Friday, October 29, 2010

The Ashes prelude!

From one of the most eminent rivalries in cricket, to one of the most exciting contests, ‘The Ashes’ has it all. The Ashes is not too far away now, being less than a month away. Coming from an ardent Australian cricket fan, I’d love to throw light on the significance of the series.

The Ashes is one of the oldest and most zealous series in cricketing history. Its origin dates back to 1882, after a match played between the two countries in which Australia beat England at the Oval for the first time, and a newspaper contained the satirical obituary that stated, English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and’ The Ashes’ taken to Australia.

On 2 September a more celebrated mock obituary, written by Reginald Brooks under the pseudonym "Bloobs", appeared in The Sporting Times, It read:

In Affectionate Remembrance



which died at the Oval


29th AUGUST 1882,

Deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing

friends and acquaintances


N.B.—The body will be cremated and the

Ashes taken to Australia.

When this is what The Ashes meant way back then, with advancing times, the rivalry and fervor with which it is played has also advanced to a new level. The emotions that stir while watching the players walk onto the field is an emotional as ever. Watching the Men sporting the ‘Baggy Green’, walk onto ‘The Gabba ‘fills you with pride and devotion like never before. Sure that the Pommies will have their Barmy Army backing them, but this year, it’s being played on our soil, our territory, our kingdom and there will be the war of the hemispheres. We’re right up there when it comes to playing with ardor, making a match out of nothing, bouncing back in marshy times and trying, fighting till the last second of the game, giving it our all.

We dream big, elevate our goals, and set the highest benchmarks, all in the pursuit of excellence. We’ve encountered ultimate success, experienced atrocious failures, and ridden on the wave of highs and lows in recent times. But, that has only given us character. Character to believe in ourselves; to celebrate our victory, not someone’s failure, character to still aim high, character to fight, fight till the last limit of our potential, character never to compromise on the standards we have set for ourselves even if that means, offending the world, the character to take failure with as much grace as we take success and last, character to never give up.

It does not matter, what statistics say, what rankings say, what the world says, as long as we’ve got our eyes set where they need to be. Ricky Ponting, has indeed inspired people beyond the mind's eye. If a man has the gift of inspiring common man, possessing merely an indomitable spirit that only inspires you to dream big, believe in yourself and conquer all your fears, then, he indeed is the right man to be leading the Australians into the series without a doubt. If you as a leader have pushed your troops to always play for a result, the result may or may never be in your favor, but what matters is the attitude, to win or to fall trying to win and to get back up and maintain the same.

The Baggy Green is a priceless possession for any Australian cricketer, and watching the lads walk out is a feeling beyond words. It is overwhelming to watch your boys take stance to bowl the first ball or face the first ball being bowled. This year’s Ashes, cricket of the highest quality will be witnessed and the youngies will be tested. It is up to the future stars of the Australian cricket team to stand up and prove themselves against what is a much more experienced English side. Expect no mercy from either side. The only thing that will make my team stand out will be the zeal to beat the Poms at home. This year too, the Ashes will be brought back to where it belongs!

John Arlott, an English journalist wrote, "Australianism, means single-minded determination to win - to win within the laws but, if necessary, to the last limit within them. It means where the 'impossible' is within the realm of what the human body can do, there are Australians who believe that they can do it - and who have succeeded often enough to make us wonder if anything is impossible to them. It means they have never lost a match - particularly a Test match - until the last run is scored or their last wicket down."


Monday, October 25, 2010

Nothing Else Matters.

So, how many out there can actually say they know themselves in and out? How many can say they know what they want out of their life? How many have been living for themselves, what they like and what they feel? How many have lived a life and done things not just to please somebody else? How many can say they have always been instinctive enough to follow their sixth sense and their heart, in a crisis or even otherwise? I’m pretty sure, not even 40%. So why exactly haven’t we been taught to live life according to our likes and dislikes? Why have we been restricted to follow stereotype ways of life? Why have we been unable to follow our dreams, intrepid of the consequences? Why? There is not a solitary answer to this matter, but it is a question that can be answered ONLY by one self!

It always is the norm of the world that you are perpetually apprehensive ahead of doing what you want to do, because of fear of failure or trepidation of what people would say. We might even go to the extent of leading a mundane life without a purpose, but that’s acceptable to us, because that’s what every Tom, Dick and Harry is doing and it’s just plain convenient. When we have the sense to fight for petty things in life, why can’t we ever break the shackles of judgments? Why are we stuck onto things we have been conditioned with when we have conveniently liberated from what doesn’t suit us? Why do we care about that society, who does zilch when in need? Why do we care about what people say, when they’ve never uttered one word of appreciation? Who are they to criticize when they haven’t ever encouraged? Why do we still care? It is a choice that has been left to us to make, at the end of each day.

