Tale of Two Sixes…

Clad in Blue, he stands there and catapults the ball sailing over the boundary for the maximum and that was the final strike. It’s all over…

… That shot was heart breaking. A billion dreams would still remain a dream. For me, one among those billion crazy, emotional fans (read fanatics) it seemed like déjà vu of what happened 8 years ago. I switched off the idiot box, stepped out of the house, paced around restlessly and watched the streets, which looked abandoned just a few minutes ago, slowly kicking back into liveliness. Feeling a bit queasy, I dragged myself back to my room, switched on the iPod and placed it on its dock. And for over the next two agitated hours, it was just three songs that kept looping endlessly, as my mind pondered over the possibility of India being beaten in a Cricket Final by our Island neighbors, yet again. Learning about the loss of two crucial wickets pretty early did not help things. Why oh why is this happening, I wondered and started hurling curses to no one in particular.

That is when, all of a sudden the mind started to drift. Over the years across the coast, and all around the world, racial atrocities were being unleashed upon innocent people, who were getting killed for no fault of theirs. And never for once have I felt this disgusted about that. Slowly rational thinking of the mind started taking over the emotional pondering of the heart. I realized that this was a just a game of cricket which might be lost. What is more important is that humanity has battles to be fought (and won) over evil.

A candle lights up within me and all of a sudden things do not look bleak. I crank up the volume and think to myself – who cares about the result of a cricket match, there are bigger battles out there. After all this is just a game. That is when my Mom calls out for me, quiet strangely I knew why – India was about to win the Cricket World Cup. I bolt out of my room to switch on the TV and even before it is fully alive, I start jumping in joy.

Clad in Blue, he stands there and catapults the ball sailing over the boundary for the maximum and that was the final strike. It’s all over…

… This shot was heart-warming. Billion dreams were no longer a dream. This generation finally gets to witness a moment of Cricketing glory which took 28 years to recreate. And the entire (well, almost) nation erupts. Crackers go off and people parade the streets, dancing and singing. Calls are made and text messages exchanged, congratulating each other. For every cricket crazy fan in the country, this was a personal victory. After months of being subjected to news of scammers and corrupt politicians, this certainly seemed like light at the end of tunnel. For once after all these days, heads could be held high with pride and joy.

And it took some time for me to settle down, after night-long status updates on Facebook and a mini celebratory lunch with a small group of friends, the next day. Once the euphoria gradually started to wash away, my mind switched back to the realization that had hit me during those tumultuous hours sandwiched between the two sixes – One hit of the last ball of Sri Lanka’s innings and the one that finished off the match for India.

After all it was just a game of cricket that was won. Bigger and more meaningful battles are being fought out there and they are much more significant. True victory for the human spirit is when peace and harmony prevails over prejudicious malice. As crazy as we may be, in the end, Cricket (or for that matter, any sport) is just a game, right. No?

[Poem] An Ode to Sachin’s 200…

Started more than 20 years ago, and still counting
Habit of breaching benchmarks, seemingly never ending

His cricketing brilliance never ceases to amaze
Manner in which he does them, warrants countless gaze

First 200 in ODI, it’s just another milestone
That record would be feeling proud, that “HE” was the one

What is left to achieve, evokes much curiosity
As we bow down yet again to the Little Master’s ingenuity!

The OCD Bug

I dug this one up from last year. Originally posted in the internal blogging site at work, this was part of a MEME.  In case  you have stumbled across this post and would like to take up it and list your own ‘bugs’, please feel free to do so 🙂

The OCD bug

Looks like when someone “Up Above” (who exactly that is, would be subjected to one’s discretion– it could be the stork, big bang theory, Supreme Power or Evolution, among other things) designed the most complex piece of hardware (the human body), the OS (the human mind) for some reasons was made an open sourced one. Such that, each piece of hardware has it own variations of firmware, replete with its own share of viruses and bugs.

Talking about bugs, OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) is one such, which apparently finds its way into most pieces of hardware and causes it to run certain pieces of code in almost an infinite loop (roughly translated as “Doing something, mostly unwanted, repeatedly”. Phew!)

Now, this piece of hardware has its share of this bug and here are some of those almost infinite loop executions:

Lock, check and two re-checks: Just before the hardware goes to sleep mode, this bug causes it to check if all the doors are locked. Once checked, the routine is traversed at least a couple more times, each time wiping out the result of previous execution, until it manages to reaffirm the hardware that the lock is in place. (Guess it’s a bed time workout? Huh!)

Walk and watch: At times, when hardware is focusing on cricketing action, this bug causes it to change from “resting-on-the-couch” orientation to “walking-around-in-circles” position, till the match ends. Else, the team might lose! Recently though, there is a new variation to this bug which executes itself only when the favorite team is batting in a T20 match. (That’s roughly just an hour and a half? Sigh of relief!)

