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Showing posts from January, 2022

ECI Extends Ban On Public Election Rallies Till February 11: Economic Survey Tabled And Budget-2022 Tomorrow!

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We must commend the constitutionally autonomous body of the Election Commission of India (ECI) for sticking to its strong resolve to make the upcoming 7-phase state assembly elections COVID-safe for all by extending the pandemic ban on rallies/roadshows till February 11 following a review for the second time today which is quite effectively done as the first phase of the elections begins on 10 th February. While announcing the dates for assembly elections in five states on 8 th January the ECI banned all public rallies, roadshows and bike or cycle marches till 15 th of that month subject to a review on 15 th January and in that review the ECI stuck to its ban, only allowing physical rallies subject to a maximum of 500 persons for the political party candidates to contest in the first phase from January 28, a date when all formalities of nominations for that phase are completed. Similarly, for the second phase the relaxed rallies to commence from 31 st January with the same restri

Funny Memories: The Movie Ticket And The Train Token!

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I’ve written in these pages about my passion for movies, watching and the making of the fascinating moving images, since my childhood days, and the first of today’s funny memories is related to that kind of passion . The memories, written in a fiction format avoiding actual names of persons involved, belong to the late seventies in the city of Guwahati in North Eastern India. Those good old days the means of communication were very scarce; no phones, no calling booths, not enough transport facilities and almost a total lack of computerized operations. The only means of communication were writing letters and sending telegrams on emergencies, the ‘emergency’ of the latter always depended on how fast the department of Posts and Telegraphs worked. The landlines or the conspicuous black phone instruments were restricted mostly to senior government officers, and the long-distance trunk call services were run by a few post offices where there was no certainty of getting connected and in how m

Pandemic Third Wave Response: The Feel-Good Factor And The Expendables!

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An encompassing aura of complacency seems to have spread across India, probably faster than the Variant of Concern, Omicron itself. Anyone, doctor or expert or a commoner, you meet nowadays would tell you with a smile that you need not worry about Omicron as it is like normal influenza and does not penetrate your lungs, its area being limited to the upper respiratory tract. This sense of complacency or the feel-good factor, of course, has various ‘sound’ reasons varying from almost proven trends internationally, advisory-driven perceptions, comments by experts and the variant being considered as an immunity booster, even more powerful than the precautionary vaccine dose. So far, only the South African experience shows exponential rise in numbers accompanied by equally rapid decline after a few days and that Omicron leads only to a mild disease, particularly for the fully vaccinated. Fatality figures, however, do not follow the SA standards as a lot of people have died or still dying in

South Africa Clean Up A Hapless India 3-0 To Win ODI Series Overcoming A Chahar Charge!

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South Africa beat India by just 4 runs in the third and final one-day international (ODI) at Newlands in Cape Town today that went down the wire thanks to at least one Indian batsman fighting for a win, clean sweeping the 3-match ODI Series 3-0, dishing out to India its fifth consecutive defeat in this South Africa tour including the two Tests and three ODIs. Led this time by wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock with a brilliant century (124) building a 144-run partnership with Dussen (52) South Africa put up an imposing total of 287 (exactly the total put up by India in the second ODI that SA chased easily) despite India’s change of strategy to bowl first after KL Rahul won the toss for the second time. For a change the Indian bowlers got the Proteas all out in the penultimate ball this time thanks mainly to Prasidh Krishna's 3 wickets; however, the hosts did overcome a mini collapse in the middle to put up a total that finally proved to be enough. In light of the fast-paced track

Hollywood Vs Bollywood: Two Movies In Unabashed Glorification Of The Antihero!

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It just happened that I watched two movies from Hollywood and Bollywood respectively, back-to-back, and was amazed to find both movies singing paeans in praise of the antiheros, depicting their deeds in an unabashedly graphic way and even justifying it by highlighting a few ‘humanitarian’ qualities in their characters. Both movies are nearly 3-hour long, and yet not having a dull moment; both are marked by their relative reliance on machismo, black comedy and violence. The first movie, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (2013) directed by renowned new-era Hollywood filmmaker Martin Scorsese, I happened to watch by chance as it was available on Amazon Prime Video and also due to the fact that I greatly enjoyed the director’s two films, ‘The Departed’ (2006) and ‘Shutter Island’ (2010) recently, those two movies being part of Scorsese’s successful collaboration with the ‘Titanic’ (1997) sensation Leonardo DiCaprio which yielded four critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies so far.

Don’t Keep The Change!

