December 29, 2008

Aussies can't Dar'e'

December 29, 2008 Posted by Vijay No comments
Looking at Australia's decline over the past 3 years or so, some things stand out as more than coincidental. What comes to my mind as one of the biggest coincidences has been the presence of umpire Aleem Dar in particular. Especially in all those matches, where Australia were unable to defend huge scores. This included the highest run chase ever in ODI history and also the most recent second highest run chase in Test Matches.

One needs to only think about the series the Aussies were whitewashed in, against New Zealand in New Zealand. This happened just prior to the 2007 World Cup, and Australia were decimated by a vibrant New Zealand team. Albeit, Australia was without the services of Ponting and Gilchrist. In that series in February 2007, in successive matches, New Zealand chased down second highest world record scores. It wasn't a surprise to note that Aleem Dar was witness to the unforgettable 434 run chase by South Africa at the Bull Ring. And more recently, South Africa again defeated Australia, by chasing down an improbable 414 in Australia, in the first test match of the ongoing test series. Yet again, Aleem Dar was witness to history being re-written.

Talk about coincidences. Australia would certainly want to introspect their waning fortunes on the cricket field. It may also help if they looked at requesting Aleem Dar from opting out of matches they are involved in. Atleast, it might help them in feeling more of self belief than déjà vu. Unfortunately for Australia, Aleem Dar is one of the best in the umpiring business and one of the youngest going around at 40.

Following are links to those incredible scorecards !

ODIs

1. South Africa chase 434 !
2. NZ chase 336 and then 346 in the very next match !

Tests

1. South Africa chase down 414 in Perth !

December 25, 2008

December 9, 2008

October 17, 2008

Indian Sport's S-achi(n)lles Heel

October 17, 2008 Posted by Vijay 3 comments
Now that Sachin has crawled over Lara's world record, India celebrates another individual achievement.A player, who I would have loved to love, but absolutely hate when on the field for his penchant for records, and his struggle to even achieve them, beginning with the world record number of centuries (his 35th way back in 2005).Unlike the most simple batsman the world has seen in Virender Sehwag, who believes a ball has to be hit, even if the batsman is on 199 or 299, Sachin always watched and crawled his way to his milestones.

Just look at his record in the past 3 years :

Since and including his record breaking matches (record no. of centuries, and record runs)

Matches : 28*
Innings : 49
Runs* : 1850
Average in this period : 41.11

Without including his record breaking matches (record no. of centuries, and record runs)

Matches : 26
Innings : 46
Runs* : 1637
Average in this period : 38.96

Sachin's average during this period has fallen from 57.06 to 54.02. Clearly, an average of around 40, with 5 centuries in 3 years does put him in the company of fab four and not the elite list of a Ponting or Lara. No wonder, questions over his retirements have been coming from all corners and will continue to do so until he hangs up his boots.

October 15, 2008

Jet,Left,Goo ...

October 15, 2008 Posted by Vijay , 3 comments
Raj .. kkkkkkkya ho raha hai ? Raj is what Shah Rukh Khan has been named in many of his movies, and Raj is who I have a question for. This being the real life Thackeray version though. Our real life Raj has found a new political agenda of fighting for the rights of the 1900 workers of Jet who were laid off all of a sudden, post an alliance between Jet and Kingfisher a day back. Now what could have triggered Raj to vehemently oppose this move by Jet Airways ?

Thinking about Raj Thackeray, reminds one of the man who stands for the right of every Marathi who has been (apparently) deprived of his/her rights in their own land. Considering this political agenda of Raj's, I am wondering what could have been his motive in standing for the demands of Jet employees ? Hmm .. looks like Raj has indeed gone through the profiles of each of the Jet employees who have been laid off, and actually cleared them all as Marathis ! That should indeed be the reason, eh Raj ? As to whether each of them speaks Marathi or not, has certainly been confirmed after Raj personally interviewed and spoke with all the 1900 Jet employees (in Marathi mind you !). Though, one must not ignore the tears of the pretty air hostesses which were of course rolling down their cheeks in Marathi ! Right Raj ?

