Rohit's nukkad

Saturday, April 02, 2011

India - Cricket World Cup champions

My earliest memories of cricket goes back to Reliance World Cup 1987 India vs England semi-finals. We were returning home (Mumbai) by train and following the score through radio commentary. In a world with no cellphones, sms and LIVE internet updates, radio commentary was the best medium to keep tabs of the score when not watching the match LIVE on TV. Though Graham Gooch spoiled our party for a dream World Cup finals with Pakistan (Australia made sure our arch rivals didn't make it too), the love for the game came alive.

This started my religious following of the game. Watching endless games, keeping tabs of scores, stats, reading endless articles from SPORTSTAR (I am not sure if the magazine still in circulation), collecting posters, analyzing each match before and after, not just Indian games but every regular cricket match we played at our building every evening. Discussing with my father old cricket test matches, the survival of test series in 1970s - Englad victory, the Caribbean brutality, the glorious 1983 World Cup. Over the years, the match following has been turned into a number of times team bashing - how can we lose in such a situation, how can we play so ridiculously. One would hear of the short golden period of cricket from 1983 - 1986.

I am sure every one in my "cricket crazy" generation has experienced something similar - a story how the game interest started, how it became an obsession, the team expectations, the team bashing.

Today it all culminated as a dream one-day World Cup Final - in Mumbai. We have the mix right of talent and experience. But will we deliver.

Oh yes !!!! We did it and we did it in style. Hello World, the New World Cup champions - Team India has arrived.

All credit goes to players, support staff and all the crazy fans. A more than billion people bleed blue tonight. I am sure there are number of people who didn't moved from their seats during the game or who were wearing their lucky charms.

Its not many times that a diverse country like India is so united. My best lifetime recollections are more in times of calamities or disaster than in happier times. Major highlights would be the Pokhran Nuclear tests, the Kargil War, Olympic sucess etc. But nothing beats this one. After 28 years we have accomplished what we are expected to win every time the World Cup season starts.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Readers Bill of Rights

The First Ten amendments in the United States Constitution, are known as the Bill of Rights. Similarly in Danniel Pennac’s book “Better than life”, he defines TEN BILL OF RIGHTS FOR READERS.

THE RIGHT TO NOT READ – Yes you heard me right, the right to NOT read, this makes everyone read at their own leisure and time. And even if they don’t want to read it’s okay.

THE RIGHT TO SKIP PAGES – how many times have we skipped pages while reading? We once in a while look diagonally. And even if you are someone who like to read word to word. Its just another pleasure among the many pleasures of reading.

THE RIGHT TO NOT FINISH – it you lose interest in a book before finishing it, that’s okay. Let it go. Books are unlike wine, they don’t age, they sit on the shelves and wait for us to age and as we mature we might pick them up one day

THE RIGHT TO REREAD – we watch television programs and movies again and again why can’t we reread books?

THE RIGHT TO READ ANYTHING – there should no boundaries on what to read, let the reader decide what to read.

THE RIGHT TO ESCAPISM – Immediate gratification of our senses is what escapism is all about. We all started out like this, before we laid our hands on “great literature” works

THE RIGHT TO READ ANYWHERE – one should be given the freedom to read anywhere. For all the people who don’t have time to read - reading needs to be stolen from other life obligations hence subway is the world’s longest reading room

THE RIGHT TO BROWSE – we all browse through books, you don’t need to read them, browse through them

THE RIGHT TO READ OUT LOUD - this art has lost its charm in recent times. Reading aloud test the story which the book is meant for any one can reach a larger audience.

THE RIGHT TO NOT DEFEND YOUR TASTES – absolutely one doesn’t need to defend what they are reading

Sunday, August 30, 2009

House on the Waterfront

Water bodies in the form of pond, lake, river, sea or ocean are always very pleasing and soothing to the eyes. The water with turquoise color, the coolness, the stillness of the water or the crashing of the waves, the sound is very pleasant and great place to relax and enjoy.

A house on the waterfront is like a dream. Recently I came cross couple of such houses in Austin overlooking the Colorado river. I would like to share some with you.

1. You have a car parking, how about boat parking

Generally people have car parking, but if you have a house or apartment on the waterfront you can have a boat parking too, just take your boat out of the driveway and off into the lake. And ofcourse from those balconies or patio you will get some great view too.

2. How about high on the hills over looking the river

If you don't want to share your boat parking space, how about a house high up on the hill.

And for these views

the house is really something

3. How about having your personal bridge to get near the water front.

Firstly, I am not sure if this an apartment building or a personal house. The size tells me its an apartment building but the design tells me its a personal house. Take a guess. If its a personal house, I am short of my ohs and ahs for the beautiful structure. To the extreme right hand corner we can see a bridge projection out. The bridge goes across a narrow street onto a private patio overlooking the river.

After seeing these beautiful houses, one can just envy the people who enjoy such houses, and more importantly the great view of the river.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

An oasis in the homogenous US cities desert

If you have taken a road trip across the US or visited a number of American cities. You will notice a lot of similarities. The weather and landscape might change across cities but BIG corporation have made sure that there is certain amount of homogenization in these cities. One can see the same Taco Bells, McDonald's and other fast food joints, same stores, menus and even the same structures. The same grocery and clothing chain like Walmart and JC Penny.

The corporation might debate that the idea behind the generalization is not to confuse the general public but they have tossed out creativity and innovations in the process. Forget the stores may be a little creativity can go long way in design the store signs and store structure.

Couple of days back I came across couple of unique and funky looking stores in Austin. The stores and signs went very well with the city slogan of - Keep Austin Weird. I just couldn't help admiring their creativity and some reminded me of some great stories. Another interesting part is all these stores are located on the same street.

