Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Dream

(This is a poem retelling a dream which I had someday back.) 

I walk in a train,
Running across a stream,
I look down and find no tracks
Shit!! I am again in a dream.

It cuts a corner
And stops near a mosque.
A priest comes out with a smug face
I wonder if that is a face or a mask.

I wanted to rip off his face
And solve the mystery.
He was annoying me, so like a true Delhite,
Verbally wanted to remind of his ancestory.

The priest came close
And ripped off his face to reveal a skull inside.
No blood came out
The face was the mask and the mask was the face,
If not for horror, it was modern world’s guide.

I jump back into the train
To flee away from the skull.
And I realized that my dreams are awesome,
While my waking life is mostly dull.

I made a mental note to sleep more often ,
Trying to save my life from skullface while on run.
Thinking that if I had such dreams in college,
I wouldn’t have missed out on such fun.

Then I tried to hide in a toilet,
Again the skull was the shape of commode.
It had tentacles sprouting of it,
Beckoning and warning at the same time, in the same mode.

The train then stopped near a village,
A village I lived in when I was a kid.
Those by-lanes  I could never remember while awake,
In the  dreams, they all came back. They did.

There bandits were running amok,
I had heard bandit stories while I was a child.
While awake they are clouded by reality,
In the peace of sleep they came back from the wild.

Out of the blue, I heard a screech,
Of the unmistakable arrival of the train.
I could have been a jeep , but I prefer to recall it as train
For I would never want those bandits to hound my life again.

I hopped on it,
Preferring the skull to the flying bullet.
Skull was frightening for sure,
But wanted to get as far from death as I could get.

But the skulls were not there,
It became dark and the train shuddered.
I looked and it was falling through a drain
A chill passed through me as I realized,

 And after that I obviously woke up as you can never die in your dreams.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Thank You Dravid....

Come Friday, and Rahul Sharad Dravid will announce his retirement. He has called a press conference that day with N. Srinivasan. And the press will be filled with celebratory articles about his career as it should be. So I decided to put up what I had to say now before there is a deluge of better articles than mine on my laptop screen and lest they cloud my thoughts about him.

I will just post what I wrote about one of his innings when the year started, but never put up on this blog. It was a part of my list of My Moments of 2011.

I have always loved Ganguly. He was the best Indian captain I ever saw. Yes better than Dhoni. I have always loved Laxman. To me , he was the most elegant batsman of all of them. And I have always loved Sachin. Because well, he is Sachin. You do not have an option. But in strict terms, I never loved Dravid. I always respected him. Perhaps more than anybody else in Indian cricket, save Kumble.
But when Dravid walked out to bat again as opener after India were made to follow on by England having already carried his bat for 146 in the first, it should have embarrassed his fellow batsmen. I don’t know about them, but it embarrassed me. I felt ashamed that I have always prioritized love over respect. His coming out again made me realise that people you love can make you happy , even blissful at times but it is people who are worth respecting who make a difference to your lives, even making it possible to exist . And I was better person for the experience.

And when Dravid spoke at the Bradman’s Lecture, he further enhanced that respect. And he brought one thing to notice. Sachin must be having the farthest reaching voice in Indian Cricket. Yet he has never spoken about the underlying malaise in control of cricket in India (read BCCI). He has never been embroiled in any controversy ever, but that in itself is a sign of aloofness, isn’t it?

I do not want to bring Sachin into this post. When Dravid goes out, he alone deserves to have the spotlight. So when paeans are sung about him tomorrow, please chuck out that clichéd term “overshadowed” from your vocabulary. For once, it doesn’t seem right.

 He needs to be celebrated for what he was because that is a mighty achievement surpassed by no other cricketer I have seen. Because he has taught me and possibly so many others to value “respect”.   Because of all the giants of Indian cricket, he is the only one I can try to emulate in my professional life. Because he is the only one who embodies professional values that go beyond the realms of cricket.

And Thank You, Rahul  Dravid for that.