Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why I love Madhuri Dixt, Kajol and Hrithik Roshan!

The smile is vivacious and contagious, the eyes twinkling and there is absolutely no pretense. She comes across as she is, uninhibited. She is gorgeous in an unconventional way.  That’s Kajol for you.  Madhuri, on the other hand, is a beauty, a stunner, a diva and an epitome of grace and poise.  Say dance and you cannot miss out hearing Madhuri along with that.  Drop dead handsome man with international looks and India’s answer to the slew of Hollywood superheroes. That’s Hrithik Roshan for you. Oh and who can forget that Hrithik too, like Madhuri is synonymous with dance! All these three I feel have one thing in common despite their oh-so-huge fan following and appeal. I seriously feel these 3, even though they are so popular and are worshipped by their fans (like me) and have men and women going berserk at just a sight of them , seem very grounded. They seem to have this inherent sense of goodness. And it shows in their public appearances, interviews.. If one is to approach them, they could, perhaps.

I was just watching this Kajol’s interview the other day and it was a delight to watch her. Since it was a Marathi news channel, she was speaking in Marathi. At least, she was trying to. She was so natural, genuine and sincere about the whole thing that her linguistic flaws didn’t matter at all. When the reporter used some difficult Marathi words, she laughed and playfully confessed that she couldn’t understand a word of what he was saying! Even the reporter laughed. It was such a pleasure. She was simply adorable.
Adorable is the word which can be used for Madhuri too. I just love her to bits.  I wonder how she manages kids and home plus her acting commitments with such ease. She seems so at ease and peace. And dance, oh. What does one say. One raised eyebrow, a shrugged shoulder and roll of eyes and you are done. I am always bamboozled when I think how effortlessly she manages to dance so well.  It is like a dream, a poetry. I think her innate goodness and sincerity and genuineness shows in her every move and the way she conducts herself on screen and off screen. I am hooked on to tv when she is there – be it her crappiest song, so to say. But her mere presence is enough for me.  She is ultimate benchmark for dancing prowess and beauty for me in bollywood.
The same applies to Hrithik Roshan – super dancer, great looks, good acting! He is a demi-god! He was mind blowing in Krrish 3 as the superhero. He dances like a dream! You could just watch him dance for eternity. He also looks so much grounded and appears to be like the guy next door.  You could perhaps walk upto him and say, “Man, I love you! You are simply fantastic.” He would not mind I feel! His eyes have such warmth and compassion.  And to believe that he used to stammer as a young kid! Shows that if you really are determined and focused, you can have it all!
These 3 are more than bollywood actors for me. They, for me are the proof that bollywood has individuals like us, who are beyond the spotlight, the make-up and the whole brouhaha. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

I had goosebumps since the first scene when Farhaan Akhtar walks into the stadium in Rome as Milkha Singh, known as Flying Sikh. From then on, the film ran for me and how! Yes, I liked the film! More than the film, it was the extremely talented Farhaan Akhtar who stole the show. He is almost an embodiment of all that the legend was, every bit in the film – physically and mentally. His physical transformation has been unbelievable! I had condemned people who had put facebook status like please send Farhaan Akhtar for Olympics next time around for running. But after I saw the film and the way the actor has run, I too felt the same! The screenplay is slightly complicated and some aspects have been made very simplistic. The one aspect I didn’t like was Dalip Tahil as Pandit Nehru. And I felt sad when Milkha Singh loses the podium by a whisker in Rome Olympics. The length too could have been a bit short, but then the sporting legend’s story definitely deserves that much time. Right from the time a young Milkha Singh had to leave his village during the tumultuous time of partition to the first time he valiantly competes with a national sprinter at a training academy, everything has been well crafted. Rather, Farhaan Akhtar’s convincing performance has added that credibility to the saga of flying Sikh. Compassion, Pain, determination, anger, remorse, helplessness, insecurity and the attitude of being happy-go-lucky – the lead actor emotes these sentiments exceedingly well.

