Category Archives: Diary

Indian Cricket Team is not Paneer Butter Masala

I was one of the most fortunate souls today. 

Firstly, today was my first Father’s Day as a father; completely different feeling to have an innocent tiny bundle of joy in my hands. 

Secondly (and related to this post), I could not watch or even follow a single ball of the Indian chase and collapse in the Champions Trophy final today against Pakistan; I was flying the entire duration. I got all the shock at once, after I landed in Delhi at around 9.30 pm.

Yes, it’s disheartening to see our Men in Blue lose a Final. We were the favourites to retain the trophy, especially after India were to play Pakistan in the Final. We had beaten them comprehensively on June 4; they are also No. 8 side in the World and barely managed to scrape through and qualify for the tournament. 

But, over time, we have realised that it’s easier to understand even Quantum Physics but not this Pakistan side. Who’d have thought they’d come up with such a complete performance? And what a day and stage to up the ante. Complete credit to this young Pakistan side for lifting this Champions Trophy when everyone were thinking South Africa, England, India.

They have not only surprised the cricketing world, but also themselves. 

Where is Thissara Perera hiding? His dropped catch in hindsight defined this tournament.

Coming to India’s performance, today was a day when all departments collectively failed. Bowling discipline and batting specifically. It so happened that Pakistan also simultaneously produced their A game. Result is there for all to see.

But take nothing away from the Indian side. We could have done a few things better, but it’s unfair to expect them to produce best results every day. 


Indian Cricket Team is not Paneer Butter Masala. They cannot make us happy everyday. The fact is, they make us happy most days. We should cherish and savour those moments. On days when they don’t, we should take them in our stride and continue to support this champion side. If Champion sides can win all championships, then there is no excitement in watching. The unpredictability of this sport (or any) is what makes it fascinating to watch/follow.

Men in Blue, we stand with you. Now go clean sweep West Indies and Sri Lanka and come back. 

Congrats to Indian Hockey Team on the 7-1 win against Pakistan. Congrats also to Kidambi Srikanth on the historic win.

Virat Kohli has matured as a person hasn’t he? His post match pressers/interviews are a treat. 

The 8000 Club: Some numbers

King Kohli during the course of that breezy 96* today stormed into the 8000 Club, ending the day with 8008 ODI runs. With every innings he is batting, he’s breaking records. Today, he missed joining Sanath Jayasuriya with 28 ODI hundreds (joint third) by 4 runs, when he had a chance. It goes to show how selfless a cricketer he is. Carrying his bat through the innings was more important to him than going for glory (and running the risk of setting the wrong example for millions of youngsters looking up to him, by holing out in the deep in the process).

There are 29 players in the 8k Club. Amla is the only active cricketer in the 7000s who might join the club soon.

All the stats that follow are for the 29 players in the Club + Mighty Hash.

By Countrhy

Do you find something strange in the table above? Not a single English cricketer and just 1 New Zealander in Stephen Fleming.

The 4 South Africans seem to have the healthiest collective average, while Indians top the chart in runs scored, hundreds scored and # of player in the club.

Here’s a snapshot of the complete list, in case you feel like browsing through it.

Complete List

In terms of Batting average, King Kohli aces the list with a mind boggling 54.47. ABD is not far behind. Notice the last name in the list? Shahid Boom Boom Afridi. He has a batting average Ishant Sharma will be proud of.

Batting Average

Afridi tops the list in terms of Strike Rate though, and predictably so. Numbers 2, 3 and 4 in the list are also not surprising. Sehwag, de Villiers and Gilly.

Sachin too has had a very good strike rate of 86.23. I was surprised to stumble upon Ganguly’s strike rate. 73.7, almost same as Dravid’s. Both Gangulay and Dravid’s ODI records look very very similar (except for the 100s column).

Table below shows members of the Club with least hundreds. Unsurprising to see Shahid Afridi at the top with 62 innings per hundred. Azharuddin was a bouncer to me; just 7 hundreds?

