Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sushil kumar in free style Wresting. Thats wonderful news. And, I get even more excited and fall all over in love with India and Vijender Kumar whose existence I did not know of until his claim to the Bronze, (maybe silver God willing or Gold) in Boxing at Beijing Olympics (he has yet to win it but since he is in the the semi finals, its understood). I have a soft corner for boxers because my father was an amatuer boxer and my paternal uncle was a school champion and one time district boxing champion. He is no more with us, God bless his beautiful soul.
I am ecstatic, jumping over the moon such "macho" feats, Air rifle (gold), wrestling (bronze), Boxing (silver/bronze). I am jumping with joy (with a secondary motive of losing some pounds) before I breathin the "desi khushboo". SH goes on to inform me that we have yet another chance to win a medal with wrestler Yoginder still in action. I am now exuberant and on the ninth cloud by now.
I go into a rhetoric when SH declares that the sports that do not have much publicity hence nominal sponsorship (monetary support) are the ones that are now making the “more than a billion” Indians very proud. I trump on the oratory mode, “I don’t think the winners go into the arena thinking about money; it is always the love for the game. It is always the love and the dedication and a heavenly force that make them work hard and claim their place in history in spite of all the hurdles. Yes, some support (moral and monetary) is always welcome. But when you are in love, every adversity is just another encouraging push.
Once SH leaves for office instead of doing what I need to do I wind up online doing what I want to do- checking the medal count list on the official Olympics Games site. I read the news that Joginder lost the semi finals which would have secured him a bronze.
India right now has 1 gold, 1 bronze (wrestling in free style) Sushil Kumar. I have no words to express my elated state. I just wish I was in Beijing to witness this moment myself. I want to scream, hoot, cry and laugh loud till I go hoarse but alone in my house, I will content myself with this rampant blog post.
Right now, I am busy finishing my draft number two for the publication (but I had this OCS to run this post) and then have to pack, unpack and repack all necessities and infinite sets of gifts on both sides of the family, for the long Indian monsoon holiday rush and festival season. After a short hiatus at Singapore, I will see you in my Des.
Excited that I will watch the rest of the Olympics with the Indian perspective on Indian news networks and not just watch the American athletes on NBC.
The Indian media will give me wholesome news since they are not restricted to only Indian athletics. Somehow, I feel Indians rejoice for anyone who is good at their action/games, and overly skeptic of their own brood. Come to think, it’s a lot like how I picture my parents, super-critical of every action of mine while the next door neighbor’s kid was always better. Hmmm..
So congratulations Vijender and Sushil. Congratulations to Yoginder too (though he lost the semi finals) for bringing focus on their choice of sports and to India. For the love of the games and for our country and with the hope that our country recognizes it’s potential. Cheers to every athlete and their families who love the action and don’t see it as a stepping stone to a job securing exploit. You totally elate me. And Sushil's expression says it all.
I am glowing because India is shining all Gold, Bronze and with positive energy.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
You always had a very sweet singing voice while I did not sing at all. But when you joined school, people heard you sing and they expected me to be a good singer. Finally when I realized I am not so bad a singer, I was really proud for both of us. Remember, how we dreamt to become a singing sibling duo like Shaan-Sagarika?
I remember at school my identity was as your elder sister, while yours was as my younger brother. That is how inseparable we are. I have always looked up to you even. And even though I am the elder you have been the moral and iron support for me. My friend, therapist, advisor, sometimes a strict one. I remember all your friends and our relatives who came to you for advice or just wanted to unburden their troubles on your young but reliable shoulders. And you would come to your room with a migraine because you never learnt to complain and took every tough blow quietly. And you never asked anyone for support in your times of trouble. I have always recognized that strong character in you and I respect you for that and so much more.
I never liked to be an elder sibling, the one with all the responsibilities to be the model child. Now I realize, that it was because I knew how hard it is to be better than you. You are the best.
It’s been many years since I personally tied rakhi on your wrist and that’s alright because I am always next to you when you need me just as you are always with me. Its been four years since I stopped sending you thread rakhis because you refuse to wear it for the whole day. And so I specially designed and ordered an Om bracelet for you which symbolically represents my being with you at all times and my love for you. It was wonderful talking to you and I am so glad you are wearing the bracelet.
Happy Raksha Bandhan, Bhai.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This post started the night I watched the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing but somehow got delayed and now we have the first individual Gold, the first ever for India. And suddenly the whole of India and every Indian is excited about Olympics and Sports (other than cricket and football. Yeah, hockey is long forgotten. We did not even qualify in Beijing.).
