Showing posts from June, 2013

Devastated Uttarakhand-A Saga of Endless Suffering And Indomitable Courage

It’s now nearly a fortnight since the flash floods devastated the north Indian state of Uttarakhand leaving a trail of endless sufferings and indomitable courage. Torrential rains and cloudbursts led to the flash floods the fury of which was beyond our human imagination. The floods swept away or swallowed up anything that came its way—pilgrims and tourists; cottages, houses and buildings; guest houses and hotels; huge chunks of land mass and roads; hills and hilly tracks and the temples and even the sacred idols in this holy state of the Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage. After the rescue of more than 100000 pilgrims thousands are still trapped and missing. While the official death toll has been pegged at around 1000 sources say it could be beyond 10000 when you account for the fact that thousands of missing persons have not returned still. Mother Nature punished her greedy children one more time in such a telling manner that the governments and the people of our planet earth better stop an…

India Do A T20 To Lift The ICC Champions Trophy-2013!

It was a miracle of a match. Rains being a spoilsport in the most important encounter of the tournament the final between India and England in Edgbaston finally became a T20 match with one-day rules. England in the morning won the toss and looking at the weather decided naturally to field first. Then the rains, rains and rains. The crowds never gave up hope though. Some genuine cricket lovers of genuine cricket cursed the ICC for not keeping a reserve day for the all-important final involving the hosts England and the best undefeated team of the tournament India.
India started batting with the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma making a relatively good start, though repeated rain interruptions did not help them much. England had them on the mat at 65/5 in the 14th over. But thanks to the most incredible all-rounder for India in this tournament Ravindra Jadeja with Virat Kohli took his team to a fighting 129/7 in the allotted twenty overs. While not even the most optimis…

Champions Trophy: England Vs South Africa! India Vs Sri Lanka!

On Monday the full semifinal line-up has finally been completed for the ICC Champions Trophy- 2013 currently on in England and Wales. On Sunday in a crucial Group A encounter England faced with elimination if defeated managed to beat New Zealand by 10 runs in a rain-curtailed match reduced to just 24 overs each side and booked a berth in the semis—the first team in that group to do so amassing 4 points. New Zealand with 3 points missed the bus thanks to their wickets falling in heaps, but stuck on to their hopes that Australia beat Sri Lanka and stay below NZ's much better net run-rate.
Mercifully there was no rain threat on Monday yesterday. Australia put Sri Lanka in winning the toss to be perhaps on a better position to track the required run-rate for a semis berth. For Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jaywardene played a superb innings of 84 runs batting tactically lower down the order and brought his team into real contention. Set a competitive target of 254 runs to win Australi…

Champions Trophy: India Rout Pakistan Despite Rains And D/L!

India have demolished a listless Pakistan by 8 wickets with nearly three overs to spare in the ICC Champions Trophy last Group B match cut short and shorter by innumerable rain interruptions followed by Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) revisions. It was a huge occasion with the archrivals playing each other and crowds filled in to the brim in the Edgbaston stadium apart from millions of viewers glued in to their TV sets on Saturday. Everybody expected exciting cricket and they desperately wanted it to be of full fifty overs. Well, a poor batting display by Pakistan made it a one-sided affair and frequent rain interruptions dampened the excitement further. But Indian fans still have a cause to celebrate while the Pakistan fans can only feel sorry as their team let them down.
The match started as a full fifty-over encounter, but shortly afterwards rains made it forty-overs. Pakistan could not even last that many overs and got all out for a paltry 165 with two balls to spare. D/L method revised th…

Champions Trophy: India Going Strong, Pakistan Out!

While Indian Cricket made all the wrong headlines thanks to the IPL Spot Fixing scandal the Indian Cricket team in England and Wales for the on-going ICC Champions Trophy-2013 played the best of cricket so far. India became the first team of the tournament to sail into the semifinals outplaying West Indies in their second Group-B match on 11th June. Earlier in the Championship opener on 6th June India edged out South Africa by 26 runs in a toughly competitive and high-scoring encounter. In both matches Shikhar Dhawan, the sensational new-find for India, made brilliant back-to-back centuries contributing hugely for the team victories. In fact, this is Shikhar’s 3rd consecutive hundred if we take into account his brilliant Test century against Australia in Mohali after which he got injured. With Rohit Sharma this opening duo seems to be doing extremely well at the moment and cricket fans would hope they make the pair Team India has been looking for after the failures of the Sehwag-Gamb…

Advani Vs Modi: A Tale Of Acceptance, Rejections And Denial!

We have been used to getting impatient with Pakistan for being in a constant denial mode, but presently we are increasingly getting used to the Indian national opposition political party BJP demonstrating the same mode most lucidly. Interestingly enough, the BJP has always been used to castigating Pakistan in the strongest of terms for upsetting India with its constant irritants and then the denials instantly. That we are not beating around the bush would get clearer as we push ahead with this post. 
As we all know one of the founder figures of the BJP, Lal Krishna Advani has always been used to opposing the idea of Narendra Modi taking over the lead role in BJP. But the BJP could no longer ignore Modi due to his natural aggressive leadership and recent achievements for his party. The Goa BJP national convention was the occasion when the party had to take a position on Modi considering the paramount importance of getting battle-ready for General Elections-2014. Threatened with intern…

Politics: Narendra Modi Named BJP Election Campaign Chief!