1. Genie Car Wash - The sign is very inviting.

2. Ichiban - Japanese restaurant. This reminded me of FRIENDS episode - Joey's Japanese ad

3. The Lightbulb Shop - I will let the sign and the store do the talking.

4. Hey Cupcake - the giant cupcake is rotating too :-)

5. Atomic Tatoo - their art speaks so loudly about their work :-)

6. Icehouse - you can't get more Texan than this

7. Clay House Studio

8. Plumbing Supply Store

If these stores can do it. Hopefully others can give creativity a thought too.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Its a chariot, its a cobra, its a Ford Mustang Convertible

Couple of weeks back a friend of mine and myself made a fun trip to Phoenix, Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. We wanted to make it a memorable one and right from the get go we knew it would be one hell of a trip.

The fun began the moment we rented a FORD Mustang convertible. We were exploring all the gadgetry in the car. 'Hey look out the acceleration man', said one, 'the pick up of the car is pretty awesome', another said. 'Wow it goes from 0-60 in 6 seconds'. We were very excited about the vehicle.

But after 5 minutes of drive on the highway it suddenly started raining. Since we had already got the roof down. My friend wanted to get the roof up. So we tried pressing the automatic rooftop lift up button in the appropriate direction but nothing worked. We tried hard but no luck. We thought lets return the vehicle. I made a quick exit in Downtown Phoenix and was waiting on a signal and my friend was still fidgeting with the rooftop button. Suddenly ...eehhhhhhh...the roof started coming up... yeah its coming up it coming up. In the mean time I got the signal to GO. I stepped on the gas, the hood just stopped. It was only half done.

It was hilarious. I couldn't get any rear view. The car looked like a chariot, or a cobra with his spread neck ready to attack.

We made a quick stop and got the roof down. With everything fine no complains about the car, we were all set to enjoy the trip.

Even today the incident just cracks me up :-)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cinco de Mayo

5th May, is a special day in Mexican history, its celebrated as Cinco de Mayo which is Spanish for May 5th. The Mexicans defeated the French forces in 1862.

The irony of the day is, its celebrated on a bigger scale in the United States as compared to that in Mexico. Though the day's significance in Mexico is more regional but in the US its a full blown celebration right from television programs to shopping mall. So why is it more popular in US ? May be its like other things in the US something commercial value in the US.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

My Five Favorite posts

Its difficult to pick your favorite posts and even more difficult to narrow it down to five. But if one sets in some boundaries the work becomes easier.
To pick my five favorite posts I have used the following criteria.

1. The post should be timeless and anytime one reads it a smile is inevitable.

2. It should be an original piece. Inspirations are fine but copying is no good.

3. Book reviews and movie reviews have been left out.

So the list goes as follows, they are ordered in how they appeared on the blog.

1. Wonderful Human Being - I can proudly rate this article as one of my best. Its just feels good article. A chance encounter with a stranger - a genuine, down to earth and simple man. As in the article I wish I can be like Lala when I reach his age.

2. Interesting Love story or is it stories - A great piece. An article out of nothing. A headache at work, turned into a great post and pleasure reading. Even now whenever I read it brings a chuckle. Hope you enjoy it similarly.

3. The Man, the machine... Street hawk - A great nostalgic post, took me back to good old TV days, growing up days, programs I enjoyed watching and even now would love to watch them.

4. You won't believe what happened one night - Great memories, a scary experience, great time.

5. Two men and a truck - One of the fun moments of moving I had with this TV purchase. The TV, the size and the bargain price all blinded me with the crucial part of the purchase - the heavy lifting involved. So big life lesson learned from the experience.

Three years to blogging

Can you imagine it has been three years since I put up my first post on Rohit's Nukkad - Express yourself. Three years, a highly enjoyable time and wonderful period writing blog, 113 published posts quite a feat but still miles to go.

"He who believes that the past cannot be changed has not yet written his memoirs." ~Torvald Gahlin

Well the blog posts are kind of memoirs. They help me reflect how much I have changed over the years - be it my maturity level or my writing skills or my reading interest. Whenever I read any of my old posts its like sitting in a time machine and getting transported to the time when I wrote the post, the incidents happening in my life around the time, how did I write the post, the comments related with the posts etc. Some posts bring a smile on my face, while some make me chuckle, while others make me realize there is lot of scope of improvement in my writing.

Couple of interesting statistics related with posts on Rohit's Nukkad
1. Total posts published 113, that makes it roughly 38 posts per year, though I would have loved to have more posts, the number is still decent.

2. Months without any posts - Though being regular is important but at the same time its the toughest thing to do. I too had couple of my short falls. There were months where not a single post was posted on the blog, 5 months in total - November 2006, July 2007, October 2007, January 2009 and April 2009. Why did this irregularity, I don't have a clear answer for this. Its not like I was extremely busy with my work life in these months. On the contrary months when I was extremely busy I have used blogging as my stress buster and written a good number of posts. Having material for writing is one of the main reasons for being irregular.

3. Book reviews and Movie reviews - these two have been the most regular and discussed topics on the blog. I have written about 8 book reviews and number of book related articles like John Grisham works etc. Well no complains - more book reviews coming your way in future, reading being one of my interests its an obvious path to write about them. Movie reviews have dropped down over the period of time, only when some real good or crazy movie comes up a blog post can be expected.

These were just couple of observations about the blog, watch out for my next article short listing couple on my favorite blog posts so far. But as of now all I can say, good job Rohit, be consist and keep on posting.