A Quote for life!

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for Insects

Robert A Heinlein
(American science-fiction writer,1907-1988)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Diwali!

Wish you all a very Happy, safe and Prosperous Diwali! This has been a good Diwali for India. It was the second One Day match between India and Pakistan. Sachin Tendulkar scored 99 (for the 5th time this year and 23rd time in his career, he got out in the nineties) and India made 321 runs in 50 overs. Pakistan successfully chased the target with a ball remaining! In other news from cricket, Anil Kumble was declared to be the next (30th) Test Captain for India. He did not have to appeal for it; the selectors were a bit more inclined on him. It was a nice Diwali Gift for the ageing cricketer, but for many it was a shocking decision. Today, the two big chartbusters were released – Om Shanti Om and Saawariya. OSO, starring Shahrukh Khan and the new face Deepika should give a good fight to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya. What happens at the Box Office is a separate thing all together. Whatever happens, this Diwali has been a memorable one! Hope you enjoy every bit of it…



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Puja Days in Bangalore - 2007!!

Durga Puja for this year is over. The Goddess has gone back to her heavenly abode, leaving us for another whole year; but the days we spent this time would be remembered all through the year. Hope you also enjoyed Durga Puja, Navaratri and Dussera. May the Goddess bless us! May we prosper in the coming days with her blessings! I wish you all prosperity and happiness. Check out my Photo Album for some recent Pictures taken during the Puja Days.

Joy Maa Durga!!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bangalore Buzz: Durga Puja in Bangalore!

Bangalore Buzz: Durga Puja in Bangalore!

Courtesy - Suzanna :)


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Birthday Bash!

It was my Birthday on October 14. It was the 26th Birthday. Had a small Lunch Party in Indi Joes with a few friends. Enjoyed the day. Thanks to all of you who wished me on this day!


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

आज महालाया है!!

आज माँ दुर्गा कि बोधन है।
आज महालाया है।
सब को शुभकामनायें।



Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Blast will continue!!

This will not end here ... we have a long long way to go ... After 24 years, India has won the World Cup again and there is lot to cheer for .. there is lot to hope for ... there is lot to dream for ... for these players have shown that we are no smaller than any one .. we are no mere dreamers - we are the doers - we are the winners. Who knows that this World Cup win in Twenty20 can be a step towards the 20-20 vision, the country is looking up to now. Have fun in leading - have fun in celebrating - have fun in living like the Champions, for there is nothing to cry for, we have all in our hands now!
..........................The Indian Team!...........................


Monday, September 24, 2007

India Wins World Cup again!

Hoo Haa India!
Ayaa India!!

India has won the First Twenty20 World Cup beating Pakistan in the final! What a sentence that was!!! It was a dream come true for all those cricket crazy people who did not have the luck to see Kapil raise the World Cup and was dying to see this happen. Azaharuddin with the all time best team could not get to it; Sachin the God could not do it; Dravid the wall could not touch it; Sourav the great came close, but failed to bring it home. It was Mahendra Singh Dhoni and a ‘stream’ of young blood that made this dream, come true. Many of the players were in their adolescence, some in their mothers’ lap and some were not even born when India won the World Cup in 1983, for the first time beating the mighty West Indies. This time, it was the dark horses and the arch rivals, Pakistan who tasted the bitterness of losing in the finals against a side lacking experience – everything else was in place! It is a remarkable achievement for the Indian side – not a fluke by any angle you see it. They not only beat Pakistan twice in the tournament but also have made the likes of Australia, England and host nation South Africa bite the dust, losing only to New Zealand by a small margin in the run to the Cup. At last, after all the turmoil that went through Indian Cricket for the last couple of years when Sourav lost his captaincy to Rahul; when Greg Chappell tossed the team along with the hearts of the countrymen and lastly the humiliating exit from the World Cup earlier this year; here is something we can be proud of – not only for now but, may be for a long time now!

