Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Third Innings

"To play the pace ,forget the pace " was the advice given to Sourav Ganguly by his then-mentor-now-coach Greg Chappell ahead of the Brisbane test in 2003. What resulted was a gem of an innings which set the tone for a famous test series. His belligerent knock of 144 on the green top at Gabba still stands as the best test innings he has ever played till date ,not only for its importance in that test but also considering the fact that he made it under the conditions which was not suitable to him, as per his critics.Vulnerable to pace and bounce , they say about Sourav's batting which was again put into test by a more severe conditions at Wanderers recently . Not sure, if he had Chappell's advice in his mind, he came out successful ,scoring a valuable 51* to become the innings top scorer in a low scoring match. He might not have been as dominating as in the previous case,but this 51 is no less in its importance for the team and much more significant in his own career. He came to South Africa to prove a point that he is still among the best batsmen in the country and not a spent horse . By scoring that gutsy 51* under the typical anti-Ganguly conditions , he did exactly that. Scoring valuable runs for the team ,silencing the critics and boosting his own confidence ; all were accomplished with that 51 odd runs.The message is clear , the Maharaj has set his foot firmly on the crease again. If you have learned to cook maggy noodles based on the time he spends in the crease( as some prank e-mails say),you may better turn to the recipe books now!.

The same series of thoughts would have gone through his mind when he took the guard in Lords in the summer of 96. Amidst of all controversies regarding his selection, he was about to begin his second innings of his international career. Critics were vocal till he score the hundred and they became his fans once he did the same in Nottingham too. As in the Wanderers, his main focus on that day would have been to prove that the selectors were right.

Cricket, especially batting, is a cruel game .It hardly forgives your silliest mistake that you make.Whether you are an opener or tail-ender ,scored a hundred or just came to the crease ,if you commit a mistake ,your chance in the game is almost lost . If it is a test, you may get a second innings to come back. But in any case a third innings is out of question. Sourav is presented with this extra ordinary gift by the selectors . Hope he would realize this and make full use of it till he wants to retire.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Gentle Giant departs...

An integral part of Thrissur town ,the slowly walking giant in kakhi shirt and white mundu wearing an innocent smile, Painadan Kurian Rappai ,affectionately known as theetta Rappai passed away this saturday in Thrissur. Well known for his huge appetite and gentle manners alike ,Rappai attracted the love and affection from all agegroups. A regular at the Bharat hotel ,Rappai enjoyed free food from almost all the hotels in the town.

Another famous figure ,very regular in the Round South-Ragam-Bharath area, was Nawab Rajendran. Though both are entirely different in their appearances and attitudes, I can not forget the Nawab ,whenever I think of the former. People loved and respected both of them for what they are.

Nawab left us recently ;now Rappai Chettan too.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Kidnap,Ransom,Release and Celebration !!!

Kidnap-ransom-release-and the inevitable celebration seems to be another formula that found to be working in this country for many years. In the late eighties, kidnapping of the then Union Home minister Mufti Mohammed Syed's daughter Rubia Syed was the first among such cases that I remember. Kandahar incident of 1999 ,is another example where this formula was executed with no errors,but with few warnings(who cares about warnings). Now we have a similar situation in little Anand's(son of Adobe India CEO) case.

Couple of things have been changed in the recent years as far as the application of this formula is concerned. First ,the initiator (kidnapper) need not be a terrorist .Yes, I mean that this process has come down to all kinds of people in the society and he no longer need to be that tall figure in black attire with revengeful eyes,mask and the AK -47 in one hand and a grenade in the other.Even a local goonda with normal looks can demand and get huge sums of money. Second, the authorities and the kidnappers are more professional in their approach and they focus on win-win. Both ensures that the other party gets an opportunity to celebrate once the formula execution is over. These are based on my inference on the recent Anand episode as I felt something fishy in all the happenings concerned.