Let's look at a different take on this issue. So, will Raj be at loggerheads with the Left parties ? With a truthful confession that I am still new to political games, will Left support this move by Jet of laying off employees ? Can corollaries exist in Politics ? For example, since Left parties fight for the rights of Government organizations and business units, shouldn't the corollary mean that any move which lays off employees by a private firm be lauded and encouraged by the Left ? That being the case, Left would be in support of people getting laid off from private organizations. So maybe, this equation can be concluded as a fight between Left and Raj.

October 13, 2008

My High Deed Card - An Obituary

October 13, 2008 Posted by Vijay , 1 comment
Well, the past 2 weeks have been difficult .. my ID card refusing to swipe on the access doors in my company. Scary thoughts of that pink slip on it's way to my desk sooner than later gathered storm, despite the fact that my antique 5.5 year old ID card has stood the test of time.

And what a time it has been through. Refusing to crack under constant swiping, which has been the only proof of my hard work (I earnestly request my supposedly sincere readers to NOT cough in jest), it has seen the evolution of my company, and the cracks on the old ID card are a testament to the rigours of working in the IT industry.

Dialogues apart, the scare of the pinkslip, gave way to the realistic thought of that emotional moment, which I always dreaded. Parting with my ID card, to make way for a new one, hopefully ushering in a new lease of life into an oasis-bereft desert I have been traversing (heavy stuff, huh ! Honestly, this was indeed meant to be a useless piece of art attempted at, though very earnestly !). My card bid good bye to me, with the last rites being performed at the security desk, where the guard was kind enough to hand me a replacement for it.

October 11, 2008

All for HITS !

October 11, 2008 Posted by Vijay , No comments

World Crawling Record !

October 11, 2008 Posted by Vijay 2 comments
So, what is this fascination with Sachin and world records ? Sachin has been inching closer to the world record number of runs in Test Cricket, which is currently held by Brian Lara (11953). Well, this inching has been going on, and has metamorphosed into crawling, in the past 6 innings. When the undergoing Australia-India Test series began in Bangalore, he was even closer, 77 runs behind (11877 runs before Australia series) the world record.

So, how close is really close ? 64 runs ? Sachin has crawled closer, by getting dismissed for 13 "valuable" runs, on the 3rd day of the Test Match today. Media hype will never come to an end, and Indian media has always been one for individualistic achievements. So what if India lose the series against Australia. Sachin overhauled the world record during the series. That will be the highlight. How does it matter, if Sachin took 8 innings to crawl his way to the World Record.

September 29, 2008

September 15, 2008

FiiO - Pocket-sized Amplifier

September 15, 2008 Posted by Vijay , No comments
I got this pint sized amplifier for pairing with my Cowon D2 player. You need to hold this amplifier in your hand to feel how small it actually is. Guaranteed, when one imagines that it is powered by a AAA battery, it would indeed be small.But the pictures tell the true story.

A history on my D2 is that I lost my previously purchased 4GB Cowon D2. I lost the 8GB SDHC card, which I had in its SD card slot in the process.But I was dying to have it back, so went ahead and got another one for myself, this time 16GB one. Mind boggling is the alarming way at which electronics prices plummet as old products become fast obsolete or new technology or innovations take over. I got the 4GB D2 for 194$ last year, and a year later I got the 16GB model for 215$ from Amazon. Little on the expensive side. But, great for the bargain, what with an SD card slot for 16GB more memory (32GB when available). All Cowon players also have dedicated forums which let users and fans alike publish,share and create add-ons to the oh-so flexible line of Cowon players. There is a ton of information there.

Though I love music and listen a lot, I love gadgets too. This tiny amplifier boosts the ever impressive sound enhancements of the D2. Though it doesn't quite boost the volume per se', it gives a warmth to the renderings. For 8.5$ it is a great buy, rather than going for something which is really costly (You also get the black version).I got it today, and I can say that it produces the same effect at a volume level 9 in my D2, which my D2 without it would have produced at a volume of, say 15-16.My advise, if you love music and like to hear the subtle nuances in a song, go get this one !