The final match at the Wanderers Cricket Ground, Johannesburg was so full of excitement that people from almost all over the world watched the same. The King from Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan could not resist himself but go there to encourage the team members and make them feel that every Indian was with them. He was so blissful to see the boys raising the World Cup that he went in the ground to personally hug them and congratulate them on the breathtaking win. Pakistan played gallantly till the last over and the last wicket they had, but fell prey to the young duo of Joginder and Shreeshant to bowled and caught respectively to show the flag-bearer of Pakistan, Misbah-Ul-Haq the way to pavilion and the Pakistani team the door out of the tournament. No one expected India to win the World Cup – no body even fancy a berth in the Semi Finals for them, but they came out with roars and growls and showed the potential of a team effort. India will take a lot from this tournament – a lot of experiences, a lot of joy, a lot of team spirit and certainly a lot of fresh legs to take the Indian flag further more. People will not think for a second that the three big guns were not present; they may forget the three half centuries from Gautam Gambhir; people may not remember the wickets that Rudra Pratap Singh, Shreeshant, Irfan and Harbhajan took; they may overlook the incomparable catch that Dinesh Karthik took of Graeme Smith; people can even stop thinking about the six sixes that Yuvaraj Singh hit in six consecutive balls from Stuart Broad; but one thing none of the Indians and most of the World will remember is that India has won the World Cup – the first ever Twenty20 World Cup.
Bravo India. Chuk De India!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


God has been very happy with us to have given us two faces which are flawless in literal meaning of the word. Madhubala from the older days and Madhuri from the recent days have been two faces that God might have created with his own hands. No one can find a mistake in the face of these two Bollywood heroines, who were the uncrowned beauty queens of their respective eras. From the very childhood, I have been very much inundated by the bounty of beauty that these faces contain. Do try, when you are alone and at leisure to find a single imperfection in these two faces; look in the pics minutely and if you pass some unnoticed hours or days just staring don’t blame me folks…

A few more faces have attracted my eyes too, but these are not the perfect ones. Do have a look in these pics. I am sure, you will also love these faces ..

Looking for my wife's picture here? Hahaha .. I know; but she's out of any comparison anywhere and at any cost. She's the one - the perfect one!


Saturday, September 1, 2007

September 1, 19XX

One of the days of the year we were always looking forward to - may be from the first day of any year, during school days. It is not January 1, neither our birthdays and of course not the first day after the Summer Vacations. It was this day in the year that found a very unique importance in our student life. We used to write the date in the top right hand corner of our notebooks everyday when we opened it. The format, in our school, used to be DD/MM/YY and so, on November 13, 1997 we would write 13/11/97. Hence, in a given year, till I was in school (1998) on every first day of September we used to write as 1/9/86 (for the year 1986) – which will build up the year for you. 1-9-84 (September 1, 1984) gives the year as 1984. Childish, I agree; but those used to be very joyous moments for us.

Well, here when I tell you about today’s date, you may not feel the same importance as much as we have given the same in the school days; but it is a way to speculate how small things in life gather that much importance. This was a tiny thing we used to do every year, and we used to pray that year 2000 should never come in our life, as we would miss this date henceforth in our lifetimes. You know the next date, that is going to come in the same form is January 2, 2100. I am sure; I will not be alive by then to enjoy it. Trust me I will always be missing this date …


Friday, August 31, 2007

The Need of the hour is Exercise

The increase in usage of Salwar Kamiz and Kurta Pajama in IT Offices clearly indicates to only one thing - the tummy is bulging out! Prolong sittings in the AC offices and cabs carrying one to and fro from house to office leave 'em with a very little opportunity for moving their bodies around. The lack of workout and unhealthy eating habits has made the IT crew big, bulging fatty group – a group who can easily be pointed out and recognized in the crowd. To keep a balance between the global timings, in the most common cases, the timings are odd and change every two or three months; a few software companies are exceptions though.

Some of the Companies are trying to encourage their employees to join Gym and workout on a regular basis; however a majority of the companies seem not to see the obviously visible. It should be a constant endeavor of all the companies – nationals and multinationals to keep an active eye on the health of their employees. Most of the diseases experienced by the IT crew are obesity and malnutrition borne diseases which are taking the bulk of the youth towards an unsanitary future. When people are running left, right and center to earn more and more money they are spending more and more time sitting in the office or in front of their computers, which again is harmful in all aspects. The more time they spend only doing mental exercise and no physical work, the more are they getting unfit and prone to diseases. Since the time devoted to work can not be reduced, a few hours can be dedicated to exercise also. The food habits are to be restricted and maintained. There should be a balance in all these – health is wealth, they say.

