Teacher’s – The best Scotch Whisky in India

Whisky, one of the world’s largest spirits, has a history of its own. The name ‘whisky’ itself is a variant on the phrase ‘water of life’ indicting spirits. Teacher’s Highland Cream Scotch Whisky and Beam Global Spirits & Wine Stall have won the biggest recognition awards.

First: Teacher’s Highland Cream Scotch whisky won the InSpirit 2008 award for the best bottled in India scotch.

Second: Beam Global Spirits & wine stall, the makers of Teacher’s, Jim Beam & Sauza won the Best Promotion Award as well.

November 18th, 2008: The fourth largest spirits company in the world, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, has won the IndSpirit Award 2008 for its flagship brand Teacher’s Scotch. Teacher’s Highland Cream Scotch has been awarded as the Best Bottled in India Scotch for 2008 making it the undisputed leader in its category. This Award was presented to Teacher’s by Mr. Gavin Hevitt, Chief Executive, Scotch Whisky Association. In addition, Beam Global Spirits and Wine India also won an award for the Best Stall which served exotic Sauza cocktails and had blind tasting sessions for the authentic Jim Beam bourbon whiskey.

Commenting on the association, Mr. Harish Moolchandani, CEO & MD, Beam Global Spirits & Wine India and Indian Sub-Continent, said, “The acclaim and recognition that adorns us will always be a source of great pride and commitment to refine and expand the base of our admirers. We are pleased to accept this appreciation for our brand & its quality in India. This Award will further distinguish Teacher’s Scotch in the wide array of its genre of spirits.”

Teacher’s traces its roots as far back as the 1830s – to William Teacher, a Victorian grocer who started selling whisky in Glasgow, Scotland. Teacher’s uses over 35 different single malt whiskies in its blend. These malts are balanced and harmonised delivering the same full rich taste that William Teacher created over 178 years ago. The blend has an exceptionally high malt content which gives it a richer full bodied flavour. Today, Teacher’s is one of the leading and largest selling Scotch brand.

IndSpirit is a mega alcobev trade event that is held annually. The two day conference serves as
a congregation of not just the alcobev industry in India, but also those who are directly or indirectly connected to this brand, from the importers & distributors to the consumers.

About Teacher’s

Teacher’s Family takes great pride in meticulously following a 178 year old tradition of producing the finest spirits known to man. Teacher’s 50 is a premium 12 year old Scotch whisky – A legacy that was started by William Teacher’s in 1830. Teacher’s is a key Whisky brand in the Beam Global portfolio, a dominant global Scotch player and a market leader in India.

About Beam Global Spirits & Wine

Inspiring conversations around the world, Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., is building brands people want to talk about.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for our brands, including Jim Beam® Bourbon, Sauza® Tequila, Canadian Club® Whisky, Courvoisier® Cognac, Maker’s Mark® Bourbon, Laphroaig® Scotch Whisky, Ardmore Scotch Whisky, Larios® Gin, Whisky DYC®, Teacher’s® Scotch Whisky, DeKuyper® Cordials and Liqueurs, Knob Creek® Bourbon and Starbucks™ Liqueurs.  Beam Global Spirits & Wine is part of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE:FO), a leading consumer brands company with annual sales exceeding $8 billion.

Where is the Bond I once knew?

Quantum of Solace is a sequel to a high octane adventure of James Bond in Casino Royale. Betrayed by the woman he loved, James Bond makes this mission personal and continues to fight in order to reveal the truth behind his misery. However, where is the Bond we once knew? This new bond movie looks like any another action thriller where hero beats the crap out of the enemies. Since I am a true fan of Bond movies, it came as a disappointment. Like all other Bond fans, I wanted to see Bond using his Hi-Tech gadgets and gizmos with Bond’s world famous theme track playing in the background.

Can you imagine Superman with no powers, struggling to fly and penetrate walls through his laser beam coming out his eyes?  Imagine Spiderman who can’t use his spider web to swing around in the city. These two superheroes will look nothing better than mock up artists portraying themselves as Superman and Spiderman.  In Quantum of Solace Bond has only one gadget and that was a Hi-Tech cell phone. What a shame!! Nevertheless, Daniel Craig looks toughest of all the Bonds who can break a rock solid wall with his fist.

What comes to your mind when you think about James Bond, a 007 agent? A charming man with an impeccable intelligence and possesses an attitude of a daredevil. Remember that scene from Goldeneye where Bond drives a Russian tank through the streets of St. Petersburg following Ouromov’s car, leaving behind a path of destruction.

Children in India grow up referring Bond as the toughest character. I am sure you must have said or heard this line sometime “He thinks himself a Bond” or “Who is the Bond of this area?” James Bond new looks and behaviour is fine for a change, but I hope Bond comes back to his normal self. James Bond is a name enough to make this movie a big hit but if 007 keeps behaving like a heartbroken man then his charm will be over soon.

A soldier’s heart goes out to his deceased friend, Sandeep Unnikrishnan

I received a mail from my friend Maj. Varun Bajpai whose heart goes to his very close friend Maj. Sandeep Unnikrishnan. He expresses his feelings for all the soldiers who laid their lives in the line of fire. Truly, these soldiers are the real heroes everything else fades away in front of these real sons of the nations. Let’s just see what goes inside a soldier as he recalls a poem dedicated to all the soldiers who fought and sacrificed their lives for their beloved nation. My eyes are moistened as I see Maj. Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s profile under Varun Bajpai’s profile on facebook. Sandeep Unnikrishnan and all who sacrificed their life in this ordeal have become immortal in every heart that beats in this country.

 

Major Varun says

As the carnage continues in Mumbai, and the innocent blood splashes all over the scene… accompanied by all the meretricious and politically correct statements of our politicians, one thing is sure, that at least few men of honour are there on whom, we rely with our baton of existence and survival. As on date when our fellow Officers and men are pioneering the offensive on behalf of the nation, I feel proud to be part of the forces, with all its ups and downs… The officers and men who have laid their lives for nation, relentlessly giving their best, without a wink or a thought are the real heroes… They somehow proved that ‘come what may’, Humanity would be the last adored virtue, always and every time. Let’s carry the thankfulness in our heart in its most genuine form without any show-off, because certainly the men in arms deserve it. I SALUTE THEM.

