Monthly Archives: November 2013

Retired hurt . . . more

Tendulkar’s Bharat Ratna may be used to blur Lata Mangeshkar’s Modi tune. It helps the Marathi sentiment also. There’d be a definite spark – what with two sparkling jewels (!) of India striking together!

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Retired hurt

Sachin Tendulkar has finally retired. “Finally”, because, Ravi Shastri, at the presentation ceremony, post the “Sachin farewell test” Saturday 16 November 2013, said that Sachin has “one final time” retired from the game! Has he done that before this also? Or did he really think about it in the past? May be, that statement of Shaz was the general, yet concealed, sentiment of India in general, and, specifically, past pros.

He had come well prepared, as he does before a major event, for the talk, and how emotional was that may be understood by Harsha Bhogle’s tear-drenched report (@bhogleharsha – “oh dear, i am feeling this emotion….. what a man!”)! As ordinary souls, the heart went out for that “tricolour” man – who paints his body with the three colours and hold the tricolor and a conch, where Sachin Tendulkar, i. e., India, played – whose presence and effort all these years was not acknowledged by the great man.

With all the “administrators” of the “game” like N Srinivasan, Pawar, et al, present on the occasion, none had the gumption to even mention – forget felicitating – Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, whose it was the 150th appearance, certainly not a small occasion. And, the West Indies team arrived here just for the “farewell” series, didn’t it? Congratulating Chanders would have been a small gesture the MCA, and BCCI, showed amidst all the hoopla surrounding the series.

No doubt, Sachin is great. Rahul, Aamir, John Ab, Hritik amidst the spectators substantiated the occasion and the one it belonged to. But Bharat Ratna? Weighing along with CNR? A debate – http://pavanje.blogspot.in/2012/04/is-sachin-bharats-ratna.html – is of no avail if it is not logically concluded. There should be more readers of a small write of Subhash Chandra N S in (Deccan Herald, Bangalore, Sunday 17 November 2013 (http://www.deccanherald.com/content/369396/scientific-community-gives-cnr-thumbs.html). One should also read “http://www.indianexpress.com/news/moments-after-retirement-sachin-tendulkar-gets-bharat-ratna/1195711/”.

It’s a sorry state of affairs – CNR is only the second from the science discipline, after C V Raman, to be accorded the distinction. The rest? MGR. Rajiv Gandhi. In the company of C Rajagopalachari. Radhakrishnan. MV. Shastri. The Frontier Gandhi. APJAK. Bismillah Khan. Ravi Shankar. Elite legion. India’s highest honour is hit for a six.

There was an ad from Baidyanath Chyavanaprash today – “sugar-free”. Wonder if the Rishi Chyavana ever imagined there would be an era when his own concoction prasha would be so in-delectable for the sweet-scared! More wonder – why, in the first place, did anyone become sweet scared having savoured Chyavanaprash!

 

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Sunday Brouhaha

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla are in India – wonder if they browse through newspapers here, and read about NaMo, RaGa, Super Bungalow, illegalized-CBI and its ripple-effects like Raja and Sajjan Kumar, Chess World Championship, Sachin, CHOGM, etc.

They will be certainly lovers of cricket, being from the birthplace of the game, and their own team reigning leaders in ICC test rankings. But to see the farewell the nation has accorded to Sachin – whose fans they might as well be, too – might have been flabbergasting to them. They had their own sporting heroes, also in cricket, some of whom they have knighted, too, but whose retirement events have been silent and business-like. This one might look like a joke to them. One hundred and ninety nine kilos of rose petals that would have made India’s best cricket stadium seem like a filthy dumping yard might feel delighted to have missed the date.

Ever wonder what the royal couple would also take back with them as memories, besides the Akshardham, Taj Mahal, etc.? Thank God, kids back home aren’t small to hear stories from India!

There would be so many guests visiting our country – political and diplomatic travellers, hobbyists and lobbyists, etc., who browse through our newspapers, news channels on TV – who may be carrying with them stories of triumph (26/11 is approaching, and “triumph” now may be debatable after the “mole” surfacing), celebration and intrigue.

Magnus Carlsen, fellow-Norwegians, and other chess aficionados worldwide, who would be currently following World Championship of Chess that is being played in Chennai, might be wondering if that was a former World Chess Champion, or top-ranking official of FIDE, who’s adorning the corner, yet a prominent space, of the banner announcing the tournament. And she had “graciously” consented to inaugurate the event on Friday 08 Nov 2013. Thank God, she consented to have the event happen in Chennai, and, also thank God, Norwegians, other chess aficionados worldwide, and Indians outside the state whose capital Chennai is, do not know what “Puratchi Talaivi” means, lest we would have seemed like big buffoons. Ever saw such a banner or a poster anywhere else in the world, at any such global, non-political event, with a picture of the president, prime minister, senator, governor? Wonder if any of them would have even inaugurated the event elsewhere in the world!