When I got the news that India won a gold I was elated, not because an Indian had won "it" The Gold atlas but a wholesome reliefe that the long due job is finally done.
More than a Billion people and not one who is worth the iron (I mean the Gold). Of coz there is. Abhinav Bindra initiated it and I am hoping more will follow. What I am worried about is the commercial and political advantages that people start thinking of. I am happy for India, Bindra and the sports fraternity to find another baby to fiddle with but I have my own apprehensions as well. Reminds me of the year when Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai brought the titles of world beauty and India was the focus of the beauty world. The whole mollycoddling that followed and all the pageants on television were obscenely troubling to me.
Thankfully, Olympics is not to be taken so lightly. It required lifetime of dedication and devotion to ones talent and art, so I am hopeful and pray the very best for the Indian sportsmenship. Bindra who, according to the newspapers, belongs to a well off family did not have to depend on the government facilities to forward his practice. But now I hope and pray the government will care for the upcoming sports prodigies of Mighty India.
Now, about the spectacular opening ceremony; it was SPECTACULAR, awe inspiring and quite intimidating. And these are not just my words but the words used by the NBC commentators. Everyone was simply stupefied by the Chinese spectacle and surely that is what their intentions were. It was an expensive display of power and superiority but whatever it was intended for the foremost intention was to be loved and appreciated and so it was. I loved it; I just can’t stop gushing at what a magnificent assortment of extravaganza it was. For some reason the only American network with the sole rights to the Olympics Games planned not to show the Live Opening ceremony. So everyone in US could only watch it 12 hrs after it took place, along with the deluge of advertisements. Still loved every bit of it.
While I write about Bindra, I want to mention Raj Bhavsar, the 27 year old Indian American Gymnast who finally made the US gymnast team this time. The US gymnast team won a bronze and I was able to catch the late night Olympics recordings and the interview of the gymnasts. I feel happy for Raj. Bhavsar makes the Indian American community proud.
Note: You and Me is the Olympics 2008 Theme song.
Friday, August 8, 2008
She had told me that her 2 yr old had his last summer class the following week. I wondered what she planned to do but then stopped thinking about it since she never asked me for any help. But, this time luck seemed on my side. I am the only known friend of hers who drives and owns a car. So Moon asked if I could take her to the community center for Aarush’s last summer class. Thats how, my wonderful day began to take shape. I got up early, robust and in high spirits, although I had no idea what to expect from the day’s experience (but I was sure I was going to build some happy memories and I did).
The community center is near the DMV so I knew the area pretty well. It’s on a green patch with a big play ground for young adults and adolescents and a separate play ground for toddlers. They also have a green patch with barbecue oits for families to share picnics. That gave me a nice impression of the whole community center. We reached as the rest of the toddlers arrived and started with the class. The tutor had made colorful festoons with a floral pendant with the name of each kid in the class.
On the last day of the class the toddlers were suppose to make pizzas, story reading time, painting session, craft time, snack time and then sing a song time: All in an hour’s time. If that is not fast and fun what is?
I became a kid along with Aarush. He did not even understand what he was required to do, but I did and was sure excited. I was eagar to help Aarush decorate his Pizza. which was followed by story reading time about five Monkeys getting ready for bed and being naughty, reminding me of my (in) famous childhood, if my relatives should be believed. There was painting time which Aarush enjoyed while I did his photograph session. Then there was craft time which I enjoyed just as much as the kiddo himself. It was such fun crafting with stars, glitter, and play doh. I made myself quite proud and took some pictures of my creative works. Aarush showed his expertise with the scissors cutting every bit of my creative arts and being looked upon with envy by the other kids who could not even hold the scissors properly.
There was a musical- song and dance by the class. One about fishes- thats how the kids become familiar with fish types like Tuna, Sharks, salmon and dolphins. I was almost an adolescent before I knew tuna and salmon, while seeing one was few more years away.
Then there was a song about Pizza which was followed by food recess when the kids were given the baked pizza and apple juice. It was such a happy and carefree time, that left me feeling exhilarated and content. After taking some pictures we happily trotted back to Moon's house to feed the pair of hungry adults and after the kiddo went to sleep continue with what we do best, one of my best ever gossip session that I had in a long long time.
Here are some of the pictures from the day's activity.
The tiny Pizzas made by the kids- with cheese, olives and pine apple toppings.
