I never asked for any of this
I didn’t, no
I wanted to be different
I strived so
I fancied the path less travelled
I aimed low
Do we make our own destiny?
I believed so
How do we control destiny?
Hard work, bro
Is it always true?
For sure, NO
Sometimes our path is laid out
No power can change so
Does the walker choose the path or the path the walker?
I dunno

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There comes a moment in everyone’s life when you know that you cannot and will not lose, when that feeling of invincibility and incredible energy becomes such a force that it cannot be denied.

Time stood still. The 12’o’clock sun beat down with vengeance. An eagle called out and took flight. A sparkling drop of sweat perched tantalizingly on my brow carved a rivulet down my chin dripping off to quench the bone dry earth. I knew that I could do it. Only the wall stood between me and the net. I blanked my mind, believed in myself, took a deep breath and let my instincts take over. What happened next…..totally changed my world.

Rise

Throw away

The charade of your life

Let the flame of my heart

Burn away

Your complacence tonight

I command you to rise

Wash away

The decay of your life

Feel the light of your eyes

Find the way

Through the darkness tonight

Fearing no one

And, I jerked into wakefulness to the head-splitting blare of my alarm. An alarm’s sole purpose in life is to wake-up its owner in time and nothing serves that purpose better than some hardcore heavy – metal rock. I might be sleeping like a corpse but my alarm will still wake me up and what’s more, you most certainly cannot go back to sleep after that electric shock. It works, nothing else really matters.

It is 6 am, the crack of dawn and as I drag my sorry ass to the washroom, the only thing going through my mind is why would anyone in their right minds wake up at such an ungodly hour on a weekend? But today is the first day of trials for the girls’ football team and I am supposed to be the coach, in fact. So, I have got to be there. As I throw on my tracks and buckle up my Nikes, adrenalin pumps through my veins, the anticipation growing.

Many would be surprised on hearing the word ‘girls’ and ‘football’ being used together in the same sentence but you would be amazed at the sheer number of girls who totally dig soccer and have Messi or Ronaldo or Rooney posters in their rooms. But I guess, the reasons as to which they have them are kind of debatable. Anyways, why do I love football? I love football because it allows scope for creativity, for self expression like no other sport offers. It is a constant battle of wits as you incessantly try to outsmart, outwit and outplay the other guy. Often it is not the guy built like a linebacker who strikes but the one who thinks most flexibly, innovatively and creatively. Personally, I like the playmakers more than the poachers and like to think of myself as a dead ball specialist like David Beckham or Diego Forlan. Cheeky, I know.

When I first came up with this idea of having a girls’ football team, I was met with resistance all around but finally the Gymkhana guys agreed to it on a probationary basis with a promise of a more permanent solution if things work out.

As I hit the road and make my way towards the field, the cool morning breeze helps slow down my over-clocking brain and ease my apprehensions. I tell myself, “I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks or feels. I want to play and I will play come what may. Bring it on!”
I reach the ground, take a deep breath, brace myself for a possibly vexing morning and step in. I see about 50 enthusiastic and over-zealous girls kicking and running around and I can already feel the beginnings of a headache starting to set in. I empty my lungs and shout hard at them to line up. I have the unenviable task of short listing 22 of them and I badly need a whistle or better still a megaphone. I am pretty sure I am going to end up with permanently damaged vocal cords by noon.

I start them out with few basic passing and dribbling drills, turn on my radar and start scouting. The first person to catch my eye is a foreign exchange student, must be 5’12. But for her height, Marine is quite agile and quick on her feet. Any guy will have trouble getting across her. She’s definitely in, considering the fact that we will be mostly playing defence against the guys. The next person I found was slightly built girl who looked like she will get blown away by the wind, but she had brilliant anticipation and an eye for the ball. Nandita will be the goalkeeper. Couple of other great finds were Prakruthi and Ananya who have great ball-control. Finally after a whole lot of chopping and hacking, I had them sorted out into two teams of 11. The main team line-up looks like a scene right out of Lagaan, girls torn away from books and calculators and stuck in a football field like an improvised, mismatched, makeshift team. The result was honestly jarring but hell yeah we were going to play football. I called it a day.

