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Digital Violence, News Channels and Hypocrisy!

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It’s a case of wholesome insensitivity, amounting to zombie-like behavior on which subject we dwelt over much earlier, of nearly all of the so-called digitally conscious citizens of the country, but also nearly all the stakeholders including the national media irrespective of how you’d like to describe them. Apart from this looming post-modern characteristic, the other equally portentous factor of hypocrisy has also been rampant across, primarily, the television news channels and other stakeholders. For the last few years at least the insensitivity factor has been colossal: any kind of tragic incident happening in public places is always ravenously video-graphed along with the selfies of the ‘proud’ beholders and circulated instantly in their digital spaces, instead of trying to help the poor victims many of whom stay alive during such digital orgy. The news channels then get hold of those clips, in direct or indirect ways, and start building ‘stories’ around those while putting the c

A Tale of Two Credit Cards!

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Such in-a-soup stories need to be told, because they mostly are about all those faceless people who normally have no voice. It doesn’t matter if the stories were my personal ones or somebody else’s. As you must be aware a writer or a storyteller has the choice of being the narrator in the first person or in the third person, and in post-modern storytelling even in the second person. Well, right? As you also must’ve been aware all the time that several essential services like banking were spared during the pandemic lockdowns, and as far as services at the bank branches are concerned the pandemic hit them real hard with thousands of their staff members getting the infection leading to manpower shortages which was really unfortunate. However, the pandemic had a definitive role in making online transactions a way of life, forcing even the traditionally manual-obsessed customers go for online activities. Therefore, when I discovered a bank failing even in that minimum of online presence I h

England Chase Down A Record Total, Draw Test Series 2-2 Against India!

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In a befitting climax to their incredible winning run of fourth-innings chases against New Zealand, clean sweeping the Series 3-0, England have successfully chased down a never-before total of 378 runs set by India to win the 5 th Test match against India in Birmingham today by 7 wickets. As in the previous chase in the third Test against New Zealand that England won by 7 wickets it’s none other than that rollicking duo of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow who has crafted a magical unbeaten partnership of 269 runs, in just about 54 overs, once again here to overcome the highest ever total in the fourth innings against any side in their Test cricket history. For that matter, India too had never before failed to defend a 350+ run target in a Test match. Root and Bairstow had been crucial in all of the test victories against New Zealand along with Ben Stokes, Overton and Ollie Pope giving company at times. Joe Root has notched up his third century in the four successful chases including this o

India 1st Innings of 416 Vs England: An Innings to Remember for Top (Sans Order) Reasons!

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The consistent failures of Indian top and middle batting order since a couple of years at least, barring perhaps a few solid starts of the now-missing Rahul-Rohit opener duo, have become a rule rather than an exception. In the successful Test Series against both Australia and England (so far) we’d seen how the lower middle order, necessarily involving an all-rounder like Ravindra Jadeja or Ravichandran Ashwin and at times even tailenders like Shardul Thakur or Mohammad Shami, coming to the rescue of the Indian innings and most often leading the team to victories. Not to speak about the tremendous bowling efforts of the same players in those magnificent victories. The final and the fifth ‘leftover’ Test match that started yesterday against England in Birmingham has become the latest example. Put into bat, the Indian top and middle order had ably managed to reduce the team to a precarious 98/5, almost giving up against James Anderson, Matthew Potts and Stuart Broad; but then, came the lo

India Vs England 5th Test: England on a Roll, COVID-19 Rules Out Rohit!

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It was the COVID-19 scare in the Indian camp that led to the postponement of the 5 th Test between India and England to be played in Manchester back in September, 2021; and it’s again COVID-19 that’s led to ruling out India captain Rohit Sharma of this Test which begins Friday, the 1 st of July 2022 at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Jasprit Bumrah, the existing Tests vice-captain is given the charge to lead India as the stand-in captain. The phenomenon of a ‘stand-in captain’ for Team India has become the rule rather than an exception in recent times, at times leading to double stand-ins. Anyway, the debutant captain Bumrah thus becomes only the second pacer, after Kapil Dev, to captain India in tests. In the absence of both the regular openers, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma, the flown-in Mayank Agarwal is likely to join opener Shubman Gill.   There are significant changes that have taken place in the past 9 months. England has now a new captain Ben Stokes, one of the most successful all-rou

The Twisted Maharashtra Climax: Triumph or Loss of Face for BJP?

