Monday, May 29, 2006

Exams & Prize Day

Exams around the corner, and as my recent trend has been - I can't really get myself to study for them. Here's the problem - too many things are happening, and believe me, that's hell for an idealist.

One thing that has now been pushed out of the way, is Prize Day 2005-06. A less complicated build-up leading to a glitch-filled, but fun day, this years Prize Day had it's ups and downs. One 'up' was that atleast it was better than last years. However, certain misnomers, and certain exaggerations were made. From an abnormally large 'Grade 1B' student, to blatant ignorance of "Manity Fair", the day did leave a few unsatisfied. Anger at certain accalades, mixed with pure joy for the well deserved 'Best Teachers', it was an ambivalent day, only promising a very entertaining tomorrow - hopefully. BTW, Shri - you are free to vent here. On the whole, it was a good day. With live entertainment for the choir boys in the classrooms, the re-arrival of a 'rocking' ex-student, we, or rather most of us, did get our share of the laughs. But most importantly, I was especially happy for the due recognition that was given to a certain few, namely the Best Sportsman, and the Sherley-Varkey-Award winner. Also hearty congratulations to all you 'prize' winners - great job with your academics. For all those ex-students who could have been there today, you have certainly missed a good opportunity to meet all the teachers, and join the school in an eventful and fun evening.

However, today was a prime example of how academics rules Indian schools, and don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong about that. But I don't want to argue too much now. All I have to say is that, maybe a little more emphasis could be given to extra-curriculars. But then again who am I to say so? - Maybe enough recognition is already given.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Day For Geniuses

In this post, my definition of a 'genius' might be totally wrong. So for this post's sake, envision a 'genius' as a person who just blows you away with a moment of pure brilliance. You can see it - his soul is in what he is doing, and the energy and passion is oozing out. He is at his best. To me this is refreshing and fascinating, and it is something that my permeable self takes in with sincere pleasure and appreciation. Today a certain selected group of random people left me smiling and well, quite honestly, spellbound. Hats off to them.

My favourite guitarist, Ali (yeah I know my belief is to prevent revelation of real names, but this is for true appreciation) was the first one to cast his magic on me. Our school hosted an internal, low scale "Battle Of The Bands", which should have been called "Battle Between The Bands", because there were only two bands, both comprising what one would call 'amateurs' or 'juniors'. Both of them were, quite frankly, lousy. No 'brilliance' there, but potential - yeah, loads. Anyway this not-so-fascinating show got over quickly, leaving me quite bemused, especially because of one farsical cover of a famous Queen song. So, where does "Ali" come in? After this average performance, Rohan, 'the-you're-fat-you-suck' sayer, begged the 'School Band' to perform. Enter Ali. Unaware of what to play, with no real preparation, the 'School Band' decided to show-off with a 'jam' session. Almost shocked by this sudden compulsion, Ali, stepped in. The rythem, as in the easy part, began, and Ali asked Rohan, the bassist, "Which key you playing on?"
"A," was the reply. And then lead guitarist, Ali, unleashed an improvised solo, feeling every note he played, putting on no fake show, but releasing a natural flow of energy and music which only comes when someone 'good' is perforiming, a real performer. Yes, you may argue, there are many people in the world who can do that, but to me that moment was one of pure joy. The wonderous feeling you get when some one good does something classic and leaves behind 'oohs' and 'aahs', is rare. To me it was genius, he was, atleast for that moment (for all you debating freaks) a genius. He was a genius accompanied beautifully by an able drummer Udai, a confident rhythem guitarist Jitin and an enthusiastic and apt bassist, Rohan. Truly, bravo. I really enjoyed it.

Adding to add to this remarkable performance, was Harry, my very close friend. He hosted the "Battle Of The Bands", and it was a last-minute decision to make him the host. But his composure and delivery, mixed with this homely confidence thrilled me, and made me think - there we have it, the next great TV Host/News Reporter/Actor or definitely something in that field. A genius, not because he had done something amazing, but because of his confidence and because he gave off the feeling - I am in control of this, and I am good at what I do. It was just his presence, genuine and loving - oh I hope this potenital and talent is not wasted, and I hope that everything gets sorted out for him now and in the future.

