You can tell summer has arrived because the English test cricket season has begun which is usually a mixed bag of bowling, rain and an occasional victory. The best part of this is the live commentary provided online by The Guardian which is a mixture of sarcasm, wit, arguing between the readers who mail in and once in a while a note or two about the actual game.
Take for example today’s commentary on the first day’s play between England and New Zealand.
15th over: New Zealand 47-0 (Richardson 15, Fleming 30)
Hoggard is supposed to be a swing bowler, but his deliveries are moving less than Cliff Richard’s hips on his last world tour. But, finally, after being tonked for another boundary, he produces a corker - which straightens and misses the bat by inches. More Coldplay talk. "Did you know why the baby was called apple? Because it was in cider for nine months! Boom boom!" says someone who wisely prefers to remain anonymous.
Ninety thousand people crammed into Eden Gardens to watch the first day’s play and I end up two seats across from the only other English people in the stadium; two girls on their last day in India. This is cricket India style —the scoreboard breaks down, the Aussie contingent is fenced in, you can tell where Sachin Tendulkar is on the field at any one time because the nearest quadrant of the stands has a thousand people’s faces mashed up against the fence, the seating is concrete covered with whatever cushions you brought and the queue for plastic bags of water is ten times longer than the queue for pepsi and fanta. Am mistaken for a lost Aussie in third session as their batting collapses from 190-1 to 288-8. Am also witness to first ever Indian hat trick in test cricket. Harbhajan Singh, if you’re interested. Wonder if I can get a ticket for tomorrow?
Awake at five, remain knackered and spaced for rest of day while house becomes thoroughfare for everyone collecting and dropping off. Fridge now in dreadful state thanks to neglecting veg? in the bottom try for about a month. Even the lizards have stayed away. Vaguely aware of flying to Calcutta for last break before I leave back to Blighty. More aware that every local has poster paint in at least one colour splashed on their face and torso. Another festival—because it’s the second Saturday of a month within a ‘r’ in it presumably. This one is just known as the festival of colour.
Calcutta is a surprise—it’s quite cool. Instinctively reach for passport, remember I didn’t bring it ’cos I haven’t left the country, and groan because I need it to cash travellers cheques. I want a ticket for tomorrows test match India vs Australia but don’t have that much on me. Taxi gets hit from behind on the way in. Fortunately, hotel is not far away and has complimentary first day tickets for the match, so all is well even if the air conditioning system seems to have a loud speaker attached.
Amazon UK in-house review of The Rebel Code states that the founder of the Free Software Foundation is Robert Stallman. Oh dear.
Girls trying to convince me that I don’t need to get tickets for the Calcutta test match in advance. As owner of Eng-Aus test match ticket six months in advance, skepticism reigns. Eventually locate identity of probable ticket vendors - the Bengali Cricket Board. Ring em up and spend two minutes with non-English speaker before being told it’s not open until the afternoon. Ring back and told tickets aren’t printed yet. Not printed? Maybe the girls are right.
The Chris O’Donnell version of The Three Musketeers is on again for at least the fourth time in ten days. Teeth are being ground down by the way he pronounces D’Artagnan so badly.
Bizarre story in Times of India - bloke can write with his ear and with his nose and also with both hands at the same time in different languages. Oh. And?
BangLinux.com awaits a server to be hosted on for third week and Taipei signs a sister-city agreement with a virtual community. Everyone in Taipei now has a virtual twin —sounds like the plot for a sci-fi movie.
The Hammer of Damocles was often used alongside his sword in Catch 22 situations where the incumbent had Hobson’s Choice of a quick, clean or slow, messy conclusion. Would seem that Azhar has got the hammer. His tax bill is now also under investigation.