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Showing posts from November, 2021

India Vs New Zealand 1st Test Drawn: Tremendous Save By The Kiwis On A Nail-biting Last Day!

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The first Test match between India and New Zealand has ended in a thrilling draw in Kanpur today with the last pair of the Kiwis, Rachin Ravindra and Azaz Patel, holding on for more than 8 of the 20 mandatory overs on the fifth and last day. This draw reminds us of the great Sydney Save when India drew level with Australia in January this year and then went on to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy under the stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane. If in that historic draw Ravichandran Ashwin crafted an unbeaten partnership with Hanuma Bihari for 40 overs lasting nearly 4 hours, here in Kanpur today debutant Rachin Ravindra played the ultimate survival game with the last man Azaz Patel. Rachin saw through an incredible 91 balls for his 18 runs with the three top Indian spinners in full flow. Although New Zealand at one stage were 79/1 Ravindra Jadeja (4/40) ignited the collapse along with Ashwin (3/35) and Axar (1/23) and when captain Williamson fell at the team score of 128/6 with more than 20 ov

Milord O’ Landlord: Just A Pair Of Shoes, Sir!

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It had been a lucky trend for Raju’s family that their relations with the landlords had always been friendly and healthy. Since Raju’s father, the head of the family, had a transferable job they had to move from towns to towns every two or three years, and as usual, his father looked for a rented house ideally suited for his family and that the landlord was also to his liking. Most of his selections served their purpose—locations often in central places, close to the market and to the schools/colleges/libraries, and almost in all cases the landlord’s family and even their relatives had become very close to Raju’s family.   This story is set in the mid-seventies when Raju’s father got a repeat transfer to a small town where they still entertained fond memories of the previous stay in a most friendly neighborhood. This time though, they could not settle for the same rented house so loved by Raju and his siblings and had to fix a small house in the market area. A narrow gravel lane br

Tick-Tock Suspense In India Amid The COVID-19 Omicron Variant Scare!

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Photo: jagran.com The Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution (TAG-VE) which is an independent group of experts that periodically monitors and evaluates the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and assesses its specific mutations had convened a meeting on 26 November 2021 to assess the emerging COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 that was first reported to World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on November 24, 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant that originated in India. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other Variants Of Concern (VOCs). The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost

Movie The Terminal: Steven Spielberg’s Rare Comedy Flick Rediscovered!

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I consider it a happy accident that I found this movie titled ‘The Terminal’ (2004) directed by Steven Spielberg on a streaming platform. My surprise was beyond measure when I saw the genre written in the details of the movie—comedy! Well, it need not simply be my ignorance about this great filmmaker; because in most of Spielberg’s bios or filmography the said movie is never highlighted or talked about even though the movie was a commercial success. ‘The Terminal’ tells a delightful story of a character called Viktor Navorski from Easter Europe (indicating the Russian Republic) who arrives at New York John F Kennedy airport on a private mission only to find that in the meantime his native (fictional) country Kakrojhia had undergone a military coup and a new government had taken over. Since the US was yet to recognize the new government Viktor’s passport had become invalid and the airport supervisor took away all his documents including the passport refusing to allow him enter New York

Why Life Certificates For Pensioners At All?

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I remember taking my father, most probably in 1989, to his pension issuing bank branch thinking that he must have had some banking business to do. Arriving at the branch we entered the chamber of the bank manager whom my father knew well. After the customary ‘hi, Hellos’ there followed a casual chat, and then we left. I was curious as I saw none of the usual withdrawals or deposits or anything of the banking sort done there. So, I asked my father what was the purpose of the visit to which my father, with an ironic smile, said that he had to ‘show his face’ to the bank proving that he was still alive and kicking. Yes, every retiring or superannuating person from central or state governments or any other government organizations in India (I’m not aware of procedures followed in other countries) have to ‘show his/her fact’ to the issuing bank in the month of November every year mandatorily so that his/her pension is not interrupted. This is called Life Certificate to guarantee the continu

India Clean Sweep Paytm T20I Series 3-0 As Their Bowlers Help Annihilate New Zealand By 73 Runs In Kolkata!

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We mentioned in the last piece about the new T20I cricket captain Rohit Sharma winning the toss in contrast to Virat Kohli! And what a funny irony that in the third and last T20I match in Kolkata today in which India annihilated New Zealand by 73 runs Rohit made a hat-trick of winning the toss in sharp contrast to Kohli’s hat-trick in losing the toss in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup-2021. Now, this phenomenon is set to haunt the hardcore Indian fans with the eternal question: had Virat retired from the captaincy before the World Cup and Rohit taken over, perhaps, the scenario and the excruciatingly painful results would have been different. Perhaps, again, the demotion of an opener of Rohit’s record to the No.3 position in the crucial match against New Zealand could have been prevented, and the Pandya-obsession could have been avoided. Wishful thinking, you may say so! But, these are important observations that you cannot deny!   Anyway, after winning the toss this time Rohit decided t

India Beat New Zealand By 7 Wickets, Win Paytm T2OI Series With 2-0 Lead!

