Hate my Decissions....
Have you ever had an incident in your life in which you hated yourself the most coz u blew up the one thing you liked the most. If not then be strong for such and occasion. Last weekend (Saturday) our UKCC cricket team played against Dayton (the organisers of MOCL Cup). We batted first and as usual I was sent in as the leg Umpire. Umpiring has been my passion right from my childhood. The reason was attributed to the fact that the famous Indian cricket umpire Venkataragavan used to work for SPIC initially (My dad worked in that industry for 29 years). Better than that reason I never had the chance (Financial support) to go for cricket camps nor for any expert training. Though I used to play good when I was a kid, lack of proper guidance and hard luck made me go for academics (which I always love). But I was never lost with the ray of hope when it comes to cricket. Being a cricket freak I decided to become an umpire. From the age of 16 I had been standing as an umpire in most of the games played at SPIC. After coming to Chennai I had the rank opportunity to do umpiring whenever I dont field or bat.
Chennai being a place of opportunities but requiring hiked finances proved to be a tough place to survive. Though I used to stand as Ref for the gully cricket teams I started improving my umpiring skills by watching games in TV, reading some books on how to judge the movement of a good delivery etc.
This proved vital for my umpiring skills when I went into Anna University (Under grad). I was made the captain of my college team in interdepartment competition. I was also called to do ref'ing for some games. My decissions has always been good. I never quit from answering a bowler or a captain why I gave the decission and they never criticized me for what I told. I was proud of what I was turning into. Better than holding the bat I loved holding the cap of the bowler (Bad PJ).
When I got an admit in an international University (US) I told myself that I had a chance of making into the International board as an umpire from the States side. I was desperate in achieving my goal. In order to acomplish that first of all I started umpiring for our taped ball games in graduate housing ground. My captain (Dinesh Puppalla, a fervent cricketer) noticed my talent and started giving the job quite often. Though most other students thought that Umpiring is a tough job, filled with criticism and of course hours of standing said on my back that I was a fool. But for me, they are just losers. Consider the amount of concentration u need in umpiring. It developes your interpersonal skills too coz now u are considered as power but u need to use it correctly. I always liked the smile from the batsmen when I give the right decission and then when I express the reason to the fielding team, they get the point.
As a result before our MOCL tournament I was asked most of the time to do Umpiring for our UKCC side in bearcat tournament. I was good in most occassions. But unfortunately things started to change. I gave 3 bad decissions in consequitive games.
My Captain keeping his mind at me still opted to put me as the leg umpire in most of the UKCC MOCL games. I was doing pretty good. Last weekend there was this instance in which the main Umpire was on the line of view of the bowler who took the bails of somehow. I watched first the possible runout at the batsmen end, after which the ball was thrown to the bowler by the keeper and hence was asked for a decission in the runner end. Me being neutral had to make a proper decission. I clearly said to the main Umpire that the ball was not in the hand of the bowler when he hit the stumps. But there is a possibility of the ball popping out of the hands of the bowler (as he was directing the ball rather than catching and hitting). But in that case (using my engineering skills) I said that from the angle he was standing and by considering the trajectory of the ball no way that the ball was diverted to the stumps. It turned out to be a pretty good decission as the bowler revealed later that he dint hit the stumps. Everyone were thinking I lost my mind studying too much. But then they thought I was an engineering lunatic.
Then came this horrible incident in my life which I shall never forget. I was again umpiring this weekend against dayton. Rohan was the batsmen. He punched a good ball through covers and started sprinting for the runs. The first run was good and then he decided to go for the second run.
I instantly knew that this is gonna be critical. The throw was fast and flat. Rohan was near the crease. The keeper had to duck down to take the one pitch throw (pitching at the yorker spot, a difficult one for the keeper). Rohan stretched his hands to reach in. The ball went for the keeper gloves. The gloves in a fluid flow from bottom left went swift to take the stumps in the right. My eyes concentrated on the crease and the keeper gloves. It was a perfect hit by the keeper and the bat was out by 10 cms or so. Appeal by the keeper and the fielder nearby. First thought in my mind was to verify the hit by the keeper (0.2 seconds). But it was overtaken instantly by my mind to say 'Come on Hari U've been doing good. U dont think partial. So give the decission immediately' (0.2-0.3 seconds). Instantly my hand went up and the index finger pointed to the sky. Rohans out. Immediately there was this boisterous cheer among the fielding side and there was this sound coming from Prageeth (the non striker). He said 'Hey he dint even collect the ball'. I saw the main ref and from his looks I realized that Prageeth was right. Shame filled my mind instantly. Prageeth shouted at me to go out and send some one else as the umpire. I was so depressed taht I did exactly as he said. I went out and sat alone and cursed myself for the wrong decission. Captain came and said one thing. 'What was the hurry in lifting the finger?'
