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Showing posts from November, 2012

Ricky Ponting Vs Sachin Tendulkar: A Historical Moment!

Ricky Ponting has been having a string of failures recently, particularly in the first two cricket Tests against South Africa at home. Sachin Tendulkar has been having a string of failures recently, particularly in the first two cricket Tests against England at home. Ponting is the highest run getter for Australia, Tendulkar is the world record holding living legend for India. Both are in late thirties, Tendulkar older by about two years, and the possible retirement of both has been speculated intensely. A historical moment in world cricket?

One has already made history today while the other is in a slightly different situation. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting announced his retirement from international cricket in a hastily called press conference today. He calls it a day after playing the third Test against South Africa starting tomorrow in Perth. He cited as reason his recent performance not being good enough, however he said he would continue playing for Tasmania in do…

Indian Cricket: Dhoni Is King And The Pitch Puzzle!

The humiliation at the turning pitch of Mumbai at the hands of England was not enough enough to make the Indian cricket Board (BCCI) wonder ponder and take action. India captain MS Dhoni is still the unquestioned King. He is having his way right royally.

Nothing has happened to any of the non-performers. Team India remained unchanged except for reserve pacer Ashok Dinda coming in place of injured Umesh Yadav. Chief selector of BCCI, Sandip Patil, had just one say--team selected only for the third Test in Kolkata and not for the rest of the India-England Series as expected.

Interestingly and most significantly Dhoni is still King for his 'pitch' demands too. The aborted and most slammed experiment in Mumbai Test was not enough enough either. The veteran curator at Eden Gardens pitch of Kolkata has been sidelined and BCCI has reportedly asked its East Zone curator to take charge urgently.

What the King is up to this time in Kolkata? Well, his larger subjects have a democra…

Mumbai Test: Masters Beaten In Their Own Game As England Crush India!

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As agonizingly feared all over the nation England spin washed the masters India in the latter’s own courtyard Wankhede in Mumbai today winning the second cricket Test by 10 wickets with more than one and half days to spare. If yesterday Kevin Pietersen built on the lead in a one-day style the England openers today notched up the ridiculous target of 57 runs in T20 style. KP was rightfully selected the Player of the Match. 
England’s two spinners Panesar and Swann shared 19 wickets between them while India’s three spinners managed to get only 9 wickets in a losing proposal. In India’s agonizing second innings effort Gambhir top scored with 65 followed by a second highest of 11 by Ashwin.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni’s demand for sharp turning pitches has boomeranged on him in the most telling manner making the remaining two Test matches acutely interesting in what the beleaguered captain might prescribe for next. He might very well have severe reprimands reserved for the Wankhede curator …

Mumbai Test Day 3: England Devastate India On Dhoni’s Turning Track!

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Putting to rest its so-called inability to tackle spin, particularly on Indian turning tracks, England on the third day of the second cricket Test match against India in Mumbai staged one of its most historic comebacks with a rollicking record breaking third wicket partnership of 206 runs putting the hosts India on the mat. Yesterday’s unbeaten duo English captain Alistair Cook and Kevin Pietersen carried the charge forward attacking and frustrating all the three Indian spinners. While Cook defended his end soundly KP played the aggressive shots with effortless sweeps and reverse sweeps scoring like in a one-day match. Both of them achieved their respective 22nd hundreds putting England in the lead. India had their first success of the day when Ashwin got Cook out for 122. KP proved what a valuable player he is for England by going great guns to progress to a brilliant 186 whenOjha finally managed to get him out caught. Just think of it, England dared drop this great batsman against S…

India Vs England Mumbai Cricket Test: Pujara, Cook And KP Neutralize Dhoni’s Turn!

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Unabashedly demanding a pitch that turns from the first day Indian captain MS Dhoni to direct question tried to justify his demand by saying just before the start of the second Test in Mumbai that he wanted the importance of the toss out of the equation. He meant that each team should suffer equally from spin irrespective of who won the toss or who would bat last. The skipper conveniently forgot that his team prides in having the best spin attack of the world and the best batsmen of spin. And he also seemed to forget that a pitch that is made to turn from the first day must necessarily crack up by the third or fourth day making the turn deadly and impossible to play and any team winning the toss would bat first anyway. Upholding his supposed benevolence he managed to win the toss again in the Mumbai Test and must have considered England batting in the fourth innings gleefully. Of course, Dhoni’s demands entailed a little amount of bounce too which combined with turn would test all ba…

Monkeyshine!

