Showing posts from November, 2011

November Double Tragedy Hits Assam!

The first to dissolve into eternity was the

legendary singer-poet-lyricist-writer-journalist-filmmaker  Dr. Bhupen Hazarika  who passed away at a Mumbai Hospital on November 5, 2011. And now, the celebrated author-social reformer-academician Prof. Indira Goswami, better known by her pen name Mamoni Raisom Goswami, passed away at a Guwahati hospital on November 29, 2011.
Two noted personalities of Assam who have been rooted to the soil and totally committed to the people and the land they belonged to. They have been the torchbearers for Assam carrying themselves with numerous awards and recognitions at the national and international levels. Assam has been identified with their laurels and as their home state. While one got the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the highest honor in Cinema in India, the other got the Jnanpith Award, the highest literary honor of the country. One is dearest ‘Da’ (elder brother) and the other is beloved ‘Baideo’ (elder sister) for all of the Assamese people. Losing t…

India-West Indies One-Day Cricket Series: Start With A Thriller!

The first match of the One-Day Cricket Series between India and West Indies at Cuttack today proved to be a genuine thriller with ups and downs for both the sides. It was a classic low-scoring match on a supposedly flat hatting pitch. Both sides lost nine wickets each and India finally managing win by 1 wicket with 7 balls to spare!
India won the toss and elected to field first. No surprise considering the dew factor that influences results in matches played this season in India. Team India was without the services of Dhoni, Tendulkar, and Yuvraj Singh with Pravin Kumar too left out due to a last minute injury. 
Indian pacers Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Vinay Kumar kept the visitors on a tight leash not giving runs easily and taking wickets at regular intervals. The spinners also contributed with part-timer Suresh Raina taking the vital wicket of Darren Bravo who top scored with 60 for the West Indies. The visitors were finally restricted to 211 for 9 and the target of 212 seemed an ea…

Retail Politics!

Article first published as Retail Politics! on Technorati.

The Indian parliament began its winter session on November 22, 2011 and so far it could not function even for one day. That is say the supreme constitutional body was not allowed to function by the opposition political parties.

First was the issue of the continuous price rise despite the fact the inflation rate had been showing a declining trend for the last three weeks. Then there were issues of bringing back the black money deposited in foreign banks and other regional tangles.

The first week was guillotined on these issues. Before the second week started the Indian Government announced a 51% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) package thus opening up the very attractive multi-brand Indian retail market for international players like Wal-Mart and others. The opposition parties including coalition allies of the government got another sought-after excuse to go on disrupting the Parliament.

The opposition political part…

Cricket: The Truth About Yuvraj Singh!

Article first published as Cricket: The Truth About Yuvraj Singh! on Technorati.
Finally the truth is out about the persistent fitness problems of Yuvraj Singh, the Indian cricket superstar, over the last few months. The truth was revealed to the media by his mother Shabnam Singh. Yuvraj has a golf ball sized tumor in his left lung and was first diagnosed as cancer.
Yuvraj Singh has been a consistent match winner for Team India since 2000 in One Day Internationals (ODI) and in tests since 2003. Whenever he happened to be in full flow scoring big and always quick India won invariably. He is best remembered for his incredible match winning partnership with Kaif in the Natwest Series Final against England in 2002; his six sixes in an over of Stuart Broad in a World Cup T20—2007 match against England again and his man-of-the-tournament performance in World Cup—2011 that India won.

After the World Cup—2011 Yuvraj Singh has been in and out of the Indian team due to fitness pro…

Cricket: An Extraordinary Test! And Fire Engulfs Mumbai On Terror Anniversary.

The third test between India and West Indies, in Mumbai 22-26 November, was nearly abandoned for a listless draw. It ended in a draw alright. But with what a nail-biting and edge-of-the-seat finish that nobody could even dream of. And, the end result was indeed a big boost for Test cricket plagued by frequent boring and drawn matches.  

When West Indies scored a massive 590 batting first the match was very much alive, depending on Indian batting it could have swung either way. But India replied well and ended the third day in a sound position. Then onward the only interest left in the match was Sachin Tendulkar's century of international centuries. The fourth day saw Tendulkar getting out just six runs short of that historic moment. After some hiccups India reached a safe 482 with Ashwin's century. The West Indies saw the day off at 89 for 2. 
The last day's play was anticipated by all to be another reminder of drawn test matches. But what a day it turned out to be with no l…

Cricket: Sachin Tendulkar Misses Hundredth Ton, Ashwin Gets His First!

