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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Life: Mother And Son!

“Hello sonny dear?...You sound a little disturbed, tell me what’s on your mind.”
“Err…mom!...You know how much I love you…how I care for you!”
“I know son, go ahead.”
“You know I work long hours at a place a quite far off from our home here. And you are mostly alone in this big old house. On the top of that you don’t keep well nowadays. I’m constantly worried about you, mom!”
“I understand, it’s part of old age,…go ahead.”
“Well…err…mom…please don’t misinterpret what I’m going to say. I want to ensure constant medical and personal care for you. So why don’t we sell off this useless house. You’ll be well looked after in a sanatorium or in a very good old-age home. Believe me mom, I really want you to be hale and hearty.”
“That’s okay, but why sell the house. We don’t need money. I get a pension good enough for me.”
“Money is always useful dearest mom. You can invest in the share market or… we can buy a new house nearer to my workplace. Whenever you want you can come over there for a change.”
“Right, sonny dear! You want to live in a new house and want me out of the way. Who’s this girl you want to marry…and very soon?”
“What girl?...What are you saying mom?”
“Out with it…come on son! I can claim to know you even better than you!”
“You know the girls these days…I can’t really see you living happily with her.”
“So leave me here. I’m at home here and would prefer breathing my last here. Don’t you worry my darling little one!”  (From the old files)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

How to Make a Crime Scene Clean!

At some point in your life, you’ve probably seen a crime show or watched something gory on a film. Whether or not you regularly watch these shows on TV, you have probably noticed the huge mess that is left at a crime scene. This happens in real life, too, and somebody has to clean it up! Continue reading for more information on how businesses like Scene Clean manage to make order out of gruesome chaos.

When to Clean

Crime and trauma scene decontamination (or CTS Decon) occurs after the crime scene has been completely turned over by the local officials. They often leave a bigger mess than was there before. This is because they dust for prints, causing a black carbon mess. When the emergency services are performed, they also may make a mess in trying to save lives and stop bleeding. When pictures have been taken, and everything is said and done, the CTS Decon experts come in.

What to Clean

The professionals are equipped to clean up some pretty nasty things, including blood and other bodily fluids, and dangerous environments like meth labs. The reason this is usually not done by family members or other local people is that the mess is often much bigger than what you can see. For example, a small blood spot on the carpet can actually be a much bigger spot underneath it. The materials with bio-hazardous waste on them must also be properly disposed of, which requires permits. Additionally, this kind of work also requires the cleanup of liquefied body matter and maggots in the event that a body has been decomposing at a scene. Very few people would know what to do in this situation.

How to Clean

Not only are these scenes potentially stinky and unpleasant, they can also be very dangerous. For example, cleaning up a methamphetamine lab exposes you to toxic residue, which can cause a host of problems including lung damage, blindness, and more. So the experts from a business like Scene Clean have to wear the proper non-porous suit for protection. They’ll have to bring the basics like bleach and peroxide, along with more heavy-duty cleaning supplies like sprayers, brushes, and wet vacuums. With the huge messes and extensive measures that must be taken, this isn’t a job for the average Joe. (Sponsored Post)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cricket: India Win ODI Series Against West Indies! Dhawan Posts His 5th Hundred Of The Year As India Register 6th Successive Series Win!

Shikhar Dhawan Blazing Away

India beat West Indies by 5 wickets in the final one day international in Kanpur today and won the three-match ODI Series 2-1. The Indian victory came largely thanks to opener Shikhar Dhawan who scored a magnificent century (119 off 95 balls)—his 5th in the year 2013. Team India has also achieved the 6th successive ODI Series victory in 2013 (January to November) starting with the India-England Series (3-1), ICC Champions Trophy in England, Tri-Nation Series in West Indies, India-Zimbabwe Series in Zimbabwe (5-0), India-Australia Series (3-2) and this India-West Indies Series (2-1). Team India has kept the victory momentum going despite stalwarts leaving the team in a phased manner and the consistent weakness in the bowling front. What India do next in South Africa will be both expecting and exciting.

In this day match that started in hazy wintry conditions the first hour was going to be crucial. Indian captain MS Dhoni elected to bat first after winning the toss mainly due to this reason and also because of a very healthy Indian chasing record. The Dhoni gamble gave him just one wicket despite fact that the Indian pacers put West Indies batsmen under a lot of pressure for quite some time. Continuing his good form of the last match Powell (70 off 81) crafted a fast-paced partnership of 117 runs with Samuels (71 off 93) and West Indies looked good for a huge total. However, Indian spinners Ashwin and Jadeja turned the tide in India’s favor taking three quick wickets. West Indies yet again averted a habitual collapse as the heroes of the last encounter DM Bravo (51 off 53) and Darren Sammy (37 off 38) helped their team to attain a competitive score of 263/5 in fifty overs.

The Indian chase looked rather easy as Shikhar Dhawan blasted away with magical boundaries and Yuvraj Singh (55 off 74) found his form to the delight of his fans.  Raina made it easier still playing a cameo of 34 in 43 balls without any kind of pressure. Although both settled batsmen, Yuvraj and Raina, got out with India still needing more than fifty runs captain Dhoni and Jadeja ensured a victory without any fuss reaching 266/5 with nearly four overs to spare. Dhawan deservedly won the man of the match and Virat Kohli the man of the series awards. The Scorecard:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cricket: West Indies Salvage Lost Pride, Beat India To Draw Level!

