Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Divide and Rule!

Even in the core of many bad and unfortunate events happening around me like the frequent fire accidents in trains and buses, Schumacher's accident( I hope he will make it!!), I want to write about a beautiful article I read in the editorial page of a local telugu newspaper, eenadu dated 30 December 2013
The article is about a policy which the bad guy of the Mahabharata, Dhuryodhan should have adopted..the Divide and Rule policy which the British have taught us so well.

The article says that Dhuryodhan should have set up a committee of five wise men who he had against his rivals, the five Pandavas. The committee then should have declared three of the Pandavas as innocent and the other two guilty of some charge. Then those five would have fought among themselves with the two guilty people saying the other three are puppets of Dhuryodhan. This person was not either that intelligent or he was not that cunning. Either way there was no congress back then. If there was, the epic story would have been...never mind!!

Just before the elections, the ruling party which understood that it's story came to an end has decided to pelt stones at the opposition. Luckily for them, the opposition has chosen a suitable candidate who might be worthy but has come with open arms to controversies. Inquiry after inquiry, the ruling party is trying by all means to bring this guy down. Gas allocations, communal riots and 'snoopgate'...he too is trying to cross all the hurdles. Tough guy. But one thing. The more inquiries, the worse it is for the ruling party if every time the opposition comes clean. Nevertheless, the greatness of the ruling party lies in the smart moves it is making to win. No other party in this Indian peninsula can ever come up with such shrewd ideas. Ever!!

One more intelligent move by the congress is the support given to AAP. Once the congress was shunned away in four states, the entire media which is against the opposition has shifted focus to AAP. Mind you before AAP won, not much was discussed about it in any media. Only after they won, all this daily headlines and all! I took membership in AAP long back for 10 rupees and once I came to know that the common man has joined hands with the congress men, I want my 10 rupees back. I will talk about AAP later but look at the smarty move by congress...now AAP shall be but a member of the UPA!!

What is better for Dhuryodhan than having a great man with him like Bhishm pitamaha. Of course, Anna hazare, I guess was sensible enough to predict this and not enter politics. Again, the row between anna and AAP has led to a weak and wrecked Lokpal. Any way, politics are not for "saintly men" is the moral of the story. You have to shoot asthra after asthra...inquiry after inquiry...to win.
Is all fair in war......?? 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Kallis...thanks man!!

38 years of age..capable of playing for two more years. 13174 runs..not far away from 15921. Maybe, in two years time, that mark is reachable. Especially, with 44 centuries in his bag, crossing the 51 mark is not so impossible in around three years time. Especially, I dreaded the mark of 210 catches by a fielder would be broken as he is on 199 now!! Yes, I am being selfish against one of the greatest all rounder cricket has ever seen. Jacques Henry Kallis. My father still asks me during an India South Africa test match if Jack Kallis is yet to come. He used to say, "vaadu bat pattukunte century, ball pattukunte wicket.[1]"  Now I am slightly relieved that the majority of test cricket records stay with an Indian only.
With an average more than 55 in batting and just about 32 while bowling is not an ordinary achievement. I haven't seen one year in which Kallis has not scored century less than twice. Truly, a superb cricketing talent.

By the way, I thank Kallis again for being the Santa and giving us this christmas gift. For calling it a day!! But deep in my heart, I know one era of cricket has come down with the greats of Dravid, Kallis, Ponting, Laxman and Sachin retiring from test cricket.

FootNote: That meant that as Kallis came out to bat, a century is assured and as he came out to bowl, a wicket is ensured for his team.

Monday, December 23, 2013

In (?) we Trust..

In the event of extremely deplorable and poignant things happening around me especially with regards to my country, I am forced to write articles under a separate label, "We are like this only!"

I think I am lucky to attend talks by two Nobel laureates in the same week. I heard Amartya Sen and Venki Ramakrishnan speak. Though I truly loved listening to Sen, I was not actually that impressed by Venki. He does have a Nobel, sadly only after winning which a scientist is recognised in India who otherwise is not even acknowledged except maybe by the government!!
I do not understand what is so shocking to him in just offering prayers to God before launching rockets. You might have forgotten sir, but even you would have prayed before you got your tenth grade results. By the way, no one from ISRO attributed the success to God. They gave due credits to all those who were involved in building the brilliant spacecraft. What I feel bad is that, where a scientist like Venki Ramakrishnan must be sharing his "scientific" thoughts, they are being replaced by unnecessary "non-rationale" thoughts like these. We are like this only!!

Another event where we never learn to not vote to the wrong person. Wait, first, thank you very much, AAP for betraying us early. I am sorry but to say that this is not expected from a party who have come into prominence campaigning against the corrupt government but now joined hands with the same government!! I call it betrayal. I am a fan of Anna Hazare and I still support AAP only because it was formed from his ideology and I really want to see them make a difference. However the hope I have left, I cannot believe Mr Arvind Kejriwal agreed to take support from the congress. Now can we really trust another party which in future comes up with an agenda of change and clean politics?? In WHO do we put our trust?

On the other hand, though I am happy India swam hard to the shore in the first test cricket match against South Africa, I felt sad for the chokers as they fell at a crucial time true to their nick name. It has been a long time since a fine match has been played without the match being one sided or batsmen friendly.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Amartya Sen's Talk

People do not get a nobel prize just like that. They have something in them which others do not have. They carry some energy with them. Dr.Amartya Sen is one of them. Though I do not agree with all of his ideas, I got enchanted by the way he spoke yesterday in my university. Only Dr.M.S.Swaminathan and Dr.Subramanya Swamy were the other persons who I saw in person could speak like that, mesmerising the audience under any circumstances.

Bharatratna, Sri Amartya Sen was to give a talk on "Are Coffee Houses Important for Education" after receiving the honoris causa from the University of Hyderabad which ofcourse was announced 22 years back!! As he occupied the stage to speak on the subject, he was interrupted by a mob which started shouting slogans against the university and that he should speak on caste and not on coffee!! His reply of course was that he was involved in more agitatations than those people and that they should know how to agitate and not prevent someone from speaking.
Interaction with us, students...na actually, he was saying no to autographs!!

But the thing that I liked the most was that he spoke, in that situation. He imparted caste system in India with coffee houses. He promised he would not speak about coffee houses and spoke about how he and his friends used coffee houses during their time to discuss politics, society and science. He kept reminding us, the audience at an interval of every five sentences that he still was not speaking about coffee houses. Wow! What a diplomat. One reason he got his Nobel!!

One story he told was about a Swed who interviewed him after the news of his Nobel achievement came who was surprised that Amartya Sen was given the Nobel prize by those people!! He had fans even before he became a laurette and people(his students included) were betting on him to get the prize!
Finally, I would say I am lucky I could attend talks by giants like Amartya Sen, M.S.Swaminathan, Subramanya Swamy, C.N.R.Rao and Abdul kalam.

In the event of his "Are Coffee Houses important for Education," I would like to ask Dr.Amartya Sen,
"Are Wine Shops important for the Society?"      

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Why Us, U.S?

Three years ago the Indian Ambassador, Smt Meera Shankar. Two years back our representative at the United Nations. And almost whenever our hero Shah Rukh Khan goes to the United States, he is detained!! Even before those bad memories could settle down, our deputy counsel general, Ms. Devyani Khobragade is humiliated by all means by the mightiest(?) "Race" on earth. Martin Luther King jr is turning in his grave. No, we still haven't forgiven the United States of America. I can never forget them detaining our beloved 'Missile Man,' H.E Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in their airport. Never!!
victim of America 

"Give me your tired and your poor. I lift the lamp" says the statue of liberty and respectable diplomats from India are subjected to "full restraint" and are stripped down and searched in an utmost appalling way. C'mon, they are the best of the people in our country and probably the entire world too. Is this what one calls liberty? freedom? Arresting a top official for Visa fraud?? Based on conviction by a person who does not even have a proper passport and tried to acquire one illegally by blackmailing Ms Devyani and her family ? Devyani Khobragade, the deputy counsel general in New York was ill treated.

