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

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Oslo Accords..off the records!!

The Israel-Palestine war is as old as the India-Pakistan war. The names rhyme too! Well, thanks to the British, who before leaving both the regions did a unjust division. Division of India was much better than that of Palestine. The anti-semitic world (well, not once, but many crusades took place didn't they?!) was very hostile for the Jews back then. One cannot blame them for trying to have a state for Jews. Nor can one blame the Palestinians for wanting to have the place they were living for themselves. Wrong place probably! The Jews should have chosen Canada or Alaska. But again, Jerusalem is the birth place of the Abrahamic religions (Zionist things!). Right place probably!

Sons of Abraham!

I heard that the actual conflict started with communal clashes in the region after a Jewish guard accidentally killed an Arab. The Arabs then killed and looted. Both the groups started stealing horses and other valuable items from each other. It took both the sides 45 years after partition to sit down for a peace treaty, the Oslo Accords, born in Oslo, signed in the White House lawns with Bill Clinton as the witness. A Nobel peace prize was given away to hype it more even though the peace treaty never talked about the real problem of a Palestine state and the position of Jerusalem. Result? The Jordan prince flies his plane over Jerusalem. That's it. And the Israeli prime minister gets assassinated.
Oslo Accords off the records.

But the present war has not got much to do with the Israel-Palestine conflict. The Hamas, though elected democratically in the Gaza strip has gone to the extremes in targeting Israel. Unfortunately, Israel is ready for any attack and is successfully defending itself from the thousands of rockets being fired into Israel and has built a "Iron shield dome." Just because Israel is able to defend itself does not mean it should remain quiet and not counter strike. Life is very difficult when one has to run for cover whenever they very often hear the familiar wail of the siren warning them of a rocket strike. Schools, banks, weddings, markets, offices. Everywhere its the same. Life for the Israelis is full of  siren cries.
rockets are frequently fired into Israel as far as Tel Aviv

The Hamas which controls the Gaza strip does nothing but fire rockets into Israel. As a result Israel controls supplies into this place. Even Egypt, once ruled by the Muslim brotherhood is taking all measures possible to stop supply of rockets to the Gaza strip through tunnels. A wall of steel is being built underground! The densely populated Gaza is thus suffering from hunger, poverty and unemployment. So, they retaliate and again fire rockets into Israel. Back to square one. The overcrowded Gaza strip is easily affected by air strikes. Life for Palestinians in Gaza is full of hunger or agony cries.

Yet, the Hamas is reluctant to accept a ceasefire agreement proposed by Egypt. The Hamas supporters fired rockets from Egypt as soon as the truce was announced by Egypt. The rockets by Hamas are targeted at any Israeli, Israel warns the civilians before air strikes. And the Hamas is using humans as shields?! Irony is, the media and few political parties in India have made this issue a religious one, thus supporting Hamas and them using human shields! The parliament is stalled over international issues and not on internal issues. I am sure this happens no where in the world except in India. As the prime minister of Israel has rightly put it, "Israel uses missiles to protect its citizens and Hamas uses civilians to protect their missiles."

I guess the Iraq and Syria crisis has led to the cut off of the rocket supply to Hamas from Iran. Whatever it is, innocent people especially children are dying. Hamas is to be blamed for this more than Israel. Why not trade rockets for food?? You give a three year old a cookie, he will eat it. Give him a gun, he will still try to eat it. So, better concentrate on hunger.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rail Budget...SENSEX falls!!

The new, techno powered government has extended its arm over the railways too. Today's rail budget seemed a very light and safe one where the government justified its move to increase fares (I agree. The other government did it last year too, no one protested) and then introduced new things to the railways, ones which don't consume lots of funds. Not many new lines. I guess the dream project, the diamond quadrilateral requires quite some money. And, the Indian railways do not have any!! For every one rupee earned, 94 paise was spent leaving a surplus of only 6 paise! Not a lot of money I guess.

