Thursday, July 17, 2014

Being A German Fan

FIFA 2014 Champions

I don't remember how I started following FIFA World Cups. But it was in the year 1998 and I was in high school. That year I was addicted to Ricky Martin's songs (even though I didn't understand most of it). I guess his singing of the official song for FIFA 1998 "La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life)" was one factor pushing me towards watching this sport. And I remember Deta cutting out the match schedule from the newspaper and pasted it on the wall behind the television. Except "The Cup of Life", I don't remember much of that World Cup.

Miroslav Klose
I gained real interest during the FIFA 2002. I watched the match between Germany and Saudi Arabia and I had a huge crush on Miroslav Klose. And because of him I became a supporter of the German football team and I still am. I used to cut out his pictures from the newspaper and pasting them in my personal diary. I was also awed by Kahn's goalkeeping skills. I was elated when Germany made it to the final. But when Brazil defeated them, I came to dislike Brazil very strongly. I still pray that they lose every match!

I am not much of a technical fan. I am not that kind who has all records and stats on her fingertips. I am an emotional fan and I support the German football team with all my heart.

The next two World Cups of 2006 and 2010 went by without involvement as I didn't have access to television. Listening to the official songs was my only activity. Around that time, Az and I would say that we would watch the next Word Cup together and we finally did so this year.
Joachim Loew

This year, I watched all the matches played by Germany. And I would wait anxiously for Klose to come out to the football. In the initial matches he hardly played and would come out in the second halves only. And isn't the German coach Joachim Loew handsome! Being a German fan is not easy in the house as I am the only supporter. I sat in the same chair in front of the television throughout the tournament. I wouldn't say much during the match even though they were playing well. I was not even saying much in the social media. I didn't want to jinx anything in any way. It was only after the match was over that I would express my jubilation. And I had decided that I would write a post at the end of the tournament.

For me the match against Brazil was the most enjoyable. Mainly because I hate the Brazilian football team as I had earlier mentioned. It was the perfect revenge of 2002. The icing on the cake was that Klose broke Ronaldo's (ironically a Brazilian) record and is now the top scorer with 16 goals in World Cup tournaments. After that match, it was decided that if Germany wins the World Cup, I would treat the family with KFC's Zinger burger.

We were all gearing up for the final. I was supporting Germany and the boys were supporting Argentina. Unfortunately because of the power problems we were having last week, the television stopped working on Saturday evening. And it couldn't be repaired before the match. Internet was our last hope. So we started searching for online links to watch the match. 

But even our internet was slow that night and the first half of the match literally a blur. In the second half the connection improved and the streaming was far better. When the game went into the extra time, I was just praying that Germany scores a goal and defends it. I didn't want the match to go into the penalty shootouts. I had seen the Argentinian goalkeeper's saves in their previous match against Netherlands. Even though Neuer is good, I didn't want to witness any risk. Finally the much desired goal came in the closing minutes. What a fantastic goal by Goetze!

Goetze's winning goal
So the German fan in me had a wonderful time this year. And I know that all football fans have to agree that this German team truly deserved the cup. I now look forward to FIFA 2018. It breaks my heart that Klose wouldn't be in that German team. But that doesn't mean that I would stop supporting the team. The German team has earned my loyalties and I love being a German fan. It is now time for that burger.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Our Big Sister

She came to us a few days before my third birthday. She was only a few years older to me. We were then living in Guwahati. Since then she has been with us.
My sister who was around a year and a half then took to her hip immediately and it kind of became her permanent residence. She became our big sister. Maa brought up the three of us with equal strictness and authority. As the years went by, she became a guardian to us, next in line to our parents. 

She has seen the highs and the lows of our household, the good and the bad sides of our lives. She has shared our happiness and anguish, always wishing the good for us. She is family in the truest sense. She is my parents' constant companion, my mother's aide and confidante. Maa manages well without Namz and me in the house, but she becomes truly lonely when she is not around. As Namz says, she is the real daughter to Ma and Deta, constantly taking care of them and always being around them. She is the sunshine in their lives.