Since the Cricket World Cup in March-April, 2011 in every cricket international match Sachin Tendulkar features there has been a wild anticipation for his feat of the Century of International Centuries. He has already made 51 Test and 48 one day hundreds so far.
The third test between India and the West Indies played in Mumbai from November 22, 2011 was no exception; rather expectation reached the peak because he was playing in his home ground and on a batting beauty of a pitch. But the agonized wait was set to continue longer. West Indies won the toss and elected to bat. They batted for more than two days on the flattest wicket of the tour and finally wound up for a massive 590. India finished the third day at 281 for 3 with Rahul Dravid completing 13000 runs in Test cricket. The match was set up not for an exciting finish but for Tendulkar’s hundredth hundred. He remained not out on 67 and needed just 33 more runs to complete the huge achievement...
One-Day Squad Announce…

Anti-Corrupt Fascists?

The point is not about your anti-corruption stance. The point is about you going out with knives and daggers to attack the corrupt . The trend is growing increasingly dangerous. The beginning of the species called anti-corrupt fascists?
A stalwart of Indian politics, the present Agriculture Minister and former Chief Minister of Maharashtra and an octogenarian, Sharad Pawar was attacked at a public place in the national capital, New Delhi. The youthful unemployed attacker was supposedly angry at corrupt politicians and was the same person who attacked the sentenced former minister Sukh Ram a few days back.
From the highest level of the nation to the masses, everybody wholeheartedly condemned the assault and expressed shock at this incident happening in a democratic nation. The opposition parties also condemned and Team Anna condemned it too, but with a difference that was too obvious.
There was a ‘but’ in their condemnation. The largest national opposition party said while condemni…

BC Bloggers--Round 2! Join Now!

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Now it's Round 2. You know the importance of quality Backlinks and the more you try on this the better for your site. Go on participating and building backlinks. BC Bloggers have already told you 'not to beg for links' and  'to be a great tool in spreading the word and putting your blogs on the “map” so to speak'.

So then, BC Bloggers is back again to help us in a Big way! We must join together and reap the benefits. 
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An Eventful Day! Winter Session and Third Cricket Test Begin!

The much awaited winter session of the Indian Parliament began today, but to no avail thanks to the opposition parties. One wanted to boycott the home minister for charges not proven yet while others stuck to the issues of inflation. This winter session has been awaited for passing the much sought after anti-corruption Lokpal Bill, not to speak about other important Bills like the long pending Women's Reservation Bill. Both houses of Parliament adjourned for the day within hours. With this trend set to continue the question arises here 'Who wants anti-corruption Bill to be passed'.

Only the ruling party seems to be focused at the moment. Corruption cases are being pursued vigorously with another big decision today to shift the trial of the 2G Spectrum scam to Tihar Jail itself, because all the accused are lodged there only. Secondly, inflation rate has been falling for the past two weeks, no doubt marginally, but falling. Thirdly, the recent petrol hike has been neutraliz…

No Mercy For The Corrupt!

Article first published as Now A Granddad In Indian Jails on Technorati.

Thanks to Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption movement the Indian investigative agencies and the judiciary had been showing no mercy for political criminals in particular. A zero tolerance for the corrupt seems to be the norm now. And so, you should not look concerned if a granddad lands up in jail!

Sukh Ram, 86 year-old and former telecom minister of India, was convicted on November 18, 2011 for accepting a bribe of over 300,000 rupees in awarding a 300 million rupees contract to a firm in his home state Haryana in 1996. He was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment.

Such Ram had two other graft cases of causing loss to the government in awarding a contract to another firm and disproportionate property with millions of rupees recovered from his residence. In 2002 he was sentenced to three years in jail for the first case and in 2009 the same punishment was given for the second case. But he never w…

Cricket Comics: How Much Truth in Kambli Crying?

Kolkata, March 13, 1996. The Cricket World Cup-1996 Semi Final match between India and Sri Lanka. More than hundred thousand restive spectators were expecting a great Indian victory.  Excitement was more because India beat archrivals Pakistan in an emotionally drenched quarterfinal just prior to the match. It was a day and night match.
India won the toss and elected to field first. A decision that irked the whole nation including the surging ones at the majestic Eden Garden grounds. The Eden Gardens pitch had been a slow turner always, particularly in those years and so, team batting first seemed to be favored.
But Sri Lanka did not go off to a good start losing two wickets for one run and finally managing to score 251 for 8 which seemed a good score, but quite within reach of the famed Indian batting strength. Though India lost Sidhu early Tendulkar and Sanjay Manjrekar put the team a commanding 98 for 1. And then all hell broke loose.
From that position of strength India lost seven…

Ceremonial Eating!

