Saturday, July 08, 2006

Shifting to wordpress

Thanks to the authorities at blogger for creating such a wonderful platform. I am shifting to wordpress - the new location is Stray thoughts

Thursday, March 30, 2006

"With the boo, Sachin seems Taboo, "Cricketkeeper" Dhoni cannot aford to be a phoney

Yesterday(28/3/2006),I had the pleasure of watching(at the stadium)India beat England at the Firozshah kotla ground here in Delhi.There were some very interesting comments by the crowd on Mahendra Singh Dhoni but first the context:- About a week back , Sachin Tendulkar made frontline news in the Times of India and Hindustan Times when he was booed by his homecrowd for getting out very cheaply. Many former senior cricketers criticized the crowd for insulting a senior cricketer like Tendulkar. Kapil Dev, in his autobiography has mentioned how the players were reduced to tears on receiving an overwhelming welcome on winning the world cup in 1983. Six months later, the crowd tried to pelt them with stones on losing a match to the West Indies. He said that this has to be taken in the spirit of "taking the brickbats with the bouqets" and that is how Sachin should probably see the situation. It is too premature to compare Dhoni to Sachin, but some of the statements of the crowd were revealing(It seemed that he was was the "cricketkeeper" of the nation instead of mere wicketkeeper):- 1) As soon as Shewag got out, somebody called to say, "Oye Gambhir, Gambhir hoke mat kheliyo, kuch Dhoni se seekh. (Gambhir, don't play quietly, follow Dhoni's example) 2)Except for the fall of the first wicket, whenever the other wickets fell, the crowd was eager to see whether or not the incoming batsman was Dhoni by continously chanting his name. When he finally made his appearance after the fall of 4-5 wickets, he received a loud roar. 3) In the Toilet, I overheard people in adjoining toilets having a chat on what a fool Dravid was for not sending Dhoni earlier. 4) At the food stall, somebody remarked that one need not worry about the fall of early wickets as anything was possible as long as Dhoni's wicket was intact. 5) When I was returning to my seat with foodplates in both my hands, I had to stop at one place where I overheard a cop requesting his boss(in hindi)not to move him as Dhoni had come and the boss eagerly stole a glance to the ground from his duties to acertain the fact. 6) When Dhoni hit a shot which seemed to be rushing to the boundary but was halted, prompt came a remark from behind ,"Yeh ulloo ke paththe pata nahin kahaan kahaan se aa jaate hain fielding karne". "God knows from where these **** come from to obstruct the shot". It seemed that every shot of Dhoni should go for a four or six. 7) When Dhoni got out,an Englishman in the crowd began to stand and applaud. Somebody remarked from Behind" Oye Angrez ki Aulaad, Dhoni ne Dhulai nahin ki tau kya hua, main teri dhulai kar doonga. Niche, baith, ****"-Hey Englishman, so what if Dhoni did not hit out today, I will hit you. Sit down, you ****) Such expectations, such adulation. One really salutes Sachin Tendulkar for carrying the burden of even more expectations in his illustrious 16 year career. Some film producers sit among the crowd for gauging the response to their films but I would be very nervous to hear such comments if I were a cricket star. Though over the years I have admired different attributes of different cricketers in both forms of the game, I am with the crowd and very much a fan of one day cricket. Unfortunately, cricketers are unanimous in their opinion that test cricket is the real cricket though in my view one day cricket is a different form of test where the resources have to be utilized optimally because of the time constraint.( Just as one of the reasons attributed to the success of Japan and Germany after the second world war the scarcity of resources which forced their efficient utilization). There are some self styled connoisseurs who still enjoy the five day game(one can admire a player's stamina and temprament but who wants to pay to watch all that and who has the time in today's world) but I think the majority is for the one day fireworks. I think that the cricket board should host a best of three one days at each ground. Then the cricketers will get their job satisfaction and the crowd shall get their value for money.It will be a win-win situation for all. Sachin does not deserve to be booed but the test matches played on lop sided batting pitches(first two test matches in pakistan) definitly deserve a thumbs down. My admiration for Dhoni has doubled and going with the popular mood, let me add one of the most popular songs of yesteryear's:- "Anhoni ko honi kar de, honi ko anhoni, Ek Jagah jab jama ho teeno- Dhoni, Dhoni aur Dhoni" There are six matches to go. Hope my words prove prophetic.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Hum aapke hain Kaun?", Mr Bill clinton?

