Friday, October 17, 2008

All in a Day's work!

I met a Rocket Scientist yesterday. Serious!
He's working on a couple of Robots for the International Space Station - up there somewhere. The Space Station is up there, I mean. He and the robots are still stuck on the gravity-maniac: earth. Explaining the complexity of the work and the no-scope-for-mistakes nature of it, he said, "I know what happens when they put a comma in the wrong place!"
And the curious me asked, "Well, what really happens if they put it in the wrong place?"
"Last time they did it...", he started and we all burst out laughing! I mean, they actually did it last time?!! Apparently they did! It was a Belorussian satellite that went into an elipticial orbit around the unknown and was untraceable for three days after launch. What happens to these satellites roaming alone in the unknown parts of the Space trying their best to communicate to the mother station? If they had a mind of their own, would they be sad and desolate? I wonder!
Another time, he said, they missed a line in the program for a bunch of five satellites sent to Mars. Two of them crashed into the surface of Mars, two missed the red planet altogether and went beyond, beyond the Solar System by now, if they managed to survive the asteroid belt. Only one survived the omission and saved some face for the project team. What happens to the guy who managed to miss the line? I wonder again! He would be sad and desolate for sure!
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Test Cricket is a different ball game altogether. If the five day length is not enough to make it special, it has its little idiosyncrasies that make you feel like comparing it to non-conformist poetry of 15th century! Test Cricket is like a proud Mozart holding his own in the midst of a thousand Britney-clones. Only if you have the patience to sit in office, reading the ball-by-ball commentary on internet for five days and mentally framing the images of the elegant Laxman's Leg Glance racing away to the boundary, can you claim to be a member of the high-religion of Cricket. Instant coffee sells, but filter coffee is in its own league!
Oz Media bitterly criticized Ganguly for his stalling tactics in the first test. A condescending commentator called him a 'Serial Offender'. So today Dada walked on to the pitch, and took enormous amounts of time to assume strike, irritating the waiting bowler! Only Dada can do this stuff! He didn't need to stall here, unlike the previous test. But I think he did just that to poke his pelvis in the direction of that condesc. commentator. Almost saying, 'You want to call me that again? Be my guest!'. I'm sure he'll have his laugh reading tomorrow's newspapers if this issue still raises its head above the widespread celebrations of his own 7000 runs and Tendulkar's 12000 while crossing Lara's record! They don't make them better than Dada when it comes to mooning the critics!
I smiled inwardly when I read that Ishant Sharma walked out in the middle as the 'night watchman' after Tendulkar's wicket. That's one of the classic idiosyncrasies of Test cricket! If they have only few overs left for the close of the day, they send the worst batsman in the side to play out the overs and face chin music next morning, than risk a valuable wicket! The opposition goes into full gear to put another fast wicket on the board and try their best to unsettle the comic bowling specialist swinging his bat at everything flying around him, leaving the ball alone! While Zaheer and Bhajji acquired a bit of batting skills, killing the comedy of their cameos, people like the gawky Ishant still keep the tradition alive!
Test cricket is like the Hyderabadi Zafrani Biryani as described by Big B in Cheeni Kum!

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