So long Sachin…been a pleasure!

 

23 years back, a kid walked out into an arena to face one of the most illustrious and feared bowling attacks of our time which enlisted the likes of Waqar and Akram. He had already shown flashes of genius much beyond his age; and in front of a hostile crowd which cried for his blood, stood tall.

While all this happened somewhere across the subcontinent, I was born in a small town in Kerala among a bunch of cricket enthusiasts, the biggest of them being my dad.

I could as well, safely assume that it was not only me who had such an experience, especially having born in a country where Cricket is more than just a game. As far as my memories serve, I was exposed to cricket from all sides at a very tender age.

The oldest of those matches I remember was when Kapil Dev led the side against West Indies and we lost the match. It was my mom who actually made our acquaintance, introducing me to all the guys who appeared one by one during the presentation ceremony over a grainy telecast in Doordarshan. To be frank, it never appealed to me back then. For me, it was a bunch of old men who played and lost the game we should have won. I felt cheated somehow that I had to watch my side getting defeated and I took a dislike to the people who were standing at the presentation party. I was yet to meet Sachin though. May be I missed him somewhere in between the presentation ceremony which was a celebration of our royal defeat.

It took me a couple of more matches to see this one guy who actually was appealing and I started following the game just to see him play. And when you add a crazy bunch of cousins who breathe and live cricket all the time, you are bound to fall in love with it one day or the other, right? 🙂

I still remember the day when I touched a bat for the first time. It was so heavy that I could hardly hold it steady. I, in fact, had to switch to a wooden plank instead to play. And two of my eldest cousins who led our pack of kids bowled an over or two to me. We used to have our game almost every time I went up to my native and I used to carry around a cricket ball, just in case… 🙂 Those small matches at the middle of a small teak plantation became our little world cup and I used to look forward to it as if there was nothing better to live for. So great was the joy it gave me that if ever I used to take a wicket of any of my ‘opponents’ or score a boundary or two, I used to dance around the whole house announcing my feat to the whole family. A couple of words of praise from those two guys meant a lot to me and back then, I thought, that was what I was meant to do; to play cricket.

Our game was not the only driving factor for me though. We three used to sit and watch cricket, together. And there used to be huge arguments about who was a better player. But those arguments never really happened when this one man played. So majestic was (and is) his style that we used to stop our fights and cheer every single run he took. He was someone whom every single one of us acknowledged to be the best among the lot. Thus Sachin happened!

I used to take every game to heart and used to cry when India lost a game. And when we won, I was more concerned about how Sachin played. If he missed out on the score board, it was much the same for me as losing a game. I was always mocked upon for this of course. But then hardly did I miss company 🙂 There were always a flood of Sachinists around me to be a part of my joy/sorrow, be it my pre-school/school/college days.

School was a point where I started taking the game seriously and started to try out whatever Sachin did. May be it never worked out so well. But I cant describe the joy I got while whipping the bowler for a four over his head on front foot or while slashing a cut or while hitting a boundary over mid on and mid off after jumping a step forward. You feel in heaven when you hear that sweet voice right off the middle of your bat. Trust me!

And I always did it because Sachin used to do it. More than just being the best batsman of our generation, he is an idol who set new standards every day and challenged others to try and reach it if not surpass it, and all this was done with serenity which created an aura around him.

Ever felt as if the world around is no longer the one you knew so well? That’s how Cricket seems to be after Sachin called it a day from the ODI format. All those classics: the desert storm, the world cup campaigns and a countless other innings’ will remain among the most precious of cricketing moments for me.

For all that you taught me, and for being an inspiration all the way through, thank you…

So long Sachin…been a pleasure!

Respect!!!

For the love of Microsoft

I love Windows 8

I am sure it’s not just me and that there are thousands if not millions already waiting to get their hands on this wonderful piece of software.