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If the national ruling party BJP, through the bizarre turns and twists of the tale, wants the citizens of the country, irrespective of being their supporters or not, to believe that the party was not behind what unfolded in Maharashtra over the last 9 days the party leadership is under a delusion and totally on the wrong track; because everybody has been getting used to their games over the last few years, from Arunachal Pradesh to Goa. It had been a forgone conclusion that the waiting-in-queue former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis was set to become the CM after a lapse of two and half years, till the last few hours in the afternoon of Thursday, the 30 th of June 2022 when the rebel group leader Eknath Shinde arrived in Mumbai to talk and negotiate with Fadnavis for the formation of the new government, still leaving his 49 or 50 supporters behind in Goa. As per the script both the leaders met the Governor and staked their claims. Again as per the script the oath-taki

Amusing Ambiguities in English Words and Expressions!

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You can call it ‘much ado about reading a newspaper’! Yes, indeed! This piece simply materializes out of my reading a local newspaper this morning. Since the experience was quite amusing, I find no harm sharing this with you. Well, as a backgrounder to the first item of amusement in regard to the ambiguities emanating from reading or misreading or misinterpreting English words and expressions I have to mention the new initiative taken by the West Bengal Government to ban the use of thin plastic from the 1 st of July 2022. As I roamed over the front page of the newspaper a small piece of news on the sidebar attracted my attention. Its heading says, ‘Plastic fine’! It intrigued me to no less extent. ‘What the heck! They want to ban it and now say the plastic is fine!’ I wondered to myself. I had to go through the full content of the item to make things clearer to myself. Whoa! I then discovered one more beauty of the English language where ‘fine’ also means ‘penalties’!   For the la

Uddhav Thackeray Resigns, Celebrations in the State BJP Camp!

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Ahead of the trust vote ordered by the Supreme Court that is to be carried out on the floor of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly by 5pm on Thursday, the30 th June 2022 Uddhav Thackeray has resigned from the post of Chief Minister on his Facebook Live address at 9.30pm today which was taken live on the television news channels across the country. The emotions of Uddhav Thackeray hardly mattered now as his resignation signified the end of his government and the trust vote tomorrow has become redundant. He has also resigned from his elected post of the Maharashtra Legislative Council. What had been billed as the ideal opposition alliance for the country to counter the growth of BJP the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) has come to an end too. News of the formation of a new government led by the former CM Devendra Fadnavis is circulating at the moment with some news channels predicting a new government on July 1, 2022. The Governor, after accepting Uddhav’s resignation officially, may inv

The India Monsoon EMIs in Severe Default!

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The South West Monsoon has always been the mainstay of Indian agriculture, being the main source of rainfall accounting for more than 75% of total rainfall in the country every year. Most often than not, the IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) forecasts a normal or near-normal monsoon with about -/+ 5% margin of error, and this year (2022) too it had predicted a normal monsoon which, in fact, was supposed to arrive at least a week in advance. And, it did indeed arrive early hitting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by middle of May, and then advancing to Kerala, to Maharashtra and gradually the whole country. Unfortunately, its early arrival hasn’t benefited even Kerala and Maharashtra, patiently queuing up for the early-bird offers,  while venting its wrath in the North East, particularly in the state of Assam creating unprecedented floods in the main city of Guwahati and many other districts. In a few days the monsoon had exceeded its monthly quota of rains in Assam by more than 150

Movie Runway 34: Ajay Devgn Gives a New Bollywood Treat in a Fairly Gripping Drama!

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In all my Bollywood, read Hindi movies, viewing experience this should be the first movie with a serious attempt to deal with an air disaster or a possible air disaster, a genre that the commercial Hindi films never really tried to explore barring a few on plane hijack, most prominently the intense drama of Neerja (2016) based on a real-life brave air hostess. The movie Runway 34 , also loosely based on true incidents and released on the occasion of Eid in April-end this year, tells the story of a flight from Dubai to Cochin that entered the vortex of a raging cyclone nearly crash-landing in the Trivandrum airport with 150 passengers on board, and then followed by the grueling investigation into the near-crash. The first half of the film dwells entirely on the flight starting at the wee hours from Dubai and is a gripping saga of what happened on its course from the takeoff onward, told with the required details and intensity that are always missing in most commercial Bollywood movies.