Champions of the World

About nine months ago, I had posted this little blog post: Something I Consider Important

Back then, the Indian women’s team was something no one spoke of much. Women’s cricket was not too high on people’s lists. Most people did not know a single player from any of the women’s teams, perhaps barring, in India at least, Indian captain Mithali Raj. (And that mostly from a Moov advert she had done on TV a few years ago.)
The only thing some people could understand about the very concept of women’s cricket, was that the boundaries were shorter than in the men’s game. (On being told, of course.)

But one month has changed the face of women’s cricket forever.

All of a sudden, the game’s level has been raised.

The matches have been getting closer, more nail-biting, individuals have been stepping up, teams have been clicking together like clockwork, and boy, have the people been noticing.

Has too much changed apart from the fact that for the first time, the general public has been provided multiple platforms and opportunities to watch the game, rather than notice a tiny Brief Scores card in a tiny corner of a newspaper dominated by what ONE person may think of his coach?

The ICC’s decision to necessarily stream all matches of the World Cup, including warm ups, and to televise respective relevant matches has definitely had a hand to play.

The other hand, however, was the one that swung the bat and spun the ball.

The tournament was perhaps not one that could have been predicted at the start.

Will Australia win their 7th title? With how much ease? was no longer the question.

And that may be proven by the fact that Australia did not make it past the semifinals, courtesy a blistering knock by India’s T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who scored 171* runs off just 115 balls, smashing 20 boundaries and 7 sixes, clearing the ropes and the field, landing a few of them into the stands. Her knock came at a strike rate of 148, and took India up to a total of 281-4 from their 42 overs in a rain reduced clash, and was helped with support at the other end from the captain Raj (36) and with blitzkrieg knocks from Deepti Sharma (25) and Veda Krishnamurthy (16).

For Australia, Alex Blackwell (90 off 56, 10 x 4, 3 x 6, SR: 160) and Elyse Villani (75 off 56, 13 fours) almost had Australia home, but Rajeshwari Gayekwad (1-62) broke the 100 run stand the two batters shared, followed by good spells from Deepti Sharma (3 wickets), Jhulan Goswami (2) and Shikha Pandey (2).

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Australia ultimately fell short by 36 runs, managing only 245 by the 40th over, losing all their wickets.

The finals, now were charged as ever.

England had been on a roll.
After their opener-loss to India by 35 runs, England was a changed side.

With scores of 377, 373, 284, 259, 246, and a lowest team total of 206, England had become the team to watch out for with the bat.

Heather Knight, Natalie Sciver, Sarah Taylor, Tammy Beaumont, Fran Wilson, all had posted hundred or near-hundred runs an individual score.

The match was slated to be a big one, and an unpredictable one.

Would England be able to win their third World Cup, here on home soil? (Something that they had done in 1993 as well, defeating New Zealand in the finals after having lost badly to them in the robin round stage: a situation England found themselves facing again)
Or would it be the once underdogs, strong and resilient India, having barged into the semis and finals after their storm through their final game (vs NZ), following two back to back losses to Australia and South Africa, who would rise to the occasion and claim their first ever World Cup title, breaking into the exclusive winners list comprising of but three of the many nations who played the sport around the world: Australia (6 times), England (3) and New Zealand (1)?
Would this be the breakthrough moment for Women’s cricket, in another way?

Neither team made it easy on the other.
There was no clear winner, even five overs from the end of the second innings. It was a hard fought match.

Luck was with English skipper Knight, who called right and chose to post a total, something England had done very well this tournament.

Having the English down to 63-3 by the 17th over, the Indian bowlers were playing with conviction.
But then walked in Nat Sciver (51) and put on an 83 run partnership with opener Sarah Taylor (45), who was back into the English team following months of injury, and small smashing cameos by Katherine Brunt and Jenny Gunn took England up to a decent score of 228.

At the halfway stage, it looked like the game was slipping away from England.

Experienced in big match situations, senior bowler Jhulan Goswami rose to the occasion, picking 3 wickets in a fiery spell, finishing with 23-3 from her 10.

In reply, India found themselves in trouble early on, losing opener Mandhana (0) cheaply yet again, leaving India 6-1.
Captain Mithali Raj tried to consolidate an innings, but was run out for 17 in an unusual manner.

At 43-2, this brought the star of the previous match, Harmanpreet Kaur to the crease.

Together with opener Punam Raut, she stitched together a 95-run partnership.

Harmanpreet Kaur’s wicket fell in the 33rd over, she scored 51, and the immense importance of her wicket was large writ on bowler Alex Hartley’s face, and in what seemed a big release of pressure for England. But in came a confident, carefree Veda Krishnamurthy.

At the 40 over stage, India looked comfortably in for the win, being 173-3.

Tossing the ball up in the air and smacking 5 fours in the process, the flamboyant Veda Krishnamurthy, with the rock solid Punam Raut batting at the other end looked like the perfect combination to produce India’s much anticipated Cup victory.

But then Anya Shrubsole struck.
England’s much talked about batting could take a backseat. It would have to be the bowlers who’d have to pull the game back, and boy, did Shrubsole did.

Singlehanded lay picking Raut’s wicket and ending the partnership, she cleaned up the Indian tail.

The match-winning likes of Deepti Sharma, Raut and Krishnamurthy could do nothing as the batting order crumbled like a pack of cards, losing by just 9 runs.

For one team, the dream was over, the tears were flowing.

For the other, though, it was only the beginning of a lot of good things.

