Mission Peak memories

Mission Peak is a peak that is Fremont, California. Well, I scaled it. This post is about that. That’s about it. This post holds no intrigue or a labyrinthine weave of how a chief minister can be such a stickler for the chair, or how an MP can be so brazen about claiming dementia. And if you want to take it International you could well tune to a circus show over debit and credit in the US of A !

As said, this post wont scale those heights. Mission Peak is a 2500 odd feet ‘peak’. If that ‘I scaled it’ in the first line of this post, makes you imagine a Tom Cruise kind of mission, well, that’s the as farther than Pluto if Earth was about truth !

‘Mission Peak’ has a long winding trail that takes you all the up. Forever on an incline mode. Steadily. Gradually. For what seemed like an eternity. One early Sunday morning, prompted by an infectious enthusiasm that friends put on display; the ‘climb’ was attempted.

For someone used to running the ‘hills’ in Powai, this wasn’t exactly tough. But it wasn’t a walk in the park either. It seemed as though it was going to take forever. Occasionally, when the head turned to take a look at the distance covered, the long winding road with people, ant like in size and movement all making their way up was indeed a sight.

There was chatter. Endless chatter. Wafting in the air was Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Telugu, Malayalam. And of course, English. Of course there were other languages that was gibberish to me. Well, that’s besides the point. The point is, that was my convoluted attempt at letting readers know that there were a lot of people !

Watching people as they climb turned out to be an exercise that I highly recommend that everyone should indulge in, if you want to get to the REAL story. Well that’s another convoluted attempt to let you know that people who overtook us in the initial parts of the climb had such sophisticated accents that the TOEFL test examiners would be proud of. Only to lose their accents and being reduced to ‘amma’, ‘meri http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/paxil_generic.html ma’, and other forms of calling out their mothers / other relatives in their native tongue.

There were the others, with dogs. Some of which, could have passed for cows, save their bark. There were a few who were cycling all the way up. Yet others, running. Young. Old. Men. Women. Straight. Gay. Bisexual. (well, the last two, are assumptions. Just in case you were wondering). All of that, in all shapes and sizes.

Right at the top is this pole with multiple openings protruding at different ends. Looking patently odd and misplaced. Even as I was standing there, drinking in lung fulls of fresh air and blue sky, one ‘dude’ was explaining this to another.

Panting, yet talking. Producing funny sounds, further complicated by a phoney accent. From whatever I could gather, this was a ‘preset view finder’ of sorts. You could look at Fremont through one of them. Milipitas from another. And so on.

Boring I thought.

You climb all the way up to catch up the sky and air. Not to look at specific parts of the city. Which was when one of them exclaimed, ‘They don’t have a zoom facility’ he said. I instantly recognized that voice. It was the one whose accent slipped as the climb heightened. Perhaps he had left some food in the microwave to warm up and he wanted to zoom in and find out how they were cooking !

The place itself was pristine. The sun came out bright and early. It isn’t often that one gets to stand above the clouds. If nothing else, paving the way for a few snaps and loads of memories.

The energy & enthusiasm that the group I went with, brought along, was so infectious that if enthusiasm was a disease, we would have had an epidemic of sorts. We discussed myriad topics so much so, if we assumed the role of an Indian MP, we could have actually got a few laws passed!

So the next time, if you belong to the tribe, that shakes its head upon reading what I write and mutter ‘this is heights’, may I suggest you try ‘Mission Peak’ ?

Cricket confessions !

This is cricket season. Everyone is glued to the TV sets. Tweeting simultaneously. Commenting on how squalid Ravi Shastri’s commentary is or how queer the pitch is and how this game could be a ‘cracker of the game’.

Ofcourse, expert comments come from people ranging from the next door aunty to the ex-gully cricketer who now spouts a belly and has a ton of stories from ‘my playing days’.

The eloquence that is waxed on players and their performance, is a perpetually swinging pendulum that swings from creative abuses that will shame the insipid listlessness of a laggard bowler and extend all the way to the elevation to a GODly status when a personal milestone is cracked !

