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My Tryst with Cricket in USA

Cricket is an alien sports in America. They do not care about it. Desis from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and additionally Sri Lankans and West Indians have however brought cricket to USA. It is said that cricket is being played in USA since many decades, but has hardly gained popularity with locals! Baseball – a sports akin to Cricket (many believe Americans modified Cricket to invent Baseball!) – has also to get some blame for that! Moreover, the distribution of cricket is pretty focal: it is played in cities where the desis have a major concentration. You can count on New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Houston and I believe in California too. I know that in NJ, indoor cricket is available.

However, I had my first rub with Cricket in USA last spring (2008) when I got a chance to play for Springfield Cricket Club (SCC). I was pleasantly surprised when I came to know that Springfield in Illinois have a cricket club and actually have a well-groomed ground with a good pitch. When I joined it they were half through the season. I got to play a few matches for SCC in the tournament being organized by Midwest Cricket Conference . That was a fun! Our team went as far as to Moline ( a 3 hours drive from Springfield) to play matches. Playing on the mat after many years meant I had to flex my muscles and joints properly! But we had good practice sessions and I did it a lot what I love most: Bowling ! The pace has come down with the years, but it was , nevertheless, fairly OK. It seems that I have lost the outswing which used to be my hall -mark!

I played 3 matches during the season and one was quite memorable for me personally! We played against CCI team (from Bloomington): CCI team needed to score 7 runs in the last over to win and I was the bowler. First ball went for duck, second one for four! On next 2 deliveries, batsman could not score, and then I clean-bowled him out on the 5th ball! With abated breath, as both teams watched, my 6th and last delivery was a straight goodlength ball rising to the chest: the (next) batsman flung his bat in vain! That was a fantastic victory! See the score.

Looking forward to 2009 sesssion of MCC tournament! The matches start in May, and our captain Samir Patel says that we ought to start practice from April! Let us see!


President for 24 Hours!

While taking a stroll after the dinner, I asked my 9 years oldie what would he do if he became the President of the country (USA) for a day!

He thought for a few seconds and replied: 1. Stop Iraq war, and 2) Ban cars which use less than 60 % ethanol.
So we have buddies who are against wars and want a greener earth! It seems the word about global warming is reaching the masses.

RaghuKul Bhusan RajaRam…….

We have often heard the legendary divine song “Raghupati Raghav RajaRam, Patit Paawan SitaRam..”. Now the song “Raghukul Bhushan Rajaram…….” sung by Hariharan seems to be a modification of the above song, but is totally enchanting. Based upon Raag Piloo, this provides height of serenity and is truly heart-warming. Sold by Sona Rupa ,this DVD is worth listening as there are other melodies based upon various ragaas.

"I Have a Dream"!

” I Have a Dream” : this famous phrase uttered by Dr Martin Luther king, Jr. has gained a historical prominence. On his birth anniversary, in the school, my 3rd grader son’s class set out to figure out what every student thought of their dreams! They were probably given to decipher what dream they had for their community, country and the world. That was an apt framework provided. Here is what my son had to offer his dreams on these lines. He wrote:

A] I have a dream for my community:
I have a dream that my community will become more technological.
When I told that the community here is already technologically advanced, what he wanted more! He said that he was thinking about his community back in India where people have lesser degree of access to the internet.

B] I have a dream for my Country:
I have a dream that one day there will be no war in my country.
To this I said: “Well, Sub! Where is the war in USA?” He referred to the war in Iraq! So, his understanding is that we in USA are at war with Iraq. I could not disagree!

C] I have a dream for the World:
I have a dream that the world will be pollution-free in the future.
Al Gore has succeeded in his Mission, I would say! Even kids are talking of Global warming! That is science taken to homes!


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Presidential Elections

For US presidential elections 2008, primary caucuses are going on, and 2 days back, the nation saw Super Tuesday/ Super Duper being held. Once in a while, I will throwup the issue towards my son, who is 8 +. A few weeks back, he told me-what he digested from the knowledge his class teacher gave them- that these elections are going to be historical becuase either way US may see a first female President (Hillary) or a first African-American individual (Obama) being elected. I agreed with him partially!

So this tuesday I was explaining the concept of Super Tuesday where many states hold primaries on the same day. He added that on Democratic side, there were 2 in race (Hillary and Obama), whereas on Republican side, there were : John Mccain, Mitt Romney. Apparently, in his class, there was no discussion on Juliani and John Edwards! I added my input on how electiosn are held and how a potential candidate has to spend millions of money to run his show, like publicity, media coverage,etc.

Last night as we headed towards our home after a school book fair, Subramaniyam (Sub in short) pointed towards the voting machines which were kept in the school (for super tuesday). He added:” Dad! In my class, I am the only kid who is not US born, thus I can not become President of USA.” I asked which country would entitle you to become a President, he replied: India. I added: “Well, Indian President House is much bigger that White House”. He continued in the same enthusiastic tone: ” One has to spend less money to give advertisements in media also there! And it may be easier to become President there, to which I replied: ” Not necessarily. The competition may be equally tough there too”.

The Station Agent Movie

Saw the movie “The Station Agent”. The lonely character- who happens to be a dwarf (Hypochondroplasia)- shifts to a remote rail depot in New Jersey after the death of his friend. There he meets 2 individuals -Olivia and Karl- and they become friends. The movie also gives an insight into the psyche of a dwarf person.

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