I’ve been spending a lot of
time on the Khan Academy lately. I thought it deserves a mention on my blog so,
here it goes.
have no idea what the Khan Academy is, well, it is basically an online school.
It has more than 2700 videos on subjects covering Math, Science, Humanities and
others. If you want to know more about it, check this link à http://www.khanacademy.org
Anyways, here’s how
I came to know about it.
At around the same time as I found about MIT’s open
courseware, a friend of mine told me “Hey dude, check out Khan Academy on
youtube. The videos are awesome.” I just brushed him off telling him that
nothing can parallel OCW. However, curiosity got the better of me and I googled
for the Khan Academy. I wasn’t really impressed at first glance. I mean, the
videos looked boring. Just some doodles on a black screen. I didn’t really give
it a second thought.
time later, I found out that the founder of Khan Academy was an MIT alumnus.
That was enough. I instantly googled “Khan Academy” and to be honest, I was
bowled over. The website design was pretty cool and that caught my eye. I
thought to myself “So, he’s a professional eh? Cool.”
the first videos I watched totally immersed me and I understood stuff at first
glance that seemed like greek at school. I read his ‘About’ page and watched
him speak about the Khan Academy on TED. I must say, I was amazed.
‘amazement’ didn’t last for long though. I completely forgot about it after a
week or two. However, a few days back, my winter break started. I was feeling
bored when suddenly, I remembered the Khan Academy. I was glued to my screen
for the next 1 ½ hour. My mind switched to warp speed to help me in calculating
started with the easy-peasy kiddo stuff. I decided that I’ll start from the
very top of the exercise chart and work my way through.
5 days later,
My energy counter reads 351,880. I’ve got 125 meteorite
badges, 20 moon badges, 2 Earth badges, a Sun badge and two challenge patches.
didn’t really take much time for me to get all those stuff. Around 6 1/2 hours
spread over the past 4-5 days.
reason for me writing this post is to get the word out there that something as
awesome as the “Khan Academy” exists and also, I wanted to keep a check on my
are ‘motivated’ to learn, you should go check the website out. It’s pretty
Anyways, I’ll be posting another such post detailing my progress monthly.
I do a lot-lot more work when I know that I’m accountable to someone.
typing this from my room, all of my friends are moving at around 90 kmph. All
of them went on a 6 day field trip to some places in Northern India for
sight-seeing. I didn’t sign up for that field trip. Why? Don’t ask me because I
honestly don’t know for sure. But now, I so really want to be there with them
and I’m sulking.
AM tells me “Adarsh, can you please explain to me the point of sulking? It
isn’t going to change anything! You took that decision now, it’s up to you to
bear the consequences. I’m not going to tell you if it was a good or bad
decision because it all depends on the way you see it. If you keep sulking for
the next 7 days, it’s definitely going to be a bad decision. However, it can be
a good decision as well. Of course, nothing can substitute the joy of spending
those 7 days with your friends but, at least doing something is better than
doing nothing. Do something, anything that can at least attempt to make up for
this decision of yours.”
“Coming to think of it, you’re probably right. Sulking isn’t really going to
change anything. But what do I do to make up for it?”
Am – “That
is something only you yourself can answer. I can just give you some hints. The
new year’s coming, maybe you could create a list of your resolutions? How about
becoming proficient in all of the Khan Academy exercises? You could probably
watch a few videos on science as well. You could even create some videos.
Personalize your room? Draw stuff to put up on the walls? Blog? Bring out your
guitar from the confines of the underworld? Clean your room? Read the
editorials? Play cricket? Take Dingo/Johnny out for a walk? Finish reading “For
the Love of Physics”? Photoshop some stuff? Prepare for the EIOF exams? Prepare
for the IEO? …..the list goes on and on.”
“That’s a great list. I’ve got so much stuff to do over the next seven days.
Thanks mate, you’ve been of great help.”
has been a momentous year. It has
changed me in ways that I couldn’t really think of an year ago. In the words of
Apple, it has been the best year of my life yet.
seems like yesterday when I remember talking to a friend of mine about my
resolutions for the new year. However, on further inquisition, it doesn’t seem
as though it has flown by like a super-sonic jet. It has paced itself pretty
was a year of experiencing/learning new lessons. When I look back at the person
I was on 1st January, 2011 and the person I’m on 28th
December, 2011. I see a lot of difference.