 

The poem “SENTRY” was written while holding a post in atop a mountain somewhere on the LOC… Hope it makes all sense now… 

 

                     SENTRY

 

Life often comes knocking at my door

           for a casual appraisal of our daily chore

It chides me often for wasting it away

           for drifting with me and loosing myself in its sway

 

The other day I stood sentry after last light

          when life came visiting at the sentry post site

It gave me a strange look and then remarked

         how can you be sentry for the life’s better part

 

I looked at life and smiled at its loving concern

         and said, “from a soldier, you have a lot to learn”

Gazing at the horizon and then yonder

          I was ready with a reply, after a brief ponder

 

Life, you often spend your life without 

          a worthwhile cause

Today you must think and give yourself

          a brief pause….

 

life was taken aback, to be astonished

she was surprised, and she was astonished

 

When a sentry stands guard in his

         battle fatigues dressed

He is the one, who is doubly blessed

         Blesses him God, for the harsh duty he stands

Blesses him all people for safety to them 

         and their lands

 

When I stand sentry, I enable the children to read

         to grow up tomorrow and give us the lead

When I stand sentry, the farmers till their land

        They churn out rich crops from the grains of sand

 

When I stand sentry, the doctors save your progeny

         they toil to carry out life saving surgery

When I stand sentry, factories work day and night

         contributing in no small measure to the nation’s might

 

When I stand sentry, in comfort works the scientific minds

         to reinvent science and making us proud with their new find

When I stand sentry, in peace the people sleep

         to awaken the next day, ready for a giant leap

 

When I stand sentry, on the altar of duty I pray

          tell me life of all, who is the luckiest today

My duty is GOD, my duty is DIVINE

          What’s better than life in the duty’s line

 

This is a very small description in my words, but I m sure we all should be proud of our soldiers beyond the preview of the above mentioned lines.

 

JAI HIND

Major Varun Bajpai

 

I salute all the soldiers who have dedicated their lives to protect us and our nation.

Leave Racism Leave Obama – He is as human as we are

Obama’s tremendous victory embedded a single weakness: fairly narrow margin victory, about 52 percent of the vote. That means that almost as many people voted against him as voted for him. As he is enjoying the transition, the best part of a presidency, challenges are taking different shapes to test his ability.

To name a few:

 

1.     Obama’s agenda vs. expanding his political base

2.     U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq

3.     The Afghan dilemma

4.     The Russian Question

5.     Global Finance and the European Problem

But, one more challenge is building after Barack Obama’s historic election as America’s first Afro-American President. According to hate-crime monitoring group and analysts, it has led to a surge of racist incidents across the United States.

Recent reports:

1.     An interracial couple in Pennsylvania found the remains of a burnt cross in their front garden.

2.     In a California town, some have spotted cars and garages being vandalized with swastikas.  All of them were covered with racist epithets and slogans such as “Go back to Africa”.

3.     Effigy of a black citizen hung from noose in an island community in Maine.

4.     “Assassinate Obama” is what students chanting on a school bus in Idaho.

The last week of the US election campaign and its immediate aftermath had witnessed hate-related incidents in hundreds, said Mark Potok, Director of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Centre.

“Kill Him!” shouts were reportedly heard from the section of a crowd during election rallies by Republican vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin. Potok added, what we’re witnessing now is everything from cross burning to ugly racial incidents schoolyards around the country.

It seems the rise in hate crimes would stay fit into part of a longer term trend, said Brian Levin (Professor at Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino). He also contributed by saying, “there is a significant spike in hate crimes from around the election period up until now”.

Levin also said White supremacist internet websites such as StormFront server cashed on the day after the election due to increasing hits in activity.

Potok said, “This soaring rate of racist crimes could be attributable to a “Perfect Storm” of conditions.

US Census Bureau recently estimated, by 2040 whites would lose their majority status with increasing non-white immigration. This would lead to unemployment and eventually create a favourable climate for hate group.

Potok said, “The idea having black man in the White House with a significant number of whites who feel the country built by their forefathers has somehow been stolen and they have lost everything. It seems sheer identity crises on the parts of whites.
 
Levin said, “Any advancement in race relations would result in concomitant violent backslashes referring to Klu Klux Klan which was formed just after the abolishment of slavery in 1865.

White supremacists refer this as the doomsday scenario wherein Obama is preparing to appoint yet another African-American as an Attorney General, Eric Holder. According to them Obama is nothing less than the Anti-Christ.

Barack Obama has come as a perfect storm that provoked the hardcore racist movement in the United States of America.

Why do people forget that colour cannot divide humans! It is a free world and everyone has equal rights to live under the same blue sky.

Citigroup to sack 50,000 employees

What is stored for the employees when retrenchment is the sore reality in corporate India today? Companies are crumpling overnight and downsizing, cost cutting and improving efficiency usually translate to loss of jobs. In the past few months cost cutting and downsizing have been a recurring phenomenon. Industry giants like the Tatas and Birlas have sacked 10,000 and 3,000 employees respectively. If government doesn’t take any corrective actions then today’s situation might take an ugly turn, warned by corporate India’s leaders in India Economic summit on Sunday.

After the Tatas and Birlas who is the next?

In the coming quarters banking giant Citigroup Inc. is cutting approximately 50,000 more jobs. It’s supposed to be the recouping strategy to steady itself after suffering losses from deteriorating debt. The plan is already posted on company’s website and discussion with CEO Vikram Pandit is underway at the town hall meeting in New York.

The company had already announced in October that total headcount will be reduced by 20 percent from the total strength of 375,000 calculated at the end of 2007. As a proactive measure company has already eliminated about 22,000 jobs from those levels. The total workforce reductions include other thousands of jobs that are set to be axed when Citigroup complete the sale of German retail banking business and Citi Global Services.

Citigroup has incurred four straight quarterly losses including a massive loss of $2.8 billion during the third quarter. In addition to job cuts, company plans to reduce expenses by 20 percent approximately. Citi shares are falling down continuously and trading at 13-year lows. It would be irresponsible for Citi and other companies not to concentrate at staffing in the event of long running economic meltdown, said Citigroup Chairman Win Bischoff at a business forum in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Bischoff added, “We have carelessly added extra number of people during this benign period. The job losses will fall particularly on the financial sector in London and New York.

However, a Citigroup spokesman said that while concentrating on job cuts in certain regions, this would generally be across the entire company around the world.

