Monday, 26 April 2010

Trick or Treat: IPL

Boy, did I ever think the Chennai Super Kings would win this season of IPL. I was sure though that Mumbai Indians wouldn't win the tournament. They were at the top of the points table too long to win the tournament. Call it my clairvoyance, or Sod's law, or just plain common-sense. It was too clear that MI wouldn't win the title. And that means I win the bet with my sister and she now has to treat me (The poor little thing doesn't know that I cleverly manipulated the terms of the bet so the odds were on my side. *wink*)

For the first time, I watched so much cricket. I didn't really care about cricket or any other sport for that matter during season 1. But I do have one memory of season 1... singing Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo in the lift with my friends in college to the wrong tune, and my chagrined KKR-fan friends correcting me. Very much like the Kingfisher's Ooh La La La Le Oh ad.

Season 2 was when I was formally introduced to the format and that was when I learnt all about the game. I still wasn't exactly watching matches during season 2. I only watched the second innings of the final match in a room full of supporters of the Royal Challengers while I, all alone, supported the Deccan Chargers. The Deccan Chargers won, but I'd learnt my lesson. That I am an Indian and that means I must belong to a mob. Standing out of the crowd isn't so much fun.

Come IPL3, with a TV in my cute little rented haven which my mom totally despises, I decided to support RCB and watch a few matches (the reason not being the sport, but that I'd read somewhere that some BSchools were contemplating introducing "creative" topics such as cricket, hockey and football into Group Discussions. Yikes!). Anyway, I shook hands with the game, got to know the game better, made a few wonderful memories watching the game (such as the IPLGate, the Zoozoos, Dhoni's lost Maxx mobiles and the apple of everybody's eye, the MRF blimp!) and now I'm all set for IPL season 4 to support yet another team, and yet another set of ads.

That is, if the IPL is not scrapped. What started with Lalit K Modi's tweeting about the details of the Kochi team ownership has now snowballed into the biggest scam I've ever seen. Corporate honchos, Bollywood stars, politicians, the country's so-called "elite" all embroiled in the biggest controversy I've seen. I've always maintained that however entertaining the IPL matches are, it is a huge HUGE waste of economic resources. With more than half the country below poverty line, such extravagant display of wealth only heaps insult on the deprived. What's worse is that the owners of the teams call it a solely-business proposition, which is not wrong, but I'm disheartened to hear that they so blatantly ignore their responsibility towards society, the very reason they thrive and exist. Whatever happened to Corporate Social Responsibility. Why is it that when the IPL was played in South Africa last year, scholarships and gifts were given to children, teachers and schools there and when the game is played on home soil it becomes a solely business proposition devoid of social responsibility? Cricket and IPL's popularity could be leveraged to create awareness, to encourage people to improve their communities and solve issues.

The "breaking" news right now being Lalit Modi's suspension, I heard a reporter on some news channel saying, "After half a decade of friendship between BCCI president Shashank Manohar and Lalit Modi, the BCCI president heaved a heavy blow on Mr. Modi" Uh. Hello. What the hell. What else is Shashank Manohar supposed to do? Grant amnesty because Modi is a friend? If he did that, he'd be accused of favouritism. He suspends Modi and such statements are made. If I were in Shashank Manohar's place and I had to suspend a close friend for nefarious activities, I'd do it. With a heavy heart. But do it, nonetheless. What Modi did was wrong and he must face consequences. A wrong is a wrong. Is a wrong.

Is a wrong.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Opposite of Pet Peeves

I understand that it's not very easy to convey emotions and intent
through the written medium for many of us. Trying to precisely convey
those emotions could make it wordy and not many of us are that patient
or good with words. We try and avoid using too many words and
consequently have evolved a multitude of ways to implicitly express
intent and emotion. After over a decade of emailing, over six years of
SMSing and a little under a year of Gtalking with friends, a few
things about informal written communication have made into my pet
peeve list.
#1 hi....................... or ok......................

