Friday, December 23, 2005

Adios amigo, Venkat

I never thought while making my previous blog post that my next one would be a looong ten months away and an equally emotional one. But it has turned out to be that way. As my buddy Venkat packs his bags to leave Bangalore and eventually India, here’s a simple snaphot of our short Bangalore timescape, from someone not so simple... (that’s me.., ;-). Read ahead..

Chillin’ out was I during a typical Pondicherry summer last year, when..
‘Whoooosh…’ - that was the sound of the time-winds that blew, sweeping me off my feet!
And then I found myself in the bustling Bangalore city, being trained to morph into a cunning and canny corporate citizen from what I was, a casual college guy.

Away from home, away from family, difficult times..
Put I was amidst a nice group of twelve people from varied origins and places, but.., they all managed to speak a common tongue, which I never understood (and still don’t:-()!

And there were you, my buddy Venkat, always doing your best to translate them for me :-)!

Then came the training days-damn funny ones-always reminding us of our college lives..
Last bench mischiefs, copied quizzes, thunderous guffaws- can never be forgotten-such beautiful days were they!
Making them more rosy were these unforgettable characters- the ‘mysterious’ Shubhadha, ‘dedicated’ GPRS, ‘guy-with-a- funny but great-laugh’ Patra, 'diligent' Deepak, 'funky' HemSAS and the rest.. (sorry, I cudn’t think of adjectives for all )!
Cubicle jokes, ‘on-the- bench’ days..-time whizzed past…!

And ‘Whoooosh…’ once again, gone were people into Lucent and Granite and Actix and what not?
Putting in your papers, a few of you moved on, some cribbed but stayed on!
Projects started and closed, caterers changed, QBMs held-we’ve seen them all…!!

People moved away, things changed, but you stayed on with me, buddy!
Forward to Dec’2005, ‘Whoooosh…’ once again, and this time it’s your turn :-(
But this time, I feel happy (but not without a heavy heart tingling me somewhere :-(), for you embark upon a voyage to success.
All the best, dude! Bon Voyage! Adios amigo..!

Penned by,
-Nirmal Raghavan

Saturday, January 08, 2005

A tribute to Steve Waugh, one of the all-time cricketing greats

A year has passed off since the great man left the world’s cricketing fields as a player. His exit created a void that no one would ever be able to fill.

The cricketing fraternity will remember him forever as a fighter who who never gave up, a tough act who thrived in adverse situations, a role-model who proved that sheer tenacity of will, hard work and
determination is enough to achieve in life, a leader who had no idea that the word ‘surrender’ existed, a player whose career proved to be the ideal synonym for the word ‘consistent’, a captain whose attacking attitude redefined cricketing ethics, a soldier who has left his indelible mark on many of the cricketing battlegrounds across the globe and for many more reasons..!

I still vividly remember that eventful day (Jan’06, 2004) at the Sydney Cricket Ground. A warrior dutifully carrying out the task he is acclaimed for, but for the last time in his career. That portrait of his extraordinary strength of courage and tenacity, painted with his battle-scarred willow, is still etched strongly in my memory.

Just for a moment, imagine yourself in his place- a pressure cauldron. Tens of thousands of your countrymen cheering you, you are on-duty for one last time in your career, your unbeaten captaincy record at home under threat, most of your established companions already back in the pavilion, playing your last innings in front of your home crowd, opposition breathing down your neck..! These reasons are more than enough to make your adrenaline work overtime and send your tear glands out of order. People to this date speculate that the great Sir Donald Bradman was full of tears that he was bowled off a Eric Hollies delivery for naught in his final innings and his average remained at 99.94.

But the great soldier that Tugga was, he never flinched. He took the opposition by the scruff of the neck, carried the attack to the enemy camp and yet again proved his mettle to the world. He entered the cricketing arena as a fighter and remained one all through his career. It is indeed true that great men rightly choose their way and destiny. I believe that he even wouldn’t have predicted such a swansong, when he announced his retirement in advance.

It is true that he lost the battle with time and ageing, in the one-day version of the game. Only very few people have won such battles, which mere mortals dare to fight. But he stepped down from the longer version of the game, which is the purist’s delight and the truer test for a cricketer, only as an Emperor and that too only when he decided it was time to. It has been really difficult for me writing this, trying to restrain my emotions. The Steve Waugh legacy lives on…!

See u soon..!