Finally back on the right track
there’s one thing that I’m glad happened is that I’m finally starting to realize the
importance of ‘studies’. I mean, 9th grade didn’t really go well for
me. I lost my way in studies. Sure, I did do better than the average kid in the
exams but nowhere near what I was capable of. My marks in the prep-school that
I attend deteriorated. When I got my results for the second term of my 9th
grade, all my teachers were like “Whatever happened to you Adarsh?”. They
obviously didn’t expect those marks from me. Then, I swore that I was going to
a lot-lot better in my tenth grade. I even created a note on Facebook out of
pure annoyance and determination to ‘shut their mouths’(those are the actual
words I used).
me a lot of time but, I think that I’m finally on the right track. After 12
full months, I can say that I’m back on the right track again. On comparing my
grades and stuff, you might just see a small increase but only I know that what
has happened is a gazillion times more than that. I can’t really explain it.
Somewhere along the way, I just realized how fun learning can actually be.
“The marks you get does not determines your life but it’s
your attitude to learning that does.”
My attitude towards learning has undergone a paradigm shift.
Who am I behind the iron curtains?
2011 was also a year where I learnt more about
myself. Who I really was under the iron curtains. I stopped being pretentious
and started acting more like the ‘true’ Adarsh. However, you can’t change a
lifetime of acts in a short period of time. I’m trying my best though.
The start of “About Everything and
2011 marks my first year of blogging. It was fun putting all my thoughts into
words. I preserved a slice of my life in these blogs and I love it. I still
smile when I go through the entries that I wrote while my exams were going on
and how I was battling them. There’s a lot more to come in the following year
The vacation to the Paradise on Earth, Kashmir also opened my eyes and gave me a much
needed break. Made me truly appreciate nature’s beauty and the joys of
- I graduated to mystery and thriller novels. It all
started with a Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer and around 10-15 novels
later, I’m loving it!
- Got hooked to the serials on Star
World. It all started with Dexter. I just finished watching the finale of Terra
Nova. I’m currently hooked to the Big Bang Theory.
- I had a hard time fighting over my addiction to computer games. I managed to
prevail in the end though. And, this blog was kind of born out of that
addiction so, I don’t mind it one bit :D
- I got
my first portable gizmo this year after winning a bet with my mom. An iPod
touch. Never mind the fact that it’s the first generation, it still works like
- I also
attended this one summer camp by the British Council Library. It was a
fun-filled 3 weeks and I pretty much loved it. Met a lot of interesting people
- The volleyball bug caught me yet again!
The best thing to have happened this
the best thing that happened to me was –
On September 1st of
this year, I stumbled upon something that changed my life. Literally.
reasons that are still unclear, I typed “Physics” into the youtube search bar
and the results caused an irreversible chemical change. The first result read
something along the lines of (8.01 Physics : Classical Mechanics. MIT ). I was
like “MIT? The name sounds familiar. Let me go check” and then, I pressed the
next 15 minutes, I was hooked. I probably didn’t even blink. Walter Lewin
amazed me. After 15 minutes, I found myself dazed. Part of my brain was awed
that I could watch lectures from MIT on youtube and the other part that
lecturers could be so awesome as Walter Lewin.
clicked on their channel and it read “1727 uploads”. I almost fell down from my
chair. After a bit of more search, I was led to their admissions website.
After spending an hour or two on it, I realized something.
I was made for MIT.
from then, life hasn’t really been the same. Reading through the admission
blogs took me into some kind of fairy-tale trip. Each and every minute on the
website just strengthened my conviction that I was made for MIT.
facebook status on September 1st, 2011 read
“feels like I've finally found a
purpose....Emm..Eye..Tee...Here I come! ;P”
It felt surreal to be honest. For the first time
in my life, I had a purpose. I’m not kidding.
was never the same. I realized a lot of stuff while reading through those
blogs. My view of the world was shaken, never to be the same again. For the
first time, I’d come across people of my kind! I began taking pride in being a ‘nerd’.
Also, MIT told me that life is not all about studying. Find what you love and
3 months into that search, I haven’t really found much but,
I’ve learnt a lot about myself in the process.
learning took a whole new meaning. Learning wasn’t ‘boring’ or stuff that I
just did anymore. I actually began liking studying. My attitude towards it has
months later, I’m still determined to make it there. I frequent their
admissions facebook page atleast once a day for any new updates. Though there’s
a ~0.25% chance of me getting in, I’m
not ready to lose hope because I know I was meant to be there.
2011 was a pretty wonderful year. On a scale of 1-10 on how satisfied I was
with the way I spent the year, I’d give myself an 8.
welcoming 2012 with a grin on my face and hope that it is my best year yet.
