Sports

And One for TT

Back in University, the Skulker and I had penned something called “The TT Chronicles” for our Yearbook. It was verbose, it was wordy, probably had enough adjectives to fill out a goodly-sized Wren & Martin, and was more or less, absolute tripe. It also took a fair number of potshots at some people which were perhaps not appreciated, and did not take one potshot which was definitely not appreciated 🙂 But as usual, I digress.

Today, I came across an article in FT along somewhat similar lines. Ok, maybe not! But ’twas about TT and much good it was 🙂 

I give you Ping Pong with the FT: Harry  Evans. And a short extract therefrom:

Top Five: Ping-pong joints

 Spin New York: With backing from the likes of Susan Sarandon and Edward Norton, Spin’s 2009 opening symbolised ping pong’s new-found celebrity appeal.

 Spin Hollywood: This west coast branch, in LA’s Mondrian hotel, offers coaching from table tennis champion-turned-fashion model Soo Yeon Lee.

The New York Table Tennis Club: Former champions Alex Tam and Deng Yaping are among the members at this Flushing venue.

The Fleapit: Micro-brewed beer and “tunes with a certain bounce” go with the regular table tennis nights at this bar on London’s Columbia Road.

The Book Club: Tuesday night is “King Pong night” at this Shoreditch bar. Entry is £1 – with £30 worth of drinks to be won

As you can see two of ’em are in London.

And one of them is even called The Book Club 🙂

The Pursuit of Happyness

Mark Twain aka Samuel Longhorne Clemens aka Josh aka, (and this is my personal favourite) Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, was in all possible respects, a Dude. You just need to read one of his novels, or travelogues, or short stories, or letters to find out why 🙂 What’s infinitely interesting though is to go through the man’s bibliography, and look at the manner in which his writing actually evolved through the years, and all the different layers it kept on acquiring.

I don’t think there have been too many other authors with a body of work, as distinct and truly varied as Mark Twain’s. I don’t think there have been too many writers, who started out penning flippant, outrageous prose and ended as a chronicler of their times; sombre, cynical, and faintly disillusioned. And defined happiness as, and I quote, “Happiness ain’t a thing in itself – it’s only a contrast with something that ain’t pleasant“. (Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven)

So, essentially, the greatest humourist of his generation would have us believe that happiness isn’t truly a tangible entity. Moreover, its so inconsequential that it can be defined only by taking recourse to an allied, and an entirely contradictory, concept. And so, the only way you can be happy, is if you ain’t sad. Bit sad, na. Its a little like defining light as the opposite of darkness, you know.

But then again, light isn’t merely the opposite of darkness. Light can also be the absence of darkness. For there to be light, darkness isn’t necessarily the logical precursor.

And neither do you need to be sad, to be in turn, happy. Happyness is a sturdy enough little thing, to be able to stand on its own feet 🙂

Happyness is when you read the likes of Pratchett and Wodehouse. And have a stupid grin plastered across the middle of your face.

Happyness is, and here’s another law school digression, spending some 40 odd straight hours on research paper submissions, and then going to a deserted library, reading Porterhouse Blue, and howling your head off.

Happyness is going to sites like this. And reading posts like this.

And at times, Happyness is about watching a certain guy score a double hundred in an ODI.

I Eat, Therefore I Am.

I had some grub from the Land of Carib today. Something called (and quite aptly so) Jerk Chicken! And, which, in case you are wondering, was pretty darned pathetic. So, the basic philosophy as appurtenant to that particular delicatessen would appear to be: You Eat, therefore You Are. A Jerk, of course.

To be fair though, the only reason why I tried that stuff out was because it was called Jerk Chicken. Which would kinda vitiate the a posteriori part of the above paragraph. And thereby render, members of my tribe, and all those attracted by snappy appellations, as A Priori Jerks.

