Sunday, 14 December 2008

Mumbai - 26th November 2008

I wanted to write about this, but didn't know how to start. Found a badge on which I've used here.

Thanks to Homer for the badge.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

No water for upper castes in UP

Now that Mayavati is in power, thanks to the massive Dalit votes, water is not a problem at all for the lower castes. But the upper castes now have to travel to a well outside their village to fill cans of water. In a few years, an upper caste leader is going to demand water reservations for them for past atrocities. Will this reservation politics never end?

Question on Arushi in an exam

I'm impressed. The education system is keeping itself up to date. During my engineering days, we had changes in syllabus once in every 10 years or so, making most the things that we learnt to be highly irrelevant.

Question on Arushi in an exam

I'm impressed. The education system is keeping itself up to date. During my engineering days, we had changes in syllabus once in every 10 years or so, making most the things that we learnt to be highly irrelevant.

No water for upper castes in UP

Now that Mayavati is in power, thanks to the massive Dalit votes, water is not a problem at all for the lower castes. But the upper castes now have to travel to a well outside their village to fill cans of water. In a few years, an upper caste leader is going to demand water reservations for them for past atrocities. Will this reservation politics never end?

Saturday, 21 June 2008

'Perhaps that day was for me only' - Kapil Dev

I can still remember that day! 25th June 1983. And I relived those moments while reading this interview.

For those of you who were either not born or too young to have watched this on TV, suffice to say a 23 year old captain of the Indian team lifted the World Cup against the mighty WI on a green top, against impossible odds! After humbling England in the semi final. And after beating WI and Australia once during the league matches. And if you are amongst those who could never understand the fanatic following that cricket warrants in this country, then please ignore. This mail is not for you.
Kapil’s incredible innings of 175 not out against Zimbabwe at the 1983 world cup with India tottering at 9/4 and later 17/5 was the stuff of folk lore. It was the highest ODI innings for a long long time. And the occasion and the circumstances of that innings must rank it as the best ODI innings ever.
The semi final win against England and the finals threw an entire nation into celebration mode. BCCI at that time had to raise money to felicitate the heroes and they requested Lata Mangeshkar for a concert which was used to raise money to felicitate the Indian cricket team! How times have changed since then. That singular WC win fired the imaginations of millions of Indians and Indian Cricket was never the same again.
Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s delivery to get rid of Gordon Greenidge, Kapil’s magnificent catch to get rid of Viv Richards, Srikkanth’s electric batting against Garner, Marshall and Holding are some of the images which will be forever etched in my brain.
Sandeep Patil’s brilliant unbeaten innings of 50 plus runs in the semi final against England was another innings which has never got the credit that it deserved. Sure Yashpal Sharma and Jimmy Amarnath were there for a long time, but it was Sandeep Patil who scored those runs in quick time, dealing chiefly in boundaries.
Catch the interview on Times Now, at 1830 IST on June 21, and 1430 IST and 2030 IST June 22.
And as the interviewer mentions at the end of the above interview, thanks Kapil for giving us India’s greatest cricketing moment. Thank you very much!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Govt bans mobile towers in schools & hospitals

Never expected the govt of India to come out with something which is actually beneficial to the common man.
Now, what about towers already erected on school and hospital buildings? And in residential areas? Especially if the Welfare Association there objects to it now? Play grounds will also be out of the question since children frequent it. Govt buildings and commercial complexes seem to be the only places left now for these towers.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Solar powered bra!

Rediff has this report of the solar powered bra at the following link.
As Amit Verma says in his blog,
    So if you boys ever spot a chica wearing one of these, walk up to her, rest your palm on her device and say: “Is this a solar panel or am I turning you on?”

    Damn, that is so bad I feel like slapping myself.




Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Quitting Drink?

While going through previous posts of the Calumnist, I found this post which I reproduce in full.

Quitting drink

It’s a mad, bad world, as any man who’s ever tried to quit drinking or smoking will tell you. Everyone looks at you differently the day you announce your intention to turn over a good, new leaf. Friends check your temperature, ask you if you’re having a hangover, and offer you cigarettes and coffee with worried looks on their faces. Some enquire whether you plan to become a monk. Your sex life will run dry, they tell you, so you just as well might.