She has a fruitful hand, plants flourish at her touch. She is an amazing cook, she can make scrap taste awesome. She is also creative. With her around, you have nothing to worry. She can be quite stubborn at times and used to have a bad temper. She is no-nonsense person, never hesitant to call a spade a spade. The only downside is her lack of interest in learning her alphabet and numbers! She puts in her efforts consistently though. She has an entrepreneurial streak in her too. Above all, she is a wonderful human being with a heart of gold.
That's her
It is her birthday today. I pray to the Almighty to make all her dreams come true. I would also like to apologize for all the times while growing up when I had been somewhat mean to her. I may not talk much, but I really love her and I know I should show her that more often. I wish and pray that she has a better life ahead and gets all the good that she deserves. And I would like to thank God for sending her to our lives. She truly came as an angel. And she is our Parul ba.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Power Woes

11th July 2014. 4 AM.
It is four in the morning now. The power has been gone for four hours already. Thankfully we got a new battery for our inverter, so the fans are still running. Since the last three nights and three days, our entire block had been suffering from frantic voltage fluctuations, making it impossible to run any appliances. After three complaints in three days and continuous follow up, the problem was fixed yesterday morning.

We have been having acute power problems since June this year. Either there have been technical faults or long power cuts. On 20th June, the power went off at 11.30 at night. It was a Friday. Thankfully it was Az's off the next day. Unable to sleep, we all bundled up in the car and a bike and went off to India Gate at 2 a.m. to cool off. The sweepers were working their brooms and there were a few ice cream carts around. There were few other people too. We had ice cream and spent sometime there. Then we came back home at 4 a.m. assuming that the power was back. But we were wrong. Many people were outside their homes and ssveral inverters were giving their death beeps. In the morning we got to know that there had been a major fault and power sould be back by late svening. So we all once again bundled up and went to my siister's place 7 km away for the day. We crammed in her tiny 1BHK home and turned it into a refugee camp. At 11.30 at night, we got to know that power was back. Then we came home and this time packed my sister and brought her with us.

After a week again we didn't have power the entire night, and by dawn we all were in the balcony. This time we called up the power supplier's office to complain. Surprisingly they didn't have any information about the power cut. Power was back in the afternoon. Since then, we have been having power cuts and technical faults regularly.

This is my second summer in Delhi and it's frying me up. Last summer, we didn't witness such power problems. Plus it is Ramadan and with no rains and frustrating power cuts, it is testing times.

Az who leaves for office at 8 in the morning and reaches home about an hour before Iftaar, is not getting complete sleep because of the power problems. Delhi homes which are like closed boxes with no ventilation, are difficult to sleep in without air coolers/conditioners. The rooms become suffocating and hot. And I don't understand why they need to cut power at night when people need to rest. It's better they do away with the power cuts during the day. We all know how difficult it is to get through the day when we don't get sleep the previous night.

I was up for Sehri and preparing to sleep now. I am hoping and waiting patiently for the power to be back. Az is tossing and turning and catching up on some sleep in between. I am just wondering if this is the situation of power in the country's capital, what do we expect in the rest of the country.

11th July 2014. 4 PM.
It is now four in the evening. Still no power. The inverter died after eight hours of service. We got to know in the morning that it is a technical fault and concerned authorities are fixing it. They have been giving updated deadlines for the power to be back since morning. So we don't know for sure. Even without the fan I was able to sleep in fits, as fatigue took over. We just arranged a power generator and the fan is at least running. We are fasting and it's still three hours to go. The situation has become unbearable for the people fasting since an early age and bearing Delhi heat for several years. So you can well imagine my condition. In a short while I shall need to go to the kitchen for the Iftaar preparations.

I reside in the capital of the country and it takes more than 12 hours here to fix a technical power problem. Can you imagine that! Or is it "let it be" attitude of the general public which has made the authorities complacent. Az is in his office but still continuously following up with the linemen. I wonder how many of the block residents are doing that. Meanwhile between dizziness and thirst, I am just praying fervently for our power woes to come to an end.