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

Friday, February 27, 2015

Most Discussed Apart From...!!

In one end of the world, there is the most friendly war going on, the cricket world cup: I don't know why football has so many fans!! People seriously do not understand the beauty of cricket. They just don't. Well, Indians have always been ultra smart and they understood the fineness of cricket and struck to it! In an other part of the world, in a small region called Haryana, there are stupid attempts of worsening an already worse education system and also to raise a dead river. Well, I guess Haryana is quite well irrigated. Maybe they want to help other states too. They better think about the unification of rivers.

Anyway, amidst all the excitement due to cricket and anger due to stupidity by few Sanghs, there is one event which everybody is talking about. Probably for the first time in my life, I am seeing the Annual Budget which the finance minister proposes get this much attention. Be it the land acquisition bill, the increasing growth rate or the markets, this budget probably is the most talked one in recent times. It got so much talking about it that I read people wanting it to be like the budget of 1991 which changed the fate of the country. So much attention. That is why, fingers crossed!

There obviously is a lot of decentralisation by the central government and it is evident in the 14th Finance commission. Few things I like very much in this commission is that there was discussion about increase in forest cover and the economic benefits of it. Also, the breakage of funds to Panchayats, Municipalities and corporations. Especially, separate fund for disaster management. Now, states need not beg the center for money when there is disaster. It is good that states like Karnataka and Arunachal Pradesh are receiving more. There is a lot of poverty there. The northern Karnataka is horrible and Arunachal Pradesh is vulnerable. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are rich.


No body wants to give away land. We are no Vinobha Bhave. Boeing had to abandon a project which might employ a lot of people just because people sat for a dharna about a small strip of land. Then there are these NGOs. Moreover, the compensation still remains the same and consent of owners is not taken only when it is a defense or nuclear or rural project. Apart from this, almost everything else remains the same. The only thing that is worrisome about the new act is the "social infrastructure" part. It would be pretty scary if this means real estate! That is a demon. The new ordinance is pretty much similar to the old one. I don't know why Anna had to hold such a huge rally!! Maybe there is some fault with the act, else why would he stage a dharna?

The railway budget was designed in a light way, though the markets went down. But just announcing new trains will not do. This is a wise and more importantly, non controversial rail budget. This makes the financial budget even more interesting. As Jim O'Neill says, if the expectations are met, markets would rally! The entire nation is looking forward to how the budget satisfies the share markets and the vegetable markets!!


In the prime minister's words, "Khela aamir ka phal nahi hai, khela garibon ka phal hain" It would be fascinating to see how the finance ministry balances the equation. The economic survey shows good work and its continuance. But then, it is done by the finance ministry. Personally, I have only one wish, economy boost should not be at the cost of ecology. It would be nice if the good work is truly continued.


Looking forward for comments on the budget to the experts and the critics tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Well, I wanted to write this after the Guy from Karachi lost his chance to blast the firecrackers yet again last Sunday. But I waited for a week just in case to see how we perform against the strongest team at present in the world. Well, as I guessed it. "Strategy!!" I am telling you, Dhoni would skin the players alive (I am very sure he does for Ashwin and Raina) if they do not perform. But for the last few months, the average performance of Indian team has gone down. I will tell why.

Keep going!

Remember the Champions Trophy 2013? It started off as the final edition of Champions Trophy and that there would be no such tournament in the future as it might be replaced by world test championship like earlier. India never won the Champions Trophy singly and especially, Dhoni did not have that feather in his cap. So, naturally, India, which struggled until then, won the tournament, that too in England!! And the hero, Shikar Dhawan!! Shikar was on my hate list until recently because I was shocked that such an under performer was selected for a the mega event. Now, I am happy that he performed. Not against teams like U.A.E but against strong contenders. That is fanatism my boy. Keep performing well, Dhawan. I think you like to perform well in big tournaments don't you?

The strategy, Indian team has failed until now. There would have been a lot of expectation on India to defend the title if not for the recent bad play. Now, we are not at all in the race and we can play without any pressure. Strategy!! This is for the sake of the ICC chairman's son-in-law. The stakes are raised high and that is it. A gift for Mama!

A repeat will be nice!!
Speaking about the India-Pakistan match, it is a disappointment! When there are greats like Roger Federer too watching, the match should not be so one sided. It was worse than the 2011 world cup semi final match at Mohali, though Harbhajan's actions are worth mentioning. India-Pak match should never be that simple. It should be as interesting and trend-setting as the 2003 world cup group match. I am just lucky that I saw that Sachin's innings. It was just then that I started watching cricket. That is one of my best memories ever.

It is good that India almost topped the pool-B. That would mean we might have bright chances of making it to the semi finals. Once we are in the semis, Rohit Sharma will take charge. In the finals, we have Dhoni anyway. So, cool!
But one thing which I did not like in the team is the jersey! There is no tricolour on the jersey, except maybe the collar! That made me angry quite a bit! The Indian cricket team and especially, Dhoni, the one who gave national duty a priority over personal endeavours knows that the fans are very volatile. I am sure they will keep the fans cool.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The Exit Polls were Definitely Wrong!

That same Today's Chanakya predicted a massive victory for the BJP in the loksabha elections in 2014, a prediction which everybody laughed at, at first and then were surprised to know that were true. That same survey agency which predicted 50 seats for AAP in the Delhi elections for which people again laughed. I don't believe in predictions in any field, I accept only projections. The stress here is on how people laugh at things they don't want to hear! And yes, as the BJP leaders said, the exit polls were absolutely wrong. They have predicted ten times the seats the party achieved. Wrongly!

