No bus rides through the heart of Mumbai with the country salivating in the aisles. No garlands and no fireworks, just the crackle of Dhoni's effigy burning on the streets. Not to worry Mahi, even effigy burners have to go back home some time. You knew the price when we gave you the job, some of us are encashing the cheque now. Now that you have lost your crown, you can go back to where you started -- was tough to wear your hair long with that damn crown wasn't it?
Roger Federer won at Paris because he wasn't playing Rafael Nadal. Entirely possible. And entirely academic. There is a reason why sport is above its players because much like life it rewards and it levels and it betrays. I think what we saw at Roland Garros was the triumph of the human spirit. Here is a great champion who was made to look ordinary on its unforgiving clay for years. Nadal had opened the doors -- Roger was human and fallible -- the others stepped in. But Federer never gave up. Unlike another great champion Pete Sampras, he didn't belittle the surface or ingore it just because he couldn't win on it. He slaved like a mere human and he won. He may never beat Nadal in a Grand Slam but he will never give up. That's champion stuff and it would be a great quality for his younger rival to emulate in a Federer-less future. And how romantic it had to happen in Paris.
Uncle George's house during Christmas. The bejewelled Christmas tree, the sparkling star, carols, Carol, red red wine and the smell of freshly baked cake. When I was six, I wanted to be a good Christian. Good was optional. Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar. Smouldering anger and super cool all at once. How I wanted to be Amitabh Bachchan. How I wanted to dangle a beedi from the corner of my lips when I grew up. Stanley Motor Service from Panambur to Hampankatta in the heart of Mangalore in 20 minutes flat. The fastest, meanest, unsafest bus in town. Oh how I wanted to be a bus driver ... sigh. There is grey in my goatee now ... miles to go before I sleep.
Summer holidays. I am learning to ride a bicycle. It's been raining, the earth is squishy under the wheels. I can smell the Eucalyptus trees as they wave in choreographed unison. I can feel the wind in my hair as the bike rattles along unsurely. It's one of the great lessons of boyhood ... learning to fall and learning to get up and go again.