Article first published as Ceremonial Eating! on Technorati.
Eating has been and is vital to the Indian way of life. If religious eating is a little subdued, ceremonial eating is extensive and expansive. Indians just do not need an excuse to eat!

Main ceremonies are the weddings where eating arrangements are always huge. In earlier days there used to be snacks and teas, but now a belly filling, rich and full meal is the norm. There are various functions or rituals spreading over a maximum of five days within a marriage ceremony and each of these are never complete without sumptuous meals. Even two days after the formal wedding the bridegroom’s family hosts a feast for near and dear ones in some sections of the Hindu. Eight days later the party is repeated at the bride’s place, though with limited invitations.

Other ceremonies where eating is central include birthdays, anniversaries, initiating at least six months old babies to staple diet, sacred thread function for Hindu Br…

Cricket: India Rout West Indies, Clinch Test Series!

At the majestic EdenGardens, Kolkata Team India scripted a huge win by defeating West Indies by an innings and 15 runs just before tea on the fourth day of the second cricket Test today. Thus India takes an invincible 2-0 lead in the three test series. Reeling after the drubbing by England in England and rolling down the ICC Test rankings India started climbing upwards to the second spot with this win.
It was nice to see the Indian batting maestros giving a vintage treat from the first day onwards with three brilliant centuries. Rahul Dravid the Wall hit 119 falling just 21 runs short of another landmark of 13000 test runs—only the second player after Sachin Tendulkar coming close to achieve it. He also made the highest 952 runs in this calendar year scoring five centuries so far.
VVS Laxman showed his class building the innings immaculately and remaining not out on a commanding 176. He went on to bag the man of the match award. Skipper MS Dhoni gave him able support and scored the th…

Big B Gets His Cutest B!

Article first published as Now Showing the Celebrity Baby! on Technorati.
Yesterday early morning Aishwarya Rai went into labor and delivered a baby girl just before 10am. There was no maddening breaking news everywhere in the media. The Bachchan family wanted it to happen personally and it eventually went like that only with the news personally given in the internet. Today morning Amitabh Bachchan thanked the media for the restraint and understanding shown. 
The  proud father, Abhishek Bachchan informed all the baby was fine and doing very well. Big B who has become granddad now described the celebrity baby as the cutest one. 

Politics of the Beg Word!

Article first published as Politics of the Beg Word on Technorati.

Politics has  myriad shades and colors. Just now in India it has achieved another unique dimension—the politics of begging!

Rahul Gandhi, the youthful general secretary of the Congress party who has commanded tremendous youth following all over the country of late, was in Uttar Pradesh to kickstart the party’s campaign for the forthcoming assembly elections of the state. He lambasted the ruling party there for total lack of economic development and for resembling almost a mafia rule. He went on with his diatribe by saying that had there been some developmental progress the people there would not have been forced to migrate to other states and beg for work.

There was an inherent truth in what he said about the state and it had to be analyzed in the context of an opposition party leader addressing an election rally. But all hell broke loose because of just one word ‘beg’! Rahul Gandhi must have said it with …

The Baby Disaster!

Article first published as The Baby Disaster! on Technorati.
In the last week of October, 2011 more than forty infants died in different government hospitals of West Bengal, a state in eastern India. Despite the media outrage the deaths continued and the state government decided to look the other way.
While the world celebrated the birth of the 7 billionth baby in Manila, Philippines on October 31st India too decided to join in by claiming a baby born in a northern state as the 7 billionth one. The terrible apathy was too strong to ignore.
Of the seven billion global inhabitants India account for nearly 18 per cent which hardly makes any excuse for celebrations. Add to it the fact that the northern state, Uttar Pradesh, is the most populous one of India and a feudalistic oppressor of women. The concerned NGO there who made the claims for the unique occasion was quick to point out that they wanted to pass on a message since the 7 billionth baby was a girl child. That particular stat…

Shahrukh Khan’s Ra. One: A Hit or Just Break Even?

Ra.One—Shahrukh Khan’s most ambitious project called a vision written and directed by Anubhav Sinha, the most expensive Hindi movie ever (a budget of over US $30 million), the first Hindi movie at par with Hollywood special effects blockbusters, the first Hindi movie to release in over 4000 screens globally, the first Hindi movie to create all-time overseas box office collection records and top grosser in weekend collections—released on the Diwali day (October 26, Wednesday) all over. It lost out to Salman Khan’s Bodyguard in first day collection, but went on to overcome on the second day and the five-day weekend collections. 
But after the weekend the movie’s box office collections started to fall drastically and the trend continued with shows heavily cut down in the second week. The fall continued in the second weekend and the third weekend is tough competition due to the release of  the Ranbir Kapoor starred Rockstar. Ra.One is still far behind all recent blockbusters of Salman Kha…

Cricket: Australia and South Africa At It Again!

