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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Politics: Indian History Up For Grabs!

If the unprecedented nastiness pervading the Indian political scenario even six months before the all important General Elections-2014 is any indication we could very well prepare ourselves for things to follow. Desperate to win and grab power to rule the country political parties are throwing away all decency and restraint and are indulging in a war of calling dirty and dirtiest names to counter each others' chances. From ‘shehzade’ (Prince—BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi launching an attack on the Congress’s so-called dynastic rule to ‘fascist’, ‘Hitler’, ‘psychopath’ or ‘megalomaniac’. Leader M calls leader NM as the most communal person of the country while utterly bitterly failing to contain communal clashes breaking out again and again in his state. The same leader M has his sights focused on becoming the next Prime Minister and for that ‘noble’ purpose he marshals all minor or break-away parties into a conventions against communalism while communal clashes resurface in his state the same day.

Not only this, even Indian history is no longer safe from political exploitation. Pioneering leaders of an independent India are being claimed as the idols of respective political parties. Charges and counter-charges are being traded furiously in this regard totally disregarding what the ‘subjects’ have to say about this. This trend may get more sinister as the Elections near. The BJP may trace its glorious origins to the ancient Indian age and may blame the Congress for all the troubles suffered in the medieval age.  The Congress may very well refer to the unified India or Bharata concept demonstrated in various stages of Indian history and claim as its heritage while blaming the BJP for trying to build up regional forces by allying with smaller kingdoms.

In various stages of Indian history it has been observed that some monarchs invited foreign invaders to settle scores with their internal rivals. This danger is not farfetched in the present scenario when you identify foreign invaders as the terrorists. We have said on many occasions that a politically divided and polarized India is in fact helping the terrorists to strike at will. What is more threatening is that terrorists are being looked not as terrorists but as people belonging to various religious or politically affiliated groups. Depending on the credentials a terrorist is not a terrorist for a particular leader or party. On October 27, 2013 serial bomb blasts rocked Patna, the capital city of Bihar when Narendra Modi was addressing a political rally in there. Now the ruling party in Bihar, JDU, broke away from coalition partner BJP recently, and therefore charges logically followed as the blasts being a security compromise to deliberately harass a political rival. Well, by the time General Elections-2014 actually gives a winner Indian history could be entirely manipulated or changed or distorted beyond recovery. Beware!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cricket: India Win A Thriller In Nagpur, Draw Level With Australia!

George Bailey Ecstatic
India beat Australia by 6 wickets in a high scoring thriller in Nagpur today and drew level in the ODI Series. India’s much talked about batting strength clicked in the right time and with tremendous contributions from Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni prevented Australia from running away with a straight Series win. This was despite a record-breaking 156 by Australian captain George Bailey earlier. 

Team India’s persistently indifferent bowling and fielding notwithstanding, in the first 22 overs of the sixth one day international in Nagpur today India did manage to put Australia in some spot of trouble. Australia could score just 89 runs in those overs losing two wickets. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar coming in again replacing Vinay Kumar struck for the first time capturing Hughes for 13 in the 7th over. Spinner Amit Mishra coming in replacing Unadkat combined well with Ashwin and kept Australia on a tight leash. Finch fell in the 12th over to Ashwin making it 45/2. Jadeja had dangerous Watson caught, but a no-ball spoiled it all and Watson went on to complete a magnificent century (102 off 94). Australia captain Bailey then took charge and hit Ashwin for a four and a six. After that momentous over there was no looking back for Australia and they scored a mammoth 261 runs in the next 28 overs setting a target of 351 for India in fifty overs. All the bowlers, Amit Mishra and R Ashwin prominently, got hit at will and why they did not bother bowling to their field is something maybe the Indian captain himself did not have a clue about.

Aussie skipper George Bailey broke records during his brilliant 156 runs off just 114 balls. He became the only Australian batsman or captain to score the highest total runs in a bilateral series. Imagine, Bailey was selected to lead Australia just because Michael Clarke was preserved for the Ashes Series. With Watson he gave the momentum to the innings and Australia were just unstoppable. Desperate for a win to stay alive in the series India were facing an uphill task with Australian fast bowlers ready to take the opportunity to do India in and win the series straight.