Later I apologized to Rohan for the decission. But the bitter part was that though I was cursing myself for the lack of judgement, most of my teammates commented that from next time onwards they would tie my hands behind my back with ductape and then shall send me for leg umpiring. It was so piercing for me. I had to fake a laugh.
Till now I feel bad about my judgement and have no faith in continuing my passion. But who knows I might be really made to do umpiring again in my life someday. Thats when things are gonna get messier....
Not an usual day
Last week our musketeer family (my roomies) had a new candidate from Chennai. His name is 'Nick' Thats how his friends call him back in India. This guy is a hardcore badminton fan. He had playing for years right from his childhood. Should I say it as fortune or fate, I am also a fan of the sport (actually am a fan of any sport which makes me sweat). So we decided to take a try out in the morning. I asked him to wake me up at 6:30 which he promptly did. Sports is such a funny thing for us Indians that I woke up immediately... I was lucky that my mom wasnt there to see this horrible scene.. Even if it was my exam I would have not got up.
Playing with an Ex-state player is always a different feeling. NIck being a great badminton player whose additional hand is the way he fakes the shots made me really shed my sweat. It was an hours play. But that one hour was the longest badminton session in my life. He made me toil for every shot I attempted. I would never forget this incident not because I was made to run in all directions and stretch like a rubber band but coz today for the first time in my life I twisted my left ankle. It might be strange for those who are reading this blog. But for me thats my lucky foot so far. It never got hurt anyday of my whole life. But today for the first time things changed.
After the badminton session, we came home and I had this strangest experience in US for the first time. The thing was that I was hungry like shit in the morning for the first time in my one year and 8 days stay in US. I ate my cereals (which I had surfeited in my entire stay) like a voracious pig.
After the breakfast, I started reading discover.com news in the early morning (Yup, 10 is early for me) to extinguish my sleepiness. I read this fact on meteors and found out certain interesting facts. On an average 4 billion meteorites fall in our sky (So many shooting stars for luck in Western nations, indication of death in China and so many wishing faries for children and of course 0.0000000006% chances of finding something new about our universe by the worlds space organisations). A study published in 1985 in the journal Nature calculated the rate of impacts to humans as .0055 per year, or one event every 180 years. Thanks to Annie Hodges, odds are that the rest of us are safe through the end of this century. One way of deflecting a Near Earth Object is to explode a nuclear device in its vicinity. The resulting radiation pulse would vaporize the object's surface; as the vapor streamed away, it would deliver a thrust that could throw the body off course. This push is known as an X-ray slap.
To communicate over long distances, NATO and the National Weather Service still bounce radio signals off the ionized trails left by meteors when they enter Earth's atmosphere. Martian meteorites can sell for $500 a gram. Space rocks fetch just $2 a gram. And u wanna know where to buy them. Try with ebay or call Steven Speilberg (He is a meteorite freak).
After this short term waking call, I went for my dept and did some work with the AFM analyser. For some reason I saved this piece of fortune cookie in my wallet for more than 2 weeks. IT read 'Your work shall be well rewarded with better results'. It did start showing its power to me today. I got some images of my samples. Now I believed that I can make it up for my PhD quals.
Returned home, watched the movie Instinct (Anthony Hopkins and Cuba Gooding Junior) and then went for playing Soccer. Tried my new soccer shoes which costed $ 58.75 (approximately 2700 rupees, Plz dont inform my parents) and for my awe, I played real good. My defense position was speckless. Was great even with Pros. Then decided to test it in the midfield. Avoided 3 players and made it till the goal post. Decided to go for a long shot. Tapped the ball and found out that it whizzed past the keeper. I looked at my shoes in awe. Morgan said that the reason he chose those shoes were long shots coz I was a defender. Then at the last minutes went for a goal and did get one after missing the air passes from Pawan who was pissed with my talent as a striker.
