Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My Experience As A Defender In An Exciting Inter Class Soccer Tournament

Watching the heavy rains and soccer world cup matches this year often reminded me of great soccer moments of my wonder years – some excellent goals and some near misses – especially a powerful header that hit a coconut tree less than a meter from the goal. But my favourite memories are from the Eight Standard Inter-Class Football
Tournament in which I was lucky to have participated in, all thanks to my dear friend and a truly wonderful sportsperson, Rayboy Fernandes who left our world at a very young age. Rest in peace, dear friend. In fact, our batch must have been jinxed as we were unfortunate to have lost many of our classmates soon after we left school. RIP.

St. Stanislaus High School, our Alma Mater, boasted of some of India’s greatest sportsmen including some Olympic greats in hockey. We were brilliant in soccer too and that’s why even interclass matches were highly competitive and fascinating. I was hoping to be a forward in the team, but Rayboy, our captain, insisted that I become a defender if I wished to play at all. Disappointed, I agreed to play in that position. Rayboy instructed me to remain near the goalkeeper and kick the ball as far as possible into the centre of the field whenever possible. Little did I know then that defenders could even score goals – as we see so often nowadays!

First Match 8D Vs 8A

We were then in Teacher Sushma Bhatia’s 8D class. Many of our players were prominent sport stars of our school and we really fancied our chances in this tournament. In the first game, our opponent was an extremely weak team – Class 8 A. The format we adopted is more commonly used in hockey than soccer with just two defenders, putting
even more responsibility on someone like me who had never been positioned at the rear before. But I remember kicking the ball right into the centre of play during the match a couple of times, and winning some praise and encouragement from my team mates. We won the
match easily, about 8-0 I think. The goals were simply amazing, including some brilliant ones from Rayboy himself.

Second Match 8D Vs 8B

I think our team had peaked too early in the tournament as we seemed to be getting worse with every match we played. We did win the next match against 8B but it was with great difficulty that we managed to accomplish this feat. I didn’t do any noteworthy defending in this game. The victory margin must have been something like 2-0.

Third Match 8D Vs 8C

It was a very rainy day when we played 8C and water was everywhere. The field was soggy and tiny pools of muddy water surrounded us. The goalkeeper didn’t show up and I was coerced into being the guardian at the goal. It was my worst nightmare ever. I stood like a statue as the ball went past me from every possible angle. There was too much muddy water around for a first-time goalkeeper to think about diving and stopping the flood of goals. ‘Daag Achhe hain’ was not cool then, it was more like ‘Daag, my mother will kill me’. I think at least six goals were scored by our opponents.

Semi Final Match: 8D Vs 7 B

The worst possible feeling for a sportsman is probably to lose to a lower ranked player or a younger competitor or, in our case, a junior team. When 8D played 7B in the semi-finals, we were hopelessly outplayed by a much talented bunch of players. Their two wingers on either side created havoc in our camp. Both players were tall, lanky and could kick the ball hard and far. The winger near me was Kevin and I tried to mark him as best as I could. I bravely placed my body in the way of his powerful kicks and seemed to
win some admiration from him. I was a chintu as compared to him although he belonged to a junior class. It wasn’t a David-Goliath type of situation but we did manage to restrict the defeat to 0-2. Our dreams of being inter-class champions had been shattered.

Third Place Play-Off: 8D Vs 8C

When we played 8C the next time round – in the third place play-off match, it was bright and sunny, and a different ball game altogether. We dominated the match completely and scored a 3-1 victory. It was sweet revenge. I was not included in the playing XI but I supported my team enthusiastically from the school shed and the sidelines. Our team finally got some solace from this tournament.

I must place a disclaimer here that since these matches were held a long time ago, the scorelines (and not the results) may vary a bit from the actual ones. I have never been a defender or goalkeeper since then – in fact, I have not played in many matches after that experience. But the takeaway for me from this tournament was that you
can surprise yourself and others no matter in which role you play. Just give it your best shot and the results are bound to follow. And, I also learned that defending is not at all a trivial task - in fact, defenders such as the defenders of citizens’ rights play a vital role in every nation and in the entire world. Yes, being a defender can be cool too!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Smitten

( My Poem - An Ode to a Kitten)

I've been smitten
By you, dear kitten,
And now I've bitten
Much more than I can chew.