Shikhar Dhawan Firing All Cylinders
Thanks to the Indian batting marvel, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started steadily and then crafted a brilliant partnership of 178 runs in the 30th over giving a fitting reply to the mammoth challenge. Johnson and McKay went for lot of runs with Finch taking the surprise wicket in the form of Rohit Sharma (79 off 89). Going great guns Dhawan notched up a breathtaking century, but fell exactly at 100 off 101 balls to Faulkner making it 234/2 in the 36th over. The game was still wide open as Virat Kohli who raced to his half century and Suresh Raina went about their job. They carried on in full glory adding 50 runs in less than six overs and kept the asking rate under control. At 289/2 in 42 overs India needed 61 runs in 48 balls which was quite manageable with eight wickets remaining. But in the 43rd over Suresh Raina (16 off 15) fell to Mitchell Johnson bringing the question as to why he should come before captain Dhoni in the batting order to the fore again. More trouble for India in that same over as Yuvraj Singh was bowled by a fired-up Johnson for a duck making it 290/4 still needing 61 runs in 7 overs. The game was heading for an exciting finish.
Man of the Match Virat Kohli
The Indian captain and vice-captain took full charge confronting an asking rate almost going beyond control. Virat Kohli, arguably a Tendulkar in the making, brought up his 17th ODI hundred off just 61 balls and finally made it 20 runs in 12 balls for a victory for India. From that position India could not possibly lose. They made it run-a-ball in the last over and achieved a magnificent and thrilling victory over Australia by 6 wickets with 3 balls to spare. Virat Kohli, match winner along with Shikhar Dhawan, remained unbeaten with 115 runs in 66 balls and MS Dhoni at 25 not out off 23 balls. Now with both teams at 2-2 the last match on November 2 in Bangalore is going to be a not-to-miss blockbuster. The Scorecard: 

Sachin Tendulkar Bows Out Of Domestic Cricket!

Sachin Tendulkar today played his last innings in Indian domestic cricket in Lahli, Haryana where the Ranji Trophy Group A match between Haryana and Mumbai had been on for the last four days. The best cricketer of the world led his team Mumbai to victory by 4 wickets himself remaining unbeaten with a gritty and trademark-Tendulkar innings of 79 superlative runs. Thanks to the living legend of Indian cricket this first class domestic match has been getting all the media attention and craze of the cricket-loving nation which is so unusual otherwise. To make the occasion most memorable the pitch in Lahli had a lot of green and a lot of seam in it making it very difficult for the batsmen to get runs. And, the match has been very exciting all through with both teams having chances to win.

Set 240 runs to win in the fourth innings to the match Mumbai had a torrid time chasing the target yesterday with wickets falling at regular intervals. But the master-blaster stood through as if determined not to disappoint his countless fans in his last domestic outing. However, with Mumbai at 201 for 6 at the end of day’s play yesterday it was still anybody’s game. Sachin Tendulkar was the last recognized batsman left and it was fully up to him to craft an exciting victory. He did exactly that this morning and helped his team attain the target with no further fall of wicket. Tendulkar told reporters after the match that it was a very tricky pitch and he was happy to lead his team to victory. Most the media channels have gone live capturing the moment. The Scorecard:

Now the countdown has begun for the 200th Test of Sachin Tendulkar after which he will bow of cricket forever. West Indies, specially invited to a 2-Test tour of India for the momentous event, has already arrived and been practicing. The 199th Test match will be played in Kolkata from 6th to 10th November and his farewell 200th Test will be played in his home ground Mumbai from 14th to 18th November. There will be three ODIs after the Test Series and Tendulkar had already bowed out of one day internationals. Millions of cricket fans, cricket commentators and experts, all ex-cricketers and legends and the media are going to be focused, with various emotions from sadness to gloom, on the spectacle when Sachin Tendulkar would walk out of the cricket field into the dressing room for the very last time.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

India Vs Australia ODI Cricket Series: Rains Lead 2-0 !