I do not want to elaborate on this matter as this is a complex issue to address. It is impossible for the authorities to give security to everyone in the country .Same the case with an affluent dad who prefer losing his purse for his beloved son to trust the local police authorities.Forget about educating the entire criminals about the evilness of terrorism and convert them to saints so that we have a crime less world ! . But we ,especially the media ,can do one thing which does not require much effort. Please put an end to the fourth part in the formula ,the celebration. The news channels still have not closed the Anand episode. They each have one reporter in front of his house,his school,his playground and his lavatory (apologize for the foul language ,but I certainly suspect that too)for 24 hours a day. Do you think is this an occasion to be celebrated by the media? Don't they feel shame in glorifying such a small incident to all the Indians ?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Neil Armstrong and a small 'A'

It may be a one small letter for us,but it is indeed a giant leap for Shann Ford. The mankind community should be thankful to him for making the giant leap that we did together on July 20, 1969, more meaningful. The Aussie researcher discovered the tiny, 35 millisecond long ,'a' that Mr. Armstrong lost kilometers away from the earth.

"That's one small step for man ,one giant leap for the mankind" were supposed to be the famous words said by Neil Armstrong on landing the moon,according to the official documents and the audio record. But Neil Armstrong says that he had intended to say " That's one small step for a man ,one giant leap for the mankind" with the small 'a' before the word 'man'. Probably at that time, Neil's words were not as strong as his arms and hence the small 'a' he uttered went into the sub aural region(means can not be heard). Here is where Mr. Peter Shann Ford came for his rescue and after lots of hi-tech researches ,he confirmed that Mr. Armstrong has said it !.

Thanks Peter, the mankind is saved from the embarrassment and this would pave way for further gigantic leaps !!!.

The real news is available at :,,20516476-1702,00.html?from=rss

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tale of Two Captains

(I wrote this about 6 months back. But the content is hot even today.Hence this post)

For last two weeks I have been thinking about a piece of news in the daily that every sports enthusiast would have noticed. Sourav Ganguly went for a duck in his first ball of Deodhar trophy final. This is only a day after his last ball of the match went for a winning six by a not so reputed batsman. Certainly things are not going well for the Bengal Tiger, who is trying to fight by all means to retain his lost place in the national squad. If the man who made a controversial entry to the Indian squad in 1996, became one of the finest players in the world of his time and most importantly changed the course of Indian team in less than a decade, it is mainly his uncompromising fighting attitude than any of the other skills that a cricketer of his level possesses.Once he believed that everything is under control if attitude is correct and succeeded in exemplifying it with his performance.But now the same kind of thought is not giving the desired result for him and his lack of skill is being continuously exposed over the last couple of years. He seems to have lost the magical synchronization between the skills and the attitude which is an asset for every performing individual.

Sourav has never been short of talent in the game of cricket. His flamboyant off-drives and elegant heaves over the sight screen are enough to prove his natural cricketing ability. No body can doubt the flair of the man who dominated the Sahara series with both the bat and the ball. But above all,his natural skills are embellished by his ruthless aggression and it is his aggression that completes the cricketer in Sourav. Never afraid to take on the bull by its horns,the Prince has the unique ability to convert his weaknesses in to performances. Otherwise how a batsman whose flaws in batting technique were exposed in his very first year in international cricket, went to make this much big in terms of runs and success?

Statisticians love Sourav because he has given them plenty of ODI runs to analyze on,almost at the rate of the little master . The record as the captain of the Indian team is also the part of the record books.He became the successful captain for the country by overtaking his predecessor Mohd.Azharuddin. It may be a strange coincidence that both the 'successful' captains had to leave the stage in not so graceful manner. The former had been banned from international cricket for life time,while the other had an ugly spat with the coach which eventually shown him the door with lots of questions left. Anyway these were not the kind of exits an average fan of the game would have envisaged for these two champion cricketers. Not only in the way they were out of the scene, there are lot of stunning similarities and contrasts between these two class players.