All over the world there is a special focus on employee health and physic. Some of the governments have declared it unsafe to have unhealthy employees and have made workout mandatory cutting short the duty hours. As long as these PSUs and MNCs are not putting in effort to make sure that the employees come to office in a health mind and body, it’s not going to be a great place to work (GPTW) for the employees also while negotiating with the enormous stress that encircles them in and out of the office. A lot of the calories need to be burnt and burnt in quick time. Since the employer is putting a deaf ear to this, let the employees take initiative this time and have those fatty deposits run down the sweat – before it gets too late.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Suspect No. 117 - Prisoner No. C-15170

Sanjay Dutt aka Munnabhai of Bollywood is now known either as Suspect Number 117 by the court of law or Prisoner Number C-15170 in Pune’s Yerwada Jail where he was shifted and was expected to stay there for six years. As the long awaited trial into the bombings in Mumbai in 1993 that claimed the lives of 257 people finished, Sanjay was sentenced six years of imprisonment. A hero in his real life, as Sanjay was better known to be, was to undergo a trial under the TADA for fourteen long years and was finally held guilty of carrying arms and supporting the terrorists in their mission.

The actor has achieved feats in the field of Indian cinema and has done a lot for the people of the country - both financially and emotionally supporting them throughout his life. He has been constantly under the scanner for one fault or the other, which most of the people involved believe to be fake accusations. Having lost his mother in his early youth, Sanjay was all along with his father, late Sunil Dutt and is known to have walked on his father's path. His youth was not the ideal one and was full of troubles; however he has been adding gold to the world of cinema in the past few decades. His films are mostly based on social evils, carrying a humble message of peace, shown through a medium of tough facts. His films have always left questions in the minds of the viewers about the ongoing social systems and the cause and evolution of Bhaigiri in particular. In a recent movie, he has transformed this image of his in to a sociable, adorable, humble person winning hearts and battles doing Gandhigiri - spreading the vision of Mahatma Gandhi all around. He has done some immortal roles and some prolific roles from the underworld and could never come out of this image, apart from a few comedy films. People do not like their Munnabhai to be a dedicated lover but would die to see him being the biggest Don ever!

Luckily for Sanjay and his huge galaxies of fans, he has been released on bail for some time now. People are very happy to have him back, but they know that he has to go back in quick time. God only can tell when he is going to come out of the jail and start doing what he does best - acting in movies. We can only pray to Him and ask Him to give Sanjay as short and happy a stay as possible, for we do not want our Munnabhai to be in the jail and crafting chairs and tables, rather we would love to see him firing at the underworld and spreading his Gandhigiri all around.

We love you Sanjay and we want your happiness and prosperity in whatever you do.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Picture - Slideshow!

Slideshow - Tan @ Work
... All these pictures were taken in and around the office building ...

Slideshow - Team Outing from HP
... All these pictures were taken in IndiJoe, Bangalore ...

Slideshow - Tan going places!
... Pictures taken in different parts of India ...

Slideshow - With Friends!
... Photos with friends ...


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

60th Independence Day - a moment of Joy!

Sixty years have passed since India got independence from the British rule. The country is celebrating the Independence Day today. These sixty years have seen a lot in the development of the country. India has almost overcome the label of being a developing country now and is recognized as an evolving super power of the future. A lot is expected from the country now.

While going to office last night (15th night, 12:30 AM) it was almost the same time that India got rid of the British, and I was just looking around me – trying to compare the environment with the one which would have been on that day. The streets would have been full with people coming from all around and shouting, “Vande Mataram”. They were all exalted and exited to have our motherland free from the shackles of British rule. Their eyes were watching the tri-color flying high in the dark sky and the heart was full of future planning and thoughts on how can this country be driven on the road to success. People would have been running around, distributing the national flag and congratulating each other, whomever they met in the road. Tonight, in the streets of Bangalore, everything was different. Most of the city was sleeping; a few like me, who work in some Call Center, were awake – running towards their respective offices in the respective cabs. They were having their US or UK based customers waiting for their assistance with switching the Mosquito Repellant off, so that they could start the day. A few of the people there, in the streets, were fast asleep beneath the shade of the shops, covered in a single rag – which obviously was no match to the cold of this monsoon night in Bangalore. Another group, have just started gathering some stones and pebbles to raise the tri-color. One of them was trying to put the tri-color in one end of a long stick – all these a few kilometers from my house. A small cigarette shop, which used to provide fags to the Call Center guys at this time in the night was doing well as almost 3 out of every 10 cars going that way was stopping by its side to buy a 40 rupees packet of cigarette for 45 bucks; not to worry, he works in a BPO, which pays him well. Another place, near the Petrol Bunk, was full of kids selling the national flag for a few rupees – a very few cared to stop their cab and bought those. Anyways, I was driven right to the office – which was designed with all the three colors – nice to see.