If the 7-match One-Day-International cricket series between India and Australia in India is divided into two, then Australia has won the 3-match series 2-1 and in the on-going 4-match series rains lead by 2-0 with the 4th ODI at Ranchi washed out by rains during India’s chase of Australia’s 295/8 and the fifth ODI at Cuttack today abandoned without a ball being bowled. For Team India it is all the more uphill, because already losing the first ‘series’ now it has to draw level with ‘rains’ to have a chance of beating Australia in the 4-match series and by doing so wining the BCCI-desired 7-match Series. The richest cricket Board of the world, BCCI, does possess a magic wand to get it’s ‘desires’ always sweetly translated into realities. And why not, it still has N Srinivasan as its diehard President despite all the ‘odds’. It has also maneuvered South Africa into sweet submission accepting the alms of a Two-Test and Three-ODI Series to be played in South Africa so that it can have its magnanimous wish of letting Sachin Tendulkar bow out of cricket in all Board-Glory.

After the first three one day internationals, the focus was Indian cricket for its traditionally inadequate bowling attack—more explicitly so in this series. The Indian pacers were in total disorder giving away runs in abandon and hardly able to penetrate. Ishant Sharma gave away 30 runs in a single over in that Mohali match that finally allowed Australia to snatch win from jaws of defeat. However, the magnanimous Board declared along with its chief ally MS Dhoni that one or two match performance cannot be a yardstick to throw out an experienced bowler. But then, in the Ranchi match Ishant and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar were in fact dropped with Mohammed Shami and Jaydev Unadkat as replacements. Of the two only Shami had an inspired spell capturing three wickets as Australia still managed to amass nearly 300 runs batting first. That brings us to one more point of focus for Indian cricket.

From inadequate bowling to indifferent fielding. Team India dropped as many as 7 catches in that Ranchi match much to the embarrassment of the captain at his home ground. If you have been willing to believe the spirited Indian cricket commentators all along then you already must have formed your opinion that the young Indian side has mustered a superb fielding expertise. The moot point that comes to our naive mind is where to put the lights on—bowling, fielding, batting to short-pitch deliveries, batting on green pitches, the cricket Board offers or only on the money-spinning entertainment show. Whatever, there is unanimous opinion that presently focus is on the Rains and Weather. With the fifth one day international at Cuttack abandoned today due to heavy rains over the week the remaining two matches at Nagpur and Bangalore respectively are only going to decide where finally shift the focus to. One more point if you are still with us, there are three days to go before the Nagpur match on 30th October. Why nobody thought of a reserve day? Even in Ranchi it could have been provided for.  Well, ours not reason why, ours but to have our moneys worth.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Legendary Bollywood Playback Singer Manna Dey No More

Legendary Bollywood playback singer Prabodh Chandra Dey (1st May 1919 − 24th October 2013), known by his stage name Manna Dey, passed away in the early hours of Thursday in Bangalore. The veteran artiste had been suffering from old age related problems for a long time and today he breathed his last today at the ripe age of 94. Manna Dey had been a part of the classic trinity of legendary male playback singers of India—Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh and Manna Dey. Kishore Kumar and later Mahendra Kapoor were also around in that classical era. While Mahendra Kapoor more or less settled down as the best 'Rafi Voice’, riding on the first superstar of Bollywood wave, Rajesh Khanna, Kishore Kumar's popularity exploded and he became the No.1 playback singer from, to be exact, 1969 when movie Aradhana that launched Rajesh Khanna was released all over. Rafi died in 1980, Mukesh in 1976, Kishore Kumar in 1987 and Mahendra Kapoor in 2008. Of these five all-time greats Manna Dey becomes the last to leave us for his heavenly abode entertaining us for more than six decades. He stopped Hindi playback singing from the nineties due to what he termed as low standards of melody creation. However, he continued to sing for stage and other Indian language films. His few Assamese film songs are still popular numbers with the music lovers of Assam.

