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?!!