Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Ghost who walks.

I saw a ghost today. Knew about his existence since we returned from the US, even saw him a few times here and there. But today was the first time I touched him.

Mr. Patel's is the secret story of Sangeeta / Priya societies of Tadiwala Road. One that everyone knows and sees, but no one mentions. In his old life, he was never loquacious, but he would smile back. I knew his kids well. Zubin was a couple of years older than me, and Anahita was my brother's peer. Neither of them got along with their dad, which was surprising to me, since he didn't look like he would hurt a fly. Both kids probably took after their mom, who was the quintessential Parsi. Loud and boisterous, but smiling all the time. What happened at home stayed at home type of people. But one day we heard that Zubin left home for good, since he got married to a Mallu. Anahita also never ever got along with her dad. She was not that great in studies, but if you ever saw someone who was the dictionary definition of an extrovert, it was her. Always cheerful always smiling, she probably never forgave her dad for sending her beloved brother away from her. She couldn't live without her brother, (and vice versa) and every day one could hear fights emanating from their house.

And then one day Anahita died. At the age of 19.

Mr. P has still not got over that tragedy, and I doubt he ever will. I don't have kids, but I can understand how he feels. He has still not forgiven himself for his treatment of his kids. I doubt he is more than 60 years, but looking at him, you'd think you're looking at a 90 year old. He barely shaves, is unkempt at all time, pees while walking and has about as empty a look in his eyes as is possible. You see a walking corpse when you see him. He was lying on the road today, when someone helped him rise.

Sometimes, you feel that you can't live without your loved ones. It's sights like these that make you feel how your loved ones might survive without you.

My World Cup XV

In two weeks (or thereabouts) the Indian team for the World Cup will be announced. Here's the team I would select

In Batting Order:

1. Saurav Ganguly: Stabilizing factor at the top of the order. Loads of experience. Can bowl a few overs and not a bad short fine leg fielder (Couldnt think of a better place to hide him in the field)
2. Robin Uthappa: In the form of his life. Young and fields quite well. His assault on the Windies was quite spectacular even when read on Cricinfo
3. Sachin Tendulkar: Could be in better form, but a telling statistic of his Chennai innings yesterday .. 60 of 66 balls .. just two fours .. Rotates the strike well, has probably seen everything that can be seen in a one-day game. Bowls dibbly-dobblies enough for 2-3 overs
4. Rahul Dravid: Captain . Nuff said
5. Yuvraj Singh (if fit) : Back from injury, needs a few games under his belt to lose the rust. But if fit, he selects himself
6. M.S. Dhoni: Adequate behind the wickets, can tonk the ball if needed.
7. Irfan Pathan: Still the best allrounder we have without a doubt. Safe bat, can bowl 4 overs at least (4 overs for 40 still should be fine for me) Pathan, Sachin, Yuvraj and Ganguly take the 5th bowler's role, in that order
8. Harbhajan Singh.: Tough to choose between him and Kumble. Literally chosen on ability to dive.
9. Ajit Agarkar: My sis-in-law will kill me for this. But when you have 268 wickets in the ODI game, I'd still take him over a Sreesanth
10. Zaheer Khan: Been our best bowler over the past year (Sreesanth notwithstanding) and is probably the only bowler who will be an auto-selection. Though, why Dravid prefers Agarkar over him for the slog overs is beyond me
11. Sreesanth: Taken (in the XI) solely because of the rumor going around that the pitches will be more suitable for the quicks, and the Aussies are bowling 4 fast men. Decent fielder, dives around, and gives it the fullest. And at least can break into a jig once in a while:) .. That, and my wife is a Mallu..
12. Anil Kumble: Check #8. Not picked in the playing XI solely on diving ability. Will be taken if either of the quicks are in a bad mood.
13. Mohd. Kaif: Backup for Yuvraj and a great great fielder. Adequate in the middle order though we are in deep shit if Yuvraj is unfit. Preferred to Raina thanks to his experience.
14. Dinesh Karthik: Good bat, great fielder, backup wicketkeeper. I'd pick him over Dhoni in a crisis, but Dhoni's slog over prowess wins in the playing XI
15. Munaf Patel (if fit): Good bowler for overs 10-25. Has to be supremely fit and should only be taken if he is going to bowl his 10 overs through. Since short fine leg is already taken, don't know where we can hide him in the field.

Notable omissions:
1. Virender Sehwag. Had to choose between him and Uthappa. Trumps in the bowling and experience departments. But his weaknesses are well documented. Uthappa's are not. That plus the fact that I wouldn't be able to bear with Virender "Mayur" Sehwag ads at 3 in the morning.
2. Suresh Raina. Had to chose between him and Kaif. But he just doesnt go over 30.

There's my team. Feel free to comment and post your feedback.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Random Thought

Is it racist to call Barack Obama the "dark horse" of the '08 election thus far?