Tuesday, October 17, 2006

God's Gift

For some strange reason, I got reminded of Reddy Sir today. I got my 12th physics tuition from him. He was a great teacher. He was an expert in his domain and was a fun guy to have as your teacher. In particular, he knew how to relate to his students, most of them in their mid-teens.

Ours was an all-boys batch and we used to have a great time cracking jokes(mostly non-veg). One day one guy was like “Sir I got terrible backache”, and Reddy Sir asks in his inimitable south indian accent “Abe kya yaar abhi shaadi nahi kiya aur abhi se yeh sab”. And another day, it was somebody's birthday and one guy asked, “Sir why do we celebrate birthday when actually we are getting one year nearer to our death”. Pat came Reddy Sir's response, “You duffer! you should be happy, you are one year nearer to your marriage”. Jokes apart, he had this knack of explaining complex physics theories like some interesting story. Thanks to Reddy Sir, I started liking physics which is to date one of my fav subjects. And yeah, I did score 92% in my physics boards much to the surprise of my physics teacher in school.

Great teachers are really God's gifts. Funny thing is most of the teachers you find in schools are there because they need some job and not out of passion for teaching, which is really sad. Its the students who suffer and resort to rote learning and in the process are unable to find out their interests and preferred domains. Thanks to the history teachers and our educational system, through out my entire school life I really hated history. History classes were such a drag. We used to sleep in the back bench while Ms Sashi will just sit in her seat and keep reading from the text. I think she was as clueless as we were. Luckily the national economy opened up and we got to watch Discovery and NGC. But for History in Color in Discovery, I wouldn't have realized that history can be so fascinating.

Same goes for mathematics. We studied trignometry, integration, differentiation but nobody knew why on earth were we doing all this and cramming up all those formulas. That's when Rao Sir entered the picture. (There's something with me and Andhraite tuition teachers). I got maths tuitions from him for couple of years and the fact that the hottest girl in my class and my crush (actually crush of pretty much all the boys in the school) used to sit right across me made maths that much more interesting. He was quite opposite of Reddy in his manners. Shy and soft-spoken, he used to get excited only when he started ranting about the power of mathemathics. The whole world is based on maths, as per him. Well, I dont quite agree with him on that count but he did manage to kindle my interest in a subject which I feared like hell. So much so that half way into the class I used to forget to steal glances of “the love of my (then) life”.

Looking back, its unfortunate that the best teachers I got were not in school, but in tuitions. But that's the sorry state of our educational system. If you get a great teacher, its your good luck, for s/he will surely inspire and motivate you for greater things in life. And you will remember them fondly thoughout your life, like I remembered Reddy Sir today.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

You talkin to me? Well I am the only one here! You talking to me? Oh Yeah?!

Robert De Niro as Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver is simply awesome!! The movie had been in my to-watch list for far too long. Finally caught it yesterday night. I really dont know how he missed the oscar with that kind of performance. He got into the character with such perfection that after the initial couple of scenes, I just forgot that I was watching a De Niro movie. I was watching the life of Travis Bickle, the lonely insomniac taxi driver who drives all night through the bad, dirty and cruel city. Travis Bickle, in his own words, is God's lonely man! A man who stood up against the scum, the dogs, the filth...

This city here is like an open sewer, its full of filth and scum. Whoever the president is should clean everything..should just flush everything down the fucking toilet...”

Such perfection!! Now I know why my favorite actor is often compared to De Niro! When these men act, acting simply ceases and the character comes alive.

Why didnt he rub the right way?

Sreesanth rubs his seniors the wrong way says this article on Mumbai Mirror. Now I dont get this. All these years we keep talking about indian players lacking aggression and not showing enough killer instinct. We had guys like Srinath who will apologise to Ricky Ponting if his bouncer hits him on the body. And when Ponting, being the arrogant aussie he is, responds by mouthing choicest expletives, our good man from Mysore meekly turns and walks back to his run up. Why then, should we interpret it as misconduct or shooting of the lip when a young fast bowler shows some spirit and indulges in some good ol' sledging? I thought what he said to Sehwag was quite funny and a nice bit of sledging. The fact that Sehwag went and complained to the umpires shows that it had the desired effect.

And what is this “senior” talk? Would it have been OK had he sledged “juniors”? I mean, come on, this is no army camp that he should stop in his run up and salute when bowling to Sachin or Sehwag just because they are senior to him. By that measure he should show respect to even the likes of Lara and Inzamam, because they are also “seniors”. Once on the field, your opponent is just that. You dont need to know care how experienced he is or about his image or whether you play for the same team otherwise. Actually its nice to see someone being so charged up for a Challenger Series match. I think that speaks a lot about his attitude and being dropped from the Champions Trophy must have also played its part.

I really dont think Sachin, Sehwag or Bhajji would have taken this bit of aggression from Sree the wrong way. They are seasoned customers. As Sree himself says here, its really not an issue. But what I find baffling is the way media is portraying it. Killer instinct anyone? First get rid of that parochial coat, I say.