Least centuries

Mahela Jayawardene has scored most ODI runs without scoring a single 150+ score. The complete list below.

Not a single 150

Watch this space for more.

Documentary Review: Sachin, A Billion Dreams

What’s a harder job than being Sachin Tendulkar? Making a film on him. 

Sachin is an open book to Indians and cricket fans across the world. What more, there’s also an autobiography out in the open; “Playing it my way”. What then can a movie about the great man add on? Director had a tough job at hand indeed. 

Did he succeed? Nope. “Sachin, A billion dreams” is a good documentary at best. There is no need to go to a Cinema hall to watch this documentary. Cinematography credits for 50% of the movie goes to Anjali Tendulkar. The movie is replete with personal moments of Sachin as seen through her handicam. 

The movie could have been shot in 12 hours, and thus adding another record to Sachin’s already loooong list of records. Not sure what took them so long to get this movie together. 

No scope for Rahman. Where can he score when most of the film has people talking to the camera? 

There are goosebumps moments in the film, but very far and very few. 

This movie is not meant for Indians or people who know Tendulkar. It’s meant for people who know nothing about Sachin or cricket. It might seem entertaining to them. Not for us Indians or Sachin fans, who know Sachin in  and out. Maria Sharapova might enjoy it. 

You can’t blame the Director too. There’s no scope for him to create any sort of suspense. 

What about screenplay? Last thing we wanted was Sachin’s story told in chronological order. That’s exactly what the Director has given us. 


“Sachin, A Billion Dreams” is like a good documentary on Cricket you would want to sit in your home and watch on Star Sports. Not a movie you need to go to Cinema halls for. 

“Fire in Babylon” is a better made documentary on Cricket. Watch it if you haven’t yet. 

I hate you, Rajamouli Sir!

Dear Rajamouli Sir,

I hate you. I mean this from the bottom of my heart. I truly do. And there is a reason for it. 

I happened to watch “Bahubali 2: The Conclusion” for the third time today. Two times in Tamil and once in Hindi. I was stunned to see that you’ve managed to create the same impact as the Originals (Telugu and Tamil) in a dubbed version (Hindi). When I walked out of the cinema hall today, spellbound as I was, just like the first time, the reality slowly sinked in. That’s the end of the Bahubali series, at least on the big screen. That’s why I hate you. 


I know “The World of Bahubali” will continue to exist, through book series, comics, TV series, games, virtual reality, etc. like you have been saying in interviews, but none can match the impact created by your magic on the big screen. 

There is a dialogue in your movie where Sivagami says, “Once in a while, even God who sits in his temple has to come out to the streets to hears the sukh/dukh of the people.” It applies to you too. Once the Bahubali 2 wave is over, take some time out to hear what people have to say. Open your twitter account to see the comments. People are thoroughly gutted that this series has ended in just 2 movies. Why oh why? Why can’t you take another movie as a prequel to tell us the story of Amarendra Bahubali’s dad? Or may be the story of Mahishmati under its current Ruler Mahendra Bahubali. I sincerely hope you do. Take your time. Take a long, well deserved break. But take a good decision. We need more of Bahubali on the big screen. 

Bahubali franchise can give the likes of Marvel, DC a run for their money. I am not joking. 1500 Cr is not a joke. 

Till you come up with Bahubali 3, we shall make do with stuff like “Rise of Sivagami” and other books, media to stay connected with the Bahubali universe. 

But remember Rajamouli Sir, like Devasena waited for 25 years for Mahendra Bahubali, we will be waiting for the return of Bahubali. 

I hope this letter reaches you.

Yours truly,

Nitin

Jai Mahishmati 

Movie Review: Baahubali – The Conclusion (No spoilers)

Author’s note: Don’t worry. This post doesn’t have the answer to why Kattappa killed Baahubali. Nor does it have any other spoiler about the Epic. But I am assuming you’ve at least seen the first part since I will be using certain references from it.