Both began their test careers against England and made tons in their first outing. Azhar extended this habit for another two more tests ,while Sourav could repeat that only once. However,not many cricketers made 100s in their first two tests. Both relied on their natural flair and hand-eye coordination to do the job than depending on the cricket manuals. It is pretty known fact that they were great entertainers when they get going and were able to raise the level of batsmanship to newer heights.They used lighter bats and not known for hitting the ball so hard,instead used their sweet timing skills against the pace of the ball.The duo had an inherent weakness in negotiating the moving ball and raising deliveries,in addition to their vulnerability against quality pace. A 145 K+ express delivery ,fuller or at correct length, might result in seeing the batsman walking back to the pavilion.Hooks ,pulls and sweeps were never their cup of tea. However Sourav never shied away from doing any of these shots when provoked, and with reasonable success too. One is a natural right hander whose favorite area is between square leg and mid-wicket ,while the other is a south paw who flourished between point and cover. The ball would touch the same boundary ropes when both were in crease.Most importantly, both had gone through many crests and troughs in their careers and they were always under pressure to prove a point or two, each time they wear the pads. When the talk of loss of form arises,Sourav never hesitated to open up to the media to defend himself ,while Azhar preferred to let his willow to do the talking.

On personal fronts,both are at two ends. The reticent,shy Azhar keeps the emotions to himself and stay calm and cool under most of the circumstances. On the other hand, Sourav is more vocal and dynamic.His emotional outbursts and nail-biting habits are already placed him in record books along with his achievements. Azhar's relation with the media was poor ,owing mainly to his poor articulation skills and the fact that he never really cared about the importance of media handling in this cricket crazy country. Sourav has always been media's pet and most of the times gave more than what media expected out of him.

As a fielder Azhar was more accomplished than his successor. He was undoubtedly one of the finest fielders that the game has ever produced. Few of his catches and throws have won matches for India ,in an era where fielding was not given the due importance. Even in his late thirties ,his fitness level was an example for the young players to follow. Sourav is known as a lazy chap in the field and definitely not a fitness freak.

Their captaincy streaks are also worth comparing. Both had been asked to lead the team ,when the Indian team was doing pretty badly. Their elevation to the helm happened as a surprise to many,since they were never tipped as captain- to- be-waiting either by the selectors or by the media. Their stints at the top caused lots of success to the team in both forms of the game. Azhar did not seem to be an aggressive captain,but his certain field placings and effective utilization of limited bowling resources earned him the image of a strategist. Sourav was a born leader.He was always clear about what he needed from his team. He was good at identifying talents and backing them at any cost. Azhar never showed such an interest as his thought was if someone is capable of playing for the country he would be picked up by himself.

Both of them were excellent fighters,though they expressed their fighting abilities in contrasting ways. Sourav never cared or feared of his weaknesses and tried to cover them up with his undaunting attitude. Azhar recognized and acknowledged his limitations and compensated heavily for them through his strong areas.The pair belongs to the category of players with an ability to bounce back when the odds are against them, which they have proved again and again. Not many cricketers would have received this much accolades and wraths from the media and the fans during different phases of their cricket life. At this critical juncture of his career,Sourav appears to be in a dilemma on how to respond to the signals from the selection committee. Are they setting the stage for Sourav to retire formally? The Media experts and fans tell that the time has come for Sourav to bid adieu so that he would not be humiliated further by the local players and selectors.Everybody expects him to do a press conference and announce the inevitable.But how a fighter can quit so meekly? After all, the maximum he is going to get by retiring are exclusive features in the media, which would probably be his last, and lots of he-did-a-great-job kind of speeches.Would that be acceptable for a personality like Sourav? If people think that it is completely absurd for Sourav to dream of an Indian cap again,let them think. Let Sourav continue to play his shots and others make fun of him, if they want, but he would never call it a day for the simple reason that such an act would not suit the tiger in him. Remember, Azhar is yet to announce his retirement!

