Monday, December 28, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
- Test Team: Haddin replaces Dhoni as WK. Bhajji replaces Broad who goes out completely. Siddle becomes the 12th man. Captaincy to Shakib.
- ODI Team: Amla & Hussey replace Dilshan & Pieterson.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tirumala is about 15o to 180 kms from Chennai. There are many a routes that one can take for this journey.
- Chennai-Naidupet-Kalahasti-Tirupati (196 kms): Longest route but one of the fastest as you stay on a 4 lane, seperated highway where average speeds of 100-120 isn't unheard of. The only glitch is that once you get on NH205, you need to be acutely aware of speed breakers that pop up without warning. I advise first time travelers with limited experience in 'real' Indian road experience to take this road. Better RoI on your BP than fuel!
- Chennai-Tiruvallur-Thiruttani-Nagari-Puttur-Tirupati (173 kms): The cab driver's favorite route as you spend most of the journey in Tamil nadu rather than in AP. It is also one of the worst road to take as it is riddled with potholes, clumpy bitumen chunks and uneven road. It is any gamer's paradise for 3 hours of driving - just real conditions instead of sitting in front of a PS3! I don't recommend this road at all!
- Chennai-Sulurpet-Kalahasti-Tirupati (177 kms): Took this route only once, on the way back from Tirupati. NH5 is a bonus while the rest of the route is quite ordinary
- Chennai-Tada-Kalahasti-Tirupati (174 kms): Of all options, i haven't taken this road at all.
- Chennai-Red Hills-Periyapalayam-Surutupalli-Puttur-Tirupati: The road that i have been taking quite often these days and carries my recommendation. You stay a lot in AP State Highways than in TN State Highways and that means better road experience. Also, if you are not too anxious to get to Tirumala, there are a lot of not-so-famous but very important & beautiful TTD run temples on the way that falls in this route:
- Nagalapuram (Lord worshiped as Matysa avatar - has fins instead of legs and is called Vedanarayana Swamy)
- Narayanavanam where it is said that Lord met Ammavaru. The lord is called Kalyana Venkateswara Swamy here.
- Tiruchanur (more popularly called Alamelumangapuram’) which has TTD’s second most important temple – the Temple of Padmavati Amavaru. Any trip to Tirumala should include a trip to Tiruchanur. For travelers from Chennai, it is best to organize a trip on the way back.
- Srinivasa Mangapuram: While one needs to see Lord as equally beautiful anywhere, I find him at Srinivasamangapuram to be quite special. Only decked in flowers (and without any gold, diamond or any other precious metals & stones!), it is said that the Lord stayed here before he got married.
- Tirupati Kodandaramaswamy Temple: Haven’t been there in a long time. Will go there next time.
- Tirupati Govindarajaswamy Temple: When you align from your bus or train in Tirupati, this is the closest temple – it is right in the middle of town; yet this isn’t visited often. Pilgrims are in a rush to go to Tirumala and once they are back, too tired to go to this huge temple. Did I say that this temple, consecrated by Ramajunacharya himself, is HUGE? I haven’t visited it in a decade but plan to do so in the next visit.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
- Wickets (Min): 150 (Post-1950s); 100 (Pre-1950s)
- Runs (Min): 2000 @ Ave (Min): 40 (30% leeway for Pre-1950s)
- WK: 100 Dismissals
- All Rounder: 75% of Min. Wickets & Runs
- Openers: V Merchant, P Roy, S Gavaskar, NS Sidhu, V Sehwag, G Gambhir
- Middle-order: V Hazare, P Umrigar, V Manjrekar, C Borde, D Sardesai, MAK Pataudi, G Viswanath, M Amarnath, D Vengsarkar, M Azharuddin, S Tendulkar, R Dravid, SC Ganguly, VVS Laxman,
- Wicketkeeper: S Kirmani, F Engineer, K More, MS Dhoni
- All-rounder: Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri,
- Pace: Srinath, Kapil Dev, Z Khan,
- Spin: Subhash Gupte, B Chandrasekhar, BS Bedi, A Kumble, H Singh, EAS Prasanna, S Venkataraghavan
Thursday, July 30, 2009
"Because if you are talking about India-Pakistan, Indians had moved all their forces against Kargil and there was as a result weakness elsewhere. So, we knew what the Indian forces are capable of and what we are capable of. The situation was very favourable in Kargil, in Kashmir and on the entire border. We were capable of responding to any Indian action," The Nation quoted Musharraf,as saying
- Kargil was the bait that he planned to lure India to a larger war?