Having seen how the first part of the Epic ended, with Kattappa (Satyaraj) narrating Sivudu (Prabhas) on the legacy of The Great Amarendra Baahubali, we all knew what was going to be the eventual conclusion.

Sivudu (alias Mahendra Baahubali) would rout Mahishmati with his army and kill (burn to death) Bhallaladeva in the pyre in the presence of his mom Devasena (beautifully played by Anushka), as vowed by her. 

We knew this was going to happen. Despite that, Director S. S. Rajamouli manages to keep the audience hooked, throughout the movie well into the climax. That’s where the success of the movie lies.

The love sequences in Kuntala kingdom between Devasena and Baahubali could have been released as a separate movie in itself. Beautifully scripted. 

Anushka was the perfect choice to essay the bold, strong, gorgeous, righteous, caring, lovable Devasena, Princess of Kuntala Kingdom who falls for Baahubali. 

Ramya Krishna will now have Padayappa as the number 2 film in her career. Baahubali her best. No better person to play the pivotal Sivagami role. 

Rana Daggubati as Bhallaladeva is not the traditional villain you’d see in Tamil, Telugu cinema. His characterisation based on jealousy, inferiority complex sort of blends into elevating Baahubali’s character too. Key role.

Kattappa essayed by Satyaraj gets most screen presence in the movie, after Devasena, Baahubali. Powerful role played to perfection by veteran Satyaraj. Humor in certain scenes in first half equally laudable as the emotional, pivotal scenes.

With Prabhas, Anushka Shetty, Ramya Krishna, Satyaraj and Rana, SSR has got the casting spot on.

There are many people who have essayed the role of Karnan. But when you think of Karnan, you think of the Great Sivaji Ganesan. Similarly, Kattabomman – Sivaji Ganesan; Bharathiyar – Sayaji Shinde.

After Baahubali, when you think of a great Warrior King, the first image that might strike you could be of Prabhas. What a man! His 5 years dedication to the movie and script shows. The film is flooded with scenes that will give you goosebumps. SSR might have written them, but you still needed Prabhas to carry that on screen. Stand up and salute Prabhas for that. 

Watch out for the scene where Kattappa introduces Baahubali to the Kuntala Kingdom or the court scene where Baahubali gives justice to the Senapati. Cinematic peaks. Excellent scripting, bgm and camera.

Appreciable effort from Art Director Sabu Cyril and Music Director MM Keeravani for bringing mythical Kingdom Mahishmati to life. 

The Conclusion could have ended at the place where The Beginning begins, i.e. when Sivudu (Mahendra Baahubali) is born. Audience could have easily guessed on their mind as to what was in store.

SSR takes the pain to picturise that part too. 

Amarendra Baahubali is immortal. He will live on as long as people in the World talk about cinema. Hats off SS Rajamouli.

P.S: Utterly gutted this series had ended in just 2 parts. 

Zapwheels customer testimonial

There are no Vespa service centres in Gurgaon. Yes, not even one. There was one in Sector 14, but then they shut shop. If I were to service my Vespa at a service centre, I’ll have had to take it all the way to Dwarka.

Frankly, I haven’t been up to speed with respect to automobile service start-ups. When you don’t have an answer to a question, reach out to Google. Google can’t say no for an answer. You can even try your luck asking Google why Kattappa killed Bahubali, if you can’t control your curiosity for another week. 

Google threw up Zapwheels as a plausible solution. Their website is fairly simple to use and very well guided. Fill in some basic details like Two wheeler model name, your name, email, phone and tadaaaaa, you are done. You can also book time slots for service basis your convenience. You are then informed via email and SMS on order confirmation, service guy details, etc.

They do a compete regular service at your doorstep for Rs. 249 all inclusive, without you having to move an inch out of your home. I hadn’t serviced the bike for 9 months. The service guy easily spent close to 2 hours on doing the 24 point check mentioned in their website, very diligently. 

Overall experience. 4.5 out of 5.

Will I recommend Zapwheels to friends and relatives? Big yes. 

