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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Destroyer of Evil is Descending on Earth Tonight!

The female Goddess of the Shakti cult in the forms of Amba Devi and Durga Devi is descending on earth tonight to mark the beginning of the illuminated lunar fortnight.

Today is the  the new moon day called Amavas and the last and most important day of dark lunar fortnight called Pitru Paksha which belongs to dead ancestors of all Hindus who pay homage to their forefathers.(Pitru)  As this fortnight has everything to do with the dead it is termed inauspicious and no crucial decisions are taken during this period.

From tomorrow Navratri festival in worship of Amba Devi will be celebrated in mostly western India with singing and dancing every night till late for nine days. This form of dancing is called Dandiya Raas.

From the sixth evening of this fortnight Durga Puja will start. Goddess Durga, the most powerful form of the shakti cult, is worshipped in India in terms of 'Durga Puja' during Sept-Oct every year. This puja covers five days including the day of installing the idol. It is the biggest festival in Eastern India.

Durga Devi is the destroyer of all evil forces. In the composite idol consisting of Lakshmi Devi, Saraswati Devi, Lord Ganesha and Lord Kartika there is one image a 'danava' or demon being killed by Goddess Durga. Devotees around India worship her throughout the year calling out on her to conquer evil which manifests itself in numerous forms.
On the last day of Durga Puja devi idols are taken to rivers or lakes and immersed amidst joy and fulfillment.

For 2011, Durga Puja starts on October 2nd that is sasthi or the sixth day of the illuminated lunar cycle when idol is installed. It will continue till 6th that is the Dashami (the tenth day) or Dasera when symbolic forms of evil are ritually burnt amidst joy and togetherness and idols are immersed. For both Navratri and Durga Puja Dasera is the climax moment.

The festivities and celebrations are set to start from tonight till the ushering in of the New Year.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Where Are The Cricket Movies Showing Now Please?

Another bout of cricket movie shows are supposed to be on now in India! Excuse me! Well, just like Bollywood movies cricket has also got reduced to three hour shows thanks to the historic invention of Twenty20 cricket since 2008. More seriously, the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT) tournament has already started and should be in full swing.

But something is missing! Where is the hype and the war cries? Who are playing whom and where? Movie houses not showing the cricket movies? Despite being in the media I am totally oblivious of this!

Feeling guilty I asked a friend today why nothing is said and written about the tournament. The friend burst out in anger, 'What a joke! Do they (Team India) have the right to play such games after the shameless showing in England? They are earning money! Let them earn! Why should we bother?'

I was taken aback. Is this India speaking? A cricket crazy nation suddenly turning its back on 'cricket'?

Anyway, is this good omen for 'cricket'?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tributes to Tiger Pataudi: India’s Great Cricket Captain

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, arguably India’s greatest cricket captain who led India during 1961-75, passed away this evening in a New Delhi hospital after a prolonged and incurable lung disease. He was 70.

Just before he made his debut for the Indian cricket team in 1961 Pataudi met with a car accident and lost vision completely in his right eye. But with great determination and courage he went ahead and played for India till 1975 making 6 centuries and 16 half centuries. After playing only four cricket tests he was made India’s skipper in 1962 at the young age of 21. Though under him India won only 9 out of 46 tests he led India to the first ever series win abroad when India beat New Zealand 3-1 in 1967. Pataudi was known for bold leadership qualities, agility in the field, powerful batting display, all-round abilities and of course, very good looks and posture. He was properly nicknamed ‘Tiger’ by the India cricket fraternity.

Nostalgic memories are rushing to my mind. We never saw him play cricket as television was not even heard of in our region. As little children crazy for cricket we got glued to radio commentaries when India was playing. We used to get excited by his boundaries and comments on his leadership. We saw his pictures in newspapers and were thoroughly impressed by his hero image. We knew that he was blind in one eye, but we were told that his right eye was of marble which we believed sincerely and always scrutinized the pictures for ‘marble eye’ details. Everything combined, Pataudi influenced us greatly and he remained with us as a cricket hero.

After his retirement in 1975 he was not continuously associated with cricket. He did stints now and then as match referee or commentator. Just about a month ago he appeared in an Indian new channel invited to expert comment on Team India’s English nightmare. He still looked majestic, but something seemed to hold him back.

Tiger Pataudi married famous leading lady of Indian cinema of the sixties-seventies, Sharmila Tagore, in 1969 and so he continued to be in media limelight. His son Saif Ali Khan is a top Bollywood (Hindi Film Industry)  hero and his first daughter Soha Ali Khan is also an acclaimed film actor. 

We deeply mourn the demise of a great personality. Tiger Pataudi will remain in our hearts always. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Business and Politics of Not Eating!

Thanks to the crusader against corruption Anna Hazare, fasting or basically not eating has become a hot selling property. Almost everybody ranging from politicians to spiritualists are vying to have a tryst with this phenomenon. The craze is simply explained by the media attention amounting to hype the act of fasting generates. Add on benefits are also apparent where politics take over.The fasting personalities catapult themselves in the national or even international platform for future aspirations.

The state of Gujarat in north western India is presently witnessing fast and counter fast. The Chief Minister of the state, Narendra Modi,  has launched his three day fast at an air conditioned auditorium on a goodwill mission for communal harmony. Justifiably so, since the Chief Minister belonging to the main opposition party at the national level has been ravaged by communal controversies since last nearly ten years with several court cases running. But his actual progress initiatives in the state has got a lot of appreciation from many quarters including even the US. Now this performance factor got the counter fast in action by an ex minister belonging to the ruling party at the national level. Narendra Modi being talked about as the prospective Prime Minister of India post 2014 general elections is reason enough for one or a series of counter fasts.