Dr. BabaSaheb Ambedkar
– A multifaceted personality
Eight years ago, on a visit to my village with my family, I
spotted a statue of a person right in the centre of the village. He was wearing
spectacles and was dressed in a suit. I wondered who he was. I looked down at
the inscription on the pedestal of the statue. It read “Dr. B.R. Ambedkar”.
That was the very first time I came across Dr. Babsaheb Ambedkar.
Casteism(and untouchability) has been around for thousands of
years. People have tried to rebel but none have succeeded in doing so as
successfully as Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar. He did so not through ‘fear’ but by
appealing to the inner conscience of people. True, it did take time for it
settle in the hearts but, the wait was more than worth the blood-shed had a
feud taken place.
History has given us many leaders
but only a few have managed to shake the very foundations and be successful.
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar is definitely one of them.
His page on Wikipedia lists him as anIndian Jurist, political leader, philosopher, thinker, anthropologist, historian,orator, prolific writer, economist, scholar,
editor, a revolutionary and one of the founding fathers of independent India.
That’s enough proof to tell you that he is a multi-faceted personality.
He is a combination of the best. He
has a will of iron like Sardar Vallabhai Patel(The iron man) combined with the
power of pushing people into action like Mahatma Gandhi. He fought for his
people and not once did he back down and ask himself why he was doing what he
was doing. Many people think serving the society as a burden, not him. He believed
that serving the people around him was his responsibility.
surprised him. As a child, he didn’t understand why it even existed. How was he
different from the others? Why shouldn’t he be treated equally like the others?
Why won’t people understand that he was no different from them?
His childhood is filled with
memories that showed him, how deep casteism had dug into the Indian hearts. It
was etched into their hearts as though someone/something had soldered it there.
Right from not being able to drink water because he wasn’t allowed to touch the
water-cups to being shunned by the station master because he was an untouchable.
We might read about those incidents and feel
sorry for him. But, in reality, these were the incidents that helped
realization dawn on him and mature faster. He realized just how cruel the Hindu
idealogy of ‘untouchability’ was.
These incidents didn’t deter him. They didn’t
trouble him as they would have troubled others. If anything, they just doubled
his determination to put an end to this practice.
He was curious and tried asking others “why?” but
their answers never seemed to satisfy him.
It was this endless thirst for knowledge that
persuaded him to become what he did. If there was one thing that persuaded him
in completing his education, it was the hope that at the end, he’d have
parents played a really important role in his upbringing. Had his father not
realized the importance of education, I doubt it if he would have even thought
about sending his son, Bhimrao Ramji to school. He even shifted his house to
Mumbai on the advice of Bhimrao’s teacher to give him a better education at the
Elphinstone High School. He managed to keep his scores and grades high despite
the cruel treatment that he was meted out to by his class-mates. In a
particular incident, he wasn’t allowed to write on the blackboard because his
classmates thought that their lunch-boxes, which were stacked on the other side
of the black board would get ‘polluted’.
He was identified by some
organizations who were interested in improving the standards of the society.
When he passed his matriculation exam, a big party was held to congratulate on
his achievement of being the first to pass this exam from his society.
Though Bhimrao Ramji was 17 years
then and an educated person, he could not voice his opinions against child
marriage. He was married to Ramabai a nine-year old girl from the neighbouring
town of Dapoli.
People who take full advantages of
the opportunities given to them are the ones who turn out to be most
successful. Bhimrao Ramji understood this ‘truth’ of life pretty early in his
life and when a chance to go abroad for higher studies came about, he accepted
it. This was possible through a scheme of the Maharaja of Baroda, Sayajirao
Gaekwad II, which gave a scholarship to some outstanding scholars to study in
the United States of America.
This was a very important stage in
Bhimrao Ramji’s life. He went to study at the well-known Columbia University,
New York. After years of facing unrelented prejudice in India, he welcomed the
freedom and equality he experienced in the United States. Though racism wasn’t
extinct, the life he led there was refreshing. No one discriminated him. It was
as though he had landed in a land of utopia. It was probably from here that
Bhimrao Ramji mustered up the courage to fight casteism in India. He envisioned
the life he led in the US for every Indian Dalit.
While in the university, he could
have done anything. There was no one to tell him to do anything but, he chose
to study. Eighteen hours a day. This led him to complete his Ph.D. thesis in
just 3 years and he received an M.A in two years.
He then went to the London School of
Economics but as fate would have it, his scholarship expired and he had to come
back to the state of Baroda.