Stare at walls (or timeline): The So-see-all, Not-working (Social Networking) variation of the bug, causes the hardware to standby in a ‘ready-to-respond’ mode and repeatedly scan the Facebook Wall (or Twitter timeline) for any notifications on self updates, or posts/tweets of interest, to weigh in. Regardless of the outcome, the routine gets re-executed every few minutes, unless the hardware chooses to override it by prioritizing another, err, useful task. (Thank God for work!)

You name it: When the name suggested for a technical symposium in College, followed by a group of conference rooms at work were approved, this bug manifested itself on to the hardware and has caused it be on the ‘look out mode’ for all possible opportunities to name anything under the sun. (Maybe that piece log out there needs a name, say, Dead-Wood? Ugh!)

Then there are few more like ‘keep-planning-a-trip-and-drop-it’, ‘buy-books-but-don’t-read-all-of-them’ etc. But now the hardware is has executed another one of the loops which is called ‘read-from- top-down –then -bottom-up’. Once satisfied and having posted this, it has jumped to ‘keep-looking-for-comments’, hoping you can think about some bugs in your hardware and list a few of them…

Till death do us part – Chapter 3

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Evil has the immense potential to make a head start in the race against Good. In twisted minds lies its abode – where it takes guilty pleasure in forging wicked ideas, which it easily spreads with the ability to take advantage of naïve minds. The tool used varies – it can be money, lust, religion etc., all of which indicates the vulnerability of spirit.

The scars within Ameen ran deep. It made no sense to him how religion became one such tool to forge the most destructive of weapons, served as a ground for many a war and instigated diversity among mankind. Wasn’t it meant to be the exact opposite? Somehow there were too many fragile minds that were compromised by wickedness of twisted minds.

When Ameen was a kid, his father always taught him to believe that every creation of The Almighty is here in this world to respect and love each other. And none of HIS creations would have the slightest of intent to hurt another one. Ameen took it to his heart and resolved himself that he would never ever hurt even an ant.  He learnt the hard way that the world need not think the way we do.

December 6,1992:

It was a peaceful Sunday afternoon. Little Ameen was playing Cricket in his neighborhood maidan. The kids were oblivious to the ill fated happening of that morning. Right now, the only thing that concerned Ameen was winning this game. The previous contest was lost by one run. It was his fault not to have run back for that second run, which would have tied the scores with one ball remaining, and ended up running his partner out.

As he took guard, with perspiration dripping down his forehead, he was determined not let things get out of hand this time. With 6 runs required of the last over, Ameen could not score of the first three deliveries.

“Come on Ameen. At least take a single and give me the strike”, shouted Chinna from the non-striker end.

Ameen steeled himself. Relax. Concentrate. Take a deep breath. Focus. 

He drove the fourth delivery for a 4. That brought down the equation to 2 runs of 2 balls.

“Awesome shot. Take a single bhai. Don’t screw up this one too!” screamed Chinna

The next one was a yorker and Ameen just managed to dig it out at the last moment.

OK! We are going down” went Chinna in a typical “I-told-you-so” tone

Ameen prided himself in being able to thrive in tricky situations. Messing up the previous one had dented his pride. He was not going to let his team down again.

Relax. Concentrate. Take a deep breath. Focus. 

Adversity either brings out the best or the worst in someone. Fortunately, for Ameen, adversity seemed to have brought out worst in the bowler. He bowled a wide, which made it 1 run from 1 ball. Tension was mounting within Ameen as the bowler came running in to bowl the last delivery. It turned out to be a full toss and Ameen whacked it for another boundary and started celebrating.

At that moment, Charukesh, ‘Charu uncle‘, Ameen’s neighbor came rushing to the ground.

“Ameen, you need to come home now”

From his serious expression, Ameen could sense something was wrong. He tried getting an answer from Charu uncle, but he refused to say anything. Ameen found the answers, when they reached home and life was never the same again.

Tears rolled down Ameen’s cheek, anger surged within him, every time the images of that day replayed in his mind. He just wished that he had the ability to rewind the clock and set things right, back in time. The only glimmer of hope, in his depressingly dark life, was Ashika. That was until Amar became his friend, of course.

Ashika had called last evening. She confirmed that she will be starting the next day and will be here on Saturday morning. Ameen had relayed this to Amar. He knew Ashika had plans to surprise Amar. Not only that, both Amar and Ashika had something else they were hiding from him. Only that it was no secret. Ameen knew it.

If Ameen was asked to choose to salvage something from the wreckage of his life, it would be Amar and Ashika. And to think they have belied his trust by trying to keep things under the wraps did not make him happy. He was furious.

—— End of Chapter 3 —–