Over the next few days we had numerous practice sessions and I managed to somewhat streamline the team. Finally, it was D-Day. But as luck would have it, I had my Quantum Physics Quiz the same day, right before the match.

Me, being another one of those arrogant B.Techs started my preparation just a day before the quiz and crammed into the night. By midnight I was brain-dead and by 2 am I was starting to think I might have actually died already and it was my spirit that was trying to crack Schrodinger’s equation and the Perturbation theory. By 3 am I remembered God and by 4 am I swore to go back in time to kill Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger and on that good note, crashed. But alas, sleep was not to be, Heisenberg and Einstein and their buddies took to haunting even my dreams. I closed my eyes and all I could see were swirling fermions and bosons and muons and what not. Eventually, I gave up on sleep, washed my bloodshot eyes, jacked up on caffeine and geared up for one final round of mugging up. ‘Twas the worst kind of start anyone could have to any day. Some people would argue that you have got to be totally out of your mind to voluntarily choose a
Physics Minor being in Biotechnology. That’s true. It’s my own brand of crazy. Sometimes I feel like I have a death wish myself.

At long last the clock struck 4 pm and my pre-match ritual starts now, exactly an hour before I leave. I put on Avenged Sevenfold and turn up the volume and start my stretching routine. The heavy metal again serves two purposes. It keeps me from sleeping and puts me in an aggressive mode. It works and nothing else really matters.

It’s time now. I head to my quiz after giving necessary directions to my team. I reach my classroom 5 minutes before Sriram sir’s ETA and sit ready, poised to spring into action the minute I get the paper. The questions are as usual brilliant. It is not without reason that I keep telling my friends that Quantum Physics is my best course of the semester. I can just tell, on a scale of 10, if quantum physics ranks 10, my biotech courses rank only 5. The quality of the course is right there at the top. In the end I managed 3-3 ½ questions out of 5 and I figure I should be 10 marks above average or so and that works fine for me. As soon as I submit the paper, I rush to my team’s rescue and reach just in time before they get devoured by the hormone-crazed guys.

We have a few relaxed rules –

1. The most important and also the most abused rule is that the guys cannot touch girls or else we get a spot free-kick.
2. The 2nd important rule is that the guys cannot raise the ball above our knees.
3. Lastly, the rule which kind of mocks the guys is that they can score only when they are inside the 6-yard box.

I made sure that everyone understood the rules and then it was time for my pep talk. I confess I am not really great at these things but I do try. I remember few awe-inspiring pep-talks I have had before by Sam and Aarathi before her. I am not nearly as good but I try.
I told them that just by playing today they will have proven all their detractors and critics wrong. All the hard work and effort put in by them cannot and will not go waste. All they need to do is to keep their eyes and ears open, think and play intelligently. Use the rules to our advantage. And given the fact that we will be playing against the defending champions, any result is a good result. That is the gist of it.

Our strategy was to play 5-3-2-1 and we were expecting to play mostly defence. This was the starting line-up-

1. Nandita – Goalkeeper
2. Sowmya – (LB)
3. Richa – (RB)
4. Marine – (CLB)
5. Raghavi – (CRB)
6. Malayaja – (CB)
7. Prakruthi – (RM)
8. Ananya – (LM)
9. Myself – (CM)
10. Isha – (LF) 11. Ankitha – (RF)
12. Mithali – (sub)
13. Varsha – (sub)

It was time for kick-off. We chose the possession of the ball and as the whistle blew, I made the first pass to Ankitha. I shouted, “Run! Run! Take it forward!” and sped ahead expecting a pass. We must have barely taken the ball 15m into their half when they took back possession and then started the onslaught. It was an incessant barrage of attempts-on-goal. What followed was a comedy of errors. If I hadn’t been playing in the match, I would have died of laughter.

