Saturday, August 4, 2012

The day I met a champion.. And did not know it.

As a teenager back in 2003 I used to travel frequently between Hyderabad and Chennai. This is a short recount of one of those journeys.

Boarding the train at Secunderabad, I do a quick double take at the amount of badminton bags filling the space under my seats. As I begin to raise my voice to claim the space which was rightfully mine a lady and her daughter quickly picked up one of the bags and said please place your bags, we can place ours near our seats. Thanking them I quickly settled down as the train begin to depart the station. Once we begin to pull out I struck up a conversation with the mother and the rather shy girl. The girl was probably around 10-12 years old, hair styled as a boy-cut. The mother, as is the wont of Indian mothers quickly brought up that her daughter was an awesome badminton player and that they were travelling for a tournament. I did not think much about it and nodded politely and noted that the little girl was embarrassed among all this praise.

Cut forward to dinner time and the conversation had gotten a lot friendlier with the girl talking a bit more. We shared dinner as her mother did not want me to eat the 'food' served by the Indian railways. The girl and mom were travelling for a tournament and were very confident about their chances. Not in an arrogant sort of way, just that I am pretty good kinda way. Another of her fellow badminton players joined us from the second class coaches (He was there as he was not seeded well enough to have travel expenses reimbursed) We all struck up a conversation regarding sports and badminton. We bantered about on whether badminton is tough physically with me being of the opinion that tennis was a lot more physical which probably generated the strongest response of the day from the little girl. She explained how strenuous badminton was and that they get very little breaks in between points compared to tennis players. We went to sleep after this.

The next morning just before we got down, I asked the mother please remind me her name so that I can look her up and follow her exploits. Her mom said Saina Nehwal. She was 12 years old then and was beginning to make a big name for herself. 9 years on she won the bronze medal at the 2012 london olympics. I met a great champion that day. And I had no idea.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The second chance

Come on, you HAVE to nail this exam or your whole life is in jeopardy. Ring a bell? Yes I am talking about the misplaced emphasis on the final chance. The one opportunity which would make or break our life. Is that really true? Or is it just a misplaced myth?

I truly believe there is no such thing as the last chance to turn it around or make it or whatever terms one uses to denote success. For every last chance there is yet another chance waiting in the wings provided you are strong enough to find it.

So go on take the chance and give it the best you got, the worst thing that will happen is that another chance will just come a begging.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Aug 15:

The one day of the year where I see my entire Facebook feed filled with nationalistic sentiments, quotes and the whole I miss my India speech. The other possible exception being when we win some cricket match we go all gaga over India. Is this patriotism or just another Facebook wall post like happy *everything* day ( Substitute everything for well everything)

Is patriotism really relevant in these materialistic times? I miss my place but aren't those feelings mostly associated with people( friends, families and the like). I feel there is a misplaced sense of patriotism among the youth today. We are struggling to identify who we are and where we belong and feel a need to be publicly patriotic to prove to ourselves that we are patriotic. ( No offence)

In the global scheme of things though we are just another person in this big wide and increasingly flat world where nationalities seldom seem to matter in the grand scheme of things.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Change is the most powerful thing in life. Its bigger than anything else happening around us. Things change so rapidly and with such ferocity that we are left in its wake constantly with no idea where it is going to lead.

Is change good? Sometimes. Is change bad? Sometimes again. But it is inevitable.

PS: The break from blogging is done and I am now at a new place and in a new role all ready to learn and experience more.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A life is a life

A friend of mine recently watched Phone booth and came up with a question which I was surprised I did not think of when I watched this movie. Why did the pizza guy and the pimp have to die? So they just died so that this guy can be morally corrected? Isn't there any value for their lives?

The more disturbing fact was that it did not seem to affect me. Sure the pizza guy was probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time but the Pimp was murdered in cold blood and it didn't really strike at the heart because of what he does and what he represents.

Is that how we are tuned to be? We value a life of a saint and an achiever more than that of a violent offender or just someone insignificant. Doesn't that seem rather inhumane? Isn't a life still a life?

A related quote from the lord of the rings after the felling of an 'evil' soldier:
Faramir: [from the Extended Edition] The enemy? His sense of duty was no less than yours, I deem. You wonder what his name is, where he comes from, and if he really was evil at heart. What lies or threats led him on this long march from home, and would he not rather have stayed there... in peace? War will make corpses of us all. 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

How do *they* do it?

Something about firemen, the police, lifeguards, army and practically every man and woman who put their life on the line to save someone else just does not make sense to me. Even more so when that someone else is whom they bear no relation to or have no idea who they are.

How can they abandon all thoughts of their own lives, their own families, their dreams and aspirations and risk it all for a faceless person. How can they walk in every single day of their lives to work knowing it could be their last. How does one even begin to comprehend that sort of pressure and sacrifice.

But then maybe we are not meant to understand. It is beyond mortal comprehension. Maybe these are the gods we mortals should be praying and idolizing because every minute of every day they are all that stands between one of us and the far beyond.

I still don't get it. How do they do it?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


So here I am visiting home after nearly a couple of years. The place I yearned to go all these days and do all the things I used to do.

In fact I was so excited that I was beaming like a little kid when my flight crossed into Indian territorial waters and even cheered aloud when I landed in Bangalore.
I am having a great time no doubt but I cant help but notice that people have drifted apart. I called my friends whose numbers I knew by heart and half their numbers had changed and the other half was nowhere to be found. That was my first indication.

I visited my old haunts but somehow these places were just empty chairs and a few cherished memories. People and not places are what count in the end is what dawned on me. The beach, the old restaurant are just places. Their souls have gone missing.

But then that's what family is there for, the pleasing familiarity is what sets them apart and somehow they always seem to be there. As do a few close friends who are well almost family.