Hardly does any company let alone a major firm which is undergoing pressures from across the market play around with their flagship product. And when Microsoft was ready to gamble, I was so damn worried if they had gotten their cards right. C’mon. Think about all those Apple fans who scream for our blood. Dude.. we needed something more than XBOX and Kinect to get a much needed revenge. [Found it the hard way a couple of months back while fighting with my sis when she got her iPhone :D] Windows was indeed the flag bearer as far as desktop OSs were concerned. But then it was screeching to an all time low in market shares with the advent of ‘other’ OSs.

When Windows Phone 7 came out I was one of the early adopters [among my friends at least] and I was mesmerized with what Microsoft had done with it. How could someone have designed something so elegant? Would you have ever thought something looking great without a spotlight effect or shadows or even gradients? Man… That was indeed something worth a wait. Since then I have been yearning for Windows 8 which was announced with Metro UI. And ooooohhhhh… it’s beautiful

Over the past couple of days I had this realization. That I might do well in marketing. I mean, living in this part of the world where piracy is ‘cool’, I made 3 people buy a genuine license of Windows over the past 3 days 😛

The moment I flashed across the news of installing Windows 8 over Facebook, I got a call from one of my friends asking me how it was. And being the super-excited self that I was at that moment [I still am btw :D], it took me less than an hour to convince him into buying it. At that point he had just one thing to say “You are evil”. Now c’mon. That ‘evil’ part does make me eligible for the afore mentioned marketing thingy right? 😀

Almost a similar episode followed in my office when my ‘guru’ [aashaan] called up after I had given him a short preview of the simplicity within Metro UI. To put the ‘simplicity’ part in perspective, he is the one who gave me a valuable advice within my first few months in office. I’ve been having my fair share of days with Photoshop at office where I end up branding official events happening in my office through mails and banners since the second week of my joining. And may be its the Virgo-ite in me; I end up spending a lot of time to make something as perfect as I could, so as to please myself of a job well done [Of course, that statement was just relative. You may disagree with the quality of the mailers and banners that I’ve done. But frankly, I don’t accept criticisms :D]. Seeing this, he once said,  “Keep it simple. Do not spend time on something which people take less than 3 seconds to press [shift] + [del]“. And as he would say, it took him 3 years to realize that all that pain is not just worth it. As they say, you need to learn from other’s mistakes as well and not just yours right? 🙂 So I owe it to him. And being a Windows Phone 7 fan [Gotten tired of this ‘fan’ thing? Well, I confess. I am in love with every product that Microsoft has ever come out with], it didn’t surprise me when I got this thing in head that one could convey something so powerful through something so minimal. May be, simplicity has all the class that one needs to keep  interested. So after all this, I had to show him what Windows 8 meant. And he fell head and toe into it. For someone who didn’t have a plan to spend 2K on a fine morning around the month end [where you are desperate to save the final few bucks that’s left in your wallet], he got desperate enough to take a leave in the afternoon, after the chat we had, and go set the download.

Another friend of mine was almost over the fence and he just needed a push to fall across. May be its right when someone once told me that I turn into a kid when I get excited about something. It took me less than 10 minutes to give that final push. Yet again, there was one who was waiting for his download to get over.

Hmm. Now what next? Microsoft Surface of course. And then the Lumia 920. 2 products I’ve been yearning for. It’s indeed gonna be LEGEN….wait for it…. [you know the rest :)]

Hell, Windows 8 is evil. It got me to spend time with my otherwise bed-ridden blog which was almost having its last breath. And the wordpress app is just so beautiful that its worth all the pain of spending time and writing something. I just had to do it 😀

The most recent comment I heard was from my roommate, a couple of minutes back, which went as: “Finally it took Windows 8 to get this boy to come out of the office on time…” [Ohh yeah… Those days of returning back at 11 in the night… That’s behind me… And may be he is just right. I am in love :D]

Songs–Is it all about meaning?

Someone once said

Music is what feelings sound like.

But does a song have to be all that meaningful to make you feel good? Music does help you a lot. It makes up for the bad day you just had and renders the world around a lot more colorful. It takes you on a ride wherein you turn introspective at times.