September 11, 2008

Smil-e

September 11, 2008 Posted by Vijay , No comments
As I sit and type this post, I start wondering .. how much the world of web has netted the world. A transformation complete except for the elusive physical nature of human touch. All else is there on the internet today. Has the human touch gone, due to the advent of internet ? Far from it, it has led to more awareness, and more donations and volunteering for human touch.

A world, which is fast getting revolutionised, breaking myths of conservatism and orthodoxy. People meet and acquaint through the internet, and make for successful marriages. In stark contrast to the very mode of meeting someone without a physical identity, internet has provided the tools to express the true self that everyone is. When I try to spread the gospel of Sanity Restored Is Insanity Gained, I am scoffed at. Because, as much as there is truth in what I said, the true expression of feelings are still held in wraps in the mind.

Internet has in a sense given freedom of expression. Expression through just chats, or through blogs. Of course, no one can get away from those who misuse these tools and gain mileage out of it for ulterior motives. But the greater point to be noted is that a medium such as chat, brings out the funny side of one and all. And more often than not, the vulnerable side too. For what is spoken to in person, might be with strings attached, but what is communicated through a medium without the element of physical human interaction gives unlimited freedom. Freedom to sometimes be rude and get away. Freedom to be funny and yet be serious and sad.

September 9, 2008

Fedex From The Ashes

September 09, 2008 Posted by Vijay 1 comment

When I decided to watch the U.S. Open final, sitting as late as 2:30 A.M IST, I wasn't quite sure how long I would have to finally remain awake. For Andy Murray, coming into his first Grand Slam final had a 2-1 head to head lead on Federer, and was hot on form after upsetting newly crowned World No.1 Rafael Nadal. I was wondering whether I will be awake through the entire morning to finally see the winner.

Well, as things turned out eventually, Federer might have thought of giving me more time to sleep and get some for himself. His 3 set demolition of Andy Murray was clinical and ruthless to say the least. He did lose break of serve during the match, but those were the moments when Andy Murray showed his true capabilities. Federer ultimately taming the Brit 6-2,7-5,6-2.

Honestly, it was precision and aggression which wrapped up the match for Federer in under 2 hours. He seemed hungry as ever, and his win over Novak Djokovic in the semi finals seemed to have done him a world of good. Coupled with the possibility of creating history to become only the second man in the history of the game since Bill Tilden in 1924 to win five consecutive U.S. Open titles.

In a press conference leading upto the finals, Andy Murray summarized the magician that Federer is, by questioning critics who doubted Federer's abilities even after reaching Semi Finals of all the Grand Slams in the year, being in the finals of French and Wimbledon. Really, what more can one ask from a professional tennis star ? True to what he referred to as having created a monster after his performances in last 4 years, that is precisely what every tennis fan wants from him. Sweeping all 4 slams of the year. Atleast Wimbledon was expected. Reaching finals is not good enough for a man like Federer.

August 28, 2008

Belles' Belly Balle

August 28, 2008 Posted by Vijay , No comments
For all cheerleader fans of the 20-20 IPL, there is good news. The Maharashtra Government has officially accepted belly moves by hot Ukraninan belles. If the Janmashtami celebrations organized by an NCP minister are to go by, cheerleaders at IPL events have found a new lease of life. Seems, they need not come for cricketing celebrations, but can come for traditional celebrations.

What an irony, of a Government which stepped in to ban cheerleaders from IPL matches, to them being entertained by Ukrainian belly dancers. If the belly dancers' balle balle is not objectionable, then why would cheerleaders for a match be ? Or is there an ulterior motive to poach the cheerleaders for belly dance performances by the same netas ?

Following up on my previous post about politics being a game of contradictions, this is another blatant example of this. While dancing in pubs has been banned, and pubs ordered to close by 11:30 p.m. day events for public viewing of belly dancing seems to be fine. Or are the netas trying to justify calling belly dancing an art form like Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi in India ?

