Jan 15

2014. In 10 tweets.

1. The year began with some good, wholesome, fun-filled family entertainment – The General Election. It was an intense 3-cornered fight between Modi, Anyone-other than Modi and None-of-the-above.  The Congress however, sportingly added to the fun…

2. Attempts like the above resulted in the Congress getting wiped out. Mahatma Gandhi once said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” From 2009, Congress did this in the reverse order.

3. Modi became PM amidst much celebration by the people who voted for him, SAARC leaders and Tamil fishermen. While Congress sharpened its claws and prepared to play its role as a responsible, destructive opposition. But the BJP completely stymied Congress’ aspirations by presenting their own budget back to them with some cosmetic changes.

4. This was followed by the traditional honeymoon period for the new PM. And like most honeymooners these days, Modi spent most of his time abroad.

5. While, at home, religion trumped development, conversions trumped the economy, scriptures trumped science, and Smriti Irani trumped herself.

6. But while politics provided unprecedented entertainment, entertainment became caught up in politics. The IPL provided solid employment for cricketers, cheerleaders, actors, police, lawyers & judges.

7. India went to outer-space and caused much joy…

8. … while outer space came to India and caused much anger.

9. The year ended finally, and so did Dhoni’s test career.

10. And throughout, we ignored the grim reality around us with an outpouring of happiness, empathy, care, trust, sympathy, advice and goodness, all in the virtual world.

Here’s to an equally fun-filled 2015. Happy New Year.

Nov 08

The student, the toiler, the soldier, the leader.

I was languidly watching the test match wither away into a draw when suddenly the news flashed that Anil Kumble has decided to retire. We knew it was coming. In fact, some were even giving blatantly subtle hints about it. But regardless of how much we anticipate the retirement of a great cricketer, it still leaves a sense of disbelief when it actually happens. There is a sense of loss that we won’t see that famous run up again. So while the news channels are quickly making edits of “Chak De India” to play tonight with visuals of his ten-wicket haul, while ex-cricketers are hastily sheathing their barbs and polishing their tributes, and while Mallya is wondering if he will save some money on the Royal Challengers budget, here is my piece on a man I admire…

Anil Kumble and Sachin Tendulkar transformed Indian cricket in the 90s. Sachin showed us glimpses of the impossible. He was the magician who lived in a world which seemed illusory to us. A world of what could be. Kumble, on the other hand, lived in our imperfect world. He too was a magician. But his brand of magic was about what is. He showed us how reality could be exploited; how adversity could be ground into submission by human will. His was the art of the possible.