Agreed. Agreed that maybe a visa fraud might have taken place. We Indians are are miser lot. To my knowledge, not even the servant maid of Shah Rukh Khan gets paid more than 10,000 rupees a month. We are like that. We grew up like that. It is only proper to warn her and sign off. But this might not be the correct procedure!! I do not know for sure but we can suspect the involvement of Non Government Organisations who might have something to settle with her. More importantly, even as the Indian government was warning the U.S, why did they clear the visa of the maid when they claim that a visa fraud took place. Did they think India does not consider such humiliations seriously just because we are fighting among ourselves? You are wrong Ms America. We are united and we run for it too!!

America should not forget that their presidential seal consists of an olive branch too apart from arrows! Not until all India's politicians protested, complained and transferred the official to U.N did U.S secretary of state apologise. Of course this happened not before Ms Devyani, 1999-batch IFS officer, holding one of the most respected offices in the world had gone through the stupid USMS protocol. Atleast, it is a nice thing the Indian politicians are thinking about the country now, in the wake of elections.
If America follows law and applies it to everybody, how come Union Carbide's Warren Anderson is being safe guarded by the "law-abiding" America?!?? This is the result of Capitalism and unfortunately we are on the receiving end. Ms.Devyani Khobragade is just one example. Why us?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hungry Old Men

Just an year and a half back, Anna Hazare was sitting in Delhi's Ramlila Maidan fasting for 'Jan' Lokpal after the ultimate scams by the government were exposed. He was well supported by gentlemen like Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan, Kiran Bedi and Medha Patkar. The anti corruption movement raised hope and enthusiasm across the corners of the country calling in for a strong Jan Lokpal.
But of course, the movement was curbed if not soon. The bill was discussed and never came into existence until Arvind put up Aam Admi Party and won a lot of seats in the Assembly elections in Delhi recently.
Anna Hazare's attitude is little strange now-a-days. Looks like he is the Never-Hungry Old man. Fasting when ever he remembers that his bill is not yet drafted. He stated he did not need politicians's help so he did not support AAP and its formation. If politicians are not required who will pass the bill for him, CII members??
Why the rift between him and Arvind? Why is Anna Hazare happy with the highly compromised Lokpal bill which as Arvind rightly said does not even send a mouse to jail and is just being passed to pass the chocolate boy Rahul gandhi after he failed nicely in four states.
Surely, Anna might not have lost that previous touch but definitely, this is not the bill he wanted. Why is he falling in the government trap? Is Anna right in saying that whatever he wished to be present in the bill need not be present? What use would it be of?
ACB section of CBI is not included under Lokpal. Those who complain can be jailed. The Judiciary, Prime Minister and MPs excluded from Lokpal scrutiny and most importantly and humorously, the bench of Lokpal would be decided by politicians from winning party and the opposition. There are many other stupid changes made to the original Lokpal.
If this is the case, what will the 'common man' get from it. Employment? All he might get is a one year sentence with an additional fine for requesting a probe into the corruption by some minister.
If this bill comes out what kind of a socio-economic justice is assured? Or am I thinking a marxist unlike Pope Francis, the anti capitalist but not for-marxism guy who has been criticising the economical situation right from his beginning. He says the ecomonic differences is the cause of many problems. Who do we follow? Half of America is catholic and America is capitalist. What is gonna happen now?? Is Arvind Kejriwal a marxist too?!!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

AAP kyun sarkar nahi ban raha hai?

Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar has given a statement with which I will happily agree. He said that people do not vote for dull candidates. Something related to this "dull candidates" is happening over there in Delhi. The Delhi politics is obviously taking all possible twists and turns. With BJP and AAP not showing any interest in forming the government, Delhi is heading towards President's rule for the next six months, get ready media folks, write whatever you want to in these few days!!

Be Bold Be Strong
First, when the lieutenant governor of Delhi called for BJP to form the government, they said a straight no. Why? Had they got 4 more seats, would they have not formed the government? Why not now? Since they have long back announced their support to 'Jan Lokpal,' could they have not negotiated with AAP atleast after Prashanth Bhushan gave the statement?!?

Second, my dear Arvind, aap and AAP have entered politics with the aim of fighting corruption not with the aim of sitting in the opposition and shouting on the chief minister in your microphone. Why don't you agree to extend issue based support to the BJP, form the government and start fulfilling your promises, if you have no better works to do. Certainly, that is a far better option than all the parties sitting in the opposition. But a humble request of mine to the AAP convener is not to join hands with Congress for the only reason that you came to power campaigning against congress.

Both the BJP and AAP have to learn to be bold. Think about the people, form the government somehow and start doing the good work. Politics is not for dull people who expect to be "sitting" in a safe cocoon. Dude, look at Congress they have officially announced unconditional support to AAP who claims to be an alternative to congress. Not to forget the hurried passing of the 'Lokpal' bill in the parliament. They will shamelessly take the credit too..why not!?

Be brave, be bold like a man. You have slept enough!! 

Adios to Bharatratnas!!

Two "bharatratnas" have set down recently. Apparently, both of them are of foreign origin and are very famous fighters, one known for non violence and the other for utter destruction. One of them being a South African and the other a Russian. Both have a very close relation to India and are very much respected thus becoming true 'Bharatratnas.'

Most respected human being
Talking about the South African, the "Black Sun" and the "African Gandhi," Nelson Rolihlala Mandela, the most respectable human being as per some survey few years back, passed away. It is a tragic loss but the concession is that he lived for a ripe 95 years during which he impressed and motivated millions of people across the globe. His prison calenders themselves are a textbook of extreme perseverance and patience and hope. Losing him is a loss to the entire world especially India since he has always been a follower of India and M.k.Gandhi. He was a Gandhi-way of fighter even though he worked for the communist party(strange eh!! communist and non-violent..)

Most respected fighter plane
The other Bharatratna, a Russian, but not a commie is the supersonic MiG-21 which also retired recently after performing the square pattern amidst tear filled IAF flight lieutenants, marshalls and captains. The Mikoyan Gurevich bureau developed MiG-21 has been a proud asset of the Indian Air Force since the early 1960s. It has played a major role in the 1971 war with Pakistan and the subsequent Bangladesh independence. The pencil shaped 'Balalaika' however is well known for crashes but nevertheless was a pilot friendly and easy to control plane. In the words of Air Chief Marshall Browne, "MiG-21 was a pilot's aircraft and its agility cannot be matched by any of the todays fighters."

Adios to both these fighters!!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Clean "SWEEP"

The stage for the semi final was set in four North Indian states. With all the national parties looking seriously into these state elections considering the fact that the general elections are round the corner, the fight was an interesting one. By interesting one, I mean not that a tooth breaking fight took place or something like that. In fact it was a whitewash. A clean sweep by the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) over the Indian National Congress(INC) in general. But there are other interesting things to be noted.

Of the four states, two of them saw the existing governments retaining power for the third time and one state saw the downfall of an empire. A empire built over 15 years. This is the most interesting of all. That is the point of focus. A conclusion that voters were vexed of the same government for 10-15 years and brought in new ones cannot be made because that is contradicted in two states where the government retained majority.
So, keeping aside the results of three state elections after congratulating the winners, I would want to discuss the Delhi election results.