The lead actor’s histrionics are supported superbly by Divya Dutta and Pawan Malhotra who play his sister and coach respectively. These two actors have delivered an excellent performance. Even though their characters had the scope to go overboard with emotions, neither of them has let that happen. And the fact that they have not let that happen has made the impact. The background score, music and lyrics have beautifully complemented the story. Siddharth Mahadevan makes a mark with ‘Zinda’ and how! ‘O Rangrez’ is a beautiful rendition by Shreya Ghoshal and Javed Bashir. The title track too is excellent. Basically, Shankar Ehsan Loy have done a great job! ‘Slow motion Angreza’ and ‘Havan Karenge’ makes you marvel (once again) at the lead actor’s effortless dancing skills.
All in all, an inspiring experience of a legend who deserved more credit and applause than he actually got. The film I am sure will take his story to every self respecting, honest and hardworking Indian. Thanks FA and Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra for giving us a glimpse of this legend’s exemplary saga of success and failure.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Indian Cricket - Youth Brigade Unleashed!

Yes, it is been a week since India won the ICC Champions Trophy, much like a breeze. It never seemed for a moment that India was not a potential contender for the crown. Right from the practice matches to the final against England, India was always in the hunt for the crown. Dhoni, sporting salt and pepper hair and stubble can now definitely say even at this age that ‘yeh baal aivin safed nahi huye – ICC World Cup, T-20 World Cup aur ICC Champions Trophy – I have all that on my kitty. Truly enough, Dhoni’s astute captaincy and immaculate reading of the game has paid rich dividends. He has also got a fantastic support from the team which is brimming with youth, enthusiasm and adequate aggression. The likes of Kohli, Raina, Jadeja, Dinesh Kartik, Rohit Sharma and Dhawan have imparted the much needed edge to the fielding and even batting. Captain cool almost always has an answer to tough situations the team gets into. Yes, his decisions sometimes have drawn flak and serious critique sometimes. But he stoically stood by them and has made India proud.

Cricket gurus have already raved about this new and super improved team. Sure enough this team looks like a very good contender for the World Cup next year. If the performance in the ICC Champions trophy is anything to go by, the team atleast is shaping up well for the ultimate cricketing battle. There are however, a number of other tournaments before that. India would have to perform equally well in those to keep their morale high and get used to the winning streak.  Just like a lot of Indians, I am extremely glad the way the team has shaped up. Dhoni has marshaled his forces extremely well. Inspite of all the horrible controversies shrouding the purity and sportsman spirit, the team kept it all aside and gave its best. The rain definitely played a spoilsport in a lot of matches. But that was not enough to deter India from winning all the matches. This win and the demeanour of this new, aggressive team India has surely heralded a promising era in Indian cricket. Kudos to Dhoni and Co! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Of a Grizzly Man & a Superb Filmmaker

The film opens with a typical blonde, decent looking American guy talking to umm, yeah huge, brown, grizzly bears a few inches away. Yes, it was a kind of revelation for me as to what extent of craziness people can go, while watching this documentary called The Grizzly Man. Directed by renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog, the documentary chronicles the life and times of Timothy Treadwell, a grizzly bear enthusiast. The film starts off with the glorification of Treadwell, his bravado and his undying love and concern for grizzly bears in Southern Alaska. The narrative revolves around Treadwell’s capturing of video footage of grizzly bears, which spans almost around 100 hours. What was interesting was that the film started with glorifying Treadwell and it gradually portrayed him in a completely different light, albeit very subtly. Initially, it appears as if how amazing Treadwell is, what fantastic work is he doing. Gradually, the paradox and irony and absurdity in what he does is put forth. Treadwell’s motive in life seems to be protecting grizzly bears from poachers and hunters. From the latter part of the documentary it seems that there were hardly any. His constant depiction of himself as the sole protector of these bears is kind of appalling. More so, when the bears seem to be at complete ease without anyone’s intervention and under the protection of Katmai National Park and Reserve authorities. His behavior and proximity with such ferocious animals hangs on the brink of insanity. The bears, do not give a damn about him, while Treadwell, in his self appointed role as their protector even tries to divert the course of a stream so that the bears can get salmon. One of the interviewees in the documentary said that he got what he deserved. This is perhaps true to some extent because Treadwell was playing with death all the time, being with these bears. The fact that it did not make any difference to bears is reflected through Treadwell’s death, which was ironically at the behest of a grizzly bear. He even begs to god when the region is falling short of rainfall, so that the bears get enough food. Although inspite of all this, Treadwell’s courage needs to be applauded here.
All the madness and insanity perhaps throws light on the harsh truth that Treadwell was sort of disturbed and even had a skewed concept of the world. In the latter part of the documentary he despises the outer world, the human world and even flaunts the park rules, as self proclaimed protector of the grizzlies. To some extent that he has himself in every footage also points to the truth that he wants to be the centre of attraction always. All the same, despite some dramatization and some repetitions, the documentary was interesting.  I realized that getting a grip of your life and doing some serious soul searching is necessary otherwise I think everyone would become a grizzly man…  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Once again, My Niece

