Tag Archives: South Africa

Rift – A Short Story

rift- story

By Ganesh Subramanian

The bell rang loud and clear. It signalled the end of the final semester exams. All the students heaved a sigh of relief. Vikranth rushed madly towards the college bus- Route No.6 which takes him to his house. Finding his favourite seat, he dumped his bag and slumped by the window seat, closing his eyes for a moment allowing his brain cells to relax which seemed to have worked overtime cramming up equations and formulae. There was a tap on his shoulder. Vikranth opened up his eyes to see Nidhi standing next to him. She sat beside him and asked, “How did it go?” Vikranth sighed and said, “Hoping to clear it. Surely not going to top the subject though”. Both of them laughed.

“You know what”, Nidhi continued, “Actually feel bad that we are gonna miss all this fun of college life”.

“Yeah. In a way.” replied Vikranth. “But equally excited looking forward to the corporate life”.

The next 45 mins of the bus journey passed in a jiffy with Vikranth and Nidhi reminiscing about the 4 years that they had spent in engineering. When Nidhi’s stop came, she waved good bye to her best friend Vikranth and promised to call him up soon.

Weeks passed. Vikranth and Nidhi are computer engineering students from a newly opened engineering college in the city. Vikranth and Nidhi opted for this college despite the college being a new one and despite the fact that the college may struggle to find campus placements for its students, simply because they could be at home during their graduation. So barring a few students who were willing to accept jobs in mediocre BPOs that visited the campus for placements, the college placement department couldn’t do much. As a result, students were left to seek their own avenues for jobs.

Nidhi called up Vikranth on one day. She seemed excited. “Hey Vikranth. I got placed in Czone solutions. Attended an aptitude test followed by an interview two weeks back. Looks like I did well. Got the offer letter from them today. I have to join in a month’s time from now.” replied Nidhi.

“Hey Congrats. So now this news calls for a treat. Isn’t it?” said Vikranth.

“Surely it does. But only after I get my first salary” Nidhi teased him.

“Hey that’s unfair. I need it soon. I can’t wait for two months till you get your salary” reasoned Vikranth.

“Ok. Ok. I will treat you soon” laughed Nidhi. “How’s your job search coming along?”

“In Czone, my application number is in 10000s. Not sure if and when will they call me. Other prospects not looking that promising at the moment” replied Vikranth.

“Don’t lose hope. It’s only a matter of time before you land on a new job”, Nidhi tried to pacify him. “Ok. I have to hang up now. Will catch up with you later. Bye”, said Nidhi

“Bye.”

Two months passed. Vikranth was still jobless. Nidhi didn’t call Vikranth even once in the interim. Vikranth was also increasingly getting frustrated by the fact that another one of his classmates – Nitin – has been visiting Nidhi’s house often on weekends to work out aptitude questions with Nidhi’s help for his job search.

Nidhi ignoring him was killing Vikranth. He told another of his best buddies – Dinesh – that he’s got a bone to pick with Nidhi. Dinesh advised him not to do anything stupid. But Vikranth was determined to set things straight.

He finally called Nidhi. “Hello Vikranth. Nice to hear from you. It’s been a long time. You’ve forgotten me or what?” laughed Nidhi.

“I should be asking you that question. Madam seems to be very busy these days”, said Vikranth in a no-nonsense tone.

“Lots of work, Vikranth. No time to breathe” reasoned Nidhi.

“Oh, I see, You don’t have time for me. But you have time for Nitin. Isn’t it?” remarked Vikranth sarcastically.

“Nothing like that, Vikranth. Why are you comparing you and Nitin? What’s wrong with you?” asked Nidhi.

“What’s wrong with me??? Everything’s wrong with you only. Not even one call in 2 months, but you have time for that egg-head Nitin” thundered Vikranth.

“Stop that Vikranth”, growled Nidhi.

“What do you think of yourselves? Just because you are in a job, you think you are a demi-god or something?” Vikranth screamed. His joblessness feeling was getting the better of him and his emotions came in a torrent.

“If you are going to speak like this, don’t call me hereafterwards” Nidhi remarked angrily.

“Fine. So be it” thundered Vikranth and slammed the phone down.

Two years passed. Vikranth and Nidhi didn’t speak even once after that incident. Ironically, Vikranth was also now working in the same company as Nidhi’s. Vikranth found Nidhi’s mail id through the people search option in his mail folder. He mailed her apparently in an effort to mend things. No reply even after 4 hours. Vikranth called Anisha, another collegemate of Vikranth and Nidhi and a common friend to both of them and she also worked in the same company in Nidhi’s team. Anisha spoke to Nidhi and informed him that Nidhi will be sending him a reply shortly.

Ping. Vikranth’s mailbox beeped with the sound of arrival of a new mail 20 minutes after Vikranth spoke with Anisha. Vikranth opened the mail from Nidhi. The reply was short. It said:

“I don’t know what to say. You apparently feel that what you have done is wrong. But we can’t be the same friends anymore. We can just be hi-bye friends” replied Nidhi.