Everything was cool; everything was going on as they were supposed to। Nothing was different from the last night when I came to office। Same dress, same fags, same people and same customers from overseas asking assistance in switching on the PC properly। I opened the mailbox, and found a few people forwarding Independence Day mails with all the good things in the world; depicting all the good things that happened to India over the last six decades. It is tough to believe and realize the amount of effort put in by the freedom fighters to regain our independence, when you see the present conditions around. There’s a lot to discuss may be, there’s always so much to do!

- Bankim Chandra Chattyopadhyay

सुजलां सुफलां मलयजशीतलाम्
शस्यश्यामलां मातरम्
शुभ्र-ज्योत्स्नाम् पुलकितयामिनी
फूल्लकुसुमित द्रुमदलशोभिनीम्,
सुहासिनीं सुमधुर भाषिणीम् ।
सुखदां वरदां मातरम् ॥

सप्तकोटि कण्ठ कलकल निनाद कराले
द्विसप्त कोटि भुजैर्ध्रत खरकरवाले
के बोले मा तुमी अबले
बहुबल धारिणीम् नमामि तारिणीम्रि
पुदलवारिणीम् मातरम् ॥

तुमि विद्या तुमि धर्म, तुमि ह्रदि तुमि मर्म
त्वं हि प्राणाः शरीरे
बाहुते तुमि मा शक्ति,
हृदये तुमि मा भक्ति,
तोमारै प्रतिमा गडि मन्दिरे-मन्दिरे ॥

त्वं हि दुर्गा दशप्रहरणधारिणी
कमला कमलदल विहारिणी
वाणी विद्यादायिनी, नमामि त्वाम्
नमामि कमलां अमलां अतुलां
सुजलां सुफलां मातरम् ॥

श्यामलां सरलां सुस्मितां
भूशिताम्धरानीं भरणीं मातरम् ॥


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A mock "test" series win - courtesy Rahul Dravid

The third and final test played between India and England in the nPower test series this year was held in the Brit Oval, in London from 9th till 13th August. India came in to the match having drawn the first and won the second of the three test matches to be played in the series; leading the series 1-0. India was looking forward to win a test series in England after 21 long years and needed a draw to realize the same, while England wanted to win the match to square the series. India won the toss and elected to bat on a flat wicket on a sunny day at the Oval. This is how the match went on:

Inning One: Dinesh Karthik and Wasim Jaffar gave India a good aggressive start. MS Dhoni (92), Karthik (91), Sachin Tendulkar (82), Rahul Dravid (55) and VVS Laxman (51) all scored a half century each, but were unable to convert these to a three digit figure. It was to be the man who was least expected to score the first century from the Indian camp on this tour, who went on to score an unbeaten 110 of 193 balls – Anil Kumble. Kumble achieved his maiden test hundred in the 118th test match that he played for his country, eclipsing the previous record held by Chaminda Vaas of Sri Lanka, who did the same in his 97th test match, a couple of years ago. A replay of the pervious test match was seen here when umpire Ian Howell raised his finger to send back Sourav Ganguly and Karthik to the pavilion in unfortunate ways. A big nick in case of Sourav and no connection in the later case could not prevent him to declare the two LBW and caught behind respectively. Astonishingly, umpire Steve Bucknor did not give a single verdict against India this time. India finished at a staggering total of 664 with 54 extra runs; thanks to 33 bye runs given away by England’s batsman who can keep, Matt Prior. The only smile in the host team came on James Anderson’s face (who finished with four wickets to his tally).

Inning Two: England started their inning in the last session of the second day. Zaheer Khan struck early getting Andrew Strauss caught at third man only for 6 runs. England was not able to put up long partnerships as wickets continued to fall on regular intervals. Ian Bell (63), Paul Collingwood (62) and Alistair Cook (61) tried to put up a viable total in the board, but could only put up 345 by the first hour of the fourth day. Thanks to 3 wickets haul each from Zaheer and Kumble and Ian Howell playing a cameo while giving Collingwood out on a delivery directed outside the leg stump. Kumble, in the process became the third highest wicket taker in test cricket, surpassing the Aussie Legend, Glenn McGrath. A 40 run last wicket partnership could only let England finish 319 runs behind India, having two full days left in the match. When everybody was thinking of having England follow on and attack them from the front, the person who’s thoughts mattered most thought otherwise – he opted to bat again in a cloudy day with the red cherry swinging tremendously both ways. Eyebrows were raised, but the run balance was enough to put those down again. India came down running to bat, to put up a total as fast as they can and start taking English wickets.

