July 29, 2009

Have you ever seen the rain?

Have you ever seen the rain?

Have you ever seen the rain like I have? The way the clouds turn a deep shade of Grey before completely turning black, like the thick smoke coming from the mouth of a chain smoker. The way the clouds loom over your head. And the gentle breeze that it brings with it that blows away all the sorrow?

Have you ever seen the innocent school kids running hastily towards a shelter, clinging on to the hands of their parents with their tiny fingers? The people on the side of the road on their stalls, hurriedly taking the plastic sheets to cover the fruits and flowers that they have been trying to sell all day?

Have you ever seen the retired military officer walking his dog in the evening? The look in his eyes when he sees the younger lot sitting on parapet walls by the side of the road and sharing a cigarette. Have you ever seen the way the kids quickly throw the cigarette away and shamefully look down so as to not see the old man?

Have you ever seen the rickety old rickshaw filled with tiny-tots singing nursery rhymes that they learnt at school or the singing beggar who has a sparkle in his eyes and magic in his voice? Have you ever seen the chai-wallah and the old crumpled newspaper lying on the brown bench or heard his philosophy?

Have you ever seen the tiny rain droplets falling on the sand and making patterns? Have you ever smelt the intoxicating joy that tends to flood the air and along with it your nostrils when the first drops touch the soil? Have you seen the birds sitting on thin branches shaking their feathers enjoying the sudden downpour?

Have you ever seen the puddles on the road or the people jumping over them? Have you seen the speeding cars splashing water on passersby? Have you seen the pushcarts serving snacks, with sweet tea and horrible coffee?

Have you ever seen the stray dogs sprawled on the water or felt the wetness in your shoes? Have you ever smelt the wetness in the air and your clothes? Have you seen the soaked match boxes that fail to light or the sodium vapor lamps that seem to switch on?

Have you ever seen the tip of your fingers that seem to have taken a new shape from all the soaking? Have you ever felt the chill that runs down your spine? Have you ever felt the drizzle prick you like a thousand needles while riding a bike or felt the cold wind that caresses your face?

Have you ever held someone close in the rain, under a tree or looked deep into their eyes? Have you ever kissed the one that you love under the stars, in the moonlight listening to the music of the rain falling on tin roofs?

Have you ever seen the rain?

Have you ever seen the rain like I have?

July 24, 2009

The Formula to Success- Part 1

I remember a time when my social life revolved around the F1 Calendar. Weekends were blocked for Qualifying sessions and Race day.

I very clearly remember how we used to reach a watering hole early. ‘Happy hours’ were not just the two hours of the race, but started much before the cars lined up for the
Warm-up lap. Hardcore cricket followers, boring corporate executives, journalists, advertising crowd, real estate agents, models, businessmen, college kids and the young and old alike, would all be there religiously at the same watering hole. Some even superstitious enough to sit in the same chair and table as the previous race. I wouldn't blame them really. It was just way too entertaining that way.

In a country where cricket is religion and Sachin Tendulkar is God (yes, I know am using a cliché here) F1 was quite a welcome break. It was a rebel sport. I couldn’t stand the Indi 500 races and the Moto GP races that used to come on television. There could have been nothing more boring that watch a bunch of cars and bikes going round and round in circles for three hours. Something was missing.

Then it happened, F1 came into the picture. The slick promos with fast cars taking turns at over 200 mph. The adrenaline rush that one got while listening to the commentary of Steve Slater and Chris Goodwin during every race. F1 was a sport that became very much a part of almost everybody’s life. Including my mother!

From a time when one knew about Ferrari by watching Sharukh Khan and Kajol standing next to a Ferrari convertible with the Swiss Alps in the background in a song from DDLJ to now seeing school kids sitting in coffee shops smoking sheesha, coughing and talking about the race that they just didn't see completely because MTV had the re-run of Teen Diva & Roadies, F1 has come a long way.

Friends and colleagues became opponents during weekends, each supporting a team or a driver. Michael Schumacher was the new God (not surprising really with Gods popping out by the dozen each day even otherwise). Ferrari fans/ supporters would wear red,
Mc Laren supporters would crack subtle (Not) digs when Hamilton overtook Kimi. Nicknames of individual drivers became present in everyday conversations. Life had entered into the race tracks and there is no way it would stay away now!

The screaming, the howling, the shouting and the emotions that I witnessed during each race are something that I can’t quite express in words. No matter how hard I try. It has to be experienced. Being amidst hardcore F1 lovers, watching them squeal when their favorite racer makes a mistake and crashes out or when another racer takes a dangerous turn or clips the wheels during an overtaking maneuver, the one-hundredth-of-a-second delay in the pit lane when someone comes to refuel the car followed by a quick tyre change, it was all way too intense. Every second was important. Not just for the people at the pit, or the drivers, or the race engineers, but also for the ones who watch the race. Visits to the loo were few and selective. Only during the commercial breaks, when the dreaded music was heard (a true F1 supporter knows that music that gives him his cue to run to the loo and get back).

March to November. That was the time. The F1 calendar would be at its very best. 17 races, driver’s championship, constructor’s championship, points, tables, who tops the chart, which team is out of the race, which driver has created history. The statistics were keenly followed by everyone. Wake up someone in the middle of their sleep and ask them a question and they would be able to answer. That’s the magic of the sport.

Has the magic reduced? Are people losing interest in the sport? Is the FIA coming out with rules and regulations that are ruining the sport? Or are they making it interesting? Are people worried about front runners not making a mark? Is there going to be a new trend in this sport? What is the Formula to the sports Success?

July 17, 2009


The ones who care don't know anymore and the ones who know don't care.

July 02, 2009

The Long Road

I sat alone in the coffee shop, like I've done a million times before.
I wanted to write. Poetry, Fiction, A funny story maybe, or a trying to be funny article. Just something. My thoughts were all over the place.

Writing, scrapping it off. Dreaming and Wondering.

Words failed me. I reached a blank. It continued for a long time. Really long time. This is it. I can't write anymore. Not at least now.

Saturation Point?
Out of stuff to write about?
Lack of inspiration?
Way too content with life?
Laziness personified?
End of the road?

Questions. Questions. Questions.

Then I heard a song....

"The answer my friend, is blowin' in the wind. The answer is blowin' in the wind".

Thank you Mr.Dylan.

Would you like another coffee?