Will I book my next service with them? Most definitely yes. 

200 not out

I started this blog in July 2012, almost 5 years ago. Today, WordPress reminds me our journey together has exceeded 200 posts. For me, that’s not a small number. It averages out to one post every 8.5 days. I am happy to know I have been a fairly consistent blogger. 

What started as a personal account of my life in IIM Shillong now comprises posts on a number of topics of my interest which include travel, music, books, movies, photography and sports (cricket specifically). Cricket Stats deep dives have been a recent addition to my blog where I randomly pick one aspect of the game, dig numbers from ESPN Cricinfo and make a post out of it.

I write out of my own interest. It’s a great feeling. Creating your own content. There are no other intentions of maintaining this blog. Feedback from friends and family on ways I can improve is an added bonus. 

There have been days when I have published posts and there’s hardly any readership. Other days, when there are few 100s to even 1000 visits. Remember one such instance when I wrote a letter to MS Dhoni and posted it on Twitter. The Official CSK handle had retweeted it, leading to massive readership. That was a memorable day in my blogging journey. 

I would like to thank Bhaskar NH, my friend from Undergraduation, who was the motivation behind me starting this blog. I have thanked him many times, and I will keep thanking him in the future, with every milestone. 500 posts. 10 years. 1000 posts. 20 years. A million views. 

Until next milestone, it’s goodbye. 


P.S: Sachin was the first to reach there. I have reached the milestone too. Next target, Brian Lara. 

Movie Review: Dhuruvangal Pathinaru (Tamil, 2016)

Being a regular on Twitter, I remember reading rave reviews about the film Dhuruvangal Pathinaru and its Director Karthik Naren around the time of the movie release in late December 2016. Noted film personalities like Shankar, Gautam Menon, Murugadoss, AR Rahman and the likes had high praise for the 22 year old Director on his directorial debut. My former room mate Divakar told me the movie is now available on Amazon Prime Video. I watched the movie last week, with zero background about the movie and its plot. I just knew that it was a thriller movie.

9/10 to the Director for the screenplay. Kudos. We have seen multiple crime thriller movies in the past. But the way the narrative moves from past to present to one POV to another PoV is pure genius. It’s a short movie, little more than 100 minutes long. In those 100 minutes, there are more U Turns than a Kejriwal speech. Every twist is unexpected and takes you off guard. 


Rahman as Police Inspector Deepak hits a high in D-16. Most of the movie in fact is narrated through his character. His narrative and carrying of the role lifts the movie to another level. The fact that he is the only known face in the movie shows how confident the Director was, on the script. Celeb faces didn’t matter. Screenplay was the true hero. Camera work is pacy. 

If you have 100 minutes at your disposal, download Amazon Prime and watch D-16. You wouldn’t regret it.

And yes, I’ll be watching Karthik Naren’s next movie, irrespective of Genre or reviews. The Young Director will go places. Remember the name! 

Movie Review: Joker (2016) Tamil Movie

The 64th National film awards announced Joker as the Best Feature Film (Tamil) recently. I took to Twitter to ask my followers if the movie is worth a watch. I got a unanimous yes for an answer. The movie thankfully was available on Amazon Prime video, and so I began to watch the movie, 8 months after its release in August 2016.

It’s a hard hitting Tamil political satire movie, which poses some tough questions to the way we treat our regional and national issues. The first half though mostly filled with humour, makes one take a step back and ponder about the current state of affairs in our country. Director Raju Murugan has taken humour as a tool to subtly send across strong messages on a number of issues, which include illegal sand mining, safety of schools for children, basic toilet facilities and the likes. 


The way the Protagonist and his associates are seen as Jokers by the society even though they spend their time and lives for the cause of the people is the underlying irony of the movie. Somasundaram as the Lead character shines as the Joker in Present and a poor guy vicitmized by the system in the Past. Certain scenes from the flashback are tear jerkers. 

Somasundaram seems to be a versatile actor and I won’t be surprised if he gets called for roles in Mani Ratnam, Bala movies in the future. 