At least, the event may be celebrated to bring the game back to its birthplace. Speaking of chess, Anand’s endeavour for physical fitness should complement his intellect, where age doesn’t matter to compete – Carlsen is half Anand’s age. And being fit, nevertheless, speaks of its importance. Whether it’s a physically-intensive sport or a mental game. Even for non-sports. Also, as important is to be a sport.

Talking of CBI, which was relegated to be “illegal” by the Gauhati High Court, wonder weekend-days also will be hectic to diplomats. Forget politicians – they are the busiest creatures in India. The Attorney-General Vahanavati rushing to the Chief Justice’s house to bring a stay to the HC judgement, the CJ “sitting” on a “bench” along with his other colleague to put a stay – all this leads to imagine pictures of the events unfolding – people rushing through crowded streets, with files in their hands, assistants in toe; when other Delhiites may be partying or readying for their weekend blast.

See Gauhati? It’s Guwahati, officially, like how it’s Mumbai and Chennai. But the High Courts there are Bombay and Madras HCs, respectively, like how it’s in “Gauhati”.

The Prime Minister giving CHOGM in Sri Lanka a miss talks much about the political undertone rather than his “busy” schedule – playing safe with the Tamil politicians’ psyche, what with the elections looming.

Naxals’ threat to the elections in Chattisgarh is a slap on our faces, as we still live in stone-age while tackling the maoist-menace, when we are steps away from Mars. Actually, if the red planet is colonised, the reds would be the apt inhabitants there. Send them there, and let peace be here. And green.

Suddenly, the Saudis have realized that labour is expensive, after the exodus of Indian immigrants. We also should learn to be not so cheap – every labour has to have skill. Skill doesn’t come cheap.

 

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India potpourri

A hundred things happening, over a short period of time, all at once – so flattered to follow none seriously. Each was either stupid, nonsensical, disturbing, or pain in the wrong place. None amusing. Bar one.

Sardar’s statue. Sachin. Suicides. Nigerians. And Mars.

Looks like Modi got it all wrong, after all the hype – a positive one, at that – that he managed to generate over the last few weeks. After the anointment, all that he touched turned gold – his campaign meetings, the crowd, the blasts – all worked for him. Advani, too, added spice to the hype by mentioning him in a supposed-endorsement of his anointment. The present-day loh purush also joined the PM-in-waiting while announcing a monument to the original loh purush, the real Sardar – Vallabh Bhai Patel. Earmarking Rs.2500 crore to the supposedly tallest, mightiest statue of the freedom-struggle stalwart, presuming that will add to the vibe, is a massive misstep the leader has taken – wonder why the media forgot to compare Modi with Mayavati! The Sardar will certainly weigh up to a hundred elephants, alright. But a statue like that will be nothing short of the elephantine project Mayavati had undertaken during her reign. People’s money is damningly abused.

The biggest joke of all came from the jittery Congress, demanding “covering” of lotus ponds, in view of the approaching polls! Wonder what do we do with all the “palms” or “hands”, brooms, cycles, lanterns, and such other things! May be, the party saw a chance to make some quick bucks to cover its poll expenses by buying 120 crore pairs of gloves to cover the citizens’ hands. The Election Commission had ordered covering statues of elephants during the UP elections – did the Congress forget to demand “covering” elephants? It’s actually its gesture to Mayavati, before allowing her use “super” bungalow in Delhi, at a prime, premier locality, at that!

Wonder what will NOTA do in elections in India!

Well, the debate is still on about the pre-poll survey, opinion polls.

Sachin mania has gripped the nation, and everyone has gone overboard in “celebrating” his retirement. He himself is understood to have been not amused by the Bengal cricket association’s promotion of the event. First of all, the series itself was planned for him, at his behest, including the final one to be held at his home city. Has any other former great demanded a farewell series? Ponting? Lara? Or our own Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, etc? And TENdulkar responded with a TEN in the first innings.

Suicides have become like the weather report – they are reported daily, as they happen daily. Wonder what today’s generation is made of! A 14-year old kills herself because a “Facebook friend” “ditched” her! A student commits suicide because of academic performance. Financial issues lead families to wipe themselves off all at once. People were not so weak-minded a few years ago.

The Nigerians’ issue in Goa has been blown out of proportion – seeing on TV the way the supposed-Nigerian citizens protesting (one menacingly moving around with a stick in hand) killing of one of their own seems like they think they are in Lagos or Abuja, not anywhere in India. And the Nigerian envoy’s posture in one of his interactions with Indian media calls for diplomatic etiquette.

Prof. U R Rao, former Chairman, ISRO, soon after the successful launch of the Mars Orbiter Mission, mentioned about the opposition from a section of “intellectuals” for the mission, spending Rs.450 crore on it, while there was silence all over, over burning over Rs.5000 crore in just one day bursting crackers. Ever wondered the effort that has gone into conceiving and launching the mission, and the effort that is required to complete the mission? The technological excellence of the scientist-fraternity is overwhelming, yet the community itself is humble. Mars did leave a few red-faced!

There isn’t anything happening making tomorrow’s newspaper worth waiting for. News channels were once like entertainment channels; of late, they have become big bores like never-ending soap operas.

 

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