Friday, June 25, 2010

The History Boys!

By Pritha Sarkar
Taken from Reuters - Friday, June 25

LONDON - The embrace John Isner and Nicolas Mahut shared at the net said it all -- no words were needed to describe the longest ever tennis match after the American won 70-68 in the fifth set at Wimbledon on Thursday.

A backhand passing shot from Isner at 1648 local time finally broke the three-day deadlock after a staggering 11 hours and five minutes on Court 18.

While Isner's weary legs buckled under him as he collapsed on to his back in disbelief, the fans occupying every inch of space in and around the court rose to their feet to give the heroes a prolonged standing ovation.

Every man, woman and child who had bagged one of the prized 782 seats on Court 18, or those who were craning their necks to see the action from a heaving Henman Hill knew they had been privileged to see something that happens only once in a lifetime.

"I am a little bit tired," an elated Isner, who could barely put one foot in front of the other when fading light stopped play at 59-all on Wednesday, said in an on-court interview.

"When you play a match like this with an atmosphere like this you don't feel tired. This crowd was fantastic. It stinks someone had to lose."

Isner completed an eye-watering 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 70-68 win -- and that was just to reach the second round.

No words could have consoled an utterly dejected Mahut, who had looked the fresher of the pair throughout the final set which alone lasted eight hours 11 minutes, as he slumped back into his courtside chair and covered his head with the green and purple Wimbledon towel.

The crowd tried to lift the Frenchman's sprits by rewarding him with the loudest cheers of the day and even a sweat-drenched Isner joined in the ovation.

"The guy is an absolute warrior. I want to share this day with him, it was an absolute honour," said Isner. "I wish him the best and see him somewhere down the road and it won't go 70-68."

It is a match that featured sinew stretching rallies, slam dunk smashes and countless angled winners but none of those will stand out as much as the 215 booming aces fired down by the duo -- with the 2.06 metre tall Isner shooting down 112 of them.

"We played the greatest match ever at the greatest place to play tennis. Wimbledon is the greatest tournament and we just played the greatest game ever," Mahut told the cheering crowd.

The combat reached such epic proportions, that the battling gladiators were breaking records with almost every shot they made during the course of the fifth set, which alone shattered the previous record of a complete match at six hours 33 minutes.

At one point it even looked like courtside scoreboard would run out of space if the match went on for much longer as neither Isner or Mahut got a sniff of a break point for the first 64 minutes on Thursday.

But within a blink of an eye it was all over.

Mahut hurled his wristbands into crowd the while one lucky fan leapt high into the air to catch Isner's baseball cap.

The sport's statisticians face an almighty rewrite of the record books after landmark upon landmark was shattered over three incredible days in a small corner of southwest London.

To pick just a few, Isner and Mahut shattered the records for the longest match, longest set, most games in a set at 138, most games in a match at 183 and most aces.

A high-five with a cheering John McEnroe, who sat through the entire 20 games contested on Thursday, completed an unforgettable day for Isner.

After being part of such a monumental duel, Isner and Mahut could not escape the arena without grabbing a picture for the family album.

Along with Swedish umpire Mohamed Lahyani, the trio stood proudly in front of the green scoreboard with their astonishing powers of endurance outlined in the glowing numbers 6-4 3-6 6-7 7-6 70-68.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Co-shared Best Table Topic June '10

Only cos the veterans decide to "let water" haha:P

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Vesak Day Celebrations (Part III)

Post Vesak Day, 29th May 2010

After a "noisy" Vesak Eve and Day, I decided to spend some time alone. I drove to East Coast Park hoping to catch some people flying kites. No luck. Unfortunately I forgot that due to the recent oil spill, the beaches were not exactly friendly, not too mention there was a stench lingering in the air. Since I had driven there, might as well stay for a while=)

It was very pleasant with the sea breeze blowing gently onto my face and the sun shining brightly but not too violently onto Mother Earth. The clouds provide some beautiful sights too.

Reminded me of an erupting volcano=)

I did some reflection too. One of my resolutions this year is to recreate the life I am living. Having lived for over 30 years on Earth, I am not pleased with the way I am living it now. But alas! Changing my destiny is definitely hard with habits already grown roots and past Karma obstructing! Many times I have fallen... Nevertheless, I would carry on with courage for this is my goal in my life now=)

For those who are reading my blogs, I would be stopping for a while to restrategize and restructure (sounds very corporate haha). Cya!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vesak Day Celebrations (Part II)

Vesak Day, 28th May 2010

As I slept at about 4am the "previous day", I woke up at 12+pm only:p A few of my Buddhist friends had arranged to catch up and roamed around Geylang for Buddhist celebration sights.

I decided to visit Wat Ananda Metyarama Thai Buddhist Temple at Jalan Bukit Merah prior to our meeting. This was the first temple in which I had my formal Buddhist lessons. The crowd was manageable when I arrived at about 4pm. I met one old friend from Wat Ananda who was still actively participating in their activities.

I was attempting to get a good picture of the temple compound when I saw Herry! haha. Our past karmic links had ripened!