August 27, 2008

Politics ... thy name is Contradiction

August 27, 2008 Posted by Vijay , No comments
Watching the headlines these days, makes it sickening for viewers. The past week has been even more so, with horror stricken stories. It was funny how the news channels were prioritising the news stories. While one channel had debates running on the communal tension and violence in Orissa, another was covering the flood hit areas of Bihar. Another channel was busy broadcasting the protests and curfews in Jammu & Kashmir over the Amarnath land dispute. Of course, all these news items were subsequently covered by each of them. Not to mention the Singur land dispute which is making headlines everyday.

Up until last week, there was joy and jubilation with the Olympic heroes from India. All of a sudden, there is more of gloom and worry all around in India. A sense of insecurity which swept the nation with serial blasts seems to have gained momentum with acts of communal violence in Orissa, siege of the TATA plant in Singur, gun firing in Jammu Kashmir. Even nature seems to be against the nation today with floods lashing in Bihar.

What is more appalling is the level of contradiction in each of these major incidents. Demands of Azaadi in Kashmir came to the forefront with large masses of separatists leading the cause. What Azaadi meant in this context is unclear, atleas to me ! Azaadi to carry out trade across the LOC ? Azaadi from India ? Azaadi from militants ? Contradiction can't be more in the face, when those seeking Azaadi, have to be shielded by the same country who have been protecting them for the past 60 years. When militants open fire and hold them hostage, there doesn't seem to be demand for Azaadi.

August 20, 2008

Sporting Revolution ?

August 20, 2008 Posted by Vijay No comments
How often does one get to see such a sports headline (courtesy CNN IBN) in India, without any cricket news ? Look on the side for the cricket match which is going on at the same time. Well, for once, the whole of India is looking up and noticing and more importantly following the other sports India is faring well in, and that too at the International level. First hailing Abhinav Bindra and now, wrestler Sushil Kumar who won bronze in the 66kg category a short while back.

The newspapers too have cricket in the last page, eventhough India is fighting out in Sri Lanka. The Olympics has taken centre stage (as it well should) over cricket and this is the opportune moment for SAI and other Indian sporting organizations to join hands and build the momentum for a gold winning India. India is supremely talented in the craftsman like sports and the agile ones. This is where the focus should be on. To build on the laurels, to reward accomplishments of these sportsmen and encourage the common Indian, that Sports is a well rewarding profession.

August 14, 2008

I Lay ..

August 14, 2008 Posted by Vijay , No comments
I lay, thinking deep, thoughts meandering and playing randomly in my mind. The thoughts which refused to let me take those sweet moments of snoredom, and tied me in a never ending journey of musings. They played on my mind, in so haphazard a manner, I could not pinpoint, the one which concerned me the most.

I lay, sleep eluding me all night, wondering is there a light at the end of the tunnel. The gloom which threatened to shroud my moments of happiness and memories of joy gone by. The thoughts ranged from the present to the past, and settled into the future. What does future hold for me?

I lay, thinking further, entangled beyond disentanglement, at the predicament, of not able to close my eyes in peace. I was in an uneasy trance, accentuated by the eagerness to get up and do something, to break this train of inundating thoughts.

I lay, the deluge of thoughts never ceasing to disturb me, my mind going hither and thither, pleading my brain to break this shackle. When I did, it was with something unthinkable, which would induce a further sense of awakening, the dreaded coffee beckoned.

I lay, after a cup, dreaming when this would end. It was not long back, when I tried to break such a trend, singing and humming well past midnight. Madness, one might think, neither slept, nor did I blink. A break I wished, would wring in the calm. It never happened, and I lay disturbed.

I lay, thinking over, switching on the droning music for a change. Thinking over and over, this to be the balm, for the uneasy calm . If ever one was fatigued by uneasiness and thinking why sleep is deprived, then this was the time, this was the night. It seemed in the morning, how it might be tonight ?