An air of gloom pervades your entire social life.

Your descent into solitary confinement begins soon after. “Hi, we’re going out for a drink”, colleagues will tell you. So maybe you go and sip orange juice while everyone else has a great time. The only satisfaction you can get out of that is by telling everyone the next day how hilariously silly they drank themselves. It’ll go like this: “Ha, ha you were so piss drunk you thought the pot was your ex-boyfriend – and you, you wanted to go up the wall because you thought you’re Spiderman!” And then they’ll never call you again unless they need a driver.

The professional losses are no less than the personal. Try inviting business contacts over for a tea party. They’ll thank you profusely, say how good tea is for health, and erase your number from their phones. There might be a few discreet enquiries about your religious beliefs and sexual orientation, for purely professional reasons of course.
The trauma of all this social rejection can seriously damage the psyche. As a consequence, you could become a drug addict.

Even those of ultra-strong mental construction, who escape such a fate, must come to terms with their newly found free time. Since evenings will always be free, they will have to take up something healthier than television to kill time. Joining some strange cargo cult and spending the evenings prostrating before pictures of the only superhero currently more powerful than Spiderman might be a good idea. I refer to the friendly hood, Taxman, who is reportedly slinging webs even Spidey can’t escape.

Women who quit smoke and drink somehow seem to get a better deal. They still get invited everywhere, and get free orange juice and sympathy because they’re such good girls. Men, those hypocritical ding-a-lings, suddenly want to take them home to mama after years of trying to just take them home.

There might be some common fringe benefits for born-again teetotalers of both sexes. Lower credit card bills are guaranteed. The money previously spent in bars can now be spent in salad bars. The beer belly could well recede, especially after the distinction between morning and night becomes clear.

Days and nights would obviously seem to stretch longer as well. If, after all the sacrifice and heartache, you still don’t live any longer, you’ll at least feel like you did.

Having considered all the pros and cons, my plan is to quit drink, but to leave a loophole in the law (Safety valve feature to prevent drug addiction). Even teetotalers are allowed to drink fruit juices. And wine is but a special sort of grape juice, after all, isn’t it?

Well, now I know what to say the next time someone asks me to quit drinks. :-)

What we don't say!

The Calumnist in his excellent blog "What we don't say" mentions that newspapers are pushing stories about farmer deaths and Floods in the east to obscurity because we - the readers - do not want to read about it.
"So, yes, the Indian media does largely reflect only the concerns of the upper and middle classes. After all, they are the 'customers', the people who buy papers and magazines, and the goods advertised in them and on TV. No one's really digging for the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid yet.
That's why papers tend to push away drought and flood and farmer suicide stories to the inside pages, where they are reduced to briefs, space permitting. TV usually doesn't bother at all - there's IPL now, and other masala. Besides, it costs more to run a TV channel. You need more advertisement revenues. No advertiser really wants to pay top rupee for space on a channel about bhookha-nanga (hungry-naked) people. It's just not cool enough.
This is only the half of it, and it should be of concern to us all. However, what's never spoken about is the more insidious omissions that advertising money forces upon the media."
Also, in the same post he writes,
"The cost of production of a day's newspaper is never less than 6 rupees for any of the major papers in any major city in India. The papers are sold for half that price or less. The accumulated losses have to be compensated somewhere, and a profit generated. The more the copies sold, the more the losses to be recovered.
That money comes from advertisements. So dear reader, when you pay a pittance for your paper, please know that you are pushing news media to economise on the truth."
Read more posts from the Calumnist at his blog.

What's a soft target?

Found an excerpt from B Raman's book on Terrorism: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow being published by Lancer Publishers towards the end of May 2008 explaining about soft targets.
Makes an interesting read. In a vast country like India, close interaction between the various law and order machinery is essential. However, this is hardly the case in India. And it seems states are resisting the attempt to form a single agency to investigate and prevent terror acts all over the country. Our ministers are more concerned about wielding authority than to form an effective agency to combat terrorism. Sad.