Staying in the near past, let us go back to 2010. That was the time when beggars in Delhi started learning how to demand fifty rupees in English. That was the time Delhi hosted the commonwealth games. A overpriced, useful-for-none event for which a lot of money was kept aside out of which 76,000 crore rupees were pocketed. Eventually, many other (in)famous scams were exposed by people like Dr.Subrahmanya Swamy. Apparently, Delhi was the center stage for most of the crimes including the inhuman rape of a girl on Delhi streets. After all the central governemnt is in Delhi.

Whilst the ever increasing list of the scams led to movements like 'Jan Lokpal' by Anna Hazare who sat on an indefinite fast demanding Jan lokpal be implemented, the crimes on women led to movements which saw the rise of 'Nirbhaya' Act. All these reasons were enough for a new party to be formed by the country's most respectable men led by 'Parivartan' founder, Arvind Kejriwal. The Aam Admi Party(AAP) This is most interesting because AAP has won 28/70 seats in Delhi on its first attempt itself. A real clean "sweep." Their campaigning techniques were excellent. That is even though no media gave proper coverage to the party and its campaigning, they did an excellent job. Especially, Arvind Kejriwal winning over Sheila Dixit keeping his promise was a highlight.

The sad part of  the story is the above point only. The media has not given AAP proper coverage. In few states like A.P, news papers are founded to support only one party and specially, one Person.But nowhere was the AAP given any big status in national media. The happy part of the story is AAP got all the coverage whatever it wanted through social networking sites like Facebook and Google+ Right from Anna Hazare's fast to Arvind Kejriwal's "Jhadu."             

Friday, December 6, 2013

Cricket- Stress and Strain

In a certain Telugu movie which was portrayed in the future at around 2051, the news reader on television announces that India lost to Australia in a One day cricket match by a margin of 1500 runs! It looks like the International Cricket Council (ICC) has seen the movie and is keen to make it come true. And it seems that the cricketers are in a hurry and want to achieve that feat much before 2051. With the game becoming more of an entertainment than a sport (it is not an olympic sport really), it is just natural that players are stressed out.
stressed "Out"

Two series now running are the South Africa-India one day series and the much hyped Ashes test series between Australia and England. In the eight of the last ten one day matches, India has scored close to 2500 runs which would be 300 runs in every match played even when chasing. Congratulations to the batsmen but what to the bowlers? Condolences? Or congratulations for successfully murdering bowling? I have a strong feeling the Indian batsmen are bribing their own bowlers to improve their batting records!! In any case, this is only leading to the bowlers being stressed out and who knows, in future there might be no one interested in taking up bowling as a career. Already in our country everyone says he/she is a fan of Dhoni or Kohli who are just whackers of the ball but no one says, "I am a fan of Pragyan Ojha or Bhuvaneshwar Kumar."

Quite opposite to this pathetic situation in India, the batsmen of the Ashes series are getting stressed out. Maybe it is because it is a test match?! Just after one test match, English ace batsman Jonathon Trott departed due to stress related issues. This has happened in Ashes before too. All this is due to the over hype and high expectations being rubbed on players who as the 'Gentleman's Game' demands, have to play freely and sportively.  

The ICC president, Dave Richardson in a recent meeting backed the two ball method in one days (a stupid method favouring batsmen by not allowing bowlers to use reverse swing easily) at the same time saying he expected scores of about 250. If a country has the likes of Dale Steyn, Philander and Morne Morkel, it is possible that too only on a seam friendly pitch. But what about countries like India which can produce a fast bowler for maybe just one month after which he loses out? This simple ball butchering is at present drawing crowds and is bringing fame and money for cricketers and boards but it is just for now. I promise that audience will get bored by this not long after!!

At this rate with both the bowlers and batsmen getting stressed out too much, can we dream of watching extraordinary innings like G.Vishwanath's 175 vs West Indies, Laxman's 281 or Rahul Dravid's 233 vs Australia or Sachin's centuries against Australia?? It does not matter even if the game is slow but let it be competitive and watchable!


Monday, December 2, 2013

A Perfect Yorker in the Blockhole!!

Maybe I am overexcited and all. In fact one month back, on November 5, I was running around in my college madly congratulating everyone who I met. No I am not exaggerating. People asked me why one has to get that high! After all, it is well known that PSLV(Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) is almost always a success. Does someone need to run around shouting about that?!? But it is not often that you get news in India which make you very happy and proud! I reply, people thought Archimedes was mad as he was running naked on the streets. Only he knew that his idea would change the state the world was in back then! 

Just yesterday, the slingshot throw was a success. From Geo centric to Sun centric. The Mars Orbiter Mission was fired towards Mars. A perfect yorker in the blockhole uprooting all the three stumps!! It will reach its destination by September, next year. Not only the news that the launch of the would be 'First Successful Asian Probe to Mars' was victorious but that it was made entirely using indigenous technology has had a massive impact on me. I am one guy aspiring to be an entrepreneur and I have no target smaller than the space field. Naturally, this particular leap in technology is a sweet news to me and maybe many others like me too!!

Talking about few components in the 15 kg payload that were indigenous, one can include

Mars Colour Camera: a color camera to obtain Mars topography
Thermal Infrared Imaging Spectrometer:  a Spectrograph detailing mineralogy information
Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser:  a quadrupole spectrometer studying in-situ atmospheric composition (neutral)
Methane Sensor for Mars: specially designed payload; aiming at studying the emission band of methane (remote sensing) I think this is the most important one.
Lyman Alpha Photometer: by measuring hydrogen to deuterium ratio it estimates atmospheric losses

Do not worry about the use of each component.

After the success of  'Chandrayaan,' the entire world is now looking at 'Mangalyaan.' While Chandrayaan found traces of water on the Moon, a breakthrough in the space field, Mangalyaan is more of a "show-off" which I strongly recommend. This is the right time for India to display what wonders She can do!!

India is growing fast in the space market. With the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) finishing projects at around 40 times cheaper than the world's leading space agencies, India is set to occupy atleast a quarter of the space market which is estimated at around $250 billion. No wonder the world's interested in 'Mangalyaan.'

However, India is still depending on other countries to maneuver the Mars Orbiter Mission. The Canberra station had acquired the spacecraft for tracking it. Still for controlling the craft, help is taken from the U.S.
It would be just good if we are self sustained in such operations too!! What say lady?!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

BharatRatna is a what?!!?

"Sachin Tendulkar is the first sportsperson to be awarded the Bharatratna(Gem of India)." What a lame statement? It is only recently that sports were included in the required fields for eligibility for the Bharatratna. How right is it to call him the first sportsperson to be given the Bharatratna?! Does that mean that if sports were included long ago,  there is no one eligible enough to bag the award? While this is one point, the other is that is he the correct sportsperson to be awarded the highest civilian award in the country.

It is a very common argument that happens when only one person in a respective field is awarded with a great honour. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar in the field of Sports and Dr.Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao in the field of Science were nominated for the award. Sachin is the first sportsperson after a change in the eligibility conditions to be given this award and C.N.R.Rao is only the third scientist to win the award (they were eligible for a long time!!) Speculations occur in such awarding. There might be other people who might have done better in than the above two. But no one brought name to their field than them. That makes them eligible, doesn't it?

The eligibility criteria for awarding Bharatratna are "for the highest degree of national service." This service until recently included artistic, literary, scientific achievements and public service. Even in arts, only seven people were awarded the Bharatratna again neglecting many other eminent persons. But there is no 'Sangeetaratna' or something like that as the highest award for an artist. But for sports, there is "Khelratna." So why award the Bharatratna to a sportsperson?