This next instance is a more, well, maybe something you won't be able to relate to entirely. 1st session, in school, we were having our singing/music practice. The group song we were singing, 'Eagles' by Abba, went off decently. The 4 piece harmony, blended delightfully, and the literally 'rocking' track brought out a very decent sound. After that, the necessary people practised the 'Prayer Song', a more intricately composed song, with harmonies that blended even more beautifully. They put on a fairly pleasurable performance. But that nor the earlier song falls into my definition of 'genius'. In fact, this is where my definition of a 'genius' goes wrong. During those songs, there were two people working energetically at perfecting every single note. One was Mr Axel (no not 'Rose'). An extremely hard-working, maybe a little exploited, genius, whose love for music is like of no one else's I have seen. Once he loses himself in the music, he is transformed into this radioactive element that is constantly emitting energy in all directions. An amazing pianist who has a mastered the art of track-making, and the only person I know who totally understands music, he often leaves me awestruck. Today, what made me realize his 'genius' abilities was not his skill, but his passion and his joy of teaching and transferring music. That sir, is truly revered by me. The second of the two people is our very own Sharen ma'am. A principled woman, whose attitude is positive and right, mixed with a tinge of fun, she has a lovely voice. But what makes her different to me from all the other people who have lovely voices, is her passion and her love for what she does. This accompanied by her truly loving and caring nature makes her a 'genius' in her own way. Today, while practising the 'Prayer Song', she just let her self go, and her voice, boosted by her passion and skill, resonated in my ear, and once again left me smiling. Yes the day did involve a lot of smiling - which is my expression of 'wow', and well done.

I don't know what it is that's so amazing. No actually I do. Beyond just the skill, it's the passion, yes, it's the passion. That's the word that separates the 'geniuses' from the rest. That's what I want to appreciate today, because that is what most of us fail to do. We lack passion, and what's even worse is that we lack the ability to express our appreciation. We envy them instead of lauding them. Yes, it's natural to envy, every single person does, but it's how you raise yourself beyond that, and learn to appreciate things that deserved to be appreciated. It is then, that this envy automatically turns into honest appreciation for someone other than YOURSELF. And then follows, joy and satisfaction for you.
I have experienced this, and that's why I am saying it. That's my point, and this is how I felt it would come across best.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

World Cup Fever

It grips everyone. Even if you hate 'the beautiful game', you will still follow the Football World Cup. It's magical how this unifying force, that is football, entrances the world with a spell that sinks right into the heart, and then the passion, the excitement, the energy, the devotion, all come out like gushing water bursting out from a shattered dam. The sheer emotion and euphoria when your team scores, and pure pain when your team loses is something that's priceless. To me football is purely sublime. Do you feel the same?

My team, - Arsenal all the way. Their fast-paced attacking football and thrilling one touch play has won my love. But as this is a World Cup post, let me not dwell too much on them - but just one thing - hell today will be one of my most memorable days yet, if they lift the coveted Champions League, and kick some Barca butt.

I got converted into a football fan after the 1998 World Cup. Brazil's samba made me a Brazilian Indian, atleast in the sphere of football. Well not really a glory supported, I have supported Brazil ever since 1998. 2002 was truly majestic. Even though Brazil were a little lack-lustre that year, they pulled through remarkably and captured their 5th crown. I love them. This year, unlike 2002, Brazil are the favourites. With pace, flair and 'attack' written all over, they will only lose in the World Cup because they are too darn good. I hope not, but thats the tendency. The favourites have too much pressure and that pulls them down. Ronaldinho and Adriano are going to be the stars of this World Cup, and its evident that no team can match Brazil's brilliance. But the World Cup is known for its twist, and I just hope that Brazil won't be a part of it.

Here are my predictions:- (well, also 'hopes')

(Yeah the clear favourites, both on paper and gamewise, so don't argue. Whatever you could argue about, I have already put in my earlier synopsis)

(Don't even argue about this one, ok maybe Henry might give him a little competition, but the Arsenal Maestro doesn't seem to know how to perform for his country)

(Yeah ok, fight on, this award is always a surprise)

(Yeah I know he is out of form and all, but I won't be surprised if he comes back with a bang - he is quality and one of the only players I like from England)

(I have a lot of respect for this man, especially for his great exploits with Brazil in 2002. Portugal are lucky to have him as their manager. But the all time best manager ever, according to me, still is Arsene Wenger)

(If this guy shows his true potential of a wonder kid in this year's World Cup, I won't be happy for England, but boy I would be counting my beloved Arsenal's blessings.)