Came home and to make the day better Sameer asked me to play chess. It was fun playing with him. He wasnt like other players. He had his own style, unique way of attacking. But he had one problem. He had one bishop protecting his whole kings territory. I sacrificed my queen for his bishop there (Yes I did it the smart way) and finished the game good. Then we had a short game of cards and after that it was sleey time. Had a great day and expecting more of it.
Finally sometime to blog
A friend of mine got engaged to a 32 year old softy (she is 23) and she is coming to the US on the 10th (Oh thats tommorrow). Her long liked crush here hates her arrival. The funny thing was I had to console her coz she wasn't happy with her sudden engagement (she wasn't sad too, was just confused) and I had to also laugh out loud with her crush here in US (coz he was one of my good friends). Two different characters, with two common things in their life. One passion to do great things and Two having a great friend 'ME'.
Had my summer update presentation in front of my lab collegues. Since I had problems with my results (Actually the problem was I dint get any results) and coz my guide was engrossed much with the other researches I decided to show him my frustration in a better way. Showed all my crap in the presentation and made it clear with my guide that I need some magic from his side (which I considered as support). Presentation turned out to be a great source of communication and it turned out that my guide started to ask questions and we now have short term goals and we have group meetings too.
Have been working real hard this week, doing loads of experiments. Its as if someone else does these experiments they would take double the time than what I am doing. Its like doing multiple things in a single stretch of time. When I do the heating I weigh substances, When I finish it, I pass nitrogen in the samples, In the meantime I take out old samples and clean them, etc, etc...
Yet one thing dint change so far. I still get up late (coz I sleep at 4 am) and go to lab at 11 am. But I stay till 6 30 now a days.
Our team lost for the third time in a row against KCC. But this time was worse. We had a much better team than the last time we clashed (which was around 45 days ago). We lost all our wickets for 86 runs with extras being the top scorer. I scored 1 in 12 balls. They bowled good, but not good enough to take wickets. They had a psychological advantage over us. Not that we played in their home ground but coz during one of our practice sessions a friend and team mate of ours (Bharath) was hit a by a bouncing delivery on his forehead right above his left eye. I was with him all the time in the emergency ward. Our teammates therefore feared the ball while batting. Thats how we all lost our wickets. As for me I tried to stay till the end and played sensible. Though 12 balls is meagre, it played its role during the game. Most of my teammates lost their wickets for less than a couple of balls.
My cell minutes got over this week and I had problems in calling in people. I decided to earn some more money by doing the guinea pig job i.e. act as a volunteer for health research. I had called like 4 programs ranging from cardiology to brain research and finally smoking research (Though I dont smoke). This should somehow make my bank balance a bit higher.
Yesterday I celebrated my first anniversary of coming to the US. Got my flight tickets for India. New students came a couple of days to our apartment and I showed them around the city. Our previous neighbours all moved out. We took most of their furniture and made a great deal out of our rooms. Now my room looks more than clean, it looks pretty.
After a long wait I finally had a chance to meet my juniors this year. Paritosh currently lives in Nitins room. That kid is good, but I dont understand Y mumbhaites (living in the most westernised part of India) dont like to talk in English or watch English movies. They keep on chatting whena great movie is going. But I like it that way. These guys still make me laugh. Then today like 3 hours ago I met Yamuna reddy. She looks good.. Have been using her name to frustrate my mom. Though I make all the remarks that I need a girl friend and stuff I dont think someone would really commit to me coz I have a different life. I dont think I can stand the sacrifice of my friends, the games in the evenings, the outings with roommates, etc. Anyway Nitin told that she is either engaged or married, which makes it better. If thats not true, shall give her a normal friendly introduction and shall have the ropes loose, not tight nor cut out.
I had applied some online jobs for my brother. I am the only one in the world who has to do lots for his elder brother than the other way round. Hope he settles somehow in his life. Other than these life is still the same old stuff. Somehow this week I am a bit nostalgic. Am missing all my college pals. Though everyone says they shall meet me in India when I go there, I dont think that they can make it. I cant ask them to sacrifice their job to meet me, but still I feel that I should meet them all at the same time.
As usual I am having financial problems with my brother and now I have a bigger problem to take into my accounts. I need to pay monthly $510 for my car.
I dont understand how long I shall withstand this pressure. I am about to crack someday soon and thats when I feel things would become normal.
As for now, hoping to get some good results so that I can go for the San Francisco conference and present my results. Actually I need a vacation from my place........ Hoping for the best.
Its been 7 years since I had smiled seeing my life. Dont know how long it would take to bring that smile in my real life.