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Urban Hymns

Date: 2011-07-30 13:51
Subject: And now for something different...
Security: Public
Ok... So what could be so enticing that i return here after so long? My experiments with a new blogging medium. Seems to work fine. Plan for today... Watch 'die hard 3' with the missus and a beer. It has been long since we relaxed as such. Blogging seems different after such a long time. Next week, i travel :-)
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Date: 2010-03-04 21:45
Subject: Essentials to be a teacher
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Date: 2010-03-01 20:54
Subject: Back In The Beyond
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Music:A-ha - Early morning
'Forgotten password' is not the most surprising retort for my return to this blog. A year-long sabbatical, thrust on the assumption that I can be different as a blogger/writer... It never works. I am just as lost in the inner universe as I was when I last wrote here. Happier? Yes, everyday. No doubts about that. One has to be very unimaginative to not be able to find something to be happy about.

But the lengthy constructs of my sentences show just how far behind I am as a writer. So, the motivation to come back to the blog is the age-old mantra: keep it simple. Not more than 10 words in a sentence.

Let's try:
'tis been the season of children. Aditi turns one in less than a week. Rahul and Rohan left for their home away from home. That was 48 hours ago. They must be home in Maryland, by now. Awake. It is profound to see the trio discover their own surroundings. R&R, twins, wake up by themselves at about 7 AM. They begin the day together. Their parents rise an hour later, woken by the kids. The eco-system is gentle, sagely.

Aditi too is an early riser, as any child must be. Uncorrupted by the worlds outside. Each child possesses traces of their parents, behaviorally. In the years to follow, those qualities may fade to give way to their unique traits. It isn't the cliched circle of life.
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Date: 2008-12-26 21:42
Subject: Tipping Point
Security: Public
Columnist Peter Roebuck has put together a World XI based on performances in 2008. It is statistically accurate, and therein lies the problem: Team composition can't be determined by numbers alone.

For instance, he keeps Virendar Sehwag out because Gautam Gambhir hit a purple patch and Graeme Smith scored better than Sehwag in crucial fourth innings situations. The logic is flawed. In my estimate, all three would have to play... and Gambhir plays at No.3 because he can contribute more on form than Hashim Amla.

The other glaring bloomer is omitting Sachin Tendulkar because Pietersen had a more lucrative year in terms of runs. Facts don't show how well Tendulkaer played in 2008. Again, both must play in the world side. And so, Chanderpaul in my reckoning must make way though he has more runs to show.

Lastly, how can anybody leave out Ishant Sharma? Even if the wickets column don't show it, Ishant created enough pressure at one end to benefit the bowler steaming in from the other. Both Ishant and Zaheer Khan must play. It's a toss up between Zak and Steyn who has had a fabulous year. Experience does count here, and so Steyn must wait.

It's one of my oldest propositions: numbers don't supply the complete picture. And 2008 vindicates that. What a year it has been for Test cricket. Rarely does an Australian skipper lose two Tests at Perth, leave alone that both occurred in the same year. It is unbelievable that Pakistan doesn't produce world-class cricketers anymore. It's even more staggering that there are six Indians in the squad of 12. We have come a long way. This year may turn out to be the tipping point of a wonderful fight between Sri Lanka, South Africa and India, each of whom are eroding Australia's advantage as incumbents. Ashes 2009 could throw up another new fighting unit.

Here is my team for 2008
V. Sehwag
G. Smith
G. Gambhir
S. Tendulkar
K. Pietersen
A. Symonds
MS. Dhoni (c)
I. Sharma
A. Mendis
M. Muralitharan
Z. Khan
12th man: D. Steyn
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Date: 2008-12-24 06:47
Subject: On Tour
Security: Public
Few things can better knowing that I am working on a special report, which will take me through the beloved winter of New Delhi for three days, Pune for three days, Ahmedabad for three days... And what better way than to begin in Bangalore from December 30th until January 3rd. Couldn't have asked for a better way to begin 2009! I am the anchor of my own ascension... Tell me I'm the tourist in the fouth dimension.
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Date: 2008-12-23 23:10
Subject: Laugh Out Loud
Security: Public


In 2006, A B de Villiers was opening the batting and arrived in Kwazulu Natal following a couple of low scores in the 1st test in Cape Town. He was edgy. He was nervous. He was hyperactive and in need of a score. All of those attributes compounded the issue and concluded in one of the more extraordinary tales of an international sportsman.