We grew up listening to Manna Dey numbers like the way with Rafi or Mukesh. But we always considered him to be a different singer, because he hardly sang for the dancing heroes. His songs were lilting melodies often with a strong classical base and his songs were crucial in most movies like Upkar--more prominently. He did sing fun songs and we still love them, but he was never a typical playback singer for us. In fact, music directors of Bollywood wanted him for their most difficult compositions knowing fully well that Manna Dey had the voice, the range, classical training and all. However, usually they preferred Rafi or Mukesh or Kishore or Talat Mahmood leaving Manna Dey as the most underutilized legendary singer of Bollywood. Such instances are hard to find in this film industry even now. What is important, his songs remain with as just 'his songs' and not in order of association with either the heroes or the movies as is the case usually. We often remember songs for the specific hit movies or the specific popular heroes the songs were sung for. We love Manna Dey songs as just Manna Dey songs. On this sad day this is our heart-felt tribute for the great artiste.He was a very simple and down-to-earth person as I had several opportunities of meeting him in Mumbai recording studios.

With more than 4000 songs to his credit his contribution to Indian music brought several awards and recognitions his way: Padma Bhushan in 2005, Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 2007 and Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.

As I try to list out some most remembered Manna Dey songs the movies do fill in. Poocho na kaisay maine raen bitayee… from movie MERI SOORAT TERI AANKHEN (1962), tu pyaar ka sagar hai.. from movie SEEMA (1955), Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli…from movie ANAND (1971). And, his music flows on…

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

India: Colossal Greed And The Tearful Onion!

It is said in almost every part of this world that too much greed is not good. An Assamese proverb says that when the lazy tiger kills its 100th cow, its end is near. The nationwide greed of politicians and middlemen or rather dalals for the windfall out of the artificially-made-scarce onions has just become unprecedented, brazen and extremely unscrupulous. For nearly two months they have been making tonnes of bucks by selling a mass cooking item at a price more than 400 percent higher than normal. Same scenario prevails with only onion prices varying from 60 to 110 rupees per kg all over India. Few days back in Mumbai prices started to fall to 60-50 rupees per kg, but now rising again without any rhyme or reason to 70-90 rupees. With food inflation raging Diwali this time is going to be a dampened affair indeed.

This is what should ideally happen to the enemies of the masses. Common people including high middle classes have already drastically cut down their onion consumption. They are now used to having onions in small quantities like heavenly blessings and even while eating out in the restaurants they are used to the absence of the inevitable onion in the salad or going completely without special onion dishes. Like the distressed hoteliers who have no option but to cut out onion from the menu as they must provide food at affordable prices to their loyal customers the onion retailers all over the country are complaining of significantly reduced daily sales. Now as we have seen, consumers are getting used to very less onions daily or monthly and they are likely to stick to their habits to avoid similar scenario in future.

Therefore, when finally the greedy devils decide to lift the artificial scarcity and when onions are in full seasonal bloom even the back-to-normal prices will fail to entice the disillusioned consumers. The onion prices would keep crashing consequent upon reducing demands and abundant supply; daily sales would remain abysmally low; tonnes of onions would rot in the warehouses thanks to lack of buyers; and the losses suffered by the greedy devils would be limitless and permanently disabling. We the Consumers can really give it back to them! Enough of onion tears!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Benefits Of Indoor Soccer

If you are a fan of North American soccer, you probably hate it when October rolls around and the Major League Soccer season is finished. However, at this point the NFL and NBA seasons are firing up, which tends to take your mind off the problem. However, if you actually play the game, winter is a pretty desolate time, since there is little or no outdoor soccer activity – especially in northern states, where there is snow on the ground. You can feel all your training slipping away from you, and just know it is going to be a tough job to get back in form next year.

Therefore, this comes as one of the biggest benefits of indoor soccer. It’s a perfect place to keep your ball skills honed to perfection – or as close to perfection as they ever are. No longer do you have to relearn half of what you know in the spring – instead, you can be pretty close to match shape after a couple of weeks. Of course, indoor soccer isn’t the same as playing outdoors, but in the absence of the real thing, it’s a pretty good substitute.