Hopefully, the English team is looking at a lot of benefits, love, following, and a spring in their step.

(PS: Google scores has finally recognised the England women’s team as well.)

In interviews later, the Indian team expressed the pain of losing such a close match.

The captain admitted that the pressure of the situation got to them, and that the players were in tears in the dressing room, post the awards ceremony.
Harmanpreet Kaur has said that she wishes she had batted longer.

But with the cup slipping away from them by single digit numbers, not all is lost.

For the first time in the longest of times, the Indian women’s cricket team is a team with recognisable faces in their country.
People have seen the power the women cricketers of all participating countries, and are getting behind them in big numbers.
The final was viewed by a record million viewers, the Lords’ tickets were sold out.

Indian captain Mithali Raj says one of her biggest personal achievements this tournament is the fact that “the team is being referred to as Mithali’s girls. I am very proud of that fact.”
Raj became the highest ever scorer in women’s ODIs this tournament, taking over the record held by ex-England captain, Charlotte Edwards.

Whether it’s a first of firsts, or one of many fads, only time will tell.
But for now, all we can say is that it’s a most interesting time.
We stand on the threshold of a whole new outlook on the women’s game.

With DRS being introduced for the first time, televisation, streaming and excessive coverage, the high interest being garnered, hopefully, women’s cricket is looking to be expanding beyond a schedule of five to ten matches a year, and cricket becoming a full time job for women cricketers.
The acceptance of our women’s cricketers too, as the national team.
(About the ongoing pay issue that Cricket Australia is having with their men’s team, a dejected Australian fan and a friend of mine complains, We don’t have a cricket team anymore!
All I have been doing is telling him to shut up and look carefully, there is an Australian team, the women’s team, and the Ashes are so on.)

So congratulations to England on proving to be the best there was at hanging on this tournament and winning the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.
And hard luck to India, Australia, South Africa, and all the teams that fought so hard, but narrowly missed out.

You may have lost the cup, but you won many hearts and supporters.

This was truly a tournament where at the end of the day, it was the game of Cricket that ultimately won the match.

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A Tiny Big Thing

I had a short, interesting incident occur last evening.

I was headed to the dunny in my grandparents’ room, and my grandma was in there as I bypassed to the bathroom.

“Who’s there?” asks my grandmother.
“It’s me,” I say, pretty sure she’d be able to tell.
“The big me, or the little one?” she asks.
I have a little sister, you see.
“The big one.” I reply. “Big Me.”

And then I realise what I’d said.
I smiled.

“Big Me.” I said again. Yeah.

Big Me.”

Basketball Madness #4

It’s dry again at last!

Yep, you’d hear me say that with as much enthusiasm as a drunk would with sadness.

I haven’t been to the basketball court since last Tuesday, man, it’s good to be back!

Today’s menu:
A pretty plain day, plenty of aching muscles and little condiments of madness.

I’m learning some new tricks I’d love to share.

If you have Velcro shoes, not only are you likely to get the most photogenic glares, but you’re also at a huge loss: you’ve just lost a big opportunity.

See, when you play a sport, you need to first warm up with a run.

And boy, warm up runners come in different varieties alright.

For some folks, it takes a quick sprint to get up and running.

For some, the bull takes over: no talk, shut eyes, head down, and run. Then look up and pant.

Then there’s that immensely annoying infinite-stamina guy who never gets tired, is faster than everybody else, and runs backwards in front of you to rub it in your face.

(Have I mentioned I have a thing for coming third? Let us NOT talk of speed.)
(But I ain’t the slowest. Anymore. Hah. Hah.)

Then there’s the guys who will make you feel like running drills were invented just to torture them.
These are the guys who talk the run walk, will stop at every turn, and have immense willpower to keep on trying.

It’s these countless tries where shoe laces play a beautiful role.

Their laces will come undone every two minutes.
Following this will be an audible sigh, then they bend a knee and get to work.

Damn, their knots will put a sailor to shame.

Perfect bunny-ears, over the loop, under the loop, around the ankle, a tight, secure knot, with considerable precision, oops! Did I disturb your concentration?
Darn it, it’s all for nothing!
Well, shrug, here we go again!

There was a kid like that once, Coach then bound her laces together for good.

Not all knots are that boy scout-worthy, but I’ve seen it shave off about three rounds up and down the court, of the warm up rounds, if done correctly.
Take notes, class!

 

Have you ever jinxed someone’s perfect run?
Well, I have, today.

Drills.
Alternate hand dribbles.
Running backwards.
Kid ahead of me.
I’m expecting it will take a while.
But in fact, the kid’s pretty decent at it! What’s more, kid’s going at a decent pace too.

Me thinks, wow, was I wrong.

Some dozing Easterly reads my mind; next thing I know, kid’s ball is in the next court. Out of sight.

 

Another thing, did I mention that we had stepped onto the court after a solid week?
Aims were off today, and I mean that.
Today’s Accidental Ball On Butt count: 3. (In the span of ten minutes.)

What else is new?
We probably did more ice skating today than basketball, and I really suspect there’s camouflaged algae right under our feet.
Fancy a back rub, algae?
Wishing you had a candid camera?

Some of those slides were graceful!
Brownie points, sure, but unfortunately, that didn’t get our opponents a basket!

To top it all off, we ended the day somewhat this way:
You know rains are a time of uncertainty for us slippery sliders.
So Coach tells us he’ll message to let us know if the court’s dry enough to play next time.

A younger girl goes up and asks if Coach has her number.
Coach replies in the affirmative.
Girl: Okay. You didn’t tell me the last time.
You never message me, sir.

