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Anthony Bourdain's table on the edge of the world.

by Naked Cricket

It barely sits there
On the edge
Two legs on land
Two in the air
It’s the table
On the edge
Of the world

It’s before he cleaned up
It’s after he cleaned up
He barely sits there
One leg on land
One in the air
It’s a man
On the edge
Of the worlds

He found food
He found friend
He found food
He found friend
On this table
On the edge
Of the world

Two legs were longer
Two legs were shorter
Two legs on land
Two in the air
On this table
On the edge
Of the world

Chopsticks and a steak knife
Singha and Bordeaux
Cheese burger and cobra nectar
Hebrew on a Persian carpet
The Hudson and the Mekong
Entwined, enshrined
On this table
On the edge
Of the world

Do you know him
Of course you do
Do you love him
Of course you do
Do you want to be like him
Talk like him
Trip like him
Write like him
Of course you do
But can you
Eat like him
Sit like him
On this table
On the edge
Of the world

Twinkle in the eye
Smoke rings in the voice
Fuck you with so much feeling
Seven courses in the spoken word
Another 11 on the blog
A round neck tee
Yanked down, almost frayed
Six foot three
Jiu-Jitsu.

He found food
He found friend
He found food
He found friend
On this table
On the edge
Of the world


click to enlarge




You can’t bottle or uncork cool. There can’t be a formula or a college degree that makes you a graduate of cool. On the other hand, you can be cool to start off and go on to tweak that cool. Anthony Bourdain was cool for way too long to think of him any other way. It was his warmth for people, food, the camera, the spoken and written word that made him cool. Hell, it was his warmth for life but that sounds almost too sissy to be attributed to him.

He was cool when he smoked and swore on air, and continued to be when he didn’t or was beeped out.

There’s a Miles Davis album called The birth of cool. That could so easily be Bourdain’s biography.

For long, I saw in Bourdain, an inspiration. He listened. He really did. And that listening made people talk. And it made him talk. Talk a lot. Face-to-face with people, and then that crackling voice over as if it came from your favourite old vinyl record.

He often took the mundane, marinated it in some Bourdain spice overnight, and made it shine, like Graceland.

That someone this cool could take his own life is both confounding and disturbing. For how long was Bourdain dining on this table that was pretty much on the edge?

Imagine someone as cool and accessible as Anthony Bourdain having done a mainstream show on mental health – or for that matter, just talking about it openly. It would’ve made talking about mental health cool, right?

But even celebrities, however indestructible they may be on our screens, are but human, often with the same frailties. Often far worse.

If anything, as the consumers of so much media, with access to our stars, there is a lesson lurking somewhere – be kind.

In India this holds true for our relationship with our cricketers – if and when India loses, to tag and abuse players on social media is a form of torture.

To not like an actor’s performance, and then go on to tag and abuse them is a form of torture. There is the block button. But often the damage is already done.

With Bourdain’s suicide, more so if he was dear to us, we can relook at the way we engage with celebrity. The way his girlfriend is now being stalked is beyond unkind. A little kindness from us can go a very long way. If we find ourselves incapable of that, maybe addressing our own mental health is a start.

To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.
– Charlie Chaplin

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Why it's beyond Rashid Khan vs CSK

by Naked Cricket

It's Dhoni vs Williamson and Moody vs Fleming. 
Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell. 3/19.
MS Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo. 2/11
Those are Rashid Khan’s wickets and match analysis in SRH’s two play-offs.
Before that, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali, 3/27. Like Dhoni, Kohli too was castled. As was AB de Villiers in RCB’s first match against Rashid Khan.
Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, 2/23. Lokesh Rahul, Karun Kair, R Ashwin, 3/19.
SRH vs MI – SRH 118 all out, MI 87 all out. Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, 2/11. He also knocked Jos Buttler over twice.
Rashid’s 21 wickets after 16 matches at 6.78 runs per over barely convey the terror that accompanies his bowling. While many overseas players continue to be suspect against spin, it’s the big-ticket Indian names that have looked dazed when facing Rashid.
Few, if any, have dominated him as Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu in the IPL. In the playoffs between SRH and CSK, Rayudu was demoted to tackle Rashid; a first ball dismissal to Siddarth Kaul meant he never faced the Afghan. That day, not even Rashid’s 2/11 (Dhoni, Bravo) could stop CSK – the Finals, like that match, will also be played at the Wankhede.
In the Eliminator against KKR, Kane Williamson made three changes to his side from their previous game. Who turns up in the final could be of little impact, as their mainstays are clearly defined.
It’ll be down to Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the ball; Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson with the bat. And by the look of it, Rashid again, with the bat, and in the field.
Though SRH hardly seem like a team in a hurry to change anything too dramatically – their greatest accomplishment, much like CSK, is not to panic.
This was all too obvious when KKR dug into their bowling in the power play; even when the quicks were bleeding at 12 runs and over, with Bhuvi being ripped into, Williamson did not panic – he did not allow his hand to be forced; he did not bring Rashid on in the power play.
Lesser teams and captains would’ve rushed Rashid in on the first sound of alarm bells. Instead, Williamson stayed secure, that no matter how hard Lynn and Narine went early on, later, when the squeeze was on in earnest, with Rashid on, it would resemble yet another familiar SRH defence.
Forget attack, most batsmen this IPL, have been clueless to even block out Rashid. The sight of two close-in fielders all but terrified Andre Russell. It was Rashid’s last over. The game was still up in the air. Russell surviving Rashid could well have been the game, and the flight to Mumbai. Instead, the pressure choked him, his bat spat a catch to Dhawan at slip.
As for CSK, the game may not be Rashid. The eliminator against KKR was Rashid’s biggest showing – he knocked a team single-handedly, first by his mere presence, next, with the bat, then with the ball, and when not bowling, running out Rana, catching Gill and Mavi.
But how hard will it be for Dhoni’s CSK to demystify Rashid – play like just another leggie, when by all counts, he’s not just another leggie. Can they negate his aura? Could batsmen ever do that with Warne even when he wasn’t at his best? And what when he was?
No matter what is said indoors or done in the nets, they won’t be facing Rashid in the nets. He won’t be there to prepare them for those AK 47 stares. Those mocking smiles. “I might be 19, but I’ve got you right where I want you, in my video game, and guess what, the remote’s with me, and you are playing on my terms”.
Conditions apply however. Both teams have obvious flaws and similar strengths – both refuse to blink first. Both refuse to panic. Why would they, look at the leadership, on the field, off it? Much as it will be Dhoni vs Williamson, it will be Moody vs Fleming.
Much as it will be Rayudu vs Rashid or even CSK vs Rashid, it will also be which team picks fewer passengers. To play fringe players that have an added, often unseen utility, such as fielding or catching, can often turn a match on its head.
Look at Glenn Maxwell in DD’s last match against MI. Not only did his two boundary assists hand two dollies to Trent Boult, his 22(18) opening the batting, appeared to be longer than he had batted all season.
Whether SRH pick Manish Pandey or CSK drop Harbhajan Singh (who did not bowl an over in his last match) could in a small way define who lifts what at the end of Sunday night’s final.
But it really is Rashid vs CSK. Unless one of them doesn’t turn up at all.
First published here

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