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World Cup Cricket Hassles: City of Sorrow?

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Kolkata, the city of joy (or was it?), is fast turning into probably a city of sorrow. First, the Dada of joy Saurav Ganguly was unceremoniously unbought by Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL-4. No other team considered him either. An icon abandoned.
Now, Eden Gardens Stadium, the Mecca of Cricket in India, is on the verge of being rejected by the ICC for the Ind-Eng World Cup match on Feb 27. In fact, the ICC rejected it outright for non-completion of repair work by the set deadline. But Kolkata being what it is, the panic button was pressed in all possible high and highest centers of power. The ICC President Sharad Pawar had to give an assurance for reconsideration. But, things are in the balance.
The reasons are really beyond understanding. How is it possible? When did you first come to know that World Cup is being organized in the Indian subcontinent? Must be long long back. Then how come possibly the best stadium of the country with the capacity of more than 80 thousand ardent fans ig…

Cricket: Disappointing End To Ind-SA ODI Series.

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Team India without Sehwag, Tendulkar and Gambhir nearly won the first ever ODI series in South Africa. First match was one sided with SA winning hands down. Then came the two suspense thrillers with nail biting wins for India. Team India leading the series 2-1.

But then, disappointment. Not because India lost the next two, but because rains marred both with D/L method coming into play. Without the rains well, you never knew!

The fifth and last one dayer today was again on the verge of being an incredible one. From a doomed position o eight wicket down Yusuf Pathan hit a breathtaking century and a few more lusty hits from him would have shaped the most mind boggling victory for Team India. This man Pathan has already become a terror for all the teams in World Cup starting next month. And, Indian bowlers did a tremendous job giving Team India a chance to win at least four matches. Good signals!

On the minus, India batsmen could not rise up to the challenge. Okay without key three player…

Eat And Be Merry!

Self Promoters!

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Self promoters are a fast breeding species of modern times prying on your creative wealth. Like parasites they take away all credit for your creative work. When they team up for mutual promotion they are the most potently dangerous one.
A friend of mine told me such a story. My friend was assigned a job recently by his boss. Inspired by the trust he made a proposal and did everything possible on earth to make it a grand success. He chose his team taking colleagues with proven talent and the execution went off very fine and fulfilling.
But when my friend presented the final product for approval his boss refused to comment on it and instead looked for his team colleagues and praised them unequivocally. My friend persisted in his efforts to elicit a comment and on his third try the boss while turning away said it was very nice. He was very hurt and perplexed. ‘Very Nice’ comment was not meant for him—the creative energy behind the project. Why? But, my friend being a simple sincere guy d…

Cricket: Truly Sincerely Yours…....No.1

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Team India came very close to making history by winning the first ever Test Series against South Africa in South Africa. But they made history anyway, on two counts. First, they drew the first ever Test Series after four earlier series losses. in SA Second, Sachin Tendulkar achieved the half century of centuries in the first test there. Apart from these there are many positives that justified India as the No.1 cricket test team.
Skipper Dhoni has never lost a series so far too. In 2010, drawn against SL, won 2-0 against earlier No.1 Aussies and 1-0 against NZ. Team India can now fight back from a position of weakness to either draw or win the series like in the Sri Lankan and South African tours.
Now, what qualities should a No.1 team have? Learning from Australia’s nearly two decade long dominance of the top spot we already know about these qualities. Only, we can take a test of Team India’s No.1 attributes. Here they are: Team India…
·No longer depends on key players. If Sachin or…

Kamalananda Bhattacharyya: Life and Works. And His Beautiful Songs!

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Respectful tributes to my grandfather whom I never met in this life, but his music kept him alive in me all my life.


