our very own bollywood games, complete with ma ki senti, songs, action etc etc.

A nearlyfifteen me, and a sister who is nearlyteen, tough times in life with exams, peer pressure, a pressure to make a stamp among friends, to stand up and be counted, to be liked, to be loved. My teenage got all this and more, and a little prematurely to my sister. One of the strongest memories of those years, when friendship and closeness blossomed, is of a day, when my sister was listing out the most good looking boys in my class, and she slipped me into fourth place!
Seriously, though, the last 7-8 years, so much has changed in each of our lives, and having a confidant, to whom, you can bare your deepest feelings, thoughts which you find a little embarrasing to state in the public, has made the good times even better and has absorbed the shocks of the bad times!

2006-Growing up?
Growing up, probably would be the exact oppositte of the way, we enjoyed the summmer vaction of may 2006. Our antics would have laid a five year old to shame. But we grow up im moments. We will be 15 years and 234 days, but then at that day, a set of events will make us much more older than that. Precisely, what happend with me and my sister and our cousin, late one night. What started as a “tan-kheecho”, fun time, slowly turned into a very deeply philospohically set discussion, where we discussed, commented, shared, and grew mature!

It is so sad that, when in a few years, life will move at such breakneck speeds. when life as we know today will become a distant memory, “education” has kept my sister 1200 kms away from me, so that we can only meet for 30 small days in a year!

if you are wondering, why I titled the post Scout, refer to “to kill a mocking bird”.