Nandita was our saviour. Without her, the score would easily have breached the double digit frontier. She is definitely good enough to play in the guys’ team. The ball is like her baby, she literally says “Come to mamma” to the ball. It’s hilarious.
“Fall back! Fall back! Nobody should leave the the D and the defense shouldn’t leave the 6-yard box. Block them out. They shouldn’t be able to enter the 6-yard box”, I cried. That ploy seemed to work as the guys got infinitely frustrated trying to crack open our defence. They actually started pulling out their hair in exasperation. They started getting careless and we started getting lots of free-kicks due to the rule that they can’t raise the ball above our knees. So we used it to our advantage to advance the ball in their half. Malayaja is our star free-kick taker. Her kick advanced the ball to the half-line where we ended up getting another free kick. I decided to not risk losing possession and asked Ankitha and Isha to go ahead and made a pass to them. But it got intercepted yet again. I swore loudly and raced after him. And then suddenly out of the blue Ananya tackled the guy and took the ball from him. “Awesome tackle! Give it to me”, I shouted. I dunno whether she went temporarily deaf or what but she actually took the ball and sped in the wrong direction. One minute she was here and the next minute she wasn’t. She was a blur of motion, like a suicidal bullet. I screamed my throat hoarse, “Dude! Where the hell are you going? Are you freaking out of your mind?” Thankfully she seems to have heard someone shout and stopped. “Junta, you’ll get time to sleep! Buck up! C’mon, let’s kick some ass!” I bellowed. Thank heavens; the girls played a better game for the reminder of the half. So, ended the eventful first half but we still hadn’t let them score so that itself speaks volumes of us.

The second half brought more of the same treatment meted out to us. I think the only person who played every minute of the match was Nandita. There was never a dull moment around her. She was doing a really nice break dance in front of the goal in the process. That’s it, I decided. I can’t take it anymore. It’s time to use the notorious first rule to our advantage. That is its time to fall on the guys. Hell, as long as we get free-kicks and ball possession I’ll do anything. All lessons in ethics lay forgotten as we attempted contact every time possible. That strategy again clicked as the guys literally started running away scared from us. It was absolutely comical. Then came, my ‘moment of invincibility’, as I like to call it. I received the ball just beyond the half-line and took it forward myself instead of passing. I dribbled past 3 enormous players but got tackled just outside the D. So it was a free-kick just beyond the penalty area. As I took up position, I remembered each practice session we had ever had and all the effort we had put in and I believed we deserved to win. A kind of determination set in and I blanked my mind, believed in myself, took a deep breath and let my instincts take over. I took my shot, bent it just like Beckham and left the goalkeeper flabbergasted. The ball reached home.

Time stopped. There was pin-drop silence on the field.

Slowly all the tube-lights lighted and chaos ensued. My team-mates all fell on top of me one by one like nine-pins and crushed me into paper. The guys seemed to have gone into depression; some of them looked almost on the verge of tears. Their hard luck, I happen to be a cold-blooded logician. So nope, no lee-way here, sorry. There were just 5 minutes left on the clock now and we fought tooth and nail to hold onto our lead.

When the final whistle blew we were still one up and things went crazy from then on. This was redemption for me. Nobody can question a girl’s football team now and what’s more we sure as hell had endless fun and bonded as a team in the process. The gymkhana guys can eat their words now.

As I tuck myself into bed later that night after being stripped naked of all my cash which is probably getting digested in everyone’s tummy right now, I say my prayers. I’ll forever be grateful to heavy metal rock for getting me through the day, to Quantum Physics for uhmm….nothing actually except maybe bloodshot eyes and sleep deprivation and of course to Steven Gerrard and Liverpool without whom I wouldn’t know half of what I know today.

Video  —  Posted: February 1, 2013 in Experiences

My Nikes

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Experiences

Nike_Zoom_Structure_Triax__14I love my Nikes. I use the Nike Structure Triax 14+. If you are wondering, “what the heck is that”, they are my running shoes. No words exist that can express what I feel for them. I have only one word ‘beautiful’. Let me describe them first. It is white with grey and blue diagonal stripe designs on the sides. It has a hard rubber navy blue sole with netting near the toes to give your legs some breathing space. When I run, I hardly feel like I am pounding the ground. No, I don’t. I float. The cushioning is just incredible. Three layers of insoles which mold perfectly to my feet as if they were created just for me. Designed for stability and geared to amp up performance, it definitely lives up to it’s billing. They are worth every bit of the 7000 bucks they set me back by. They protect my legs from the trials and tribulations of the track and for that I’ll forever be grateful to them. It is said, that you can determine a person’s character by just looking at their shoes. Your Nikes tell a whole new story about you.