Nothing happens until that first dream. The dream is felt, once you’ve woken up. It is the blueprint of your destination. It is always the stepping stone. You dream a dream with closed eyes but you’ve already visualized it to see it transpire. All you need is conviction in the dream and faith in yourself. Unless you believe in what you yearn for with heaps of passion, you can’t move a leaf. Passion is the catalyst to achieve everything you have envisaged for yourself. There is fine line between passion and obsession and none of the two is unconstructive, if, for the right reason. The obsession about a dream filled with passion is the trajectory to your terminal.

We learn from mistakes. A mistake is not a mistake if it is done deliberately. So mistakes in life are pretty much inadvertent, but inescapable too. Every event in your life, every move you’ve made, and every person you’ve loved is a choice you’ve made. Some might have been right, some wrong, but there is something that has been learnt from all these events and has evolved you into a different person. You discover yourself in the process. Mistakes are made; people have learnt from them and advanced ahead. Nobody’s life is a bed of roses and nobody’s, full of thorns. Everybody has scraps of both but, it is up to you how you emerge out of it or choose to stay in it. There again, it’s a choice you’ve got to make. Character comes from within and you can be the honest judge of your own, not others. It shouldn’t matter what people think of you, or even say about you, as long as you believe in yourself and your strokes with the brush.

Failure isn’t always a failure. A letdown is also a nuance of learning. You aren’t a failure because of what you want, that didn’t work out, and you only fail for good, if you’re not willing to try again. You try, you fail, you try again and you thrive. If that second shot wasn’t given, who knows how life’s trail would’ve been altered. It is your reflection process, your ability to cope with rejection, your ability to remain serene during triumph and your outlook towards the world that pare your life into the beautiful sculpture, just as you see in your mind's eye. The paradigm of paradox lies in your actions, when you crave but do nothing about it.

Now is the time, time to believe, dream and inspire. You inspire, first yourself and then the world. Your passion evolves from that one idea, idea from your dream, your dream from your vision; your vision evolves from your eye! So the inception of your life begins with how you choose to ‘see’ the world around you. Break free from the shackles of inhibitions and take your stride to revolutionize your existence, that otherwise will just remain a reverie which could’ve been reality!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

All the crazy shit we did those nights... they'll be there as memories!

We judge people often, even before wanting to get to know them. Just as everything is never as it seems, nobody is really as they come across at first sight. Perhaps, the eye of the beholder is the one at fault, in this case, mine. Seldom do people or even I for that matter, stop to think for a second that there may be lot of emotions behind that facade that people bear; emotions of varying nuances. That first opinion about someone stops us from making the effort, to even engage in a simple conversation or even exchange a mere greeting. This is probably why I missed out on getting to know a few people better, in the past one month.

The first day I walked in to that seminar hall, I looked around for someone approachable, but I found none. I never thought I'd feel out of place in a crowd of complete strangers since making conversation isn't too hard for me, but that day, it indeed was. I picked up my phone just to talk to mum who had just dropped me off hoping I'd feel a little better. It did help for a bit, but I still felt gazes being shot at my direction, as if I was in the wrong place. That was probably the first time I thought, maybe I don't merge in that easily.. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it just unsettles me for a bit. I looked around to see a bunch of people and without realizing, in the next couple of hours I had opinions about quite a few of them, which when I look back are completely opposing of what I had inferred then.

Some people completely change the course of your life, moving you with sometimes, the smallest things they say or certain incidents that take you back to the start of the thinking chain. I can say most definitely that some things have compelled me to look into things that probably come across as pretty big-headed, which wasn't meant to be that way. Rectifications can only be made when acceptance of the issue creeps in, but that's not the point right now.. I have found some amazing people in those who I didn't even try making conversation with, initially. People don't have to appeal to you the second you see them, but I don't think judgments should be made instantly without even knowing them well enough to have opinionated views.

This was probably the first time ever, that it took me barely a month to have gotten so attached to certain people that it is hard to still believe that they're all gone; gone to different places in the country to work, gone to begin a new life for themselves, gone to outshine everybody else. It isn't easy to melt the pride of the 'lioness', but it has melted me, in the adoration of the ones, that made a difference in their own little way. I probably can never look back and regret any bit of the time spent with them nor can I let go off all the wonderful times we've had, though they were pretty short-lived but, I sure can regret not getting to know them a little before I actually did. I can't thank you guys enough for all that you guys have done. I probably have had lovely times like these after years now. I still remember the train leaving...
But, believe me on this, all of you have moved me in a way uncomprehending to the bland eye.
Thank you for all the wonderful times and memories.
I love you all!

"Memories are a medium of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose"