Thursday, December 04, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
India has won in style. And to lose a series this way is not something that the Aussies are much used to. So much so, they were forced to make some face saving comments by diverting the issue and venting out their frustrations. One wonders why such comments are taken nicely by the ICC. Perhaps, because, it is not about cricket and ICC knows nothing but cricket!
But it was not one Hayden who sought to relieve his frustrations. The Aussie captain, gentleman Ponting, decided to have a go at Sunny Gavaskar, rather unnecessarily. Well, as Gavaskar said, the Aussies seem to be rattled, indeed.
The rise of India in world news was evident not just on land but in the waters as well. It would have been fun for our navy bro's chasing the pirates out of their ship and sinking it. The UN has recognised the Indian Navy's brave effort and even seems to have granted it the "License to Kill" on the pirate homelands.
This winning streak on land and on water actually, started from Space! The perfect launch and the touch down on moon by our Chandrayaan showcases India's capabilities - and the efforts of all those dedicated souls at ISRO. Forget the debate that sprouts up as always when anything significant happens - there seems to be no second opinion, now that ISRO has taken a page out of Abhinav Bindra's books on how to aim for and hit the target!
This clearly is Indian Evolution, if not a Revolution. As if land, water and space were not fuel enough, the American Intelligence has started taking serious note of India, among the other rising powers, as having a distinct possibility of capturing the lion's share of global dominance from the defending champions, the United States. Perhaps, the recession that started off with the Housing sector and the Financial sector debacle in the US underlines the vulnerability of the United States. Afterall, not many would have imagined that the stalwarts of manufacturing, the Big 3 Automobiles from Detroit would eventually have to chalk up a Business Plan and submit it to the Congress, to have a lease of life! That's not much of a pretty scene for a global giant. But then, reality is harsh - and the economy is even harsher!
The economy was, in fact, so harsh that it demanded a congregation of the Group of 20 Heads of Nations to assemble at Washington D C and chart the future path out. It was a quick reaction by the global leaders who promptly made it a point to do their bit about managing the intricately inter-connected world trade. Media reports have not talked lightly of the time and effort that the heavy weights have invested. There was this distinct sense of urgency in the high profile summit that is set to go on in a phased out manner. And not many such conferences would have yielded such a consensus so soon and so smoothly as this on has. Luckily for the world, this one wouldn't drag on for months and years like other political summits would.
Talking of urgency and consensus, the dark brown dust couldn't be all that transparent not to be seen at all! The layers of dust that could filter out the intensity of the sun as it reaches the earth should be quite a phenomenon. And a survey says how Governments around the world have been lethargic in protecting the oceans, falling far short of their own projections and promises. News items such as these warning of catastrophic rise in sea levels have appealed more to Film Makers in the Hollywoods than Governments.
One question strikes the casual eye: Why have these issues not been classified as being "Urgent"? If the dark clouds are such a serious threat that would affect rainfalls, visibility and health, if oceans are so precious to protect as would some endangered species be and if sea levels are rising alarmingly indeed, why doesn't the G20 or the G80 meet up in some serene place to read and understand the issues at least, even for discussion at a later date? If we are eventually to adapt ourselves to a waterworld, where would we play cricket and win matches against Ponting's men, where would we launch our rockets from and where would Wall Street be then?
Not to worry about the Indian Navy though. They could very well be close to home, chasing pirates away from the ocean above Madhya Pradesh and driving them onto the limited stretches of lands on the Himalayan Plains. We could have a G 20 summit with leaders fashioning Swim Suits. Or perhaps, by then, man would have evolved further with fins and gills. What's Darwin's take on this?
Thursday, November 06, 2008
It was not yet another sensationalist hyperbole when the media described the United States Elections as "History in the Making". For once, should I say, in living memory, the media was spot on. Barack H Obama did make History. In fact, he has done more than just that - he has, perceptibly, changed the course History was taking. This was a moment that the Americans could rightly be proud of.
Forget his biography for a moment; the guy seems good by his very looks; by his measured speech and choice of words; by his conscious humility; by the depth of his eyes - and what goes beneath those eyes; by the determination in his voice; even his lanky structure and the way he held himself as he walked down the stage, his poise . . . they all speak something of his character. It says, "Hey Americans, this is the best that you could have got!"
His mixed race parentage is, obviously, what would make the world sit up and watch - and listen. But more than that, the United States has, over the past eight long years, dug itself in a pit in its Foreign Affairs Department. Arrogance is not the best way forward in a growingly seamless world. And ignorance is even worse. To think that there was only one Nation in the Universe would'nt make much political or economic or whatever sense. Obama offered a hope from a deteriorating and an even increasingly humiliating situation.
This development, if handled carefully, diligently, with sense and serenity, is capable of changing the perception of a whole lot of nations about the "Super Power". Israel has already started worrying about the strategies of its patron. Obama would, hopefully, know better than that.