Jaipur blasts and IPL

The Jaipur blasts have to be condemned in the strongest possible manner. There can be no excuse or reason for taking innocent lives. No religion in the world can sanction such acts of terror. No cause in the world can justify such acts.
In this hour of grief I express my solitude with the beautiful people of the great city, Jaipur. My city, Mumbai, has also witnessed a fair amount of such terror activities. In each of the occassions, Mumbaikars (or Bombayites as we were known at that time) reacted splendidly. I can think of the first serial blast in 1992 or 1993, when the blood banks started issuing statements after 2 hours of the Bomb Blasts requesting people that the blood banks were full and there was no need for any more blood. Every time, some disaster struck Bombay or Mumbai, we did not succumb to it and those unaffected refused to be terrorised and continued with their lives.
We should not be cowed down by terror. I urge all residents of Jaipur to come out on the streets and show the wicked, impotent and headed-for-hell (where they will be greeted by 72 frustated and sexually starved gorillas) terrorists that we will not bow down to them.
The Jaipur Franchise in the ongoing IPL tournament has done very well so far in the tournament. Lalit Modi has announced that matches in Jaipur will go on as scheduled. When I heard of it the first time, I thought it was veru callous and unkind of Lalit Modi to say something like that. But now I realise that the tournament should go on. We need to show those terrorist outfits that such acts of terror will not keep us indoors in fear of our lives. All further IPL matches should be played by players wearing black arm bands and all IPL matches in Jaipur should start after a 2 minute silence in memory of the blasts victims.
The Indian government has been accused too often of being a "soft" state. During the last blasts in local trains in Mumbai and again during the blasts in Hyderabad, I was hoping that the govt. would start acting tough. But now I think its too much to expect from the Indian government, especially in the wake of elections in the next 10-12 months.
Its for us Indians to stand up in solidarity and repel these terrorists. Instead of relying on state organisations to provide us security, we should start being responsible for our own safety. Do be vigilant and on the look out for suspicious people. All unattended baggage should be reported immediately to the concerned authorities. If we are not concerned about our own safety, we can hardly accuse the government of not heeding our security.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Harbhajan v/s Sreesanth

Finally, the two enfant terribles of Indian cricket came face-to-face. The Sikh from Punjab allegedly slapped the malayali boy. The cameras didn't catch the alleged slap; they could only capture the malayali crying.
Both these players shared a dressing room in the past and will definitely be sharing a dressing room in the future. So, what caused this fracas?
Its time BCCI started being tough. BCCI proved its muscle when it held the Australian Cricket Board to ransom during the Procter-Symonds-Bhajji tamasha. This time also, it has to flex its muscles. If Bhajji did slap Sreesanth, then Bhajii should be banned from the IPL. However, despite the hype, IPL is domestic tournament. BCCI should also ban Bhajji for 3 Tests / 5 ODIs or whatever the maximum punishment is for bringing the game into disrepute. Cricinfo, in one of its column, suggests that Bhajji cannot be punished twice (by the IPL and BCCI) for the same crime. However, in the interests of the game, Harbhajan should get the max punishment. Ban him for 10 games in the IPL (effectively ruling him out for the remainder of the tournament) as well as a ban by BCCI for international matches as per the ICC rulebook. Moreover, the franchise owner should not only not pay Harbhajan any amount of the $ 800,000 that was bid; but Harbhajan should be asked to pay a penalty for getting out the tournament in this manner, when his team needed him the most.
However, Harbhajan wouldn't have done whatever he is alleged to do without provocation. Sreesanth should also be taken to task for needlessly abusing and giving an earful to the batsmen. Sreesanth should be reprimanded / fined and given a 3 match IPL suspension and a 1 Test / 3 ODI suspension for his behaviour. We desperately need to ask Sreesanth to concentrate on bowling to the exclusion of everything else. If BCCI doesn't act now, it will be sending a wrong message to the rest of the team and to the millions of children who are keen to emulate these stars. Its these future generation of cricketers who needed to be given a clear message.
In the interests of the game, both these players need to be given the strictest punishment possible.

Monday, 21 April 2008

No more dinner dates? Can we have a breakfast date, please?