So now, my niece, Anika is almost an year old! All the quintessential baby things are being gradually shunned and I am sure before we all know it, she would grow into a fine young lady. But right now she is the naughtiest and most lively 10 month almost to be 11 month old kid I have ever seen. She now recognizes all her close ones, from her grandparents to great grandparents to me, her aunt. It has been fascinating to see her grow. It is like raw, unprocessed clay is being given shape into a beautiful pot. With the design on the outside getting intricate with every single day. I mean every time I see her photographs from when she had just arrived in the world, I wonder is that the same kid? Which had crinkled open its eyes barely. From that day to this day, it has been an amazing journey, for her I guess and for her parents. Her growth and development, touchwood is great.. she now eats mashed roti and daal and rice too! 
I can see the pride and joy in my sister-in-law’s eyes whenever her daughter regales all of us with her super cute antics, right from crawling to trying to walk and babble. Her father, my brother completely adores his girl child, why, he is besotted by his darling daughter. He is a totally doting father and one look or smile by him is enough for Anika to get her crawling in top speed to her father! I am sure much more is in store for this daddy’s girl! As far as I am concerned, there is nothing else than her which gives me immense joy.  If I do not see here for a week or so, I get extremely restless! I even have withdrawal symptoms! She is very expressive and responds exceedingly well to whatever conversation we have with her. Such a delight she is!
I wonder what she would do when she starts talking? She is going to blow all of our brains out with her questions and queries about life! And she already looks so pretty, I mean more than any of the kids of that age I have seen! I am sure guys are going to drool over her when she grows up! Should we be worried about that? Aah I don’t think so!
At the same time I feel kids these days grow up real fast. I am afraid all her innocence and the cuteness will be gone in no time.. but I believe there is still some time for that. Till then it will be deriving pleasure out of her all pervading presence in our lives..We will now shortly gear up to celebrate her first birthday! Cannot wait for it! Time flies! Whew! Never mind, still love you darling niece, once again! 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Big Fat Indian Marriage – Idiotic Process

Your parents, grandparents, close relatives.  All of them are waiting with bated breath as to when do you turn 24 or thereabouts. They want to see you in the wedlock. In a few cases even younger – this applies to girls, though! For guys it is somewhere around 27. So, once you pass that threshold, all hell breaks loose. If you have been smart enough and have found someone yourself, you are in a better position and less hell will break loose. Even then one cannot predict, there is an epidemic called commitment phobia these days. However, if by chance you have not been a smarty pant in your college hay days and have not been able to patao someone, you are in for a hell of a ride. The road to matrimony is not a cake walk!  It is like that hurdles event in athletics, for most part.  Your parents start searching with zeal and optimism. It stays, but not for long. The prospective brides and grooms join too with enthusiasm, Soon enough, though it dies down. The search becomes limited to weekends and meeting prospective partners too is relegated only to weekends.  Horoscopes are frantically emailed and calls are made. 
Alas. In most of the cases today, at least in the Indian scenario, there is a colossal lack of basic courtesy. The easier the ways of communication have become, the less the need for people to communicate is being seen. Come on dude, you want to get married right? So if a girl has sent you a mail telling you about her profile and where she found yours and to kindly check hers, can’t you reply to her? I mean how much time does it take to reply, saying yes I will get back to you. This applies to girls too. I mean what the hell is the use of sticking to your stupid iPhone the whole day, logged on to internet when you cannot even do this small thing?  9 out of 10 do not respond.  When they don’t you should be fucking smart to understand that they are not interested, for hell number of reasons.
If at all you are lucky, you would get a reply saying sorry we do not find your profile to be suitable or let us exchange horoscopes and profiles. Okay. That is a start you feel. Then you enthusiastically mail your details and wait.  And there it again comes to a dead end.  After endless cycles of searching through matrimonial portals and marriage bureaus and people if you are lucky you finally find someone.  Then comes the horoscope demon.  Just when you think yes, perhaps he or she is the one, that damned horoscope spoils everything. You are back to square one.  Thinking yes, one fine day, these hurdles will be crossed and you will find your proverbial better half.  Chal chod na, get on to the others in the list or chalo, lets party, is what your friends say.  And boy, don’t you prefer that? instead of rummaging through stereotypical matrimonial profiles? Who knows, you feel, you just might find someone at the party and you join in the fun!  No wonder they are always skeptical, is shaadi, aabaadi or barbaadi? !! 
This is however a single aspect of this idiotic and frustrating process! and then on the contrary to this, there are some couples who have been married through the good old arranged marriage process. They gave a green signal to each other the first time they met and Voila! in the next couple of months they were married!   