Man of The Match Darren Sammy

West Indies desperately needed a win after being brought in and butchered for celebrating Sachin Tendulkar retirement. Their deposed captain Darren Sammy kept his cool finally leading his team to victory on Sunday, the 24th of November, 2013. Salvaging their lost pride and overcoming their suicidal tendencies twice during the match West Indies managed to beat India by 2 wickets in the second one day international (ODI) in Visakhapatnam. For once, both teams matched each other in terms of ups and downs, flip-flops, dropped catches and fielding blemishes. Of course, in bowling West Indies managed to block India effectively midway while Indian bowlers were lackluster except for Ashwin.

West Indies won the toss and maybe due to the dew factor elected to field first. This time Rohit Sharma could not take his dream run forward and got out early with Shikhar Dhawan too unable to stick on for long. But Virat Kohli gave the momentum needed and was poised for his 18th ODI hundred thus creating a record of scoring five centuries each in two consecutive years. With good support from Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina he took the score to 194 for 3 in the 35th over. At that stage India seemed to be on course for a 300 plus total. However, inspired bowling by Rampaul, Holder and Sammy deprived Kohli (99 off 100 balls) of his hundred almost choking India. Raina this time too could not go on for a longer innings and perished to a bad shot. But for a late charge by captain Dhoni (51 not out) India could not have reached an imposing total of 288/7 on a slowish pitch. The match was evenly poised because of the heavy dew.

West Indies, this time without Chris Gayle, started badly losing two wickets for 23 runs. But then Powell (59) and Darren Bravo (50) brought up the first hundred run partnership of the tour and they had the first breath of win at 123 for 2. Unpredictability took over as both fell quickly despite being let off several times. Simmons (62) kept hope alive still and at 185 for 4 West Indies were cruising. They let it go too and struggled losing wickets till the end. Finally Darren Sammy (63 not out off just 45 balls) overcame his team’s suicidal instincts and reached 289 for 8 winning the match by 2 wickets with 3 balls to spare. He was rightfully chosen the Man of the Match.  The Scorecard:

With the three-match India-West Indies ODI Series locked at 1-1 the third and final encounter in Kanpur on 27th November looks interesting. The final will be a day match and therefore the dew factor affecting mainly the bowlers of the team fielding second is being ruled out. The early wintry morning conditions could of course help fast bowlers though and the toss could still be tricky.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

India: Holy Campaigners Fall For Power And Clout!

The so-called holy campaigners or even ‘crusaders’ are falling into the time-tested Indian mix of power-and-clout trap. Always crying for high morale values and attacking and exposing the powers-that-be with stings and other operations one of such ‘crusading’ media agencies, web magazine Tehelka (means 'uproar') finds itself with the sinners it fights against thanks to the overpowering drive of power accumulated which creates enough clout for immunity. Always crying for a corruption free society and corruption free politics anti-corruption activists who did not think much of their philosopher-friend-guide leader to go on form a separate political party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP—common man’s party) by Arvind Kejriwal, find themselves deep in the same rot created by power and clout and yet show an adamant bout of immunity.

Right, in India you just need to chase a noble cause—causes are not at all hard to find in a fast degenerating society—, make a nationwide campaign, win public confidence, assume enough power by pitching public opinion against the rulers thus adding blackmail and finally create the clout for you which makes you immune to whatever you do later. We have said several times on these pages that these ‘holy’ campaigners consider themselves gods and above law, and thus empowered they laugh away all kinds of possible charges or accusations against them as ‘conspiracies’ by the ruling power that is necessarily and always corrupt, inapt and rotten.

The founder editor of, Tarun Tejpal, tries to molest or rape a fellow journalist in Goa during an event. The victim files a complaint against the editor with the management and, in utter disregard of stringent laws for crimes against women for which the media fought so intensely the management tries to cover it up internally. The editor thanks to the power and clout he had built up during his ‘fiery’ career resigns for six months as self-inflicted ‘punishment’ and claims that the victim is satisfied with the measures taken. The management never lodged a police complaint as if there was no law in the country, right no law can exist for the powerful, and just about succeeded but for leaked emails. Luckily for the victim and India their own ‘recuse-exercises’ emails got leaked and Goa Police took up the case lodging an FIR for rape against Tarun Tejpal. As the investigations get going reports came from the victim that inhibition and harassment are being applied to pressurize her to reconcile to the management ‘justice’ formula.

Chief Lieutenant of Anna Hazare fight against corruption movement, Arvind Kejriwal, formed his own political party AAP against his mentor’s wishes and went ahead to contest state Assembly polls.  Suddenly, a media portal did a sting operation and the videos showed clearly how AAP leaders bargained for ‘quid pro quo’ promising action for money and ready to accept cash in return. And predictably, the AAP leadership laughed away the video as ‘doctored’ and ‘distorted’. Right, thanks to the power and clout they have accumulated riding on public unrest and faith they brazenly term this too as ‘politically motivated conspiracy’.

Well, the hapless citizens of the country can hardly get the actual truth in any case, but they can be cautious enough while casting their votes. The all-encompassing degeneration of the Indian society tragically seems to be complete with the media itself and the corruption-free political party succumbing to the obvious temptations. At the moment India need incorruptible saviors who have to be internally programmed never to fall for temptations of power and clout. But to fight Indian elections you always need huge amounts of money and influence. Irony overpowering irony!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cricket: Indian Demolition Of West Indies Continues!

Rohit And Virat

Team India made a perfect gift of 2-0 sweep in the Test Series—suitably called Tendulkar Farewell Series—to the retiring legend fully at the expense of a clueless West Indies for whom the only consolation could have been the historic moments of Sachin Tendulkar retirement. The first one day international (ODI) of the three-match India Vs West Indies ODI Series in Kochi today continued or rather heightened the same demolition parade as India won easily by 6 wickets with over 14 overs to spare. India lead the ODI Series 1-0.

West Indies won the toss and elected to bat first on a seemingly batting track. They faced disaster immediately as they lost prime ODI player Chris Gayle run out in the very first over. Charles (42) and Samuels (24) generated some hope by taking the score to 65 in the eleventh over. Sensing the tricky nature of the wicket Indian captain Dhoni introduced spinners from both ends and that spelt the end of the West Indies batting challenge. Jadeja who came back to Team India after injury that left him out of the Test Series, Ashwin and Raina accounted for 8 wickets between them. West Indies got all out for a paltry 211 in the 49th over with just a solitary half century by DM Bravo (59).  That was hardly a challenge for the strong Indian batting line-up.

India lost Shikhar Dhawan early, but that hardly deterred Rohit Sharma (72) and Virat Kohli (86) both of whom continue to enjoy a dream run of terrific form from taking the match away in matters of overs. They took the score to 150 in the 25th over and after that it was just academic. Barring a brief flutter when two wickets fell quickly India romped home at 212/4 in the 36th over. The second day-n-night ODI will be played on November 24 in Visakhapatnam. West Indies, particularly Gayle, must produce some extraordinary tricks out the sleeves to stay afloat in the Series. The Scorecard:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Humor: Ring…Ring…Ring…Are You Ready?

Haven’t you already observed a helluva lot of times that your cell phone bursts out ringing at the most awkwardly wrong moments?  Like you’ve lathered up nicely and about to put your razor to work…you mobile rings. You can’t take the risk of answering unless you’d like it to have a shave too. Like you are in the bath happy and singing…you mobile rings. Let be assured that it would’ve been one of the most important calls. Like you are driving and in the worst of traffic situation…you mobile rings…not once, but several times and falls silent when you’ve reached. I’d not rather mention other situations when you feel mad, shamed and damned. However, the situation I suffered recently was as unique as it was hilarious, maddening, exciting and depressing.

That warm evening I along with my wife came out of the supermarket after purchasing mostly grocery items. There were three moderately heavy bags, I was carrying two engaging both of my hands and my wife one. We walked briskly to reach our car so as to unburden ourselves quickly. Midway, to my dismay, I heard my cell phone safely kept in my inner pocket ringing. Thinking it could be important I transferred the load of my right hand to my left and took out the mobile answering it. Now my left hand was carrying two bags and it was becoming real heavy. Our car was still far off.

The call was important. It was the result of my consistent efforts for quite some time in a particular project. Now the caller started feeding me all the details and I knew it was not going to end soon. I reached my car and stood helpless as I could not take out the car key from my back pocket. The road was dirty and so I could not put the bags there, something my wife never liked anyway. My left hand was crying aloud now about to break. My wife was getting annoyed too as she was also carrying one. I motioned her to come close to me and moved my eyes downwards furiously trying to tell, ‘Please take out the key from my back pocket and open the doors’. Not understanding she tried my shirt pocket. Taking a second off from the insistent conversation I brought my mobile down and thrashed it on my back pocket. ‘This is the jackpot! Hit it quick!’

By the time she managed to open the car doors the phone call ended.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Continue Your Education at Your Convenience!

If you have the desire for higher education but have found that going back to school is not an option for you at this time, consider enrolling in an institution that offers online classes to their students. Online classes make taking your education to the next level easier than ever. The college or university of your choice may offer this option to their students to help them reach their educational and professional goals. Some areas of education that might interest you are business, arts and humanities, or the sciences.

College and universities that offer online classes to their students are giving them the opportunity to get their education from an accredited institution without attending a formal classroom setting. An institution that offers this allows their students to cover the same curriculum and criteria that is covered in a traditional classroom, but they can complete the assignments and take on the course load in their home, office, or on the go. 

Once you have enrolled in the institution of your choice and have selected the major you are interested in, you will be given login credentials to access your class’s materials in a digital format. If a textbook or other book is required for your class, you may be able to purchase it in a digital or paper format. You will find your assignments and other projects your professor has assigned on a simple-to-use dashboard where you can keep track of upcoming deadlines, post in forums your professor creates, or communicate with your professor one-on-one.

Choosing to take online courses may seem like a no-brainer, but deciding which course of study that most interests you may be difficult. If you would like help choosing your major or determining your class schedule, you can speak with an academic adviser that specializes in business, arts and humanities, sciences, or general education. You will also find their help online to answer questions and for further direction.

If you are unable to attain your higher education in a traditional setting, you will find the option to attend an accredited institution through online classes helpful in your journey to gain more knowledge and better your personal and professional life. (Paid Post)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Perfect Finale For The Retiring Legend: Sachin Tendulkar Awarded Bharat Ratna, Team India Gifts Him 2-0 Series Win!

Mumbai, Day 3: All shades of emotions were in spontaneously glorious display at Wankhede Stadium this morning as Sachin Tendulkar took the last bow out of cricket after India thumped West Indies by an innings and 126 runs in the Second and Final Test of the Tendulkar Farewell Series within the first session of play. There were cheers and tears; standing ovation and absolute adulation; ecstatic outbursts and pain of parting and unbridled show of pride, love and affection. Not only in the stadium where at least 25,000 people were there to watch their hero one last time, but everywhere across India and the world of cricket. Our newsroom was no exception as all of staff forgot to mind their work for one rare occasion and crowded around the television sets to watch and listen to the master-blaster. After all presentations and mementos the God of Cricket spoke to the whole of the world of cricket for nearly twenty minutes thanking his mother, his wife, his coach, his Wankhede where he started his cricket career exactly 24 years ago, his cricket Board, his team mates and colleagues, his therapists and doctors, and of course his millions of fans and cricket lovers. A man rooted to his culture Sachin walked to the pitch and did his prayers for the last time. Then his triumphant team mates who felt ecstatic being able to gift him a 2-0 Series win against West Indies carried him on their shoulders marching around the ground in gratitude and affection.   The final golden touch of the day was yet to come.

Just about two hours after the match the President of India announced the Award of Bharat Ratna (The Pearl of India) to Sachin Tendulkar. Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian honor of the country and Sachin becomes the first ever sportsperson to get this. Whole of India, particularly his home state Maharashtra, celebrated across homes, offices, streets and markets. Scientist CNR Rao was also conferred Bharat Ratna for his contribution particularly in the recent Mars Mission.

Thus an illustrious career lasting exactly 24 years and a day in which he played 200 Test Matches, 463 ODIs and a lone T20 scoring 34,357 international runs came to a glorious end today. The 40-year-old maestro, who had rarely let emotions show on his cherubic face, began to break down after being presented a souvenir stump by his teammates. Wiping tears, he trudged back to the dressing room but not before acknowledging the fans and shaking hands with the West Indian cricketers at the boundary line. Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar retired from international cricket quietly, so did Dravid and Laxman holding their customary press conferences. Ganguly and Kumble got a farewell but it was much muted by those standards. But when it came to Tendulkar, who has truly transcended all boundaries, it was only fitting that a billion people would be swayed by emotions.

In the second innings there was just one half century by D Ramdin (53 not out) as West Indies crumbled to a pathetic 187 in 47 overs giving India a huge victory margin for the second consecutive time. Pragyan Ojha was declared the man of the match for taking 10 wickets (5 for 40 and 5 for 49) and debutant Rohit Sharma the man of the series for two consecutive and brilliant centuries. Ashwin took 4 wickets and one by Mohammed Shami. The Scorecard:

Sachin Tendulkar euphoria is not going to subside soon. After the announcement of the highest award for him fans would expect him to speak to them again and an endless of stream of felicitations leading finally to the Award Ceremony.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tendulkar Farewell Series: Sachin Dazzles Short Of Century, India Poised To Wrap It Up Tomorrow!

Mumbai, Day 2: The morning session of the 2nd day of the 2nd and final Test between India and West Indies perhaps has beaten even an India-Pakistan cricket thriller in terms of viewership, suspense, expectations and excitement. And the fans, ex-cricketers or organizers, Bollywood superstars, Chief Ministers, central ministers, political bigwigs and business tycoons who thronged the Wankhede stadium or millions of television sets were not disappointed by the God of Cricket. The master-blaster almost found his golden touch delivering glorious straight drives, elegant square cuts, lofted shots—he tried even the flick over the head of the wicket keeper that was made official by Virender Sehwag in one-day cricket. He added 36 more runs to overnight 38 crafting a partnership of 148 solid runs with Pujara to lift India out of the woods. He got out for a majestic 74 falling to Deonarayan and although fans wanted him to go on for a memorable century they were not disappointed either. It was a standing ovation for the cricket legend all the way back to the pavilion. In all probability this was the last of Sachin Tendulkar as far as playing cricket is concerned. It is still painful though to think that he will never be seen playing with his heart out hitting all around the park.  

The Indian cricket Board officials and curators were perhaps rather too eager of presenting a winning farewell series, because like the first Test this one is also set to get over in two and half days tomorrow. Inspite of the Tendulkar nostalgia and show of tremendous passion the strong-ever Pujara (113) kept his end in perfect order and notched up his 5th Test century crafting another momentous partnership with Virat Kohli (57). After the heroic knock of 177 in Kolkata Test Rohit Sharma (111 not out—two consecutive centuries in his first two Tests) proved again how useful a cricketer he has become for India by achieving another century off just 118 balls. The Indian first innings throughout had the perfect one-day cricket look and style (495 in 108 overs). With all these healthy knocks India gained a massive lead of 313 runs and captured three West Indies wickets for 43 runs at stumps on second day. Ashwin struck immediately with two victims and hopefully for West Indies Gayle is patiently not out at 6. West Indies off spinner Shillingford made it a fifth consecutive five-wicket haul in Test cricket and this is indeed a great plus for the definitely weaker team in this Series. The Scorecard:

Finally it is going to be a very happy ending for Sachin Tendulkar and his fans with India poised to wrap it 2-0 tomorrow with a huge victory margin once again. Do not lose heart; you can still watch your God of Cricket in action tomorrow too.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tedulkar Farewell Series: West Indies Scuttled Out For 182, Sachin Tendulkar Batting!

Pragyan Ojha 5 for 40

Mumbai, Day 1: Indian captain MS Dhoni surprised many and disappointed more by electing to field first after wining the toss in Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th and the second and final Test against West Indies in Mumbai today. The Wankhede track is known to take turn from the 3rd or 4th day making things difficult for the team batting last. However, it is also known to contain some juice and Dhoni perhaps wanted to exploit early morning conditions with his new look fast bowler pair Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami. Had the catches been taken early on the Indian captain’s decision could have been justified immediately. Finally, on the first day itself the crowds had the best of both worlds. They witnessed their team dominate West Indies completely and relished the retiring legend coming in to bat remaining unbeaten at stumps.

The Indian fast bowlers, particularly Shami, maintained tight line and length reaching the speeds of around 145km per hour. Shami got the danger man Chris Gayle (11) out early while quite a few catches were dropped at slips of Kieran Powell (48—highest individual score) and DM Bravo (29).  But the spinner duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha clicked immediately compensating for the lost chances. It was surprising to see the ball spinning and keeping low right on the first day. West Indies had had another unpredictable collapse with not partnership building up and not even a single half century in the entire innings. West Indies could not last even two full sessions and got all out for a paltry 182 before tea break. Ojha had the best figure of 5 for 40, Ashwin 3 for 45 and the pacers with one each.

India started on a brisk note with openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay notching up 77 runs in almost one-day style. And then in the 14th over off spinner Shillingford struck twice getting both openers out. Cheteshwar Pujara came in his usual position and with 2 wickets down for 77 there was pin drop silence and suspense around the stadium. With more than twenty overs left for the day a night watchman could not possible be sent in. It was also too risky to send in Tendulkar as billion hopes were associated with his batting, possibly for the last time ever as India was set on course for a big lead like in the first Test in Kolkata.

Sachin Walks In To Bat Perhaps For Last Time
But it was indeed Sachin Tendulkar who came in with crowds loving the moment. Tendulkar too seemed to have understood the urgency of the billion hopes and batted cautiously slowly and steadily opening out and finding his rhythm. The master-blaster remained unbeaten at 38 with Pujara not out on 34 and India at 157/2 trailing just by 25 runs. The Scorecard:

Since early morning today the atmosphere in and around Wankhede Stadium was charged with admiration and passion demonstrated spontaneously by fans, cricket organizers and ex-players and huge number of media crews for the cricket legend who was playing his 200th and last Test on his home ground. He was felicitated with memento by the cricket Board; Dhoni presented him a cap with 200 embossed over it; the coin for the toss was also special with Sachin Tendulkar’s photo on it and the Indian Posts and Telegraphs issued today a special stamp in his honor.

His cricket fans all over India and the world at the moment are pinning their hopes on their beloved player to deliver a strong and fitting farewell knock tomorrow, the 101st international century most preferably.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mumbai Celebrating Sachin Tendulkar!

The retiring cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar fever has consumed his home city Mumbai with temperatures increasing as the second Test between India and West Indies after which the legend is to make the final goodbye to cricket nears. Everywhere fans are talking about him, the media channels producing special programs on him and the newspapers carrying special features on his achievements and glory. At different levels of cricket organizers and the state government felicitation programs are being held routinely or planned during the next few days.

The Maharashtra Government had already formed a special felicitation committee with the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Ministers as members. Last evening a grand naming ceremony was organized at a Mumbai suburb where the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) dedicated a sprawling world-class sports facility as Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana. In a colorful and vibrant function the legend participated expressing his deep gratitude and genuine cricket emotions. Union Ministers, state Ministers including the Chief Minister, cricket biggies, celebrities and fans were present on this great occasion.

Side effects of the raging fever were also visible. Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium where the historic second Test is scheduled to start on 14th November is much smaller than Eden Gardens in Kolkata and has a 32,000 capacity. Out of these possible tickets 17,000 were given to the cricket fraternity including associations and clubs all over the globe,: 8000 were given to sponsors and government officials and after some more adjustments just 5000 tickets were offered online for the general public. Imagine, Mumbai alone has a population of about 14 million. To make things worse for the fans the website selling tickets crashed yesterday due to unprecedented hits and this drove irate fans to the Wankhede Stadium in hope of finding tickets there. But there were none. Today morning online sale opened and immediately the sold out sign came on.

The master-blaster, rather unexpectedly for the fans gathered at the stadium, came out for net practice with most of his team mates today afternoon and the crowds were gratified beyond words. Members of the West Indies team had their session too earlier. The atmosphere at the Wankhede Stadium has got electrified already.

In the first Test in Kolkata India defeated West Indies by an innings and 51 runs and it was all over within three days. The fans there enjoyed their idol running around the field, bowling a few overs too and taking a wicket. However, they could see him bat only once and that too was cut short by an umpiring error. Apparently the curator of Eden Gardens wanted to make it sure India won that match as a mark of gratitude for their legendary team mate.  Fans in Mumbai are hoping Sachin Tendulkar bows out finally with a thundering batting performance at his home ground to make the ‘cricket’ part of the celebrations too as memorable as ever. A full five-day Test will also be the right finale for a historic event.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Suspense: Frenzy!

A Still From Hitchcock Classic Frenzy

Dinkar stood hunched, a knife in his hand.

He was agitated and tense. The situation was getting out of hand. He had to do something now—something permanent and final. He could tolerate it no longer.

Everyone has some weaknesses, but at the same time some strengths too, he muses furiously. What to do if one always highlights the weaknesses and makes it a point to ignore the strengths! His has been one such never ending story since all the years of his marriage.

His grip on the knife tightened.

He could still hear the rumblings, the grumblings and the awesomely monotonous cacophony.

First thing on this beautiful Sunday morning he got it again. And what did he do? Were his mistakes so unpardonable or were these mistakes mistakes at all?  He only tried to help as always. That he broke the tea cup was only an accident. He took it to the sink just to make it easier—as a good gesture. Spilling the water in the passage was another little accident when again he tried to help only by carrying the water to the bath.

He could hear his wife still in the bathroom. He felt the point of his knife.

‘Nag…nag…you old hag!’, he muttered to himself with relish not daring though to say it aloud, because that would make her start all over again. Her way of putting it never failed to hit him to the core. She says his daily routine goes like this—sit, sleep and eat while at home; sit, sit and eat the lunch provided while at office and then coming back home to sit eat and sleep again. How so cruel of her!

He could hear her coming out of the bath, meddling with the washing machine and then entering the bedroom still not forgetting to go on with her live demo on his morning mistakes in all its originality and manifestations.

This was his chance! The line was clear! Their son out at a music class. They were alone.

Holding the knife poised Dinkar rushed to the kitchen and bolted the door from inside. He violently took out the vegetables tray and attacked the greens with venom.

He would prove it once and for all that he was no less a cook than her and that he was her equal in all respects.

He was not going to come out till the lunch was ready.

(This story was retrieved from my old files of more than 12 years. More discoveries to continue!)   

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Supreme Court Of India Brings CBI Back To Business!

Nobody could have imagined in his/her wildest of dreams that the premiere and the most trustworthy investigating agency of India would find itself suddenly out of business. It actually happened on Thursday, the 7th of November, 2013 when the Gauhati (Guwahati) High Court while hearing on a petition held the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) ‘unconstitutional’, and not even a ‘police force’. It quashed the April 1, 1963 Resolution constituting CBI under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 and declared all its actions unconstitutional.  The judgment by the division bench, comprising justices I A Ansari and Indira Shah, came on a writ petition filed by Navendra Kumar challenging an order by a single judge of the high court in 2007 on the resolution through which CBI was set up. The whole country was plunged into a deep crisis.

For obvious reasons. CBI has been investigating innumerable cases relating to corruption, frauds, high profile murders and more all over the country. Charge-sheets have been filed in various huge scams, big personalities ranging from former ministers, bureaucrats and business tycoons have been arrested and put into jails, and various scams are in various stages of litigation. The Government of India, the opposition political parties irrespective of what they spell out aloud, the states of the country and of course the citizens have been pinning their hopes on this agency for punishing the guilty. It has also been known that different states of India always ask for CBI investigation in all high profile crimes where actions of the local police and politicians are suspect. And suddenly, the CBI stopping to function, not accepting new cases and casting a shadow over the future of many scams.

There are some hilarious effects too. Quite few scam-accused including central and state ministers have started appealing in courts for stalling future proceedings of their respective cases as the lawful prosecutor became ‘illegal’. These corrupt criminals reacted as if clutching the last straw. All others are pitifully short of articulating proper and correct reactions as most did not know how to react. The main opposition political parties who always chase the CBI as the main manipulative instrument in the hands of the ruling coalition suddenly could not welcome this dramatic development and appealed to the Government only to get a stay from the Supreme Court of India immediately. Maybe these parties understood that they also have hopes of coming to power and in that case they would need the CBI as urgently as the present power.

The Government of India got into top gear to resolve the issue. Speculation was that the appeal against the verdict would be filed today and a probable hearing would be on Monday. But perhaps in a never-before development the Government not only filed the appeal today but also paved the way for a hearing in the afternoon. The Supreme Court of India hearing was held in the residence of the Chief Justice of India and as expected, a stay on the Gauhati High Court verdict was granted. The Supreme Court expressed concern at criminals asking for stay of trials and the large number of accused in various sensational scams citing this as reasons for the stay. The next hearing would be on December 6, 2013.

The unprecedented crisis was resolved and the CBI went back to business. There is a collective sigh of relief all over the country with the exception perhaps of the frustrated corrupt criminals of the country.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tendulkar Farewell Test Series: Rohit Debut Ton Rescues And Puts India Ahead!!

R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma Unbeaten at Stumps Day 2
The fans in Kolkata just about managed to have everything they wanted of their idol. They saw him jumping and running around the field, enjoyed him bowling and reveled as he took a wicket too on the first day of the first cricket Test between India and West Indies. On the second day today they wanted to see him bat early and therefore even cheered the fall of the first two wickets. Sachin Tendulkar came in to bat within the first hour of today’s play and he seemed to be in a good nick hitting two beautiful boundaries. But this wish of the fans to see him have a long innings was cut short by 'Llong'--umpire Nigel Llong to be exact--who ruled him out leg before even as the ball that hit his back thigh seemed to be going above the off stump. Problem is off spinner Shillingford—the wicket Tendulkar captured yesterday—actually beat the retiring legend and the best batsman of the world has in fact been beaten around his leg consistently over the last one year. Apart from the focus of the Series cricket in the first two sessions was abysmally poor with the Indian top order caving in meekly basically to the spin of Shillingford who took four huge wickets.

