This and That

I walked through UPenn’s campus on the way to the Fresh Grocer today. There was something about the atmosphere there that is hard to explain. A mixture of excitement, happiness, and anticipation. Coupled with the slightly chilly air, it was a good feeling. It also happens to be the weekend of Halloween, so I guess a lot of people were getting ready for the weekend parties.

I don’t regret coming to Drexel for my undergraduate education. As compared to staying in India, I’ve definitely learned a lot more by being here and most of it is not in the class room. But if I were to do it again (courtesy of having the advantage of three years of hindsight) I’d do things very differently, starting with the kind of college I attended. It would definitely have to be in a city. But I’d also have liked it to be somewhat smaller and a little more personal, and a lot more interactive. This has nothing to do with all the Drexel administration related problems I’ve faced here, but an analysis of what kind of situation I’d fit in best.

I guess at about this time, politically motivated blog posts might be the most appropriate. But I’ve not been able to keep up with all that has been happening. I’ve now got a television, so I have been more abreast of what is going on. However, my views of the popular American television media isn’t a very positive one, so I don’t give them much importance. I wish the New York Times would have a news channel, but that suits me very much being a liberal.

What do I think will happen on November 2nd? There will be mass confusion, thats for sure. But the results will not be decided till weeks later,judging by the hoards of lawyers that have already been recruited to fight the swing states. Intuition tells me that Bush will prevail in the end.

Cricket updates

Drexel CC played British Officers CC on Sunday. We lost. But it was a close enough match. Our season, which lasted just a month and a half, ends at 3 wins and 4 losses. Not bad, but I wish we’d played more. Now we seem to have a larger core of interested blokes. Hopefully we can play in a league next season.

Indian cricket has gone back to being a disapointment. India versus Australia was billed as being the next big thing. It’s funny how all the hype leading up to a series is generally bogus once the series gets started. When India toured Australia last year, it was expected that Australia would roll the pitches with us. But it turned out to be surprsingly competitive. The heart of the sub-continent beats in time with every wicket taken by Anil Kumble and every run scored by Rahul Dravid. Right now though, not enough runs are being scored by anyone.

It’s an interesting situation though, with the batsman not clicking. Ganguly seems intent on having Yuvraj Singh open the batting. But after giving him one shot at the top, he is dropped. Funny how the same game he is dropped, Ganguly has to sit out. But with Kaif having scored 2 fifties, who will be dropped with Ganguly is back in? Rahul ‘The Wall’ Dravid? V(ery) V(ery) S(pecial) Laxman? Sachin Ten(thousand-run)dulkar? Virendar Sehwag is always going to be there at the top. Who will partner him? I think Ganguly should put himself in the line of fire…show some guts and open the innings and actually score runs. That will open up a spot in the middle order, and give force Ganguly to do well or be dropped. Afterall, he is a quality opener in the shorter version. And as far as the wicket-keeper goes: Parthiv Patel has gone from bad to worse. He seems to be able to consistantly score atleast 20 runs an innings, but also drop 4 catches. That is not going to cut it. For as long as I’ve been following Indian cricket, a steady keeper who can contribute with the bat as well and be worthwhile for a few runs has not surfaced. Given a country of 1.2 billion cricket fanatics, this is hard to fathom.

This rant courtsey of currently watching India getting hammered.

Gone

I finally sold the car today.

Fortune has been on my side…I’ve never lost a close family member or friend to death. But if I were to speculate, I think this is what it may feel like.

I never thought I’d miss it so much.

Poh-leece

I’ve been stopped by a Police Officer in Michigan before, for driving too slow. I’ve told that story a hundred times. It’s a fun story to tell after a few beers, when people let their guard down and copper incidents are being exchanged. But I never expected my first interaction with a Philadelphia Police Officer to lack the excitement of a cop-story, yet be one of the most intriguing experiences I’ve had in a long time.

After playing ping-pong, Geoff and I walked down to the Wawa to get some food. A woman in full police-uniform walks in, looking vaguely Asian. She exchanged pleasantries with the person at the counter, and I detected a strong accent. Because of the darkish nature of her complexion I assumed her to be Hispanic/Black. But something about that assumption bothered me.

Being next in line to order a sandwich, I quickly forgot about the officer. I busied myself with the difficult task of choosing what I wanted on my hoagie. I settled on my usual – egg salad, American cheese, little mayo, little oil, onion, tomato and lettuce. I can’t remember ever having gotten anything different.

The Officer is by now paying for her order behind me, and I’m waiting to pick up mine. She stands on my right. I don’t even notice, being deep in conversation with Geoff who is as usual waving around his paddle threateningly. The officer notices and starts talking to him about his paddle saying it’s the thickest she’d ever seen; the last time she’d seen a paddle was when she was a kid in India.

Suspicion confirmed!

A lady Indian officer in the Philadelphia Police Department?! A sight sure to make most Indians here gasp in surprise.

Anyway, Geoff and I continue talking and he says my last name. The officer turns to us once again and says that’s her Uncles name. Now, feeling a lot less intimidated and almost compelled to make conversation, I say to her that Srinivasan in my father’s name. She points to her badge and says her fathers name is Seetharam. By now I’m positive that she’s South-Indian and almost positive that she’s a Tambram.

Then she starts talking to me in perfect Tamil, with no hint of the accent that she’d been so comfortable with earlier. This takes me by surprise and I’m standing there with a silly grin on my face. She introduces herself as Chitra and I tell her my name and muttering a few other sentences in Tamil, telling her what I’m doing.

My sandwich is ready; I’m in two minds. Stay and make pleasant chatter and embarrass myself or leave and save some face. Geoff makes the choice easy. I say bye; she says it in Tamil. I try to reciprocate, but fail. We exchange goodbyes and her last words are, “I bet I’m the last person you expected to see in a police uniform, huh?” I smile in agreement.

I was still trying to figure the whole thing out as I walked out of the Wawa, clutching my precious hoagie. A Tamil, Brahmin, lady, City of Philadelphia Police Officer? I’m pretty certain there aren’t too many more with similar credentials.

I’m glad I met her. I hope I run into her again. I also hope that if I’m ever stopped by the Philadelphia police, she’s in the squad car!

Update

The week in review: busy!

No kidding when I say that. The first post I make in a week is at 2 AM on Monday morning and only because rain is playing spoilt sport on the last day of the second test between India and Australia. Seems like a bad weekend for cricket, because the game that we had scheduled against Columbia University was cancelled 12 hours before we were scheduled to play them. I was really looking forward to travelling to New York City to play, even though it was biting cold today (high of about 14c)

But the cancelled game gave me time to sort out my life. I’ve been shopping this week, so I don’t need to eat greasy stuff from 7-11 for breakfast! I’ve also got some more shelves and stuff to put all my things away neatly (well most of it is neat…!) as well as some pots and pans. I guess I need to stop spending money on getting settled now and just be happy with whatever I’ve got. The car is still waiting to be sold. Ads seems to generate an initial response, but no one seems to get back to me. It is getting a tad bit worrying now.

Classes are going to eat my entire week again. 1 PM on Friday can’t come fast enough. Funnily, I recall making the same comments when I was on co-op. A vacation would be good.