Yes, I've fallen flat
Upon life's beautiful mat,
And my poor cat,
My entire world is you.

The look you give me
Is sweet but misty,
And I can clearly see
That you've been smitten too.






Sunday, August 26, 2018

Imran Khan holds the keys to the fate of the subcontinent

Imran Khan was our greatest enemy as a cricketer too. His fast inswingers, deadly pace, solid batting and shrewd captaincy posed a major threat to the Indian team. How we hated his talent! He was a playboy off the field with liberal views. But now he's become a pro- Taliban fundamentalist backed by the military. As in the case of another fundamentalist from a neighbouring country who was elected prime minister with considerable support from state and non-state actors, Imran Khan also has got a historic opportunity to change the destiny of his country and that of the subcontinent. 

What Imran Khan needs to do is step out of the shadows of the military, revamp the ISI, clamp down on militancy, shut down terrorist training camps, persuade his countrymen to let go of their Kashmir obession, counter false propaganda and fake history narratives, stretch out an olive branch to India and Afghanistan, and administer Pakistan well.Let's hope he doesn't squander the opportunity like our charlie did...Kudos to Pakistanis for giving a big thumbs down to terrorism this election.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Romeo and Juliet: An Updated Version for Bandra Buggers

- Written by Yours Truly many years ago

Juliet: (to herself) Which one of my boyfriends could it be knocking at my bedroom window at this unearthly hour? Oh, it’s Romeo!!!

Juliet: (To Romeo) Romeo, you bledy bugger – What are you up to, men? Get down from the tree before you fall and break your b…...”

Romeo: I climbest this tree to express my love for thou – a love that can survive tempests and tsunamis.

Juliet: Romeo, dearest, dost thou havest – a car, a flat, or an ipad?

Romeo: I haveth none of the above.

Juliet: Then how dost thou dare to love? Thou livest in a fool’s paradise. I cannot love thee.

Romeo: I just inherited a cool million from an uncle who passed away. He was quite a rich dude. The cash is in the bank.

Juliet: I truly love thee now, my Romeo.

Romeo: Why dost thou not respond to my SMSes, my darling? Thou knowest how much I love thee especially after thou went under the plastic surgeon’s scalpel.

Juliet: A Daniel, still say I, a second Daniel!

Romeo: I think that’s from the “Merchant of Venice”.

Juliet: Oops! I’m acting in it as well.

Romeo: Anyways, Juliet, I simply adoreth your beautiful blue eye lenses and your brown hair so immaculately dyed.

Juliet: So what shall we do now, my hero? My parents cannot stand the sight of you…I mean thou or whatever.

Romeo: Let’s run away and have a long-term live-in relationship.

Juliet: What about killing ourselves with poison?

Romeo: Okey dokey, my love. Your wish is my command.

Juliet: I was just kidding – I’m not a loser like you. Get lost, creep.

Romeo: OK. I’ll try to patao Bianca from tomorrow onwards. Any idea if she’s still single and ready to mingle?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

What Ever Happened to India Against Corruption?

The charges and counter charges between Kapil Mishra, Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP only reveal that there are no honest politicians in India today – only two-faced hypocrites. It is extremely foolish of the BJP and Congress to take a ‘holier than thou’ stance since they do not practice cleanliness in their electoral politics either. Yes, you're guilty even if you accept dirty money for your kin or party.

If some politicians are still considered clean, it's usually due to the takeover of media houses, lack of evidence, U-turns of eye witnesses (with money changing hands), bungling or complicity of investigating agencies, or the existence of labyrinths (such as a network of shell companies) created to conceal the scams.

Have you ever stopped to think why no political party is now asking for the full implementation of the Lokpal Act? Because it suits them all. Aam Aadmi fought for the Lokpal Act. The Congress and BJP promised to deliver on TV debates, but now all of them suffer from selective amnesia. And they're corrupt because their sycophants and blind supporters continue to vote them in election and election. Yes, it is you who are to blame!

During the height of the demonetization drive when our older citizens were forced to stand in hour-long queues just to deposit their own money, all political parties were given legal immunity to deposit their black money comprising of the defunct 500 and 1000 Rupee notes in banks. There has been precious little done to bring about transparency in electoral funding either as crony capitalism reigns supreme. And, to top it all, bribing voters with alcohol and money is a given in almost every election. 