She leaves.

Poor Coach doesn’t hear the end of it till he can chase us away.

 

Till next time, if we ain’t cookin’ stew on the court, keep sliding!

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Cycle of Life

I was reading an article on how the population equilibrium on the planet will be maintained- a cycle of events that supposedly take place, that ensure a balance in human numbers on the planet.

Very roughly, they cycled as follows:
At first, there was a medium-ish population, and a small, hand sowed-and-reaped produce just enough to feed it.
If the population increased, the food supply was the limiting or checking factor, maintaining our population size.

Then came the mechanisation.
All of a sudden, with industrialisation, machines were reaping more crops than ever.

For once, an increasing population had enough, and even surplus food in store. (Cue: the Great Depression of the late ’20s, where the grain produce was so much, it had no more value in the markets.)

With this, and advances in technology and medicine, the so-far tight check on population growth loosened, and what began was the third phase of the cycle: something we call the population explosion.

In this stage, life conditions look relatively hunky dory, people live, live, and keep on living.

We’re accelerating too much, the problem of today.

Well, here’s what the cycle says.
This is where a fourth phase in the cycle kicks in.

There will then follow a stabilisation, wherein, with lower mortality rates and more longevity, humans will start reproducing less.
There simply won’t be a need for people to have as many kids anymore.
[Also, I may add, the lack of a libido, as seen in the Japanese, and the introduction of AI into the sex sphere, may play big roles in bringing down the very need/urge for human sex, and indirectly, reproduction.]

Now, I’m not economist or researcher. But I have another theory.

The human race will advance further in the intelligence sphere, and we’ll soon be delegating our intelligence to algorithms.

We’ll progress to the point where we’ve become far too comfortable.
(And trust me, we’re on our way there.)

The human body was designed for action. We were predators and prey once. Now we prey on the supermarket.
We use to be on the move.

Heaven knows we may adapt to inactivity. But mostly, I think that would fall apart.

Soon, non-movement-related illnesses would begin to take control of the human race, and human numbers will fall, because most likely, we won’t be able to reverse the damage.
Lifestyles mostly only progressively change, not regressively.

Now birth and death rates will balance out, and for all you know, despite improving technology, we may not have the problem of food surplus, because of the growing importance of (and money diverted to the production of) medicinal precautionary drugs, etc. in the human diet.
We come back to Step 1 of the cycle, i.e., balance. (Birth = death ≤ food supply).

There is another way, though.

Human beings’ strongest claim to the top of the hierarchy has always been their superior thinking ability. We’ve outsmarted and ousted almost every other dominant species on the planet. We call it civilisation.

But, of late, we’ve been handing over the reigns to the Golden Age bearers; with a machine to do everything a human can, the human needn’t work anymore. We have submitted to the idea of the Reigner Supreme: the now preferred machine.
Soon enough, the machine takes over the thinking aspect as well. Like a rusting machine, the now-useless human brain rots away in wastefulness.
No longer the well-oiled machine it once was, the evolution of the human brain stops.
With our front running claim to the top, our biggest weapon blunted, we will slide lower. Rationality and logical thinking will be lost, one bad decision will lead to another, till we’ve effectively dwindled down to the last human.
Ain’t that hard to kill the last dodo, is it now?

At last the cycle will end, and the winners, created by the ones they destroyed, the Reigning Machines, the victors, would stand tall, perfect and purposeless.

Hey, I’m only a science fiction writer, but who’s to say that dolphins won’t rule our planet one day?

 

Survey #33

Bonanza weekend, the big one’s here!

This week, like every week, surveyee-brains got busy.

 

Q: What would you want to invent/discover?

Saahil: Discover/invent a personality for Siddharth.

Siddharth: Discover the ability to stop time, at certain times.

Marc: Make surrogate robots.

Akshay: Discover other ways to get into IIT.

Shubhankar: Invent something to become invisible.

Netra: Teleportation.

Shania: Temporary networks to places that disappear when you don’t need them. You can either sit on moving chairs (need a better term for that) or stand. Your travel speed will be determined on the basis of the distance to your destination and the amount of time on hand.

Aakansha: T.A.R.D.I.S.

Vyshnavi: A mind-reading, food-preparing thing.

Aayush: My own language.

Anand: Discover how to manipulate Chakra. (Naruto fans?!)

Eesha: My own version of the T.A.R.D.I.S. (Really mostly for the pool library, but for travelling the cosmos as well.)

Maulishri: Something to get me to remember stuff in time.

Neha: Something that helps cats and dogs get along.

Aditya: Thermonuclear fusion on Earth in a viable manner.

Aditya #2: Myself.

Aditya #3: Mental sanity.

Daivya: ATRHIT is true.

[and to find out what that was, was our discovery of the day.
Curious? Good luck to you.]

Daivya 2: P vs NP problem.

Satchit: Shit.

Yusuf: I would like to discover the most precious stuff on the planet and become a billionaire and then use already invented resources.

Rishbha: Overnight pickler. [source: Doraemon]

Sapna: My inner identity.

Manish sir: I’d like to be GOD.

Shamila ma’am: Some gadget which can solve all problems.

Unnati: Myself.

Shalini: A machine that can stop/travel time.

Diya: Doraemon.

Pranav: A new brain.

Lamha: A unicorn!! One that gives chocolates and candy and rainbows and bubbles!

Jahnavi: Time Machine.

Anshul: Black hole information paradox. Or maybe a new aircraft for Boeing, or another holiday.