Poor Pluto

Not keeping round enough and intruding into Neptune's path caused the ninth planet Pluto losing his coveted position as a planet. This distant tiny mass received his pink slip after 2500 brain stalwarts of IAU together made a decision that he no longer satisfies the criteria in order to be retained as a planet.

The new definition of a planet is, a celestial body that a) has sufficient mass for its self gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydorstatic equilibrium which gives a nearly round shape that is in orbit around the sun b) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit . In plain English it translates into " rotating around your sun boss is perfectly fine ,but to be in job you must keep fit and do not create problems to your neighbours". This is where pluto did not do well enough .Moreover few of the moving objects ,like Ceres,UB213(a.k.a Xena) and Charon in his neighbourhood (known as trans-Neptunian objects)also tried to creep into the planet family using their characteristics which were also similar to Pluto. IAU viewed this matter very seriously and hence in the recent performance review meeting held at Prague ,which would be written in golden letters in history books as the win of sensibility over sentiments, the IAU decided enough is enough in the case of pluto and they demoted him out of the family of what they call 'classical planets' . The word 'planet' translates into 'passively wandering object ' in Greek and pluto is the best one suited to become a planet if IAU had gone by the literal meaning(remember he occasionally wander into Neptune territory). However, in acknowledging Pluto's 75+ years of association with the planet family, the IAU has formed a new division called 'Dwarf Planets' and ,made pluto the head of the family as he is the most experienced one among all the others.

Now pluto is out of the conventional planet family.Obviously this would call for a 'mass edit' in all the school text books all over the world. Moreover, kids no longer need to remember this name for exams and this five bytes -pluto- gets free from every brain in the school world . If you consider all the kids who study space science, thats a huge amount of memory which is now available for some other creative thoughts. But not all memories can be free'd as pluto still has some stakes on this planet. Pluto would remain in the world through the inspiration he gave to Glenn Seaborg and team who were searching for a name for the element (Element -94)they discovered at that time. Plutonium ,as it known today ,would be thankful to the dwarf planet . Also the comic buffs will never free those five bytes from their memory as long as they get to see that lazy pup in Walt Disney comics.

Me Again !!...

Yes...Its me again.. back to the blog world.. As I indicated in the previous post,I have not been regular here .Infact this is going to be my second post here in 3 months. Though I have some draft copies of to-be-posted ones,I am not posting most of them since they are old and not relevant today. The next one that I am posting also not a 'hot' topic,but still I dare to post it here. Watch out for it...

Friday, June 23, 2006

The First One

This is my first blog here. It has been quite long since I planned to dish out some crazy thoughts as blogs,but it did not happen due to my inherent laziness. For last couple of weeks, I have been reading some nice blogs written by some really nice people and was inspired to take the plunge myself. So thanks to all such wonderful bloggers for making me to create atleast an account,if not posts,in this blogspot.
Next about the content. I am not sure what I am going to post here and how regular I would be. There is every chance that I may put couple of posts in the first week and forget for rest of my life. Anyway, I am planning to post my random thoughts on my interests ,people I meet with,situations I am in/out and so on. If you hope that this blog site would be a substitute for my personal diary ,you are disappointed. I am in no way going to entertain the web surfers with my personal life. Again if you think whatever I post here are truth,there is every chance that you are wrong here as well. I may post some true stories,some fiction,some statistics,some reviews,some comments with good amount of masala. So guys,dont ever take this blog for granted for any of the matters concerned with you. If you find that I am playing a 'good boy' role in my posts ,I simply can't help . After all, this is my blog and my space! .If its annoying you too much, you can very well put a note in the comments or -the last measure-close your browser an escape !
As per the laws those govern our universe,if you want to give anything out there should be something going in. I do believe in this theory and recognize the fact that only a person who read a lot can write well . I am an absolute zero as far as reading is concerned. Few newspaper sites and few other gossip sites are the places where I am regular at. Hope these give me enough fuel to start my blog engine and scribble something . You do not have to show your worth as a writer to create an account and post your blogs and it is absolutely free - the factors made me to jump in to this site and post this one !