Monday, January 15, 2007


Caught up with sumo wrestling this weekend. There are about 6 tournaments every year in Japan, 3 of them in tokyo.
I guess i could still be around when the next one came along, but decided to go anyways. I went on saturday, but it was all sold out for the day and the next weekend as well. So I bought tickets for the next day and returned home.
The next day it was back to Ryogoku on the sobu line from Akihabara. Sumo tickets are pretty expensive, the cheapest ones being around 3500 yen to ringside seats going upto 15000 yen for one day. I had decent tickets although on the second floor. I got up a bit late it being a sunday and all and missed having chanko nabe which is the staple diet of the sumo wrestlers.
The fights were fun and I generally had a good time. Sumo is not that complicated to understand, and as long as you dont find the sight of two overgrown men jostling with just jockstraps on a bit wierd, it's time well spent. Sumo anyways is pretty well known around the world now, so everybody does have an idea about it. But watching those really huge guys in person was something. I also learnt that "rikishi" and "yokozuna" were actually titles and not just the names of wrestlers I used to watch as a kid in WWF. Yokozuna is the highest title you can have and rikishi follows next. I remember the yokozuna in WWF sitting down on his opponent after the end of a fight, and the poor guy would have no chance. No such thing in Sumo though !!
They say its real tough to become a yokozuna. It takes years of training and winning consistently. And once you are a yokozuna, you have to keep winning or quit gracefully when you start losing too much. How very Japanese !!!
I wish we could have that in some of our popular sports back home, where yesteryear heroes go on well beyond their prime and have to be literally kicked out disgracing themselves and their supporters.
Cheers !!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy New Year !!!!

Happy New Year !!!!!!
Just had a nice long break from work. Offices are closed for almost the full first week in Japan for new years. It could be a pretty lonely place during those times. But I had my computer stacked up with movies and friends season 10 to keep me company for the extra long weekend. I did go out partying for new years as well, with no fixed plans and ended up having a blast.
This party sounds the best new years party I've had, atleast on paper, but I did miss all my friends. But as they say, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Of putting things on paper, I'll try and make a list of how I've spent my previous new years.

2006- Tokyo- Vanilla, mogambo, karaoke (all in roppongi)
2005- House party on 30th, Qila on 31st at andheri west
2004- Hawaiin Shack
2003- Hawaiin Shack
2002- Shraddha (Thane)
2001- At home. Everybody else in goa. (Worst Ever)
2000- resort in pune. somewhere near abc farms.
1999- resort in pune. somewhere near abc farms.Morning in balewadi
1998- at home in pune (with a date )
1997- scooba doo (pune)
1996- Small restaurant in bandra. "Temptations" after 1.00
1995- Friends place ( new chandra)
1994- Parents annual new year family get together at vashi
1993- Parents annual new year family get together at vashi

Holy Cow !!!! I've gone back till the time I was 15 !!! I don't think I can go any further. I don't remember it being anything more than a holiday the next day in school.
I am sure i was sitting at home in 1992 (s.s.c cha varsh aahe !!). I am not the one to make new year resolutions, but when I wrote this list down, i remember having made atleast 2.
The first one was in 1994, when I decided I had become too old to hang around with my parents for new years and will not do that anymore. I have stuck to that one for 12 years now.
The second one was in 2001. It was a very depressing time for me overall. I should have listened to my friends and popped along with them in the car to goa. I gave them the sorry excuse of having to stick to my job(the first one), which had come after a long wait. I don't even want to get started on those times, so i'm not going to elaborate. I think if only I had not woken up at 11.30 that 31st december night and spent the next 2 hours wide awake, I would have given up the whole over hyped partying on new years thing. But that was not to be.
I woke up the next morning feeling miserable, and spent the whole year miserable. I remember meeting another of my depressed buddies on the first (the both of us rocked at sulking and being generally frustated about everything during those days). We both had lied to each other saying we were out of town for new years, and bumped into each other the next day.
When we found out that we both spent new years at home, and atleast could have gone out together somewhere, we had a nice laugh.(The both of us used to laugh senseless on anything and everything for what seemed like hours. Still dont know why). So we decided we could catch a movie. The flick we saw was govinda's disastrous "Aamdani athanni, kharcha rupaiya".
Needless to say we were more messed up, and never have and never will go out together on the first of jan to watch a movie together since.
The moral of the story is that I made a resolution never to be sitting at home on new years eve. However pathetic the plans might sound, even if performing eye surgery on yourself might sound more interesting, i need to go out on new years eve. I just cannot sit at home thinking it is just another night. It sure is. But not for me. Another insanity of this world that i will live with. Mostly forever. So don't be surprised if you see me partying on new years eve in 2050 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year !!!!!!!!!!!!