“No one scores against Chiru, unless and until Chiru wants him to score” Old Indian saying.
If there was a demonstration of passion and an intensity to win that united the ALM team it was at the Foosball table. And if foosball is a religion then Chiru is god, or probably demi-god.
A common man plays foosball with his hands, Chiru plays with his tongue as well, and that is what makes him invincible… God.
A relatively new game for our ALM team members –the game of foosball; our team surprised all by picking up the game pretty fast… I was the slowest of the lot.
Our engagement at a client location has produced many many memorable matches and conversations which we will remember for a long long time to come. Though one team had to lose, everybody played to win and fight till the end. It’s the intensity to win and the never-say-die attitude which kept the spirit of the game alive… even after more than 6 months since we were introduced to the game. We have to thank Chiru for the broadcast messages before lunch which popped up on our screens telling us that a challenge was waiting… on the first floor foosball table.
Threats were exchanged, sledging galore even before the game starts… and the foosball table proves everybody wrong except for Chiru of-course. There have been n number of occasions when a winning team becomes complacent and exchanges a few words with the other team and the table is there to change the course of the game… unless of-course you are with Chiru. Sometimes Chiru’s sense of timing is so perfect that you question his potential to score and “boom” he hits a goal. Next statement from Chiru would be, “Please wait before you say something, you might not have to say it at all”. That’s Chiru.
A few words on the players now:
Vijay Hajare a.k.a Vijay Deenanath Chauhan is our “Aain” star [Amitabh Bachchan style]. Vijay most of the time partner’s with Chiru and half of his resources are wasted in controlling the inflammable Chiru, the other half on controlling the ball… on the table I meant. Vijay is a pure instincts player and even at this age his reflexes are sharp. His aces are the best. Vijay in offense against Libin in defense and you get a typewriter game… continuous shots, all missing the goal.
Deepu is our flamboyant player who took special training from youtube.com on how to hold and score. His style of play is extremely aggressive and uses his change of pace of shots effectively. If he concentrates on the game [which he seldom does] he can win any game single handedly.
Libin is the best goal keeper and he scores from the deep as well. His aimed shots which eventually land up either in Chiru’s or Vijay’s goalpost have been named as “flukes” by the God himself; more out of their incapability to understand the dynamics of the angles. He has used his angles so much that he is known as the “Fluke-master”.
Next is me. I picked up the game pretty late and so was named as “Harmless Sourav” [by God of-course] since Chiru’s defense was at that time capable to stop my goals. My slower goals have tricked many and all. Sometimes my reflexes come back to live and not even the best of the goalies can save them, forget God. But the reflexes ignite once in 12 years, so its not at all a big threat. My goal scorings are so simple that Vijay has gone on record to say, “Sourav scoring against anyone is like receiving a tight slap on your face”. And the frustration always shows on the goal keeper’s face. My favorite hunting ground is Vijay’s defense. Yes, I’ve had my share of fun whether I won or Vijay lost :-)
And that finally brings us to the God: Chiru.
He is the best because he not only plays with the hands but his tongue also; even the foosball table is jinxed by him. Chiru scores at will. He proclaims that he’d score and voila –there’s a goal. Apparently only Chiru can do this. The table has failed all the other’s who have tried this. Unlike all the others Chiru does not possess any special skills, more-so because he does not need them. His shots are loud with the “Awaz” and after every goal he gives a small speech on how it was made possible and Vijay’s half efforts are wasted here in bringing Chiru back to the game and remind him that the game is not yet over. Chiru is very media savvy and is ready for an interview even in the middle of the game.
We have another prolific player [though not in ALM] lovingly known as the “King”. The “King” though an old hand in the game was not able to progress as the other have, but nevertheless the skills are there and are visible in the way the goals are scored. “King” does not believe in power-play but is more skillful and reflexive. The best part of “King’s” style is the bowed head, raised look above his specs when he scores a goal as if questioning “Dekha? Daal diya.”
We won many, we lost as many but we still are together… as a team and our leader is Chiru. In the last 6 months I have had one of my best times in work… thanks to the lively and challenging team.
Some memorable Quotes exchanged on the table:
“I will stop only real goals, we don’t count flukes” –By Sasi when Libin scores a goal against him
“By the power of Fluke!!” –By Libin
“Sasi your Hindi is too good”- By Sourav when Sasi speaks in Hindi. Sasi’s response –“Yes I know. I am Madhyamika certified in Hindi”
“Sourav chup baith. Khelne de” –By Vijay when I score and sledge at his team. I loved the look on Vijay’s face.
“Ok. Now we will win.” –By Deepu, Sasi when the score is hardly 2 or 3 and the opposition is sitting at 1 goal away from victory.
“Sasi, you’re just too good. How do you do it?” –By Sourav when Sasi scores a miraculous goal. Answer by Sasi –“I will not tell you because I also don’t know it.”
“Khush to bahot honge tum aaj, aain?” Vijay on Vijay Deenanath Chauhan style.
The best of the lot:
If there is someone near the goal counting slot, Sasi would ask him to count on his behalf. This is to show that he scores faster than he can count the goals.
Oh boy!! What a team and what a boss.
Long live Chiru and his Chiru-ism!!!
Long live ALM!!!
And long live the foosball maidan!! Aajao maidan mein!!
Now as I write this its 1:20 AM, a new day as started. Tomorrow morning, 31st of December 2008 is the last day of our whole team here. After these wonderful 6 months of togetherness the whole team is splitting up. We are on our way back home.
Who knows the same team might be together in some other country working for some other clients. And who knows, we might still wait for the broadcast message from Sasi, inviting us for another challenge, another display of passion and determination.
Yes, I have faith that we will live. We will live to fight another day.
On the 31st of December we played one last game and the result was as anticipated. Chiru allowed his opposition to win, and Vijay Deenanath Chauhan had no words to describe Chiru's generosity.