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India have won the Paytm 3-match T20 International Series beating New Zealand by 7 wickets in the second match in Ranchi today thus taking an unassailable 2-0 lead. In a rather funny contrast to Virat Kohli making a hat-trick of losing tosses in the T20 World Cup-2021 the new captain Rohit Sharma won his second consecutive toss in this series after Jaipur so far; however, this evening the dew factor was already there with winter season setting in the eastern region and it did not give India an undue advantage while chasing. India made one change bringing in IPL-sensation medium-fast bowler Harshal Patel replacing Mohammed Siraj while New Zealand made three changes—bowling all-rounder James Neesham, pacer Adam Milne and spinner Ish Sodhi, replacing Rachin Ravindra, Todd Astler and Lockie Ferguson.   Put into bat, New Zealand openers Martin Guptill (31 off just 15 balls) and Daryl Mitchell (31 in 28 balls) made an explosive start scoring 52 runs in 5 overs and 64 runs in the powerplay of

Prime Minister Speaks: And Then The Three Farm Laws To Be Repealed!

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In a totally unexpected development, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi in an address to the nation early morning today has, on the occasion of Guru Nanak Birth anniversary called Guru Purab or Prakash Parv (a holy festival observed by the Sikhs on the birth/demise anniversaries of the their Saints/Gurus), announced the Government’s decision to repeal the three controversial Farm Laws the constitutional formalities of which are going to be completed in the winter session of the Indian Parliament starting from 29 th November 2021. The Prime Minister, though, stoutly defended the Farm Laws saying that these reforms were brought in favor of the farmers, particularly the small and marginal farmers; however, he admitted that the laws could not convince sections of the farmers and dissatisfied cultivators cannot be left behind. Narendra Modi added that perhaps the government’s ‘dedication’ to uplift the cultivators of the country was not enough. The Prime Minister also promised to

T20I Cricket: Rohit’s India Hiccup Their Way To Beat Southee’s New Zealand, Lead 1-0!

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India, under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma and in the new coach Rahul Dravid’s first match, India have defeated New Zealand in the first T20 International match in Jaipur on 17 th of November 2021 by 5 wickets with just two balls to spare, and taken 1-0 lead in the 3-match T20I series. India without ex-captain Virat Kohli and several key players being rested, and similarly, New Zealand without their regular captain Kane Williamson opting out have fought out the match almost as equals despite India having the advantage of winning the toss. The progresses of the two team’s respective innings also have some similarities that we will mention as we go on, though briefly.   Put into bat New Zealand started badly losing Daryl Mitchell in the very first over for a duck to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who seemed to have found his form as India’s strike bowler. However, from that point a healthy partnership between Guptill and M Chapman grew and at 110/1 in the 14 th over New Zealand seemed to be ai

The Warner-Marsh Duo Gifts Australia Their First Ever T20 World Cup, New Zealand Remains Runners-Up Again!

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Australia added to its feathers the first ever T20 World Cup by prevailing over New Zealand by  8 wickets in the final of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup-2021 in Dubai today. The final match has also turned out to be not as absorbing as the two semi-finals with the Australian chase seeming quite easy and the inevitable ‘toss advantage’ seemed to have sealed the match in their favor. As we have seen the team winning the toss invariably chooses to field first, restricts the opposition to less than 180 and wins the match by hauling up the target chasing with the dew or any favoring factor. Of course, in the semi-finals it was Daryl Mitchell’s charge at the death that won it for New Zealand against England and a similar finishing act was carried out by Matthew Wade for Australia upsetting a shocked Pakistan at the death. However, we had said earlier that the chasing team always overhauls the target, somehow, as has been observed throughout this tournament. This important final of a World Cup t

T20 World Cup Final: Australia Vs New Zealand!

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After many twists and turns and tosses the two neighbors down under have come around to meet each other in the Final of the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup-2021 to be held on Sunday, 14 th November in Dubai. Australia, the Group-1 second-spot holder today became the first team of the tournament to beat Pakistan by 5 wickets with one over to spare in a thriller of a second semi-final match in  Dubai. Pakistan captain Babar Azam lost the toss to Australia captain Finch this time in this crucial encounter and was naturally put into bat. The Pakistan fans crowding the stadium in huge numbers were in tremendous spirits witnessing their team winning all the matches with ease and brilliance with good consistent batting and having perhaps the best bowling attack of the tournament.     The in-form opener duo Azam and Rizwan made an electrifying start firing all cylinders as Pakistan tried their best to neutralize the loss of the toss and the possible dew factor later in the evening. There were thr

Collateral Damage!

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This is not at all about the Arnold Schwarzenegger starrer Hollywood movie that released in early 2002 and did not do quite well in the box office as it, unfortunately, was adversely affected by the collateral damage caused by the aftermath of  the 9/11 terror attack. If it were indeed, it’d be an extremely unnecessary and unwarranted exercise of writing a review at this irrelevant juncture. Therefore, let us drive out the sad memories of the terror attack that crept in unintentionally from our mind and concentrate on the ‘lighter’ side with this piece which is about a normal office—but filled with quite a sizeable number of employees filling two floors of a building in the prime location of a city—on a normal day.   Routine activities were going on since the uneventful morning of that normal work-day like it had been going on for ages. Files moving into the desks of the senior executives and moving out in due course; the steaming cups of teas coming into various desks of the two f