My creation with the Play Doh and stamps-
This was made together by Moon and me. The face by me and the body by Moon. And named by Aarush. Of coz no points for guessinf the name now.
Story Time and the class from far corner.
God, please lets replay this day again. Atleast some version of it.
The Wonderful Day when I become a kid again!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
My grandmother had studied in an English medium hostel run by a group of nuns in Calcutta for a year because her father thought that his adolescent motherless daughter needed some good female role models in her life. But after a couple of semesters of staying away from home she was taken back home because my Great grandfather found life difficult without his youngest child and only daughter. But those few days living in the residential school were enough for her to understand that personal journals are ones best friend and will always be patient with you.
She inspired me.
Like my grand mother, I went to a hostel since I was seven years of age but unlike her, my tears did not affect my parents sensitivity and I lived through ten years of precious moments that were lovingly named “Golden Years” by my class (The teachers called our class the most intelligent batch and the terrible nightmare that came true in the same breath, but those stories some other time). But as disorganized as I was (am) I always jotted my innermost sprites on the first scraps of loose paper sheets on sight, mostly my father’s official register sheets and lose them just as easily. That’s how my parents got to know how much of a shock and jarring case I was. Of coz I was mortified and promised not to write from the next time.
But, my love for books and adolescence brought me to new authors and role models. I read “Daddy Long Legs” by Jean Webster and soon after I read “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Anne Frank. This really hit at a spot; we were approximately the same age. And this was the first serious introduction to the holocaust, the way it affected countless children’s (actually the world) lives and death. Our whole class read the book around the same time and it affected each of us equally and inspired many of us to start our journals(some wrote stories and novels). But, I had one trouble. I could only write when I felt something intensely. At that young age the only thing one truly feels is rage(me thinks!). And so that is what it was and still is (now I have intense feeling of love as well :-)).
So last year when I started reading blogs of strangers and more than once felt a familiarity with some of them I felt connected to a level; a part of that imaginary community and felt the camaraderie that I lack in my present state. But commenting on posts just did not seem enough. I have so much more to share. And, thus here I was again, this time not afraid to share what I truly believe in, feel inside- in my heart and in my mind. I am confident this time that my writings will not be destroyed anymore- good or bad- read or unread. Reflected upon by fellow companions or not. I am here this time.
The only thing I still have trouble understanding is the widget craze. I fail to understand why people put certain widgets to count how many people are reading their blog, which country they are logging in from and so on. Why do you care? When those people are not making the effort to acknowledge your feelings by leaving you a thought, what makes you want to acknowledge them and build your hopes on them? These thoughts came to my mind because after a long time I finally received a couple of comments. Thank you Goofy Mumma. It made me very happy.
For some time I did not tell many people about my blog. But, gradually I told a few friends about it- trying to test their reactions. Most of them emailed me back in spite of my constantly urging them to leave a comment they felt more comfortable emailing and now after these many months even the emails have become less frequent. I don’t blame them. They are still just as precious. Some never referred to my journal and some just never contacted me after I told them about it (ohh.. they are alive, I assure you!).
Thus, my serious disinterest to count who has read my blog reflections. I have my moderation option which for now seems safe enough to keep me away from hooliganism. But, still the comments make me happy.
So, if you are reading me and feel anything that has anything common with me and my feelings, why not share it with me? I want to know, I have friendly company :-))
Monday, August 4, 2008
The Ghirardelli Square from the back, on the way to Fisherman's Wharf. This was the old chocolate factory now an elegant shopping center. The Gaylord's Indian Resturant is here (note the red light).
A prisoner escaping from Alcatraz is depicted here. It is automated.
Wax and Brangelina
The Golden Gate Bridge through the haze and the ferry.
The Pelicans against Alcatraz Prison. Each time I look at it, it reminds me of "The Great Escape" and school days.
In the end we stood and gazed at the hazy Alcatraz, the Golden Gate at the distance and the hilltop downtown against the setting sun. It was a beautiful sight to take in. We asked a tourist to click "A couple" picture for us, spent some cozy minutes gazing at the beautiful bay, watching the hazy gold sunset, the lazy seals and the busy pelicans- delightfully content we trotted back home.
This is Fisherman’s Wharf, one of the beautiful reasons that made Tony Bennett croon “I left my heart in San Francisco” and for which he won two Grammy Awards.
NOTES: Title: Taken by a song written and sung by Peggy Lee (1962).. All the photos have been shot by the author.