Blogger is behaving strangely by putting the whole extract as one paragraph unless I am doing something wrong. Somebody has altered my previous posts also. Please not that PB stands for Para beginning and PE for Para End. Similarly POB stand for poem beginning and POE for poem end. This is a lot of waste of time and hope blogger does something {PB) On 21/2/2006, the Times of India displayed a photograph of former American President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary in Indian wedding clothes. They make an impressive sight and the former President even declares that he would wish the same kind of wedding for his daughter.He further said that he kept coming back to India because he loved India. (PE) (PB) This is addressed to Mr Clinton and other American Presidents in general:- Since you have mentioned our weddings so specifically, Mr President, I would apprise you of a movie that I had seen a few years ago. The name of the movie was “Hum aapke hain kaun” where perhaps for the first time , the Indian wedding was shown in full swing and splendor on the silver screen. It became the biggest commercial success of all time became a precedent for a spate of such movies . The word “Hum aapke hain kaun” literally means “ How are we related to you?’ . (PE) (PB) Looking at the American foreign policy, it puts things in a very interesting perspective. It’s common knowledge the world over that the United states follows the policy of “short term gain long term pain “ in blindly following its “interests”. A small extract on Oscar movies from the latest post of my friend , http://oream.blogspot.com/ :- “Kaput! The brutal murder of more than a hundred thousand Iraqis and two thousand plus American soldiers in the invasion of Iraq sent shockwaves through the world – and captured the attention of an author named William Blum.The movie covers his journey to create a bestseller ROGUE STATE: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower. Through his extensive research, Blum compiles a detailed list of US governments involvement since WWII in torturing, kidnapping, harboring terrorists, using chemical and biological weapons and utilizing many other lovely foreign policy tools. The book got a recommendation from the most wanted and homicidal of terrorists, Ossama Bin Laden. (I am not kidding!)” (PE) (PB) One comes across so many articles which state that the attitude of the Western world changed towards India and the third world only after they themselves experienced terrorism on 9/11 and the London bomb blasts. Does it take catastrophes for you to empathize with us?, Doesn’t it reflect poorly on the human race in general? Considering the recent cartoon controversy which has aroused worldwide resentment, one really wonders how much revulsion the Iraq war must have caused and what are its long term consequences Ponder again “Hum Aapke hain kaun?”. (PE) (PB) I remember reading in a magazine before the war started that the Iraq war had the potential of creating more terrorists and more 9/11s. In the same magazine, I remember reading that though the United states was perceived as a bully boy in third world countries, the serial “friends “ is very popular in Pakistan of all places. That apart the American culture is aped the world over. It’s a great pity that despite having the right weapons in abundance, you tend to choose the wrong ones. Ponder again “Hum aapke hain kaun?”.(PE) (PB) Just as you have mentioned your fondness for Indian marriages, the romance for an average English educated child in India with the United States begins at the age of around 10-12 when he begins to read Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew or the Archie comics before graduating to better stuff( In my case, some great management literature). Considering that you and and we are the world’s oldest and the world’s largest democracies having the largest speaking English populations, we should have been the greatest of friends and the words “Hum aapke hain kaun” should have had no significance even during the cold war. That is long over and why start similar wars by pursuing such policies and create further cold wars. Iraq is a case in point. I have come across too many Americans who are opposed to the Iraq war. (PE) (POB) I hope that all the Presidents who form policy in the future have this question on their heads “ Hum aapke hain kaun”. .In a lighter vein, let me conclude:- Mr Clinton for us it is a matter of pride That your daughter you would want to wed like an Indian bride Why follow policies that most people in the world deride? Why try to take the rest of the world for a ride ? Instead of perusing policies from which you may have to hide The most powerful nation could proudly assume a different stride We too are proud that you have been so enamored of an Indian marriage Why follow policies that arouse the world’s outrage Its high time American foreign policy comes of age The mood of the people all over is not something that powerful satellites can gauge. Use empathy and Spiritual leadership, many a great leader have had flashes of a sage. American presidents have been charming, wars they don’t have to wage Then instead of your saying “Monica, Oh my darling”(old hindi movie song), the whole world may say “America, Oh my Darling” . (POE)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Rashmi O Rashmi, Rush-me, Don't crush me