- Since India shifted focus to Kargil, he planned to attack other parts of India?
- As Pakistan hadn't developed a nuclear weapon (as admitted by Musharraf himself), the mere rhetoric of using nuclear weapon would send India into a dizzy and make it employ nuclear weapon against Pakistan? He can then go around the world showcasing himself as victim rather than the agressor?
- He had disregard for human lives when he was trying to take the subcontinent to the brink of nuclear war?
- After Kargil escalates to India-Pak war, China & US will come in support of Pakistan and Russia supporting India could trigger WW III?
Monday, July 06, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
- Kapil Sibal mooted the idea of scrapping 10th board exams
- Mayawati wants to re-write rules of passing exams: Pass only 5 subjects instead of six to be declared SUCCESFUL
- Anna University (Tamil Nadu) released the rank list for Engineering Admissions.
- Karunanidhi will declare that the pass mark for OC, BC, MBC, SC and ST in Tamil Nadu has been revised from uniform 35% for all categories to 98%, 30%, 25%, 20% and 10% respectively. To provide equal platform for all, the pass mark for OC will increase by 0.5% every year for the next 3 years while the pass mark for other categories will decrease by 2% every year for the next 3 years.
- Laloo & Sharad Yadav will join hands and raise voice to insist that OBCs, SCs and STs be given special status in examinations. They will be given question paper one hour before the exam start.
- Muslim leaders will insist that as an oppressed class, they be considered given the SC status and hence be eligible for 10 - 20% quota of SUCCESFUL candidates irrespective of whether the candidates pass or fail.
- Christian leaders will insist that they be provided a 20% quota on the total number of schools in the country.
- Karnataka & AP politicians will insist that parents be allowed to pay money in lieu of marks for their children. The formula suggested is that the parents pay Rs. 10,000 (OC) per mark in each paper while the amount for BCs, SCs, STs, Muslims and Christians are Rs. 100, Rs. 10, Rs. 1, Rs. 50, Rs. 75 respectively
- I learnt, with shock, from one of the website that there are 44 candidates with a perfect score of 200! Why the shock? The last rank to get into College of Engineering, Guindy's ECE course (the No. 1 course) is 31 (in 2008). That means 13 students will miss getting into this course inspite of getting a perfect score, just because they weren't born earlier or the computer gave them a low "random" number.
- There are 5,700+ candidates who have scored 195 & above (97.5%). Based on last year's admissions, 5700 will not get you into ECE course in any Government College. In fact, they won't even make it to ECE in any of the leading private Engg colleges.
- The only courses that 5700 can get in Government colleges are these: Agricultural Engg & Mining Engg (College of Engg, Guindy); Rubber & Plastic Tech (Madras Institute of Tech); BioTechnology (GCT, Coimbatore);Fashion Tech, Textile Tech, Metallurgy, Textile (SS) in PSG; Civil, EEE, Mech, Metallurgy (GCT, Salem); Civil, CSE, EEE, Mech (GCT, Tirunalveli); Civil (SS) in Thiagarajan, Madurai; Civil (AC Tech, Karaikudi)
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Two Japanese nationals were detained by Italian financial police last week after trying to enter Switzerland with $134 billion worth of undeclared U.S. bonds, mostly Treasury bonds, an Italian daily said Wednesday. According to the report in il Giornale, two unidentified Japanese in their 50s concealed the bonds, including 249 U.S. Treasury bonds each worth $500 million, in a suitcase with a false bottom that was searched by the Italian authorities June 3 when they were in Chiasso, at the border with Switzerland, about 50 kilometers north of Milan.Wow! They were caught transporting $134 billion ... not 134 billion yen - which would still be a mind boggling $1.37 billion! Would they have been caught if they were using the Gulfstream IV or Gulfstream V? instead of a car?