The President-Elect has had many a thing going for him. President Bush himself has done him a lot of favour by forcing the president's approval ratings to a Historical Low. He was high-handed in dealing with a fragile planet. He was quick to formulate the "Axis of Evil" theory. He invented tall claims about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and the inevitable link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. He couldnt manage to plant those WMD's in Iraq in time, before the IAEA Inspection panel's aircraft touched base at Baghdad. He fulfilled his dad's dream of a world without Saddam Hussein. He showered weapons of "mass destruction" over civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. He threatened North Korea; he accoasted Iran. And in all the drama, he forgot his own home and his economy!
Put these all in perspective, Obama would have anyway been a silver streak if he had just said he was "not George W Bush"!
He would have definitely rejoiced to have his Grand mother by his side when he created History. But then, politics is all about points scored. And as commentators famously say, "Runs are runs, no matter how they come".
"For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime -- two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century," Barack Obama said in his Acceptance Speech.
If he is really what he has projected of himself all the way, if he is really strong enough to dare to walk the rope, he has to double up even before the word "Go". He has no choice but to hit the ground running. And if he does that and if he walks the distance, the world would certainly be a better place.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
This clearly turns out to be different from what I have expressed in the Bangalore Rockz post: "Blast Me if You Can"! They are Blasting India. 16 blasts in a day in one city! And that too close on the heals of Bangalore. Reports indicate targetting of BJP-ruled states.
People dying is not unfortunate. People are born to die. But the ideology that drives the killings is disturbing. This is sheer desperation; and I pity those who are weak. Weakness is Living Death. Death is Natural; "Living death" is a Curse!
I would become desperate if I lose all my strength and conviction; if I fail to find a way out with my own will and action. I would never want to be reduced to an insignificant living being that has given up all hope and resorted to terrorism or suicide.
To resort to terroirism and to commit suicide are the same. Both are extreme measures when every source of hope has dried away, every ounce of strength has got drained away. One commits suicide when one does not see even a remote possibility of a distant hope. The same is the case with terrorism; one resorts to it if one has anger but not a way to channelise it. Anger without a way out will lead either to suicide or to homicide. Any such act is the height of desperation, sign of one's being reduced to lifelessness.
If you have anger, if you have seen injustice, if you have found the system a heap of shit, if you have always been on the receiving end, FIGHT IT! Get yourself together, channelise your anger. That would be the power that brings about change. It is this focussed anger that is needed to being about the much-needed Revolution.
Die for a cause! But to waste one's life away in desperation, to kill unrelated people just for a base for dialogue or to make people listen to your stories and miseries makes you look mean and weak and starved and debilitated.
I am not bothered about the death tolls. I am bothered about the weakness in the minds. It doesn't take a series of blasts to rattle the weak; and making people feel insecure serves no purpose of yours, that drives your deeds of violence. It takes tough minds to change the world. Terrorism buries your ideologies beneath the heaps of corpses that have already perished to terror. You get lost among the tonnes of bones and blood and flesh that have already spilled all over the place.
Terrorism is a losing battle. You waste your vital energy when you give in to it. Your purpose becomes self-defeating and you can never win. Fight it - with sense, focus and determination. Wars have never been won in a rage!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
I welcome the new kids on the Block. And congrats on your new attempt.
You were always epected here. But I actually thought you would be less amateurish and more professional. Not amateurish, it was childish. No, perhaps, it was stupid. Or, rather, it was ridiculous. Yes, you are not kids, but are fools. Fools to the extent of being labelled demented.
Do you seriously think all that you could plan was a few crackers along roadsides? A few months late, folks would have mistaken you for some Diwali celebrations!
The next time, plan something solid. Make it big. Taste blood.
If you cant, climb up one of the towers in UB City and jump. You would make better news then!
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
What a time it is to invest in cricket! The tycoons and the super stars must be basking in all the turn of fortune that they could have hoped for - and much more!
The feel good factor about India's stature in its National Religion is overwhelming! And the game that has caught the imagination of every bud is now all set to take the next generation by storm. It started off with the unassuming and unpredicted coup called the Twenty20 World Cup Victory pulled off by a set of boys testing their teeth in unchartered waters. Today, it's not just the Under-19 World Cup Bonanza, it's not just the Tri-Series triumph; it's the ecstasy of having beaten the bad boys in their home town, the unchallenged World Champions whose machine seemed to grow powerful by the day and whose dirty tricks seemed to match their growing power in its gravity of abysmally low behaviour. How fitting it could be to respond to words in action, reply to off-ground attacks through on-ground discipline and performance!
The last two matches of the highly controversial series brought the best out of a young team ready to explode on to the international arena. The Master paved the way for the youngsters through immaculate style and command over his gifted art. It was a delight to see the super man back in his elements and reign supreme.
How risky would you want to be if you were the leader of an untested team? Ask MS Dhoni! His appetite for risk and his bravery in facing challenges with trust and grit was enchanting! The individuals seemed to merge into each other as a team under him. The fielding was tight and the confidence, unflagging. To him, the fight is more important than the victory. He is willing to give his lieutenants the free leash, and is willing to take responsibility for their failure. And his team performs as if in a trance!
At the end of it all, there emerges a new hope that is brighter than just a ray; a streak that holds more than a promise; a breed that has more than mere confidence; and a whole country that sees the potential of more than a mere entertainment quotient.
