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Showing posts from September, 2021

The Ephemeral Sardar!

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He was fairly loved as a cricketer, a right-hand batsman and a part-time medium pace bowler, graduating from the tag of a ‘stroke-less wonder’ during his poor debut to ‘Sixer Sidhu’ in later years; he was the most loved as a commentator and television comedian for his famous one-liners and extempore humorous verses and eulogies; and what he has been as a politician we’ll come back to later on. Yes, we’re indeed talking about the gloriously or infamously unpredictable, the compulsively impulsive, the mysteriously ‘principled’, the all-occasion fun-orator, the allegedly inefficient team-builder and the powerhouse of passion, Navjot Singh Sidhu who in fact managed to display all of the emotions in easy abandon like the colors of a rainbow. He has been a Sardar (of the Sikh religion) with an uncanny difference and his continual fight with another Sardar (Captain Amarinder Singh, the former Chief Minister of Punjab) is one of the Indian political classics.   Thanks to his good performan

Movie The Wailing: Discovering A South Korean Horror Flick That Defies The Genre!

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During the ongoing age of the pandemic there’s been hardly any activity concerning the big screens and the new hot weekly releases, and movie buffs really miss the coveted visits to the theatres. However, if one is not so much strained about watching movies on computers or on mobile screens then one can still have lots of enriched watching on the OTT (Over The Top) platforms that stream a rich variety of movies from world cinema apart from their much-publicized web series. There’s a concern no doubt for harming your ear drums with continuous use of the headphones; but one can be judiciously selective about it. During such a restrained and judicious practice of wearing the headphones this writer has come across various movies and web series that really kept alive his cinema-appreciation instincts. One such movie is The Wailing (2016), a South Korean (officially the Republic of Korea) horror film, written and directed by the celebrated award-winning South Korean director Na Hong-jin who

India Register The Lowest COVID-19 Daily Cases In Six Months As The Festival Season Looms Ahead!

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For the last 3-4 days India have been registering less than 30,000 daily COVID-19 cases with daily fatalities also reducing. A lot of hope is being generated now as the country has seen less than twenty thousand cases in the last 24 hours, 18,795 to be exact, which is the lowest in six months, and the daily deaths have also come down to 179 fatalities in the same period. The state of Kerala is still leading, but the daily infections that had reached more than thirty thousand recently are 11699 in the last 24 hours and the daily fatalities that had overtaken Maharashtra crossing the 200 mark have come down to 58 in the same period. Maharashtra, the worst affected state in India with over 6 million total infections, has also registered less than 3000 cases in the last 24 hours which is the lowest since February 2021 and the deaths at 32 during the same period. Only two other states, Tamil Nadu and Mizoram, are still showing a rising trend of daily cases; all of the rest of India seem to

UK Vs India: The COVID-19 Vaccine Vexation!

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In the recent cricket Test Series between England and India the 2-1 result in favour of the visitors still hangs in balance entirely due to the fact that a few non-playing members of Team India were found COVID-19 positive which implies that the fifth and the last Test had to be cancelled only because of India’s fault even though not a single playing member of the team got the infection. Now, the change in travel regulations for Indians visiting United Kingdom could be a fallout of the cricket hanger, meaning that the Indians are feared as more prone to getting or spreading the COVID-19 virus with its variants; that India is the originator of the more infectious Delta variant which is again mutating into the Delta Plus; and perhaps also possibly that the handling of the Second Wave of the pandemic in India had been disastrous. Therefore, basically the Englishmen could be feeling insecure with vulnerable Indians loitering around in their territories after sort of achieving the feat of l

OTT Platform Watch: Movie ‘Bell Bottom’ Disappoints, Series ‘Mumbai Diaries 26/11’ Well Made, And More!

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  I have been a movie buff since my childhood days, also so passionate about it that I wanted to be a filmmaker and did indeed try in that direction to some extent, still nurturing that ambition. And I always enjoyed the movies on the big screens including those silver screens of the traditional single-screen cinema halls of yore that fitted ideally the 35mm film format and whenever the occasional 70mm films came the frames used to spill over to the sides. I find this very tragic, of course no match to the horrors and sufferings of people due to the pandemic, that for over 18 months now I’ve been deprived of the normal cinema theatre visits and really missing the action. The OTT (Over the Top) streaming platforms thus have become the only alternative, for people like me who puts the entire focus on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour and safety. Therefore, I’ve been watching a lot on such a platform since the first lockdown—always selecting the best of movies available and the most-talked a

Dr. Aswini Kumar Sarma: A Year After A Devastating Personal Tragedy!

