Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Game of all games

Soccer is over and I'm over it. So it isn't that. Lakers won the championship again this season. Love them to death but am over basketball as well. Baseball, yeah right. Cricket, eh. I watch it here and there, make sure I know all the gossip that goes around and leave it at that. Let's see what else I missed. Anything that isn't a national league doesn't count so that might be it. And before you judge me, I'm a girl. Sports don’t really set my adrenalin pumping.

I'm, no points for guessing, alluding to the waiting game. It's a different beast which can kill like slow poison. Suffocate you with anticipation until you can breathe no more. If you do the math, it's usually an embarrassing number that will be the number of hours over the life time that one has gawked at the phone to ring after cleverly handing out a card at a party. Or refreshed a page for that one email to show up and transform your life. Of course it turns out that it was a silly silly email with no impact whatsoever. That one response to your tweet that you're hoping for, just because your bared your soul in front of perfectly random strangers hoping someone will understand the exact tone and meaning behind it. That nod of approval you were expectantly scanning your boss's face for after you justified why you should go to Vegas for that preposterous conference along with a smart joke. That one expression on better half's face after you decided to royally ditch him for a trip some place exotic with your girlfriends.

My timing is epic. Ok I promised not to use that word anymore. Everyone everywhere is calling everything 'epic' lately. Next up is 'rad'. Someone snap at me if I use rad. The wine in my hand and my age have convinced me that I'm past the using-a-cool-word-to-escape-thinking-about-what-the-real-word-should-be phase. Here's the real deal. I invariably end up cursing my timing. Don't know what it is but I'm the queen of wrong place, wrong time. Feel oh so lucky. Blessed, really. If there are a million outcomes for every waiting game I've played, a million minus one interesting and one that falls under the general category of god-has-a-sense-of-humor, guess what fate would pick for me.

I think I finally might have an upper hand on fate though. I've figured out the magic rule. Tested it thrice. Works wonders. So am running with it. It's called 'moving on'. And for the record, I'm not saying it indignantly.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Is couples with same jobs the new black?

It's been an age old debate. To bite the bullet and accept that job at spouse's firm or speculate and back out? Lately everywhere I see, it is couples doing the same gig and frankly it's giving me a headache. Doctors in the same ward, chefs in the same restaurant, models doing the same ad, coders in the same department. It seems like the beginning of a new trend.

I was at a Rodrigo y Gabriela concert a few weeks back. They are a Mexican couple who specialize in playing fast, rhythmic acoustic guitars and by default qualify for an OMG. As I sat in my coveted front row seat absorbing the unique music that came out of these two with a huge cult following, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized. Rodrigo, being the lead guitarist would start off a new number and soon enough, Gabriela would follow suit with the rhythm. There were no words, no lyrics, just sounds that consumed me as they looked into each others eyes as if they were teasing each other with clues, signals and pranks. Their chemistry was invincible. It wasn’t just sparks, it was fire. And it was palpable. The rest of the audience perhaps looked upon them as open hearted, happy entertainers but I couldn’t get over the fact that two people could have such combustible chemistry.

What is it about couples who work together? Do they have a stronger connection with each other? Do they share a special bond that the rest of us don't? Do they complement each other better? It is believed that no two people are exactly like each other. And we have also harbored the notion of 'opposites attract' for the longest time. But once a relationship is past the attraction stage, common interests seemingly tend to become a very valuable asset. It generally means that two people don't have to constantly struggle for ideas to spend time together. It just comes naturally to them. It could potentially foster deeper understanding, respect and admiration for each other. Sounds brilliant from where I see it. Certainly, you've seen that occasional couple whose eyes twinkle when they give each other a knowing smile or who finish each others sentences. Question is, it is envious or is it annoying?

I imagine it has its share of troubles as well. Work place romance is often frowned upon for it not only seems unprofessional but promotes gossip eventually raising questions about acceptable employee code of conduct. Besides, it cannot be easy to keep your family and work life completely separate if you work together. Does that open up a can of worms about your personal life in the professional set up? It might. It might also introduce emotions like ego and envy in a relationship. Several movies have used this as a subject from Abhimaan to Mr. & Mrs. Smith where a couple struggles with maintaining the balance between professional and personal lives.

But I guess in the end, love is not a function of rules. It might just work for you... you'll just have to bear the wrath of those of us in different professions :p

The 'European' world cup 2010

Four years of impatient wait and speculations later, the Soccer World Cup was finally here. Not that it was constantly on my mind. But it somehow always weaved itself into a story. It would drop in casually during other sports conversations or travel stories to South America or just gossip about hot guys in general. The wait became more pertinent during my trip to Brazil earlier this year. The fever was hard to miss there. Right from a football in its flag to young boys playing it at all odd times of day in the numerous soccer stadiums and parks to soccer stars gracing magazine covers, it was all pervasive. I of course got carried away and bought myself a few Brasil team merchandise that I would proudly wear as the world cup would progress. Those yellow tees looked like such a great investment at the time. Imagine how much mileage I could get out of that gear. After all, Brasil was all set to make it to the finals and possibly win the world cup. Or so my laid back Brasilian fellas had me believe. It's amazing how impressionable I am and how I always realize it and do nothing about it.

Back to soccer. It has certainly been an interesting and unpredictable world cup so far. Africa, who analysts believed were in luck this time looking at the planetary configuration or something was out early on with Ghana being the lone survivor. Then Paul, the psychic German octopus rose to fame with his accurate predictions with a 100% success rate making the European teams knock out Brasil (sigh... all that gear, gone to waste), Argentina (Messi, I still think you're a rock star) and Paraguay. One prediction after another from Paul saw Germany sail through it with their amazing precision and brutal play knocking off the South American soccer teams. When Brasil was out, I was almost in tears. But much to my consolation, it didn't die the shameful death that Argentina did with an excruciating 0-4 against Germany.

What is it about this world cup that had us all, fanatics, fans and the couldn't-care-less category biting our nails with a thumping heart? Is it the European domination, is it that the big stars didn’t show the big tricks and ended up being a big disappointment, is it that well organized and disciplined teams performed better than popular teams with a phenomenal track record or its just a valid excuse to take time off work, get drunk and pass off trash talk as acceptable social behavior?

Finals are almost here. The psychic octopus has predicted Spain will beat Germany in semis. It must be hard to be psychic and loyal all at once. Will the Dutch take it all? My money is riding on them. They certainly have it all... Amsterdam, weed, canals, beer, euthanasia, cheese, cows, red light district, windmills... and football! Either way, it'll be all over tomorrow. Everyone will go back to normal life and some country will pay Germany good money to buy Paul off and I will start convincing people to go to Brazil in another 4 years when it will host World Cup 2014.

Oh and regardless of what happens, the world will be a better place for the world cup has given us 'Waka Waka' by Shakira :p