It might be attributed to the people who made my world when I was a kid that I started hearing songs from an era that preceded this generation. Those old songs from the 80s used to be all that I used to hear; so much so that I used to keep myself shut to other genres of music.

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I used to have a pretty sarcastic view about every new song and never even gave them a try before shoving them  off my playlist. What for? Well, because they weren’t meaningful. I was a traditionalist, you could say, and may be I was spoon-fed the fact that 80s owned all the classics.

Over time, my views changed. Though the songs were a lot more poetic towards the early years of Malayalam cinema, I would rather opt a song with nice music over one with meaning. Is it such a bad change after all? Come on.Think about it. Sometimes the worst lyrics with a soothing voice and awesome music keeps you afresh. I have heard songs just to hear that awesome voice again and again. To illustrate that part of me, take ‘Daddy mummy vettil ille’ which had it’s fair share of public attention when it came out(and perhaps more than it really deserved). The kind of music they had all throughout the song was never my taste but still, I heard it for Mamta’s voice which was too sexy to miss. Think about Shreya Ghoshal. Would you say a no to any of her songs even if it was just ‘blah blah’ all throughout? I could list down so many awesome singers here but that in itself would make a whole new blog post. So lets leave it at that for now.

Odd as it might sound, I did take lessons in music while a kid. Oh, before you really make up your thoughts of me singing, let me put it through. I suck Smile. So don’t you dare make up an image of a vocalist me. I used to hate those lessons just because it used to keep me away from playing cricket twice a week. (Yah, I [used to] represent at least another billion of us Indians who would leave anything to go out and play cricket with friends every evening). Irrespective of my fight-backs, I continued those lessons for six years. But the ironic part of the story is that I started missing those lessons once I stopped. And may be, I even started hearing more of Carnatic music after that stint.

I strayed off the topic there didn’t I? Coming back, I am sure a majority of you would be able to relate music with love. Remember your first crush and how your whole taste changed to slow soothing music all of a sudden? [Or is it just me? Nah… Am not wrong there am I? Winking smile].

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In the recent past, there have been a couple of songs which have really stuck up with me. Mazhaneer Thullikal from the movie Beautiful is one such song which I make it a point to hear every time it rains.

Similarly Sakhiye from Cassanova, Anuragam from Thattathil Marayathu, Mizhiyariyathe Vannu Nee from Niram (relatively old one..but some songs just stay evergreen don’t they? Smile) have all reserved their place within my playlist since they came out. And it’s not just these songs which celebrate love that ticks my mood, but also the ones which puts grief in perspective. Remember Kanneer poovinte from Kireedam and Thalamayanju from Pavithram?

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They are a class of their own.

More then just the music, the visuals have been of a different league altogether in recent times. Take Paathirayo pakalai from Bachelor Party for instance. The visuals were so lively and bright that even playing the video at zero volume lights up an otherwise moody weather.

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So where am I getting with all this? Well, music is not just about lyrics and it’s ‘inner’ meaning. It’s about the world (although virtual) that it creates where, it takes you on a roller coaster ride over a myriad of emotions. After all, it’s our choice to select what’s best for us isn’t it?

Am off my lazy self

Oh well, finally I make it to my first blog post on WordPress. Although I’ve to admit that my laziness got the better of me whenever I did try in the past, as they say, better late than never right? 🙂

Its another weekend on the calendar. People might see it as a chance to finally have some time for themselves and break off all constraints. And yet here I am, down with an infection, sitting in my balcony screwing around on my laptop.

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Guess this entry into the blog gave even the heavens a reason to cheer. Woke up to an early morning shower which made it all seem so cold. Gotta say, the weather has been awesome here at Trivandrum for the past couple of days. The occasional showers have been keeping the temperature down and though some might call it moody, it just about works for me.

In the days to come, I’ll be posting on a whole array of topics ranging from the technologies I love to my ‘past’. So for the moment, adios amigos!!!