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That was sometime in the month of May 2018. I was a bit late to wake up and my brother-in-law had already left. He had to attend a high-level meeting in Guwahati and so had to leave very early in the morning. I got up immediately and looked out of the window that opened upon the front side of their quarters, and was just in time to see my brother-in-law getting into the car and the car moving slowly away. As it turned out that was the last time I saw him. Of course, he called me up several times during that day inquiring about the status of my wait-listed train ticket for which he trying with the railway officials, and finally, in the afternoon he only informed me that the reservation was confirmed. As I was seen off by my sister in the Bongaigaon railway station for my journey back to Kolkata I felt unusually sad, didn’t know the reason why.   I visited my hometown Guwahati in May 2018 as my mother, Urmila Chakravarty who continues to write books even in her early eighties, was se

The Way To Dusty Death—A Thoughtful Story!

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It was many years ago, we were not exactly little ones then, we were about high school leaving age: myself and my younger brother. Thanks to our father’s ways we used to be sent to our native village absolutely alone since our primary school age; he used to request the government transport service bus conductor to look after us and to put us in a bus going to our village after arriving at the major preceding bus stations. All the time nothing adverse had happened, and therefore, we were quite used to travel alone or the both of us brothers. It is not at all necessary to identify the state, towns or localities; suffice it’d be that it was somewhere in India a long time back.   We boarded the bus at around eight o’clock in the morning after taking a light breakfast at home, from the then home city we were living in, heading for our native village to spend our summer holidays. Our journey was to take at least 8/9 hours which was to deposit us first in the preceding major station from

England Vs India: Finally COVID-19 Makes A Mess Of The Final Test!

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The fifth and the last Test match between hosts England and visitors India was awaited by cricket lovers with much excitement with India taking an unbeatable 2-1 lead winning the fourth Test at the Oval, because the Indian fans wanted their team to seal the series win while the England fans wanted their team to bounce back and win the Test to share the final honors. All of them were in for a huge disappointment though. As soon as the junior physio of Team India tested COVID-19 positive on Thursday, the 9 th of September 2012, a day before the fifth Test was to start at the Old Trafford, total and clueless uncertainty enveloped the match; head coach Ravi Shastri and possibly one or two members of the team management including the senior physio (not confirmed) were already in isolation testing positive before the fourth Test. The practice session for India on that day was cancelled.   Since a physio is obviously to get involved with the players ‘physically’ there were risks of playe

ICC Cricket T20 World Cup-2021: R Ashwin In, Dhawan And Chahal Out Of The Indian Squad!

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) senior selection committee has announced the 15-member Indian team for the ICC T20 World Cup-2021starting from the 17 th of October 2021 in Oman and United Arab Emirates. The tournament final is scheduled on 14 th November 2021. Indian captain for all formats, Virat Kohli is to lead the team with the rather queer introduction of MS Dhoni as the Mentor of the team—how he is going to perform that duty in the presence of all the coaches is something left to imagination—perhaps this is being done thanks to the tremendous record of Dhoni as the former Indian skipper, his terrific rapport with Virat Kohli and that he will be there anyway due to the staging of the remaining part of the IPL-2021 which was also shifted to the UAE.         This tournament is actually the delayed version of the ICC T20 World Cup-2020 which was originally scheduled in Australia, but had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and later was scheduled in India

England Vs India: And India Batting Clicks, Take An Unbeatable 2-1 Lead In The Test Series!

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In an innings that mattered most the Indian batting clicked in the second innings of the fourth Test match at the Oval right from the top to the bottom with the sole exception of Rahane who went for a duck. Facing an intimidating deficit of 99 runs India hauled up the highest of the Series total so far of 466 runs with their openers Rohit Sharma and Kl Rahul going about it very methodically—the former notching up his first ever away century (127) and KL Rahul (46) who was the lone centurion for India in the first three matches, unfortunately, fell short of a much-deserved half-century, at least. Pujara joined Rohit and between them they put up a 153-run partnership, and Pujara, going strong at 61, again failed to take it further to a deserved century as he missed one in the third Test too, getting out for 91 runs. Kohli maintained the momentum, but again fell for 44 runs, unable to take the way for a long innings he is mostly used to, and Jadeja (17) coming ahead of Rahane could not ma

England Vs India: Into The Fourth Test Indian Batting Yet To Click!

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The incredible Lord’s victory in the second Test that gave India 1-0 lead in the five-match Test Series against England notwithstanding, the much talked-about Indian batting depth has not delivered till the second day of the Fourth Test. It’s essentially the absolute failure of the middle order batsmen that let the great Indian fast bowling performances down, again and again. The non-performing and inconsistent batsmen are easily identified as the captain Virat Kohli himself who has managed to register just two fifties so far which were in the second innings of the third Test and on the first day of the fourth test, and giving him company in this discomfiture are Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. Ironically, the Indian bowlers are forced to bat well too to give India some kind of respectability, again and again.   In the first Test India lost a huge opportunity of winning after Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami devastated England for a mere 183 in the