What's with the million full stops? What are you trying to say with
'.........................'? I understand 'hiiiiiiiii' but what the
hell does 'hi..........................' mean? Three dots, optimal.
Four, maximum. More than that, sound of nails on chalkboard.
#2 i told ma motha tht i cud neva eva do dat

Aaaarrrgh! This really should be my #1 pet peeve. I could slap the
person if he/she were in front of me. Unfortunately, when this happens
the person is always miles away. Those who think writing 'ma' for
'my', 'motha' for mother, 'neva' for never, 'eva' for ' ever' and
suchlike is cool, please, it's disgusting. Makes me think very low of
you. None of the other pet peeves manage to do that. But this one
does. Thankfully, none of my friends do that. Except one. When that
friend messages, I call him back. Just to avoid seeing his messages
that neva fail to get ma dander up.
#3 K

That's the worst reply one could send me. Following closely, is 'Ok'
or any such one-word replies. I've grown accustomed to it though. Even
then, I find it impolite and impersonal. Makes me feel unimportant, as
if the person thinks I don't deserve the energy to type a whole
sentence, or at least, the whole word (in case of 'K'). I'd be happy
if the sentence was complete, as in, "Ok, I'll be there" or "Ok,
7o'clock it is" or even, "Ok, sure." or at the very least, "Ok :)"
#4 This is a sentence that so needs exclamation, don't you think!!!!!!

I confess to being a perpetrator of this heinous crime for a while,
but then one day epiphany happened and it became a pet peeve. I notice
people using exclamation marks when it really isn't necessary. Makes
me wonder what's so wondrous about what he/she is saying. That, still,
is forgivable. What irks me more is the use of multiple exclamation
marks!!!! What do two or more exclamation marks do that a single
exclamation mark doesn't? I'll forgive the use of two exclamation
marks occasionally for greater emphasis, when one wants to show that
one is enormously surprised, but otherwise I'd rather that people keep
exclamation marks to a minimum and if indispensable, don't use more
than one. Use that energy that you spend in typing that extra
exclamation mark for other productive activities. Like inserting space
after a full stop.
#5 "cool when did u go how is ur family good say hi to them" or
"cool.when did u is ur family.good?say hi to them"

Though not inserting space after a full stop in SMSes doesn't annoy me
much, not using full stops at all can annoy me if I'm in a sour mood
already. But miss a full stop in an email or miss the space after a
full stop, the sender, mostly a friend, is sure to see the smoke from
fireworks at my end.

Which brings me to the real topic of this post. The opposite of pet peeve.
Remember when a new friend (of the opposite sex) SMSes you for the
first time? "Hi Manasa, what you doing?" is the most common first SMS
I've received over the years. And there was never a time when I
genuinely wanted to reply to such an SMS. I reply, just to be polite
and not to be too snobbish. I have absolutely no interest in the
inane pointless conversation that is to follow after the 'what you
doing' question. Unless, of course, he/she says "Manasa, you are the
best" and I say, "I know... Tell me more :D"
Today, a friend, a new friend (who I never spoke to while in college,
and who I hardly spoke to during my brief stint at Infosys) who I
befriended, after several meetings at my best friend's home, a movie,
some PS3 games video-watching and a photo, sent me his first SMS. It
wasn't the dreaded "What you doing?" question. It was the perfect
conversation starter. It was different. I was impressed. This type of
conversation-starter SMS suddenly became the opposite-of-a-pet-peeve.
Opposite of pet peeve. Whatay long phrase. What's the word or a phrase
that means the opposite of pet peeve? After much brain-racking and
producing zilch, I went to Google for help and found out there really
wasn't a commonly used phrase for it. Though I did find some
interesting words people use to mean the opposite of pet peeve -
The little things (that make life worth it)
Cheap thrills
Warm fuzzy
Simple pleasures
Secret delight
Undomesticated peeves
Personal favourite
Feel-good moments
Soft spot
Pet likes
Guilty pleasure

I think 'secret delight' comes close to the opposite of a pet peeve, no?