Wat Ananda (Side view)

Wat Ananda (Front view)

Painting on wall near main gate

Buddha figure under Bodhi Tree (One spot which I particularly like)

Buddha statue (Thai style) in main Shrine

Four-Face "Buddha" (The Four-Face "Buddha" or Hindu God of Creation, Brahma, played a very significant role in Thai Buddhism)

Buddha's Relics

Herry and Me posing for a pic:p

I invited Herry to join me with my friends at Geylang. He agreed.

Reunion with old friends at Geylang

After dinner and some catching up (and lame jokes as usual haha), we went to the exhibition by Amitabha Buddhist Centre (ABC for short) next to Aljunied MRT station. ABC belongs to the Vajrayana tradition ( I am not too familiar with this Buddhist tradition. It was also at this moment that our organiser decided to "abandon" us for a few meat buns hahah (personal joke!)

Below are some pictures taken at ABC's exhibition area:

Prayer Wheels (

After we had finished looking at the exhibits and some deliberation on whether to call it a day or explore some other places, we finally decided to go to Burmese Buddhist Temple at Tai Gin Road. This was also where I had my first car accident=( It was a minor one though (heng!). The story went like this:

Being the blur (not familiar with the roads) and reckless driver I was, I kept making the wrong turns en route to Burmese Temple. At one occasion, I was changing lane from the utmost left to the utmost right (it was about 3 lanes). My attention was all over the place. I was talking and listening to my friends in the car and at the same time, I was changing lanes. As the distance to the utmost right lane was not exactly near, I stepped on the accelerator while checking my blind spot to make sure there were no cars coming from the back. Before I realised it, I was too near to the car in front and even though I stepped hard on the brakes, I could not avoid the fate of bumping slightly into it...

The other car's driver was not too pleased naturally and he complained aloud before proceeding to inspect his car. Fortunately there was not any significant damage and he decided to just let it go (phiew!). My car suffered a minor but obvious scratch at the front bumper.

I was really shocked by this incident and have since vowed to drive even more carefully!

After much "ostacles", we arrived at Burmese Buddhist Temple at about 8 or 9+pm. They were almost done with the packing of the decorations haha. There were still a handful of devotees doing their prayers. I particularly liked the figure of the Standing Buddha on the 3rd floor. We left shortly after for a drink at Novena Square. It was defintely a very fullfilling day!

For next year's Vesak though, I decide I would be a True Buddhist and diligently do my practice:p

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vesak Day Celebrations

Eve of Vesak Day, 27th May 2010

I decided to visit my favourite temple, Sri Lankaramaya (SL) at St Michael's Rd on the eve of Vesak Day. I was joined by my Malaysian Buddhist friend. Even though she has been working in Singapore for quite a while, it was her first time celebrating Vesak in Singapore.

We reached SL at about 9+pm. It was beautiful! Contrary to my original belief, the place was not too crowded. There were mainly the helpers preparing the place for the actual big day and devotees doing their usual chanting and offerings. The atmosphere was very tranquil and I liked it very much.

SL Tranquil Scene

Errr... Not sure what this is... Anyone can help:p

Buddhist Flags Decorations (

Reclining Buddha Shrine

Stupa at roof top of Main Shrine

Bodhi Tree (Widely believed that there are devas floating above)

Lanterns Decorations

A shot at being artistic:p

We were talking about another friend and presto, she "appeared" out of thin air. Never speak of the Mara:p

Then there is a lazy cat... haha:p

We helped an Indonesian Chinese, Herry take some pictures of him with the stupa. I mentioned him because he was to make an unexpected appearance on Vesak Day! Must be due to our past karmic links haha.

We left for Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery, the largest Buddhist temple in Singapore at around 11pm. It belongs to the Mahayana Tradition. SL is of the Theravada Tradition. It was a sharp contrast to the scene at SL and was overflowing with people. The main event was the 3-Steps-1-Bow procession which devotees undertook to show their utmost respect and devotion on this most sacred occasion. They would queue for a couple of hours, followed by about 2 hrs of actual procession! There were also stalls selling and promoting Buddhist artefacts, wares, food, courses and events. I met quite a number of friends there:)

We decided to call it a day at around 1am but not before, we have a few bowls of free vegetarian noodles to fill our groaning stomaches:p

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Reunion with Old Frens!

This pic was taken on 23rd May at Carlton Hotel at 1 of our our fellow NUS Buddhist Society 24th Management Committee's wedding. It was a gathering after a very very long time and we had a great time catching up!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Check out my blogger frens!

There there quite 'lazy' to write content so ya've been seeing photos only haha;P. Think let my frens' blogs entertain u instead! Haha. For those who feel tat their brains've been rusting for too long, check out Kwong Fook's Guarantee tat either u fall asleep after a few sentences or can't sleep at nite, pondering on e great philosophical ideas behind! Hahaha. For those who prefer more 'girlish' stuff, check out Princess Valerie's! (Sorry guys! She's already taken! Hahaha;P)