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Random

Love at first drive!

It was the best hundred bucks I have spent in Mumbai so far.┬áThis morning I had to go to Nariman Point for some work, and while coming back to office, I decided to take a taxi instead of the local. I don’t really know why I did it, but it turned out to be a good decision in the end.

The drive through Marine Drive, with overcast conditions, a gentle breeze blowing in from the sea, and the sight of pigeons flying around, was so soothing that it can’t be explained, just experienced. The driver didn’t talk, and just stared at the sea, the people, and the birds. Add to that the unusually low and silent traffic, and it was just, well, perfect.

Had it been any other time, it would have been a honkathon, but this was different. It was peaceful, and as I passed through those dilapidated houses that belonged to the Dinsah’s and the Wadia’s, I could not help but compare it to Chandini Chowk. If the true heart of Delhi is located in Chandini Chowk, it had to be this place for Amchi Mumbai.

All I want to do now is walk down this place early in the morning while watching the sunrise. Bliss!

PS: Considering that I live close to the mountains and awesome drives have been a part of my staple diet, you can just imagine how awesome it must have been for me to write about it.

Categories
Books Review Sports

Soccer in Sun and Shadow: Mini Review

You can’t write enough about a book that begins with, “We lost, we won, Either way we had fun.

In the book, Eduardo Galeano takes you through a brief history of football (soccer to him) through the last century, inter woven with a lot of social commentary. You get goosebumps reading his description of certain goals, matches, and individuals. Though not as intricate in social details as CLR James in Beyond the Boundary, you can clearly see the viewpoint of a South American in a game that was then managed by the Europeans.

To choose a few highlights from the book would be a travesty, given that every short note (the maximum length of a chapter is three pages) is a masterpiece in itself. You would have read authors describe players, plays, matches, or rivalries, but have you ever read an ode to the stadium? Read what Galeano has to say of it when a goal is scored.

“… the stadium forgets that its made of concrete and breaks free from the earth and flies through the air.

There is nothing more mute than the stands bereft of people.

At Wembley, shouts from the ’66 World Cup which England won still resound, and if you listen very closely you can hear groans from 1953 when England fell to the Hungarians. …… The Stadium of King Fahad in Saudi Arabia has marble and gold boxes and carpeted stands, bit it has no memory or much of anything to say.”

Or what he says of idols.

“Sometimes the idol doesn’t fall all at once. And sometimes when he breaks, people devour the pieces.”

And of course, he writes the most (for a player) about Maradona, who he felt has not been fully understood and punished too often for speaking out his mind.

“Maradona charged a high price, and paid one as well. He charged for his legs – and paid with his soul.

Diego Armando Maradona never used stimulants before matches to stretch the limits of his body. It was true he was into cocaine, but only at sad parties where he wanted to forget or be forgotten because he was cornered by glory and couldn’t live without the fame that wouldn’t allow him to live. He played better than anyone else in spite of cocaine, not because of it.”

If there is only one soccer book you will ever read, let this one be it!