Citigroup’s plan to sack employees includes top leaders would go without bonuses this year. A move that would effectively amount to a substantial pay cut for the company’s executives.

What will happen to the lost bonuses? Bischoff said, “Watch this space”.

MySpace Vs Hotselling iPod?

This is a strange world of Technology which outdates as soon it is launched. Competitors chew their brain cells and pour all the talent to bring down the product from another manufacturer. According to the recent news MySpace, the popular online social network, may develop a digital music player to compete against Apple Inc’s hot selling iPod. However, Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and chief Executive, made it clear and said “We have no immediate plans to make or sell such a device.

MySpace has recently launched a music joint venture with major music labels and it quite a possibility MySpace eventually build a device for listening to music, said DeWolfe. He also added that company is just focusing on the service right now. MySpace, the largest online social networking site, company launched MySpace Music in September, aiming to become the ultimate one-stop for music lovers.

 The joint venture partners such as Sony BMG, Universal Music and Warner Music with MySpace widen access to all the music services, from streaming to merchandising. The advertising sponsors of the site are McDonald, Sony Pictures, Toyota and State Farm.

“We wanted to come up with a program that meets the needs of music companies and artists, by definition, and users,” DeWolfe said. And added people streamed music more than 1 billion times in the first few days and have created 80 million playlists since the launch.

It wouldn’t be a bad idea since driving competition to iTunes and boost sales by another player has been in agenda for all the music companies.

MySpace vs. iTunes
Warner Music Group Chief Executive Edgar Bronfman said MySpace was different from iTunes in its focus on “community and sharing.” People can share playlists, peruse their friends’ music choices and discover new songs that way.

Apple has just added “Genius,” which builds playlists and offers recommendations based on songs in a person’s iTunes library.

But DeWolfe said the “Genius” feature doesn’t make iTunes a competitor to MySpace Music because Apple continues to focus on selling their music devices. And added “if anything, we’ll be accretive to iPod sales” as people use MySpace Music to download more music and videos for their iPods. “Unless we develop a device” said DeWolfe.

Whatever would be the end result, MySpace launches some device against iPod or not, but people will have all the time available to tune into their favorite music.

Cell phones + Gas station – A Hoax or a Fact?

You are just a call away no matter which part of the world you are. Sounds interesting!! Credit goes to people who first believed this technology was possible and proved it right by creating Cell Phones. In one hand people have high-tech cell phone connectivity and on the other alarming genetic damage due to cell phone emissions. According to industry-funded study cell phone emission may cause tumors, increased blood pressure, weakening of the immune system and memory loss. No concrete evidence could surface around this so people are least bothered and using it with no fear.

Cell phones are always surrounded by numerous warnings and in the recent time warnings have taken a different turn, a more incendiary kind. Large number of mails floating on the internet warning drivers who do not switch off the cell phone while fueling their cars being blown off in gas vapor explosion. A faulty cell phone can cause sparks or build up a static electricity in the user but could be duplicated under controlled condition. However, cautious cell phone manufacturers and gas station take no risks and advise users to switch off their phones. The warning email claims the Shell Oil Company as its source and quote incidents of gas station explosion due to cell phone emissions.

Incidents listed in the E-mail: 1) A cell phone rings on the boot and generates a ball of fire. 2) A person got a nasty facial burn while speaking on the phone. 3) Cell phone rings in the pocket and causes burns to the groin and in the thigh region. This hoax mail was first landed in the inbox of a Shell employee who rebroadcasted it with Shell Company seal on the mail. The non approved Shell seal gave the hoax more credibility. After a hard search no one had ever found the news reports that confirm any of the three incidents mentioned in the E-mail. Later, Shell denied having issued any such warnings and quoted:

We understand that there is an email, purportedly official Shell communication, circulating which describes various incidents that are supposed to have occurred as a result of cell phones ringing while at a retail station.

Please be advised that the email in question does not originate from Shell and we are unable to confirm any of the incidents quoted.

The first question: Can a cell phone ever set off a gas station fire? And the answer is NO according to ATB (Australian Transport Bureau) who closely investigated the reason behind 243 petrol fire cases happened worldwide between 1993 and 2004.  Even AMTA (the Australian Cell Telecommunications Association) and API (American Petroleum Institute) followed the statement by saying, “We have not found a cell phone responsible for any fire since the beginning of mankind”. In an episode of the popular television show MythBusters the myth that static electricity from a cell phone can ignite a nearby gasoline vapors fell flat to all the corners. The National Fire Protection Association conducts the research and tries permutations combination to address the potential gasoline vapor explosions. According to the guidelines fuel containers stay 18 inches deep below the customer fueling area and it doesn’t have explosive concentration of vapors. Fuel filler necks are located just 18 inches above the containers and expectancy is down to ZERO for any such explosive concentration of gasoline vapor in normal operating conditions. 

The second question: What was the reason behind 243 petrol station fire? And the answer is Static Electricity. All of us have seen or felt a spark coming out of synthetic clothing during dryness of winter, and synthetic car material stings needles while sliding in and out of the car. Synthetic material can build up a big static charge, if the wiring on the petrol hose is broken and you touch the metal nozzle of the petrol tank to any metal petrol tank, a visible spark can be easily discharged. In conclusion, synthetic clothing and materials are the culprits most of the time, cell phones are ok though.

The third question: Why do phone companies and gas stations post warnings? The first answer: Cell phones do not have “Intrinsic Safety” to make it suitable in truly hazardous inflammable vapor situations. The second answer: Fear of legal liability, despite of all the evidence proving cell phones non- hazardous at the gas station.

The last question: Is there still a chance of setting it off? According to the experts there is a risk involved in using a cell phone near the gas station as it may set off an explosion. We not only have found no real life incident of such an explosion so far, nobody has ever demonstrated experimentally that it is even possible. According to Nokia and Ericsson risk is too small that something will happen, but since risk is involved, it should be counted to avoid the unforeseen disaster. So far nothing gives a concrete reasoning to switch off the cell phones but why take a risk when it takes only a few minutes to refuel the thirsty car and zip on the road to explore other proven facts. Until then, cell phone setting the gas station on fire stays a myth.