[Let me know when the third one happens.]

Arjun: A cure for HIV/AIDS.
And my intelligence.

Deepan: I’d sure like to disprove god’s apparent existence.

Jatin: Time machine.

Ajinkya: An Iron Man suit.

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Get busy, bud.

Krishnan: Teleportation.

Sudhanshu: Tension free, peaceful life, how to manipulate Chakra, discover Pokémon.

Pranav: Levitating tables/beds to save my toes.

Raghav: Perfection.

Yatin: I’d want to discover the path to becoming a man worth $81.8 billion. (PS: just $1bn more than Bill Gates.)

Ashay: Humour.

Sakshi: 3D glasses with variable lens power for people with glasses, so that they don’t have to wear 3D glasses over their glasses.

[word count for the word ‘glasses’: 4 in four lines.]

Aditi: A machine to make all fictional universes come alive.

Vidhi: Instant pizza making machine.

Anandita: Sanity, and a solution to torture by kids.

Pranav: Time stopwatch- a pocket time machine.

[Pranav-count on this survey: 4?]

Hangry di Cappucino (Nirmiti): Hangry di Cappuccino from South Africa.

Manasi: My brain. Someday. #WillThatDayEverCome?

Eva: Making out the exact physical features of the first human beings.

[I can help: they were better than my attempts at drawing people.]

Khushi: All I know is I was post-life Luke Howard.

Punyam: The theory of everything.

Anisha: The Munch godown.

Rashiv: I would like to invent the Spear of Destiny. (Legends of Tomorrow reference.)

[does anybody else have this constant nagging habit of writing density for destiny, or is science just getting to me?]

Anushka: Anything that will make life better for students.

Charul: Tanishi’s brain.

Tanishi: Charul’s brain.

[that’s where I take the notebook and exit.]

Kritika: A single fuck to give.

Vedika: Aliens.

Riya: A machine to make momos.

Amrita: A different planet.

Lamha #2: A life.

Rishabh: Hidden talent.

Mahima: A boyfriend, maybe.

Dhruv: Something that could create water out of thin air.

[condensation!]

Kruthika: A will to live.

 

Perhaps, one day, much later, we will dig out these little “archives” from the Internet-trash.  Maybe someone up here is gonna scroll up, hold a phone in your face, and say, “hah! Told you so.”

Or maybe a buddy will do the same for them and say, “hah- told you so! You always were nuts.”

Who’s to say?!

Either way, folks, keep inventing answers, and keep reading.

Till next time!

Survey #32

Here’s a little mini-survey to keep you folks satiated while the bigger one comes along.

(What am I saying, I’m a science student!!)

(Mini = 1 day long survey)

 

Q: What do you think of yourself parenting?

Saahil: When you want to enjoy without protection and end up paying the price for eighteen years.
Tough job, though.

Anandita: Don’t be a parent. It’s a torture to kids.
And the biggest torture to yourself!

Pranav: Something which is fun.

Aayushi: It’s a trap.
[comment from a fellow surveyee: “Best momma ever.”]

Akanksha: I want a small army of children.

Mahima: Can’t wait to roast them on our family chats.

Deepan: Introducing thy kids to the Beatles.

Aditya: I think it’s a beautiful thing. It can also be described as a long term investment in life with huge midterm losses.

Aditi: It’s the biggest excuse to enjoy torturing kids and contradict everything.

Arjun: Sounds like a fun thing which I’ll happily do, as long as someone else is paying the bill.

Lamha: Never wanna be one. I’d punch the shit outta them.

Manasi: I’m gonna be a miserable failure at it. The only thing I’m responsible enough to parent is a plant.

[Dear alarmed readers, you must bear in mind that most of my surveyed demographic was, what, 17 years old. The future of the human race is in… hands that are safe enough to drop a nuclear bomb in after the Earth’s been wiped clean.]

Aaliya: I’ll just adopt 23 dogs. No kids. Nuisances.

[Your surveyor’s a kid, by the way.]

Manvika: It’s one of the toughest jobs and there is no correct way to do it.

Khushi: So much love.

Satvik: Sherlock, Moriarty and Eurus.

Punyam: Parenting is fun.

Mahwash: I’d be a sassy and funny mom (self proclaimed). Either way, Charul will be their godmother.
Also, unlimited pizza.

Anshul: I’d be a strict but chill parent. Like I would whoop my son/daughter’s ass if s/he doesn’t propose to his/her girl/guy with a great proposal written by me.
Or I’d whoop his/her ass if they don’t go on a great fancy date.

Anushree: I’d be a pretty cool parent, especially a pet parent.

Shivani: I’d be a pretty badass parent. And embarrass my kids.

Siddharth: Utter disaster. But overall, I’d be a pretty damn cool parent.

Shania: Out of this fucking world. Best parent ever.

Rishabh: Don’t wish to be a parent.

Abirami: Probably better than mine.

Vyshnavi: Never gonna be one.

 

 

Survey #31

To infinity and beyond!!

Q: If you were to spend a day on Mars, what would you do?

Aakansha: Explore! See if there are any aliens I can befriend, and also search for water.

Joshika: I’ll eat it!

Maulishri: I would watch the movie ‘The Martian’.

Vyshnavi: I would read Tintin and the Explorers on Mars!

Neha: A) Walk around screaming “Doctor!”, I dunno, I don’t have his number.
B) Look for Martians, ask them what kind of math they’ve developed.

Shania: Dig holes and explore the interiors of the planet. If it blows up… meh, it’s only me and the Martians! ( 😥 )

Richa: Marry a Martian.