Now, India is moving from the generation after Independence. Out of the 43 people given the award, around 20 people were independence activists. So, no one had an objection to that. From Jawaharlal Nehru to Rajiv Gandhi, all the Gandhi-Nehru family members who became the Prime Ministers got the award. No one objects for that. Tomorrow their successor might be awarded. No on will object!! Weird reasons were quoted for not conferring the award to Subhas Chandra Bose posthumously. No one cared! Give it to one sportsperson who has excelled, we complain. He might not have participated in the freedom movement (C.N.R.Rao did, by the way!!) But where do independence activists come from now? It has to be given to people who bring a lot of name and fame to the country as that is the present need of the hour.

Whether the chosen people are real eligible ones or not, I say that they are merely representing their community. The sporting community. The scientific community. The arts community. So on. Of course, to maintain the dignity of the award, it cannot be given to everybody. But then, it can be awarded to the "face" of the respective fields. The person is just a mask. It is to the community that the award is being given thus reminding ourselves of our vast potential in various boundaries thus encouraging more people to go and get the name for the country!!!     

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Be humble towards a gentle creature

Millions of people across the globe travel places, spend a lot of money and time only to just see Elephants. But at the rate of accidents(murders, cold blooded murders I would call them) on the elephants in our country, I think the above millions will be just disappointed in their search for the "mightiest" creature. Just this year, more than ten elephants were killed in train accidents.
Elephants mostly move in groups and the sad and shocking part is that how the drivers of these trains are unable to spot such huge herds! 

I need not tell about the greatness or the great role an Elephant plays in the ecosystem and how useful they are for the human race too. There are a lot of things we humans can learn from the Elephant. In India, Elephants were given special treatment. We were smart enough to realise that Elephants are creatures with intelligence, strength and faithful creatures. That is why we made "friends" with the Elephants and used them for various purposes including 'deforestation', warfare(Ask Alexander-the Great if you want!!) and processions! We have also given a special status for these wonderful creatures and we also worship the 'Elephant God' with fervour. And even all this, why is that every year, we are claiming many lives of an already dwindling Elephant population.

Poaching is banned because they kill the animal for personal benefits. Right! But what are we going to do for the increasing number of train accidents in the Bengal forests on Elephants? Who are we going to blame now? The Government? The Railways? The Gangmen? The Driver? The Elephants!!?? Poaching now seems better as atleast few people are satisfied by it. Who is happy due to these accidents.
Strongest yet the gentlest!!

What could a possible solution be? The speed limit is already there. But no one cares(including the Elephants, say!!) The forest department asked for a reduction of speed limit from 40 kmph to 25 kmph. Then, who is going to deliver the goods on time. The train started late. The driver has to make it up by overruling the over-speed rule right! Maybe the Railways should employ only non-alcoholic, God-fearing Hindus who have a pretty good eyesight! The drivers need not be educated about the importance of biodiversity. Or else, the Elephants should be taught traffic rules! Maybe a bridge should be constructed for the trains to travel through these forests. Surely, the government and ofcourse we Indians can spend some time and money on saving the 'Great Indian Elephant' about which we boast of.

I know none of us wants to hear such a news anytime in the future. After all it is time the Railways guarded their own guard and mascot of the Indian Railways, "Bholu-the Guard"  

Friday, November 15, 2013

To Sachin, with love

Dear Sachin,

I remember that evening in 2010 when I was nervously strolling around, listening to the commentary on the radio about probably my favourite innings of yours in Hyderabad against Australia. I clearly remember that the highest score by teammates after your mammoth 175 was just 63. Similarly, I remember a match against Pakistan in 2004 in which the second highest scorer after your 141 was a mere 36!! This is the problem with you Sachin. When you play well, when you are on song, everybody including the non-striker just wants to watch you do that. To see you hit those unbelievably mesmerising cover drives, leg glances and pull shots.

My parents tell me that when I was a kid, I used to ask if I ate, walked, talked or even dressed up like you!! We grew up like that. Playing only one sport and praying to only one person, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. If our previous generations had the pleasure of watching your Old Trafford, Sydney, Perth and Sharjah performances, we had the privilege of enjoying your 'Nataraja Dance' against Pakistan in the 2003 world cup, your century vs England in Chennai and your extraordinary innings to help India win the Commonwealth Bank series in 2008.

Thank You for being there Sachin. Every good innings of yours must have inspired lakhs of people. There is a M.S.Dhoni, a Virat Kohli and a Bhuvanesh Kumar in them. Why, your presence in the dressing room is enough for young team mates to enter the ground confidently. Your presence in the team is enough for 120 crore people to watch the match. Your presence in 'Cricket Cards' game is enough for a confirmed win!!

I need not talk about the records you set in Cricket. I am sure they will not be broken any time soon. But yes. They maybe broken in the coming years. For you have shown how to bat well. All the way from a bowler dominated era few years back to a batsmen dominated time now-a-days. But, I daresay that one can only try to break your records but cannot even think of setting new ones. They have to remain envious of you!!

Finally, I want to say that you have not just entertained us with your bat but you have taught us a lot. To be humble, to be ethical and successful(I remember you rejecting a huge campaign offer only because it was a liquor ad) You have taught us to bounce back. To reply, not in words but in actions. Your recovery from the tennis elbow injury is a motivating story. Even now, when you are bidding good bye, you are teaching us to end things in elegance.

Wankhede will be worried. Sydney will be sad. Sharjah will shun away all matches. Lord's will be lost for words for not being able to witness your run flow. Thank you by the way for making your retirement step wise. We can now be in a feel that you got injured and are not playing for sometime. Otherwise, we would be shocked, for who will show us those beautiful cover drives, upper cuts, googlies, flippers and that glowing face. "Whadddaplayer you are!!"

One of your devotees in the religion of cricket.

P.S: Please do not come back as a commentator. We cannot bear to see you as anybody except SACHIN-The CRICKETER!!

This letter is published in The Hindu on 15 November 2013(http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/the-little-master/article5351948.ece). Since this is my first letter that made to the papers and since it is about Sachin, now awarded BHARATRATNA, I am advertising a lot about it!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

We are Like This Only!!!

A boy teases a girl. The girl's brother hits that guy. The guy hits him back. The brother kills the boy. This time the boy's father kills the girl's brother. Oh! wait the police, the government and opposition and 'secular' parties are silent. They don't bother about what's happening. But now enters a man some 500 Kms away from this place who shows a hatred video to his friends(wrong of course, he being a politician). But he has no relation to that incident at all!! And here we are. From Kanyakumari to Kaziranga, fighting over this. So much that we even ignored the wonderful launch of "MOM" by ISRO.
How many of us know who Patanjali really is?

Not only this, it has been customary for us, Indians to fight over stupid things. We fight over Foreign Bill in education but we do not focus on the real thing: "Recognising real talent." We are like this only!! We fight over water share between two states when we should be worrying about quenching the thirst of people in both the states!! We are like this only!! We fight about why a poor country like India must spend 450 crore rupees on a space expedition instead of demanding the corrupt government about proper utilisation of funds. We are like this only!! We fight over the number of Indians winning the Nobel prize without concentrating on improving the quality of research in the country!! We are like this only!!

And then there is England, Germany, Australia, United States and many other countries who have adopted the Indian way. Our Yoga. Our Meditation. Our Medication. Our way of teaching. Especially, the entire world is looking at Sanskrit, the Vedas, the Upanishads and other ancient Indian wonders including our way of conducting Marriage Ceremonies and maintaining family relations. Not to forget the Music of India. Oh my God! The list is going on and on. But why are we failing in doing the same thing. In realising out greatness.

Even the website, http://www.ancientindia.co.uk/ is maintained by British Museum!!