August 11, 2008

Need for Greed

August 11, 2008 Posted by Vijay No comments
In news which just came in, Abhinav Bindra won India's first ever individual gold medal at the ongoing Beijing Olympics. The world could say, a first after a century of Olympics ? Nothing to harp about. But for a country, starved of sporting heroes aside of cricket players, which is not even an Olympic event, this is indeed a welcome change. Come to think of it, in Athens 2004, India won its first ever Silver medal through Rajyavardhan Rathore who also featured on Times Magazine's top 100 athletes to watch at this Olympics. And in 2008 India has gone one better.

India needs to shake off it's days of orthodoxy in the field of studies and expand its horizon of fields. There is no dearth of talent in the country of billions. It is a matter of a mental makeover. But, this cannot start without the support of the Sports Authority of India (SAI). With medals at any event, there needs to be a need for greed, to win more, AND more.

SAI needs to take good care of its medal winners, be it at Olympics or at Commonwealth or the Asiad, monetarily and by recognition to encourage sports in the country. A normal middle class family would want to see monetary rewards in their children's sporting honours, to encourage them to participate further. It is encouraging to note Geeth Sethi ,Prakash Padukone, Lakshmi Mittal coming forward to sponsor players, who are genuinely talented and encouraging them.

The best part about today's media is just this. The recognition (sometimes unduly necessitated) that they give to performers and hopefuls is certainly a welcome change, and can only help in India projecting itself as a Sporting nation too. Cricket may earn millions, but unless other sports, which are part of the Olympics are given due importance and recognition, Abhinav Bindras maybe far and few in between.

July 21, 2008

What is 'Left' ?

July 21, 2008 Posted by Vijay , No comments
Ahead of the crucial Confidence Vote that the UPA has to win, to continue it's 5 year full term, the common Indian citizen is in a daze. Dazed, at the turn of events over the past 3 weeks. Finally, Manmohan Singh had enough of politicking, much against his true nature, and just like he set up the great Indian liberalisation, he has probably foreseen the importance of the Indo-US Nuclear deal, and done all that he can to set the ball rolling.

Unfortunately, the Left is stuck in the past, and refuses to understand the aam aadmi agenda of their own coalition. After repeated attacks at the Gocernment's inevitable decision to hike fuel prices, the Left parties insisted that the Nuclear deal was more of heeding to imperialism from the U.S. Well, funnily enough, China doesn't seem to oppose the India specific Nuclear Agreement, being a Communist state by itself. Left keeps arguing that India would be subservient to the U.S. just so as to tackle growing Chinese dominance as a World Power.

One wonders what has become of the Left. The Left parties have left the aam admi behind and made matters worse. A month back, the crude oil prices were on the boil, and in a few months' time the Indian Government run Oil majors raised major concerns of their supplies running out and not having sufficient amount to purchase further crude from the market. The Government subsequently raised the prices, inevitably so. The Left, insisted, this was against the common man. Common man, my foot ! How can the common man have access to food,if the transports in the country don't have enough fuel to reach them ? Ridiculously, the citizen loving Left, protested, and organised strikes, paralysing major transports in the country. During such frivolous strikes, does the common man have a choice of transport ? A choice of working or buying food from the market ?

July 8, 2008

Warrior Rafa Dethrones King Roger

July 08, 2008 Posted by Vijay No comments
An epic final which was like a blockbuster movie. And in the end, a deserving winner. That is what the Wimbledon 2008 final proved to be. It was show time again, with the World No. 1 Roger Federer, up against the ever improving Rafael Nadal on Centre Court. If last year's 5 set thriller between the same two champions was awe-inspiring, the final this time around was breath taking.

It had drama, suspense, excitement, brilliance, perseverance and emotions. Rafa led Roger 2 sets to love, and had taken the fifth set to a tie breaker after a rain delay. It seemed divine intervention as far as Roger was concerned. Rafa had 2 championship points in the 4th set tie break leading 5-2 and serving for the match. Federer incredibly managed to save them both and took the match to a final set decider. With the last set at 2-2 and deuce, rain again came down on Centre Court, and the players took another break. Would this be a divine intervention again for Federer or for Nadal, who got agonisingly close to winning the coveted crown ?

