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Friday, December 7, 2018

Cityblog Feature: NayakGiri Whatsup Monthly Round Up

Season's Spirit

December is king of the months. One gets bit reflective on the memories of the year that has almost gone past. Some ambitious ones plan for the next year while some people gifted with sangfroid mind correctly just live in present. But then this is a month to indulge in everything be it food, fun and things you like. And imagine if you throw in all the birthdays in family, anniversary in the concoction goes crazy. So this month let’s forget about G20, Presidential woes in US and France, Brexit, Trade Tariffs, 2019 elections and state elections, forget about Modi’s religion, forget DeepVeer, forget Picnic (Priyanka and Nick), Bank NPAs, Sensex, Caste based Reservations, Eternal problems in Pakistan, Yuti and Aghaadi, Water woes of Pune, Traffic in Pune. So the world is turning in 24 hours as it was and Earth revolving around Sun for another year just like before. Usual sound bites resounding world over. Let’s sit back and enjoy.

For me Cricket (not playing) is not just enjoyment but more than way of life, and Cricket in Australia is special. Itched in the memories are those early morning alarms (though now its late/mid night parties), channel9 transmission, Final Frontier. Audi, Radio Australia pre 90s, Ind Aus rivalries filled with sledging, controversies, players, commentators.  It all started in 81 with me glued to Radio and watching Highlights in the evening with seagulls flying behind square leg umpire. Chappell’s, Lilee, Border were some tough players. And that magic spell from my favorite Kapil Dev. Then there were morning ODIs in B&H trophy in 1985 with colored clothing.  India playing some fabulous cricket and it was great TV experience even on our black and white TV and finally champion of champion Audi ride. The 85-86 tour was the closest we got to win a series down under with rebuilding Australia but for rains. This series was followed by ODI Tri Series typical to Australian Summers which is no longer a feature in Cricket. The longest tour of 91-92 saw rise of young Tendulkar at Perth. But tour was fiasco except one win against Pak in WC which started unbeaten run for India vs Pak in World Cups.
 In 99-00 we had hopes inn Sachin as a Captain but team was brittle as he stood out as batsman and we saw single innings brilliance of VVS in a lost cause. It was a plain whitewash by Aussies on supreme form and cycle. Then came Ganguly era when we came close to winning the final frontier but for a certain Ms Satish Wagh (Indian name for Steve Waugh). We saw defiant Ganguly innings at Gabba, Great knocks by Dravid at Adelaide, Disciplined Sachin at Sydney and surprise spell from Agarkar. 2007-8 famous for Monkey gate saw worst of Nationalism as seen these days in Cricket. We had great spell from Ishant, return of Veeru, Great Perth innings by Sachin and bowling there. Result though could have been 2-1 vice versa if not for bad umpiring at Sydney. Thankfully IPL 2008 happened at a right time to tone down the worst of player discord.  2011-12 as a series was bad for India as we saw Dravid and VVS ending their wonderful careers and Virat Kohli emerging as a great player. Though we lost in 2015-16, the series was close fought with players like Vijay, Rahane and Pujara joining Virat to launch an aggressive Indian Team.

2018-19 sounds exciting with Aussies down with on-field behavioral issues, main batsmen banned but still they have good bowling attack versus careless and inept Indian batting barring Virat and Pujara and part Rahane. Waiting to see Prithvi perform in second test,, and Indian bowlers performing against top order of opposition batting. They need skills to wrap up the tail.

On the other hand we have Hockey World Cup; Indian Team looks promising but keeping my fingers crossed. Though so let’s finish on highest podium after an excellent stadium and ceremony. Chak De India.

On Entertainment front not following Bollywood post Badhai ho but ver2.0 seems to create ripples as usual. Marathi films are looking good especially on Biopic front. Ani Dr Kashinath Ghanekar was excellent movie making out of no such dramatic story line. Looking forward to Biopic on P L Deshpande by Mahesh Manjrekar.  Indian Idol season is outstanding this time with quality singers and Manish. Looking forward to grand finale this month. KBC season is over. The shote shur veer a chiildren’s singing contest in Marathi is doing great with amazing performances by kids. Judges are great and so is the little Monitor. 

December or say winter has different connotation depending on Geography. Here in Northern America, we are hovering below 32 deg F (never known US way of having everything different from ROW). Long nights with things getting dark as early as 4 pm. With winds things go nasty in outdoors. Heat is the survival mechanism inside Offices/Schools/ Malls/ Houses/lobbies and Cars.  On the other hand,  in Pune popular for its Gulaabi Thandi, it is  the most salubrious time of the year marked for health drives, events (Sawai),  sweaters, monkey caps, shawls, marriages, travel, parties, Client and family/friends visits from US. Common thing all across is the festive spirit, shopping, fun, events, parties, family and friends.

As we buy planners, calendars (applies to those technologically challenged with due apologies to environmentalists), there is a sense and sound of a busy highway with endless and variety of vehicles running at break neck speed to a listener in the nearby locality. Each one has own vehicle trying to reach the destination earlier than other cars throughout the year and December is small detour taking an exit to sit back, refresh with stimulants, relieve yourself of all the pressure and join those who love observing endless movement of life. Happy Holidays and Enjoy December Season
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