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Saturday, April 05, 2008

chanting the blues

it was a sea of blue at the NCAA final four basketball matchups in san antonio this afternoon. for the earlier game, it was the blue and gold of the #1 UCLA bruins against the blue and gray of the #1 memphis tigers. and for the later game, it was the blue and white of the #1 north carolina tarheels versus the crimson and blue of the #1 kansas jayhawks. and as always happens at any kind of athletic competition, even if the teams are top-seeded, someone has to win. and sadly, someone has to lose.

my friend tom and i met to watch the UCLA-memphis game at the local beer and pizza joint near his home earlier this afternoon. we were both UCLA alums; strangely enough, we both graduated the same year but never knew each other way back then. he was an econ major who spent his days studying supply and demand up in the north campus while i was a computer science major who spent my nights writing program code down in the south campus. ahhh... those were the days...

my allegiance was fairly obvious. i showed up clad in the colors of our alma mater -- a bright blue sweatshirt with a fairly large (and loud) UCLA embroidered in gold on the front -- while he, for some reason, was more lowkey; he chose to wear a rather neutral gray sweater. memphis gray? how could he? and i thought he was a bigger bruin fan than i was. oh well.

things started out nicely enough. UCLA drew first blood and scored the first points of the game. in short time, memphis not only caught up but managed to stay ahead... all the way to the final buzzer. argh!

not only did my team lose, but since i had put my money on the bruins to win the whole shebang in my basketball bracket in the office pool, i pretty much had to kiss my investment goodbye. i suppose i could learn to love leftovers...

too stunned to think of anything interesting to do that evening, i headed back to the westside, out to steve ross's monthly kirtan at maha yoga in brentwood. and yes, i was still wearing my blue and gold sweatshirt. i mean, why change? i was clearly there to vent and chant out my depression. i was there to chant the blues away.

led by steve ross on guitar, mark gorman on bass, and girish on percussion, it felt good to just let it out. especially when we got to what steve fondly referred to as the airport mantra:

hare ram hare ram ram ram hare hare
hare krishna kare krishna krishna krishna hare hare

i could've gone on all night, but unfortunately, no amount of chanting would have been able to change the outcome of the game. maybe the mighty bruins will do better next year?

hmmm... maybe i should keep on chanting until then, just in case...