The night before he was due to bat (against Australia) on the 25th of March against the likes of a potent Lee and Warne, he decided some extra hours of shut eye were warranted. After a draining day in the field watching a Ponting century, he retired very early to the private sanctuary of his beachfront hotel room around 8 pm. Restless sleep followed as the batting demons played havoc with his mind and he exhausted himself with visions of the challenge the following day.

He eventually awoke in a startled state, riddled with apprehension about the day ahead. A quick glance at his watch escalated the anxiety. It was 10.30! He suddenly realised he was late for the start of play on Day 2 and massive panic immediately set in.

He dived into the shower, hurriedly donned his team tracksuit and rushed to the breakfast room to douse the flame of hunger that was burning away at his stomach following a meal void previous evening. As he arrived his worst fears were confirmed.

The staff were clearing the service and he was too late for food. He knew he would be in Graeme Smith’s little black book forever for sleeping in during a Test match. He snatched a slice of bread from the nearest table and bolted for the elevator to scramble for a taxi to Kingsmead.

Upon arriving in the foyer in a dishevelled and horror filled state, he realised his folly. It was still dark outside! He had actually awoken after only two hours sleep and it was in fact 10.30pm, not 10.30am! His watch combined with his fretful psychological state had succeeded to lie to him....


Read the whole Mike Haysman ode to young de Villers here.

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Date: 2008-12-22 21:44
Subject: ... And my Favourite Three
Security: Public
Pearl Jam live-performance recordings are:
#1 Pinkpop Festival, 1992
#2 Ed Sullivan Theatre, 2006
#3 Reading Festival, 2006
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Date: 2008-12-19 21:32
Subject: Eloisa to Abelard
Security: Public
Music:Pearl Jam - Ed Sullivan Theatre performance
"How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd..."
-- Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard

These are the times when I know why I am here, why it is now. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind plays at my film society on Sunday. I am going to be watching it on the Big Screen!

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Date: 2008-12-15 11:46
Subject: And I can't think of a headline today :-)
Security: Public
Music:Pearl Jam - Faithfull
How the words of famous men enter the common lexicon:

The new office boy answers to the name, Ramdas. I meet him in the elevator most mornings, and manage: "Hey Ram!"

He is a fabulous and "proactive" worker who anticipates the needs in office. So, a printout anyone sends from their terminal promptly finds itz way to the respective desk. (It's fun when a printout lands up on the wrong desk.) Then, Ram loves to help out before lunch with the plates and glasses. His manners are. ahem, impeccable. He is already such a valuable player in our office space that I can't overemphasize a Das Capital as such.
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Date: 2008-12-11 23:41
Subject: Sand Shore
Security: Public
Music:Pearl Jam (Pinkpop '92) - Once
The sight is beautiful from where I stand. The time now reads 29 years, 12 months and 11 days. The signboard in the horizon flashes '30', and I want to embrace it in all its warmth.

When it once read '10', I was in love with this curly-haired cricketer aged 16 ready to take on Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall, Imran Khan and Ian Botham playing alongside Kapil Dev. When the board had flashed '20', I knew I had seen the last of that boy's genius and abundance of natural stroke play as he began to grow.

It's a path we all will take, albeit less gloriously.

On my part, there is an iron lung to forsake, some words to graft, and many a mile to run. And it all seems worth the effort of having experienced the years in the wilderness.

To the year of living dangerously, Touché!
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my journal
July 2011