January 4, 1951. Assam lost a great poet, composer-lyricist, playwright, actor and freedom fighter Bauli Kavi Kamalananda Bhattacharyya. On his 61st death anniversary he is remembered fondly by Assam’s intelligentsia, artistes and music lovers.
Born in 1894 at Nagaon, Kamalananda Bhattacharyya did not have an easy life. Brought up in a musical ambience he lost his father at a tender age of 15 and being the eldest son the full burden of seven brothers and family fell on him. Fighting against odds he went to Cotton College at Guwahati and passed the pre-university course. But he had to come back home before pursuing higher studies. Again he tried for graduation and went to Calcutta, but could not complete and had to join a secondary school as a teacher back home to meet the growing domestic needs. But even that was not for long. Sensitive and a patriot at heart, Kamalana…

Celebration Times: Let Good Win Over Evil!

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Christmas on and the year 2010 about to come to a close it’s celebration times indeed! We all must celebrate, but in a most positive and inspiring way. Celebrate with a difference and inspire others to fall in line.
At the same time it’s reviewing times too. You must take stock of the year about to vanish into eternity. What good you achieved and what mistakes you made in the year. You have to build up on your achievements and learn from your mistakes to start the New Year.
Year 2010 constantly reminds you of scams and high level corruption if you are an Indian. Good that just at close the Scam Emperor of 2G Spectrum and the Kingpin of Commonwealth Games corruption have been finally nailed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI has huge task to perform in 2011 and it definitely needs your best wishes and support. The Adarsh Society Scam and others are just lurking in the corner to be tackled. Punishment must follow crimes.
Few terrorists have also reported entered Mumba…

Vijay Jadhav: Abrupt End To A Promising Career

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December 13, 2010. We had been shooting for a program at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai. Around lunch break we got the shocker—Vijay Jadhav was no more. Too shocked to believe I phoned the Director of Pune Press Information Bureau (PIB), Prashant Pathrabe. Prashant hesitatingly confirmed the sad demise of the young Director of National Film Archives of India (NFAI), Pune. And I had to accept it.  
For the few times that I met Vijay Jadhav his hyperactivity and high energy was very hard to miss. He was always working on some new projects and one job at a time was never optimum for him. For NFAI he was traveling the whole of India with film packages. Once on a holiday at my native city Guwahati I was amazed to find his name in local Assamese newspapers. For the Goa International Film Festival he always had something new and exciting to offer. Vijayji also had additional charge of PIB and had been actively involved in all its Public Information Programs throughout the state of Mahar…

Test Cricket No 1: Team India ‘Zeros’ In!

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It’s all the zeros that vindicate India’s No. 1 position in test cricket. It was 2-0 against Australia  and 1-0 against New Zealand in the test cricket circuit.  Then, a resounding 5-0 against NZ in the one day series. Such margins involving zeros were unheard of in the recent past for team India. This marks a departure from an entrenched mindset.
Earlier, India was known for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory that underlined the team’s unwillingness to win or a lack of aggression or positive instinct. With Captain Dhoni and the ICC No.1 ranking the scene is fast changing. Now, Team India can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like in the first test against Australia that proved to be an epic thriller. Now, Team India can depend on surprise packages from players like Harbhajan Singh who score back to back centuries and figure in match saving partnerships as against NZ in the test series. Now, Team India can depend on the reserve bench and even the second reserve bench of pl…

Now Showing: Democratic Circus!

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An exemplary circus is running very successfully in India and today it has completed 15 days of unmitigated popularity. It’s exemplary because instead of the usual circus tent you behold the esteemed Parliament House. No problems, only humans are performing since animals are already banned from circus shows due to cruelty. Oh yes, India is the largest democracy of the world.
The backdrop is the 2G Spectrum scam that cost the country thousands of millions of rupees and gave unbelievable windfall profits to the telecom companies that were endowed with the 2G licenses.
Right, opposition is justified considering the level of corruption. But at what cost and whose cost? Opposition should be righteous, not politically motivated. For the 15th day today, the same absurd routine is followed in both houses of Indian Parliament. Speaker comes in at 11am sharp, opposition members stand with raised hands and shouting, Speaker beseeching them to sit and calm down so that work begins, house adjourne…

Wanted! A Training Course In Corruption?