Such small scale films with a strong story and message need to be encouraged by us as audience. Kudos to the Director. And thanks to the National Awards jury for selecting this movie as the Best Feature film (2016). 

Almost got robbed!

This incident happened 6-7 months ago. I just got myself to write about it, today, me being on a blogging spree having published 5 posts in the last 24 hours. Yes, it happens with me all the time. Months without a single post, and then, days like these.

It wasn’t a deserted place. There were at least 20 people around. I was travelling by auto to office, waiting at the Traffic signal in Sector 49 (Gurgaon), mentally planning for the day ahead. 10 metres to my left, I saw a man with a full length beard, dressed in shabby clothes with a snake in his hand, begging for alms from fellow citizens. For a moment, just for a moment, he saw me looking at him and his snake. I don’t know what struck him, but he came running towards my auto. May be he sensed fear in my eyes (Yes, I was scared). May be he noticed the 3 gold rings on my fingers from that distance.

My heart started pounding heavily, with every step he took towards my vehicle. He wasn’t alone. There was one other bearded man who accompanied him, but without a snake.  Our Auto was in the extreme left of the road. The other man covered the auto completely from the right side and our man got into the auto, with the snake in his hand. The snake was hissing and moving, centimetres from my face.

He begged for money. I refused. He then told, “Do rupaya de do”. Give me 2 rupees. I then didn’t know it was a trap. I was happy to give 2 rupees to get that snake out of the auto. I opened my wallet to get some change. He noticed the two 500 rupee notes (those were pre-demonetization days) and a few 100 rupee notes in my wallet. I gave him 5 rupees.

That’s when his tone started to change, like the transition from Ambi to Anniyan. He was carrying a small bowl with some kumkum inside it. He demanded, “Take the note having largest denomination in your wallet, keep it on the bowl and take it back”. I wasn’t a fool. I knew where he was coming from. He would take the 500 rupees and run out of the auto. I blatantly refused. The auto driver started cursing at him. The other man said, “Tu Chup kar. Aaram se baat karo”. You keep shut. Talk politely. The Auto walah then gave up, his loud curses giving way to murmurs and rants. The signal was already green by then.

“I have given you 5 rupees. Please leave us alone”, I said, trying to sound commanding, with my stomach rumbling with fear, underneath. When the man refused to move an inch, I took 100 rupees from my wallet to put it on the bowl. He was holding the bowl in his left hand and the snake in his right. Now he caught hold of my hand tightly. When I tried to pull it away, he took the snake an inch closer to my face, with my eyes staring at the snake’s. In all likelihood, the snake could have been a poisonless snake, used just to intimidate people, but who knows? Who’d dare take the risk of grabbing it and throwing it onto the road?

Random photo of me with a snake. Jan 2015. Pushkar.

Random photo of me with a snake. Jan 2015. Pushkar.

The man wasn’t satisfied with 100 rupees. His target was the Gold ring on my right hand. He tried his best to remove it from my finger, It was tough to remove it, with me having clinched my fist real tight. At this point, the auto wallah started to accelerate the vehicle slowly and I don’t know what struck the man, he jumped out of the Auto, with my 100 rupees (105 rupees in fact), with all 3 Gold rings safe on my fingers.

That was the last day I wore Gold rings to Office.

Grand Home Season of Indian Cricket – some numbers – Indian batting

Better late than never to get this post out.

13 Tests, 4 visiting countries, innumerable records. Call it home advantage, call it “not the real Test”, call it whatever, our boys have gone there and shown who the boss is, in subcontinental conditions. Winning 10 out of 13 Tests is no joke. As the boys have switched gears to the eye-catching T20 format of the IPL, let’s sit back and look at some numbers from the Grand Home Season of the No. 1 Test Team in the World.