Third Inning: There was nothing absurd in the third inning. Everyone knew that with the ball swaying that much, batsmen are going to be tested – and that’s what has happened. India was 11 for 3 at a certain stage, even when the pace spearhead of the English bowling attack, Ryan Sidebottom was missing due to an injury. Sourav Ganguly (57) and VVS Laxman (46*) took India to a respectable 180 for 6. Dravid declared the inning, setting a target of 500 runs in 110 overs, in a 5th day pitch which was no worse than a one and a half day Wankhede (Mumbai) Pitch. The top notch of this inning was again Rahul Dravid who scored a sensational 12 of 96 balls when his team needed fast runs!

Fourth Inning: England never wanted to win the test match. They were certain that it could not be won at any cost. Surprisingly, the Indians were having the same in their minds too. Every stance of Rahul which he took in different stages of the game was directing towards the same thought – a series win was more important than a match win. Yes, it was; but not at the expense of squaring a match which was well within the arms reaches. the very facts that Dravid did not declare the inning just after Kumble completed the century; that Dravid did not ask England to follow on and that Dravid himself scored at a snail’s pace were enough to suggest that the Indian captain was in no mood to win the test match. Kumble tried and so did Zaheer, Sreeshanth, RP Singh and Tendulkar, but no one was successful in bringing down 10 wickets of the English cricket team. The 5th day and the test match ended with smiles in both the team members’ faces. England cricketers were laughing because they were let to draw a test match which they last in the very first day when top Indian batsmen continued sending the English bowlers all around the park with ease. Indians, lacking the killer instinct both in their game and leadership were also laughing since they have now broken a purple patch of 21 years and could win a series in England against the hosts. No one thought of making it 2 – 0 at any point in the game. The highlights of the last inning were a solid century by Kevin Peterson (101) and a quick fire 67 of 62 balls from Ian Bell. England finished the last day at 369 for 6; India falling short by 4 wickets and probably 20 more overs.

Whatever the results are – Anil and Zaheer (along with Anderson) got the Man of the Match and Man of the Series respectively while India wining the series 1 – 0, history will have one question at the end of the review. I have the same one here for you too: Why did India deny the victory in the third test here in the Brit Oval? Do YOU (or Rahul Dravid) have an answer?



Here is a Pictorial description of the match

Thanks to the people who published this


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Twenty20 - Is this the future of Cricket?

Twenty20 is the latest variety of the game of Cricket which is making headlines all over. Here each team gets to bat for a maximum of 20 overs within a period of 75 minutes. There are rules that are quite different from the original game and are so interesting that they have made Cricket widespread and highly attractive – Cricket has transformed to a game of this Jet Age!

England and Wales Cricket Board in 2003 introduced this shortest form of the game at its domestic county level. Two years later, in February 2005 the first international Twenty20 match was played between the then World Champions Australia and their neighbor New Zealand in Auckland. Australia won the match by 44 runs; Ricky Ponting scored the highest (a record as of today) individual score of 98 runs in just 55 balls and Michael Kasprowicz took four wickets. India played her first Twenty20 match against South Africa in Johannesburg which she won with 6 wickets – a feet which was not achieved while playing debutant Test or One Day International matches. Dinesh Karthik with an unbeaten 31 took India to this historical win. India, who played this first and only match (till date) after the ICC World Cup 2007, was the last of the full time member countries of ICC. We will be looking forward to the first ICC World Twenty20 competition that will take place in South Africa in September 2007.

I have been a cricketer myself and a great fan of the game. The issue I want to raise in the interest of the game is about the future of Cricket that is indicated by the inclusion of Twenty20 format. A game of art and touches is given away to one which has nothing but bully players throwing their bats at everything that comes toward them – it is changing to a game of smashing boundaries and overwhelming over-boundaries. Just consider this match which was played between two County teams this season which was merely 5 overs a side. Can you decide the quality or talent of a cricketer from a cricket match where he gets to bowl 6 balls and can face a maximum of 30 (valid) balls in a match! It’s ridiculous, if not unfortunate. ICC has reduced the involvement of the game to 3 home matches per season and 2 series in total to preserve the primacy of the existing formats of Test and One Day International matches.