He was offered a high post in the
Civil Services and held a doctorate. These were despicable days. He once again
faced the discrimination because of his caste. No one handed him files or
papers, even the peon threw them onto this desk. This gives us an idea of how
‘untouchability’ had become a part of everyone’s heart.
He had enough of the treatment he
was being given here and decided to quit. He managed to obtain the job of a
professor of political economy in the Sydenham college of Commerce and Economics,
Bombay. He still had this urging desire in him to continue his higher studies.
He went to England in 1920 at his own expenses. In the next three years, he
managed to get numerous awards and qualified as a Barrister-at-Law.
He returned to his mother land at
the ripe age of 23. He knew however that nothing had changed around him. People
didn’t care what his qualifications there. They refused to see the light of the
day and continued to treat him as an ‘untouchable’.
It was then that Bhimrao Ramji felt
that the time to do something about it had finally come about. Even though his
qualifications meant nothing to other people, he was well respected within the
Dalit community. He had received the best education any Dalit in those times
could get and hence had the potential to be the leader of the Dalit community.
He started voicing his opinions and
things that he felt should be reformed. One of them was the separate electoral
system for the Dalits and other lower castes. He also favored providing
reservations for the Dalit and other minority communities.
Some incidents have shown his true
fearlessness. He believed that justice doesn’t come on it’s own, people must
try and secure it for themselves.
Even though the legislature allowed
everyone to use public water, wells and tanks, dalits were still afraid to use
them. One such was the Mahad(Raigad, Maharashtra) municipality tank which had
opened four years ago but not one ‘untouchable’ had drunk from it. Dr.
Babasaheb Ambedkar led a peaceful procession to the Chowdar tank and became the
first ‘untouchable’ to drink from it. This action provided the necessary
courage that other’s needed and they drank from it as well.
He believed in setting an example
was glorified as a hero by thousands of his followers on his return from Bombay
after the separate electoral system had been granted.
However, Mahatma Gandhi opposed it.
He believed the Harijans(children of god – Untouchables) and Hindus would never
reconcile if this idea went forward. He believed that Hinduism would change and
leave the bad practices behind. He began a fast-unto-death.
Only Babasaheb had a say in this
matter. At first, he refused Gandhiji’s plea saying that he was doing what was
best for his people but, as the matter prolonged and Gadhiji’s health began
failing, he visited him. In subsequent visits and numerous talks, Gandhiji had
finally managed to convince Babasaheb Ambedkar that Hinduism would change and
leave it’s bad practices behind. Instead of separate electorates, more
representation was to be given to the depreesed classes.
The period between 1935 and 1950 was
his prime-life. He was appointed the Principle of the Government Law college,
During the Second World War, he was
appointed as the Labour Minister. However, he remained in touch with who he
was. He didn’t turn corrupt. He said that he was born poor and his attitude
towards people never changed and never would change.
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar is best known as
one of the founding fathers of the constitution.
All his study in law, economics, and
politics made him the best man available for this job. He had to make a
constitution for the World’s largest democracy. He stood up to the job and did
all the research he could on the constitutions of other countries and a deep
knowledge of the law. He had to face this burden alone, he alone could do
justice to this task. He didn’t back down by the sheer enormity of the task,
instead, he faced it. Head on.
He said that “Hinduism has only
given us insults, misery, and humiliation.” At a Dalit conference in 1935, he
said “We have not been able to secure the barest of human rights….I am born a
Hindu. I couldn’t help it, but I solemnly assure you that I will not die a Hindu.”
attending a Buddhist Conference in Srilanka, a few years after the
independence, he announced that all ‘oppressed’ people should embrace Buddhism
as the way of life. He also said that he was going to devote the rest of his
lie to the revival of Buddhism in India.
For the next 5 years, he carried on
a relentless fight against caste discrimination. The battle was half-won when
the constitution prohibited the practice of untouchability in India, However,
Ambedkar knew that it would take a long-time before it managed to get through
the heart of every Indian.
He embraced Buddhism in 1956 at a
public ceremony. He became one with nature just 7 weeks later….
the end of the life of one of the most charismatic leaders in the History of
He was one of those who changed the
course of history, moved and shook the world. He showed the path the people
should follow and occupied a million hearts. People like him don’t come about
often but, when they do, they leave such a lasting effect that persists for
ages to come. Few people on Earth have managed to cause a paradigm shift like
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar. Even fewer have managed to do it with his tenacity. He
was a true leader.
