Taking advantage of the lull in work related activities, the missus and I headed to Trivandrum last week to attend the wedding of a close friend from Lovedale. Renju and I were neighbors four about 10 years at Lovedale and ended up spending half our time at each others' house. Renju is two years younger that me and his brother Shibu is 5 years younger and was part of the gang at Lovedale that used to be seen together at all times. I still vividly remember dad shaking is heading and telling me to stop playing with kids and go an mingle around with people my age. Somehow like most children, I never took his advice. The world that I shared with these folks was a happy one and I had no intentions of looking beyond this.
We took the train from Yeshwantpur to Kochuveli and arrived at Renjus place the following afternoon. I was meeting Renjus's dad and mom after almost 12 years. They haven't aged a bit! Is it something to do with all the protein rich diet that the mallus have I wonder. The wedding was a big family affair and I got to meet some old people from school and a couple of old laws based in Bangalore that I had bot met for ages. This was the first Christian wedding I attended since Fenny's (son of Mr. P.E. Thomas, an old school teacher at Lovedale) wedding way back in 1990 (or was it 1991?).
We managed to squeeze in sometime to visit the famous Padmanabhaswamy temple. The lord Vishnu lies in the Anananthasaina pose (sleeping ). The idol is simply massive (about 16 feet in length) and has to be viewed through 3 doors! The paintings around the temple are magnificent too and have been preserved well (atleast a part of them). As with all temples in Kerala, dress code is strict. The local mundu for men without a shirt and saree only for women. I was surprised to see the priests int he temple forcing you to take archana tokens and other items. Sad to see this in Kerala. The influence of money! Can't blame the priests too. They are looking at earning their livelihood too.
I managed to catch a few minutes of the match between Brazil and Holland. The Dutch to me looked the better team. Under Dunga, Brazil seem to play more defensive driven football and maybe paid the price. Holland look favorites to reach the finals when they play Uruguay later today. However the football the Dutch played has not been spectacular either. I was on the bus returning to Bangalore when the Germans played Argentina. Under Loew, Die Mannschaft seem to play a very attacking game relying of the speed of the young guns in the German team. Schweini has blossomed in his role as the midfield general in place of Ballack. I will not be surprised if they kick Spain out in the semis though I am secretly hoping for Spain to reach the finals.
Rafa rules Wimbledon again! Although I was too nervous to watch the finals, I knew the title was in Rafa's back after he wont he second set. If those knees hold up, he should have a decent chance to crack the US Open. He should probably skip either the Rogers Masters in Toronto or the Masters event at Cincinnati to make sure he comes into the US Open relatively fresh. Federer is now No 3 in the rankings. Although I don't rule out a FedEx victory at the big apple, a lot of people are beginning to admit that the decline has begun. He will be 30 at next years Open and with the big hitting Berdych's, Soderling's and Cilic's still in their mid 20's, FedEx is going to find it increasingly hard to match their power game.
I can't wait for the semis but the challenge will be to stay awake! Vamos Espana!