Batting

No points for guessing who the Top 2 run getters for India were in the season. Pujara with 2 innings more than Kohli tops the chart in terms of runs scored, with more than 1300 runs in 23 innings at an average of 62.66. Remember this includes a Duck in the last Test against Aus where he was run out. With 8 fifties and 4 hundreds (1 of them a double ton), Pujara has managed to score 50+ for more than 50% of the innings he’s gone out there. That 525 ball marathon  in Ranchi is one for the ages.

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When doubts of whether Kohli is from Earth or some other planet started cropping up after the England series, the Australia series brought him down to earth, proving he too is human. Despite a horrific Test series against Australia, he is the second highest run scorer in the Home season, at an average of 65.89. For someone who has shots for every part of the ground, Kohli managed only 2 sixes in the 12 Tests. This shows the kind of evolution he’s got into his Test game. Kohli averaged 109.16 against the English, scoring 655 runs in 8 innings.

Capture

Karun Nair apart from the 303* in Chennai, amassed 71 runs in total in 6 innings averaging under 12. KL Rahul was phenomenal against the Aussies scoring 50+ in almost every innings, in some not-so-easy batting conditions. He has cemented that opening spot for himself, now. Vijay and Rahane haven’t shown consistency, averaging less than 40 in the season. Ravindra Jadeja and Saha both averaged more than 40 in the season, adding some valuable match winning/saving runs throughout. Jadeja also scored his runs quickly, striking at 68.55 and smashing 21 sixes, most in the series. Invaluable. No wonder he was the Man of the Series, rightly.

Expect more posts in this series – on Indian bowling, visiting batsmen, visiting bowlers.

For now, it’s a wrap.

3 years of Work!

It seems like yesterday that I rushed straight to Gurgaon from IIM Shillong immediately after Convocation, with anxieties of taking up my first job and settling alone, away from the comforts of home. Out of the 110 students from my batch in IIM Shillong, I had the earliest joining date.

Apr 9, 2017 marks the completion of 3 years of my work experience with my first and only company. The journey has been one to cherish and reflect upon.

I work for a start-up. I sort of liked the idea of working for one, even while giving Placement interviews, even though I had little idea about them. I had heard from seniors and friends that there’s nothing like having your first job in a growing start-up. They can’t have been more right.  The learning curve at the beginning was very steep. Today, even after 3 years, it hasn’t plateaued out. Every day poses a new problem to solve, puzzle to disentangle, lesson to learn.

I’ll remember my first boss, Nitin Agarwal till I retire. He’s had a great positive influence on me and my work.

The kind of cross functional exposure we get is limitless. There is no discouragement to try something new, experiment with stuff, fail trying.

I have been fortunate to have innumerable colleagues who have turned good friends and travel buddies, sharing common interests. Many of them even after moving out of the company remain good friends.

In retrospect, an MBA after 12-18 months of work experience would have done me more good. I could have made better sense of the literature being taught in B-Schools with some practical, real work experience. But then, everything looks better in retrospect.

I look forward to another fun-filled, learning-filled work year ahead.

Kaatru Veliyidai – Visual & musical extravaganza

If Oakley and Rayban shades with a clean shaven look become a trend in Chennai soon, blame it on Mani Ratnam. The protagonist in his latest film Kaatru Veliyidai (Breezy Expanse) has pulled off the look to perfection, as Fighter Pilot, Officer VC.

If ever the Kashmir state government wants to promote tourism in the state, they can just cut pieces of the movie and compile them into a beautiful documentary, portraying the beauty and expanse of the State. Stand up and applaud Cinematographer Ravi Varman for that. He is one of the pillars of the movie. National Award on the cards.

 

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Rahman’s background score reaches another level when he is asked to score for Mani. Watch out for the shot when “Jugni” begins. Songs aren’t a hindrance. They in fact, lift the movie to another level, specifically Azhagiye, Jugni and Vaan Varuvaan.

Aditi Rao Hydari fits in to the role, like fish to water. This movie should be a big break for her, having been in the industry since Dilli 6 (way back in 2008). Not a single scene where her lips are out of sync. She scores more than Karthi in the romantic and drama-filled scenes, which are replete in the movie.