Yet there continues to be a political slugfest among the parties trying to outwit each other and proving which one of them is the most corrupt, as ‘In the land of the Blind, the one-eyed man will be King.’

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Indians in Pakistan Ebook is Now Free for a Week - Only at Smashwords ‘Read an Ebook Week’


The war on the Islamic State/Daesh has nearly ended. The ruthless terrorists have been decimated in Mosul, their erstwhile stronghold in Iraq. In Syria, the brave Kurdish Peshmerga units have surrounded Raqqa and defeat for the Daesh is almost certain. There was a tame surrender at Al Bab, and the rest of the Levant will soon be freed from their evil clutches.

As Terrorists around the globe face the heat, an action-packed novel dissects the anatomy of this evil menace with awe-inspiring content. Indians in Pakistan is an exciting novel that will surely entertain and enlighten you, revealing bitter truths, warped perceptions and diabolical designs, which together make the Indian subcontinent one of the most dangerous regions of the world. Check out the amazing book trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mUcLD-pe9Y

Enjoy your spring break by browsing through some of the best books of our times available only on smashwords.com and grab hold of ‘Read an Ebook Week’
Specials for March 5–11. Book buyers will need to log in to their Smashwords account (or create a new account in seconds) and select the #bestselling book of your choice in the preferred reading format.

Hurry! The bestseller Indians in Pakistan is available for Free only this week! https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/471144 
View its Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IndiansInPakistan

Saturday, December 17, 2016

'Twas The Night After Christmas

 (A Parody on X'mas written at the start of the Millennium)

'Twas the night after Christmas, when partying was done,
The world had got drained of all the laughter and fun,
Empty booze bottles lay scattered around,
Ambitious Christmas dreams had crashed on the ground .

The feelings of peace, love and goodwill had gone,
Men fought and quarrelled till the break of the dawn,
Sorrow and depression were replacing happiness and cheer,
This would be the trend until Christmas next year.

The shopping spree was over, the money had vanished,
The spirit of Christmas had been altogether banished,
The decorations so beautiful, no one admired them any more,
This joyous, merry season had become a bore.

I sat on the sofa, a frown on my face,
My world was in tatters, I was losing the race,
My wife had been crying, her eyes were quite red,
She cursed me so fiercely, I wished I was dead.

The children were sad, no smile did they give,
Their cheeks stained with tears, they were learning to live,
For their fantasy world had been smashed into parts,
The new gifts were broken, and so were their hearts.

I opened the door, and went for a stroll,
When I bumped into Santa, the legend from the North Pole,
His face was not merry, his shoulders drooped low,
This icon of Christmas had nowhere to go.

"I distributed no presents, my elves were on strike",
He told me very sadly, "They wanted a hike";
I left the poor creature alone in the cold,
There was no love for life but only for gold.

The warmth of the season, it had turned into ice,
Since mankind had forgotten the art of being nice,
'Twas the night after Christmas, when most of us sighed,
For the magic of Christmas had faded and died.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Analysing the Note Ban Saga

My issue with the whole thing is why was the RBI flooding the ATMs and banks with 500 & 1000 INR currency notes when they had already planned to withdraw these notes six months ago. Was it to harass the public? All bank counters and ATMs were dishing out only 1000 and 500 Rupee notes in these past six months. Senior citizens and the poor will be deeply affected by this move. Let s forget the black money folks for a while. And, we re not sure what can happen to the economy at this stage? Choppy waters for the stock and currency markets for sure! And why are there no measures to curb black money in the stock market through participatory notes and the inflow of tainted funds to political parties? Why are political parties still allowed to accept black money? They have good intentions but poor implementation - the time window should have been at least 3 months. And, how will it help if the present currency notes were once used by terrorists and changed hands twenty times. Will they slap charges of terrorism on the poor, ignorant, innocent accountholder who accepted money in good faith and went to deposit it in his bank account? That would be ridiculous!