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Scam after scam! The marathon is not willing to stop. Adarsh Society, 2G Spectrum, Kickbacks for Loans, Land Grabbing. You name it!
What all these prove? One thing only. Everybody is bent upon making the extra buck—by hook or by crook as we have said earlier in this space. Corruption has taken deep roots in our hearts. It is fast becoming a culture. And why not! Jobs are being sold and bought in most of the places. If one buys a job or career for a hefty price s/he would first like to recover the cost very quickly. Salary recovery will be very slow. So, corruption gets ingrained into it.
Considering the widespread acceptability a foolproof training course in corruption is the need of the hour. This is bound to help one and all. Besides, this will also help prevent scams to surface.
The course should have two modules. One—How best to take Bribes. Here three basic factors would come into contention.
Greed: There will be again three varieties. Plain Greed, Greed with intelligence and Gre…

Lucky Oye!

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One day stopping my car at a busy traffic signal a lottery ticket seller came up to me. He was gesticulating displaying a whole bunch of tickets for my kind consent. Never a believer in my lottery luck I politely declined. Disappointed, the seller kept the bunch on my car bonnet and began rearranging them. Then he moved forward. But, moments later he rushed back pointing to a ticket lying on the car bonnet. He picked it up looking at me very meaningfully and waved the ticket towards me saying, ‘This ticket belongs to you, Sir! Don’t let this opportunity slip away!’  As the signal became green and I drove forward slowly furious thoughts invaded my mind. Was that a good omen? Should I have bought it? Damn it! Now it's gone and lost!
A few days later the same incident happened again and I seemed to recognize the seller boy too. This time I noticed one ticket left behind on my car bonnet and observed him closely. He took a few steps away and then suddenly stopped, sorted out the ticke…

Adarsh, Action and the Corruption Exchange!

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As expected, action was initiated moments after President Obama left India for Indonesia.
Prithviraj Chavan was appointed new Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Prithviraj Chavan who had been a central minister in Delhi has been enjoying a clean image over the years and there are exemplary stories about his efforts at his native town and constituency Karad. He was sworn in at a simple ceremony and he ordered all posters of him removed from all places of the state.
The central Environment Ministry had served notice on the Adarsh Society as to why it should not be demolished. Now the extreme step of demolition becomes extremely likely and why not; corruption must be rooted out.
But, at the same time, something else had also happened. A media channel showcased a veteran politician who made a sensational offer of exchanging most corrupt with less corrupt so that status quo is not disturbed.
You are familiar with telephone exchanges, stock exchanges, traffic exchanges or foreign exchanges. It …

President Obama: Mumbai Taken By Dance!

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Mumbai waited with bated breath for the huge event. US President Barack Obama's Air Force One landing at the financial capital Mumbai to start the President's  maiden visit to India. Amidst unprecedented security arrangements and Diwali celebrations in full swing almost everybody in town was intensely focused on Obama.
Yes, the Chief Minister Ashok Chavan did indeed receive the biggest guest possible on earth at the airport and presented him an illustrated book on Maharashtra. Of course, the Chief Minister avoided attending the CEO Business Meet at Trident Hotel or other functions at Taj Palace Hotel for obvious reasons.  The Chief Minister along with some of his cabinet colleagues were invited earlier by the US Consulate for the Meet asking them to bring the invitation letters and identity proofs  for entry!  The Consulate did indeed finally apologize citing security concerns. The most powerful people within the state had enough reasons to be rightfully offended. Coincidental…

Scam, Diwali and Obama!

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Yes. all the shades are there! The Adarsh Society Scam of Mumbai is raging with the Chief Minister of the state of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan in the dock and many others in the ministerial cum ex-ministerial cum top bureaucratic hierarchy deeply involved.