Reverse swing and some amount of turn were visible on the pitch right from the morning today with the ball keeping low most often run making was difficult. Combining his skills of having an unpredictable bounce and a perfectly disguised doosra Shillingford troubled all the batsmen reducing India to 83 for 5. It could have been worse if a catch of Dhoni was taken at that stage. Debutante Rohit Sharma then took full charge and with his captain laid the anchors for a much needed partnership. At lunch the score was 120/5. However soon after lunch Dhoni fell to Best for 42 at India 156/6 and it was still an uphill task with not even a half century till then by anyone. Fresh from his double ton in the final ODI against Australia and inspired by the Test cap achieved after nearly three-year-long wait Rohit got to the first fifty of the innings and with able company provided by R Ashwin rescued India to 229/6 at tea. The second session was the better as nearly hundred runs were added with the loss of just Dhoni.

Rohit-Ashwin partnership went from strength to strength crossing hundred runs in the last session making it the best session of the day and a lead over West Indies was slowly and steadily growing. Rohit made a magnificent debut of an unbeaten 127 with 16 fours and 1 six while Ashwin who made his only Test century against West Indies played elegantly and fluently to remain unbeaten on 92 with 10 fours at stumps on Day 2. The duo rescued and made India strong with an unbeaten 198-run partnership for the seventh wicket. After having India in a tight corner WI captain Darren Sammy seemed to have lost the plot completely. He did not even utilize the known slow bowlers like Gayle and Marlon Samuels, under bowled Permaul and almost over bowled himself. What is significant for the future course of the Test India already amassed a lead of 120 runs and at 354/6 look to add more tomorrow. Considering the behavior of the pitch this lead could well be decisive.  The Scorecard:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tendulkar Farewell Test Series: Shami Debut Destroys West Indies!

Mohammed Shami

West Indies got dismissed cheaply for 234 runs just after tea on the first day of the first cricket Test between India and West Indies at the majestic Eden Gardens, Kolkata today. This was brought about largely by a tremendous burst of swing bowling by Mohammed Shami who made his Test debut too being preferred over Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav due to his good performance in the recently concluded 7-match India-Australia one day international Series. Shami took four wickets for 71 runs and was also instrumental in a run-out. The second debutant for the first Test was Rohit Sharma who was finally given the Test cap thanks mainly to his Series winning innings of 209 runs in the final ODI against Australia in Bangalore. Test specialists Murli Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, spinner Pragyan Ojha, and of course Sachin Tendulkar featured in Team India.

West Indies (WI) won the toss and elected to bat first on the slow pitch at Eden Gardens. The pitch hardly helped the bowlers—be it pacers or spinners—but WI openers could not take advantage as the danger man Chris Gayle (18) got out early to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar while Kieran Powell (28) gave Shami his debut break. However, the uneven bounce in the pitch held something in store for the bowlers and it happened sooner than expected. After forty overs the umpires changed the ball and immediately the pacer duo got some reverse swing. Even then, it was not the bowling but the suicidal mindset of the WI batsmen that contributed largely to the debacle. A big partnership was in the making between Samuels (65) and DM Bravo (23) when the Shami burst had the former bowled. Bravo complicated matters by getting run out in a horrible mix-up. West Indies were reduced to 143/5 when Ramdin’s stumps were uprooted by Shami getting his third scalp. For a team used to unaccountable collapses there was no fight back and the full team got out for 234. Chanderpaul (36), the consistent tormentor for India, did linger on and was the ninth down at 233.  

Sachin Tendulkar, the legend for whom this cricket Series has been organized, was prominently visible throughout on the field giving encouragement to bowlers and running around fielding with zest. To the delight of the crowd he took his 46th Test wicket too trapping Shillingford leg before. With this wicket Sachin increased his international tally of wickets to 201 (154 in ODIs and 1 in T20I). At stumps on the first day India reached 37 for no loss in 12 overs with Shikhar Dhawan on 21 not out and Murli Vijay on 16 not out. Fans eagerly wait now for tomorrow when their idol comes out to bat.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Indian Mars Mission Launched, Tendulkar Farewell Mission Begins Tomorrow!

India's maiden mission to Mars was successfully launched today with its polar rocket placing the Mars spacecraft precisely into an intended Earth orbit in its first-ever historic inter-planetary odyssey. The ‘Mangalyaan’ or Mars Orbiter was launched on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, at Sriharikota, on the Andhra Pradesh coast, at 14.38 Indian time. The mission is a bid to reach the Red Planet in September 2014 and test the Martian atmosphere for hydrogen and methane gases. As the launch vehicle soared space-ward scientists from the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) could be heard shouting "Buriah!" – Brilliant! All prominent leaders and personalities have been showering praise and congratulations on these worthy Indian scientists. The mission will cost $73 million (£45 million), compared with the United States’ ‘Curiosity’ mission to Mars, which launched in 2011 at a cost of $2.5 billion (£1.56 billion). With this relatively low cost mission India becomes only the fourth nation of the world to achieve this milestone.

And then, Sachin Tendulkar Farewell Series begins tomorrow at the spectacular Eden Gardens. His 199th and the first Test between India and West Indies starts tomorrow with much more interest focused on the master-blaster rather than on competitive cricket. Sachin fever has been raging in Kolkata since the cricket legend arrived there on Sunday. Adoring fans have been following him everywhere from the airport to the net practice at the Eden Gardens. A string of events have been organized throughout the last three days including a statue of Sachin Tendulkar. Various innovative plans are afoot during the Test match. Meantime at the Mumbai end where Sachin’s 200th Test is scheduled organizers are saying that what is being planned will be far more spectacular than what is going to unfold in Kolkata. Well, the legend rightfully deserves the attention although you may feel tempted to call it hype. Meantime it’s better to stay tuned and catch the action the second last time as far as the best batsman of the world is concerned.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cricket: India Win Star Sports ODI Series Against Australia, Diwali Gift For Fans!