Twenty20 is a big way to attract people and increase awareness about the game among the countries that are still away from the spotlight. However, it can be regarded only as a development form of the game – as we have model replicas of yet to launch automobile. This format should not be used to rank teams or judge players on their cricketing ability. Yes, go watch every match and enjoy; but do not take back the result with you and compare with the statistics of previous cricket players. Undeniably, Twenty20 cricket is very much unique and different, but is it cricket at all? The traditional cricket formats like Test and ODI matches involve higher degree of skill and technicality, whereas here, one who can hit the ball with maximum power will be worshiped. There have been differences between traditionally and technically sound cricketers and the exciting, effective players and players with killer instincts. The later group might be loved and appreciated by the young generation, but it is more likely that a large part of the fraternity will still say that building a 170 balls century takes a lot of courage, patience and technique than a blistering 25 balls half century. I have to say that in this format, the gentle men’s game is not played gently anymore. I wish Twenty20 all success and hope it does not dilute the passion, glory, history and fame associated with the game. It is too early to comment may be, but it should not be too late that we decide in the interest of the game – whether or not to continue with Twenty20 format of Cricket. What say, mate?

Whatever it is, I have only one Slogan now
C'mon India ... CHUCK DE INDIA!

For more information on Twenty20 Cricket, please visit the following web links:


Saturday, August 4, 2007

GIS - bringing the world in your palm!

Geographic information system (GIS) is a system for capturing, storing, analyzing and managing data and associated attributes which are spatially referenced to the earth. In the strictest sense, it is a computer system capable of integrating, storing, editing, analyzing, sharing, and displaying geographically-referenced information. In a more generic sense, GIS is a tool that allows users to create interactive queries (user created searches), analyze the spatial information, edit data, maps, and present the results of all these operations. Geographic information science is the science underlying the geographic concepts, applications and systems, taught in degree and GIS Certificate programs at many universities.

(Courtesy: www.Wikipedia.com)
A sample hybrid map
Wikimapia - Its a good place in the net where you can find and locate different places that matters to you. I have successfully found the following places:

» Our Rented House in Bangalore
» My House in Agartala
» My School in Agartala (Shishu Bihar Higher Secondary School)
» My College in Nirjuli, Itanagar (NERIST) - possibly
» My PG College in Bangalore (IIPM)
» My Work Place (HP CCC)
» My Wife's (Maitri) work Place (Origin Call Center)


Just think, if this is the precision of GIS (Geographic information system) and Aerial Photography (a part of GIS), people can even one day get into your room when you are away or asleep and program your computer and do miracles!!

Even, you can check who's passing by your house and whether selling anything to your wife, when you are in a BOM meeting. WOW!! Sounds really great ... what do you think?



Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Role of Umpires in the game of Cricket!

Cricket is a game played by Gentlemen. Gentlemen know how to behave with each other; what and what not to do when you are in and around the 22 yards. The game used to be played by only those having the blue blood, may be some 200 years back; and they had known all what the various good practices in a cricket ground. However, one of those royal cricketers once decided that they should have one another gentleman governing the game, who can check if the bowler is stepping outside the popping crease or if he is bowling too much away from the batsmen where the ball can not be hit. So, they appointed a highly respected and beloved courtier and requested him to stand in the sun with them while they play and preside over the proceedings. This honorable man was named as the ‘Umpire’. Batsmen started asking him about the various instances and used to take his opinion on the type, pace and line in which the bowler will bowl and whether he is standing in the correct place before the bowler starts to deliver. He was appointed to guide and assist the batmen, which he used to do perfectly. The umpire used to count the number of valid balls delivered by the bowler and he used to announce that the turn of the current bowler is over, once he bowled eight (8) balls. Later came, the rule of getting out when you have your ‘Leg before the Wicket’ and a ball going to hit the wickets hits you. So, it was decided by the kings and the princes that the umpire will check even that and will decide whether the ball was actually going to hit the wickets or not. Soon after, it was seen that some of the royal people were actually deviating from the line on which gentlemen used to walk all these days, and challenging the umpire on moments of getting run out on the far end (the striker’s end) and they decided to have another gentleman stand in the leg side of the batsman and they named them ‘Leg Umpire’. Then, it used to be two batsmen, eleven players of the fielding side and two umpires in the ground while a single game of cricket was being played between the royal cricket teams.