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We felt tired and hungry that evening after going through a veritable shopping spree in an upmarket area of the big city. Of course, we did not shop in the cool and expansive showrooms. We moved on, standing all the time, from vendor to vendor sprawled as usual along the pavement doing brisk business. Add to that our tedious journey by a city bus before that. Now, another bus journey where a seat was never guaranteed back home staring at us, we definitely would not have liked to undertake it, starving mad.   It was not in our planning to have tea and snacks as most of the restaurants where you could sit and eat in comfort were very expensive. However, in earnest consultation with my wife, we finally decided to respect the signals blipping constantly in the bellies.   We entered one airconditioned and posh restaurant and took a side table along the glass paneled wall, rewarding us with a nice view outside. The waiters were in uniform. One elderly waiter came up to us smiling. We

Live Again!

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Dear esteemed readers!  This site has been down for the last three days due to a DNS Server maintenance issue. I was able to log into Blogger interface, write a new piece and publish also; but could not view the blog. So, it was not viewable for public too. This is an unprecedented happening which led us to doubt something else! Inconvenience thus caused to you is regretted, although it was not in our control.  Happy reading again! 

Indian Cricket: Who Would Be Or Ought To Be The Test Captain?

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The sudden stepping down, somewhat inevitable, of Virat Kohli from test captaincy has started a raging speculation in India about who would be or ought to be the new Test captain. Earlier in the year 2021 we had suggested a split-captaincy regime, particularly after the stand-in Test captain Ajinkya Rahane led India to an incredible Series victory over Australia in Australia overcoming the 36-all out syndrome and the departure of Virat for home. Rahane had been the test vice-captain for quite some time and therefore, there should’ve been no hassles to make him the regular captain, relieving Kohli the burden of captaining all three formats. In hindsight, we can say that had that decision been taken Kohli would’ve continued to be the white-ball captain thus the confrontations and ego-plays between BCCI and Kohli could’ve been avoided. However, that was not done, and during the last one year Rahane has been in very poor form and perhaps he had played the last innings of his test career th

And Then Virat Kohli Quits As Test Captain: Climax Of The Split-Captaincy Saga?

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It was not entirely unexpected even though millions of his fans are just thunderstruck today by his sudden announcement to step down from Test captaincy, just the day after losing the Cape Town Test; because what had been happening in the last few months over the split-captaincy controversy definitely left its mark on the mind of the most successful captain of Indian Test cricket, Virat Kohli, with 40 Test victories out of 68 tests, including both home and away ones, under his leadership during in the last seven years. However, a 1-2 series loss to South Africa is not such a huge tragedy that should make the captain take the responsibility and step down. There are other factors leading to his decision apart from the split-captaincy issue to which we’ll come a bit later: ·        Virat has not been amongst the runs in the last two years without being able to score a single century, and his batting abilities were being questioned repeatedly. ·        Virat not being able to win the W

South Arica Win Test Series 2-1 Beating India Easily Again: Dead Wood In Indian Batting Must Be Removed!

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  Photo: file (wikipedia.org) South Africa beat India by 7 wickets at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town on the fourth day today of the third and last match winning the Test Series 2-1, thus keeping their unbeaten record against India in Tests at home. Excellent bowling  and true-to-potential spells by SA pacers Rabada, Jansen and Ngidi ensured South Africa chase a total less than 250 runs like they did in the second Test in Johannesburg. And like in the second test the Proteas chased the even lighter target of 212 runs professionally with consistent batsmanship losing only three wickets and romping home in the 64 th over. Ever consistent Keegan Petersen who scored 72 and 82 in this match was rightfully declared the Player of the Series. Captain Dean Elgar again led the team to a healthy start scoring 30 runs building the momentum with Petersen, and Dussen (41 not out) and Bavuma (32 not out) did the rest. This is one of the resounding Test Series victories for South Africa, goi

Chasing The Sun…!

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  We literally chase the sun for the warmth of its sunlight during the winter season, particularly in the northern, eastern and north eastern regions of India. In most places of the western and southern regions real winter has always been rare. Of course, in some years there are days in the months of December and January when we get the chill, and the question of considering this as real winter depends from which region you come from: for the people of the wintry regions we just mentioned don’t consider such weather as winter, but only as pleasant; however, the local people welcome the ‘winter’ heartily, drying up their woolens and wearing their sweaters, jackets, mufflers and shawls outside even if after some time the sweat forms inside. On such days we realize the importance of having flats that allow a lot of sunlight. This season in Mumbai we are having such pleasant or cold days following the cold waves in the north and we loving the morning sunlight filtering through the windows