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Of Oz Cricketers, Homework and Team performance!

There was funny and weird news about cricket Australia yesterday. Shane Watson, the vice captain along with three other Australian cricketers were axed from the team yesterday. All because those poor fellas did not or could not come up with a presentation involving mere 3 points to enhance  their performance and subsequently help Australia perform better. While on one hand coach Arthur’s being miffed is justified, as it seems to some extent that the players are perhaps not serious about the job they are assigned. On the other hand I feel that axing these potentially talented players was uncalled for. 

Honestly I think they can judge themselves better. Probably they felt that rather than writing some stuff down or making a presentation, they would be better off actually playing! Seeing this whole episode I was wondering what if this had happened with women’s cricket team in India, I am sure the coach would not have been able to afford losing 4 players from the side given the paltry number of players available for national team selection! That also reminds me of my trysts with little bit of cricket I played for my college and my city’s zonal team! On one hand, the 2-year period I was involved with my team was a total bliss as far as playing was concerned. Unfortunately on the other, the lack of enthusiasm and facilities for girls playing cricket was appalling. We travelled out of Pune for a couple of times to play matches and I have to say, that the arrangements made for us were not impressive to say the least. But as they say it is all in a day’s work. We were not to complain. Oh yes and we were paid a princely 300-400 Rs, I remember once! 
There was no fixed time as to when we would leave from Pune and reach back after playing matches, we travelled by state transport buses, which are horrible. All this notwithstanding, I cannot deny that the joy of playing and winning matches for my team was immense! I can never forget the first wicket I took in an inter college tournament! It was a caught and bowled! Nothing better for an offspinner to start off with! I also remember my disappointment and heart break when we had travelled outside Pune and had taken 4 wickets in an inter-zonal match. My captain had thrown the ball over to me and I had all the chances to scalp five in the match. Alas, the ball on the directions of our so called coach was given to another bowler. I lost a golden opportunity. Today I feel players like Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj are as good as members of men’s team. I think all they need is a bit more enthusiasm from the authorities and spectators! I wish there comes a time when Indian women’s cricket team coach can afford to axe 4 players and we still are left with a formidable side!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pondering Over the Best Books of all Time

Writing about the best books of all time, I want to mention something first here. Just recently dropped in at Crossword Book Store in Pune and was astounded and happy to find a whole range of new authors which included Indian ones too in a fair number.  I refrain myself a lot of times from stepping into a bookshop as I have this overpowering urge of buying the whole bookshop! All the same just going through these books I came across ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ (which I grabbed pronto!), which is considered to be a classic and one of the all time popular books. Unfortunately, there are so many books which are worth a read, it is intimidating! I mean every time someone asks have you read this book? It is a classic! And there I go. Another dent to my reading career! But here with this blog atleast I now know what am I missing out on, to some extent! Here is the list!

