When Cricket Could Only Be Watched on TV Sets…

Time changes, even before we know it has changed. Do you remember the time when there was only one household in locality which used to turn into a community center whenever Sachin used to bat? Fortunately or unfortunately, I have not seen such time because by the time I entered teenage, cable TV was spread to each household. However, I still remember that one incident when I had an experience of such a “community center”.

It was the second final of CB Series in March 2008 at Brisbane. The mighty Australians versus India, who had already won the first final. From Delhi, I was for vacation at my sister’s place in Hyderabad. She was quite excited as her 16 year old brother had for the first time came to visit her after marriage. She wanted me to roam around each and every corner of the city in my 3 days visit.

I know with how much impediment I delayed the program to watch Sachin’s inning of 91 in that match. But once he got out, I had no option but to go out on Hyderabad’s tour. Me and my sister were supposed to visit “I-max” for movie, but by mind was still occupied with the thoughts of India winning the series by defeating Australians, specially after that monkey-gate incident in Test series.

At that time, there was not anything like Live telecast on starsports.com which I could have enjoyed on my smartphone during movie. So, I was in a dilemma or what we call in hindi, dharamsankat. I could not hurt my sister by showing dis-interest in movie, and at other hand I was missing all the actions. Movie interval.

I could not see anyone having even radio inside. Thus, to find the score, I went out on road, and there I found water in midst of Sahara-a small car repair shop having a 7 inches old TV screen (old by the standards of 2008 also!). 30 required from last 3 overs! No 72-foot high, 95-foot wide i-max screen could compete that 7 inches TV at that moment.

22 from 12 deliveries. 8th wicket falls! I cried in joy, but my voice was deafened as I realized that there were atleast 20 more passer-by standing and watching cricket. SIX! I could not understand Telugu, but in India, cricket is beyond any culture, religion, region or language. Surely the words uttered by those people were not pleasant.

13 from 6 balls. It was Irfan Pathan. Prays, hopes, expert comments, all were flowing in. Despite no knowledge of language, I was understanding everything that was being said there. The crowd had grown to somewhere around 30 in anticipation of watching India win. Wicket number 9! Wicket number 10! India won the match and the series!! Australia defeated at their home turf! Id, Diwali, Holi, it was celebration time. But…

My sister was waiting inside the hall. This cricket fever can even make you forget blood relations! How I managed her wrath and then convinced her, that story if not told, would be better! :D

That day, I realized, one TV set where the whole colony would come together for match, was actually the real fun. Sports unite people, and that day I witnessed it first hand. No one knew each other, but for few moments on that repair shop, our hearts beat together!

Today, I am not a 16 year boy, I am working in a company, having responsibilities and no matter if its a Sunday and a T20 World Cup Final, I still have to work (Yes! I missed the Ind vs SL final). But with starsports.com providing live stream of IPL 2014 on my smartphone, I do not need that car repair shop and neither do I have to make my sister or anyone angry. Yes, I can not enjoy the company of such 30 strangers, but I still have plenty to look upon like Keep Calm Moments, replays, polls, live scorecards, stories and no matter what else. But being a hardcore cricket worshiper, my favorite feature still remains the “Opinion” column with likes of Harsha Bhogle and Ayaz Menon making sure that the game does not end with the last ball bowled!



This post is a part of  Cricket just got better! Activity by starsports.com in association with BlogAdda.com.


Indeed the Centre of Excellence: The first Impression!

30 people. From 11 different states of India. Under one roof. For 28 days. Everyday you are given different tasks. No mobile networks. One can’t go outside. A list of rules, 4 page long. And no I am not talking about some crap Bigg Boss airing on TV.

Welcome to COE, Centre of Excellence!


I heard about this 4 weeks residential program called Personality Skills Development conducted at Hyderabad by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. After giving away all my happiness for 4 years, my enjoyment, my college life, time, sleep to articleship and classes, I knew that this is the opportunity to get back something from CA. And I enrolled into program.

Never been out of the city alone, never been seen the hostel life, I knew beforehand that this was going to be life changer experience for me. And did it live to my expectations? The 4 weeks experience was way beyond what I could have ever thought!

