Thus ends Australian Open


I am a huge fan of tennis. I simply love watching it!

2011 season has already started and one of the Grand Slams has already ended- The Australian Open. It is the one with high temperatures and blue court and squeaky noises coming from the shoes. It is also very very unpredictable. Upsets happen here more than anywhere else. This year, it was even more true – for Men as well as Women. Rafa and Roger were sent off in Quarter Finals and Semi Finals respectively. The final contest was held between World Number 3 and 4 ( not technically, but in every other way). The better player prevailed – Novak Djokovic over Andy Murray.

I feel for Murray. I truly do. I can see how much pressure he has on his shoulders but I can also see the inspiration which Novak derives. He has grown phenomenally in the past three years and most of it during the past year. He has polished his game and he has polished his wisdom. Now, he is an inspired and wise player at the same time. Since US Open 2010, he has been in incredible form and it is fitting that he starts 2011 with a victory in hand. I am a great great RAFA fan. Almost a fanatic but if there is anyone else I will support other than him – Its Novak. That guy is just so emotionally charged that it makes him much more human than all the other top players. I can appreciate them all but with Djokovic – I can relate. I feel glad for him.

With the end of Australian Open 2011, I find myself peering through a great hole in my entertainment and inspiration feeds. What am I going to watch now and discuss? What will now divert my attention from the increasingly mundane ways of my life otherwise? What will make my adrenaline rush and push me towards excitement? What is it going to be ?

The next Grand Slam is only in April and it will start a new season.

Damn! I now need to find new escapades.!

So Long! I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you very much!

India – My Thoughts


Today I want to write about India. I don’t know what I want to write or how I want to write and why I want to write on such a topic. But all of a sudden, an urge has come upon me to register my thoughts about my country which is India.

I have never been to any other country except a day log visit to Nepal ( which let’s face it, not so much different from some our own hill states). My chance to go to USA vanished with a quick B1 visa rejection. So, ideally, I should not be doing a comparative study at all. What I shall do, is to try and explain different phenomena that I have seen happening around me.

India is a bustling country. There are lots and lots of people. Too many. Much much more than it can afford. Curiously, we are kind of proud of that kind of productivity. The land is a little less to house so many people comfortably. As a result, mostly in India people live uncomfortably. The amount of land available per person would be one among the lowest I think. Why am I writing this point as the first about a country which boasts of so much history and future?? Because that is the first thing I witness everywhere I go. So many people, so few resources. Everywhere!!!

Second thing I notice is the vitality. Everyone is busy. There is hustle and bustle. People chatter, chitter, loiter and litter too. They invest their time, energy and money in future. Almost every Indian is concerned about the future much more than the present. And what a contrast it is – so much concern about the future while completely disregarding the present- will there be a future at such a rate? I am astonished to see the amount of litter which is generated and I am worried thinking how and where all of it is disposed.

Third thing I notice is the insane amount of copying which Indians do. Be it films, be it lifestyle, be it literature, be it culture, be it anything. We try to copy anyone with a fair skin and golden hair. We are still in a weird sort of way servile to the concept of  ‘whiteness’. We lust for their lives. Everyone wants to go and settle abroad (which might be in a very big way because of the population pressure condemning so many people to live in such a small place). Everyone wants to eat and wear what Americans eat and wear. We love movies which Americans make. We love dishes which Americans bake. Heck!! We even called the American President as “THE PRESIDENT’, giving him complete authority over ourselves and submitting like a sweet, docile “Ramu Kaka” of the old Hindi films. In that sense, what I see is not much of self respect. But, it is very important to note that this lack of self respect is only in front of the fair skinned. Amongst ourselves, we have huge egos. We fight with each other like mad dogs on any darn thing. Again, too many claims, too little to give.

I have also needed that we Indians, need sanctioning for our every action. We need, nah, we crave, for a pat on the back. In childhood, it is expected from the parents, thereafter, it is expected from the whole society. We are a little weak to go out and do something really out of ordinary. Though, very happily, that trend has tarted to change now.

…..To Be Continued (I have been interrupted by You Tube :|)

 

 

Is Restlessness good?


I am becoming restless again in my current situation. More than a year just does not work for me. It has been one year and seven months now. Almost 2 years. It has killed my enthusiasm. The only good thing that has come out of it is money. But money does not entice me so!

I am feeling a huge loss of interest here. There is no motivation. There is no joy. The only thing I can think of all the time is what to do next. My creativity is dying. My efficiency is going away and I am floundering. Others are blaming me for not being smart enough. I am not being smart enough. I am beginning to rot and stink.

I need to change. I need to do something. Anything which will now hold me for a greater period of time. I need to develop consistency.

I know what my plan of action is but it comes with a clause. It comes with a back up plan. I need to get into a college. It is urgent. The only decision I cannot make is that how should I go about it? Whether I should tolerate the job and carry on or leave it and then prepare. I cannot bring myself to leave the job given that it is paying my bills and providing me some respite from the tension of living in penury and also giving me some sense of self worth when comparing myself with my colleagues.

I am in great quandary here. I am again starting to become dejected. Need to involve more people, express my fears and get done with them. Need to just be lively, do what I have to do and make the preparations for exit on the side.

The Lives of Others & Invictus


I watched two excellent movies in past two days and am filled with an appreciation for the art of movie making all over again.

Incidentally, both are historic, or, period films. Both inspirational.  Both filled me with such a desire to check out the history that it is becoming a kind of information overload.

First one was Florian Henckel vonDonnersmarck’s “The Lives of Others”. It is a German film aiming to portray the lives and situations of artists living under the East Germany’s (GDR) Communist Regime. The movie drives home the point that an artist would rather not create art than create an art which is demanded/coerced of him and on which he has no control. The essence of art is ‘freedom’. As the director put it, art means ‘individualism’ which is the perfect antidote to any kind of collectivism.

vonDonnersmarck seems to me a man of great integrity and has depth in his thoughts. I read his interview here:

http://www.moviefreak.com/artman/publish/interviews_florianhenckelvondonnersmarck.shtml

He comes out as a resolved guy who knows what he is doing. No wonder the movie he made is such a fantastic show. One quote of his which I especially loved is :

“They hate unpredictability. They hate anything which is in any way different. Since real art encourages you to be different, encourages you to recognize that you are different and special, and that’s in a way the essence of art. I mean, art is the perfect antidote to any sort of collectivism, so it is just the natural enemy [to totalitarianism]” – Florian Henckel vonDonnersmarck

The second movie was Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus” based on the book “Playing the Enemy” by John Carlin. It is a true story based on the life of Nelson Mandela and how a Rugby match provides a moment for reconciliation for the Blacks and Whites in then newly formed South Africa. Invictus is made as an inspirational movie and it turns out to be 100% so. The title of the film is the title of a short poem by William Ernest Henley. This poem was what kept Mandela going when things got tough( what an understatement!) for him in the 27 years he spent in a jail on Robben Island.

Francois Piennar is the captain of South African team and drives inspiration from the fact that a man can stay for much of his youth ( ~30 years) in a very tiny cell and still come out ready to forgive the people who put him there. What can one truly feel but awe for such a person.

Wonderful experience watching both the movies.

I am a fan again!