Actually, indoor soccer is a good place for people to learn about the game in general. Playing indoors can be a more casual and less intimidating affair than getting out on the field, and so it tends to attract more casual participants who then often evolve into full-fledged players. The same applies to kids – indoor soccer is a good introduction, and the timing lines up well with the school year. In fact, it would be interesting to know how many kids that ended up playing pro soccer started out playing indoors.

The other nice thing about indoor soccer is that it makes reuse of existing sports facilities. There are essentially two variants of this. The first is when the game is played on a larger arena which is about the same size as an ice hockey rink – and often is an ice hockey rink covered with artificial turf. The other variant is when it is played on a basketball court, although this can be a bit difficult to do on a traditional hardwood surface. On the other hand, a high-performance polymer surface works well both as a basketball court and as an indoor soccer venue.

If you are interested in playing indoor soccer, then here are a few things that you should know. First of all, a normal indoor soccer game has 6 players per side, as opposed to 11 in outdoor soccer. Second, the game isn’t played over two 45-minute halves – instead, amateurs play two 25-minute halves, and the pros play four 15-minute quarters. Third, you’re allowed to bounce the ball off the boards around the arena – this isn’t out of bounds. Last, there is no offside rule, although in some games it is illegal to loft the ball from one penalty area to another. If you understood all that, then you know enough about indoor soccer to give it a go ahead – so why don’t you?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cricket: Australia Beat India in Mohali, Lead ODI Series 2-1!

MS Dhoni

Team India got thrashed by 72 runs in the first one-day international against Australia in Pune thanks to its listless batting display with nobody managing to dig in there or failing to convert good starts into big scores. Team India thrashed Australia by 9 wickets in the second ODI in Jaipur thanks to its incredible batting display involving just three of the top order overhauling a mammoth total of 359 runs and giving India their biggest ever victory against Australia. Team India failed to clinch the third ODI in Mohali today despite strange tactics adopted by Australian batsmen and a huge target set thanks to the incredible Captain Cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni making an unbeaten 139 runs off 121 balls. Common to all these three ODIs of the 7-match one-day Series between India and Australia has been India’s bowlers or rather pacers persistently failing to deliver the results desired by their captain, particularly Ishant Sharma and Vinay Kumar continuing to struggle.  India’s consistent strike pacer in recent times, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar too seems to lose the touch.

Cherishing some more green patches in the Mohali pitch promising more pace and bounce Australian captain Bailey put India in after winning the toss and his tactic almost paid rich dividends reducing India to 76 for 4 in the 13th over with heroes of the Jaipur encounter Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma failing and Yuvraj Singh out first ball. Continuing to dominate Australian bowlers made India reeling at 154 for 6 in the 32nd over and at that juncture a total of 280 or 300 became a distant dream. But Dhoni crafted a magnificent fight-back hitting just one four in his first 67 deliveries and ending up with 12 fours and 5 sixes in his unbeaten knock of 139 off 121 balls. Virat Kohli gave him good company with another useful knock of 68 after his match-winning unbeaten 100 runs off just 52 balls (his fastest) in the Jaipur encounter. With all-rounder Jadeja being the sixth out at 154 Dhoni had to carry on with his bowlers at the other end and what a breathtaking job he did to achieve the most unlikely target of 304 runs for Australia. Dhoni was dropped by the Aussie captain in the penultimate over and that ensured Australia chase in excess of 300.

Indian bowling inadequacies came to the fore again with the Aussie openers starting strongly notching up 68 runs in the 13th over. But then, Indian pacers seemed to have found some inspiration with Vinay Kumar having Hughes (22) out caught at the same score and shortly after Ishant Sharma getting the dangerous Finch (38) out leg before making it 82/2 in the 17th over. Run making suddenly became difficult and Jadeja chipped in with a tight spin spell capturing the prized scalp of Shane Watson (11). At 88/3 in the 20th over Australia was in spot of bother with the required run-rate climbing all the time. Australian batsmen did not seem to realize the urgency and did not take enough risks almost giving away the match to India at 174/5 in the 37th over.