[always be one step ahead.]

Khushi: First listen to Moving to Mars, and then Life on Mars.

[love the orderliness.]

Saarthak: I would eat Mars (chocolate) on Mars.

Saahil: Gave a baby with Selena Gomez so that our child could be the first Martian.

Siddharth: I would explore as much as possible to gather Intel so that people can know more about Mars when I come back.

Harshit: Do mechanics on Mars.

Yusuf: Think about my next trip to the moon.

[space tourism A++]

Jai: Do my Pace homework in peace.

Ashay: Grow potatoes and hope to star in a movie.

Aayush: Do MGM homework due every alternate day. 🙂

[Get me some Lithium salt already.]

Parthiv: See the earth? And wish to go back?

Shubhankar: Will miss your surveys.
[Nope, ya won’t, they’re weekly. I’m sending you for a day.
Aw, you’ll miss it, will you?!]

Marc: Be happy that I am finally alone and have the time to sleep.

Anushka: Jump around, eat and sleep!

Manya: Irritate Anushree and/or watch a Ranbir Kapoor movie.

Anushree: Play my ukulele.

Aayush: Ensure that I stay there forever.

[Hey, that’s other people’s job!]

Daivya: Visit the polar ice caps.

Satchit: Die. Because I’m a realist.

Anand: Make Reardonium.

Archit: Look for water.

Pranav: Alone > no internet > bored AF.

Aditya:opportunity

I would go to the Opportunities half of the planet.

Netra: I’d set up a perfect place for having the best most varied kinds of food and look for a Martian who’s going to watch romcoms with me.

Sakshi: Make a red Martian and give false hope for the existence of life.

 

Shamila ma’am: I would spend that day with my loved one! (Special someone) ❤

Eva: I would check my height. And build red sandcastles with Aaliya.

Pranav: Well, it would be like a normal day, really.

Manish sir: Walk and explore.

Saif: Colonise it, if you know what I mean.

Rishbha: Just sleep.

Sapna: I’ll write and socialise and maybe find water.

Vrinda: Just explore.

Zeba: Befriend ‘people’.

Jahnavi: Explore as much as possible.

[Damn, does Dora have competition.]

Shailee: Play garba.

Dhruv: I want to climb the tallest volcano in this Solar System, Olympus.

Rishabh: I would love to die simply because I am a human!

Soham: I’ll build a dollhouse with my face on it.

Afifa: Think about Earth.

Shlok: I’d play football all day, ‘flying’.

Ani: DO NOT DRINK THE WATER.

Manasi: I’d remove my suit and breathe. Yes, I know it’s not a breathable atmosphere. Yes, I’d die.
Yes, I want that.

Vani: Sleep.

Deepan: Try to see the Dark Side of the Moon, whilst listening to the Dark Side of the Moon.

Nirmitii: Drink Mars chocolate milkshake. #1GallonDownForeverToGo.

Nirmitii again: Effect of electron donating groups: you lose blood.

[Yes, we’re science students, yes, Mars is red-
But what?]

Vedika: Hit their theme parks.

Sakshi: Hop around.

Aaliya: Make red sandcastles with Eva.

Mahwash: Eat pizza.

Jatin: Keep jumping.

Arjun: Return to Earth. Earth is bae.

Aditi: I’d look at Earth through a telescope and a four-minute time delay.

Charul: Live.

Lamha: Take my friends there and leave them there, because meh.

Satvik: I’ll take some potato seeds.
And goo! Lots of goo.

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Pleasetellmesomeonegotit.

Anshul: NEVER RETURN TO THIS HELLHOLE PLANET.

Nethra: Wish I was on Bounty instead.

Anisha: Just hug the planet. It’s my favourite planet. Who knew you could have favourite planets?

Manvika: Which one- the planet, or the chocolate.

Yatin: Duh! Condoms are cheap, and wait, pull out method is surely effective.

 

Oh! Well.

Come ride with me through the veins of history…

Surveyees have left Cyadonia untouched… Nevermind, I’m still there!

Anyway, take your protein pills and put your helmets on! Check ignition and may god’s love be with you… (Blast off!)

Until next time!

Survey #30

Taking a jog down personal archives.

30!? I can’t believe it, does this mean you guys have been putting up with me for 30 weeks already!? Wow!

This is yearbook stuff.

Q: What’s the weirdest/funniest/most embarrassing misconception you had as a kid?

Aakansha: As a child, I thought that anything that passed through a rainbow would become rainbow-coloured permanently. I also thought there was a pot of gold with leprechauns protecting it at the end if the rainbow.

Khushi: That math is unreal.

Eva: That the word “harami” is something we say out of love.

Siddharth: As a child, for a long time I thought that my parents were actually millionaires and will reveal that to me once I turn 18. Turns out it was a huge misconception :(.

Saahil: I thought I would never be like my seniors, who kept using cuss words. That didn’t turn out so well.

Ritankar: That Santa Claus is real.

Harshit: That jokes are good.

Sakshi: 1. Kissing on the lips got a woman pregnant as a punishment.
2. Playing with the belly button would make the intestines come out.

Akshay: That life would be fun.

Saarthak: That we die on our birthdays.

Rashiv: I had this galat fehmi, that galat fehmi ko galat family kehte hain.

Netra: That people never betray.

Aayush: Life will be good after tenth grade.

Yusuf: I couldn’t sleep at night thinking that there was a ghost beside me.