Vikranth realised that a rift has formed between them. He acknowledged the fact that he and Nidhi can never be the same good old best friends once again. He shook his head and closed the email from Nidhi.

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Why We Still Cheer For Team India

dhoni with CT

Ankush Kumar tells us why some fans will always cheer for Team India and nothing to the tune of fixing, conflict of interest and media hype will bother them

The only conflict is his interest in the success of Team India perhaps. The silence at the final press conference before MSD left for English shores was a damp squib. The media still generated their masala and hounded him no end. His integrity was questioned; social media and its lame authors nailed him from all quarters.

MSD and his boys were cornered tigers, and like they do a step backwards was taken. Only to make a giant leap forward and here they are crowned winners of the last edition of the champions’ trophy.

The final yesterday was robbed of a great contest by the weather. For a long period the beer in the refrigerator disappeared with each thundershower that hit Birmingham.
By the time the contest actually began I was left sipping only cold water. Mind you that was equally intoxicating as India scripted a win from the jaws of defeat.

Last time when South Africa choked at the international stage, England was their nemesis. This time the English relived the same tag that has haunted them since 1979. If ever a time machine is invented, England should go back in time and erase the memory of inventing the sport.

They way they have lost big-ticket finals since 1987; they don’t deserve such great tags. India on the other hand played outstanding cricket from the word go. When they won the first two warm up matches, lot of us felt they were flattering to deceive. But the way they romped home against quality sides reconfirmed their tag of being the number one ODI side in world cricket today.

Today as it stands MSD has become the first captain to win all major ICC titles; this would not have been possible without the support of the technical team yesterday.
The ICC goofed up for not having a reserved day for a big final, but quick thinking by them ensured that we at least had a rain-curtailed match. The high drama in those forty overs was enough for the audience who had waited patiently to make their monies worth.

Last time when Team India won the CWC, Nasser Hussain had said ‘since they haven’t beaten England the win is not complete’. Today as it stands sir ‘Shut up & Bounce’. Every time the sport has hit by an alien source, Team India, has countered the demons and come out triumph. This one though is sweeter as it has come in overseas conditions. Well not quite! Yesterday Birmingham looked more like the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai than in England.

It turned out to be home territory for us. The crowed jeered the Pommies and cheered us. The pitch that should have been bouncy turned square, Alaistar got cooked and MSD was yet again crowned Mr. Cool!

Captain Cool did not miss an opportunity to thank the BCCI for their contribution in developing great infrastructure that has helped Team India grow as a fielding unit. He in a very subtle manner also highlighted to the west that ‘India are the big daddies of world cricket today’.

This victory means a lot to fans like us, who have stood by our heroes in times of crisis, we have never questioned the integrity of our soldiers, we have always believed that theories like conflict of interest or scandals like spot fixing can never be a deterrent for the love of the game, and today our superstars have repaid us back by not just winning the championship but by doing it in style.

P.S: England is supposed to be the mecca of cricket, but it’s Team India that ‘Lords’ over the world today.

A Gentleman’s Game. Why Question Now???

Pak Players

Ankush Kumar talks how irresponsible talks and books only take away the interesting and unpredictable factor away from the game. This one is as straight as it gets and we hope it reaches Ed Hawkins.

Bookie update… India will bat first and score over 260, 3 wickets fall within the first 15 overs, Pakistan will cruise to 100, then lose 2 quick wickets, at 150 they will be 5 down and crumble and lose by a margin of over 20 runs.

I happened to read the book authored by Ed Hawkins. For people who don’t know him, you have Google. For those who know him very well, Read On!!!

India beat pakistan

Mr. Ed Hawkins ‘you’ have been awarded the prestigious sports betting writer of the year award. You know what? It is like our filmfare awards, when Shahrukh Khan cannot win the most coveted prize; we honor him with the power award.

It has possibly become a fashion statement to criticize every good performance by Team India in cricket matches. And for writers like you and many others from the west, it is pretty easy to post such scandalous blogs and taint our glory forever.

‘The only source of defense the book has perhaps is that ‘this information was passed on by an Indian source/bookie/punter’. Can the author tell us one thing, how do you trust such people when the law of the land says that they are doing illegal activities?

If you look at that script very closely ‘Sir’ (pun intended) such predictions are made by kids galore in different parts of India every day. And trust me quite a few actually get it right. So does that makes all these people fixers?

If this script is going to be a benchmark for you to ‘SELL’ your books (and people like me buying it). I can give you better screenplays, that can actually fetch you the most ‘coveted prize’.

9-aussies-e-celbrate

The first script dates back to 1999. The Australia vs South Africa world cup Semi final. Oh Boy! It was a pot boiler. Australia’s top order crumbles, Steve Waugh’s catch is dropped, and he goes on to say possibly the finest line in cricketing history ‘Mate! You have just dropped the world cup’. South Africa starts their modest total chase in a brisk fashion and then Warnie spells doom. Lance Klusner gets them to the finish line and they still lose the spot in the finals. Isn’t that quite similar to the above script? There is a difference though, this one had dialogues too!!!