Men like Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar are
immortal. They continue to live long after they become one with nature. His
memory continues to live in the Dalits who till this date, respect him with all
their heart. The coming generations will continue to respect him and cherish
Aww. Looking at the picture above moistens my
eye.(Removed the pic... Privacy :/)
have wonderful friends. I can’t really ask anything more. They bear my endless
rants for almost 6 hours every single day of the academic year. You’ve got to
give them a prize for that.
just 15 and have spent 13 years in this school. 13 years. My-my, that’s a lot
a few months, I’ll be leaving it. I just can’t really come to terms with that.
Whenever I start to think of it, my mind just brushes it away and refuses to
let it come back in.
years . That number just keeps repeating itself in my head.
one-half of my life there. All those grins, smirks, laughs. Boy, those were
went in as a, I don’t know, 45 cm tall kid and today, I’m almost 165 cm.
almost coming to an end now. January and February. 2 months. That’s all I’ve
be entirely honest with you, tears are forming in my eyes this very second. My
mouth’s aching because it wants to whine and my mind’s drawing a complete
I’m actually trying
to save stuff for the farewell speech that I’m going to make. Last year, during
the previous batch’s farewell, I realized that written words just don’t have
the impact that actually speaking them out does. This year, I’m not going to
make that ‘mistake’ again. I want people to hear what I want to say through my
own mouth. To be entirely honest, I’ve
been thinking about the speech since last year. I’ve spent sleepless nights
thinking about it but as of today, I haven’t written even one word. This post
is the only time I’ve ever mentioned it.
The word counter
reads ‘312’. I’m surprised. It didn’t feel that way at all. Anyways, I’m going
to bid adieu now.
By the way, add all
the digits of the number of posts I’ve made in 2011 and see what it adds up to
Life’s not fair. But, I guess you already knew that.
talking about the volleyball match that we had today. When we needed it the
most, we blew it. The students of the 8th, 9th and 10th
grade were divided into 2 teams and a match was conducted between them. I got to know later that, the winner would receive their prize on annual day (That just put salt over my wounds :/)
brutally blunt, we lost.
It hurts to be honest. I spent so much time and effort into
volleyball, I just don’t think that I deserved losing. I gave it my best shot
but I’m afraid that wasn’t enough. Sigh.
blabber on and on about why and how we lost the match but, I think I’ll save it
for some other day. Let’s just say that it wasn’t our day. However, that doesn’t
take anything away from the opposition, they played well enough to defeat us.
many judgemental errors. Just like
Brutus(in Julius Caesar). Defeat was imminent I guess.
I became wiser at the end of this match. Next time(If there’s going to be a
next time), we’re going to put up a much better fight. I really want a re-match
but, that isn’t anywhere on the current schedule. I just want another shot at
glory and this time, I’m sure that we’ll make it.
31-29. That’s what the score-board read after 50 minutes of
exceedingly fun yet tension-filled volleyball match at school. It was
definitely one of the most exciting matches I’ve played and the best in the
past 6 months. And, guess what? It wasn’t even played in our games period. We
got lucky because the girls from the Xth and IXth grade had dance practice so,
we were left free to play volleyball. We owe them one.
following 2250+ words are entirely on the above match. My friends managed to
coerce me into writing a blog-post and here it is.
teams, if you ask me, were a bit off-balance but they worked out pretty well.
‘Our’ Team : Me, Ibrahim, Harindra, Vijay and Hussain.
Their Team : Aniket, Ahmed, Rounak, Harichandra, Mustafa and
I go any further, let me just give you a brief idea of how the teams were
stacked against each other.
In ‘my’ team(I’m allowed to call it
that. No?), 4 of us play pretty well, Me, Ibrahim, Harindra and Vijay. Hussain
also plays the upper-arm pass nicely but whenever he has to pass using his
under-arm, I get a heart attack. However, he serves pretty awesomely and also
‘understands’ when I tell him stuff.
Harindra’s the tallest among us 5 so, he is the ‘spiker’(or smasher as
we call them). Yours truly is the setter because that’s the position I’ve spent
the most time on. Ibrahim took the centre pass as well as some of the back
portions because he’s pretty agile and can move all over the court. Vijay was
beside Ibrahim and Hussain took care of the back zones.