Yes, this is just the right time to be in the business of the sport. And the billions being poured are just in the right place.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Not long ago that I thought Bangalore was such a cool place to be in. Blessed with its natural climatic goodness, blissful with lakes and trees, greeting tired souls with flowers of all colours, Bangalore to me was among the good things life could promise.
So, it was a horrid sight to see trees being uprooted heartlessly for petty reasons. To see giants being chopped to pieces on a daily basis, to see life getting destroyed haplessly, is to witness the plunder of the very identity of the place that boasts of its garden city status.
To lay roads without proper planning is indeed a petty reason; to cut life to compensate for human greed is raw selfishness. The road that was dressed in green a few days ago stands naked in the hot sun. But that is the very nature of mankind - the virus spreads, eats up life, destroys the planet and still remains hungry for blood. There never has been and will never be a worse enemy to planet earth than man.
If an airport needs to be built at one god forsaken place called Devanahalli, why would the benevolent green giants fall prey? Merely for being along the sides of the road to air? I dont blame the politician alone for not having planned at the outset, for not thinking ahead of time and for not willing to walk that extra step to avoid this ruthless deforestation. I blame myself for not being to do anything significant to stop the bloody rampage. I blame every citizen who let this display of human arrogance go on merrily.
To blame alone is as good as doing nothing at all; and doing nothing at all is cowardice; and cowardice is a vice.
All I can do, other than watch life being wasted, is to plant new hope. I'm starting off this weekend on a planting spree. Not a rush, not in a hurry, but taking it forward slow but steady.
I may not be able to stop the mighty rulers from stripping the land nude; but then, the rulers can't stop me planting a sapling and watching it grow either!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Cricket in general – and the Indian one, in specific – has been hitting news these days. That’s apart from our “Nano”, that is. Much like it has been in its recent history, Indian cricket has much more happening off the grounds than on it. Racism, sledging, hearings, penal actions, Bucknor off – Bajji on . . . that’s what they call cricketing news, don’t they?
Nano has not been so. It has had the nation buzzing with the tiny new word much before its arrival on to the arena. Should we be saying, “Take the Nation by storm”? ‘Storm’ seems to be a far more aggressive word than what may suit our cute lill’ “nano”. Stop Press by nature, it definitely deserves more than a round of applause. Mr Ratan Tata has brought life to his dream in style. To be able to make the supply chain dance to his tunes is no ordinary work. Nice features, smart styling, amazing price, endless possibilities! Now, is that not what is called, a “Dream Launch!” Tata summed it all up in one phrase that should perhaps become a popular quote in the years to come – “A Promise is a Promise”.
A promise is a Promise . . . hmm! So, media men, you have found fodder for your pulp. Front pages splashed all over with pictures of the great man beside the tiny car, all kudos, accolades that talk of revolutions . . . hold it, friends, I know it’s party time.
But you folks don’t seem to spend much time on-line, do you? The net is a much more powerful medium of expression of personal opinion of millions of ordinary unseen folks; the very people who read your words that fill the news papers. Did you ever get a chance to read of the woes of customers of one good old name called VSNL? You could spare so much front page space on a Brand; you could as well have spared a few centimeters of your columns in rapping on the knuckles of a service that has taken customers for a ride!
Mr. Tata’s “promise is a promise” seems to hold good for his super-car; not for his internet business. Or, perhaps, he never realized that when he made a sale to his customer and pocketed the money, he was actually making a “Promise” to the customer that the latter would receive value worth his money!
That is the reason why scams such as these are let go by the media and people such as the Tata’s are let to get away with them.
I actually don’t see many reasons to blame Tata; he has nothing to lose! He has grown far bigger than what could trouble him when his customers are unhappy (or enraged) – he always has his other businesses and the media guys who flower him with praises for all that he does. The media is to blame – for making heroes and glorifying them to the point of being obnoxious, for being a shameless promoter of the rich and the powerful, for taking up no ethical or social responsibility when it comes to something as basic as giving the news to readers impartially.
And Mr. Tata, it’s not the promise that would bother you; it’s the ego, the reputation that was at stake behind your “Promise” – and the huge market to tap with the Nano-effect. You are advised to refrain from using bombastic words such as a "Promise"; you are a good businessman, no doubt - but promises are only for noble souls!
Post Script: The case mentioned in earlier posts has been closed. After a struggle, a court case and loads of mails to the point of virtually threatening an impending fresh case claiming higher damages, the amount declared by the court as compensation – Rs 3000/- has been dispatched by TATA – VSNL as refunds. The letter had no words of apologies for the period taken for the refund or the troubles that the complainant had to undergo; the letter was signed by an “Authorised Signatory” whose designation was not mentioned.
Hopefully, the VSNL case would not appear in Clearway henceforth; but the appeal still remains: If you or anyone whom you know has suffered in the hands of TATA Indicom/ VSNL, please go ahead and file your cases with the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. This part of the system still works and the complainant is very much likely to get the full refund, if the complaint is backed with evidence. You may drop your comments here for any further information.