The generic defense I am sure will be ‘Oh South Africa’ is a jinxed team! Maybe the jinxed factor can be used to good effect and we can have a potential story!

World Cup 1996 Semi Final: Australia v West Indies

The second script dates back to the 1996 World Cup semi-finals. (Must say semis are a big bet). Australia make a lowly total of 208 on a flat batting surface, thanks to batting efforts by Ricky Ponting and Stuart Law, West Indies make heavy weather of that chase, once again Warnie weaving his magic and Courtney Walsh getting bowled attempting a big heave when Richie Richardson was on the other end. Was this one fixed too?

Authors around the world might argue that it was not, because Australia was firm favorites to win that match. India were favorites too, to win the semi final against Pakistan in 2011. In fact we were tournament favorites to win the championship and we did it pretty well.

ireland winning

There are numerous other examples you have mentioned in your book, that ‘suggests match fixing’. ‘Sir’ the only problem is that you have very conveniently forgotten the ‘Ireland v/s England match’. I believe it was on pure merit that the Irish won that match, but since you have said it through your book ‘that cricket won’t be watched without suspicion again’ I have raised my doubts here.

With due respect to all the people who have questions on their minds, ‘when Team Australia won the world cup nobody raised any questions, when Sri Lanka an island nation won it for the first time nobody raised any questions’. It is time to respect the fact that ‘Team India won on pure merit and nothing else’.

Cheap talks will linger on for time immemorial but this is where ‘respected’ people like you and others come into play, rather than believing what an irrational idiot says for generating eye balls to 24 x 7 media channels, we should applaud the efforts of cricketing nations.

P.S: The jinxed factor has a potential story ‘Sir’, and the ‘coveted prize’ is all for the taking.

 

How Ravindra Jadeja Trolled His Critics

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From mockingly calling him Sir Ravindra Jadeja to making thousands of memes on him, Ravindra Jadeja has seen fun being made on him everywhere on the internet. It was him though who finally had the last laugh

24 wickets in a Test series against Australia. Yes, you got the numbers right. Jadeja, who till a few days back was being trolled left, right and center on the social media, bagged 24 wickets against a good team, proving a few points to his critics.

The last image I saw of him was that of being in the illustrious company of Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne (Yes, you guessed right, in the same famous picture with Sir Don Bradman, replacing the Don from the frame). The image is attached for your perusal.

But what none can deny are the improvements he has made to his game, especially his bowling in Indian conditions. After all, twenty four wickets in a series is no joke. With every wicket he took and he dismissed Michael Clarke (probably Australia’s best batsman) on all occasions, he made his critics feel pathetic about themselves and their understanding of the game. He won a clear battle, one in which he was declared loser even before the show began.

For all those who feel wronged about an Ajinkya Rahane not getting selected to play courtesy his showing in the Ranji Trophy (though I don’t consider the Indian domestic performances as any yardstick to see talent) probably missed Jadeja’s crazy numbers. 800 runs in five matches with two triple hundreds was what he managed with the willow, and if that was not enough, he picked up 24 wickets at an impressive 20.7. To me he was the one who single handedly took Saurashtra to the finals.

But even with such numbers, he was trolled when he was selected. I heard a Facebook status saying that the entire press box clapped when he got bowled out to Pattinson leaving a delivery outside off because everyone in unison felt he did not deserve a place. For the selectors though, considering the numbers, it was an easy choice. Fortunately Sandeep Patil and party knew what they were upto and they did not got bogged down to what others thought.

Let’s not debate this further and just bring out the things he brings to the table being an all-rounder in the Indian conditions. A balanced batsman (he has to work a lot more to be called perfectly balanced) who can bat at any position that the skipper asks him to. Believe me; having seen him from close quarters, he is much better than what most people think he is as a batsman. As a bowler, here is someone who knows his limitations and works around it, something which is a rarity for Indians as a breed.

Courtesy his tight line and length he can dry up runs and the moment he comes to know what the pitch offers, he is someone who grabs it by both hands (Delhi was just one example). And let’s be honest, we all love seeing him throw those grenades from his fielding position, don’t we?

To me, I saw a more matured Ravindra Jadeja in this series. He looked like having worked on various bits of his bowling. His line, immaculate length, bowling consistently at a defined trajectory and occasionally surprising the batsmen who were definitely low on batting technique (except Clarke and Watson) was a delight to the eyes.

Let’s not forget, the legendary spinner Shane Warne, on his first stint as captain of Rajasthan Royals in the IPL had called Jadeja a cricketing ‘Rockstar’ and had at that time predicted he would be India’s next shining star. Probably the time has come.

What I am more excited about is the dimension that Jadeja gives to the Indian team in South Africa. With the team wanting to play three seamers in those helpful conditions, Jadeja is the perfect fit who can take up the second spinner’s role and that of an all-rounder. If domestic performances are any yardstick, his batting is good and courtesy his showing against Australia, he definitely will get his chances in South Africa, if he does well, he surely will prove his belonging.