team, on paper, to be very honest, looked weak. Only two of them, Aniket and
Ahmed can be called ‘on par’ with the four in our group however, their
under-arm pass is a cause of concern for them. But, their upper-arm passing
ability more than makes up for it. And Ahmed, well, he places the ball
exceedingly well. Something that I’ve been trying to get my team-mates to do
but never could. The rest of them, well, there’s this guy called ‘Harichandra’
who’s as tall as a giraffe but is not of much use. Rounak, he can pass the ball
on the other side of the court from his position but if you make him back up a
few steps, he’s bound to pass the ball awry. Aditya’s under-arm pass is
enviable but, make him play the upper-arm and he’s in trouble. Mustafa plays
both the passes with ease but you never know when he’s going to get the pass
paper, we were ‘stronger’ and clear favourites but the game told a different
story. Their team had 6 players and each could cover a specific zone but for
us, we had a guy less that made Ibrahim run all over the court but he managed
it pretty well. Also, there’s one more thing that I have to mention before I go
any further. Their team only concentrates on sending the ball over the court
while on the other hand, my team tries to smash it over and ends up losing a
lot of points due to bad tries but, we keep trying. You’ve got to commend us
game started with Ahmed serving the ball from their side. Ibrahim managed a
good pass but I messed up a bit on the lifting the ball and Harindra missed
hitting it and we lost a point. The next ball was similar and they were two up.
That’s when we pepped our game up a bit and gained a point but soon lost the
serve the very next ball.
time later, the scoreboard read 3-8. We were 5 points down and it was their
I’ve grown used to these kinds of scoreboards. My team doesn’t
do that well at the start but peps up the game at the very end. We have a track
record of not scoring a lot of points during the first 15 points. We almost
always come from the behind and win the game, a lot like team India during
their Windies tour. We take inspiration from Shahrukh Khan. “Har kar Jeetne
Waale ko Baazigar kehte hai.”
serving, passing, shooting, blocking and all. My team gelled together pretty
nicely. Everyone was happy (atleast I think they were). Hussain did make a few
serving errors at the start but soon pulled himself up. We left the ‘serving’
part to him and he did it pretty nicely. Ibrahim and me shifted places a few
times due to varying reasons. I trusted my intuition to tell me when it was
time to change. It hasn’t failed me much.
away from the match, I for one, like having those people in my team who don’t
question my authority. I mean, there’s a frigging (:O) reason for every
decision I take. I do think quite a bit before taking it. More often than not,
my plan works. Sometimes, it doesn’t and I take full responsibility for it.
I wasn’t in my prime form to be entirely honest. I made a lot of mistakes but,
did I make up for them? I think I did. Though not directly, I think I played a
pretty important role indirectly.
the match went on. It was, 14-19 or something similar. I started ‘panicking’ a
bit now. I told my team-mates to pull up and not make mistakes (aah, the irony)
Now, when I start panicking, I put stuff on a tight-leash. I only allow the
stuff that I’m okay with. Stuff that I know will go right more often than not.
One such thing was the serve. Now,
Hussain serves nicely but, when he serves I have this sense of insecurity
inside me. I never know when he’s going to do a right serve or a wrong one. So,
I decided to take that under my control. I gave the serving job to Ibrahim.
Ibrahim’s “dream” to serve using the upper-arm but, unfortunately, I don’t
allow him to do so. Actually, I do, only during the starting stages of the
match when we can afford to lose a point or two. But, not after the scores have
crossed 20 points. That’s because the team can’t afford it! When he ‘executes’(ahem
ahem) the upper-arm serve, I have no idea if the ball’s going to go properly or
not. On the other hand, his under-arm serve is sure to be executed proper 95
times out of 100. So, I gave the serve to Ibrahim and told him to do the
under-arm serves because then, I’ll have this sense of security inside me. I’ve
played a lot of volleyball with him and trust him. And, Ibrahim didn’t
disappoint me. He did make an error once but his other serves more than made up
Hussain’s under-arm pass isn’t one that I can trust always. My heart skips a
beat whenever the ball goes towards him. No offence meant man, I just hope you
get what I mean. So, I told him to let Ibrahim take his passes. Had it been
anyone else, they would’ve ‘rebelled’ but, not Hussain. He just ‘understood’
and nodded his head. Aah. I love the guy :P
minutes later, the score read 19-23. Red Alert. Red Alert. My heart started
beating twice as fast. I told my team-mates that we can do it and the events
that followed sure did surprise me. We stopped passing the ball around thrice
before sending it over the other side. Also, harindra stopped trying to smash. He
just sent the ball sailing over the other side of the net.
one specific ball that I remember.