  • ·         To Kill a Mocking Bird – Harper Lee
  • ·         Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky. 
  • ·         War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  • ·         Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  • ·         Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  • ·         Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  • ·         Madame Bovary  - Gustave Flaubert
  • ·         The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • ·         Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  • ·         The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
  • ·         Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • ·         Ramayana - Valmiki
  • ·         Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  • ·         Ulysses – James Joyce
  • ·         Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  • ·         Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
  • ·         One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • ·         The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner

All these are some of the greatest books of all times and you are neither ahead of your time nor behind for reading these books! I have had the good fortune to have been able to get my hands on a few amongst these. I read some when I was an awkward teenager, while others after I became an adult. There were a couple of them I read again after a few years. That time there was a whole new perspective! It is amazing how we interpret and perceive the same book or a film after a gap of a few years! It is like you are almost watching a new film or reading a new book! This said, I think I have loads of work to do, finishing reading as much as possible of this list! So I will get going while all you bookworms can also tally what all you might have missed reading! Ciao! Hope you liked these best books of all time, fiction and non-fiction and others!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Things to Check Before Buying a House

Was just wondering how it would be if I want to buy a house in India. I have no clue what goes into the whole process of signing a house agreement. So I thought I would dig some info.
Buying a house is definitely not a cake walk. What with a zillion documents to sign (and an equal number required for the purchase), formalities to be done and basically running from pillar to post, any home buyer would tell you that it surely gets to your nerves. But hey, where is there ever any gain without pain? So for those looking for their heavenly abode, going through these scary motions of getting affidavits, loan approvals, registration etc is inevitable. The only good news is that if you know what all to take care of before signing house contract, then the whole process will be a tad easier. So what all should a first time home buyer be looking at prior to signing on the dotted line? Here are a few basics.

The Good ‘Deed’
Checking the title deed of the property is of utmost importance, to begin with. Title deed refers to a legal document proving the ownership of property.  Here, from the point of view of buyers, we have to ensure that we get an original document, which is in the name of only the seller and no one else. This will mean that the person selling the property has the sole right to sell it. It is also a good idea to get the deed reviewed by a lawyer.

Buddy Budget
Fixing on the budget is of utmost significance. To avoid any financial issues in the future and to make sure you have some money left in the kitty, chalk out a budget and stick to it. Home buying is a huge investment, so act and think smart. Likewise when you have to go for a loan, make sure you have all the umpteen documents you might require.  Once that is done, it is essential to secure a loan approval before taking the final plunge.  First, it makes the entire process a lot less complicated before and after signing house contract. Secondly, it also gives you a clear picture about your investment.

Small can be Ugly
When you want to buy a house, the major things like registration, ensuring that all the papers are in order, etc notwithstanding, minor things are important too. Drainage, plumbing, ventilation, flooring and other seemingly minor aspects also have to be checked, incase they need to be fixed. In the excitement and humdrum of living in a bigger home and in a better locality, these things could be sidelined and then fixing them can make a darned big hole in your pocket.

Stamp Stomp
Stamp Duty and registration are very tricky issues and we need to be very careful about these buggers! Getting yourself updated about the rate and charges in your locality will be a plus. To know the market value of the property you are buying and the stamp duty on it, you would most probably need to contact the Ready Reckoner to understand your valuation zone and sub zone.  Then there are umpteen additional costs, for instance, real estate agents, Lenders or mortgage broker, home inspector, lawyer or notary etc, which will completely throw you off track. But keep a watch on them and hang in there. Then there are features, like parking. Is car park provided and do you have to pay extra for the same? In cases of lifestyle amenities these days, enquire beforehand how much are you are going to be charged for that.

Insurance, the Best Medicine
Insuring the property soon after signing house contract is a point to ponder. The property insurance will aid in protecting your financial feature, in case of an occurrence of damage to the property. The good thing about this is that it is relatively inexpensive and ensures coverage in case of problems with the property title, any damages or any legal issue. Getting an insurance expert’s help on this will make it easy to choose the most appropriate policy from the various types of property insurances available.

A Few Good Things
Checking if your property will get a good resale value, making sure that neighbourhood is decent and safe enough and to ensure that the deed or sale agreement is in place are a few other things to be looked into on your checklist prior to signing the house contract.  Measuring the area and getting a heads up on the detailed plan of the property before signing the property agreement is another thing to be considered.

Well, these are the basic things. Eventually, all I can say is that there are a zillion things which need to be looked into when you are buying a house. It is always a great idea to have a legal expert be in touch with you to guide you through this rough way ahead, before you sign house contract! Most importantly, chill, and don’t let the hassles get better of you! All the best!  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Driverless Car! Thanks to Google!