Well done Aam Aadmi Party!! This is a much deserved slap on the face of the BJP which is turning arrogant over the victories in various states. No wave can stay for long, it eventually has to go back and join all the remaining waves, even a wave as huge as a tsunami! Everybody is celebrating the victory of the Aam Aadmi Party. It is a fresh force. If you look at Kejriwal, one finds their next door neighbour. He reached the masses. BJP could not. Now, Modi, the face of BJP should go back and introspect, not only the reasons for such massive rejection, even in a small province like Delhi but also what the people of the country are expecting of their "Pradhan Sevak." Now, that the anti incumbency has already started, it would be nice to see the center concentrating only on the good governance it promised and not allow fascist forces to tarnish any good name achieved.

A month or so ago, Shekar Gupta wrote in the India Today, wondering why Narendra Modi, a man who loves to stay on the headlines always, allowed others to occupy the position, bringing him down. Expressing dismay at the construction of a temple for him is a good start but it would be nice if the Prime Minister of a diverse 125 crore population talks about non secular actions like the Ghar Wapsi. Ridiculous claims about "ancient" science, religion and nationality, I feel find no place in the hearts of real nationalists! Speak out your "mann ki baat" Mr.Prime Minister! This time, think about all Indians, you need not please the bhakts. Please us! People like me are in large numbers who supported you. Not looking at your caste or religion but your impressive career in Gujarat. We even did not care about blunders!

Of course, the BJP might end up winning the Bihar assembly elections later this year. But it does not matter. It is proven. Now there is an alternative force. That too a nationalist one, though socialistic and anarchistic in nature. It is quite clear that the average voter now cannot get polarised at all. As the nation gets more educated, I look forward to a day, when the only birth right is Swaraj, freedom.The BJP might have won the elections in the last millennium on religious lines, but not in the 21st century. This time they have won only on the promise of deliverance, good governance and not mere temple construction. The Aam Aadmi Party too has won only because of that. People I guess are tired of criticising each other caste-wise, religion-wise. That is the reason why congress was wiped out completely. The same reason why the BJP slumped in Delhi. Kiran Bedi is the other reason!

Anyway, I have always been skeptical about a middle class dogmatic and media sensationalised power like the Aam Aadmi Party. My fears came true last February when Arvind Kejriwal ji became over ambitious and set out to become the Prime Minister of the country. I even asked for the return of my ten rupees which I paid for membership in the early days of AAP. I did not get them back and had to remain a member. I am an Aam Aadmi and I hope that AAP delivers on its promises and more importantly, stay honest for years to come. This is why the BJP was elected at the main stage and the AAP in Delhi.

Voters have installed the leaders they wanted!!
Now, the aam aadmis and the chaiwallahs look forward to these "good governance" parties to work together, well. For a better nation! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ten days to go!

Just play three matches well and you could be the world champion. Probably this is what the Indian cricket team is thinking while the other teams are really busy honing their talents. The world cup format is in that way. The quarter finalists are predictable. From there on, it is just a matter of three games. If Dhawan is dropped from the team for these three matches, that is it. We sail smoothly. The 1999 and 2003 world cup formats of super six is really interesting and nice to follow, unlike the 2007 one. But the 2011 and the present formats are little annoying. It is easy, that is bad!


While the home team sentiment makes me support India for laying hands on the world cup, apart from India, I have the two finalists on my mind. Hosts New Zealand and South Africa. It is not only because they have talented players. It is because these two seem like a "team." Very sportive, encouraging captains and talent, talent everywhere is what defines them. More than this, they are entering the stage with a killer instinct unlike many other countries including India.

The other possibilites, West Indies, forget it right away, they did not select two of their best all rounders for the world cup and their best bowler opted out. The once reigning champion, I don't understand why West Indies cricket should be in shambles though they are better off than many other cricketing nations. That past glory is missing and West Indian cricket is now suitable only for twenty twenty cricket.
Sri Lanka. With no Malinga, they can only hope to not play at places like Hobart, where Kohli murdered a nice bowler like Lasith himself. The only motivation for them would be to get the trophy for two of the all time greats who ever played cricket who are playing in their last world cup.
England. Does Eon Morgan have enough strategies and targets against teams in particular? Does Moen Ali play against any other team than India?? Poor leadership.
Pakistan. Seriously? Who will win the world cup for Pakistan? Sarfraz? Shehzad? Forget the hopes of semifinals even.
Finally, India. Sure, India would have won had they had a little change in the squad. No, I am not saying that Yuvraj or Gambhir or Zaheer should be included, they are not playing well. All I am saying is, only if Shikar Dhawan was not selected for the team, I would have placed some of my bets on India.

To the team...Proteas!!

That aside, the South African and New Zealand teams are like "teams." With a goal and zeal to win. Talent, yes. Be it ABD, Faf, Amla, McCullum, Williamson or Quinton, they are all in big form. But, thing is the South African team reminds me of the 2003 world cup team. They were even better players than this team but lost it out. No wonder, "the chokers." They always have great players and I would not be surprised to see Keiron Adams play for South Africa ten years down the line. It is again the same with New Zealand also. They some how always makes it to the semi finals but lose it from there on. I love the 1999 and 2003 world cup formats, the best so far and this world cup, I do not like the format. It does not bring out talent. Anyway, though deep in my heart I would appreciate it if India won, I would really love to see a South Africa- New Zealand final.

P.S: I have not written anything about Australia because they are definitely going to make it to the semi final and have many advantages like good players and home crowd support. Let's see!