Morning sex has so many virtues, so we need to make sure that our partner stays in bed after dinner till breakfast the next day!
Before you start jumping and visualising (and planning for) hot steamy sex everyday morning to be served along with breakfast, make sure you don't miss the last line!
"However, the researchers have also warned that having sex more than three times a week can have a negative impact on our immune system thus lowering its resistance."
Ah! Well!

Caste equations in Karnataka

  An article from The about the caste factor in Karnataka


The Lingayats and the Vokkaligas have been dominant in Karnataka since time immemorial and the tussle for power between these two communities is no secret. Karnataka has till date had five chief ministers from the Vokkaliga community, and six have been Lingayats. There were three CMs from the backward classes while Brahmins managed to hold the top spot in Karnataka twice. These statistics clearly show the dominance of both the Vokkaligas and Lingayats in Karnataka.

It is now evident that it these two communities will tip the scales once again in the forthcoming assembly elections. The Vokkaligas, who comprise 15 per cent of the 5 crore-odd population of Karnataka, are spread mainly across Bangalore, Mandya, Hassan, Mysore, Kolar and Chikamagalur. The Lingayats comprise 17 per cent of the population of Karnataka and are dominant in the central and northern parts of Karnataka.

The Dalits in Karnataka comprise 23 per cent of the population, Kurubas 8 per cent while the Muslims make up 10 per cent. The rest of the population comprises Christians and others.

Though the Dalits outnumber the Lingayats and Vokkaligas, it is the two communities that matter in the state's politics.

Over a period of time, it has been noticed that the Vokkaligas and the Lingayats vote for a leader and not a party. So if a chief ministerial candidate is from their community, they will vote for that person's party.

Moreover, there is a fear among both communities that the other will try and outsmart them. Hence a constant tussle between the two castes to ensure that their leader gets the top spot.


Sad day, when the caste of the leader decides which party you support as opposed to the ideologies of the party. Read the full article at

The IPL tamasha will be a hit!

Snatched a few overs from two of the IPL matches in the first two days. I reckon the IPL is going to be a hit.
I was one of the many that were hoping that the IPL would be a damp dud. We preferred the Tests to the limited overs variety and didn't see how a 20 over tamasha can display the best that cricket has to offer. However, I think I'm being gradually converted. Just as the ODIs made the tests very interesting, maybe the T/20s would make the ODIs also very interesting.
Some quick points I noted.
1. Ishant Sharma is a class act. His bowling in both the matches of Kolkota KnightRiders was top drawer stuff. We need to handle him with care and ensure he is not lost to injury or ego clashes
2. Robin Uthappa seems to be a 2 stroke wonder. The hoick over midwicket and the scoop over fine leg. And he seems to be more keen on playing the scoop rather than any other shot.
3. Brendon McCullum's innings showed what good batsmen can do. Sure, there were some top edges and miscued shots which 10 years back would have ended the innings - here these shots sailed over the fence.
4. None of the Indians (except Ishant) have fired so far. Its been the foreigners who are livening up the domestic tournament.
5. Ponting and Ishant celebrating Dravid's wicket was a gem. Just two months ago, this would have been impossible to imagine. Will we also have Symmo and Bhajji celebrating together? Unfortunately, both are in separate teams.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Anil Kumble with 600+ wickets and still counting

I watched an interview of Anil Kumble some time back where he said that he would like his son to be a batsman, instead of a bowler. Coming from someone who is the 3rd highest Test wicket taker in the World and India's best match winner, that is quite an indictment of the way cricket is run and followed in this country.
Going by the old rule of each wicket equalling 20 runs (in my humble opnion, a wicket is much more valuable. Simply because if we were to play using pen and paper, 20 runs per wicket equals 200 runs per innings, which we know is not enough to win a Test), 600 wickets equals 12000 Test runs. And just contrast the mass affection, hysteria, awards, endorsements, etc. that a batsman with 12000 Test runs in the same team gets. The BCCI needs to wake up and look into this malaise at the earliest. For if Anil Kumble doesn't want his son to be a bowler, then God help our future bowlers.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Mumbai's Traffic faster than the fastest Snail!

Came across this excellently written satire in today's (6th Feb 2008) edition of DNA. However, couldn't find the same in the online version.
Mercifully, Amit Verma's blog had a link to this article