Well, guys it is time to gear up for a nice ride! No actually, you don’t need to, especially if you are looking at driving a car. The reason? Ladies and gentlemen please brace yourselves to welcome Google’s driverless car! But maybe, few years from now! Google, tussi great ho! I don’t know how many of you have read about this driverless car, so I just thought I will share a thing or two about this amazing new development I read about on the Forbes Magazine portal. To begin with, hold your breath, as this car has potential worth trillions. While on the one hand this monumental development has in store business opportunities which can overshadow the current search engine leader, at the same time it will have serious repercussions on auto related businesses. On the brighter side there are claims that such a wonder car can –
  •    Decrease the number of traffic accidents
  •    Time and energy wasted on commuting from one place to other and
  •    Reduction in the number of cars

So basically, if such world class cars by Google come about, we will have safer roads, where in the deaths, injuries and direct implications of road accidents would be significantly reduced. All these things would come as a huge relief for WHO. According to studies and statistics on road traffic mishaps by WHO, road traffic injuries is going to be fifth major cause of worldwide death by year 2030, making up for 3.6% in all. Now, this car could be good news for developing countries like India, as we would not have to reproduce car centric infrastructure characteristic to the western world. And save a lot of money! Ha! Hah! Google’s driverless car will also aid in reducing pollution! But this will be bad news for spare part dealers, emergency care centres in hospitals, car insurance providers or even the need for a car which is very strong enough to take a real beating by another one.
It will be amazing and interesting to see how the colossal car related investments are channelized if some of the basic assumptions were based on this driverless car! In a nutshell folks, such a car not just makes for a fabulous paradigmatic shift in auto technology, but  it could render tremendous socio-economic advantages the world over.
I will vroom off here! Will keep you posted on this!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Justice Finally, But is it Worth Really?

The morning dawned with splashing of news of former Haryana CM Prakash Chautala and his son’s arrest all over the news channels, online news portals and any other news medium one could think of. It was just interesting to notice the irony in our political scenario. While a certain party supremo is let off and has regained his position, the other is now going to have face imprisonment. The judgement was passed amid a lot of violence outside Rohini Delhi Court complex. Teachers' recruitment scam landed the 78 year old politician in trouble along with his son. Well, der aaye, but is it durust aaye? No doubt this is a welcome decision as far as curbing corruption goes.  But what about the other politician whose corrupt practices were blatantly proved? He was let off and he is slated to be reinstated to his previous position. It is such an irony really. And to add to it, there was this breach of ceasefire agreement between us and Pakistan. And suddenly as one my favouritest (I know this word does not exist but cannot help using it) author, Shobhaa De, opined Nirbhaya and Delhi gang rape case is out of limelight and rapes are happily being committed. Wow! This is all so awesome. I hope this turmoil on all front soon gets over and some peace prevails. OHH and yes, The ever charismatic and dimpled Rahul Gandhi was made the Congress Vice President after a huff and puff. Finally! It is however, to be seen as to how he connects with the young and restless India. I really think our leaders should come out of their isolation and disconnectedness from the common man and take a cue or two from the honourable President of United States. We can certainly do away with administrators who are not restricted to a wheel chair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Finally, a Good Win for Dhoni and Co.

Yes, finally, a well deserved victory for the Men in Blue yesterday on 15 January. Perhaps the fact that I was completely indifferent about it helped! :P  I have been told that whenever I am not interested and not watching India match, we win! So much for superstition! On a serious note, the spark which was not seen in our players for quite some time, (inspite of being there) shone well on a reasonably pleasant afternoon in Kochi.  A poor run of performances was finally given a full stop, for the time being. Even as there were a couple of things to be worried about, India got it right for most part in yesterday’s encounter.
It was not at all heartening to see the likes of Gambhir and Rahane failing to click and deny India a good start once again. But propelled by Chandigarh Southpaw Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli, Raina, Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja, India put on a formidable score – 285 on the scoreboard. Kudos to them! Dernbach had his last laugh, which was actually very early in the day, ironically, as later on he was not spared by Dhoni (72 runs, 55 balls) and Ravindra  Jadeja’s (61 of 36 balls) onslaught. Jadeja hit Dernabach for 20 in his last over! Much to the chagrin of the naysayers, Jadeja proved his worth with the bat this time around and justified his place in the team as a capable all rounder. Later in the day he scalped important wickets of rookie Joe Root and Chris Woakes to almost seal an Indian victory by a whopping 127 runs. Captain capable (I would like to call him that) and cool again showed his mettle in this format. He is in a great knick currently. India scooped almost 110 runs in the last 10 overs, because of his gargantuan effort denting the morale of Captain Cook and his band.