In a small rally, the ball goes over the Hussain and as he
prepares to pass the ball using the under-arm pass my heart beats 10 times as
fast. He doesn’t connect it properly and I see the ball falling on the ground
just a few feet infront of me. It felt as though the whole world was crashing
down. That’s when the ‘saviour’, Vijay, comes out of nowhere and by a freak
shot (a wild swing of his arms) sends the ball the other side. Phew.
during this period, there was a long-long rally. Both sides kept their cool and
tried their best to send the ball over the net. However, one member from their
team made a mistake. His instincts took over him and he ‘smashed’ the ball and
it went outside the court. Duh.
21-23, 22-23, 22-24. 23-24. 24-24.
You can imagine the thoughts racing through our minds as the
game went on. Everyone was determined to win. No one wanted to lose. We had
worked so hard for it. We leveled the scores with some awesome rallies. We
tried every trick in the book (ahem ahem) and managed to get the scores
24-25. 25-25. 25-26. 26-26
hearts were beating ten times their normal pace. We were playing our hearts
out. Every time the ball went over the net, we sighed a relief but were as
alert as the FBI when it came back in.
There was a sense of disbelief hanging in the air.
someone made a mistake the whole team was like “Aaah!” but we kept our cool. We
just told them “aah. hard luck mate.” I saw to that no one cursed one another
:P I mean, we all were like “mistakes happen.” Not so much for the other team.
Every time someone of them made a mistake, they were all like –I don’t know-.
They brought in ‘reforms’ everytime someone made a mistake. They crowded around
the person who made the mistake and let out some ‘grumbles’. We just stayed
where we were.
26-27. 27-27. 27-28. 28-28. 28-29. 29-29.
becoming surreal by now. We jumped up with joy for every point. There were
shouts of “YES!!” for every point that we won. That’s how volleyball should be.
The scoreboard read 29-29. The bell had rung 7 minutes ago
but we kept playing. Nothing (the principal doesn’t count) could stop us until
we finished the match.
for the first time, since 24-24, we got a lead. A one-point lead. All this
time, we were trying to not let them win it but now, it was their turn. They
had to make sure we wouldn’t win by gaining a point.
served it and the ball went over the net. Aniket passed it directly over the
net. Ibrahim passed back. Ahmed-Aniket-Ahmed over the net. Ibrahim. Ahmed.
Vijay-me-Harindra over the net. Then, the ball went to the character called
“Harichandra”. Remember him from the start? Well, he passed the ball over the
net. I thought he managed to do it correctly.
I saw the ball travel from the top
of the net to our side of the court in slow-motion. It travelled and travelled
and travelled. I glanced to see who was going to take it. I saw both Ibrahim
and Hussain kneeling down. I assumed they both wanted the other one to take it.
0.5 seconds to impact – No one’s underneath the ball. I’m
all like “WHAT THE. SOMEBODY TAKE IT!”
0.3 seconds to impact – Hussain is practically on the ground
now and Ibrahim’s just a spectator beside him.
0.1 seconds to impact – I lose all hopes of finishing the
game. The game’s going to continue till 32.
0 seconds to impact. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then, a nano second later, it struck me. The ball fell outside the court. YAHOOO!
We won the match!!!!!
Boy. What a game it was.
True that we didn’t have the smashes that we usually do, we
played ‘mediocre’ volleyball. But, more importantly, we had FUN. That’s what
sports are all about. FUN. You must enjoy playing them and I sure did today.
Winning was just the cherry on the top of the cake. I would’ve enjoyed the game
just as much even if we had not won.
tension was worth watching. I loved the shouts of “YES” that emanated from us
after every point and the sense of disbelief that hung in the air when the last
ball went outside the line. They were all like “It’s over? Just like that?”
the main reason why this match was so interesting was “Team-work”.
Every single player in my team played an important role in
the match. Harindra’s forced passes at the end got us much needed respite.
Ibrahim’s agility helped cover the whole court and left no place for Ahmed to
place the ball too. Vijay was always there where Ahmed usually places the ball
and took the passes with almost cent percent precision. Hussain serve’s gave me
a sense of security at the start and then, he made a jewel of a decision at the
end to leave the ball. Me? Let me think. I did ‘okayish’ at the setting part. I
think, my main role in the game was to marshall my troops to victory. Coming to
think of it, maybe I didn’t play that big a role after all. It was probably
because of me that the game even came close. Had I not made the mistakes that I
did, they wouldn’t even have come close. My role in the game wasn’t big. It
didn’t need to be. Each one of us contributed in their own way and in the end,
that’s what made us victorious. Also, a big thanks to my team-mates for not
‘mocking’ me when I made the mistakes. I owe you one.
it was fun reliving the match over here. This game’s going to be etched in my
memories for a long-long time to come.