A Society building  in a plot supposedly belonging to the Indian Army, a society building supposedly for the widows of martyrs of Kargil, a society building supposedly to be a six story affair soaring to 31 floors eventually and a society building decidedly in the richest and poshest locality of India. Even if widows would have been given the flats how on earth could they have maintained themselves in the costliest neighborhood!

And so, over the decade every famous and powerful managed themselves one or more flats. Today in the Times of India, a national newspaper that exposed the scam, one top retired bureaucrat belligerently justified his two flats, ' You see, my father was an army officer and so my mother deserved a flat, then m…

Sardarji Jokes! Laugh At Yourself!

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In India ethnic stereotype jokes have been common. The most popular and widespread among them are the Sardarji jokes. Sardarji is the male stereotype of the Sikh community--a religious community known for its bravery, chivalry and extreme hard work over the centuries. Their state Punjab is one of the most prosperous in India. 

There are many theories why jokes have been made at their expense; there have been many protests by the Sikh community on different occasions; but, it has been widely agreed upon that basically all these jokes are good nature humor and that many other ethnic stereotypes are also available for cutting jokes at in India including the south Indians, particular business communities  and particular professions.

The most positive attribute of Sardarji jokes is that stalwarts like Khuswant Singh  and other Sikh personalities themselves wrote so many lucid  Sardar jokes. This proves the sterling quality of the Sikhs 'to laugh at themselves'. For proper understa…

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Grand Suceess to Commonwealth Games, Now Tackling Shame!

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Very healthy that the grand success of the Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi has not been allowed to bypass the shame that plagued it till the last minute. The Government of India appointed an inquiry committee the very next morning after the closing night. The message is loud and clear. No wrongdoer would be spared. The committee is asked to submit the report in three months.

Thanks to tremendous performance of the Indian athletes and players leading to a recording breaking tally of 38 gold medals the Games would be remembered ever by Indian people. Thanks to the Government of India and the Government of Delhi pitching in at the eleventh hour the pride of India has been salvaged. The world media has been all praise for the Games including the spectacular inaugural ceremony and for all purpose India has arrived now thinking about hosting the Olympic Games.

One thing remains. The time all committees take or are given to submit the reports. Why three months? Such committees take ages and fi…

IPL Bashing!

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Yesterday the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) scrapped two of the Indian Premier League franchises for irregularities. This mammoth task was possible only because of the irresistible urge to keep Lalit Modi out of cricket business.

There are many reactions--mostly from the investing business tycoons who cried most foul. Like Vijay Mallya, the liquor baron, who said investors should be respected. Well, why the investors want live human beings to put their money on nowadays!

Seeing the reactions I thought I would also react!

I am not at all happy with the decision! Why only two teams--namely Rajashtan Royals and Kings Eleven Punjab--have been scrapped? Why not scrap all of them? If all the teams were scrapped the IPL tournament itself would have been scrapped! And, that would have been a great service for the future of the beautiful game of cricket!

Save cricket!

Australia vs. India: The Giants Vote For Test Cricket!

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What a nail biting finish! What a match! And, Team India won it too!
A suspense packed cricket test is not a rare phenomenon as myopic people think being constantly hammered by the propagators of the short or shortest forms of cricket. You see, cricket commentators or experts cannot be believed nowadays! Because they are hopelessly caught in the web of Boards, Brands and Bucks! What they say belongs to a particular moment and you forget it next. If they had written the obituary of Test Cricket on numerous occasions they had compulsions to do so!
Anyway, a classic game of cricket with ups and downs, unpredictable twists and turns, a collection of bad umpiring decisions and almost unbearable suspense on the last day today, October 5, 2010, Mohali . The first test of Ind-Aus Series in India.
Australia won the toss and naturally elected to bat because on Indian pitches the last day is always supposed to be heaven for spinners and nightmarish for batsmen. Aus went on smoothly, had a slump …