Grab a deal and take humiliation back home

 

New Delhi: In the recent years Delhi has emerged as an undisputed “crime capital” of India. Topping the charts in criminal activities, Delhi’s crime rate grew 357.2 more than double the national crime rate of 167.7. This plague called ‘Crime’ is spreading all over the country but centralised in metro cities to an extent. According to NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) Delhi, Mumbai and Banglooru together contributed more than one-third crimes reported in Indian cities. Delhi is in great danger with recent bomb blasts and other criminal activities, especially when country is entering into the festive season. From shop keepers to shoppers, everyone is breathing under a threatening environment oblivious to live bombs ticking somewhere. It is sad to see empty shoppers paradise like Lajpat Nagar, Saronjini Nagar, Greater Kailash and Cannaught Place which used to say packed with customers during festival season.

 

Crimes as big as bomb blasts over shadow the small crimes reported in the metro cities. Recently many people got mugged by a gang of criminals who sell new mobile hand sets on the roads. Humiliation kicks in when those hand sets turn into plastic replicas of their original counterpart. Innocent people find themselves trapped in their made up stories of this gang to sell off their phoney items. This gang sells newly launched and expensive mobile handsets at unbelievable price in exchange of existing handset or money from targeted customer. This cannot be ignored as similar cases happened with more than a million people during or off festivals. This active gang in Delhi is a set of professionals who will show original handsets to the customers and let them use as well to check. To steal a deal, innocent people grab the elusive offer and take home a nicely packed plastic dummy. What a shame! These professionals swiftly change the original handsets with dummies and hand them over to the targeted customers in a branded cover. Pride of snatching a deal soon turns into a humiliating scene.

 

Such incidents are equivalent to a bomb blast which takes place inside that person who has got cheated. The sense of being cheated is so disgraceful that hits the moral of victims and haunts them throughout their lives. The only way to achieve success against such cases is to spread awareness amongst people. It is a humble request and a strict warning to all those people who fall for such road side deals. Stay away from any such temptations no matter how much attractive and genuine they may seem. BEWARE you can be their next target.

Is this the fall of champions? Australia v India

What a victory! India won the second test match in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2008/09. It seems like the end of Australian world domination in Cricket. Indians have troubled Australians in recent past. Where Australia ruled the roost against all other cricket playing nation, they failed to prove their mettle against India. Australians found it hard to confront India in all format of the game, be it Tests, One day international, T20. Over a period of time playing against Pakistan has lost its charm but against Australia, it couldn’t get any better. It gives an immense pleasure to beat the world champions. Even Australians love the tussle against formidable Indian blend of young guns with experienced force. Media takes this battle to the next level by frame to frame coverage of sledging between players and well made advertisements.

 

The battle between Australia and India has picked up its pace since Indian T20 world cup victory last year in 2007. Ponting added fuel to fire with his comments “India was lucky to win the T20 world cup”. India proved Australian wrong by beating them once again in T20 match up held last year in Mumbai at Brabourne stadium. Ponting had to eat his words and said India is better than us in T20 format. However, India lost the Test series prior to T20 victory. The message was loud and clear with T20 victory that Australian champion’s throne is at risk.

 

Let’s see the result formation between these two cricketing giants’ encounters in recent time.

 

Tests

Australia v India test series 1996/97 – India won 1-0

Australia v India test series 1997/98 – India won 2-1

Australia v India test series 1999/00 – Australia won 3-0

Australia v India test series 2000/01 – India won 2-1

Australia v India test series 2003/04 – Drawn 1-1

Australia v India test series 2004/05 – Australia won 2-1

Australia v India test series 2007/08 – Australia won 2-1

Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India 2008/09 – India won the second test match (2 more to go)

 

T20

2nd semi final: Australia v India at Durban – India won

Only T20 international Australia v India at Mumbai – India won

Only T20 international Australia v India at Melbourne – Australia won

 

ODI

India’s performance in ODIs against Australia hasn’t been exciting but it is surely building up to threaten the Aussies.

 

Commonwealth Bank Series, Sydney 2007/2008 – India won

Australia v India ODI series, India 2007/08 – Australia won 4-2

ICC Champions Trophy, India – 2006/07 – Australia won

 

All in all Border-Gavaskar Trophy is still on and two more matches yet to be played. It might swing anyway as Australians would fight back strongly and Indians would counter attack. Let’s see how the third and fourth match would shape up, however, a best win ever in history against Australian.

A man a legend – Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar, an Indian Icon.  This cricketing legend was born in 1973 in Bombay, Maharashtra. After his fall in MRF Pace Academy as a bowler, he decided to stay focused in his batting. What a decision was that? His stood focused for all these years that the entire world couldn’t take its focus away from him. He is a true legend and a true star above all. His reputation as a child prodigy in the early age had already suggested him to become one of the greats. His coach from his young days used to put a coin on the top of the stumps and left it to bowlers to dismiss him and claim that coin. If Tendulkar survives the session then he would get the coins.  He still cherishes those unbeaten thirteen coins as his best prize possession. This is not surprising for this child prodigy for not playing under nineteen and getting straight to seniors. This is an undying dream for any cricketer who decides to play cricket.

 

Shines

 

Tendulkar made his first century against England following his semi-impressive test debut against Pakistan. He enhanced his development in to world class cricket during 1991-92 tour of Australia. He made brilliant two centuries in 5 test match series to make his presence felt. Even Merv Hughes could not control himself and commented a famous quote to Allan Border, “This little prick’s going to get more runs than you”. His charm as a gentleman makes him bigger than any other batsmen ever lived. Tendulkar married a Gujrati female and blessed with two children. As I speak of his charm, he never mentioned to media about sponsoring 200 underprivileged children every year through Apnalaya. It proves him enough as a true human being as well. The greatest batsman of all time, Sir Donald Bradman considered Tendulkar’s batting quite similar to his. What an honour. In his biography, it is stated that Bradman was thoroughly impressed by Tendulkar’s technique, compactness and shot production. Even Bradman’s wife, Jessie, agreed that they did appear similar.

 

Declines

 

With India’s huge hope and expectations after Azharuddin, Tendulkar couldn’t be a very successful Indian captain and team performed poorly. Tendulkar resigned and Sourav Ganguly took over the Indian captaincy in 2000. Tendulkar remains an integral part of Indian team’s strategic process. Tendulkar played a strong cricket though out but his tennis elbow problem took its toll and left him out of the side for most of the year. Tendulkar’s poor performance against England during a home test series and shoulder injury raised so many questions about his longevity.

