...now where did I leave the last time ? Yeah.. Marriages..Well, here are some more interesting titbits on the same front. One of my dear friends, an elite member of the 'theru pasanga' gang as we used to call it, is getting married this month. Subramanian Rajagopal who spent the major portion of his adoloscence and youth looking for the perfect woman has finally agreed to an arranged marriage.. For someone who always introduced himself to the fairer sex as "Hey, I am Subramanian - you can call me Subbu or Su-Bra", I am surprised that someone actually had the guts to say Yes to him :-) The poor gal's name is Lakshmi and from whatever i have heard about her, she seems to have her mind and her heart in the right place. She's managed to convince all that the wedding should neither be a big bash kinda thing where tonnes of money is blown nor a quiet registered affair where there aren't enough well-wishers to bless them. So they have settled for a wedding at the bride's house with a total attendance of strictly 40 - 20 people from both sides. After the wedding is over, they will be visiting a home for the aged where they will spend a good couple of hours with the elders. (Incidentally I also found out that they have offered to sponsor that whole day's expenses of the home) The best part of the whole thing is that I am on Subra's list of 6 personal invitees. I must confess that though I felt honored, I had no clue what I had done to deserve this. The bad news is that his wedding is on the same day as Pranav's so I will not be able to make it. However I have made arrangements for the wedding gift and since Subra does not know about this blog, I can happily reveal it here. Its a book on Indian names for babies - Subra has always felt his lack of success with women was because of his stupid, orthodox Brahminical name. Here's hoping that atleast the next generation of Tam Brahm children strike it rich in the dating-mating game ;-)
Talking of Subra reminds me so much of cricket and the matches we played in Housing Unit Colony. If ever there was a demon on the field worse than me, then it had to be Subra. Long before the Aussies mastered the art of mind games under Steve Waugh and used sledging as an effective weapon of mental annihilation, Subra had perfected it. And like any good sishya, I took it to the next level. The first time I was involved in big-time sledging was in my last year of playing cricket for Trichy. We were playing Pondicherry away from home at the scenic PEC grounds and it was a quarter final fixture for the PR Thevar trophy. The first day of the two day match had been totally washed out and we'd spent the entire day chilling out. Since I was born in Pondy, I had mingled with the opposition and made a few friends. However all that counted for nothing as we took the field on the second and final day. Pondicherry batted first and scored a mammoth 230 odd runs in 4.5 hrs thanks to some amazingly generous fielding by our side (we must have dropped atleast 12-15 catches though till today our official stance is that it was because of the slippery outfield) We were left with 1.5 hrs to negotiate and then hope to call it right on the spin of the coin. 30 minutes into our innings we were 17/5 and certainly staring at the barrel of defeat. When I walked in to join my captain Naveen, I was welcomed by a beautiful barrage of words that I later found couldn't be found in any dictionary in the world. 15 minutes went by and I was still dodgily defending, yet to open my account. The barbs started getting personal and I didn't ease things by retorting back - gave them a real earful which led to one of the umpires having a quick word with me to calm things down. Obviously we then changed to French and I learnt some of the best words in this alien language that afternoon. Thankfully Naveen was there to cool me down and we played out the rest of the match (I just made 5 runs) and eventually even won the match by calling the coin right. But those 1.5 hrs in the middle was a tremendous lesson in cricketing terms. For one, I learnt the following
1. Sledge but avoid getting personal. However, if things turn nasty, remind yourself of that old adage of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Remember this ain't a sissy sport like throwball, its a man's game :-)
2. Sledge only when you are confident that the oppositon is either mentally weaker and you can definitely get on their nerves OR when you are reasonable sure that they are not as talented/gifted as you are. (Nasser Hussain once said that the worst thing to do when facing Lara is to sledge early on - it only steeled him further and he ended up scoring atleast a double century)
There are so many other sledging stories, the most memorable one being how I used it 2 years back against that helmet-wearing 12 year old kid, all of 4' 11" from the Chandrakanth Pandit coaching camp near our SP campus and how he belted me for a straight six the very next ball (Now I'm not embarassed - maybe he will become the next Sachin and i can tell this story to all and sundry) So why all this now? Simply because though I haven't played competitive cricket for a long time, there are still times when everything seems to resemble the past. Yesterday (Saturday) at our Sarjapur ground was one such occasion. One of my bosses, a Group Head who is very good at sports was the captain of the opposition team and was generally being very aggressive. Beyond a certain point, I couldn't take it anymore and gave him a piece of my mind - how he should be 'playing veteran's cricket' or rather 'stick to business'. It was fun, neither of us willing to give the other an inch and at the end of it, he gave his 'usual speech' commending me on my spirit and exhorting everyone to follow my lead and play to win :-p I should get him to play TT with me some day.