James Faulkner
Always attacking, Haddin came in and things improved rapidly. Finally it was the explosive partnership for the sixth wicket between Voges (76 not out) and James Faulkner (64 not out off just 29 balls) that turned the tables on India as Australia sailed through by 4 wickets with three balls to spare. For his match-winning blitz James Faulkner was named the Player of the match. 

No.2 Australia lead the series 2-1 now and need to beat No.1 India 6-1 to regain the No.1  spot. Team India must concentrate of fielding good enough bowlers capable of defending at least 300+ totals. Else, the top five Indian batsmen must hit at least three centuries every time and post at least 350+ totals so that the Indian bowlers get a real chance.  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Crimes Against Women: Anti-Corrupt Braveheart Punished With Gangrape!

The shocking incident happened in the backdrop of newly recruited lady teachers being posted haphazardly in different places of Assam totally ignoring rules for ensuring women safety. Rules say that women should not be posted more than 5 kilometers away from their home.

One such lady appointee got posted in a primary school somewhere in Darrang district of Assam far away from her home. The lady teacher had to join for the sake of her family. Immediately she noticed that the school authorities were misusing the funds meant for providing free midday meals and for months the school children were deprived of their rightful meals so important for so many needy families. The lady teacher decided to raise her voice against such brazen corruption. She failed to imagine what that rogue principal of the school was capable of doing to her in retaliation.

She got gangraped in broad daylight while returning to her temporary place of accommodation. The sordid details came to light and widespread protests broke out in that area and all over Assam in the next few days. The gruesome crime was condemned, stringent punishment was demanded for the corrupt school officials and the issue of postings and women safety came to the fore.

Assam has a relatively tolerant society and a tranquil, almost lazy, way of life. In this perspective it is hard to believe that in recent years Assam has been topping the charts of crimes against women, with its figure almost double of the national average. This is a matter of grave concern coupled with the unceasing ethnic clashes arising mainly out of the Bangladesh illegal immigration issue and consequently the increasing pressure on limited land.

The continuing protests led by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) forced the state Government to reconsider posting of women teachers. As per latest developments many affected lady teachers have been transferred to their hometowns or nearby places including the gangrape survivor.

Peace and tranquility must be restored to this beautiful state along with purposeful economic development. Women must get their respect back in this land of Shakti--where Goddesses have been worshipped for ages. What better time to ensure this than now when Durga Puja is being celebrated all over. Goddess Durga is identified as the destroyer of evil and of rogues/ruffians (Asur)!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cricket: Sachin Tendulkar Announces Retirement, Vintage Yuvraj Steers India Beat Australia In T20 Encounter!

Now it is final. Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar is going to be missed fully in the cricket field in a matter of days. Sachin has announced his retirement in Mumbai today from Test cricket after his 200th Test likely to be played in his hometown Mumbai this November. At the moment he has 198 Tests to his credit and two Test matches have been specially arranged by the BCCI inviting West Indies in short notice. West Indies has already agreed and the BCCI succeeded in its bid to capture the momentous occasion for the world's best cricketer. Sachin Tendulkar had earlier retired from one-day, IPL and all varieties of T20 cricket. The greatest cricket spectacle will no longer be in display and a superlative records-breaking career spanning more than twenty years is coming to an inevitable close.

Meanwhile the hurried through fast-paced Australian tour of India for which Cricket Australia has faced a lot of criticism back home has taken off tonight with a T20 international match in Rajkot. After a good show in the last few weeks die-hard Yuvraj Singh was included in the playing eleven and how he justified his selection. He was effortless, elegant and aggressive with sixes and fours flowing from his bat all around the ground.

Australia made a tall score of 201 losing 7 wickets. It was a challenging total on any ground and under all conditions. India lost Rohit Sharma early and at 100/4 off 11 overs it was like looking upto someone to deliver one incredible innings. With 77 runs not out off just 35 balls Yuvraj did just that helping India beat Australia by 6 wickets sparing two balls. It was vintage Yuvraj and Australia could not do much about it. Captain Dhoni provided perfect company scoring 101 runs in last 51 balls for the unbeaten partnership. For Australia Finch gave the momentum scoring brilliant 89 runs from 52 balls. Shane Watson kept India in check, but the format allowed him to bowl only 4 overs.The Scorecard:

It is a good start for India with 7 one-day internationals to follow at break neck speed.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Eventful Sunday: Painting, Rains And Bipul Deuri Gets Assam Translation Literature Award-2013!