It is really good. We started following the Western style. In costume. In life style. In language. In music too. But again why are we not following the West and coming back to our own style of living?! All we do is forget that the "Madi Acharam" was meant for cleanliness at a time when there were no hospitals and we say it is finicky whereas America has taken a patent for this!! Looks like we are real followers of Hanuman. We don't realise our potential. Again, we take the only bad quality He had when he had hundreds of nice qualities. Wake up dudes!! We should not be like this only. Let us take India forward. Together!!

Footnote: "Madi Acharam" means clothes are dipped in Turmeric water and dried. After bathing, these clothes are worn and only then people used to enter the kitchen!!  Such was the care for cleanliness. This is obvious because people have figured out back then only that the majority of diseases are food and water borne!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Diwali Bonanza...Curiosity comes cheaper!!

A very Happy Diwali to all!!
The cracker bursting started with Rohit Sharma's innings against Australia in Bengaluru. The entire country was busy in firing rockets yesterday for Diwali. But the real bonanza came from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) starting the count down for the firing of a real rocket, a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying "Mangalyaan," the Mars Orbiter for the first time from India. If successful, India will be on par with the U.S, Russia, Japan and Europe.
Scientists at work for Mangalyaan

The Mars Orbiter Mission is all set to carry the 1337 KG satellite to 'Angarak'(Mars). Mars is also called "ArunaGraha" or the 'Red Planet.' Different payloads are being carried about which I will soon come up with an article once the PSLV C-25 successfully ejects the satellite into its orbit. This shall be a historic moment in the history of India. Considering the excellent record of PSLVs, I am extremely positive about the success of Mangalyaan. The countdown for 56 hours has started at 6:08 AM on Sunday and the pre-tests have given pretty satisfactory results. Tuesday will witness a miracle in the clear skies of Sriharikota, an island launch center for ISRO about 100 KMs away from Chennai.

This "Mangalyaan" has become very popular not only among India but also in countries like the U.S. The United States also sent lucky peanuts or something like that to India for good luck. There is also a collaboration between National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and ISRO in this Mars Orbiter Mission. Not only the U.S but other space giants like Russia, Japan, Europe, China and Israel are awaiting this wonderful mission.

The great thing about this Mission is the cost of it. It costed rupees 450 crores which is about just 73 Million U S dollars. This really is "peanuts" compared to the cost of 'Curiosity' rover sent by NASA-JPL which costed about 2.5 billion U S dollars. Mangalyaan has almost the same features as that of Curiosity. Maybe this is the reason why everybody is looking into India's mission right now. But the saddest part is that when everybody including few strongest and developed nations are looking at this wonderful mission in awe, we Indians are busy in criticising that a lot of money is wasted!! Pathetic!!
The reason why it is so less in cost is that we Indians do not work for money. All the scientist at ISRO work only for national pride. To take India higher. To make Indians stronger. To make the future generations prouder.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bomb Blast in Modi's Rally

First of all, it is pathetic that people are being killed with no reason at all due to the violent acts of few extremists. That too it is really a pity that in a democracy that people want to disrupt a democratic political rally..whose ever it is. I do not mind. There are few things I want to say. One, I again do not know if it is really done or due to lack of knowledge or may be out of fear of a failure of the grand "Hunkar Rally." Assuming it was done concernedly, I want to appreciate the quick wits of the BJP leaders, my guess is one of them will definitely be Arun Jaitley on making sure that there is no stampede.

But. What if a bomb went off in the midst of the crowd? More lives would have been lost after which the BJP would have gained sympathy. Again, let us assume the leaders thought they were just Diwali bombs and that it would be most horrible to make people panic leading to a stampede. Good! I am also happy by the way Narendra Modi spoke. He is sensible enough not to instill more fear into the minds of the people there and he spoke his stuff and also requested the people to be safe and happy. Very good! They have done a good job in seeing that their rally is a successful event.

What about the police. Do not tell me there is no intelligence report about a possible attack on Modis Rally. I have full faith in two institutions in India. One is the Judiciary (though it is little slow!!). The other is the Intelligence Bureau. I do not again care about how strong the security for NaMo was. He can afford good private security guards too. I want to know about the security given to the people who came to listen to NaMo talk. Why is that the central Home Minister, also one spokesperson for the congress stresses that adequate security is given to Narendra Modi. Why does he not talk about security to the people?

Did the chief minister of Bihar condemn the attack? Maybe he did. Maybe he is too busy with other things like organising a meeting to criticise the government. He is the one who is really responsible because the police comes under a state government power. But why doesn't he aggressively be against the attacks. After all, those he died are his subjects only. He is not the way he was earlier. What is he afraid of? Whose votes is he going to lose if he strongly says such stops should be stopped? It was actually a similar story after the Bodh Gaya blast too!! About the organisation who has done this blast, I don't know what to say to you! By the way, fools!! why those low intensity bombs? Are you nuts? Or you are out of funds?

Finally, the point is that no one is interested in the life of the common man. One wants his rally to be a success. One wants to be safe and unblamable (vote fellow). One wants to show he is perfect!! The other bomb blast guys wants people to die. As many as possible!!! Dudes, no one is interested in our lives. We have to take care of our lives ourselves. Maybe a bomb detector everywhere we go would do?!?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What are you talking Mr. Rahul Gandhi?

Being the chief of the All India Congress Committee (AICC) demands few dignities. At least common sense. When you do not have either of them, it is better to not talk at all. But what Rahul Gandhi, MP, AICC chief and the Prime Ministerial candidate for UPA says generally does not make sense. There have been numerous controversial and humorous statements made by him too. All this leaves us wondering whether this guy is really worthy of representing people in the house of the parliament.

Addressing a rally in Churu, Rajasthan, Rahul Gandhi made a statement which went like, "My Grandmother was assassinated, My dad was assassinated, next will be me." Meaningless!! What do you want to say? Whether he meant a good one I do not know. But few of his statements are really irritating. He also said it is very wrong to be angry and also said that he wanted to kill one of the Members of Legislative Assembly fifteen years back. What?!? See, this is the result of heredity! A true leader has to climb up the ranks. He needs to know how it is, how the situation is, how to win, at various stages of politics unlike Rahul gandhi who is born with a silver spoon!
There is a big need for him to learn to speak properly 

Few of his (in)famous statements go like, " It is impossible for us to stop terrorist attacks." What does he mean by such statements? Another most controversial one was about poverty that 'Poverty is not about not having money or shelter. If one has self confidence, he is not poor.' This is not a statement to be made in a poor country like India. One more 'gem' of his statements is "India is the Saudi Arabia of the 21st century." Who compares his country with Saudi Arabia of all the countries!!  

Around about 2009, there was this big issue about Atomic Energy. Our government has signed an understanding with the U.S for some Thorium exports and Uranium imports. India has no Uranium reserves without which Nuclear Energy is not possible but has a lot of Thorium reserves which is a very useful item in Nuclear Fission but useless without the starting material i.e Uranium. Ok. Fine. Even scientists said this is a very good pact.

It happened that Rahul Gandhi was the convener of the Indian cell of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In a promotional event in Hyderabad to create awareness among school children, a scientist asked the students what IAEA stood for. No one could answer. Our young and dynamic leader who was the Chief Guest of that event started answering the question like" Indo-American......" Wow!!

An example of one of his 'brilliant' of course funny speech!

When opposition leaders come from small ranks and are creating a good impression among Indians, this so called young and the "most-eligible" bachelor (really!?!) is bringing a bad name to the country itself. It was proved in one Wikileaks-leaked conversation of his with the American ambassador with who he spoke badly of all Indians!! The problem comes with "Family Heredity" due to which they do not know what we Indians really want!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sulphurous Gold....!!!

If the onion rate rises, you are sure the government's gonna fall!! Such is the usage of onion in our country. Recent events show the prime news being the same( hopefully the result shall be true too!!) But 100 per kilo?!? What has gone wrong? Where? Why this shortage of onion? I actually suggest to stop eating onion( I don't)... best thing!!

