Thoughts After The Tie

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When I read about the rains in Bangalore, I was worried that we would have a split of points. Well it didnt rain and we still had points being divided. Only I wished it HAD rained so that I would not have lost a few valuable hours of my life tearing my hair out in frustration.

Don’t get me wrong. As a cricket-lover, what could be greater than witnessing a tightly fought tie? The ultimate winner is the game and all that crap. But this is the World Cup. And I am a jingoistic Indian fan. So seeing Pakistan making short work of tournament favorites Sri Lanka without breaking a sweat and then witnessing India huffing and puffing like a fat man in a sauna to hold England to a tie after scoring 338 runs was nothing short of traumatically depressing.

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Kya Sarah Sarah

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Sarah Palin:  I am so glad to be in India meeting all of you newspaper-dudes. Thanks first of all to the India Today group for ponying up USD 100K for my speaker fees and for footing the bill for the 7 star treatment. It is truly a great testament to the intellectual riches available in your country that you had to invite good ole soccer mum me.

I am truly honored to be at a place where luminaries like General Musharaff have spoken before.

(Turning to her aide: “Was he the guy who tried to hit on me?” Whispering aide: No madam, that was another Pakistani– Zardari. Palin: Wait, who is that? Aide [giving up in exasperation]: Yes sorry, forget what I said—it was the same guy.)

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The World Cup This Week

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The World Cup’s first week has been, as expected, spectacular. The ICC unveiled its bold new vision to rid the game of its thorniest problem. No not match fixing you fool. I am talking about ordinary ticket-buying spectators. It has been long known in the corridors of power that people who buy tickets are the enemies of the game, taking away precious space from corporate boxes, hospitality booths and enclosures for VIPs, encroaching onto ad banner space and the other things that make cricket the game it is. Which is why this time the ICC decided to sell a few thousand tickets for the marquee game to the ordinary folk, leading to scenes straight out of Egypt and Libya as the cops made the “Palti Hit” and the “Upar Cut” the official strokes of the World Cup. Bravo. And I am not talking about Dwayne Bravo who twisted his ankle, which I am sure will fix itself right before the IPL.

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De Ghumake

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On India TV, Baby Durga says “Sachin mera param bhakt” as a lady in a skimpy apsara choli sits besides her, smiling benignly.

A huge poster of Praveen Kumar, in the throes of passion, towers over the highway, with one look at the picture enough to convince one that the man got injured while doing that expression.

A news channel shows an half-hour slot on different dancing styles of Team India—including action footage of Sreesanth, Yuvraj and Bhajji.

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The Joy of Flying Home To Kolkata

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Flying to Kolkata from the US is an awesome adventure. First of all, there are very few flights to the city (For some reasons, international carriers, after a few years stop serving this city  (British and KLM being two examples) even though I have never seen a flight from a European city to Kolkata empty in all these ten years I have been doing this route). Which not only severely limits your options but always makes the flights packed to the rafters. Second, more often than not, the companies put their oldest planes to this route—if there was a possibility of giving a box-rickshaw (the kind that takes toddlers to school) with wings for their Kolkata bound passengers, I am sure they would have.

But then, what truly makes it such an enriching and life-changing experience are the people.

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Kolkata Book Fair —A Visit After Many Years

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I will be honest. The only reason I went to the Kolkata Book Fair today, barely a few hours after a grueling flight, was to see my book being sold there.

And there I found it. Right next to Linda Goodman in the references section. The urge to turn around and exclaim tearfully to the store clerk, in Alok Nathian fashion, “Beta tumne yeh kar diya” was immense.

And then I figured it could have been worse.

I could have been kept besides the “SMS for love” collection of books , whose pages bristle with pre-written SMS-s for those spontaneous times when you must express what you have in your mind, typically by skipping vowels.

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My India Trip

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For those who follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t…nudge nudge), you may know that I am coming to India for a brief trip. In this post, I am putting down a list of my “events”—–please do try to make one (or more of them).

February 6: TEDxIITKgp, 3 pm [Link to event]

February 8: Kolkata, 4 pm to 7 pm, City Center Salt Lake, (I will be sitting outside on the stairs…..or may sit at a coffee shop) Tweetup

February 11: Mumbai, 7 pm, Crossword Bandra Linking Road, “May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss” book event. [GR Floor, Unit G-1, Plot No 250-B, Kanaiya Building, Mala Mahal Co Operative Society, Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai - 400050]

February 12: Mumbai, 6:30 pm Oxford Churchgate,  I will be in conversation with Amish Tripathi, author of “Immortals of Meluha”

I will also be an invited speaker at INFOCOM 2011 at Kolkata in two sessions—Social Networking The Next Business Mantra on February 17th and Information and Communication Technology in Health Care on February 19th. [Link] These two sessions are however not open to the public.

[Apologies for not making Bangalore. Or Hyderabad. It is just that Crossword and Oxford expressed interest in organizing events. Hence Mumbai. For the "Mine", will do Bangalore and Hyderabad]