The first impression

Day 0. It was 11th August, 2013- the day I reached Hyderabad. There was big glass building around 40 floors in height which was the ICICI Bank Headquarter and with reflections of sun pouring from ICICI Bank Building over it, was the campus nurturing the future CFOs of Companies- Centre of Excellence. Was it a hostel or a hotel? There were wooden furnished AC Rooms with LCDs, there was gym, swimming pool, lawn tennis court, a recreational room where we can play TT, carrom, chess, we could sit and relax in lounges, there was a well maintained cafeteria and the lawns were simply beautiful. In outskirts of the city, away from the chaos of traffic, truly going with the name, it was indeed the Centre of Excellence!

After exploring the facilities out there, it was time to interact with other people. From places like Shimoga near Bangluru, to marble city of India, Kishanganj in Rajasthan, to the city infamous for its opium crop, Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh; people were present from all over India. Delhi, Mumbai, Sungroor in Punjab, Jodhpur, Guwahati, Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Patna- There was virtually whole India at one place, called the Centre of Excellence. And we all were locked up there for next 4 weeks! There were no girls which was disappointing but nothing in this world can be perfect, and not having any girl was the only imperfect part of CoE.

That evening, we all sat down in the lawn tennis court and had our first formal introduction with each other. We had all India rank holders, singers, yoga-guru, air-rifle champions, musicians, tech-geeks, politically inclined, writers amongst us. Some were aspiring to be a great entrepreneur,  some were already entrepreneurs, some were looking for jobs, people were having dreams of IAS and while others were still trying to figure out their future. But one thing was common between all, of course apart from CA thing, that we all wanted to gain maximum from the upcoming 4 weeks, both in terms of learning and having fun.

Next Morning. Day 1. Unlike the Bigg Boss house, there was no song playing to wake us up in the morning, and getting ready on time was a big challenge. There was rule that no breakfast will be served after 9:15 AM and our class timings were 9:30 AM. Day 1 only, I and my room partner were late for breakfast, but luckily got a parantha to eat, and the rest we managed with biscuits.

Nevertheless, we reached for our classroom. What a classroom it was- air conditioned, having projectors, mikes on each seat. To top that, everyone was dressed in their finest formals- shirt with ties, blazer and trouser. Even the best of MNCs could not have created such professional environment.

Having no idea what we really are going to learn, the Centre of Excellence kept surprising us. Just look at the activities we had on Day 1 itself- Strategy formation on how to survive in air crash in a desert, presenting our business idea for raising funds, participating in a virtual auction for establishing business and learning how to convert a group into a team.

The class ended at 5PM, but not the day. It was then time to try our hands on TT and Lawn Tennis, and thankfully not many of us were good at playing it. 10 PM was the time we were supposed to go back into the rooms, but they did not specify that into your “own” room. And from there began the legacy of “Club 1Show13” and our late night group project work.

It was all just on the day 1. Some of the creativiti-est class activities, best of speakers from across the countries,  exploration of city of Hyderabad and the craziest bakchodi with hostel mates- these all were awaiting us in next few days. The next few days which were going to be the best few days in the lives of many of us!


(More on the experience of CoE, the hostel life and what influence it had on me: Coming Very Soon!)

WordPress Review 2011

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,800 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Topics topics everywhere, but not a single blog post on them…

The Anna Hazare and the unprecedented support he is getting. Losing the No.1 crown, that too so shamefully. The so-awesome Rishikesh trip. End of my teenhood.

So many things to blog about, but not getting enough time. Will be back with a new post very soon!


The Wedding: Grand Finale

Wedding Series: Previous parts

Part 1:The Wedding

Part 2: Wedding: The card Distribution

Part 3: The Wedding Continues (3)

(What I thought to be a single post, has continued in a four part series, All thanks to my ability of not being able to write in short.)

Hello and welcome to the final day of the Wedding match of Garima weds Deepesh. We are coming to you live from the Silver Oak Farm House. The stage is all set. Spectators are slowly filling the stadium. The match is likely to begin very shortly. Before that, lets go down to our on field commentator, with the weather report.

“Thank You. From past few days the temperature was souring above 45 degrees and the wedding match was expected to have lots of skin release. But the weather has taken a U turn. Instead of hot temperature, there are now fears of rain which may just spoil the whole match. Though right now, pleasant winds are blowing through the ground. If it stays that way and rains remain away, we expect everyone to have a great time.”

Well the wedding ceremonies are about to begin. There we have bride’s brother, Sarthak Goyal arriving. He has been in his prime form past few days and is expected to give his best today. We can see, with assistance from his father and others, he is welcoming spectators for this big day.

