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Sundar Narayanan's Travelog

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Entries in games (28)


There was a time..

There was a time when an economy class ticket would still get you a warm smile from the air hostesses, warm blankets, a kit with toothpaste, socks, eye patch, ear plugs for everyone, another kit with fun stuff to do for every kid that gets on the plane, veggie noodles for snacks between meals, and among other things, a deck of playing cards to pass time.

We have been playing cards at home recently with the kids as the little one is turning into a rummy champion of sorts!

The one deck of cards that has still survived in the house is this one.

This deck pre dates both Jr. and the little one. We got it in the late nineties I think. I kept it as a souvenier of what air travel used to be like. The box is all taped up and the cards were handled with care over 16 years. 

Now we are playing with it. I am tempted to return it back into my shoe box and buy a new deck of cards to play with the kids. Given it is the first time we will be paying for a deck of cards, want it to be a memorable deck for the kids.

Who knows? Maybe they will tape it all up and show it to me in 20 years? 


Sport vs. Entertainment

Many many years ago during a world cup cricket game, I was in a heated argument with my dad that the game was fixed. There was no explanation for what we saw on the screen including the "thiruttu muzhi" of Azharuddin which was there for everyone to see. He did not even do a good job of faking regret at losing a very easy catch. My father, a die hard fan of cricket and countrymen did not agree. In fact we did not speak for a few hours after that argument. 

Years later, I was proved right when the whole match fixing scandal came to light and that very game was included in the list of games that was fixed. While it felt like vindication, I had stopped watching cricket. Occasionally I would come back and catch something that was genuine or go to Youtube and watch recorded videos of some truly great bowling or batting performances where you knew the chances of it being rigged were low or none. This was mostly limited to watching a select few videos which I can pretty much list here :

Sehwag and Tendulkar hitting double hundreds in ODI's

Sehwag's 195 against Australia

Sachin and Sehwag in the 2003 Durban World cup match against Pakistan

Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram bowling reverse swing and deadly yorkers on infinite loop

Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh getting batsman out clean bowled 

Shane Warne and Muthaih Muralidharan at their great moments

The occasional Benson and Hedges games in Australia and the ICC games also in Australia which bring back old memories from my middle and high school.

But, to be honest .. mostly Waqar Younis and the yorkers. 

Money or not, no one could have played those balls even if they were offered a jillion dollars.

That said, I stopped watching football for a different reason. Everytime I watched, my favorite teams lost. It was a superstition of sorts that would make any statistician jump up. Even San decided it was best for me to not watch any game that involved our favorite team(s). It was also because I thought the football games were rigged as well. Where there is money involved there is corruption and if Cricket can have that level of deceit, I concluded "what chance did football have?". Was told many times by my friends that "No, football is above all that."

Today I got to watch the second half of the Niners game with Seattle. I could not help think that it was rigged! It was just a feeeling, after watching the player's and coach's body language as well as some of the calls made by the referees with today's abiilty to do high tech action replays. 

Today my folks in India tell me "we now know it is all fixed. We just watch it for pure entertainment! There is no sports in it anymore!" 

So if there is a match fixing scandal that breaks loose 5-10 years from now and this match gets mentioned.. this time I am putting it on the record! 

Just saying..


A new home record..

The kids almost always beat me at a game of Ticket to ride. It has replaced sequence as the new popular game, thanks to the MIL who introduced it to us.

Today, Daddy answered back with a new home record score of 140 points by connecting three sides of the board... Yes! I went from Los Angeles to Miami via Vancouver and Montreal..

Just on a side note, Jr. made a 130 once and the little one made 135 once and they play like pro's.

Now that Daddy is on the same footing with the girls, the games are going to be interesting!


What a game...

The little one invited me to her school play and yet again, I had to say "Sorry darling. I have an offsite meeting and won't be able to make it. Will have mom and grandma come and video tape it and we will watch it at home!"

She made a sad face that I cannot forget and said "Fine. You have never come to a single one of my plays!" so you have to make it up to me somehow?"

The make it up was to play two games of "Ticket to Ride" back to back with her and Jr. and a game of Sequence just restricted to the two of us!

Usually when we play with two players we stop with 3 sequences. Today she said "I want this game to be special! so let us keep going till we finish the board... "

So off we went till the entire board was done and we had no more cards left to play and what  a game..

I won by the score of 8 sequences to 6 on my last play where I got two sequences which was pure luck and she was kind of upset for a second but her mood changed when she saw the board and realized that we had played one great game.

Life's little pleasures.. what can I say!


The new hook

The kids are now hooked to "Cut the Rope"..

It is amazing how they pick up this game step by step.

It is pretty tricky and one has to have a good intuition for predicting trajectories to play this..

Currently restricted to 15 minutes maximum play time per day on weekdays and 30 minutes on weekends..