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
- The main purpose of asking the qualified candidates to appear in person for the counselling is to verify their identity
- After checking their identity and documents, the candidates will be asked to submit their choice sheets of courses and institutes.
- After the qualified candidates have exercised their choices as per the counselling schedule, seat allocation will be done centrally, at a later date on the basis of the AIR-cum-choices exercised by the candidates.
- At the time of result announcement, succesful candidates will get the link to register to a website where they can provide their preference institute & course.
- The candidate can change his data any number of time till 5 days before commencement of counselling.
- 3 days before commencement of counselling, the data on candidate preference is published to all succesful candidates, thus enabling them to gain an idea of which course & institute they might get.
- On the day of counselling, candidates will gather 2 hours before their allocated time to the center. Their documents are checked and allowed within the "green room"
- The "green room" is the location where the allocation is made. The green room will display real time vacancy positions across all open colleges to candidates.
- 15 minutes each is allocated for every batch of 100 to make their decision and confirm their seat preference. Each candidate will be allowed to bring in 2 people to help him make his decision.
- Each candidate will be seated in the green room for at least 30 mins before he has to make the decision. Since he gets visibility of the information for at least 30 mins, he gets adequate time to make the correct decision. Also, the mock excercise before the start of counselling would also enable him to picture a close enough view on his allocation.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
- For batting, i considered: Runs, Average, Strike rate
- For bowling, i considered: Wickets, Average, Run per over, Strike rate
- To me, 40 is the score of a good performer. There were 24 in 2008 & 21 in 2009 with scores above 40. There are six players who scored 40+ in both IPLs: Rohit Sharma, Gilly, Irfan Pathan (that surprised me!), Symonds, Raina, Amit Mishra (another supriser). MS Dhoni just missed it for this year (38.8 compared to 59.4 last year) and Hayden played too few matches (4, i think) last year to get to 40 (he finished with 36 still!)
- Last year's top 10 included 5 batsmen, 2 all-rounders (Watson & Yusuf) and 3 bowlers. This year, the tide shifted to the bowlers - 7 bowlers, 1 all-rounder (Rohit Sharma) and 2 batsmen (Hayden & de Villiers)
Monday, May 25, 2009
- Gang of 70s: 77 - SM Krishna, 76 - Manmohan Singh, 74 - BK Handique, 73 - Pranab Mukherjee, 72 - Murli Deora, 71 - Vayalar Ravi
- Early retirees (60s): 69 - Veerappa Moily, 68 - Sharad Pawar, AK Anthony, 67 - Jaipal Reddy, Sushilkumar Shinde, 65 - Ambika Soni, 64 - P Chidambaram, Meira Kumar, 62 - Kamal Nath, 60 - Ghulam Nabi Azad, Kapil Sibal
- "Young Blood" (50s): 58 - CP Joshi, 56 - Anand Sharma, 54 - Mamta Banerjee
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
The anchor, anyway, is going to have the last word because it is his show. The talking heads alias the spokespersons are merely actors of the moment, seeking to drive the network's TRPs.While his article was focused on the spokespersons of various political parties, i saw a well-deserved criticism on Television anchors. I have long stopped watching TV channels like CNN-IBN and Headlines Today as they engage in sensationalism.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Friday, May 08, 2009
What we're lacking is a bit of drama. KKR (the top source of drama so far) have sort of slunk into oblivion. Nothing new except the possible sacking of John Buchanan. Yawn. Preits and Shilps haven't got into a catfight, there have been no wardrobe malfunctions, and all that chaddi-buddy camaraderie with the players (very charming at first) now makes me want to vomit. How about a sledge now and then, a slap, something. We need a bit of masala to up the momentum, and a few injured fingers and thunderclouds (albeit dramatically beautiful ones), aren't going to cut it. Mr Modi, please could you orchestrate something? The battle of the cheerleaders, perhaps, or round two of the Bhajji-Sreesanth battle. Maybe even a stream of a thousand Bollywood dancers pouring onto the pitch during a strategic time-out to do an unexpected jhatak to "Jai Ho"? Make it as mad as you possibly can.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
- Ganguly! The list starts with Ganguly. Ganguly was & is India's best captain, master tactician & has one of the best eye for talent. His latest talent-spot is M Vijay, who stood-in for Gambhir during the Indo-Aus series and has shown top-tier talent in the one match he got. Ganguly is getting up there in age but there is a better way of using him than discarding him like that. He could have been the operational face of the team for a long time (and will still be!) and mentor for Indian players. Instead, by antagonizing him, Buchanan has shown his immaturity.