Actually, a similar crisis occurred in 1980, 1998, 2010 leading to fall of the then governments!! In fact, Maharashtra which is the leading producer of onion in the country contributes the highest to the GDP of the country! In 2010, the Government took desperate measures to face the problem. We had to ban exports and import onion from our arch rival, Pakistan leading to an agreement for an FDI in our country!! Such is the intensity of onion price in our country.

According to the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee act, the problem came here. In 2010, it was due to less rainfall. But this time, it is over rainfall. This led to destruction of the this khariff crop. Most got destroyed. However, there is a very good output. The argument is that in a few days, the rates will be down. The retail rates are rising because of a "monopoly of wholesale traders" This was regulated by the APMC act. Since the state governments have the power of agricultural reforms, they were asked to control this monopoly.
Of course, this monopoly means the illegal export of onion to foreign countries( atleast in India, there are people who do not eat onion. Abroad, people die without onion and garlic!!)t is her

It is here that the governments of Delhi and Bihar failed. They did not pay heed to this act. Result, onion price in the Union territory of Delhi is Rs.90 and in Patna, it is Rs.100. So, moral..buy onion in bulk from tomorrow till the retail rates come down.  

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Curtains Down to a Captain's Knock!

Indian cricket team captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni would now be gambling for a bowler who will bowl good overs for him in the death and Jaydev Unadkat might be excited because he may be called in for the next match! Yesterday, around 80 overs of team effort was wasted with one over of carelessness. But one thing is now proved...anything is possible with India..our motto, "Chase and let others Chase"!!

Who knows if not Ishant, maybe Vinay Kumar might have given away those runs. But when your leader struggled to bring to the banks your team from 154/6 to 303/9, you have got to have consideration for that beautiful knock and bowl carefully. After all, "Nobody wants to bowl a bad over" as said by Dhoni himself. But this is no reason to justify giving away thirty runs to a bowler. Thank You. Those runs were not given away to Doherty!!

Whether the mistake is Ishant Sharma's magnified error or is the mistake, the unseen poor performance of the other batsmen is to be debated. When an Australian bowler can hit the spearhead of Indian bowling attack, couldn't one Indian batsmen take risk and attack the Australians, atleast Glenn Maxwell!!

Cricket is now a batsmen's game and it is not right to just push the blame on one bowler. This has been happening for a long time. Chetan Sharma giving a six of the last ball to Pakistan being the most famous and recent ones like Irfan Pathan, L.Balaji etc. However, this act of giving away 30 runs that too at a very wrong time is not pardonable too. May be it is time to give rest to Ishant who has been bowling continuously for a long time so that he can return big!! And don't worry people, there are four more matches!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Our" Land of the Rising Sun

"We are a part of India. We are Indians. No one can deny us the right to travel." This is the statement made by the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh after China did not grant a proper visa to two women archers from Arunachal Pradesh. This statement gives me a kind of kick. It is not about a boundary dispute but it is about national integrity. About how all Indians must feel Indian.

After all, a chief minister is the chief representative of the subject's opinion. So, when all the people of Arunachal feel Indian, how stupidly can one think and pin the visas of the athletes without proper stamp. The reason they claim is that these two come from disputed land whose leader indomitably claims the state to be undisputed and claims that it belongs to India! The case is not different from Kashmir. Even here the people feel Indian (Okay, we shall discuss this later!!) Whatever it is, Arunachal Pradesh is an Indian state. No doubts there Ms.China! Don't forget the McMohan line!!

"The Land of the Rising Sun" is what we call Arunachal Pradesh. In Sanskrit, 'Arun' means the Sun. In my view, this far North-East state is the most eco-friendly state in our country. The primary source of income, of course like many other states in the country is Agriculture for this "Orchid State of India." It is home to more than a thousand species of Flora and Fauna. A large variety of birds can also be seen here. I called eco-friendly because electricity is generated in the state by Hydro Projects (maybe there is not much choice here...nevertheless!!) which constitutes a large chunk of Indian Hydro Power generation. Moreover, Arunachal Pradesh has the largest number of regional languages among Indian states. 

However, I feel we must feel the state closer. There are Universities, Polytechnic colleges and a Horticulture college, Cancer Institutes, mountain terrain roads and the recent "first train' in the state all granted by the Central Government of India. But this is not sufficient. I suggest tourism. "Kuch Guzari Hai Gujarat Mein," "Give Time a Break," "God's Own Country" are fine. But for a natural beauty like Arunachal Pradesh which is also called "A Botanist's Paradise," why is that there is no advertisement? Tell the rest of the country...tell all Indians what a beauty A.P is and give good tourist packages (if they are being given already, then spread the word better!!) This shall be the covalent bond among all of us! Spread the name of The Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains further!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

My Top Authors

I love reading. Coming to stories, I love the Ramayana and the Mahabharata and some other such fantastic stories but in the present century writings, I am an avid reader of novels, most of them fiction. I have read many good books and here are few comments about my best ten authors.

10. Charles Dickens

Author of my first novel, "Great Expectations." That is all. I still remember from this book that one should not put the knife but fork in mouth while eating. Apart from that I haven't been much into his novels. But I love his "Christmas Carol" too. 

9. Arthur Hailey

I read his book called "Flight into Danger" when I was bedridden due to Jaundice. A small but really beautiful book. Then I ended up reading two more books, "Detective" and "Strong Medicine" of the same author which were intriguing in their own way!

8. Allistair Maclean

I read his "Night without End" while travelling in a crowded train on a hot May morning. Believe me or not, I was shivering. The book is based on incidents that take place in Greenland. His style of writing is not something out of ordinary but he just makes us look through the hero's eyes and doesn't bring out of the scenes.

7. Alfred Hitchcock

I do not remember how many times I read his "Three Investigators- Secret of the Silver Spider" book at once. Such was the brilliance of the book. The "simple but dangerous" adventures of the juvenile detectives were just amazing.

6. Jeffrey Archer

Not a KANE more, not an ABEL less is necessary to describe about this author. But my favourite part of his writings is that he knows where to be humorous, sarcastic and serious. His books are almost always smooth flowing and cool to read.

5. Sidney Sheldon

The protagonist is always the scapegoat...we feel sorry for him..sorry it is mostly 'her' right!! But this man is too deep. Everything is too intense. From executing violence to expressing love, he does a lot of research I guess. Sometimes the suspense in his novels is so out of imagination.

4. Dan Brown

The scientist, professor, doctor, federal agent what not. He seriously does his research. More than the novel, the information about various things ranging from Monalisa painting to fluorescent bacteria to Dante Alighieri, I learned more history and science than I did in some of my classes!!

3. Amish Tripathi

He is the "Indian Rick Riordan." Like Dan Brown, he does his research. Excellent research. The way he mixed fiction with Indian Mythology, History and Geography is just mind blowing. He answered many questions about the system in India. I would suggest people to read his "Shiva Trilogy". Just brilliant it is!!

2. J.K Rowling

Yes. The waiting is over. She is on the list. She should be on top. No doubt about that. Forget her other books. The Harry Potter series is worth a thousand other novels. What's not in that new world? Humour?Adventures? Values? I have to give atleast seven pages to write about those seven brilliant books!! One of the best books I have read. This series is for everyone. All must read this series. That's it. No more discussions!!

1. Suryadevara Ramamohana Rao

I put at the first place the man who wrote about what I wanted to become. How to succeed with simple common sense. What it is to be an entrepreneur. Stories about people who have come to the best position from the worst possible position. I am so inspired by his book, "Trinetrudu" that I started eating less salt after reading his book. This is probably the best fiction book I have ever read!!