Sreekar Prasad’s editing is razor sharp. He has given the audience barely what’s required to  connect the dots. No meaningless scenes.

Karthi as Officer VC shines.

Kaatru Veliyidai might not join the 200 Crore Club, like most non-commercial films. The film might not be liked by a good chunk of the regular movie going, masala seeking audience, who have apparently flooded the internet with negative reviews.  But when the movie is telecast on TV a year later, you wouldn’t want to switch channels.

Bottom line: It’s not a movie you can watch and forget. It’s an experience you carry and ruminate, for hours after you’re out of the cinema hall.

Book Review: When Breath becomes air!

Fathom this. You’re one of the best in your profession, wanting to better yourself every day. You’re in the peak of your career, in the mid 30s. Suddenly, one day you come to know you are diagnosed with Lung Cancer and have only few months to live. The last thing you would want to do would be to write a book. You would want to spend the last few months of your life with near and dear, taking leave from your profession, right?

That’s what most people would do. But Paul Kalanithi chose to be different. He wouldn’t let the terminal illness take over his life, as yet. He would face life, continue his work as neurosurgeon against the odds,  spend time writing a book on the thoughts clouding his mind so that it can serve as an inspiration for people around the globe on how to lead/face their lives.

whenbreathbecomesair1-680x796

The book hits you on the face. BAMMMM! It makes you think if you are making the best use of your time. It makes you realise, we are all running against time, towards the finish line, i.e. Death. The time, may be different for different people, but the end is certain. What we make of our time in the race between life and death is what matters.

The tone of the book is never negative or to gain a sense of sympathy towards the protagonist. It’s positive, gritty, reassuring and confident. That’s how Paul lived his life, till he breathed his last, at the age of 36.

Paul from childhood had had a keen inclination towards literature, which is very well reflecting in his writing and vocabulary. The  detailed medical descriptions of operations or about cancer at times slow down the pace of the book and makes one skip a few stanzas. Editing (post Paul’s death) seems to have been done in a hurry.

But this raw nature of the book makes us somewhat feel connected to Paul. Written in uncensored stream of consciousness. Towards his last days, Paul was in a hurry to finish the book and that very well reflects in the tone towards the last few pages of the book, where Paul is almost in denial mode.

Bottomline: Should be read once to align your compass in the right direction. Inspirational.

Road Safety much?

It’s a common sight these days, at least in Gurgaon, the city I currently reside. Carcasses of dogs right in the middle of the road. It’s a very disturbing sight to start your day. Yesterday, I saw carcasses of two dogs side by side. At least 3 days in a month, my 15 minute bike ride to office offers this disturbing sight of a dead dog, badly hit, in the middle of the road.

Google tells me about 6 Mn dogs die in US every year due to road accidents. That’s 16000 dogs dying every day. Isn’t it staggering? I am sure the number in India would be no less.

Now, whose fault is this? Not all such cases could be a mistake of car/bike riders speeding on the highway. Sometimes, the dogs themselves are at fault, as I have observed multiple times in my late night rides in the city. They suddenly start running from one side of the road to another, often followed by 1 or 2 more dogs, as if they own the roads. I’ve injured a dog once myself, though it was minor, me having applied the brake just in time. The dog survived, but I felt guilty the complete night, thinking about the dog’s health and pain.

We can’t blame it on the dog, can we? They don’t go to school. They are not taught about traffic rules or when to cross roads.

What can we as humans do? Slow down the speed of our vehicle when we spot a dog in 40-50 metre vicinity, assuming it might jump into the middle of the road anytime? Not a tough ask, ain’t it? I have seen Uber/Ola drivers giving the least respect to an animal occupying the middle of the road. Dogs, pigs, cows, buffalos. If the animal doesn’t move in the time the car takes to reach its spot, it’s doomed.

Dogs too have family. Their life too is precious to their near and dear. They too can feel pain. They too have emotions. Can we learn to respect that, and drive more safely?