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Have A Good Day!

Politics: Right-Left Combine To Throttle Center And Merciless Mamata!

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The Indian political forces that are only focused upon cornering and if possible ousting the ruling coalition from power have got another democracy-send opportunity to revel in what they are best at. What is the current economic status of the country, what are required for pushing up growth, what the citizens of the country want---are factors farthest removed from their agenda at the moment. They are hardly against corruption, because they cover it up within their house while attacking others. They can hardly be called opposition political parties, because their politics is rudderless at the moment. With the winter session of the Indian Parliament starting from today their ‘parliamentary’ behavior is rampantly visible as both houses get adjourned for the day.
They had been preparing for the most wanted ‘democratic’ moment to garner their forces against the Government’s reform push in terms of allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Retail and diesel price hike. The modern-day ‘eco…

Terrorist Ajmal Kasab Hanged: India Send Out A Strong Message!

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Just four days before the 4th anniversary of the horrific 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack that led to killings of 166 innocent citizens people of the nation woke up this morning to the welcome news of lone captured LeT terrorist Ajmal Kasab hanged to death.In a secret operation by the Government of India Ajmal Kasab was hanged at 7.20am today in the high security Yerawada Jail in Pune, three hours drive from Mumbai. The dreaded terrorist lodged in Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai for nearly three years was shifted to Yerawada jail in the wee hours of the 19th November, 2012. The government maintained utmost secrecy considering the sensitive nature of the operation and the eager-to-sensationalize private news channels got no whiff about it. Overzealous media coverage of the 3-day long 26/11 Attack nearly compromised the military operation and this time the news channels had no chance of going on a crazy countdown or taking the execution live. The Government of India has thus sent out a strong mes…

Cricket: India Beat England In Ahmedabad Test!

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Billed as a Revenge Series the India-England 4-Match Cricket Test Series played in India started on the right note at least for an Indian television news channel who while breaking the news hoarsely cried that Ahmedabad Test becomes Revenge No.1 for Team India. The ‘patriotic’ reason being that England whitewashed India most humiliatingly in the 4-Match Cricket Test Series played in England in 2011. The so-called revenge drama basically gets reduced to the battle of the extremes between spin and pace—India having the spin quality providing turners at home and England having pace providing green tops at home. In fact, each team does not mind demanding ‘conditioned’ pitches at home whenever the opponent visits there. As the battle goes on no single team ever tries mastering both of the arts.
Each team is right in their battle, essentially. England knows India’s weakness against seam and swing, therefore demolishes them on green-top pitches. India knows England’s weakness against spin bow…

Historic Farewell To Balasaheb Thackeray! Unprecedented And Spontaneous!

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Undoubtedly the biggest congregation ever in Mumbai and Maharashtra, and maybe one of the biggest funeral gatherings the world over. For me, an Assamese, it reminds me most emotionally and vibrantly of the unprecedented crowds that came out in the streets of Guwahati to pay last respects to their legendary singer-lyricist-writer-filmmaker Bhupen Hazarika. The reasons for the upsurge seem to be almost similar. Both of these personalities inspired their respective communities to feel pride in being themselves, to try overcoming the darkness of identity or existence and both of them came to their support whenever needed to sail them out of any crisis. 
More than two million people came out in the streets of Mumbai today to give a loving respectful farewell to their most beloved leader. Politicians need to make special arrangements or even bribe their ‘supporters’ to come throng their public meetings. But for this spontaneous leader it had been a spontaneous upsurge right from last night t…

Balasaheb Thackeray Passes Away: The Tiger To Roar No More!

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The most spontaneous leader of Marathi manoos (people) fought for his people till the last moments of his life. Despite being engaged in a death defying struggle for days and months he never weakened away from the issues that concerned his people and his land. A series of most complicated medical problems that continuously eroded his body could not stop him from carrying on writing in his newspaper Saamnafor his beloved Marathi people. His life has been of committed leadership, not of politics or political commitments. He never indulged in caste politics or vote bank politics as he said in an interview that only two castes existed for him—the rich and the poor. In his career of active leadership for over 45 years his party Shiv Sena ruled Maharashtra for only five years, but the Leader ruled the minds of Marathi people—always. The roaring Tiger of Maharashtra fell silent today.
Balasaheb Thackeray (1926-2012) passed away at his residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra locality of Mumb…

Maharashtra Prays For Balasaheb Thackeray!

