Ganesh Chaturthi

Om Shri Vigneshwaraya Namah

Lord Ganesh

Lord Ganesha (Source: Madhu Pasulla)

Wish you all a happy ganesh chaturthi.


Booked An Apple iPhone 3G With Vodafone

Congratulations! You just booked your new iPhone with Vodafone. We will keep you updated on its price, features and availability in due course. Till then, if you have any further queries feel free to call us on 111(toll free) and we’ll be happy to help.

This was the message I received when I pre-registered with Vodafone for an Apple iPhone 3G. First impressions are the best impressions. That is what a Mac had on me the first time I saw it at our printers office. We have a few iMacs in our office and I use them quite often. This only intensified my urge to buy one for myself. But I couldn’t convince myself to dump my eight year old PC for an iMac considering its price.

Image: Courtesy of Apple

Then I had almost decided to buy an Apple iPod but stopped myself after coming to know that the Apple iPhone 3G will be soon available in India.  I currently use a Nokia 1108 mobile phone that I bought two years ago. Even with its limitations–limited memory, no radio, no music player– it has served me quite well all these days.

I always wanted to go for a phone that was sleek and light weight. iPhone 3G a sleek model with a depth of 12.3 mm and weight of 133 grams fits the bill perfectly for me. Have to see what kind of pricing Vodafone comes up with for the Apple iPhone 3G in India.

Apple iPhones will also be available with Bharti Airtel. Interested people can register their names with Airtel by sending an SMS with the keyword “iPhone” to 54321 (toll free).

India Wins!

India have won! India have won a test match in Australia!

Source: BBC Sport

The Return of the Indians

Well, there was no Steve Bucknor this time or else Ponting & Co. could have more or less won this match also. India deserved a win in this series but it came only in the third test. This win will definitely be one of the most memorable one for India.

Coming back from the best-to-forget Sydney test, Kumble led an inspired Indian attack at Perth on the famous WACA pitch. Known for the speed demons that usually assist the Australia pace bowlers to shred the opposition to pieces, it was the turn of the Indian pacers to turn the tables on Australia this time.

This test has seen some terrific bowling from young pacers like Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, RP Singh while experienced campaigner Kumble has been leading the team from the front with some fantastic bowling and decisions. Ishant Sharma deserves a special mention here for the One-Hour-Special bowling in the second innings to Ricky Ponting to get rid of him. Ponting would definitely remember this.

On the other side India fared well in batting also. The trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly kept the scoreboard busy. And the very very special Laxman DU (that is Laxman Version: Down Under) who batted exceptionally well in the series till now with a century and half century under his belt. His valuable knock of 79 in the second innings set up the match for India and a chance to go for the kill.

Source: BBC Sport

Kumble – The Jumbo Bowler

In the midst of all that happened at Perth, Kumble quietly moved into the 600 wicket club. Nothing would have him pleased as much as scalping the wicket of the so-very-lucky Symonds as his 600th victim. He is certainly relishing the captaincy. Kumble has been quite successful in the last few series on the Australian pitches known for assisting pace bowling. He is also the joint highest wicket taker(19) in this series along with Brett Lee.

It is also interesting to note that India has the best record Down Under since 1991.

Since India’s disastrous tour in 1991-92, the teams have met 21 times in Test cricket; the numbers now stand at 10-8 in Australia’s favour. In the corresponding period Australia’s record stands at 27-9 against England, 12-2 against Pakistan, 15-4 against South Africa and 9-1 against Sri Lanka.

Source: Cricinfo – A great rivalry revived

Only England fares a shade better than the other teams. Ricky Ponting must be panting after getting Australia to win 16 tests on the trot. Australians, I guess, would now plan carefully not to play India the next time they want to set up some record. They have reasons to worry, India has denied them the 17 wins-on-a-trot record twice.

Cricket Down and Under

Cricket, I believe, no longer is the gentleman’s game. What with the kind of tactics teams adopt to win, especially Australia. The less said the better about the way the issues of racism, verbal duels between players and poor umpiring have been handled in this series until now.

If there is something that hasn’t changed in this series that is the standard of umpiring. Some poor decisions were to be seen even in this match that denied Sachin another almost certain century. Of course Sachin by now would have got used to the decisions but not the Australian players like Hussey and Symonds who have been quite lucky in this series.

What Do I Do When My Country Bleeds?

A series of bomb blasts within a gap of 10 minutes have killed more than 40 innocent people in one of India’s oldest cities, Hyderabad. This comes after less than 100 days after the blast in mecca masjid in the old city area of Hyderabad.

Why should innocent people die, blood be spilled for no fault of theirs. Is it a crime to live in a country that accommodates–and is at peace with– so many diverse religions, people, ethnicities and ideologies? It seems so, as these heartless and shameless terrorists keep killing innocent people in the name of religion, land and hate-filled ideologies.