I have found Rashmi Bansal’s blog(on my blogroll-youth curry) one of my favorites as it has been consistently good. Rashmi Bansal’s review on “Rang De Basanti” is as great as the movie itself and seems to be the unanimous favorite; going by some of the posts “Rang De Basanti” also reminds one of the colorful holi scenes of the immortal classic, “Sholay” where actress Hema Malini is very colorful and boisterous as the character Basanti. “Sholay” got the best film in fifty years award from filmfare last year. It was technically and creatively a true classic, almost perfect from very angle. In every field, there are prodigies or “Sholays” like cricketer Sachin Tendulkar who was made to undergo baptism by fire at the age of 16 and is still playing. Following the “catch them young philosophy” , these people have to be spotted and nurtured early. I had the pleasure of watching the rise of a management prodigy who got three double promotions in one year and went on to build a big business in no time because he was spotted and encouraged by the chairman almost as soon as he joined. (“Rush-me”). I heard that a former test vetran was going to the small towns and villages to prevent the Tendulkars and Kapil-Devs from obscurity(Crush-me). After six months of blogging , I am surprised that none of the top bloggers comment on budding bloggers for encouragement. Maybe they simply don’t have the time or blogiquette is different. A pity in our country which boasts of a “Guru-shishya paramapara”. I have seen Rashmi’s comments occasionally but she plays a symbolic role here as this is directed to the top shots:- Poem Begins My dear Rashmi, It seems that with aspiring bloggers, you don’t want to be chummy, Appreciation to a deserving aspirant is as food to an emaciated tummy. A beginner in any field is like a baby, in need of a mummy. There has to be some talent there, everyone cannot be a dummy. You too were a beginner once, today you may be yummy. Natural Talent must be promoted, whether it is in someone else or you and me. Not doing so is tantamount to blasphemy(Sacrilege).Poem Ends Ability has to be supported by visibility and senior bloggers should facilitate the process.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Will the sun ever set/should the son rise; India's political empire/s?

About four five days ago, in response to Rahul Gandhi’s speech, a congress stalwart described him as a “youth icon” and “hope for the future”.Yesterday , in an interview, Priyanka Gandhi said that the congress party shall decide who will be the leader when asked whether or not her children shall join politics. It seems that the congress party suffers from India’s Olympic syndrome. Just as a billion strong population scampers for a bronze medal, a 100 year old political party cannot look beyond one family for leadership primarily because a largely emotional and a rural illiterate population thinks in terms of personalities rather than issues. It is really sad in an era of information revolution and mass communication. Mahatma Gandhi would have become popular five times faster today because of the kind of work he did among the people. Sunil Gavaskar’s son shifted to Bengal to prove himself. Amitabh Bachchan’s son had several flops before being pronounced the rising son. One wonders how such a judgement can be made in politics before words like “youth icon” can be used. There are heirs of state and local politicians with political ambitions. The former managing director of a multinational said recently that it is not unusual for the son of a great political leader to become a good leader himself but nature rarely distributes talent that way. Political legacy should not be held against them- Jyoitiraditya scindia and Omar Abdullah sound very articulate and intelligent but can they walk the talk and also ensure good implementation because that is where the catch lies when one considers Rajiv Gandhi’s words as prime minister that only 15% of the funds actually reach the poor. The issue is more of political accountability rather than dynastic politics. How does one determine whether or not a political heir is the rightful aspirant?. The issue is not “when the sun should fall” but should be of “Whether the son should rise”? All spheres of human endeavor require talent and politics should be no different considering the larger stakes involved.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Saurav’s return, Rahul’s Turn.

Several years ago, when Rahul Dravid was not a regular member of the one day cricket team, the then Captain, Saurav Ganguly had told him that if he wanted to keep his place in the side, he would have to keep wickets. Dravid did and gradually became an established one day player as well. After Saurav Ganguly’s return, in the current Indo-pak series, since Rahul Dravid himself opened in the first test, it seems that Saurav was taken as a third bowler rather than as a specialist batsman because if that had been the case, Saurav would himself have opened. However, Saurav is hardly a test class bowler and could not unfortunately could not play the additional role as well as Dravid did for wicketkeeping. He was therefore dropped from the second test as the player he has direct competition with as a batsman, Yuvraj singh is a far better fielder than he is. One feels sorry for Saurav Ganguly. Being such a good and successful test captain for so many years and then being suddenly dropped from the playing eleven. Today, a famous former captain has said that he could have been spared this humiliation and told to retire gracefully. That would have been obviously better for all concerned. If he still comes back consistently after all this, it would be the mother of all comebacks and he would probably deserve a gold medal for mental fitness.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Poem-The return of Saurav Ganguly

A couple of weeks ago, many people were peeved by the undignified removal of Saurav Ganguly from the Indian cricket team. Justice has been done and considering the fact that cricket is a religion in India, deserves an appropriate response:- Many people have felt strongly About Saurav being dropped wrongly Let us hope that Ganguly Is able to face shoaib with as much dexterity as he has faced many a googly Let us hope that the prnice of Kolkatta comes up with a performance that can be deemed kingly And make his detractors look ugly Then all India and not just hoogly(Kolkatta) Will once again respond to him overwhelmingly He has off the field grace too, on the ground sometimes a captain has to be Jungly For the simple reason that most ppl have to be pushed and rarely perform willingly The sledging Australians or a Shoaib Akhtar can hardly be encountered lovingly Proportionate Aggression is welcome by anyone whether another Indian or a Bengali

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