Saturday, July 10, 2010

I walk the city....

I picked up this line from the Jodie Foster starrer "The brave one" where she acts being a Radio Jockey and muses about this great city. I too literally do the least two times a week on a regular basis....NYC has become one of my favorites, I donno when and how. The first time I visited the "Big Apple" back in 2006, I was completely lost. It seemed like an ocean of people within a thick concrete jungle. That was a vacation trip. I moved to the vicinities of NY in 2008, and since then it has been a slow and steady love affair. It was not actually love at first sight (that place is reserved for Sydney), however, the more I delved into this city, the more I started to get comfortable and after a few initial days, I shunned traveling by any type of vehicle while in the City. I really love walking in NYC, it has an uncanny resemblance with Kolkata, Mumbai and any other large city I've been to or lived in around the world.....I especially dig midtown, and can spend hours and hours just walking there....each lane and by-lane reminds me of something or some place with which I can draw a resemblance and and like any great metro, this place has a thousand more things to offer even after one comes to a point where they start to think that they've seen enough and they know the city. I love NYC, for its like that mysterious person that entices you with a new charm every time you meet them, and makes you return back, again and again.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My First Swimming Lesson

A few days back I went to register myself for the upcoming swimming lessons at the local YMCA. Upon asking about the details, the lady at the front-desk asked me - "How old is the child?". I thought omygawd ! So sheepishly I went forward and stated that the "child" is none other than me and its better late than the lady somehow concealed her amusement and carried on with the necessarly formalities to register me.
So today happened to be the first day of my "formal swimming class". There were not many "oldies" like me - most of the students were in the 2 -3 years age-group (you gotta believe me), and then there were 4-5 of us, way past their primes, trying learn new life-skills :D....
We were each supplied with one styrofoam barbell, and asked to leap forward holding the "device" and paddle on. I was the better of the adult-lot by virtue of my previous amateur floating experience, while the rest of the group did not seem to have touched water except for the purpose of drinking. I did receive a lot of accolades for doing great for the first day, but the basic issue is that I can float with my head inside the water and not the other way round (weird ! donno how I picked it and when). So as soon as the trainer tells me to lift my head above the surface of the water, my feet start to reach the bottom of the pool and in no time I am standing in the middle of the puddle (yeah its only 5 feet or so deep). This makes me tense - my "first day" is over now....I am concerned on what would I be told on my second day :)......I just thank god that today was not my first day of driving, otherwise the situation could have been much worse.

Intelligence Versus Talent

The other day I was driving back home from work when I tuned in to the local Hindi radio channel. There was a very animated discussion going on on the subject of the recently released movie "Raavan" and the discussion turned to some weird direction when people started discussing on who between Amitabh and Mani Rathnam is "Talented" and who is "Intelligent". After a while of discussions, the talk host opened the lines to the listeners posing a very "Intelligent (talented ?:-)" question as to "what is the difference between Intelligence and Talent?". Answers started poring in, but most of them were chicken and egg types - falling in the bucket of one is the mother of the other one. I was listening to this for a while, and after 15-20 minutes, I thought that I should also take a shot at it - at least I would be "on-air :-)". By that time I had reached home - so I picked up the phone an connected with the hosts. I stated that "Intelligence is the looking glass wearing which talent can be identified". The hosts sounded impressed - they did ask me if looking glasses can be substituted by contact lenses :-), but they made me repeat my answer to record it.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Daddy

I recently read this in one of Chetan Bhagat's latest novels (2 States - if my memory serves me right). "The world celebrates the mother and the child, but daddies are needed as well". So what better day to write to one's daddy if not on a Father's day. Looking back down all those years, I owe one big bow to my daddy - for making me who I am and making me capable of what I can do today and may be on many tomorrows.

Since my childhood, I have seen my daddy as a person of great reserve - he never danced with me sitting on his head (like I do, and like he does today with my son :-)) but at the same point of time, he never ever let me feel unloved or uncared for, not even for a single moment. A person of great determination and mental strength, my dad stands by me - even to this day - like the Chinese Wall. If there is one person in this whole wide world that believes in me cent percent, then that's my dad for you.

Dad, I thank you for the staunch support you've shown me when I needed it the most, and the joys you've shared with me. Its easier to form a bond with one's mother - as has been the case with me as well - but the dad - son relationship is one that remains subtle, but very strong. I realize this today when even a single 7,919 miles-long distance-holler from my son over the phone or vcon diverts all my attention towards him.

This is one relationship, that needs to be cherished - with utmost care and respect - on father's day or any other day.

I love you dad - you are my hero

Waka Waka Eh Eh

Tsamina mina zangalewa...This time for africa
The FIFA 2010 anthem reminds me of the drumbeats during the Durga Pujas.....give me freedom give me fire.....what an amazing way this WC is progressing - so many upsets, so many performances and non-performances....I, like millions and millions across the globe, am curious to see the final outcome, will that be Germany, will that be Uruguay, Netherlands, or the underdogs of this year's games, Spain? The ouster of Brasil and Argentina has been shocking for too many...but then - trying to be a bit philosophical - life's so full of uncertainties. What matters is the ones who remain in the game, and the ones who finally lift the cup.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Go....Go....Golf !

There could not have been a better time for my initiation into this "gentleman's game"....with the US Open Golf tourney underway at Pebble Beach Calif. (incidentally very near to my first home in the States), I thought this is it...lets go golfing. So there I was....up at 5:30 AM on a Saturday morning, after a verry late Friday night, all geared up for my first "putt". It was a brisk 20 minutes drive to Tara Greens Golfing Center at Somerset NJ (Had my breakfast at McDonalds en route after a long long time....). Me and my friend Ambareesh rented a Golf Cart (my first experience at driving a golf cart too :-)) and at 7:30 in the morning, we were ready for our first tee-off. So here I go, my first shot (drive?) and I manage to scrape some soil off the neatly maintained "green". Did that again on my second shot....that made my partner a bit people were queuing up behind us, he took some quick decisions in letting them go first :-)...but then that was that. After that it was either me hitting the ball nicely or completely missing it (fewer occasions though)....all it took was some advice from Ambareesh about forgetting cricket and changing my stance. For a rank outsider for the game whose golf knowledge was limited to Tiger Woods and his feats on and off the green, I was quick enough to understand the different types of irons (it always made me curious when people spoke about a 3 iron and a 9 iron), the driver and what it does and of course the putting iron. And did I forget about the Par and the Handicap ? Oh well, I know 'em all now....I was also made aware that since this was a "gentleman's game", there are many more "don'ts" than "do's" so as to be able to remain a perfect gentleman throughout the course of the game (Thanks again Ambareesh :-)). Anyways, I enjoyed it a lot today and hope to go back to the course soon.....will let y'all know how it goes the next time. Cheers, and BFN

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lets get started !

Yeah ! Its been quite a while that I am toying with this idea of becoming a blogger - glad that an able to eke some time out to key in my first few lines....hoping to sharpen my writing ax in the next few (days, months, years ???? god only knows)....but irrespective of that, am really loving it as I sit in the middle of the night talking to myself digitally :) This post is a post of hope, a hope that I would be able to put my thoughts together, neatly organized in my own and personal Blogger-Safe. This is also a reminder post, when I'd look at it in future - near to distant, it'd urge me to write, and write to sum it up for ye all, I am ready to write, and believe me, am gonna enjoy every bit of it :-)