The BJP-led government hasn't forgotten that e-governance has been their main agenda in the election campaign. e-ticketing to support 7200 tickets per minute is good and the irctc website now would be lesser appalling as 1,20,000 users can access it at the same time. Well, Brahma Vishnu Shiva have listened to your prayers, irctc users. But I was under the impression that irctc survived on the money it got on cancellation charges!! What now? And, wifi in A1 category stations! wow, I stay close to Secunderabad station. Hoping it is an A category station, I am going to sit on the railway platform with my laptop whenever I need internet. There are plug points on the platforms. So much at five rupees for the platform ticket, which again could be purchased online!! Woah!

Chanakya was quoted. The sweet news that an equivalent to the entire population of Australia is travelling in trains everyday in India has been reassuring actually. Delhi and Mumbai benefit and the "telugu twins," Andhra Pradesh and Telangana get some railway committee set up. We have been hearing about cleaner trains since my childhood days. Has to come from within!! Of course clean trains will run on profits. No doubt! The surplus is very less and there are dream projects on their minds! We shall see how it goes and how the budget betters in the coming years. I remember sensex gaining 1200 points after the railway budget few years ago and today, it fell by over 500 points, the worst in many days.

While much was not expected in the railway budget (seriously, after fare hikes??), I guess the removal of 5400 unmanned railway crossings, paperless charts, milk transport, internships for students and most importantly, ultrasonic track problem detector are the highlights of this budget. Overall, I feel this is a simple budget which focused on technical aspects which maybe the reason of less investments. Now, Indian railways should start chugging towards profits. Looking forward for the financial budget.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


 Who is it this time? Its a nice coincidence that Djokovic and Kvitova were the champions three years ago. The next year, Roger was the champion and Bouchard the hunior champion.
Of course there are two other possibilities but I don't have the pictures of those possibilities!!
I am very upset that Rafael Nadal could not make it. It definitely is sad. Its not always that we might have a chance to see Rafa and Genie Bouchard at the Wimbledon ball!! Tough luck
Nadal should have taken the care he is taking now about his health six years ago and he would have had 17 Grandslams by now. Anyway, U.S open suits him the best after French open. So, hoping he would win there.
Anyway, I hope the matches today and tomorrow will be good ones. They should be.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cricket!! It belongs to India

Cricket was born in 1300 and India entered the cricketing scene in 1930s. Ever since, we forgot there are other sports. Of course, we rule cricket and created a God for ourself. Speaking of God, now, shall we start the third world war if the Archbishop of the diocese of Spain said he did not know who Hanuman is!! C'mon, Maria Sharapova is just a famous model and a publiciser of her own sweets and some times plays tennis, very good tennis by the way. What is wrong if she doesn't know who Sachin Tendulkar is! Of course, it would be only good if athletes knew atleast about the greats in other sports. After all, sports is their field.

Cricket belongs to India. Well, I really should say India belongs to cricket. How many of us Indians knew that Somdev Devvarman lost in the first round at Wimbledon this year. Oh yeah! Devvarman is a tennis player from India! What if Sharapova said that she did not know who Leander Paes(by the way, a tennis player from India!!) was. What would the twitter account holders from India do? Why only cricket?

Now, talking about cricket, there are what? A ten countries playing proper cricket? And the Board of Control for Cricket in India(BCCI) apparently mistook I for International. Seriously, N.Srinivasan, the chariman of International Cricket Council?? Is ICC a shelter home for those who were kicked out of BCCI?? Maybe now Chennai Super Kings players can play for England or Australia if they don't make it to the Indian cricket team. And Rajasthan players can forget their dream of even playing cricket.

India, with over three crore Gods spanning over various fields, failed to create Gods in various sports. Or atleast more gods in cricket atleast. Agreed, Sharapova was too blunt in saying she didn't know who Sachin is. But this is not how she should remember who Sachin is. "That guy who has angry fans" or "That legend who holds most of cricketing record"??
Certainly and unfortunately, the first one might hold here!! Sad for Sachin!