In the second innings Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed gave India the early breakthroughs with Jadeja and Ashwin chipping in with 2 and 3 wickets respectively. Young Kumar took 3 in his 10 overs with an economy rate of just below 3 runs, which was seriously superb. It was all over when the new improved Dernbach (sporting a month long beard) got run out, thanks again to the effort of Jadeja and Dhoni. Indian captain’s astute captaincy and presence of mind too had a lion’s share in yesterday’s comprehensive win over the English. Making smart bowling changes, sticking with Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and getting close in fielders for a new batsman to the crease, all proved crucial for this win. I was delighted to see the result late in the evening and immediately rushed to see the highlights and felt that it was really a well deserved victory  for Dhoni and Co. Although I wonder what if Dhoni , Raina and Jadeja had not gone about their business well, what would have happened after we were down 18 for 2.
All the same, I think it is not for me to be worried about, Captain cool in Dhoni is tailor made for that and will surely know how to deal with this nagging issue. At the end of the day, I was happy to see our team rising up to the occasion. Of course there is still a lot more cricket left in this ODI series. I hope we keep the winning streak and morale booster from this win intact.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Where is Our Society Heading Towards?

RAPE. This is the only thing I am reading about these days. And as if the whole incident was not gut wrenching enough, anyone who thinks he or she is an authority on Bharatiya Sanskruti, is going on a rampage giving advice to the fairer sex. From wearing Burkhas to chanting mantras to migrating to rural areas, everything (only condition is that it has to be outright outrageous) has been suggested to girls to avoid being raped, molested and murdered, with incomprehensible and unimaginable brutality (in a few cases). Candle light vigils, protest marches and other acts of defiance notwithstanding, I really wonder how much will it help. I totally support these acts of solidarity, but will it ever be able to transform the draconian laws and the stereotypical male mindset? In one of the columns in a leading English daily by a luminary on social affairs a couple of days back a very valid point was raised.
The column said that unless and until women are looked at as individual entities, detached from all the relations (daughter, sister, mother, niece, aunt ) and umpteen others, the change will not come about. The tradition of perceiving women as a thing of possession is nothing new for our Indus valley civilization. Women were never traditionally touted or supposed to be the bread winners or at par with men. Manusmriti relegated fairer sex to sit pretty and give birth kids and take care of the household. There never was equality between the two sexes. Having said this, it is also a gruesome truth that women themselves, to some extent bring about the downfall of other women. Dowry deaths, biased would be mothers aborting their daughters in the womb and so many other instances can be quoted where women have turned against their fellow beings.  Ofcourse this is the very tip of the iceberg and there is a whole lot more to this vast issue pervading socio-political-historical references and contexts.
I really wonder sometimes, where we as a nation and society are moving towards. Are we going back in time? Where women were not supposed to go out and work and not voice their opinion and be fully clad? And most importantly, fear the male species with their eyes cast down? No mobile phones, banning jeans and venturing out after sunset, what does this really mean? I am appalled at the current scenario we are living in. There are such blaring contrasts. On one hand, we are using 3G, tabs, iPads, Audi cars, Porsches, the best of gadgets. On the flip side, when it comes to gender equality and doing away with the some of the irrelevant age old, suppressive and ridiculous traditions, we come to a naught. A standstill. Shobhaa De raised a fabulous point. Why should girls have a pepper spray in their pocket? Why can’t the guys be more mature? Why can’t women sensitize their sons about other women and tell them to respect them for what they are? Why do women have to pamper and cuddle their sons? Why are girls in a lot of cases made secondary?  A girl who has done MS from USA, when it comes to marriage is still asked if she can cook or likes to wear a saaree. Why can’t a girl wear short skirts and still be a great daughter in law and take care of her household. She can! For heaven’s sake! All the vamps in the saas bahu serials wear saarees!

All these questions are flooding my mind and have made me an insomniac. When will this change? I simply am clueless as to from where do these things about women come from.  Durga devis and Parvatis are you listening? We would rather be treated with respect, equality and basic humanity, than being garlanded and kept in a sanctum sanctorum and being worshipped.