Finally the BJP national President Rajnath Singh seemed to have mastered the required support and/or dictates of the party’s top rank leaders including prominently LK Advani who absented himself from the Goa convention and the fundamentalist organizations to take the decision awaited with abated breath since the last few days. It had been a most suspenseful run-up to the announcement made in the last moments of the two-day convention in Panaji, the capital of the state of Goa. He was flanked by Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj on his left and right respectively as if to render him the most needed moral support. Narendra Modi was not present in that brief news conference where Rajnath Singh just made the announcement and did not take questions from the press.
Yes, Narendra Modi has been declared the Chairman of the BJP Election Campaign Committee for General Elections-2014. Celebrations started inside the venue and outside in Goa, in Gujarat and also in other parts of India as thousands …

Politics: The Modi Pill!

Narendra Modi has become the classic pill that still affects you irrespective of your decision to swallow or not to swallow it. If you ignore the pill you suffer from relapse; if you swallow it and then throw it out you still suffer from wrong diagnosis and if you swallow it with a contented heart you are still not sure of escaping from its side effects. Greatly relishing the spectacle the Congress party already quipped that the very mention of Narendra Modi’s name had made many BJP stalwarts sick unable to attend Goa meet.
For a change media attention has somewhat shifted from the still raging IPL Spot Fixing scandal and has now been totally focused on Narendra Modi—the Chief Minister of Gujarat famous for his successful development model and arguably the most controversial leader within the national opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Recently there were a few opinion polls on General Elections-2014 that forecast that with Modi as the BJP campaign leader or a declared Prime Mi…

Champions Trophy: India Beat South Africa In A Close Encounter!

India beat South Africa by 26 runs in the first one day international of the ICC Champions Trophy at Cardiff in Wales on Thursday. It was a high scoring entertainer with both teams getting more than 300 runs each. It was the first one day match at Cardiff where the team batting first won and the chasing team also crossed 300 runs for the first time. Maybe due to the new one-day cricket rules the Cardiff pitch made its reputation of being a batting one a little stronger.
On a windy and chilly morning South Africa won the toss and put India in. India made a rollicking start thanks to a opening partnership of 127 runs between Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma who opened as Murli Vijay was rested. A sensational new-find Dhawan went on to score his maiden one-day century (114) and was around till the 38th over. The initial momentum of the innings was maintained throughout despite fall of too many wickets in the latter phase. The target of 332/7 looked mammoth and decisive, but the Cardiff…

Cricket And Fixing: ICC Champions Trophy Begins!

The ICC Champions Trophy-2013 in England and Wales begins with the inaugural match between India and South Africa today. At a time when cricket or more specifically Indian cricket has been hyped to the height by the media for all the wrong reasons. The raging IPL Spot or Match Fixing scandal has cast a shadow of grievous doubt on players of Team India, its bosses and administrators. Fittingly enough Team India has a captain who had been right royally gagged by his corrupt cricket Board bosses and the right royally loyal captain has been obsequiously observing the gag order even in England. Add to this his alleged conflict of interest concerning a management firm where he acquired stakes and put in his favorite cricketers as clients for whom he enjoyed the absolute authority of selection for the national team. Why bother! His cricket Chief had a more sinister conflict of interest with his son-in-law—the boss of an IPL franchise CSK captained by the Indian national captain—in jail and y…

Superfast South West Monsoon Hits Maharashtra!

The South West Monsoon always demonstrates a tinge of unpredictability. When something is in great demand and millions of people wait eagerly for it this kind of behavior is only natural—though most commonly seen in condescending human beings Mother Nature has started this practice of late maybe to put some sense into Her arrogant children or maybe due to the global climatic changes for which Her children are only responsible. Whatever, the South West Monsoon sometimes arrives late, sometimes it arrives early or on time and yet stays put for days in some place maybe to enjoy the local hospitality, sometimes it just keeps on playing hide and seek and sometimes it just gets lost keeping the met office totally in dark about its movements.
Yesterday we were elated over light showers in Mumbai and pre-monsoon showers in other parts of Maharashtra relishing the fact that the South West Monsoon that hit Kerala was just days away from Maharashtra and Mumbai.  The normal date for Mumbai is 10t…

Mumbai: Monsoon Prepares For Rain Launch!

This very look of the skies never fails to thrill you; makes you ecstatic. Particularly when you have been sweating out a month-long spell of humid energy-sapping heat with the air stilled and tree leaves forgetting how to sway. The full month of May this year has been one of unbearably persistent heat for Mumbaikars. This was not the case in the last two or so years when temperatures varied frequently with windy conditions keeping company consistently. No doubt, Mumbaikars collectively have a sigh of great relief. 
Today afternoon, clouds started to gather in the Mumbai skies and got darker towards the evening promising instant rains. A cool breeze continued all along bringing in a drastic change in the conditions. A drizzle started in most parts of the city in the evening and Mumbaikars welcomed it with all warmth and pleasure. That the drizzle failed to turn into a downpour and that traffic congestion always mysteriously or naturally associated with rains began immediately did not …

IPL Spot Fixing: The Biggest BCCI Compromise!

The richest cricket Board of the world has finally made its dirty money work one more time for its vested interests ensuring the biggest compromise in the emergency working committee meeting in Chennai today that maintained the status quo despite all the odds. Every genuine cricket lover of the country and the right minded members within BCCI wanted the tainted Chief to resign on at least moral grounds after more than ten days of defiance, arrogance and greed. But the meeting today helped him only to step aside for allowing the so-called probe against the IPL Spot Fixing scandal go on ‘independently’. A new interim President was selected in the form of former BCCI Boss who also had had his share of controversies. The compromise displayed fully the pull and clout of various lobbies working for the interests of various political parties and members according to their political affiliations.
A kind of a revolt within the BCCI was palpable over the past few days with the Secretary and th…