Before you label me with definitively pronounced adjectives like ‘unpatriotic’, ‘unfit to be Indian’, let me hasten to add that I follow the game too. Not quite with the same intensity that people put on display in restaurants and public places. And boy who can forget twitter. Tweeting fervently, exhorting others to sit where they are or hold on to their pee until another man scores a century ! ( No, am certainly not making this up).

Am not necessarily an ignorant small towner. My own growing up years saw many a summer day that slipped by in battling bowlers from the next building with utter disrespect for the Sun and searing heat. To hit, to run, to roll arms over irrespective of where the sun was in the sky, as long as he was out there in the sky! Ah, it’s a lovely game. Yeah. G-A-M-E !

Much water has flowed under the bridge since then. Age takes a good catch, always. The hair on my head is receding and whatever is left of it is as stark as the black & white photograph. Cricket is well, different. The frenzy is several time more pronounced. Outlets to wear it on your sleeve, is multi pronged. TV channels are a famished lot without the game. The result: everybody is an expert. Vocally so !

Truth be told, I can never get myself to sit before the TV for many hours on end and confine my exercise to jumping to conclusions, stretching the statistical truth and pushing the country’s luck (exhorting people to stay still and hold their pee)!

I harbor no ill-will against the people that are more passionate. The world is made of all kinds. For long, several well meaning people have popped the obvious question at me : Why ? Why don’t you follow the game as closely ?

For an equally long time, I have either maintained a stoic silence. A silence that could outdo a hermit in deep penance. Or have hidden behind a decorated façade of ‘a game is meant to be sweated out’ argument. Now its time for a confession. The real reason is Statistics !

Yes. Really. Statistics.

The sheer magnitude of statistical trivia that International cricket can spew ranges from the sublime to the ridiculous, perpetually pushing the boundaries of both the sublime and the ridiculous! Quite obviously what is sublime to one has another searching for words that amplify ‘ridiculous’.

‘Dilshan is the seventh batsman to face Abdul Razzak when he is bowling from the Khetaramma end in the Premadasa stadium’.

Well, well. That could well be a rather tame concocted example.

The more informed amongst my friends rattle of statistics that could perk the ears of an encyclopedia maker and could go like “This is the third highest, seventh wicket partnership between Kenya & Zimbabwe, the second highest in in a one day game in Nagpur and is also the seventh highest in all world cups and 293rd in the history of one day internationals “.

Even as my mouth opens in awe, experience has taught me not to be surprised if someone else strikes a degage pose and throw a rejoinder that could go like “It actually is the 294th. The 167th got mired in a controversy because of a thunderstorm which sometimes is not counted…”.

Such powerful stuff is pregnant with poignant potential of sending the partially interested into perpetual coma!

That’s when I go looking for my running shoes.

Passive is Active !!

Sweating out in the gym, and trying to lift that extra pound, i wondered what would make it all the more worthwhile. My mind raced back to the ad for the Passive excerise device.

It was sometime back when i saw this ad. It reappearance ensured that it caught my attengtion between channel surfing. Its recurreance ensured i got to see the whole ad in bits and pieces !

Yes. It was for some belt. I think so. Or some beads or oil or t-shirt or whatever. The instrument doesnt matter. The concept does.

I wonder, how in hell is it possible that you wear that belt and it jigs up your belly fat & that would put Mallika Sherawat to shame. You are exhorted to wear this belt and keeps jigging all fat ( you decide the place of the fat please ) while you read the newspaper or sleep and Lo & behold you have a frame like John Abraham.

Atleast its that kind of dude who exhorts you to buy the product on TV. With a wierd accent and a hindi translation !

The very idea that people fall for such stuff could indicate many things.

a. How incredibly ‘hopeful’ & ‘optimistic’ people are. Imagine, that you an chomp away at butter chicken, Aloo Paratha and Butter roti only to wear a belt and have it all worked away !?!

b. It could also indicate how lousy Television programming is, for somebody to watch some incredible evangelism like this.

(But consider this : The news channel are focussed on the imminent solving of some murder case or the Manmohan Singh government’s imminent fall. And then there is Sauna belt. And the imminent loss of weight. The sauna’ belts’ imminence seems far more alluring )!

Hmm..what else.

c. Perhaps its an indicator…that the future is here !

The passive future, is here. Active !