 22nd Death Anniversary of Amulya Kumar Chakravarty
We had the Sunday, the 6th of October, lined up with two back to back programmes. First at 10.30am, a Painting Competition for little kids organized for the first time by Shrutinaad, and then the main sixth Amulya Kumar Chakravarty Memorial Translation Literature Award-2013 Ceremony at 3pm at the same venue that is Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra, Guwahati. But Sunday morning brought us some disappointment. Heavy overnight downpour filled our campus. We hoped the day would light up later. Nature had other plans though. 

Rains started first with a drizzle and then pouring down. However we were ecstatic seeing huge groups of kids with parents filling out the forms defying rains. Due to the torrential rains that followed we were allotted an inner veranda. The start was a little delayed, but everything was in order with our dear friend and renowned sculptor Biren Singha as Chief Guest guiding the kids to perfection. 

Meanwhile it turned out to be an unprecedented downpour in these parts continuing with unabated fury till about 2.30pm and flooding the main road outside the venue and homes all around. We got the information that rain water was rushing into our home too and that we would not be able to return home after the programmes. We prepared emboldened by the grand success of the Painting Competition. Only prayed at least the Award winner would arrive for the Ceremony. 

Award Winner Bipul Deuri Felicitated
The award function was a dignified affair too. The President of Assam Sahitya Sabha, Imran Shah, formally presented the 6th biennial Amulya Kumar Chakravarty Memorial Translation Literature Award-2013 to Bipul Deuri, a very popular Author-Translator of recent times, for his brilliant rendering of Mark Shand's epic travelogue 'River Dog' into Assamese. The meeting was presided over by Urmila Chakravarty, President of Panzabari Sahitya Sabha-the joint organizer with Amulya Kumar Chakravarty Memorial Trust. Rousing and enlightening speeches were delivered by Professor Imran Shah and Special Guest ex-MP Jayanta Rongpi. Rongpi emphasized the fact that in today's times of rampant corruption the down to earth honesty of Amulya Kumar Chakravarty as a civil service officer must get highlighted along with his literary Translation genius. Speech by the convener and member of the Trust Chinmay Chakravarty (this writer) was also appreciated. Ragini Chakravarty presided over the Painting Competition awards distribution event for Shrutinaad, the joint organizer of the Competition. Three top awards and two consolation awards were presented.

As anticipated we could not return home that evening and spent the night at relatives' places. In our hearts we were very happy for the success and grateful for the audience who almost filled the auditorium despite calamitous weather. There were endless calls from all those who could not make it. 

We came home last evening and by late night could somehow control the 'flood' inside! We are still waiting for the 'outside' one to subside. There are some damages, but the spirit reigns supreme.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Kill Bill, Lalu Shrill, Election Drill, Voters Thrill!

As I cool my heels in my native city Guwahati make no frills about all the thrills of politicking in the meantime. Starting with the Bill or rather the Ordinance to protect convicted politicians the Prime Minister of India returned from the US and, as anticipated widely, decided to kill the Bill in his Cabinet meeting thanks to Rahul Gandhi's vitriolics. All got seemingly well between the head of the Government and the Vice President of the party that leads the Government.

As an immediate casualty of the killed bill Bihar veteran Lalu Prasad Yadav got convicted for stealing food from the animals and sentenced five years in jail. At the moment the politician is having sleepless nights thanks to the jail mosquitoes and insects that do not discriminate. Some other about to be convicted criminal politicians are fast losing hope in their own system.

And today Assembly Elections are declared for five states starting November 11 to December 4 with the date of counting fixed on 8th December--a date that could greatly impact General Elections-2014. More thrillingly for voters and non-voters, the Right to Reject is set to start with these polls. Election Commission officials point out that the electronic voting machines have an in-built system to take more options like 'None of the Above'. So, no frills, only thrills!
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