Australia and South Africa have the habit of pulling one extraordinary cricket match out of the mundane now ant then. You may well remember the incredible one day international between the two teams played at New Wanderers on 12th March, 2006 which broke all the records of team innings score and chasing scores. Winning the toss and batting first Australia posted an insane score of 434 for 4. And. South Africa matching the insanity with zeal went on to win it! They did it by putting up 438 for 9 with one ball to spare. The greatest one day cricket match ever played! Now at Cape Town, they have done it again in the first Test—equally insane unpredictable and topsy-turvy. The first day was normal with Australia batting first and scoring 214 for 8. It continued to be normal till lunch on the second day with Aussies folding up for 284 and South Africa at 49 for 1. Then, the madness descended.
South Africa was shot out for just 96 giving the Aussies a healthy lead of 188 runs and the match …

River Brahmaputra and Bhupen Hazarika!

River Brahmaputra flows through almost the entire length of Assam, a state in North East India, from the far east of Arunachal Pradesh down to the west and out of Assam. It’s called by different names in different regions. In Assamese it’s also referred to Lohit or Luit.
The peoples’ singer-poet-composer Bhupen Hazarika accepts River Brahmaputra as the symbol of vitality and strength of Assam. Very much in the tradition of Ol’ Man River of Paul Robeson fame he always sings in eulogy and devotion to the great river: “O’ mighty Brahmaputra…you are the pilgrimage of reunion…                             For ages and ages…you have been preaching…                             The message of assimilation…integration…unity…”
But when the sensitive poet sees people in both the banks of the river suffering and leading miserable lives he cries out in anger at the same symbol of devotion:
“Even after witnessing the sufferings of countless people in…                              Your valley so vast…O’ y…

The Auto-rickshaw Song of Bhupen Hazarika!

We have said earlier about Dr. Bhupen Hazarika’s songs have a strong social commitment reflecting the joyful or sorrowful times of not only Assam, but the whole of the North East India. Here is one song that aims at the total common man—the unemployed youths. After auto-rickshaws  were introduced in the streets of Assam Bhupen Hazarika wrote, composed and sang this song with his younger brother late Jayanta Hazarika in probably the late sixties to inspire the unemployed local youths not to hesitate but to go for it. The lyrics of the evergreen song go like this in English:   “Driving our auto-rickshaw, we two brothers…
                              Storming through the streets of Guwahati…      Me the elder brother having a doctorate…my younger brother a post graduate…                               Having to repay a big bank loan….                         From the refinery in the fat east to the University in the far west…                               All localities in between… from north…

Cricket: India Beat West Indies, Tendulkar Misses Century of Centuries Again!

Coming good after the drubbing in England Team India managed to win the first Test at Firoz Shah Kotla ground, Delhi beating West Indies by five wickets just after lunch on the fourth day today. Incidentally this was the second highest run chase in the last innings in Indian soil. The highest successful chase of 387 runs was by India only in Chennai against England in 2008-09. No wonder, Indian slow spinning tracks always make the last innings a most difficult one for any team, particularly if Indian spinners are in action.

But the win was not without a lot of drama and suspense. The Indian batting collapse in the first innings (209 runs) created a lot of uncertainties and the match was delicate balance depending heavily on a powerful batting performance by West Indies in the second innings with a useful lead of 95 runs. But thanks to the total nine wicket haul of the man of the match R Ashwin (six wickets in the second innings) the match finally turned in favor of India. The West Ind…

‘…We are Third Class Passengers in the Train of Life!’—Bhupen Hazarika

‘Not first, not second…we are third class passengers in a bogey of the Train of life! The train cries out our deprivation…the sadness oozes out in sparks of fire…! The big packages in the train contain our tears…we pave our way with the steam of our tears! We have all our companions traveling with us…hoping to be delivered finally at the Destination!’
The humble singer cried out in anguish! The peoples’ singer who represented the poor, the downtrodden, the exploited, the tribals of the hills, the plains…inspiring everyone from the illiterate villager to the erudite urbanites. He sang their sadness, distress, frustrations, joys and ecstasies all his life.
And truly, tearfully and gratefully…the millions are surging and surging…in an unending stream…to pay homage to their dearest artiste Bhupen Hazarika. Queues of people stretching more than five kilometers to get to the Judges Field in Guwahati, Assam and pay their last respects. Crowds pouring from everywhere—all parts of the North East a…