Played tennis recently. In sub-zero temperatures. And in rain. Much, much good 🙂 Took the first quarter of an hour just to warm up my limbs though. Not to mention the fact, that no matter how hard I hit the ball, the blasted thing never seemed to carry. Later, while chatting up with this cricket-maniac South African tennis coach (who incidentally, I almost managed to persuade to relocate to Mumbai), I was told that at current prevalent temperatures in the City by the Thames, tennis balls suffer from something called the Dead-Rubber Syndrome. Which Ain’t Good. Neither is rain for that matter. And twits playing in such weather should be confined to straitjackets at the earliest available opportunity. To quote him, “Yer crazy, man”.

Reminded me a bit of playing with the Foul-Mouthed One at BTA though. Think Monsoons. Thinks puddles the size of swimming pools. And two maniacs sliding all over the place like a bloody show of Icecapades. Strangely enough, if my memory serves me correctly, the reaction back then (from the Admin-guy, I think) was pretty much the same. Almost verbatim stuff 🙂

I am not sure whether I’m a big fan of open-book exams. I am a big fan (ok, make it moderately big) of Cinnabon. Especially their Carrot Cake, which I haven’t yet tried, but which looks oh-so-bloody-scrumptious.

‘Tis Puja Time (And Other Things)

‘Tis Puja time in Cal. Everyone seems happy and chirpy all of a sudden; Pandals have been erected overnight, every square inch of acreage’s been milked for all they’re worth; the dhakis are all set to do what they do best; the street food wallah’s are ready to make a killing again. Nothing’s changed. Nothing ever will.

Had gone back to NUJS a couple of days back. Didn’t go back to Room No. 217. The last time I’d been there, I’d found somebody else cooped up inside. Bit of a shock to the system, that. With the vacs on, there were hardly any peepul around. Met up with the Tea-boys, the LAN-man, Miskhan and the Poet Jr. They were probably the only few fellas still left. Also, ran into Rookie who is up to strange and wonderful things at the SC. And of course, had Dim-wala Maggi with onions and chillies 🙂 Friggin’ brilliant. Brought back lots of memories. Most of them though, from those unfortunate mornings we used to have uttapam for breakfast.

Speaking of food, Benjarong’s the new Mainland China. Most certainly so. And their Chicken Satays are bloody awesome. Sigree’s finally spruced up on its main course act. And that was the best Dum Biryani I’ve had in a long, long time. Who knows, people might actually start going there for a reason apart from them kebabs.

Henin’s apparently making a comeback. All’s well in the world again. There ought to be some sort of a law expressly forbidding anyone with a backhand like hers from being ever allowed to retire. Mein Gott, I could keep on watching replays of that single-handed backhand for hours on end!

The Post Office on Southern Avenue has got to be the cleanest, most well-ventilated, supra-spacious government facilitated message disbursal mechanism I’ve ever been to. ‘Tis speshul. The fellas behind the counters though are having none of this speshul-ness. There was this one lady in particular, simply refused to tell me which counter to go to. Thankfully, I’m of a calm, equable disposition. In fact, at times I’m positively Zen. Otherwise, (mutters darkly……)

Speaking of Zen, I present another Zen master.  ‘Tis truly a measure of the times we live in, that I get to see stuff I might not have even heard of otherwise. I hereby present, Zidane – A 21st Century Portrait. Real Madrid vs. Villareal. April 2005. From the first whistle to the last. 17 Synchronized cameras. All focussed on ONE man, his slightest actions, his every movement, his sudden sprints, his subtlest feints. On Zidane. (Cross-linked from here)

Rooting for Baghdatis

Firstly, a cracker of match coming up tommorrow, Baghdatis-Federer. Really do hope the match lasts five sets and Baghdatis doesn’t run out of steam at this last juncture. Last thing anyone would one want is yet another shutout by the Swiss champ. Go underdog go.  Secondly, Name of the Rose turns out to be a far better read than Foucault’s Pendulum and rather like a medieval version of Sherlock Holmes (the protagonist is named William of Baskervilles, take that !!) with a generous dosage of theological discussions, philosophies and epiphanies (most of which, by the way are in Latin). Thirdly, I had the best pickle I have had in a long, long time today. I’d even go as far as to say that other than my Grandma’s gobi ka achar this is the best I have ever come across. Deli-iii-cious.