A fitness fanatic : NOT ME!

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Experiences

100m women's final Olympics

There is no sports-spirit here, atleast not among the girls. Nobody gives a damn whether our inter-IIT team wins medals or not and forget about coming first or last, we don’t even participate in Schroeter. All of it, is just really sad and demoralizing. I love sports and am a fitness freak. I hit the gym every morning and bust my ass for an hour or two. I also put myself through some heavy training every evening for inter-IIT athletics. People ask me, “Why do you workout so much?” I tell them, the reason is very simple. I workout because it helps me forget. I might be having an absolutely rotten day but when I workout, I just get in the zone and burn away all my worries and frustrations. I relish the single-minded focus of that moment. It gives me peace of mind and helps me sleep at night. But that, is just part of the reason. I totally love the game and am absolutely passionate about it. And of course, it is also about winning. I don’t do, what I do, for nothing.

I also watch over what I eat. Fitness is partly physical and partly about nutrition. I hold strict vigil over my 50% – carbs, 40% – proteins and 10% – fats diet. So much so, that my friends have stopped asking me out to eat because they probably know, that I’ll refuse anyway. I just don’t eat junk. At all. In fact I havn’t set foot in a KFC or McDonalds or the likes of them in over 8 months now. Beat that!

But like all things good, all of this has also got a downside to it. I look lean and toned now. Some would even say I am built like a linebacker. Add to that a boy cut and you know what, people have started mistaking me for a guy. I laugh it off but they have got to realize that it does hurt.

Confessions of a Caffeine Addict

Posted: January 31, 2013 in Experiences

coffee beans

We drink tea….and nothing happens….until and unless, we speed through the highways at a 100 km/hr, scream from the rooftop of our department at the top of our lungs and probably also listen to some death metal until we feel as though our ears might explode. Tea is the lowest, cheapest and most pathetic way to get a high. In my opinion, coffee is a 100 times better and then some. Better still is cough syrup, if you are underage and looking for strictly legal ways. If you are a bit more daring and reckless and if you have the right connections for sourcing the stuff, you could always go for weed and pot and what not. The possibilities are endless. You could also get drunk. Rum works best, vodka is also good, beer is kinda lame.

You should definitely do one of the above in your lifetime. Because, what have you experienced if you have never experienced a high!?

How do I get a high? 

I am a sporty gal. I run. I run like the wind. And then…there is the good old coffee again.

Ahhhmazing….

Video  —  Posted: January 27, 2013 in Experiences

Infectious

Video  —  Posted: January 27, 2013 in Experiences

Addictive
My buddy strums it beautifully 😀

Video  —  Posted: January 27, 2013 in Experiences

This is SOooo NOT TRUE!

Posted: January 27, 2013 in Experiences

 

There was once a chance I didn’t take and I paid very dearly for my thick-headedness.

My brother is perhaps one of the most obsessed conspiracy theorists in the world. He is just glued to his computer screen 24×7 scourging the net for the latest dope. It so happened that he chanced upon a piece that claimed our national hero, our very own Shahrukh Khan, the one who leaves a million ladies swooning in his wake, had gone rogue and was in arms with our “friendly” neighbors, the Pakistanis and that he would make an assassination attempt at our president during a felicitation ceremony they would both grace. I as usual trashed him and hoped to god, someone would knock some sense into my dear brother’s head. But alas as fate would have it the media conglomerate that I slaved for, ordered me out there for some field work with an ultimatum that you either suck it up or let it go. So, as I dragged my sorry ass up there for some endless, mindless torture, my brother’s words kept nagging me and destroyed any remaining hopes of peace that I had. Throughout the ceremony I kept my eyes peeled for anything fishy. But alas, when have I been so lucky, things were bound to get worse. Just as the function was drawing to an end the asshole shot the president and opened fire on everyone there and so, yeah he also hit me. Thank heavens, it was a flesh wound. I think I learnt my lesson. Now, I know to not trash my brother’s words of wisdom.