 

Come back

 

The hallmark of a player is to stand tall after falling down. Tendulkar responded to his critics with his 40th ODI century against West Indies during DLF Cup in Malaysia. Later, he scored back to back 90+ against South Africa and proved his authority to everyone. Surely, no one teaches Tendulkar how to bat. Sorry Creg Chappel. With his batting he resurrected Indian innings so many times and proved more than useful with his bowling as well.

 

Achievements

Sachin Tendulkar is the most successful run scorer in one-day internationals with staggering 16,361 runs. He has just become highest run scorer in Test matches with 12,027 runs going past Brian Lara. He also holds the record of highest number of centuries in both Test (39) and ODI cricket (42). In the year 2007, former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne published his list of 50 greatest cricketers ever, in which Sachin had secured the number 1 spot. In January 2008, even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested that Sachin should be conferred with an honorary knighthood for his contribution to international cricket.

What a player and what a humble human being. Sachin surely made our country proud and saved India’s pride more than one occasion, like a knight in shining armour.

“If cricket is a religion then Sachin is the God”.

With this thought let’s enjoy 2nd test match proceedings of Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Bizarre planet and its Bizarre animals

Animal Planet was showcasing a documentary on Amazonian aquatic animals during flooded forest. And what I watched a moment later can be described as “Bizarre”. An amphibian laying eggs outside the water is one thing, but a fish? Sounds unbelievable? Believe it. The fish called Copella Arnoldi (Splash Tetra), found in streams and creeks in the lower Amazon region of South America. A shimmering golden-red male finds a perfect place under an overhanging leaves by the river edge. He waits until female splash tetra nudges the male with her head and ready to spawn. The pair leaps outside the water, side by side. The bizarre scene, female turns a somersault and lays 5-10 eggs on the underside of the overhanging leaf. To make it even bizarre the male fertilizes the eggs half way through his somersault and both dive back into the water. This is the act of a master Gymnast. The pair repeats this laying and fertilizing exercise until female has laid up to 100 eggs.

 

Isn’t it a jaw dripping stuff? But this is not the end just yet. Soon after the extraordinary exercise female abandons both, her eggs and mate (Justice done to the females on land, human of course). Then comes male’s compassion for parenthood, he keeps the eggs moist from the harsh sun until they hatch and the fry fall into the water. He positions himself right under the overhanging leaf, bends his flexible body, and with rapid tail flicks he splashes water up into the eggs. In just two days the hatchlings consume their yolk sac and start their everlasting journey for food. Sometimes nature creates such wonders that seem out of this world.

 

Enjoy

 

 

India Vs Australia – Day 5

Day 5

Hello and welcome to the final day of first test match from Chinnaswamy Stadium. It will be interesting to see what target Ponting sets for the Indian assault. Weather doesn’t look good for the final day, heavy dark clouds hovering over Chinnaswamy stadium. Ishant gets a break through in his very first over on day 5. It has been a trend to clinch early wickets to start the day’s proceedings. Watson out bowled as he decides to play across the line to a fractionally shorter delivery. This is the end of Watson’s fighting 41 to bring back the Australian hope. Australia 203 for the loss of 6 wickets. Finally comes the declaration, Ponting decides to put India into bat under bad light and heavily overcast condition. Australia set a target of 299 to win for India; it will not be as easy as it may seem.

Question of the day: This is the test of Indian endurance; can India stay focused and achieve the target?  

Two Indian batsmen open the second inning. Brett Lee starts the proceedings as Indian batsmen look jittery. My heart comes to mouth as Aussies drop Shewag. But Sehwag plays the way he always played, edging the ball straight from Clark to the first slip where Hayden takes a low catch. OUT. India score 16 for the loss of 1. As India lose confidence with a quick wicket Dravid loses his wicket as well. What a nightmare!! Dravid plays Lee’s over-pitched delivery with soft hands and it goes fast to Ponting in short midwicket region. One of the best fielders in the world cricket, Ponting, makes no mistake and grabs a handsome catch parallel to the ground. It reminds me of Swordfish launching itself to grab its pray, lightning quick. Kangaroos nail Dravid for 5 and India score 24 for the loss of 2. My heart sinks with Indian shaky start. Here comes the little master, Sachin Tendulkar. Can he produce runs with his bat today? India sulk in bit of a hole right now.

Where is that Tendulkar whose presence threatened the bowlers and other cricket playing nations?

 

At lunch: India 41 for the loss of 2 wickets.

Fantastic first session for Australia! Game is in Australian control as wickets fallen quickly in the centre. India had a remote chance to seize the first test victory but two wickets have pushed India on back foot. 8 wickets and 66 overs remaining to score 259 runs, the game is drifting quickly towards Australia way. India need to play with a lot of character and endurance. Let’s hope for the best and follow the rest of the cricket inching closer to a thrilling climax.

Welcome back to the post lunch session where Sachin looks pretty relaxed and confident in the middle. In no time Gambhir and Tendulkar have built up a partnership of 50 runs. India need to stay put with this partnership and get closer to the target. As we speak the partnership couldn’t flourish any longer, Gambhir bowled out by Johnson. Gambhir couldn’t pick Johnson’s fuller yet slower delivery that goes through his defence. Gambhir departs contributing 29 to the total and brings Laxman to the crease. India 77 for the loss of 3.

I don’t want to say much about this partnership as previous comment let me down. Both the batsmen are looking fine at the crease, especially Tendulkar. Laxman is little nervous but seems quite determined, good for him and India. Together they have added 20 runs, slow but steady. Indian plan would be to reach closer to the target without losing any more wickets and blast off at the end. If not, draw is the best option. It is very important to keep a winning attitude so, go for the kill India. Things are quite at the moment with spinners bowling from both ends. Chipping the ball here and there adding runs on the board is taking India closer to target. Winning looks out of proportion, saving the game is in the agenda right now. Partnership reaches 53 at tea time, India 126 for the loss of 3 wickets.