The time was ticking past 9:00 in the late evening at Wimbledon, but the 2 champions fought on, until Nadal broke Federer in the 15th game of the final set. Nadal, the champion that he is, closed out the match at 9-7 in the final set, dropping to the floor, emotions still running high. An unbelievable match, which is truly a tribute to the relentless shot making and ahtleticism of Nadal, against the grace and genius of Federer.

Rafa has been snapping at Federer's heels for more than a year now. Federer has had a moderate year so far in 2008, and the aura of invincibility seemed to be disappearing after a straight sets loss to World No. 3 Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open semi finals. Federer has only won 2 events this year. For someone who is used to winning 2 Grand Slams before the second half of a year, Federer is empty handed this year, with only the U.S. Open to play for. At 26 Federer is not getting any younger, and Nadal is ready to take the mantle of the best player from Federer.

June 17, 2008

Bray-King News !

June 17, 2008 Posted by Vijay 1 comment
Breaking News ... CBI cordons off Sector 25 in Noida, breaking News, Lie detector Test on Krishna, Rama, Kumbhkarna. I am not able to find more characters to the string of names which come up on everyday news stories these days. The news items only pertain to Neeraj Grover's gruesome murder or Aarushi and Hemant's mystery. Or for a change cops charged for raping a woman, and the woman killing herself for not being heard by the Haryana Police.

I would rather the news channels dedicate their prime time for news which has more sense, than some botched up investigative cases which are of no consequence for people far across India. Instead, what these channels bring on the idiot boxes for all of us is nothing but Breaking News, which either has to do with cordoning off, lie detector tests or suicide which maybe murder. I shudder to think what the new age, impressionable children and teenagers are being fed with as far as news is concerned.

Most of the news channels, atleast the Indian ones as of today have 3 crime investigation details everyday. Do they make any sort of attempt to do such investigative work, to break terror plots ? When terror strikes, they have all the news in the world to blame and question the lackadaisical police approach or sleeping intelligence agencies. Is it because, terror plots involve people who are far more notorious and have nefarious links with terror groups across the world ? Is it that media of today is scared to break these plots or try and find the instigators of violent acts ?

June 11, 2008

Olfactory Malfunction

June 11, 2008 Posted by Vijay , 2 comments
If models can afford to have manmade maal-functions right in front of a jaw dropping audience, every human is entitled to his or her own malfunction derived out of sheer illness. The fact that my post alludes to the olfactory senses, is clear enough to indicate that I am indeed suffering a short term illness of the olfactory kind.

Weather Gods were not kind to me. Well, actually they were kind in as much as not sending in heavy showers, while I stomped in the rainy weather to Jayanagar 4th block. Since it was raining, all the autos were auto-full and it was getting difficult to get an auto. I normally keep walking towards my destination in anticipation of an auto stopping by for me to get in. Circumstantially handicapped, I kept on walking only to realise after 1.5 kms, that I'd rather walk all the way. After all, Banasankari 2nd Stage BDA to Jayanagar 4th block is hardly 3 kms away.

I did enjoy the light consistent drizzle, which I should add was forced upon me to enjoy. After the 3 km walk, I got my specs, and started back.6:30 in the evening, and still drizzling, I was a little tired after the walk, and thought it wise to hire an auto after all. Well, talk about consistency. The auto wallahs in Bangalore seldom disappoint you, and my humble enquiry of going to BDA in the rain was treated as if I am handicapped and cannot walk an inch. 40 bucks was the demand for a 20 buck drive. Reason was obviously the rain.

I got back to my walking and hand waving ways for stopping an auto. Finally one obliged and I headed back home. So much for collecting my specs, and my senses were all intact. Well, so far so good, and I woke up the next day, hale and healthy. Soon though, this was about to change ..

June 2, 2008

Veil of Innocence ?