About a Ban on Participatory Notes:

Still wondering why Modi did not ban participatory notes as they are possibly more dangerous than the defunct high value currency notes when it comes to black money hoarding, round tipping, money laundering, corruption, terror funding and benami deals. What are your views on the miniscule action taken on participatory notes when they pose a much bigger threat? Is n t it like locking your front door tightly when leaving your home but leaving your back door wide open for thieves?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Indians in Pakistan Vs Recent Surgical Strikes

I wonder if the recent surgical strikes by the Indian forces in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) were as action-packed as this extract from our thriller 'Indian in Pakistan':

When my mobile alarm went off (with a lowered volume), according to the plan, I got ready to fire. But the deafening sounds of rockets exploding on impact reverberated throughout the valley. I found it difficult to keep my hands steady to shoot and bided my time. And when I finally did fire, mine was one of the last rockets to take off. It did find its target though and added to the stupendous scale of devastation that had happened in just over a minute or so. More than twenty rockets had been fired in all, although there had also been a couple of misfires and at least one of them had gone totally wide off the mark.

Plumes of smoke, huge fires and scattered debris could be clearly seen from our strategic positions despite the presence of dust clouds all around. Panicky men were shouting, screaming, weeping and running. They looked all over but could not spot us. We had already hit them hard.

Two more waves of rocket attacks increased the devastation as well as the chaos. Artillery shells from the first tank seemed to strike the main installations and structures in the middle to devastating effect. Meanwhile, we received news that the second tank had been successfully destroyed. The victorious group would be joining the rest of the unit in the next stage of the battle.

The next stage was the close combat stage where the rest of the unit excluding us would enter the campgrounds and cause mayhem. The relentless sound of AK47s firing, rocket attacks and hand grenade explosions rent the air. From our elevated position on the hills, we aimed at the centre of the camp with our RPG launchers and AK47s. We aimed at the middle of the ground so as to avoid killing our own men who were infiltrating the camp from all sides.

Those who endeavoured to flee the camp from the main entrance were ambushed in a brutal assault by both the groups stationed in the area. In fact, the group that had destroyed the second tank provided valuable support to these groups. The rockets, grenades and bullets must have killed scores of men.
Most of the main targets had been destroyed by now. Both the helicopters had been blown up with rockets. One of them had managed to take off and was just a few metres high when it had been attacked. The solitary tank on the grounds was permanently damaged by an explosion. The guard towers and ammunition depot had been obliterated too. Moreover, all the buildings had been reduced to rubble.

But there were casualties on our side as well. A few had died accidentally because of unfortunate instances of friendly firing. Someone had stepped on a mine in the distance and had most probably been killed.
My night vision scope had caught all the action wonderfully. But the battle was still far from won. The enemy was fighting fiercely now as most of the survivors had woken up fully from their slumber. Some of them launched a counterattack against us. They must have even called for some aerial support by now. I wished we could leave immediately but Younus did not give any orders for a retreat as yet.

And then things began to go wrong. Someone managed to scale the hillock and kill Abdullah. Mohsin fired at the enemy. But he was critically wounded before he had incapacitated his opponent. The brave lad lay on the ground, breathing heavily. Najma, Afzal and I went up to him...

Saturday, July 23, 2016

May Your Star Shine Far and Bright: An Appeal for Peace in Kashmir


An Open letter to Kashmiris by Vivek Pereira, Author of the Novel 'Indians in Pakistan' (a book on ISI-sponsored terrorism with a strong focus on Kashmir)

My Dear Kashmiri Brothers and Sisters,

The recent events in and around the valley have stirred our nation like never before. For as Kashmir weeps, most of us weep with her; and when Kashmir bleeds, most of us bleed with her. The bullets, stones and pellets may continue to fly thick and fast but not thick or fast enough to destroy the great bond of brotherhood that exists between us. Being the author of a novel with a strong focus on Kashmir as well as a fellow Indian with deep-rooted secular credentials, I dare address you as my brothers and sisters, for that is what you are.

Today hope manifests itself as a distant star blurring away in the horizon. Terrorists continue to sneak in from across the border with impunity despite the tough security measures in place. Homegrown extremists like Wani have started using the gun to express themselves. A few overzealous or callous police officers and military personnel have sometimes made grave errors and even committed serious crimes that have only compounded the situation. Floods, unemployment and lack of infrastructure have further crippled the valley.