 

Game resumes and both the batsmen take the innings forward. Good to see their confident approach in keeping the score board ticking. It is not about the winning anymore but to survive till the end of the day’s proceedings. Tendulkar complaints for the bad light but umpires turn it down and offer no light. It adds to Tendulkar’s frustration as he draws his eyes wider. What happens next is quite unexpected, Tendulkar out caught playing a fuller length delivery on off stump. He tries to drive the ball to square but White’s slow spin does the trick and loses his wicket. Tendulkar misses another opportunity to run pass Brain Lara’s score by a short margin. He goes out for 49 and partnership ends after adding 64 runs. Tendulkar’s dismissal brings Ganguly at the crease to push the score forward. India score 137 for the loss of 4 wickets.

What a sad end to an intriguing 5 days match, umpires offer light to the batsmen and they happily accept it. Apparently game is suspended and India saves the game due to bad light. End of the day 5 India 148 for the loss of 4 wickets. All and all a fantastic 5 days of hard core cricket, from Australian resilience to twisted Indian tail.

 

I am Praky, your host for this test match, signing off now. All the very best to the Indian team for their next test match.

India Vs Australia – Day 4

Sorry for the delay people, here you go

Day 4

 

Hello and welcome to Border-Gavaskar Trophy day 4. What brilliant ending to day 3 yesterday. Let’s see how it goes today when Zaheer and Kumble start to push Indian score little higher. Weather looks pretty nice, no sign of clouds or drizzle like yesterday. Brett lee starts the day’s proceedings and Zaheer to face the ball from where he left yesterday. It has been a treat to watch tail-enders doing the repair work to consolidate the Indian innings. Yesterday’s partnership of 80 runs between Zaheer and Harbhajan was the highlight of the day. Finally, Aussies get a break through trapping Kumble on the crease with a late swing delivery by Watson. Rauf points his finger out and declares Kumble LBW. Another useful partnership of 31 comes to an end. All this added to Australian frustration as India score 343 for the loss of 9 wickets.

 

Harbhajan added 54 and, now, Zaheer is taking the lead with a brilliant 57. It is a moment to watch when these tail-enders raise their bats high in the air where so called top order batsmen led India down. Top scorers in the Indian line-up are Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, just unbelievable. It will be good to see as to how Australia accept this challenge. With a lead of 70 runs, when would Australia feel safe to declare their second innings? We will know people, we will know.

 

Question now: Will Zaheer be tired enough to fire all cylinders? After an exhausting knock he is all set to start the bowling too. Australia start their 2nd inning cautiously and trying not to lose any wicket before lunch.

 

At Lunch: Australia 9 for no loss. 

 

Just after 12 overs post lunch Zaheer produces a blinder and freezes Hayden’s fate for 13 with swinging full length delivery. Hayden tries to forget the nightmare of his fall in the 1st test. Hayden departs LBW and brings the first centurion at the crease, Ricky Ponting. Can start from where he left yesterday? Good question. Australia 21 for the loss of 1. Shaky start pushes India ahead and builds pressure on Australia. Indian bowling attack looks pretty confident after a successful batting expedition. Zaheer takes his 6th wicket in the first test match…Bravo Zaheer. India fight back and fights back pretty neatly, Ponting falls flat on Ishant’s semi slow full length delivery. Out he goes. Laxman grabs a sharp catch in the midwicket area and sends the first inning centurion back to dressing room. Ponting scored 17 runs and took Aussie’s score to 50 for the loss of 2 wickets.

 

India apply mixed bowling attack from both ends, Ishant from one and Harbhajan from another. There comes 2nd centurion from Australian first inning, Michael Hussey. Ponting’s failure raises expectation from Hussey. Can he deliver it again? Australian batsmen can feel the sting in Indian bowling; quick wickets put India on top. As we speak, here goes another wicket down to dust. Simon Katich plays a flighted delivery from Harbhajan which lands safe in Laxman’s magnetic hands at silly point. Harbhajan is proving more than useful, first with batting and now with bowling. After scoring 34 Katich rests in peace in the dressing room Clarke joins Hussey at the crease. Australia score 99 for the loss of 3 crucial wickets. Breaking the building partnerships Indians have finally found their feet on the ground.

 

Can India continue ripping off Australian innings? Another quick wicket would definitely push Australia on the back foot. I could have asked for something better, make a castle of my own. Clarke is out caught playing a full length delivery from Ishant. Sehwag grabs the ball neatly at the short cover region. Clarke contributed 6 runs to the Australian total of 115 after losing 4 wickets in the process. What a ripper!!

 

It is going bad to worse for Australians, Harbhajan strikes back. Bhajji completely bamboozled Hussey from his rightly pitched length delivery just outside off stump. As Hussey tries to let it go bowl rips back and disturb the furniture. What a beauty (Singh is surely a King). Hussey goes out after scoring 31 and brings Haddin to the crease. Crowed goes wild and follows a Mexican wave. It proves to be a disaster for the Australians. It looks like India would run through Aussie line up quickly and give India a fair chance to win the first test out of fours Dream on sugar. Commentators criticise Kumble’s bowling stats and I feel greedy for more wickets. Australia 128 for the loss of 5 wickets.

 

I love this game as it swings both ends in no time. A good partnership of 50 between Haddin and Watson drift the game slowly towards Australian side. It takes Australian total to 193 for the loss of 5 and mounts the total lead to 263 with 5 wickets in hand. Another exhilarating day comes to an end. India took control on the first session but second session drifting away to put Australia back in control. All credit goes to Haddin and Watson for their rescue partnership of 50 runs. Let’s see tomorrow what score would be good enough for Australia to defend.

 

Let’s come back tomorrow keeping the fingers crossed. India…India, clap…clap…clap.

India Vs Australia – Day 3

Day 3

 

Welcome to day three from Chinnaswamy Stadium. Sky looks bright and no sign of rainy clouds hovering over like yesterday, a perfect day for cricket.  Sehwag is facing Johnson from where he left yesterday. India 68 without losing any wickets.

 

And an early break through for Australia, India loses their first wicket of Gambhir. From past two days including today falling wicket early looks like a trend to me. India need to stay focused and make it hard for Australians to get easy break through. Here comes Dravid as Gambhir departs scoring 21. India score 70 for the loss of 1.

 

Just when Sehwag is looking threatening he plays a silly shot and edges it to the second slip. Johnson bowls a full length and wide delivery and Shewag reaches out for it and does nothing but gives away an easy catch to Hayden on slip. He makes his way to the pavilion after scoring 45. This is the second blow for Indians scoring 76 to begin the day’s proceedings. Here comes the master blaster, Sachin Tendulkar, as name says it all he takes his stance to go pass Brian Lara. He needs to score 77 runs to break Lara’s record and become highest run scorer in the world cricket. He looks confident as he smashes a handsome Four through the point region.  As my cable connection comes back India score 90 for the loss of 2.