Anandita: The first time I got on a flight, I thought that above the clouds, there is a map. Our plane would pierce the map as we went up, so we’d see a map from the top. I kept asking, “When did we pierce the map? I didn’t feel it.”
Four years old.

Ashay: I thought a grasshopper’s bite was fatal.

Kritika: That I wouldn’t end up taking the “well-worn path” when I grew older.

Shreya: I never understood the concept of change as a kid. I wondered why mum was paying extra.

Zahida: I thought that the birth of a child was a coincidence after marriage, I didn’t know it was by copulation (nor did I know what that was!)

Shamila ma’am: I thought that 25 is too old.

Satchit: I thought that everyone was my friend.

Manish sir: I have superpowers. [present tense]

Rishbha: Maths is only about addition and subtraction.

[enter integration.]

Ovee: There are only two professions: Engineering and Doctoring.

Girisha: I was always scared to sleep on the bed with any guy, no matter how many pillows there were between us- I thought I would get pregnant.

Shalini: Swallowing a seed would result in a tree growing in my stomach.

Jahnavi: Swallowing a chewing gum would get it stuck in my throat.

Abirami: I didn’t know how babies were born. I thought all girls just had babies at a particular age, and they had to be married before they became pregnant.

Arjun: Me.
Arjun: That I’d find love.

Vedika: I thought Khar and Kharghar are the same.

Nihar: ‘FILM’ = ‘FLIM’.

Pranav: When I got to know that my mother’s name isn’t ‘Mom’…

“H.D.C.”: You had to start paying taxes as soon as you turned 18. Say whaat?

Riya: I was 3 or 4; I thought males give birth to males and feels give birth to females.

Ani: I, at one point in my life, thought that you had to wear condoms while kissing.

Anshul: That true love exists. Lol x25.
[Nope, I am NOT writing it 25 times, mister.]

Jatin: Jab mein chhota baccha tha, mai Bhai shararat karta tha. Ab main bada ho gaya, ab aur shararat karta hu.
I thought Spider-Man was real.

[woo, woo, Tom Holland.
Anecdote: my sister is going for Homecoming this week.
Guess which 12th grader will be left at home.]

Deepan: That the world’s a utopian one. That anarchy is a myth.
That we’ll last as memories, but nothing lasts forever.
Even cold November Rain.

[you, man, should listen to Butterflies and Hurricanes.]

“Annabeth”: I used to make holes in my quilt to keep an eye out for any thief that may enter my house at night so I could bust him.
(Except societies have watchguards)

Anushree: For the longest time, I didn’t know what my dad’s name was.

Shania: 1. I understood the song “Chane ke khet mein” as “Jaley re mere fefde”, which translates to ‘My lungs are on fire’.
2. Babies were bought from this huge store owned and managed by God. Never understood why my parents picked me!

Aaryaa: You get babies when you kiss.

Manasi: I have done a lot of BS, but I don’t remember it.

Anisha: I thought once you get your periods, you “grow up”, heh.

Eesha: I had a stupid misconception that a couple had babies right after marriage and that was the only way to conceive.

Raghav: I thought if you ate a seed, trees will grow in your stomach.

Pranav: I thought hot dogs used real dogs.

Rajveer: Eating someone’s jhoota will change your blood group.
If you don’t take a bath within 30 minutes of getting a haircut, you will be a barber in your next life.

Aditi: I thought that my birthday would come every month. Life’s not that nice.

[Hmm, however there’s another something that comes every month. Nevermind that.]

 

Aayushi: At night, when I would sleep with the windows open, the ceiling fan would shake and I thought it’d fall down on me, making a hole through the floor.

Kritika: Galat faimi -> galat family.

Satvik: Science is the real thing.

Rishabh: Everyone is a friend.

Shlok: That a stork left me with my parents.

Sanyukta: I thought that when people died, they actually became stars.
I also thought my parents picked me up from the railway station.

Aditya: To let = toilet.
I always wondered why people would stick posters saying Toilet.

Akshat: That if I swallow orange seeds, I’ll have a tree growing inside me.

Kruthika: That life was worth something.
That after 10th we’d be set. That people are happy.

Basketball Madness #3

First up. I’m getting better!
I suppose that in itself is a sort of madness?!

Most normal people these days have friends, acquaintances (or classmates,) group of best buds and people you’d avoid.

In basketball, you have the people who’s call you rely on as luck for your shot to get through the basket.
Or get stuck in it.

And you have the people who’s face becomes more of a scoring zone for you than your basket.

Yup, the best buds and the annoying flippers on the court.

Coach has one goal in life, like I’d mentioned before: keep the best buds in the opposite teams!
And maybe it’s just coincidence, but it’s also got a bit of keeping the “benemies” together.

This time, that’s just what happened.

Now, a really annoying kid, and someone whom you may from the Hole incident, fit into the preteen-section of the enemies-on-and-off-court zone.

For the past month, the two have somehow been assigned each other’s men and spend most of their time squabbling and calling out fouls and names.

So many names.

Today, Coach puts them in the same team.

Hole girl immediately protests.

Coach asks her who the coach is.

“But I can’t be in the same team as him!”

“And why?”

Faults and fouls and hits and misses and names and names and names come out. Confessions of the month.

I wonder if today’s Sunday.

Finally coach holds his head in his hand.

“Okay, forget it, he’s requested you not to call him a nincompoop, so don’t call him that. Now please play basketball.” finishes Coach.

(Yes, that was the Big Thing. I won’t go into the details of that, all of this was just the boring build up to the Madness of the day.)

when-i-look-back-at-all-the-crazy-fights-we-1096512
Madness.