In spite of all this, we need to cling on to that distant, fleeting hope. For things can get far worse from now on. The Pakistani army and ISI are doing everything possible to increase the level of violence in Kashmir. Global terror outfits like the Islamic State, Taliban and Al Qaeda are waiting to turn Kashmir into an extremist caliphate like they have in Syria and Afghanistan where there is non-stop violence including horrific tales of rape, slaughter and barbaric torture.

But our tryst with destiny is not over as yet. In fact, this is just the beginning. Kashmir is at the crossroads and the decisions you make today will help shape the future of your great civilization, the future of India and possibly that of all mankind. Yes, the future of the whole of mankind rests in your hands, my Kashmiri brethren. For if your star shines bright enough and far enough, it will inspire millions of people facing persecution and despair in Muslim countries as well as the rest of the world.

Kashmir is, was and shall always be an integral part of our great nation. When India gained independence, Lord Mountbatten and other British leaders had asked the leaders of each princely state to choose between India or Pakistan, and your erstwhile ruler had chosen to remain with India. This decision was respected by the international community, but not by Pakistan who immediately sent their Pashtun tribesmen to invade Kashmir in 1948. Certain Anti-Indian Resolutions were passed in the United Nations by vested interests in those early times and India was asked to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir after Pakistani troops were fully withdrawn from the region. Both India and Pakistan will never follow the conditions in these resolutions which have today become highly irrelevant.

Over the years Indian-administered Kashmir evolved into a modern region with a firm democratic setup, moderate infrastructure and several tourist hubs. Its growth story left the Pakistanis jealous and infuriated especially after Bangladesh had broken free from their evil clutches. So they chose to wound Kashmir deeply in the past four decades with the diversion of billions of dollars in aid and millions of tons of weaponry which have been generously given to them by the American, Saudi and the Chinese governments.

Your local leadership has failed you often, but so has the political leadership fallen short in the rest of the country. Yes, Kashmir is in the same boat as the rest of India. Politicians have become corrupt, callous and narrow minded. Fascist organizations, both Hindu and Muslim, threaten and abuse us as well as our way of life. Rights are being trampled, freedom is being suppressed. Yes, we must fight these evil designs together, but with the power of words and not the brutality of the gun. We must debate, argue and influence through our words and deeds, and not let bullets and stones do the talking.

And that is where Wani was wrong. For those who live by the gun shall perish by it. Unfortunately, many more innocent people are perishing along with Wani, uniformed and civilian. It's time to bring a halt to this madness and set Kashmir on the right path to peace and prosperity. The choice is yours to make. Discourage stone pelting and militancy, and encourage constructive debate, entrepreneurship and democracy. Above all, you must nurture a secular mindset in the valley that respects and appreciates people from different religious, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. 

Sadly enough there are a few people in India who look at Kashmir as just a piece of real estate and overlook the millions of Kashmiris, their emotions and their ambitions. Some of these have reached the highest echelons of power. They are our enemies too. They are the same lot who do not subscribe to the secular, socialistic idea of India. We fight them tooth and nail online and offline. But our means are just and peaceful. For violence begets violence; and the victors are usually communal politicians, blood-thirsty terrorists or a combination of both.

The union government of India and security personnel must take strict action not only against terrorists but also their own men whenever they violate the rule of law or use disproportionate force against innocent Kashmiris. Let Kashmiriyat and Insaniyat be the guiding principles for the people of Kashmir as well as those who govern them. There are a few things you need to do on high priority. Welcome the Pandits back into the valley, usher in a new era of development there and restore Kashmir back to its former glory. Is this too much to ask?
I would like to end this appeal with a lengthy quote from Nehru's famous speech at the dawn of our independence.
"To the people of India (and its state of Kashmir, I may add), whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. This is no time for petty and destructive criticism, no time for ill will or blaming others. We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.
The appointed day has come - the day appointed by destiny - and India stands forth again, after long slumber and struggle, awake, vital, free and independent. The past clings on to us still in some measure and we have to do much before we redeem the pledges we have so often taken. Yet the turning point is past, and history begins anew for us, the history which we shall live and act and others will write about.
A new star rises, the star of freedom in the east, a new hope comes into being, a vision long cherished materializes. May the star never set and that hope never be betrayed by!"
Arise O Kashmiris, may your star rise and never set. Here's wishing you unending peace, prosperity and happiness. History shall begin anew!