Incredible Innings By Rohit Sharma
It was a perfect Happy Diwali from Team India as its top order batsmen regaled millions of fans with incredible fireworks today in Bangalore. India posted the highest total of the Series, 383/6 off 50 overs. The fifth wicket partnership between Rohit Sharma (209 in 158 balls) and MS Dhoni (62 off 38) yielded 167 runs off just 94 balls amassing 101 in the last five and 151 in the last 10 overs. Rohit Sharma became the third batsmen of the world to score an ODI double ton after Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag. He broke the world record of the highest number of sixes in an innings beating Shame Watson’s 15 with his 16. He also became the first world batsmen to score the highest number of runs in an innings against Australia. However, the million dollar question remained still—was the target of 384 set against Australia enough or a safe one?

Incredible Innings By James Faulkner

Well, almost not! If Rohit broke records for the mammoth total, James Faulkner—the match winner in Mohali for the last minute blitz—set new records in almost overhauling the Indian total. He became the second Australian for the fastest hundred and with McKay set the highest partnership ever of 115 runs for Australia for the ninth wicket. From 211 for 8 Faulkner brought his team to a possible victory at 326 for 8 in the 45th over. Then of course it took just two balls to set up an exciting Indian victory by 57 runs in the 7th and last one day international match in Bangalore today. India thus won the Star Sports 7-match ODI Series beating Australia 3-2.

Australia won the toss and decided to field as has been the unofficial rule for most part of the Series thanks basically to the dew factor in the evening making bowling difficult and the inability for any team to define a ‘safe’ total to put up. Australia batted first after winning the toss in the first ODI in Rajkot and won the match. They won the toss again in Jaipur for the second ODI and naturally elected to bat again. Australia made 359 runs and yet lost the match and since then fielding has been the first option after winning the toss for both teams. Australia also did the unimaginable for today’s all-important final by sending their main strike bowler Mitchell Johnson home to prepare for the Ashes Series starting later this month. Johnson has been consistently troubling Indian batsmen, particularly Raina and Yuvraj this Series and this tactical blunder was definitely going to add to the ‘safe target’ related woes.

After the sixth match in Nagpur that India won MS Dhoni launched an attack on the new ODI Rules saying that the earlier 280-290 targets had now become 350+ and even after that you were not sure if you had posted enough. With smaller boundaries introduction of two balls from each end the new Rules has practically ruled out reverse swing for the pacers and deprived the spinners of an older ball. Reducing the number of fielders outside the thirty yard circle from five to four in the non-Powerplay overs the bowlers are made helpless as even a minor variation in line and length paved the way for fours and sixes. To entertain the fours-sixes crowds of cricket T20 was introduced and now to placate them further one day cricket is tempered with too. Well, big money cricket is always here in India to stay. Anyway, when you do not know what total is going to be safe it is always better to know the exact target to chase. In Bangalore the Australian decision was made easier still because of the possibility of evening rains apart from the dew.

Put in to bat, the Indian openers—Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawa—started brilliantly racing to the second consecutive hundred run partnership and the sixth in 19 innings. India were 107 for no loss after 17 overs when rains interrupted. Immediately after play began Dhawan fell for 60 (57 balls) to left-arm spinner Doherty giving the economical bowler the first wicket in this series. Catastrophe happened in the 20th over when the hero of Nagpur Virat Kohli was run out for a duck due to a huge mix-up with Team India at 113 for 2. Things became quiet and steadier as Raina tried to give company to in-form Rohit who notched up his half century too. Very soon he rebuilt the momentum with effortless sixes all around the park, but Raina (28) and Yuvraj Singh (12) could not give him company for long. Although bogged down a bit, Rohit with his captain’s support at the other end completed his 4th century and after that it was incredible cricket he went on with his breathtaking shots and breaking records all the way. Absence of Johnson, injury to Watson after a tight spell and the waywardness of the Aussie seamers were some of the factors contributing to India’s memorable assault.

Injury Scare For Shane Watson
Australia seemed to have started the chase in a hurry thus rather helping the Indian bowlers and wickets fell at regular intervals. Except for a flurry of sixes by Maxwell who had the brute of an innings of 60 off just 22 balls and by injured Watson (49 off 22) things were looking rather gloomy for them. Maybe Dohery’s two wickets showed there was something for spinners on this flat pitch as Ashwin (2 for 51 off 10 overs) and Jadeja (3 for 73 off 10 overs) restrained Australia to some extent. Among the seamers Mohammed Shami was successful taking three wickets. Run out of the hero of the Nagpur match and the highest scorer of the Series Aussie captain George Bailey was a tremendous setback. At 211/8 in the 31st over an Indian victory was written all over completing a Diwali gift. But then Faulkner (116 off 73) blast brought the match alive with patient support of McKay (18 in 65 balls). Finally it was too good to go on and the Faulkner scare for India ended in the first ball of the 46th over with Australia all out for 326. Relief and ecstasy almost overwhelmed captain cool Dhoni as Shikhar Dhawan managed to latch on to the Faulkner catch in the long on boundary.  The Scorecard:

The Bangalore match has been a real Diwali celebration with fireworks continuing till the end. After Diwali India would take on West Indies for the all-important two-Test Series when Sachin Tendulkar is set to complete his 200th Test and bow out of cricket.
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