Sunday, September 26, 2010

Squash-ed and Snook-ed

As you, my fawning fans, know I am a man of myriad interests and tastes. A true connoisseur of the good things in life and  an open experimenter to boot.A man not afraid to try new things at the risk of mortal peril or societal reproof. Truly an amazing person (*bows, acknowledges the applause. Oh stop please, I want to continue this post too)

So anyhow, I have written on many occasions about the tennis I try to play every weekend. It started in October of 2007. A bright sunny day my then boss and I reached my then office's tennis court with Rs old tennis racquet. Three years and many racquets, tennis balls and restringings later I still like the game but have lost some josh that I had for the game in the early days. Sleeping at 2 and getting up at 4 in the morning to reach the court early enough (I have actually reached the court before the sun came up once. As Barney would say, true story) is becoming a thing of the past and I find myself not even setting an alarm for the morning and hoping that Sid would get up and give me a call to wake me up for the game. And heaven forbid if I've had a late night! The phone can ring till kingdom come and I wouldn't pick it.

But today I felt some of that josh of yore returning with baby steps in a new game. I went to AS' apartment to try this new beast called Squash. And what fun it was! 

Its intense, its fast, its mindboggling (on occasion, when you lose sight of the ball and flounder and wheel around frantically to prevent it bouncing its dreaded second bounce!), and it is so so tiring! (As an aside its so good to be an army brat. Sid has played all these games before. And though I managed to win two out of three games (hehe), it must've been such a sporty childhood where you get to try your hand at so many sports with all facilities available). Anyway, I had a whale of a time.

And talking of wheezing whales, squash also has a murky side to it. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, its not all fun and frolic at Swapnil's. We follow responsible journalistic tendencies and highlight the ugly with the good to ensure that you, the reader, the public, walks (or, you know, clicks) away from here with a complete and insightful view of the whole issue.  

We were playing 15 point games and when I found myself leaning against a side wall, half bent over heaving and huffing to catch some breath with just 10 points having been fought over, the message was emblazoned across the wall (or, you know, the floor where I was staring in today's situation).

And it said -

And I quickly put together an appropriate response of supreme urgency.


So all in all a great sport that I'm looking forward to playing a lot often.

Actually a very good Saturday in totality. Played with AS' cute pugs after the game and rounded out the day with a couple of games of snooker as well. I am in my cue games phase and I must be getting old because I prefer snooker to pool now. Its so much tougher and serious.

One debate has started raging in my mind. Its a bit unrealistic considering I just moved in this house a few months ago but I am actually considering moving to an apartment with such sports facilities. I mean it would be expensive but it would be so cool to come back from a long, mentally exhausting day at work and then have a quick game of squash (can be played alone as well so no dependencies) or just soothe your mind with a gentle game of snooker before going to bed. Lets see, it doesn't make any economic sense but it would be so nice to have these things available...


Sunday, September 12, 2010

And no, I don't want to cook. Thank you...

Hey there. How've you been?

I've been away a while. I've changed jobs and including the few days break between jobs I mustered, I've been trying to stay away from the laptop as much as possible. But alas, the beautiful days starting with bright sunlight streaming inside your window (What? So I get up late on vacations, sue me) and no itinerary or calendar entries to mar your bliss are over now.

Which brings us to this.

Now as regular readers may know, I don't watch too much TV. Even now that I'm staying alone I still don't spend too much time in front of the telly. And when I do there are only a few channels I watch (No, not Star Plus thank you).

But recently whenever I drop into by beanbag-chair, squirm a little till I get into that perfectly comfortable position for atleast an hour long repose, have a beverage and some light snacks at hand and finally raise the remote to switch on the TV, the only thing that seems to come on the channels I watch are these Cooking challenges.

Top Chef, Top Chef reruns, Top Chef Masters, Top Chef Masters reruns, Top Chef Australia...come on you can guess the next one. Yes, Top Chef Australia reruns! 100 points to you, my friend!

Now, don't get me wrong. I love food. All types of it, the more exotic the better. In fact my extremely extremely gradually expanding girth is a clear indication of this continued love affair that I have with everything fried, baked, grilled or skewered. And though I may not be a superb cook, I do appreciate the fine art of cooking. In fact I have been occasionally found staring in rapt attention as the TV cook does some fancy knife-and-oven-work and creates a masterpiece out of refrigerator refuse.
But the sheer deluge of of these cook-challenges is extremely irritating. Every channel you switch to, it's some poor creature being grilled by the judges.What? I meant the chefs.

"Ze textuere of ze dish is verryy important, see? You have mezzed it up. You don't belong infront of ze oven. Get out of my sight!"

"Even though the presentation was excellent, the flavour itself is horrible. And I don't like your face either. Get out!"

"I just don't like your face. Get out"

Seriously, what is wrong with these channels. Lets have some regular programming please. Sitcoms, comic acts, and funny talk shows please, NOW!

Ok, so now with that out of the way.

I've been reading a lot of Indian sub-continent authors recently. And they have blown my mind away. Such awesome, sensitive and varied writing.

We weren't lovers like that - Navtej Sarna
     Extremely sensitive. Blows you away. A tale of losing love through inaction and the resulting life long regret. Brilliant
Moth Smoke - Mohsin Hamid
     A great study of how life is the same across the Pakistan border as well.You read it, and you think we are all the same people, same reactions (reaction to our nuclear tests followed by Pakistani nuclear tests), same thoughts. Sigh, what a waste this enmity is. 
Bunker 13 - Aniruddha Bahal
    Super fast paced thriller set in recognizable locales. It got a bit confusing towards the end though. But maybe that was just my slowness.

I'm now reading another one, Back Seat by Aditya Kriplani. The jacket cover sounds very good, as does the first chapter. Looking forward to getting entranced by it! Maybe I should review books I read on this blog on a more regular basis. What do you say?