This setup went on for a couple of centuries. By now, cricket spread in the other continents and countries like India, East Africa and West Indies started showing interest in the game. The reason was not because they were real good in this game and want to put up a show against the teams who have been playing cricket for so many years now. The reason was simple. They were taught the game so that they can give company to the young (and old) princes and ministers and can field, when the ‘king-lets’ bowl and bat. Later some one of those fielders chose to stand out and ask for the bat and to our astonishment, they agreed to give him a chance. He made history; but that is a different story to be told somewhere else.

Let’s talk about the present age. By now, cricket is in every nook and corner of the globe. Is there any single latitude or a single longitude where the game is not played? Oh, I’m not a geographer – can not exactly tell you that, but the spread is all around and multidimensional. Many a things have changed. The game itself has gone through a lot of phase changes and finally has taken place in the stubborn and polished shoulders of International Cricket Council, the ICC, as we all better know it. The game has changed to three days Test Matches to 60 over’s One Day International to 6 over’s two a side cricket and what not? Now, an over is to have only 6 balls and a short version of the game – only 20 overs! People do want to enjoy the game, but don’t have patience and time for it. The art has given away to rash rotating of bats; front foot cover drive had given away to last minute slogging; Dravids have given away to Dhonis! In a way, the game has degraded a lot – only because of its craze; because so many people love this game.

Whatever might happen with the rules and regulations of the game, the umpires are the same old ones, with large hats and no hair; with big tummies and funny gestures. Now, a ‘Third Umpire’ has been appointed who decides (whenever a field umpire thinks that the decision can not be taken based only on the various instances that can be perceived by naked senses, and refer the decision to the third umpire) based on retakes shown in the Television. Television has been a big instrument to make cricket popular in the villages and in the darker continents (dark because they were not having the light of cricket). It has helped people sitting in Luxemburg to watch a match played between India and Bangladesh at Chittagong. It has helped the Physical Training teacher of Agartala, Tripura to know how Graham Gooch played that leg glance to Malcolm Marshal in the Caribbean. This very television is used to see the instance from various angles and perspectives and then the third umpire decides upon the fate of a batsman or a bowler and in turn of a whole match. Another umpire is kept as a backup – the fourth umpire. He is called in if any one of the first two fell ill or get in a condition where it is not possible for them to continue in the field. Apart from all these four gentlemen, there is one more – called the match referee, who is the chairperson of the show. He keeps an eye on the proceedings and the behavior of the players in and around the field and keeps checking the rule book – constitution of ICC to see if he can force any of the players to be away from the field for some time, so that the world can be prevented from some good cricketing actions!

Yes, you are thinking correctly now. The last sentence would show what actually I am going to say. I really think that cricket is loosing its cultural and parental features and the very look of the game is deformed now. The umpires are the main concern of this writing. A small mistake, by an umpire, for which he would apologize after a couple of days, has potential to retard, if not ruin, a player’s career. At present conditions, when you have all sort of technology at your disposal, why does a gentleman (aka umpire) hesitates to refer the decision to the TV umpire? When you are confused of the instance, why not use the technology then? Why are the decisions not referred to the third umpire who is paid only for this? I appreciate umpires coming out and admitting their fault – but who paid for that? Is it the management, or the umpires? No. It is the bowler, who could not get a genuine nick or the batsman, who got out on a ball directed towards first sleep. Hope people (the gentle umpires) understand the pressure in which the players play and the stake they handle with every ball delivered or every run scored. It’s high time now, and should be brought under scrutiny. If a player misbehaves or even tells one from the opponent to go and wash his face, he is fined 25 to 300 percent of the match fee or is made to skip a few Test matches of his career. So, why not an umpire who is behaving ever worse and deciding wrongly be penalized? Or is it so, that we are expecting the umpire to decide wrongly twice in both the innings for both the teams, so that we can nullify the impact? Well, that may be a reason that ICC or other cricket bodies can think of; but I do believe that it is a bit funny. What are your thoughts on this?


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

We must think and act like a nation of a billion people and not like that of a million people. Dream, dream, dream! Conduct these dreams into thoughts, and then transform them into action… Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.

Dr. Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam was the eleventh President of India. He was born on October 15, 1931 at Rameswaram, a place in Tamil Nadu, India, just one day after my birthday (October 14, 1981). However, he is 50 years elder to me! Dr. Kalam earned a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology and joined the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) where he participated in the missile program. The missile man of India joined ISRO and made significant contribution to Indian satellite and launch vehicles. Moreover, he did a lot in the field guided missiles for India and has taken India to heights that were never achieved earlier. Dr. Kalam has been awarded with Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna. Dr. Kalam became President of India on July 25, 2002 and continued till yesterday, (July 25, 2007). His focus is on transforming India into a developed nation by 2020.