It’s been fun writing 2200+ words but I now have to go study
for my Hindi Unit test tomorrow.
“ Today, I pulled into a small gas station in
the middle of the desert in New Mexico and realized I had left my wallet at my
girlfriends house 5 hours away. I had no money and barely enough gas to
make it another mile down the road. The only other person that stopped
for gas was a burly looking trucker. I was a bit reluctant, but I asked
him for some spare change for gas. Instead he filled my tank and said,
“Someone did this for me a few years ago.” MMT ”
Everyday, I commute to school
through public transport (buses). I’ve been doing so since the past 3 years. It would surprise you to know how much one can learn about himself by just spending 50 minutes around people he's never met before.
The past three years have been a wonderful learning experience. I'll just give you a brief idea of what it feels and then, I'll come back to the main reason why I'm writing this entry.
There’s no one for you to fall back
You can’t expect a helicopter to
descend from the skies if your legs are hurting. You’ll have to grit through
the pain and walk because at the end, the journey will be worth it.
Choices. Travelling teaches you how
to make them and how to learn from them. There have been times when I made a choice
like “I’ll catch the next bus, this one’s too full.” and cursed myself later.
Every single choice you make, every single action you take will have it’s own
consequences good or bad and you’ll have to take full responsibility for them.
I for one, enjoy this responsibility. I hate it when I depend on others and
things go wrong because of them.
There’s more to the world than my
cozy little bubble. You get an idea of how the world works. These rides have
taught me when to back down gracefully.
“An eye for an eye only makes the
whole world blind.”
I didn’t realize what it truly meant
until I witnessed people yelling at each other during my travels.
There’ll be times when people will
scold you for absolutely nothing. Though the book says that you must stand up
for yourself, more often than not, it’s easier to just throw a blind eye. Some
people just refuse to see the light of the day and I don’t see any ‘wisdom’ in arguing
I am probably making it look like I’ve had only ‘bad’
experiences but I’d be lying if I said that was true. I’ve met amazingly kind
people as well. I can spot a ‘good’ conductor by just observing him from a few
metres away. It feels astonishingly good when a conductor remembers you and you
don’t even need to tell him where you want to go. The ticket will be waiting
I’ve probably gone too far from the actual purpose of
this post. Let’s get back.
The reason I’m writing this entry is to tell you all a ‘small’
incident that happened today.
I’m a Indian school-going kid. 9 times out of 10, my
school-bag’s going to be fully loaded with books. Travelling with such a bag on
buses isn’t easy.
So, today, I was travelling home from school and was
sitting in a ‘full’ bus. I spotted a kid who was standing. He had this ‘big’
school-bag on and was sweating profusely. I at once felt an urge inside me to
ask him to give his bag to me so that he could stand more comfortably.
Over the years, I’ve met some kind-hearted people who’ve
done that to me. I mean, they spotted me ‘struggling’ with the bag and kindly
offered to help. I gladly let them help me.
As far as I know, this kid wasn’t giving his bag to
anyone because he was too ‘shy’.
I wanted to help the kid by
taking his bag. I just felt sorry for a fellow human. I wanted to show him that
there’s “good” in the world :P
After some intense debate with myself, my emotions
finally took over me and I nudged the kid. I told him “I’ll catch your bag”. He
was like “huh?” I repeated “ I said, I’ll catch your bag.” He then understood
me and willingly gave his bag over to me.
After about 3 minutes, my stop came. As I stood up to go
home, I gave the bag to the kid. Here’s when it happened.
All this while, there was this guy sitting opposite to me
beside the window. He had this ‘Dell’ bag and this cool looking mobile (It
looked like an iPhone but it wasn’t one.)
When I got up and gave the bag to the kid, that guy
offered to catch his bag.
Call me -whatever- but, this small
gesture from him made my day.
I liked seeing how my ‘action’
had resulted in others doing the same thing. I mean, had I probably not made
the first move of asking for that kids bag, he would’ve probably had to slog
through wearing it till his stop came but now, even though I wasn’t there,
there was someone who offered to catch his bag. I like it.
As I gave the kid his bag back, to be entirely honest, I
didn’t hear him say “Thank you.” But, when I was of his age, I just used to mutter
“Thank you” in my breath. Though I didn’t say it out loud, I meant it. I’m
pretty sure he meant thank you as well but just couldn’t gather up his vocal
chords to make a sound :P
Why did I do what I did?
Because, Someone did that for
me sometime back and I hope the kid does that for someone else in the future.