- Ishant Sharma is one of the best bowlers in the business. If Gary Kirsten & Dhoni can get the best out of him, why not you?
- Support staff - Remember just one law. Support staff is named so, because they don't get onto the field and face the opposition. There is only so much they can do. They can never supersede players. Never ever!
- Shah Rukh Khan: Seriously, how can this team spend $600k on Mortaza. His base price was $50k and would have been available for $150k max. The remaining $450k could have been used on local talent. Remember, 7 players must be Indian; Only 4 foreigners. Spend more on Indian talent
- Ajit Agarkar: The biggest underperformer that Indian cricket has ever produced. He always dishes one if not two 'four-balls' every over. His current stat line shows that - 3 wickets @40 average, 10 RPO and 24 SR. Nearly the worst of any specialist bowler
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009
- Coaching (6): Venkatesh Prasad, Robin Singh, Pravin Amre, WV Raman, Syed Kirmani, Kharsan Ghavri
- TV Career (10): Nikhil Chopra, Saba Karim, Vinod Kambli, Sanjay Manjrekar, Maninder Singh, Arun Lal, Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Ajay Jadeja
- Administration (11): Javagal Srinath (match referee), V Raju (selector), Kiran More (ex-selector), K Srikkanth (selector), Shivlal Yadav (Hyd Team Admin), Yashpal Sharma (selector), Dilip Vengsarkar (ex-selector), Brijesh Patel (ex-selector), G Viswanath (match referee), Chetan Chauhan (Team manager), Narendra Hirwani (selector)
- ICL (5): Nayan Mongia, Sandeep Patil, Madan Lal, Roger Binny, Kapil Dev
- Politics (2): Mohammad Azharuddin, Chetan Sharma, Kirti Azad
- Not Known (4): Narendra Hirwani, Manoj Prabhakar, Surinder Amarnath, Mohinder Amarnath
- Business (1): Dilip Doshi.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
- Deva Gowda (fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on ME!)
- Jayalalitha (nope amma, your good English skills & mediocre Hindi skills don't hide your narrow thought process)
- Mayawati (She is Jayalalitha Ver 0.0.1)
- Prakash Karat (No, Thanks. I don't want to live in the 19th century!)
- Sonia Gandhi (too much baggage Ma'am - You fled to Italy during the 1971 Indo-Pak War & your procastination in getting Indian Citizenship till your Cabinet Minister husband are 2 reasons why you should never be India's PM & not your foreign birth!)
- Sharad Pawar (What, he wants both ICC Presidency as well India's PM post!)
- PA Sangma (what! If your abilities as Lok Sabha Speaker are any good measure, the country will be in chaos during your term!)
On to the 2 gentlemen that i wanted to highlight today. Not because, they are my choice for Prime Minister but because they have skills in certain areas that are much needed. No one could predict that Laloo Yadav will revolutionize Indian Railways. I believe that the same will happen if these 2 folks get anywhere close to the PM Chair.