These are the top ten. There are many other good writers who I encountered. each with a style of their own. A super style that too!!  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Frontiers in Physics

Okay..there was this physics conference that took place in my university three days back. This is the first proper conference in a single field that I attended. I actually went to the conference because I felt little pity for them since they suspended our classes so we can attend the seminars. For the professors, it was a routine conference with all those nonsense discussions, un-laughable jokes and all! But for me it was an experience. A good one overall!

Apart from the lunch, I liked few talks too!! Though I either drifted off to some thoughts or to sleep during few talks, those I could successfully listen to, without sleeping were ones involving Optical Waveguide arrays, Semiconductor nano structures, Halogenation in nano structure development, Spintronics and Phenomenon of Extra Dimensions. I used to wake up when I hear clapping. I tried hard not to feel sick when a student of my class asked doubts which made no sense to me( but the speaker says,"very good doubt"). If the seminars were bad, the poster session was a disaster. Out of the twenty or so posters put up, I was familiar with one or two and I could only understand the meaning of the titles of hardly 15 posters. The matter below the title, I think it was written either in Mandarin or Spanish with occasional English!!

Lunch was brilliant. Did not miss it. The curd they served need extra mentioning. All three days it was good. I am bored of three continuous days of Gulab Jamun. Strangely, I did not sleep in the any of the talks which were after lunch( maybe I did not listen to the talks!)
My ID Card- I was tempted to put a photo of the lunch coupon 

However, few talks like those about tracking devices in the Large Hadron Collider(LHC), results of LHC, The dark Universe, and most importantly the talk about patterns in Ultra Thin Sheets were outstanding only because I understood them. The talk about Thin sheets is the best because I participated in discussions too! 

Clearly, I could understand almost nothing in the conference. But I now know what areas is research happening. What the demands of the world are. I also now know how best to enjoy a conference- by bunking!!

Apart from all this I felt happy because I was able to interact. Not only with professors but also with my seniors, research scholars and my friends. A longer session for such interactions was the only missing pepper in the soup. My friends and I used this conference as a platform where we can meet people who enjoy research and to learn from them. For now, I am in a stage in which I can enjoy good jokes, tea and food! That's all. Lastly, the social awareness speech given by the chairperson showed what role teachers can play in creating a good student! Thanks to all those Frontiers in Physics!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

What Sachin and Federer can learn from Leander Paes

Two giants in the sporting world! One of them praised as "God of Cricket." The other is considered the best among "Gentlemen" by the world! This reflects the amount they gave to the world. But somehow, the respect and the credit they deserve is not being given to them! Definitely, there is no questioning their service to the respective sports. I can strongly say that Sachin Tendulkar and Roger Federer have played a major part in publicising Cricket and Tennis. Is it because they are out of form right now that they are being criticised? Or are they out of form because of the lessened respect?

It is true in Sachin's words that it is the fans that is the reason for a player's success. But one very important thing is that these "fans" are very fickle minded. You win, you are a deity in a temple. You don't win, you are a burnt effigy. Age is just a factor. People wouldn't have forced Sachin to retire from ODI cricket had he scored three more centuries after his hundredth. People wouldn't be crticising Federer about his reflexes diminishing had he been continuing in first place after his 7th Wimbledon! Ironically, it is the same fans who led to their success that are now an albatross around their necks!!

This brings in into the discussion one more great Tennis player who was never in the limelight and from who these two can learn to play devoid of any thought about publicity. Leander Paes has always been an excellent player for India, winning consistently including the bronze medal in Tennis at the Atlanta Olympics 1996. He was like many other good players, never given enough respect he deserved. But he did not stop winning. Pairing with various people, ranging from Martina Navratilova to Rohann Bopanna, he kept moving on not flinching a bit about the publicity he wanted. Just recently, he has added another Grand Slam to his name and I am sure he cares two hoots about how many people acknowledged his victory. Let us not discuss why he was not as much popular but we shall stay focused on the sport and the love for it.

The love is always there anywhere. Even a child going to a coaching academy has that love for the sport. But these three and many more are the ones who never lost the love for the game. The thirst of winning. The killer-instinct!! It is on our part not to destroy that feeling! We are not going to tell H.E Sri Abdul Kalam to stop involving in science and research just because he has become old! These people have given us a lot. Entertained us a lot. We got a lot to brag about because of them. Not to forget the sweet memorabilia. Let the sportsman spirit continue!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Together, we shall split!!

A nice evening on 30 July this year, as I was enjoying a street play, I heard clapping, slogan shouting etc.., and later when I knew that the reason was the government announcing its decision for Telangana, I was very happy. It was mainly because I wanted the long political drama to end. Also, I have seen the agitation for separation of Telangana and felt that it had a good reason. But I was wrong!

All I can think now about the Telangana agitation is the political ruckus that was created and people falling for it (including me I guess!!). Ask a random person involved in this separation movement why exactly he wants a separate state, you will get a reply saying, "I will get a job easily if there is a separate state!!." How foolish! Yet somehow, I still supported the movement because I felt there was nothing wrong in being separate. After all, siblings stay separately but are close right! No, I am wrong again!

At the time of independence, India had 562 princely states. Seriously, I cannot imagine these kings considering brotherhood! What purpose is division going to serve? Pakistan was divided from India. This division involved big time violence and mass murders. What is the result, there is no peace between India and Pakistan even today! Will Telangana develop if it becomes a separate state? No. Even if it does it would have happened without division too! This "development" is an instrument used by politicians on us to again, fool us, to lure us.

Recently, I have been to the coastal side of Andhra Pradesh and I saw people agitating for a combined state. And not one politician was there. It was only the people who wanted the state to be united who took the initiative. Yes, let ask ourselves the question, why to separate? Is there a language/culture difference? No. Moreover, if separated, Telangana will lose something very important for growth. The sea coast! If development is the only reason for separation, then we shall concentrate on development. From Srikakulam in the far East to Adilabad in the far North to Anantapur in the far south. We can do that together too!!

Finally, I would say politicians are successful in diverting us to this issue!
C'mon we should all be worrying about Food Security, Economy and Defense instead of such silly things!!
And hey look at the map of Andhra Pradesh.... it is good this way only!!! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

As the Sun sets...it rises!!

About 100 years back, after the first world war, the currency of one of the world's great empires tumbled. So much that it led to hyperinflation and the banks in that country had to manufacture currency notes worth 500 million!! Then one person came... he again changed the situation in that country. He is Adolf Hitler and the country is Germany. The German Mark at that time was so useless that they were used to tend fire in fireplaces and used as papers for notice boards etc.. I don't know if he really revived the economy of Germany or not..but after Hitler's entry, maybe poor economy was a very small problem for Germany!!

Of course, it is not the same situation now in India but definitely, it is a problem which cannot be ignored by the common Indian! Of course one can be in the hope that in dark times, there is light ahead! But that would be more of a "Gambler's Fallacy." C'mon we are a country, not a Casino! What we need at this time is self evolution. Recently, our Prime Minister also made a similar remark saying we should lessen our petrol consumption, save our gold (I would suggest we save Onions rather than Gold!!). Though I don't like his giving such statements this late after the opposition's criticism, I definitely agree with him.

We can't expect some one to come and resurrect our falling economy. It has to come from within us. The problem comes as our rupee goes out of the country and is not circulated within. There is nothing wrong in being Indian and buying Indian. If you want to buy clothes, get them from Pantaloons...you want branded, go for Van Heusen or Peter England (yes that's Indian!!). Go for Idea or Airtel instead of Vodafone. Go for McDowell's No.1 instead of Royal Stag!! And for God's sake stop eating those unhealthy chips and French Fries. Buy two wheelers from Hero Motocorp or from Bajaj,TVS. For four wheelers there is TATA motors and Maruti ( no problem here for Mileage!!)