Meanwhile, we have heard that the captain of the other team, the groom has arrived. But he is still waiting in dugout (ie car) as his teammates (ie baarati) are still on their way. On the other side, Sarthak Goyal has changed his stance. He is running towards the assembly point to face the opposition team (ie the boy’s side), but has been sent back.

The groom is out on the crease. Korath, a kind of welcoming ceremony for the groom, has begun. And oh no! There is a twist, Sarthak has been called back at assembly point, but only to be sent back again, as the umpires (pundits) requires some material. Sarthak is running from his father to his mother and now towards the parking area. You can see the frustration mounting on his face. The car is full of match equipments (ie ceremonial stuff) and he has no clue of what has been demanded by umpire. So he makes an referral (ie ask for help) to his mother. His mother arrives, gives him the required stuff and there sarthak zoops back to Assembly point.  (In short, Korath ke time mujhe pura bhaga diya tha. All thanks to the pleasant weather that I am still alive.)

After Korath, its time for baarat to cover the 100metre and 1hour long distance till the actual venue. Unlike IPL, here fireworks are seen before the match. The baarat is moving as if snails are carrying every person. I just hope they won’t be timed-out!

Meanwhile all plans have been chalked out to tackle (ie welcome) the opposition. And here enters the groom’s side, jumping..err.rr.. dancing! Bride’s sisters are welcoming them in the traditional tilak-and-all manner. Slowly but gradually, the opposition  captain is moving towards his place on the stage. As he was about to settle in, here enters the captain of the home team, the bride.

Both the captains are approaching towards the elevated center stage. It seems its going to one-on-one between the two captains ie Jaimala– the exchange of flower garland. Meanwhile, there is some confusion around the stage. There are two sets of jaimala and its becoming difficult to decide who will use the second set. Finally, it has been decided the keep the second set at bay and let the bride and bridegroom have the perfect match. First its the groom who puts the garland in bride’s neck, followed by the groom. And as both exchanges the jaimala, the stage has started revolving. The bride and groom are holding each other’s hand and flowers are raining over them. A perfect moment!

Finally they both captains descends down the center table and move towards the main stage. Our cameramen are doing the best job of getting their photographs from each and every degree of angle. These cameraman are the happiest person right now because they know its their turn NOW ie the photography session. Everyone wants to get one (and in some cases, more than one) photos with the captains. This photography session appears to be never ending with so many camera flashes to make anyone blind. (Now we all know why love is called blind!)

Meanwhile, Sarthak Goyal seems to be in search of someone. Busy in his match (wedding) duties, he hasn’t been to spend anytime with his friends. And if that wasn’t enough, some of his friends have reached some other stadium. They are now being called out to the right venue. And once they have reached, we can see Sarthak enjoying a break and having some relaxing time with them. In that time, the photographers’ inning has come to an end (though they will keep batting throughout the match!). And its time for the Maxx-Lava-Lemon Mobile Dinner Timeout.

This timeout is only valid for groom’s team. They are having dinner while the whole of the bride’s team are serving them. The timeout is now over, and now comes the Grand finale of the finale- the phere!

Phere– it is that part of the wedding where bride and groom vows to be with each other ever and forever. The umpires talks with the umpire almighty (the God) and asks him for his blessings for the two captains. After taking some rounds around the pavitra agnee and with all the rituals being performed, DEEPESH GUPTA and GARIMA GOYAL GUPTA are now officially HUSBAND and WIFE.

And with the final ceremony of vidaai, where the bride leaves for her new house (giving his brother the ultimate freedom), the wedding match is now over. Not over, infact a new match has been established today.

The two week long extravaganza has finally come to an end. Overall, it has been a memorable fare. When my two elder sisters got married, I was probably bit younger to actually been involved in the wedding. But this time, I got this opportunity- to experience to be the brother of bride. Despite the workload, it was fun! Infact there hasn’t been so much workload also as I have presented during the whole series. There is a long list of people who were actually taking the burden- my sisters, brothers, mom, dad and other family members. I was just contributing in bits and pieces. On the day of wedding, there were some scares of rainfall but luckily it turned out to be a pleasant environment without much of the heat or any rain. The whole function went out smoothly without any hiccups and I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I do.


That was 28th May, 2010 and today its 28th May 2011 ie the first wedding anniversary of di and jiju. And I wish you both A VERY HAPPY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY! :)

That’s it from the series THE WEDDING! I hope you enjoyed the all the 4 parts. Please leave your comments and share it with all your friends.

Thank You. Have fun


The Wedding Series: All parts

Part 1:The Wedding