(Eboue, Toure and Drogba might produce some magic, and there's a high possibility of them emulating 2002's South Korea)

(I know this sounds harsh, but I feel they don't have the props to make it big in this tournament, despite the home support. I therefore feel they will be the biggest disappointment of this World Cup)

(Call me hypocritical, but I feel they are over-rated. They have never really 'performed', and their captain, Mr Becks, is especially frustrating)

(Most of his goals are tap-ins. He is known for his silly, malicious attitude, and this World Cup he is going to be as frustrating. According to me, he's a born loser. Yeah he will score some dull goals this World Cup, but he will also prove how boring a footballer he is. Posh's Becks placed a close second for this award, by the way. Please feel free to differ)

You know what you need to do, you need to get gripped in this football frenzy. What do you feel? Who do you support? You can do the following to be heard:
1. Copy-paste the 'predictions' bit onto your comments, and give your predictions, with suitable reasons.
2. If that's too long and boring, just comment about your favourite team, or against anything you don't bloody with agree with on this post.
3. This you have to do. Create your own Fantasy World Cup team at and join this private league whose code is 14426-3932. Let your football wisdom unfold.

I hope you do atleast one of the above. Till later - blog on.
Keep up the football spirit and Brazil - kick some ass.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Ok, this has got nothing to do with MSN Messenger and my status on the list of my MSN buddies. It's just about a phase. Recently, my posts have been philosophical and commemorative in nature, but this one is a little more personal.

Have you ever reached a 'phase' in your life when you suddenly don't understand anything? Weird things happen. People who are really dear to you start frustrating you, and the funny thing is that you actually get frustrated. Indolence starts creeping in, and how much ever you want to change yourself, it doesn't happen. Weird. You start worrying about your future, your past, your responsibilities, your reputation, or in a nutshell - yourself. You worry, but you don't do anything, and that's where things go out of hand - you get blocked and stuck.

Don't get me wrong, my life does not suck. I am no hedonist. I believe problems and shortcomings are all a part of life. And life only gets better when you start to understand and correct them. But right now I am drowned with too many woes, which in no way should be mine. A lot of these woes have been transmitted from others, and have been created from self-construed conclusions and emotions, which ideally should not affect me. A lot of people have affected me to an extent that I am thoroughly perplexed. My thoughts have gone haywire. I worry too much. And the funny thing is that I know what my problem is - I have no control over my mind. And I also know the solution - Vipassana Meditation.

Ok, yeah, an unexpected solution, but hear me out. I am no ascetic nor a believer in any of these religious practices. But Vipassana is not a religios practice, in fact, it's a science. It is a proved science that teaches you to get control over your mind. My parents are ardent meditators, who practice Vipassana religiously (no pun intended), and the effect it has had on them is unbelievable. My dad, known for his extra-worrying-attitude (like mine), has benefited so much from it, that mentally and emotinally he has reached a self satisfying balance, which, especially for a doctor, is priceless.

What does Vipassana do? It imparts in you the powers of concentration, memory and self control. It preaches no religion and forces nothing upon you, but allows self purfication in an extremely logical and scientific way. It helps you to think more rationally and chase away all your extraneous fears and worries. All it asks for is diligence, and that is not easy. You have to read about Vipassana -

This 'solution' has been laid down on a platter for me. Still, I am not making the most of it. Why?
That is what's worrying. I need to start focusing and working, and start studying! I need meditation, I need a peace of mind. It's easy to say but let's see if I actually start utilizing this solution? Because that's where I'm failing myself.

P.S - Apologies for a truly boring and self centered post, but sometimes your blog is a good place to vent.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

My Mother

She is a working-wife. She is a house wife. She is a homeopathic doctor. She does most of the chores at home. She feeds us. She stimulates us. She binds us all together in a way that we are the strings of her guitar. Without her, we would almost fall apart. She keeps us fine tuned, and allows us to freely march into our own ambitions with little regard for anything else. Such little regard, that at times I feel I have disappointed her with my adamant harshness. She imbibes all our frustrations of school, work and play, and gives us the most amount of care. She doesn't abide with the Newton's 3rd law. She cares, and however we are with her, she will always continue to care. Every evening, when I come home tired and dead at 6:00 pm, my food is ready on the table. Every morning, she gets up at 5:40 am to make sure I get my school tiffin and my morning breakfast.

After all the hardwork at home, she has many achievements to be proud of. She is an ardent meditator who has done 3 Vipassana courses and has also travelled to Burma for her meditation. She has been in many news publications for her homeopathy, and on the 3rd of May, 2006 she was on the radio, on 99.3 Dubai FM. She is one of the most caring and supportive mothers ever, and I know that she will always be there for me, and for her entire family, like she always has.

It's just that I don't appreciate her efforts enough. So this is how I want to redeem myself.
"Dr.(Mrs) Deena Malpani, Mum, Wife - I salute you. We salute you." - Abha, Anish, Kishore.