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The night bus arrived almost two hours in advance and deposited us at a particular junction of Mumbai at 2.30am today. The moment we alighted with our baggage two auto-rickshaw drivers approached us hoping for long distance passengers. Since we lived at a nearby locality they promptly informed us that there was no chance of getting a taxi for the night or even later. I asked why.
Balasaheb off ho gaya! (Balasaheb has passed away).” We were rudely shocked and dumbfounded, though we knew that he had not been keeping well since the last few days was in very serious condition last week. But it was hard to believe anyway. “When?”“Just a little while ago. All taxis and autos have gone home fearing problems.”
Feeling sad and heavy we trudged along and suddenly a taxi preparing to wind up for the night came up alongside and offered to take us home. As we were proceeding with the ride gratefully the taxi driver informed us that tomorrow was going to be a total closure in the city. He did n…

The Festival Of Lights Here Again!

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HAPPY DIWALI! 

Wish You All a very Prosperous and Enlightening Diwali—The Festival Of Lights! Different rituals of lighting diyas have started since yesterday. The main Diwali days though fall on November 13th and 14th for 2012 across the country. MORE OF TOGETHERNESS AND LESS OF FIRE CRACKERS PLEASE.
And Enjoy! MORE from last year!

The Indian Political IQ!

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Indian politics has entered the most bizarre stage on show since the last two years thanks mainly to two crucial factors. First, a series of unprecedented scams terribly undermined the ruling coalition government and the opposition political parties saw a godsend opportunity in this to corner the government for lucrative gains or power in the next General Elections in 2014. Second, the anti-corruption movement by Anna Hazare and party that made the skeletons cascade out of the cupboard affecting one and all in politics irrespective of ideologies or party affiliations. Politicians and upstarts created out of the anti-corruption fight made the scenario worse.
Endless allegations, charges and counter-charges, litigation and mushrooming court cases, character assassinations, personal banalities and a gleefully indulgent media ushered India into its most sordid era of politics. Maybe the nip of uncertainty in the atmosphere and a haunting apprehension made the politicians psychic and unb…

Black Money In Swiss Bank Accounts: The Fourth Kejriwal Expose Installment!

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New Delhi, November 09, 2012, 1.30 PM. Time for anti-corruption campaigner cum politician Arvind Kejriwal to release the fourth expose installment. And dot on time the India Against Corruption (IAC) functionary  added one more to the land of allegations…call it India. This time it was against black money allegedly stashed in alleged Swiss bank accounts owned allegedly by over 700 Indians with the Government allegedly helped by HSBC, industrialists and ministers allegedly not allowing it come into the country.
The issue of black money has been doing rounds in this country since time immemorial. Various political parties when not in power raised this issue in various times asking questions while the political parties in power did the answering. The anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare started the movement on the general issue and Yoga guru Baba Ramdev was quick to join in attacking the specific issue of black money. But it always needs Arvind Kejriwal to bring it out in the open for the…

The 7th Gas Cylinder: More Intricacies In The Curious Story!

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Determined to end the policy paralysis engineered by the opposition political parties the Government of India ushered in a spate of reforms, first opening up the Indian multi-brand retail market for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and then hiking the heavily subsidized diesel prices and putting a cap on subsidized cooking gas (LPG) cylinders per household per year. Hiking LPG cylinder prices was considered too risky.
Every household in India thus could get only three more cylinders from September to March this financial year, because the cap of subsidized cylinders was fixed at 6 per household per year. The 7th cylinder at market price became the most expensive proposition thereafter and as the Indian families focused on their kitchens the opposition parties got another excuse to ‘safeguard’ the interests of the common man.
The Government was also determined not to bow down to pressure and refused any rollback. The growing fiscal deficit had to be reduced for the long term interes…

Welcome Back, President Obama! Great Victory!

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Barack Hussein Obama, the first African-American to hold the office of President of USA, became the first Democrat to win a second term since the second World War. The closest and the tightest Presidential Elections held in US history gave a sweeping verdict in the end to Obama today, still Tuesday night in the US. President Obama  campaigned for over two years and spent more than $2 Billion for this moment of victory. 
He won despite the slowdown in the economy and unemployment. Some say his good management of Hurricane Sandy that threatened the US Presidential Elections-2012 finally tilted the scales in Obama's favor.  He also managed to win in several Republican strongholds. 
Whatever be the justifications offered, the Americans have voted for a good man with the most positive vibes, a down-to-earth personality and a disarming smile. Indians here are happy too as Obama has been good and respectful to India and he has been helping India by fighting terror too with a strong hand…