Oct 21, 2009

Indian Train Journey

One train journey in India gives you a 360 degree experience of life. Apart from reaching your destination, you chat, criticize, empathize and play.

The people: There are 4 categories: The Sleeper, AC & General class travelers and the by passers.

By-passers are the most fun. “Original” is their favorite word. Everything they sell is a value for money, they say. You really can’t argue on value when in 10 Rs. he offers a packet with: 1 Scissor + 1 Scale + 1 Pen + 1 Key chain + 1 Eraser + 1 Diary. None of it is Made in China. Can you argue now? You can only ask why give an eraser with a pen? Their “original” products range from sweets, fruits, snacks, tea (always “special”), lighters, newspapers, books to torches. One stand out product is the multi-feature balm - looks like grease and can cure cold, cough, arthritis, backache, headache and impotency!

The other form of by-passers includes regular beggars who tap emotional pockets, smart beggars who clean your clean floor to tap “intelligent” pockets and the Eunuchs who touch you intelligently at emotional places.

The sleeper class people are over-friendly. They love to bargain with the by-passers, who curse them for this habit. They always demand a couple of extra Bananas on a dozen. They will then break the ice with you by offering you those extra Bananas. You say NO and they insist. Then you gain freakish insights on Indian politics, culture, cricket & economy while gulping those cursed Bananas. At the end of journey you will get to hear “If you ever come to XYZ city, do give me a call, I can help you with anything”.

Most of the AC travellers have switched to AC from the Sleeper class only. As a transformative result, they pretend to be over-aloof. They will speak loudly on the phone to let you know how rich/smart/educated they are. Breaking the ice is an ego issue here. You will probably end up in a debate after the ice is broken. The topics are still the same: Politics, culture, cricket & economy. The General class is well explained by Mr. Shashi Tharoor, so I won’t dig in to it.

The service: Other than Rajdhani, their food is a delicate garbage platter. The mutter-paneer has 1 paneer and 2 mutter. The name of the dish has both singular words, you should be happy you get an extra mutter. Dal has 6 -7 visible units of lentil (for protein) and 1 coriander leaf (for Iron), with lots of water (to prevent dehydration). The Roti is Sun-dried to give you less fat. The Rice is thick with a hint of light orangish carrot. Tea is made by dipping a heater rod (I have seen the pictures) in the water-milk mixture (80-20).

The test: Just when you start relaxing, enters the TC - Ticket Collector (Vital statistics: 36-48-36). I wonder how most of them have moustaches. Apart from the moustache, they carry a huge list of names and a metallic pen. With head down, spectacles about to drop from the nose, he looks up to you. He makes a claw, raises eye-brows and points the metallic pen towards you. This subtle gesture implies you need to show your ticket to him and that he is well educated man with dignity, not a beggar. He makes you feel dubious - “Man, what if I have lost my ticket?”

The sports: I am very fond of the part that connects 2 bogies. It’s like a free ride. Put one foot each on the two overlapping plates and you will either enjoy or get scared, kinda like rides. The one thing I don’t like about this place is the stench – toilets on either side. The toilets are Gaming Zones, only the Desi ones though. You have to manage between the train acceleration & lateral movements and your position & pressure. The only life-line to help you is a questionable handle with a thousand splendid fingerprints!!!


Oct 16, 2009


Jokowhich is an astonishing name. This guy, it seems, has a problem with the world. He carries the world in his pocket, he claims. The pocket is in his socks, he tells later.

It’s one thing to get a negative or opposite reply, it’s another to get an answer which makes you pull your eye-brows out. Why eye-brows you would ask? NCQP - No cross questions please. I learnt this from Jokowhich.

Let’s take a take on his takes:

Q: Who are you?

A: I’m the Joke which laughs on you. NCQP

Q: When were you born?

A: Somebody gave me a spank. That was the last time a guy spanked me. NCQP

Q: Which Joke made you famous?

A: That I carry my socks in my pocket. NCQP

Q: That was a PJ. Are these your true colours?

A: It’s colors. NCQP

Q: Okay do you know all colors? What about Mauve?

A: That doesn’t sound like a colour. That sounds like a Cow. NCQP

(Q: “You just said colour”. A: “No, I said color”)

Q: Okay, let’s change the subject. What’s your Rashee?

A: You didn’t change the subject. You still want to know when I was born. Change the subject. NCQP.

Q (irritated): Why are you so irritating?

A: That’s why. NCQP.

Q (smiling): Why are you so irritating?

A: I said NCQP. NCQP!


PS: This one's for those who felt my blog was getting less weird :P

Oct 5, 2009

One Day Cricket, One Day!

If you ask me what i love the most about One-Day cricket, i would say the first and the last 10 overs. Basically a the subset of One-Day cricket, those 20 overs. When you remove the in between 30 (sorry@Rahul Dravid), there's your product: T-20 format.

Where else do you get to see funny shots, huge run rates, loads of sixes and cheerleaders!. It's an energetic party. When it started, some feared that One-Day cricket will have to fight for food. Within a few years, T-20 has beaten One-Day format inside-out, putting up a BIG question on its survival. Caught and Bowled!

What holds up a certain format of the game? The fundamental question here is what exactly does Cricket offers us. The classic form and the evolved forms have offered us a display of technique and speed. Test format predominantly offered us technique and class. One-Day offered us a relatively higher fraction of speed, yet giving technique due importance. Now we have T-20, which is predominantly speed.

When One-Day cricket started, some feared that it will eat up the Test form. It couldn't, because Test is a sheer display of what's the heart of Cricket, the technique. Do I want to see some classy centuries and consistent A grade bowling? Yes I do. Now, we have the sheer display of speed in our hands, the T-20 format. Do I want to see nail biting and high paced cricket? Yes I do.

Sachin recently said that we need to protect the One-Day format. He suggested to split the 50 overs in to 2 innings of 25 overs each, where each team plays its innings alternately. He explained why the splitting was important but did not stress on why to save the format? ... fear of losing all the records?

Do I need a "Test T-25"? Not sure.