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Graduate in Maths, Postgraduate in English literature. Worked as a medical transcriptionist, also as a teacher.

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Sunday, July 8, 2018

FIFA fever

Hi folks,
               Forget about writing, even visiting my favourite domain everyday reduced to far and few in between. It being July, this is shamefully my third post for the year. As much as possible, I try to keep updated with the current events around me, but when it comes to putting my thoughts here, it is just not happening.
                         Every once in four years (not leap years) is the time when the whole world is gripped with high fever around one ball!!!FIFA fever is reaching its final stages with just the semi-finals and finals remaining. I will miss the liveliness, action, the noise that surrounds the whole stadium filled with fans dressed in the jerseys of their respective teams. Mine is not high fever which means that I stay awake to watch the matches that take place close to midnight (IST). I will miss the time slot from 7:30 to 9:30 PM for some days to come after July 15th. I am just another layperson, whose interest in football matches is aroused just to watch world cup matches. But this time, I found myself following it with little more interest than before. The difference from previous years is that I learnt the names of couple of more players and some terms or words that are used. This world cup has thrown up whole lot of surprises compared to previous years. This has been the year of underdogs reaching the quarterfinals, and the usual favourites ousted before the quarterfinals!

Image result for FIFA 2018 images

                                  I started to watch the matches before the pre-quarters sacrificing my evening walks. While most of the Asian countries were out before the pre-quarters, South Korea surprised us by beating the Germany, the defending champions. Notable was that Koreans scored the 2 goals during the extra time, especially the 2nd one was scored when there was no goalkeeper to defend it!! Though S Korea did not advance further, it was a memorable match for them. The simple vocabulary like dribble, header, pass made more sense to me this time. Depending on the teams, some matches were more exciting. The much awaited France-Argentina match turned out to be a big disappointment for the Argentenian fans, but the team France is young and in 20s, whereas the whole of Argentina is known by Messi only and also in 30s. The speed of France was way ahead and Argentina just could not match them and crumbled easily. The pre-quarter match between Spain and Russia was another impressive one in which the hometown shot to quarterfinals beating Spain in a thrilling penalty shootout where the Russian goalkeeper stopped the last goal by kicking out in a style and thus becoming the hero. As I write this, Croatia beat Russia in a thrilling penalty shootout, but Russia has succeeded winning my heart. Some can call it hometown advantage though! Every quarterfinal match was full of drama and action except the Sweden-England one which was comparatively a tame affair! All the favorite teams and names like Messi, Neymar, Suarez, Ronaldo were sent packing home before semi-finals. As I am not a crazy fan of any of these countries,  each match is full entertainment for me. Whenever my husband switches the channel to watch the Wimbledon matches, I feel it is all so quiet in Wimbledon stadium compared to the noise and action in Russian stadium. I just could not bear the silence here :)  . Let the best team win and not the favorite ones, only if the matches are fixed! This world cup has proved it beyond words! I instinctively feel that France may lift the FIFA 2018 trophy. Until then, happy snacking, shouting, cheering, watching! After July 15th, we will miss the action that happens after 7:30 PM (IST).


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Felt like a child on Jan 31st, 2018-Super blue blood moon!

Hi friends,
         If I am back soon after the last post, it is out of passion and eagerness that I am doing so. Hmmmm, not that soon. Again, travel and some other things kept me away from this space. The palpable excitement that I felt on January 31st this year may not be replicated anytime soon, as I considered fortunate enough not only to be alive, but also at the right place to comfortably view the once-in-a-lifetime celestial, astronomical event which was 'super blue blood moon' or as I coined it, the 'BLUNAR ECLIPSE'. Nature had cooked for us an astronomical treat in 'one pot'. The rare ingredients are the totally eclipsed moon, the super moon (moon closest to the earth), the blue moon as it was the 2nd full moon in the month, the pinkish red color which became blood red as the part of the shadow of our earth fell on it. The visual treat was served to us in a platter 'free of charge' to be directly viewed opposite to the complex where we live. All the evening programs were cancelled and everybody was hovering around to get the glimpse of the rarest moon in their lifetime! And just when everybody was starting to get impatient around 6:30 PM, it appeared faintly among the skies in all its pink like a naughty, sweet child playing truant. The skies were thankfully clear and it appeared that they made way for the celestial wonder. The kids were the first to exclaim excitedly when they spotted the faint, pinkish red moon. And of course, many residents in our complex were armed with phones, telescopes, powerful cameras to capture the nature's glory. The moon slowly transformed from the pinkish ball to bloody red ball. I was a child all over again forgetting the mundane worries, delighted in seeing the moon taking the baby steps from the pink baby to the bloody red ball and lastly coming out bright and big from the earth's shadow in all its glory! Somebody suggested that NASA was streaming the eclipse live, but we all know that no amount of live streaming can match the direct viewing of our or  nature's beloved baby giving an incredible, unbeatable live performance. The thin, bright rim which was visible on the bottom right of the moon when it started coming out of the shadow was such a delight to watch. Slowly, people started to head back to attend to routine chores. I stood for some more time in the biting cold January evening till I could no longer bear to stand. I watched the rest of the event from our corridor. The previous celestial event similar to this occurred in the year 1866 and the next may occur in 2037 according to the sources and much water would have flowed by that time. I did not have a good camera and my cell phone could not capture the best images, though I tried umpteen number of times! I know, there will be any number of images and videos on this, but I don't have anything to claim my own. The images and a video I am going to post here are the borrowed ones! I am sure there are many who watched this event all over the world, and many who were not lucky enough to watch. One of those who were not lucky to watch was my maternal grandpa who was aged 97 and passed away 10 days before the super blue blood moon! I would just like to keep viewing more of astronomical events and wonders to forget the big 'I' in myself and remind myself that all our tensions and worries are just infinitesimal compared to the endless and vast astronomical world!!
Image may contain: sky, night and outdoor

Image may contain: sky and night