Drum rolls, for Person 1 - Narendra Modi ...
Let me make the case for Modi. Have anyone see the way
Now, for the negatives - his non-apology for post-Godhra riots. I have 2 issues with Modi on this attitude - Marginalization of minorities always leads to radicalization of society and is the first step for downfall of any civilization. For the last 7 years, Muslims have been using 2002 riots as the excuse for nearly every terrorist attack in India. Modi's attitude towards Muslims needs radical shift. While Modi will never fall in love with Muslims, at the very least he needs to show genuine concern for Muslim & other minorities. Else, he is no different than the narrow-minded Mayawati to me. The second issue with Modi on the Godhra incident is that his non-apology has made folks focus on post-Godhra riots and there has been next-to-zero empathy for the victims of the train attacks. Had Modi succeded in avoiding post-Godhra riots, the focus over the last 7 years would have been on the radicalization of Muslims and their inability to join the mainstream. That could have bought shame to right-wing Muslims thereby reducing their numbers. Modi, you did a major dis-service to the nation by not taking action post-Godhra attacks.
The second person that i want to highlight is Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Laugh all you want, but i would take MSY anyday above some of the other leaders in view. His anti-English & anti-computer stance are meaningless populism measures that he himself will abandon post 2009 elections. I recall a Shekar Gupta story on the Sukhoi-30 defense deal. Mulayam worked together with Vajapayee, Jaswant Singh & finished a deal that was started by PV Narasimha Rao & Manmohan Singh. Reason? The deal was good for India. That's the bottom-line. Politics was left outside the door when it came to our strategic interest. Second example, Mulayam Singh was the key reason why the Indo-US Nuclear deal was signed. The UPA goverment was in shambles after the Left Front abandoned them & when APJ Abdul Kalam called Mulayam Singh for a meeting & provided his support for the deal, Mulayam agreed to prop the UPA government. In effect, the anti-US SP provided support to the nuclear deal rather than the pro-US BJP.While some can contend that Mulayam's support was opportunistic (and it might well be the case!), we should acknowledge the fact that Mulayam put India's interest before his own interest. And by the way, Mulayam was all for giving APJ Abdul Kalam a second term as President. In fact, Mulayam was one of the early proponents for Abdul Kalam as India's President in the first place in 2002.
The case against Mulayam has been well documented. His pro-Muslim lean along with anti-Hindu stance is the mirror image of Modi's stance.
The nation will be well-served if we had a 50:50 mix of Modi & Mulayam.
Monday, April 27, 2009
- 19 July 2008: Karunanidhi doesn't go on fast but senior leaders of his party do. Reason - Protest killing of fishermen by Sri Lankan foreces
- 1 October 2007: Karunanidhi goes on indefinite fast protesting the dealys in the Sethusamudram project.
- December 2003: Karunanidhi ends fast within minutes of starting one protesting the arrest of partyman.
- 2002: Karunanidhi goes on fast protesting attacks on his MLA office in Chennai.
- June 2001: Karunanidhi goes on fast protesting his arrest by the Jayalalitha regime
"Only the UPA (Congress-led United Progressive Alliance) can build a Ram Mandir because we are secular.I mean - what was that & where did that come from?
- I won't feel sorry when the LTTE is decimated. They don't belong to the present times. They hurt too many Tamilians to generate the sympathy that they have today.
- Rajapaksa has the golden opportunity of correcting 60 years of mistakes and prove that he is a World leader rather than a narrow-minded state patriarch. Announce the repeal of "Sinhala Only" Act completely; provide for affirmative action for Tamilians in educational & government for a period of 20 years; provide a federal structure within which the Tamils get enough autonomy to rule the Northern & Eastern states where they dominate; repeal the military constitution and replace with a civilian constitution.
- Indian Government: Pressure SL by recalling our ambassador & contemplating firing their envoy if Tamilians don't get political benefit
- Indian political parties: Avoid making stupid statements against a soverign nation. You could be booked under NSA.