The more the rupee is kept with ourselves, the better. Otherwise, we might have to adopt a foreign currency!! Heyy don't worry about FDI...no one is interested to invest in India which is in one way good for us. We should learn from this and be more independent. For example, we shouldn't be in a position to import fertilisers and aeroplanes from other countries! We should have our own factories and workshops manufacturing atleast the basic things. 
This is the self evolution I am talking about. Young people should take initiative to start such entrepreneurships without thinking much about the risks. Only then can India produce more Narayanamurthys, Deepak Parekhs, Chanda Kocchars and Kiran Shaws!!
But one thing. The Foreign investments are not as bad as they are being portrayed. On the contrary, if industries and manufacturing plants are set up in the country, it would be really good for the country. The rupee does not necessarily stay only in the country. We need not be conservative; nor communistic. We need to think first about filling millions of stomachs!!

Remember. The sun rises as it sets. But one should understand that it is not the sun which is going down or rising up. It is us, the Earth that is rotating!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A king is a king anywhere!!

It was early March this year, the last of the financial months.But in the language of tennis, it is the time when the first of the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, the "Fifth Grand Slam", the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells is played. More importantly, this year it was the event in which Rafael Nadal after an injury which kept him away from Tennis for around eight months( of course he won two small events before this but this is a Masters 1000!!). And he has been undefeated on hard courts ever since, winning five out of the seven Masters 1000 tournaments played so far this year three of them being on hard courts. His win-loss is 52-3. Out of these three loses, two came on clay courts and one on grass court.
I think it is time we take back the title, "Clay Court Specialist" we have given him.
A deeper look into his statistics.
Nadal after winning US Open 2010 

Nadal has played in 17 Grand Slam finals so far out of which he has won 12 with eight of them being on a clay court. Fine. This makes 47 percent of his finals. He is yet to lose a grand slam final on clay. So more than 50 percent of his grand slam finals have been played on a non-clay court. The rest of the 9 finals, 56 percent were played on grass court and the rest 44 percent on hard courts.
It has been 9 years since Nadal won his first grand slam. Let us divide the nine years into two halves. First: 2005-2008 and the second: 2009-2013. In the first half, his clay court grand slam finals share is 57 and in the second half it drops down to 40 percent. From 2009 to present he has won seven grand slams, 58 percent of his total grand slams.
In the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments too he has an impressive record of reaching 14 finals on non-clay courts winning 8 of them. And wait, his olympic gold was on a hard court!! And please do not ask about grass courts. Only one major event is played every year on that surface and there is no Masters 1000 played on a grass court!
His achievements on clay surface undoubtedly makes him the greatest clay court player in history. He has 42 titles overall on clay courts and 8 grand slams on clay court and at a single grand slam, a feat which no one even dream of. However, he also has 14 titles on hard courts and 3 on grass courts. He also holds many other records which prove his quality of tennis on any surface.
While Nadal is not at all a contender in the GOAT race compared to Federer according to me, he has however, definitely proven himself a very good player on any surface.
He is called "The King of Clay". Now, he is off to show that a king is a king anywhere and everywhere!!
Vamos Rafa!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gandhiji's Idea of Independence..Mine!

Gandhiji said India would have attained real independence only when a girl roams freely on any Indian street at any time!! No, I am not going to challenge this statement but wait, I want to assure that nobody, boys or girls are able to step out into the "Night Street." Actually this is a very healthy issue, considering the fact that people are afraid to go out late in the night and are getting a good six to eight hour sleep everyday!!
Why I made this statement, is because of a strange or better put it "the strangest event of my life" that happened to me late in the night in the capital city of the state with highest literacy rate in our country!! But hey don't worry, India is overall quite a safe place to live in!! 

Not a watch dog but a street dog
I had to board a train early in the morning one day in this high literacy city. So I was in the railway station the previous night itself. I wanted to experience the 'footpath' life. So, I went out into the city. As I was walking on the 'Mahatma Gandhi' road, a person came to me and asked me to come to his room which was nearby (he pointed not towards something residential!) and sleep there the entire night. When I said no, he tried convincing me for a long time and finally left.
I could have left the matter there but I felt like Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes and started following him. Of course he shook me off! Who he is? What is his profession? Don't ask me!
Then I continued my walk along the road. Now, two youths on a bike stopped beside me and asked for money!! I didn't give any!! They asked my phone. I said I had none. Maybe they were unarmed because they left me unharmed.
This time I felt a little nervous because two very strange events were simultaneous.
Hey the rhyming was spontaneous!! 
As I started walking back towards the railway station, I was approached by a guy who was dressed in the oddest possible way( I better not describe the colour combination or the pattern of his dressing!!). Now, I was ready for another assault but the guy asked for the address of the primary bus station. It was just opposite to the railway station so I showed him the way and calmly came back to the station and waited for my train till morning.
Now my point is, though nothing happened to me, the experience made me worry about the safety in our country at night. You can ask, 'Why should one roam on streets at night?' In fact, this is a valid point because the police at night have to but suspect everybody. It happened so that one day few of my friends were locked in a cell for an entire night on suspicion grounds. They were roaming on the streets just like that and couldn't give a valid reason to the patrol men.
But then, true independence doesn't mean roaming freely on night streets with no purpose. Gandhiji meant that one should mind his own business and not disturb others, even in late hours of the day when crime is easier to commit. Only then, India is independent.

A little late, but
Happy Independence Day

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sincerely - A Civil Servant

Brothers and Sisters of India,

We come from your middle, only in the hope to serve you well. This, we did though we graduated with a cool degree from even cool institutes like IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, IISc etc only because we couldn't see the sufferings of so many of our fellow country mates. We could have gotten away with a nice job in a huge MNC and in places of our choice in the world! But we wanted to serve you and stayed back. Amidst heavy competition, we made it all the way to become a civil servant.

In the training we were what is "India". People from different states, cultures and from different upbringings come together to get trained to become one!! We were not trained at our home place so that we mingle other people. We are all from various backgrounds.. rich, poor, some engineers, some scientists, some doctors but all with a common aim which is to be patriotic!! We are taught how to behave, how not to behave, we learn how to make friends and most importantly how to be honest. We loved this and are very enthusiastic to serve our Indians. We know we are one of the country's most respected professionals and we step out into the real world to keep up that name.

But, once outside we are met by a hostile environment rather than the friendly and cheerful one we had in our training. So what. We are powerful and use that power sincerely. We are rewarded well for our sincerity only that the awards are received posthumously by our kin. A noble officer was burnt alive for opposing the oil mafia in Mumbai. Another officer who was brave enough to stand up against the sand mafia has been stamped down by the "Rowdy Raj" to an extent that she is now knocking the doors of the assistants of politicians to show mercy!! She was suspended on some stupid religious grounds and the same Rowdy raj which promised no political rowdyism is backing the sand mafia and wants no IAS officers in their state. Shame!!
The central government keeps quiet because it wants support from this state government!! Thank You!
And sincere officers being threatened, kidnapped and killed by the maoists is well known!!

A civil servant's job is not high incomes, Z category security and high profile dinner meetings and it is definitely not as a cakewalk as it may seem to be!! Though we are an independent power, we are constantly controlled by the Legislative. It's a highly dangerous job in which we have to take every step carefully. And God knows about our personal life! Yet, we will bravely move forward. We will do our duty because that is our aim. That is our breath. We don't care if no government, no opposition, no media supports us.All we want is your support!! We apologise for few unfaithful servants but nevertheless we will move forward with a little support from you.

Always at your service,
A Civil Servant