 

Here comes the disaster, Tendulkar out caught chipping the ball to White at short cover region. Johnson rolls his finger and produces a slower delivery; Tendulkar pushes the ball to score another four through cover but lands up in the safe hands of Cameron White. Tendulkar joins Gambhir and Sehwag in the dressing room after scoring 13 runs. India lose another big wicket scoring 94 for the loss of 3. Laxman joins Dravid when India going hey wire between wickets on third day.

 

Indians have to play out of their skins to match up with this total put by Australians. The way things are going right now it looks difficult. But you never know in this wonderful game of cricket. Ouch!! What a shame. Johnson bowls a fuller length delivery outside off stump; Laxman pokes at it and produces an edge. What happens next we all know. Laxman is gone for duck getting caught behind by keeper. What is it happening here, all the batsmen going back to pavilion one by one. The variable bounces proving difficult for the Indian batsmen. India 106 for the loss of 4…Shame!! Here comes Dada to play his last test series. I hope he will make it count and say bye to International cricket on a high.

 

Dravid and Gangly are playing cautiously and trying to consolidate the Indian innings. It will be difficult task for both of them to stay on the pitch for long and face invariable bounce. Let’s see how it goes. So far so good, India have scored 133 on board with partnership growing between two batsmen on the crease.

Lunch time: India 133 for the loss of 4

Come back in half an hour or so to see whether India comeback or Australia ram-down the Indian batting line-up.

There you go again. When it seems a good partnership building Australia breaks it smartly. This is the sign of Champions. Dravid caught plumb in the front and declared LBW by Rauf. As Watson celebrates his well taken wicket Dravid looks quite disappointed. This day completely belongs to Australia, knocked out Indian top order batsmen one by one. Dravid falls after making a fighting 51 and India reach 155 for the loss of 5 wickets on day 3. Can India reach even closer to Australian score of 430? Only time will tell but looks pretty difficult with 5 wickets in hand. Dravid dismissal brings Dhoni to the crease; it will be interesting to see his approach to first Indian inning.

 

Champions are playing like champions; first proved it with bat and now with ball. Everyone is contributing in their best possible way, from batsmen to bowlers taking Australia closer towards victory. Just when I said champions, Dhoni loses his wicket by missing the slower delivery from Clarke. Slower delivery turns and beats Dhoni’s bat to take off the off stump. This cute looking Clarke is devil in disguise. Dhoni departs after adding 9 runs to the total. Who will save India now? Wickets scattering all over the places and no one seems good enough to stay longer at the crease. But Dada looks determined as if he is playing with a plan, going for the glory. All the very best Dada. After losing 6 wickets India crumble with 195 on the board.

As I am down with mild fever covering this match is hurting me even more; it is going bad to worse. Ganguly is out LBW. Johnson has done the trick again, pitches just outside the off stump and nips back to rap on the front pad. Rauf declares Ganguly LBW after a good thought. No substantial partnership could build up as Indian wickets have fallen on regular intervals. Ganguly’s fight to prove has ended in vain, nevertheless, good effort to score 47 where all other Indian batsmen have fallen flat. As Zaheer makes his way to the crease India score 232 for the loss of 7 wickets.

As Indian wickets crumble quickly in Chinnaswamy Stadium heavy drizzle sends the players back to the dressing room. Covers are on and game comes to a complete halt.

 

Game resumes with India 234 for the loss of 7. Now, it is not about what would be the Indian total on the board but how quickly Kangaroos wrap up the Indian inning. All of a sudden Zaheer and Harbhajan have started to make mockery out of the faster bowlers. They have added 41 runs together after quick singles and back to back fours…amazing stuff. Good to see odd defence from Harbhajan, it must be frustrating for Kangaroos. As ball meets the sweet part of the bat India score 279 for the loss of 7. This is the most interesting part of the game and crowd loves it. Where all the Indian batsmen failed to make an impact Harbhajan Singh knocks a brilliant 50. As crowed is chanting Sing is King Both Zaheer and Harbhajan have built up a partnership of 66 runs. Who would have expected these tail-enders will give a headache to the Australians. Way to go.

 

Finally Watson strikes Harbhajan out with his short pitched delivery with extra bounce. Harbhajan cuts the ball hard but thin top edge goes back to keeper. Harbhajan failed to impress anyone with his bowling but his excellent knock of 54 surely entertained everyone. This is his third consecutive half century against Australia. I guess, It brings the best out of him against Australia. The partnership of 80 between Zaheer and Harbhajan keep the team in the game. Once it was looking Australian lead of 200 and above but this partnership certainly reduced the gap to 118 runs.

India 312 for the loss of 8 wickets at the end of day 3. This fight will continue tomorrow with Kumble and Zaheeer on the crease.

India Vs Australia – Day 2

Day 2

 

Good morning everyone.

 

Let’s begin the proceedings from where we left it yesterday. Australia closed the day yesterday with a score of 254 for the loss of 4. India managed to clinch two wickets in hurry just before the closure. Pitch looks little uneven today, let’s see what purchase does India get out of it. Hussey reaches to his half century as he does most of the time. Bowled!! Ishant claims another victim, Shane Watson Out Bowled just after a LBW appeal turned down in his favour. Ishant bowls a fantastic delivery to pierce through Watson’s solid defence. What a start again. Yesterday Zaheer and today Ishant Sharma has done the trick for India. Can India snatch another wicket here?

Australia 259 for the loss of 5 at the start of the second day.  

 

Australia would be happy as they as inching toward 300 runs mark. India need to pick up a quick wicket if they want to restrict Australia under 400. Hussey and Haddin are growing in confidence and stroking the balls clearly. Sound of willow growing loud, it was hard to put a bat to ball this morning. Both the batsmen are nudging the balls for one and two; they are picking up on Ganguly to steal runs. As these two batsmen consolidating their innings, Australia score 307 for the loss of 5. India need to stop leaking runs and put pressure on these batsmen, otherwise match will runaway from their reach.

 

Damn!! Cable network shuts down due to power cut. Hold on guys.

 

It is back on and what I see doesn’t look alright to me.