June 02, 2008 Posted by Vijay No comments
A murder that has caught the imagination of the entire nation. Or should one say, has been thrown at the entire nation to be caught, and lapped up by the nation of more than a 100 crore. Aarushi, hopefully is resting in peace, but would be appalled at the way her case is being thrown around the country. Does a murder really warrant this kind of coverage ?

Quite shocking is the way the police and media are at loggerheads. The media is trying to influence an entire nation. And the police is not doing any better. Atleast, "was" is apt for the police as CBI has taken over the investigation.

What shudders me most, is why a nation cannot believe a family member cannot have killed Aarushi. What surprises me even more is, just because Aarushi is dead, should everyone believe what the police did was character assassination ? We are all humans, and Aarushi too was. Anyone can make mistakes. It could very well be possible that Rajesh Talwar indeed is the murderer.

I know I am no investigator to prove facts and provide evidence. But, we as common citizens should not believe in any story and think that family can never kill it's own kin. A fit of rage is all it takes for any angel to turn into a devil. In that respect, we should not rule out Nupur Talwar or Rajesh Talwar.

April 26, 2008

Cricket - Neither Quite Nor Quiet

April 26, 2008 Posted by Vijay No comments
The current IPL 20-20 matches seem to be getting embroiled in one controversy after another. If the whole idea of IPL was entertainment, it seems to be dishing out added spice and controversy to make it an even bigger hit. Unfortunately, after a little over a week of IPL action, it is really sad to note, that the standard of cricket has been quite disappointing.

Critics and experts of the game say that 20-20 isn't really cricket and IPL never so. Simple reason being that, the skills of any cricketer is too short to be assessed in this format which hardly lasts 3 hours. A counter argument could well be, is it really worth watching 35 hours of play spanning over 5 days of Test Cricket ? True, and that precisely is the reason why a new fan base is developing for 20-20. A new generation of sports fans who just want to see an exciting short game, with lots of sixes and fours and an enthralling finish if possible, like the Jaipur/Hyderabad game 2 days back.

In essence, many of those in the new fan base, would have been those who found even the ODI format too tedious to watch over 7 hours in a day. The 3 hour 20-20 format is short, crisp and not too dragging. It is the bowlers whose reputation is taking a pounding. On the positive side, the bowlers will have to be even more clever and try to come up with more tricks to counter ferocious hitting all through 20 overs in a match. McCullum started the IPL with a scorching 158* in the very first match and the success of the batsmen has been consistent, except for couple of below par performances during the IPL.

February 27, 2008

So why take offense ?

February 27, 2008 Posted by Vijay 1 comment
Hayden called Bhajji a bad boy. If it is considered offensive in India, eventhough its a famous clothing brand, why did Symonds take offense to him being called Monkey ? After all, India worships the Monkey God. So, if Bhajji calls Symonds Monkey, he should feel proud right ? Its a different story, that calling Symonds a monkey is abusing all monkeys in the world. Sorry mate, we in India can't find words which can even describe Symonds.

Maybe the Aussies should take it lightly, right Symonds ?

February 5, 2008

The Costly M(read P)iss

February 05, 2008 Posted by Vijay 5 comments
An attempt to hide the actual turn of events cannot be hidden in the way I have framed the title for my post. Hence the reader needs to read between the words (literally) and move on with what I have to write about. Mind you, no offense intended. If renaming M(p)iss with a term such as leak can alleviate the discomfort you have in reading on, so be it.

So, how costly can a leak be? For me it could have cost half a lakh. My colleagues and friends say, I have the habit of missing and losing. Here I was, returning from my hometown in Kerala, headed for Bangalore. All seemed well. I had booked my To and Fro tickets from Bangalore itself. I had given my new postpaid number to my brother, who wanted to use it on his return from U.S. I fortunately had my earlier BSNL prepaid number still working. So I was using the latter for a week, and gave it while booking my KSRTC tickets.

I met my parents, my newborn nephew, and my sis in law and grandma over the past weekend in Kerala. I gave the prepaid number to my brother and took the postpaid number while returning. I boarded the 7:30 p.m. Rajahamsa bus to Bangalore. In a couple f hours' time, I had a hint that a break for a leak was quite important for me. But the bus wasn't stopping anywhere, and I was enjoying the music on my Cowon D2 player.

