Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Game boy

"I see you are watching that game again", said my dog as he walked in to my room.
"Hush Nawab, this is a very critical point in the game now", I replied as I flapped my arm it, giving the universal signal for 'keep quiet'.
Talking to my dog, yes that is what I said. What do you mean you don't get it? I mean Google it up because I am not going into it again, the whole story is somewhere out there on the net if you care to find it. In short, Nawab my talking dog, given to me by my Pakistani friend now resident in Canada (the friend not the dog unfortunately).
"Isn't the IPL over now that you need to start watching cricket again?"
"Sssh! It's the 20/20 World Cup and be quiet Yuvraj is batting".
"Batting! He doesn't spend much time in the middle anyway to be doing that".
"Aargh! He is out now, look what you did".
"Me? I just walked into the room".
"Exactly you disturbed his momentum".
"I did? The match is on TV and it's happening thousands of miles away in the Windies".
"Oh don't be naive. I may be watching it on TV but that does mean that that I have no influence on the game".
"And how exactly does that happen?"
"Well you know that Tendulkar double hundred?"
"Well that was because I didn't move from my seat during the whole innings. Not even a toilet break".
"So we owe that knock to the power of your kidneys?"
"Laugh if you must but you have heard of the butterfly effect, the concept that small events can have large, widespread consequences."
"So your personal sacrifice leads to the breaking of the double hundred barrier in one day matches? 'I held it for Tendulkar' is that your new motto now?"
Damn this dog, the popular culture loves the "butterfly effect," the concept that small events can have large, widespread consequences, a concept understood by millions of sports loving men. Men who wear their underpants outside their pants in the hope of influencing a penalty kick in a soccer game. Men who refuse to have a bath during the footy season because the last time they did it their team won the Grand Final. Damn it Steve Waugh wore that tattered battered, beer-soaked and 17 years-old baggy green cap and just look at his test record. It's not just the opposable thumb that makes us a superior animal but try telling that to a dog.
"Mock me but if a butterfly's wings can create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location, then just think of the effect a sports fan can have for his team."
"The way your team is playing you need a darned sight more than one butterfly to help its cause. Maybe get a bee hive to pitch in too."
"Hey this team went through the IPL grind so at least they made the last eight."
"Too right, love the way they totally outplayed Afghanistan. Talking of IPL I hear they had great after games parties. Maybe that’s why the players are looking a bit tired."
“Yeah sure next you will say that attending parties and travelling takes a toll.”
“Didn’t stop Warnie and Imran so maybe these young fellas aren’t up there yet. But you know I think I know what the problem is.”
“You do? Then spill it out O wise one.”
“I think the Indian players have got used to the IPL format of playing in a team with four overseas players. Get Modi to change the ICC rules, once we get players like Kallis, Pietersen, Tait, Watson playing for us and mind you the combinations are endless, winning the world cup will be just like winning the IPL cup for Dhoni. Now let’s watch some chess news in a game where you actually have a champion.”
With that he settled down and changed the channel to watch news of Vishwanathan Anand beating Veselin Topalov to retain the World Chess Championship in Sofia.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What shall we do about Kevin?

"I see the Prime Minister's rating is the lowest for any Prime Minister in a decade" said Nawab as I walked into the room. Great, I thought to myself, most people I know interact with their dogs by taking them for a walk, mine discusses politics with me.

"It's only an opinion poll" I said "and it still shows that 48 per cent of voters are satisfied with Mr Rudd's performance".

"I am glad you did not take up accounting" replied Nawab "for the poll does show that 52 per cent are dissatisfied. Do you even follow the news stories?"

Superb, not only do my math skills get insulted but my general knowledge is getting pulled up as well. Sometimes I wonder what you can do to a dog before the animal activists have to get involved. But I have the perfect answer to the canine.

"Actually the Prime Minister's approval dropped by 14 percentage points in one month to 45 per cent, while his disapproval rating has risen 13 points to 49 per cent, according to a Nielsen poll published today," I said with a smug expression on my face.

"Astounding! A fine memory to go with opposable thumbs. Carry on master"

I ignored the jibe but decided to rub it in.

"The loss of personal support is the most dramatic for a prime minister in a decade and marks the first time Mr Rudd has had a disapproval rating higher than his approval rating."

Sometimes I wonder how people managed in the pre-Google era, for it takes just a simple search to make one into a subject matter expert.

"So you have been following the debate on the Government's announcement last week of its 40 per cent tax on mining profits - a move that appears to have failed to gain popular backing."

OK he had me there, taxes were always a week point with me and percentages make my head hurt.

"All right Nawab, just what have you got against Kevin?"

"You mean apart from the fact that there is always an air of calculated performance, a feeling that in different circumstances he could just as happily be arguing the opposing case."

"And you base this on?"

"Well take his pets for example."

"Abby the dog and Jasper the cat?"

"Exactly! Who in his right mind would pair a wonderful creature like a dog with a cat? If not to play to the animal lobby. And you know there is one more thing."

"What's that?"

"He used to be a fat cat bureaucrat, nuff said" as he closed his eyes for a dog nap.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

I can't write

One day I thought I would pick up the jumbled words in my head and lay them down in an orderly fashion on a sheet of paper. Sentence after sentence would flow, lit up by the scattered sparks of words and show the way to myriad stories floating in my mind. I wrote a lot when I was young, mostly angst ridden words that tumbled out as I attempted to sort out the cobwebs of confusion in my mind. I tore up those books some years back, unwilling to leave behind an imprint of chaos. Each year I promise myself I will write but I don’t. First it was a job, then marriage and then kids, excuses are not all that hard to find if you make an effort. I think it’s because the stories are drying up. EXCUSE!! Maybe it’s not the stories, it’s me. I can’t write.