So we were in three teams, and playing knockouts.

My team took the win twice, but before we ended the day, we decided to move out ourselves and let the two teams we beat have a game.
We were feeling nice, alright? We’d won.

So there was the squabbling team and there was the other team.

The other team’s captain was trying pretty hard to organise.
Her team players kept deserting their Men.

She gave them a shout.
Stick with your man!

Now when the captain’s frustrated, don’t annoy ’em. That’s the general know-how.
Unless, of course, you’re the star of the team.

Team players are now trying to stick to opponents only to turn and find them gone.
What could you possibly do when you can’t even see your man slip away?

You keep ’em from leaving, of course!

At least, that was the genius plan of the guy marking Don’t-Call-Me-Nincompoop.

I won’t deny the annoying little guy can shoot.
So anyway, it became pretty important for the genius guy to keep him marked.

I was observing the game from the sidelines.

This was just after a basket, so the throw was from outside.
Squabbling team had the ball, specifically, the One Who’d Called The Names, aka Hole girl, had the ball.
Annoying Little Guy, her enemy-teammate, was trying to get himself free.

But his man was too good.
I turned to find the two wrestling.
Genius was holding him by the waist and trying to keep in front of him, while the Star guy was dragging both him and his man towards the ball.

Rule 101 of basketball: Do not make physical contact with other players!

(I don’t know if it sounds so, but it was pretty hilarious to watch.)

Just then, Hole girl decides to trust her teammate/enemy.

She shouts out to him, you, “Get the ball!” and she throws.
Across the court, diametrically opposite to where the guy was dragging him man with him, the ball goes sailing in the air; one bounce, and it’s over the baseline.

Congratulations, other team! You’ve earned yourself a chance to score, from right beside the basket.

And the squabbling team continues to do what they’re best at:
“If you’re so good, why didn’t you get the ball?”
“Idiot, now the other team has it!”

And the game goes on.

Another girl was standing around, waiting for the game to be done, her ball was in use and she had to leave soon.

“Hurry up! I need to leave!” she bounced up in agitation.

There was another basket to be completed.

She stood by, watching for a minute.

A player goes in for a layup, and nets it too, but she’d travelled. The foul’s called. Basket discounted.

The girl waiting for ball pffts and taps her foot.

Just one basket, say players on court, and proceed to commit another travel.

“Isn’t that a travel?” I ask her.

She sighs out loud.

“I’m going back to Insta!” she declares, walking right through the middle of the court.

(Nope, I don’t suppose she heard me.)

And the game goes on.

Until we conclude yet another crazy day on the court.

Till next time!

Slash and Patch

Oh, the irony of the wonderful place I live in.

So much that’s right is really wrong, and so much more that shouldn’t be wrong, is.

Just something weird I’ve noticed.

When it comes to sex, we are mum. (Not in my school, though.)
No one talks about it.
It’s the giggly-hushy thing. No one knows any better, though.

In sixth grade, we had to fill in some form, and our class teacher was giving us the instructions.

“Write your full name, in capitals, where it says ‘Name’, and only write ‘M’ or ‘F’ where they’ve asked you to write your sex, you don’t need to write the whole thing.”

Oooooooooooo, goes the class. I turned. What happened? Ooooo, did you hear her? Snicker snicker snicker. She said the word.
Class teacher frowns.

In seventh grade, we were studying reproduction in plants. Winks all around.
I believe our science teacher took it really well; she said to us, “Wait till next year, you have human reproduction in store!”

Eighth grade. Biology. Second term.
The chapter everyone had been, uh, waiting for.
Suppressed smiles, lit up eyes, looks thrown around, snickers and meaningful glances.
I remember some of my friends saying before we began the chapter, you rankers should watch it this time. We’re gonna ace this test. Full marks.
(It was at least mildly amusing when I somehow did score a full on that bio test, and waved my paper, complete with badly proportioned, crooked diagrams, under their nose.)
This was the build up to the chapter, anyway.

Our biology teacher had it lucky: she was the teacher of the two official, branded worst classes of eighth grade.
You guessed it, one was mine, and we were only second worst.

She had a tough time with The worst. She decided she didn’t want to go through the snickering again.

So we got a pre- Human reproduction lecture from a very peeved biology teacher.

You are eighth graders, you are big children, and hopefully a lot better than <whichever one it was, The Worst Class>. I hope I can expect you not to act like small kids, if I hear a single laugh, whisper, or a giggle, your class has had it from me.

Hardly fair, this was the first time we were to have any chapter remotely about us. Whatever that meant.

 

(Extra info for those who’d like to know how the class went: there were muffled grins. It was building, really.
Somehow, the class ended with our frustrated teacher telling us something about HIV and prostitutes. Weird.
The next day on, it was like a normal lecture. Just a lesson again.

One of my buddies was telling me about her experience with the initiation of The Chapter (or, as it used to be referred to around that time, that chapter *wiggle eyebrows*). She said, again, the urge to giggle or smile was building up strong, and at one point, someone in her class cracked a really lame and pointless joke.
The class roared with laughter.)
(Buddy and I were in different schools, back then.)