I had slept off, without knowing the important break I was giving a miss to. I had almost forgotten that the pressure was building up. It was around 2 a.m., and my eyes opened to greet the lights which had been turned on in the bus. Finally, I had the break in sight. But I was half asleep, and wasn't quite willing to give it the full go. I finally decided, enough was enough and got out of the bus.

February 1, 2008

Move On Please !!

February 01, 2008 Posted by Vijay 1 comment
So, India has flexed it's financial muscle to downgrade Harbhajan's ban to 50% fine for the Sydney Test match. While, to bring down an initial 3 test match ban to 50% fine for a match and nothing more, is quite a huge climbdown by the ICC, as an Indian I just want to ask the cringing and whining Aussie players and media - "We are the cricket superpower. Now what ?". Honestly, there isn't much the Aussies can do than accept the verdict and behave in a more civilised manner. Without going into the stump cam transcript, fact of the matter is, unfortunately, India can flex its financial muscle and get away with it. Of course, it is not for the good of the game. But, it was high time, Australia realised they can't get away with everything.

Racism, as a word has been so often used in the past month that one needs to introspect what it actually means. To be frank, an Indian calling an Aussie white can also be termed racist. So, Indians are not that innocent either. It is just that, India has never come out openly, and never the BCCI in such strong defense of its players. And one also needs to take into account the track record of one Mr. Ponting before Procter blindly accepted whatever Ponting, Clarke, Symonds and Hayden blurted out. Ponting has had disciplinary issues of his own, forget Harbhajan's.

January 22, 2008

January 9, 2008

Pitch Battle Off The Pitch

January 09, 2008 Posted by Vijay No comments
The news is out. Bhajji (Indian off spinner Harbhajan Singh) has been cleared to play for the Perth Test, and Steve Bucknor will not officiate in the test match starting on 16th January. While this has prompted widespread reactions across the media in Australia, the Indian media is bandying for all the good it has done. Well, atleast that's what they claim they have achieved.

The fact that I need not elaborate much on the sequence of events which have triggered the uproar across India especially, is for the simple reason that, you type Harbhajan in google, and there is no one link which doesn't carry the story. Nor do you have to go too far in looking for an Indian channel which doesn't air this story. That Indian media stokes up emotions much more, considering the emotional sentiment of the common Indian, is no surprise. Talk about patriotism, unflinching one for the Indian cricket team, that too involuntarily.

The battle for cricket supremacy has shifted from the cricketing pitch to the media pitch. The Indian media is virtually at loggerheads with the Australian media over the treatment of Bhajji especially. The biggest mistake Ponting made after the victory at SCG was to provoke the Indian media in the post match press conference. The mistake he now realises he did was, that there is only one cricket superpower (atleast financially), and that is India. Behaving rudely to the Indian media, after a controversial test match involving bizarre umpiring decisions, did not help matters. Worse still, his appealing and boisterousness and unsportstamanlike behaviour after the match when he forgot to shake hands, talk badly of a responsible captain.

January 8, 2008

Sometimes ..

January 08, 2008 Posted by Vijay , 5 comments
Sometimes, the untold is told in a million gestures. Sometimes, the unintentional is told in a million words. Both leave the wrong impression. While the former leaves many a tale untold, the latter leaves many a heart hurt.

Sometimes, a look can convey the feeling of love. Sometimes, the same look is returned, and reciprocated without a word uttered. Sometimes, even a hundred attempts fail to win the heart. While both yearn for the same affection, one succeeds without a word, the other fails upon repeated attempts.

Sometimes, distances can be bridged by letters and mails. Sometimes, distances are purposefully maintained, even when in proximity. While the former relates to hundreds or thousands of miles, the latter embarrasses by being right in front of the other.

Sometimes, a heart doesn't realise the worth of the other. Sometimes, a hurtful feeling can end a relationship. But both eventually break a heart, one way or the other.