He was a man of the people and from the people, known as people’s president of India. Britanica has mentioned Dr. Kalam as a politician; however, we know that he has never been a full time politician. The laureate was always entangled with his scientific ventures and was submerged in his own thoughts of developing the country and taking it towards unrevealed limits in the field of science. I still remember, when he was offered to be the President of India, he was as surprised as anyone else; but he obliged and took the responsibility. He has done well, don’t you think so? In fact, he has been brilliant! His three visions for India – Freedom, Development and Self-Reliance, are arrived at on the basis of achievements and progress made by India.

Mr. Jainulabdeen Marakayar, father of Dr. Kalam was neither a highly educated nor a wealthy person. He used to rent boats to the local fishermen, however possessed great instinctive wisdom, with a bounty of spirit and was a very spiritual person. His mother Ashiamma, have had formal education. He grew up in a remote belt of a spiritually charged island town, at the southern tip of India. As the youngest child in the family, he was pampered a lot. Dr. Kalam was an introvert kid who was immensely interested in reading every kind of books, which was again a scarcity in his place. He used to read books borrowed from neighbors. Dr. Kalam believes that he has inherited honesty and self discipline from his father, while faith in goodness and kindness are attributes inherited from his mother.

There have been a lot written about him all over the world; about his childhood, about his growing up with the dream and realization of that dream. He did not stop making missiles for India, but going further, he established India as a potent nation in the world map. He has visited a lot of countries before and during his tenure as Indian President and was honored and acknowledged with high priority everywhere. With him, went the name of the country – high and even higher. His books – Wings of fire, Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power within India, India 2020, India-my-dream, Envisioning an Empowered Nation: Technology for Societal Transformation, Scientist to President and Guiding Souls: Dialogues on the Purpose of Life were aimed at motivating Indian youth and reveal his spiritual side. He has even written poems in Tamil. I have had the honor and opportunity of reading the first one of the lot – his autobiography – Wings of fire, and like everybody else who has read this book, I’m as much thrilled.

Among all the past presidents of India and including the current one, Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Dr. Kalam will always be recognized differently. He was undoubtedly the most loved President India ever had. We would have loved to have him leading us for the second term. We, the people of India will always miss this man, who led us from the front and with examples. We will always be proud to have had him as our President. Dr. Kalam will always be remembered and his words will always be pronounced in our hearts. Adieu Mr. President!!

All God's creatures are His family; and he is the most beloved of God who tries to do most good to God's creatures… Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Fish Died in the Aquarium :(

I am very sad to inform you all this. However, I am sure that you will also be similarly hurt by the news as I was when I saw this misfortune happening. Come; let us all mourn the sad demise of one of the six occupants in our new Fish aquarium, which died yesterday. Shiv (शिव), partner of Gauri (गौरी), has left for the heavenly abode; left us with heavy hearts and wet chicks. It was a silent, non violent death that came and took him in its arms without our knowledge.

I take full responsibilities for this miss happening. He was good, fit and all energized when he was at the shop, along with a few other friends. I brought him and could not maintain the necessary environment for him to live happily. He could not live in peace in our fish tank; however he left us in pieces!

He was one of the best, if not the best fish in the tank. He was very agile, very energetic, and very sporty and used to cover the full length of the tank. He came close to heart in this short stay with us.
Friends, stand with me in total condolence and bid the sole Good bye. May he rest in peace in heaven!


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Aquarium!

We bought a fish tank – an aquarium this weekend. It’s a small one, that can be placed properly in our small living room – on top of the refrigerator. It has been a constant desire of my wife that we will do better with an aquarium in our home.

There are six fishes in the tank. Two pairs and two different ones. Two Angel Fishes - a Black (कृष्णा) and a white (राधा); two Paul Scale Fishes (शिव और गौरी); and one Black Mouli (राजा) and a Baggas (रानी) [I dont know the exact name of this fish]. We have named these fishes also. Raja has been weak from the very time we have put him in the tank. God knows if he will be ok, but I am sure that with your prayers, all of them will be fine and with me - always!

These pictures are not of our aquarium. I just put them here for better imagination of the real one! Hopefully, you will get to see the real pictures very soon. I welcome these new members in our family and hope we will have a good time together.


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