I suppose you can call it weird behaviour on our part, but I do think we got a really negative response from our teachers too.
Imagine how normal the first class would’ve been if the teachers had first talked us through our side of things. (Later, they seemed to escape into the technical biological aspects of things.) If they had just told us that it’s a very normal thing, and eventually it will happen with everyone, or almost everyone, at least. If they hadn’t made it seem like being remotely interested in how your own body works, and apart from the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems too, somehow made you a bad kid. In sixth grade, something had blown up, and a teacher of ours had spent fifty minutes talking to us about how there’s nothing special or different about having a best friend from the opposite gender (which I agree with) and that ‘love’ was only for the silver screen. She said love only happens in movies.
That was something, though, that even as a sixth grader I doubted.
(She was even one of those teachers everyone wanted to please, because being good in her class was worth points to your class ‘team’, and the ‘team’ with the most points got a surprise at the end of a term.
Yep, it’s come from not wanting to think a bad thought against your favourite teacher to writing about these very things that are embarrassing in hindsight. There’s been some stuff on this very post that I’ve found my fingers drifting over the backspace for: no, this is too embarrassing, I can hardly believe now that we went through this as a class! But then I think to myself, if it was, it was. I can’t delude myself to believe it wasn’t. I don’t think I questioned most of the things going in and out of my life till rock music found me, and pretty late too. (More on that another day.) But I suppose there is still something good to consider: that today, I am awake. I’m putting out what I think and feel. I am not going mad, because I can talk here. In a way, my puking zone, but there’s always food for thought.
Embarrassing as it may seem, it’s perhaps helped me turn out the way I have today. I’ll never know.)

We’ve come from there to the boys in my class pushing to wear skirts in October when it will get very hot. (Nope, no comments. They say, we’ll borrow skirts from the girls.)

[UPDATE FROM A MONTH LATER: THEY DID IT. I’M SO PROUD.]
(Details another day, perhaps.)

We’ve come to a point where we almost had a class discussion on masturbation. (I said almost. Not yet, though.)

We talk openly about sexuality, about the idea of love, and feeling and identity. And there’s a comfort in looking to the people around you and knowing that you can talk about anything that comes mind, no one’s going to harshly judge.
(And if they do, like I always tell my shyer surveyees, you can totally judge back. There’s no hard feelings.)
My friends and I recently had a big talk about crossdressing and not dressing, and prom clothing.
(About turning up at a prom in boxers, and about coming in the opposite gender’s dress code. And asexuality (mine, to be specific.))

It makes me wonder why it’s such a problem to talk about things, that ultimately matter.

(Yes, I suppose your last-year-of-school-prom-cum-first-prom-ever-if-happens dressing ideas can matter? I don’t know. I’d go if I can rig the DJ’s system. Or blast out AC/DC myself there. My guitar and I, here we come!)

 

On a different note, I passed by a newspaper stall that had twenty copies of a local paper with the headline, Living the Shitty Life.
I can guess they probably meant it literally, but wasn’t shit a swear? I remember it being censored in the music video of Longview by Green Day (a song which is pretty much a good listen if you’ve been interested in the last bit I’ve written. It’s a very open, honest piece where singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong talks about getting so bored that masturbation becomes boring; the song was a breakthrough then, because no one would talk about such stuff in the ’90’s. Similar to what I’d talked about, listeners of that time found it liberating. It’s also got a pretty good bassline.)
The irony (and this is something a lot of my friends have pointed out to me before, and I will hand the observation down to y’all) is that shit, censored all over, is pretty much the first swearword a kid here learns, and they don’t even know it, it’s so normal. Most kids will tell you that the first rude word they used was stupid, or idiot, or in some cases, even shut up.
(You must remember that I see kid cases every week, I play basketball.)
Yet SO much other stuff, including stuff that happens within your body and your head, has been silenced all this while.

We developed as human beings, the smarter species, the thinking feeling beings, the difference between us and them being “humanity, “compassion” and “civility”.
But so-called civility has taken such control, we’ve reduced us to parodies of ourselves. Emotions aren’t weaknesses, thoughts are not a waste of time (I have a maths test tomorrow), being different is not being defective, and being the same as another person is not lame (neo-aggressive unique individual thought that shames you for thinking like another person) (not pro-plagiarism). When all this is the only stuff left to distinguish us from the robots that we always vilify, (besides the organic nature of our skins versus their lasting stainless steel surfaces, and the fact that the average human is slowly falling behind the robot) why would we try our hardest to discard those elements?
When we have only one life to do everything possible, it wouldn’t make sense trying to hide behind a blueprint forever. At least for the moment, humans are born, not cultivated, created, or designed.
Thoughts are the things that shape what we become, and hiding them means not only suppressing something that could potentially change your world, but maybe someone else’s too, which I find to be the most beautiful thing about an artist. The ability to express a thought, and to have it reach someone else, far away, with whom it may resonate, or on whom it may leave an impact. The ability to spread an influence.

The way to live, at least if you feel you have something to say to the world, is practically to live by the lyrics of the most meaningful song in my life, Butterflies and Hurricanes.

It says:
Change everything you are
And everything you were
Your number has been called
Fights and battles have begun
Revenge will surely come
Your hard times are ahead
Best, you’ve got to be the best
You’ve got to change the world
And use this chance to be heard
Your time is now


Change everything you are
And everything you were
Your number has been called
Fights and battles have begun
Revenge will surely come
Your hard times are ahead
Best, you’ve got to be the best
You’ve got to change the world
And use this chance to be heard
Your time is now


Don’t let your self down
And don’t let yourself go
Your last chance has arrived
Best, you’ve got to be the best
You’ve got to change the world
And use this chance to be heard
Your time is now

And a beautiful piano solo.

 

The clock is laughing in my face.

– Brain Stew, Green Day.

Wish me luck for that maths test.