Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Listening to good old Noor Jahan and Suraiya songs takes me back to the Intermissions (or what we then called “Interval”) of countless Hindi movies seen in matinee shows at the Imperial Talkies on Lamington Road, close to 233 Khetwadi Main Road. The mood at that moment used to be a mixture of part yearning to step out for a cool orangeade (or, was it orange crush?) served in a tallish glass beaker with a straw stuck in the neck, part curiosity about what was going to happen after the break and part certainty that it was all going to turn out all right. Or, sometimes not. Pity, I have never had since that kind of feeling. But, then, I have not been a nine-year old since then. At the Imperial, you stepped out from the stalls almost directly out in the open under a thatched covering to protect you from the afternoon sun or the monsoon shower. The booth selling the cool fizzy drinks was a few steps away. You stepped out with the song just before the light came up still swirling in your head. You handed over the one rupee coin to the vendor. You walked back to your seat with the drink in your hand. Maybe, you even bought potato wafers wrapped in cellophane – never quite crisp enough to deserve the title “potato crisps”. The song had still not stopped playing in your mind. The ad slides had already started. The lights were dimming gradually. Soon, it would be pitch dark once again with the light reflecting from the silver screen lighting up the faces of the movie goers and the rest of the movie would start unrolling.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Monkey business.

I’m afraid there’s been in the Harbhajan-Symonds imbroglio a serious “category mistake". Doreen, Henry Root’s daughter would have most probably described it so. The reason, I daresay, is either ignorance or sheer sloth. The parties concerned know neither their Darwin nor their Australian history. What's worse, they have not taken the trouble to find out. Darwin’s view needs no elaboration. Australian history does. Owing to the British law’s proclivity in the 18th century to view the newly discovered Australian continent as the ideal dumping ground for the scum of the earth, a penal colony was born with just one woman for every four convicts as it turned out. I’m surprised neither ICC, ACB nor BCCI have bothered to consult non-cricketing experts on the facts. No lawyers or journalists seem to have caught on to the glaring discrepancy fairly staring them in their face. If only they would take a deep breath, stop thinking like boys playing galli cricket and take a wider world view of the incidence!