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Showing posts from December, 2011

The Summer Of Cricket Down Under

When cricket stars Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman made a quiet appearance at Mughal Indian restaurant in Collingwood, they preferred the floor-sitting arrangement of the modest restaurant and sip a few soft drinks. Dressed in casuals, the stars shook hands with the few guests who were present, signed autographs and gave photo ops. “It is always good coming back here,” said Dravid who was as laconic as he could. At times he looked confused whether to smile or look serious. When prodded about cricket, he said it was the management’s rule that they could not speak to anyone without prior permission. Fair enough, in a country where cricket is prime entertainment and cricketers treated next to Gods, there was very little surprise in this.   But for the brouhaha surrounding cricketers in India, this week the Indian cricketers have been enjoying relative anonymity in Australia. In Canberra at Manuka Oval, while adulation from scores of fans who lined the Indian players' race was a reminde

Shahid Afridi

Imran Khan was a household name when growing up. And 1983 Prudential World Cup is etched in memory as Kapil Dev brought home the famous trophy. That night my mother rejoiced the most. I saw her picking up the poster of Imran Khan which had been purposely laid on the floor by one of the pranksters in the house. It was a way of saying ‘down you go Pakistan’. Such expressions are not uncommon in a household of cricket lovers. They can carry their fanaticism to an extreme, especially when it involves two sparring neighbours - India and Pakistan. After that, cricket for me lost its charm. The game got embroiled in so many match-fixing scams that every time I looked at the television, I asked myself if I was watching a match for whom the punters have laid a huge bet or if the guys on the field were genuinely competing. Little wonder then, when I met Shahid Afridi yesterday evening I knew so little about the man except for having a blurred image of his face downcast when his team lost the W

Wisdom & Laughter

It is the holiday gloss I think. I don’t feel like doing any damn work and there is so much to do despite the fact that I work from home! When I used to work from the office I would wait for opportunities to log in from home and now that I have this option, (which is not really a choice), I wish I could commute to work daily. But what is strange about this in me? I have a strong pull to something I don’t have or can’t have! Practically everyone I have spoken to say they envy me because I work from home or well, hardly work. I don’t want to sound like I am bogged down with work because I hardly am. I contribute a few pieces of articles for a local magazine and some overseas. The rest of the time I am occupied with too many extra curricular activties. And yet I am dissatisfied. Because you don’t make friends sitting in front of the computer. As it is, my winge about this country is, there are no people. Otherwise life is great here. On second thoughts, maybe it is better without the pe

Need Open Borders

My sister Rita is a funny woman. She asks me on the phone, “Don’t Australian visas have anti-theft thingies?” That was, after an email my younger sister received that said 'please come with authority letter to collect passports'. I replied, “Don’t be so optimistic, these foreign missions are all filled with psychos and can stop giving you a visa for any small error.” She says, “Oh well I am not a criminal or a cheat!” The problem is logic does not work with embassies.  My friend Cheri has been waiting for a year now to get her minor daughter to Australia and this, after having filled every required forms backed by supporting documents. The embassy says the case is with the visa officer and it is in a yes or no stage! When I got my long term visa for Australia, they wanted a salary statement of the husband. He explained that there is no statement and whatever comes is an online statement. As expected the embassy in Delhi did not accept the online statement and kept the applica