Why should people die and what does one get by killing? Simple reasons abound:

  • creates fear in the minds of people
  • shakes the very foundations on which a nation lives – peace and security
  • the nation loses its stability and security
  • makes it easy to destabilise the country

With none of the above happening even when India had encountered more powerful forces, these shameful acts of killing innocent people will not allow the killers to get anywhere closer to their goals. They can still refer to the way of how a nation of billion people with all its military might, technology and people willing to die for this great country still doesn’t even think of exacting revenge. Especially on the very same forces, people and countries who have inflicted countless, blood-spills, terrors on it. And still thousands of innocent people die for no fault of theirs.

But, what do I do when my country bleeds? What do I do in a country

  • which allows a person to go free by paying a fine for killing a fellow human, but punishes the very same person with long jail-term for killing a protected animal
  • believes and advocates that people should be patient even when their blood is spilled
  • allows someone to kill a person but still hesitates to punish the killer with a death sentence, gives patient hearing to the pleas from human rights groups for not giving a death sentence
  • which never asks if a killer ever hesitated to kill his victim?
  • allows people to assist terrorism acts, but spends months and years to decide if they even need to be blamed
  • keeps extending its helpful hand to countries even though they try to bring terror upon it
  • where politicians (read: public servants, public servants) appear out of nowhere to condemn the attacks, blame the government for its negligence, demand that the responsible minister resign, demand that the government pay ex-gratia’s (which anyway is the public money) and then leave
  • where media instead of condoling, assisting and helping the affected cashes on the incidents with special bulletins, expert opinions and round the clock coverages of the incidents and only create more fear, pain and insecurity in people

Now what do I do when my country bleeds? Pray that the souls of the innocent people who are killed rest in peace and that the people who killed these understand that killing fellow human beings doesn’t give them anything but pain again.

Vande Mataram

India’s Independence Day?

Today, at the stroke of the midnight, I salute my motherland, India on its 60th Independence Day.

A country which has made remarkable progress in many fields, counted among the world’s powerful nations, is the largest democracy, revered for its culture, heritage and glorious history still struggles toB

  • have a corruption-free and accountable government
  • provide its people with efficient public services and basic necessities
  • eradicate the corrupted communal forces
  • reclaim its land

This is the day when a country of one billion people will remember and probably forget that they had got freedom from the British rule 60 years ago. Have we forgotten the importance of this day because we now live in a country where we

  • are not worried about losing our life – have men and women who are willing to die to keep us safe
  • are free to practice whatever religion we like
  • have access to world-class health care facilities and education – millions in other countries die for lack of basic health care services
  • are free to express our opinions

Then why don’t we celebrate an important day as our Independence Day with vigour, passion and energy. For many of us this is not a day when we are expected to burst crackers at midnight welcoming the day nor remember all those millions of people who laid down their lives to give us this freedom. It might be because we are no longer worried. Not worried because

  • we don’t make a big difference to the country
  • there is someone else to clean the dirt
  • we cannot do anything about the corrupted government – whom we have elected
  • there are better places to earn more money even if that means we clean others toilets or do laundry
  • we believe that there is nothing much to do and
  • its not worth doing so for a country like ours

Many of us want to do something to better the country but don’t do so, why? We are worried that it might not be worth doing that, we are worried about the safety and security of ourselves and our family, we are worried about our future and more than anything else we are worried about ourselves.

Still India awakens to a new day providing people with freedom to prosper, grow and live happily.

Jai Hind, Jai Hind, Jai Hind.

Time For New Rules In Test Cricket?

Though i am a fan of the Indian cricket team, I have to say that I really hate to see cricket matches especially test matches end without a result because of bad weather conditions. There should be a method to at least credit the team which has played well so that it can help improve its chance of winning a series if all the matches end in a draw.

In today’s match between India and England at Lords, England clearly outplayed the Indian team with the famed Indian batting line up of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman with no one being able to put up a decent score in the two innings. Rain gods have favoured the Indian team this time (it hurts more when India is denied a win because of bad weather conditions) from losing the match with only a wicket left.

There should be some kind of rule like the Duckworth Lewis method used in ODIs to decide the fate of matches which are drawn because of bad weather conditions. The method should at least allow the team which has played well to get a credit (probably by awarding points based on some parameters customised to suit test cricket) which can help it clinch the series if all the matches are drawn.

With the one day version of the cricket already becoming competitive with more stringent rules, its high time that even test cricket gets some new rules. This would not only increase the competition in the game but would add more pressure for teams to play win and not drag the match with defensive tactics. The new rules could help by:

  • Awarding credits to the team which has played well based on its performance like number of runs scored, wickets lost, run rate etc
  • Crediting the team which has played well over the other team
  • Giving the audience more decisive results based on the teams performance
  • Providing teams and bodies that manage the teams a better yardstick to measure their performance
  • Allowing the teams to win the series in case of drawn matches
  • Boosting the teams rating in the ICC Test Championship provided ICC considers the credits to award points to the teams

Let me know your thoughts on this.