We have heard about hard working people struggling to make ends meet in trying to eat to live. But now, we have the bizarre pleasure of seeing people spending fortunes in not eating! Why don't they fast at their homes and use the expenditures of not eating to help starving people eat a bit?

NGOs should actively consider holding a national fasting competition for politicians. Entry fee must be the amount equal to or more than the applicant's food bill for his/her entire household for one full year. Top three awards for the best no-eaters should be like this: First Award must be the adoption ten starving beggars, second for adopting seven and third for adopting five starving beggars. Consolation awards consisting of adopting one starving beggar should be awarded to all the participants.

Fast starve and be eerie! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Money! Money! Money! It’s Not Cricket, But Hockey!

The Indian Hockey Team won the inaugural Asian Hockey Championship held in China beating arch rivals Pakistan. And the championship for money started anew.

The Hockey players came home triumphant, but they thought celebrations were not up to the mark—that is say—to the level of cricket triumphs! They were felicitated in a ministerial level function, but mayhem followed. They were given cash incentives of 25,000 rupees each (just above 500 dollars) which the players indignantly rejected. The Indian Hockey federation haplessly cited ‘no money’ as the reason and sent an S0S to the Indian sports minister. Immediately in the afternoon yesterday the minister hiked the amount to 150,000 rupees each along with 2.5 million rupees offered by a state government.

The hockey players were righteously angry. Recently, the world cup cricket winning Indian players were given 20 million rupees each along with many add-on thrown in by many connected with the game. At least give us something that can compare a little with the cricket money, they seemed to say. For a cricket match the cricketers get 200,000 rupees each while the hockey ones get a pathetic 1800 rupees per match! It was after all a question of adding one or two more zeros! While Team India actually makes zeros galore in some series performance or the other the money inflow hardly ebbs. And more importantly, the money-spinning T20 game always lurks around the corner to add the much desired zeros!

One star player of the hockey championship, Yuvraj Valmiki, lives in 16 by 16 slum hutment with no electricity in uptown Mumbai. Now things are rolling for Yuvraj (getting closer to the cricket Yuvraj?) with city corporations, local and regional politicians and many other organizations fully mobilized to help him out.

The Maharashtra government too yesterday announced a cash prize of 1 million rupees to the hockey pauper.

Yes, the sports inequalities in India are just like the income assets and wealth inequalities. But, you must thank only cricket powered by the richest cricket board of the world. The game of cricket sets the precedents to be demanded asked for and desired by the other sports fraternities. If cricketers were not given monumental incentives would the hockey players have succeeded in getting whatever they have got now?

It’s a question of money which is a follower of cricket which is again a follower of money! Don’t be funny and complain! The Championship of Money is only likely to hot up!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Terror Hits National Capital Now!

This morning around 10am a high intensity bomb blast  rocked High Court premises in New Delhi. The blast took place at the peak hours when lawyers and clients throng the gates. So far nine deaths have been confirmed with more than fifty injured. Some sources indicate more than 10 dead and around 45 grievously injured. Casualties are feared to go up.

After Mumbai serial blasts of July 13, 2011 terrorists now have targeted the national capital. As usual there was no intelligence inputs which looks ominous. Besides, there had been another blast, though minor, at the same place in Delhi on May 25, 2011. As if first they experimented the possibility and today carried out the actual plan. Much more experiments and plans could be in the terror pipelines. Our intelligence network must gear up for the challenge. This is not undermine the tremendous progress our intelligence has made to bust terror modules all over India since 2008. Never give the upper hand to the cowards excelling always in killing innocent defenseless people. 

We condemn the terrorist attack, we condemn terror. We must make those cowards to pay the price for their crimes against humanity. Pray for a terror free India.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Cricket: The 'Donkey' Identity!


...Lift your ears,
And blow your horn
To wake up the world
This sleepy morn!"

 Why should former England cricket team skipper Nasser Hussain call some members of Team India donkeys? If Team India has already conceded a total defeat margin of 5-0 and is in the process of making it 10-0 with the five match ODI series starting today, Nasser should have been the happiest cricketer on earth, considering the fact that he himself suffered many ignominies at the hands of India in the past! Well, nobody calls someone a donkey out of happiness or sheer pleasure. If somebody should have called Team India 'donkeys', it should have been the Indian public. One former Indian cricketer nearly did it! He said that Team India did not play or field so badly  to be called donkeys! Meaning if Team India goes on to concede 10-0 total defeat margin then they can be rightfully called donkeys! Right?

It's a horrendous comment, you see, from the point of view of the affected animal. Donkey is a legitimate species of mammals and should not be abused. This applies to all species of animals like dogs cats or pigs and in anger you should never abuse them against humans.

The Donkey Identity has yielded tremendous benefits too for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Team India. The BCCI has been engaged in verbal duel with the Indian Sports Minister who vows to make the 'arrogant' board accountable and answerable under Right to Information Act. Now BCCI can temporarily escape and indulge diligently in a 'national' cause. It's a godsend opportunity for the devastated Team India to run away from the present and take pride in not being donkeys. You see, the 'nationalist' spirit comes overwhelmingly handy in India to encounter or counter many unpleasant situations!


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