 

Is it a repeat telecast from yesterday’s play? Damn!! Like yesterday, early break followed by Hussey and Haddin building partnership. I don’t want to see another partnership of or around 166 runs. Kumble’s defensive approach is not helping India by any means. Fielders are placed deep to protect boundaries and giving away non-stop ones and twos. Yet another partnership for Australia and it looks formidable.

 

At lunch Australia scores 357 for 5.

 

 What a comeback after lunch. Ishant Sharma clinches two wickets in a quick succession. Haddin plays a slower delivery and Ganguly grabs it on the cover point area. He makes his way to the dressing room after adding 33 to the total. But Ishant is not over yet, he strikes Cameron White out caught on the extra cover region. He goes out after making 6 runs. Australia 362 for the loss of 7 wickets. Can India wrap up the rest of the players under 400?  Mind you, Hussey is still batting and he is looking as solid as Rock. India losing its way providing easy singles, it has been a problem from day 1. Partnerships after partnerships, Hussey and Lee have added another 50 runs to the total.

 

When the partnership between Hussey and Lee look dangerous, Zaheer strikes back and creates sweet sound of Timber, Bowled. Zheer pitches bowl just shot of good length and squeezes Lee in his backlift to knock the stump out.  Australia 421 for 8 wickets down. Zaheer Khan puts venom to his bowling and knocks out Johnson and Hussey quickly. It was brilliant to see Ishant and Zaheer taking up the challenge and bowled furious spells after spell. Zaheer picks it up just after tea to wrap the things up below 450 for India. Australia must be happy to put hefty score on the board especially on the pitch that is deteriorating fast. 

 

Australians have put up 430 on the board. It will be good to see how India answers back to the Australian handsome total.

 

Sehwag and Gambhir look good as they hit the ball in all different parts of the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Brett lee and Stuart Clark try really hard to get a break through but these two batsmen look determined to put up a decent total on the board by the end of the day proceedings. India score 58 while rain getting heavier in the background, I hope wicket falls down in the weather. Rain has reached the stadium in full force and it is pouring heavily. Umpires have decided to walk off the ground and that brings covers on the field. As the rain looks unstoppable, India have put up 68 runs on the board. All thanks to Sehwag and Gambhir solid partnership at the end of the day. What a day of cricket, highlighted by a great hundred from Hussey and top level pace bowling form Ishant and Zaheer. Ishant clinched 3 wickets and Zheer has managed to achieve 5 wicket haul which is as good as scoring a hundred.

 

That should be it for the day, will catch you back tomorrow on day 3 with India fight back.

India Vs Australia – Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Day 1

Australia wins the toss and elect to bat on first match of 4 matches test series. Apparently, this is the last test series for our Dada (Sourav Ganguly). I hope, he will say goodbye to his cricketing career with a golden knock like the way he started it in 1996 Vs England. Back to back centuries in his debut.

Let’s look at the Australian against Indian line up.

 

       Australian Line up                  Indian Line up       

Matthew Hayden

Simon Katich

Ricky Ponting

Michael Hussey

Michael Clarke

Shane Watson

Brad Haddin

Cameron White

Brett Lee

Mitchell Johnson

Stuart Clark

Gautam Gambhir

Virendra Sehwag

Rahul Dravid

Sachin Tendulkar

Sourav Ganguly

VVS Laxman

MS Dhoni

Anil Kumble

Harbhajan Singh

Zahir Khan

Ishant Sharma


At the Chinnaswamy Stadium, on-field-official Asad Rauf and Rudi Koerzten declare Play Ball!!

Under immense pressure on test playing seniors, India strikes in very first over. Zaheer Khan striking early gives India a boost in this over hyped up series. What a start, test cricket at its best. It looks to me an intriguing start for the Australian team, Zaheer and Ishant probing both the batsmen with perfect line and length. Both the opening bowlers look determined and bowling with a lot of fire and venom. As the day progresses, both the batsmen look pretty comfortable with spinners bowling. Steady recovery from one wicket down at early stage.

Lunch: As team break for lunch, Australia is 75 for the loss 1 wicket from 27 overs.

The first session goes Australian’s way because Ponting and Katich have built up a good partnership after the loss of Mathew Hayden. Ponting scored 41 with Simon Katich on the other side, supported with 28 runs. Zaheer Khan provided a break in the first over but spinners couldn’t capitalise on the early break through. However, a good match in the proceeding.

Second session

What a wonderful game of cricket, it swings both ways from Indian break-though to Australian resilience. If you are a fan of cricket then this is the match to watch. I woke up early this morning to catch every bit of it after a brief sleep last night. It is like getting up early morning and visiting a temple to get a glimpse of God.

Begins

This partnership looks formidable, Ponting looks determined to break his jinx for not scoring in India. This is his 2 best score in India after scoring 60 a decade ago. After scoring a stunning 50, Ponting hits a lofted shot for a Four on Harbhajan’s spin delivery. Australians are milking the balls around to put a mammoth total on the board. It will not be easy for Indian team to dominate the world champions even on the home turf. Break for tea

Third and final session

Ponting scores his maiden century on Indian turf. It has been a nightmare for Ponting scoring in India, whereas he scored tons against all other cricket playing nations. As he celebrates, he shows the bat to his critics who tormented him for his poor performance on the Indian soil. Well deserved century under immense pressure after losing Hayden in very first over.  **Applause**

With Zaheer Khan finishing a splendid spell Australia is building up another partnership between Ponting and Hussey. Oh dear!! Rudy turned down a caught and bowled of Ricky Ponting playing over pitched delivery from Kumble. This is looking interesting, something’s got to give here. Finally, after a caught n bowled and LBW appeals, Ricky Ponting goes out LBW on 123. Harbhajan strikes him out LBW. That’s the ninth time Ponting has fallen to Harbhajan in tests. This partnership was looking ominous as Ponting and Hussey added 60 to the total. One or two more wickets would be great before calling it a day. Dismissal of Ponting brings Michael Clark to the pitch. Australia now 223 runs from 3 wickets down. 

 
What a way to end the proceedings of the first day, Zaheer Khan strikes again. He took first wicket in the very first over of the match and takes another one in the last over of the match. Test match at its best…brilliant. Michael Clarke moves the bat slowly and finds himself trapped in the front, Zaheer appeals again and Rudy Koerzten gives him a slow death…OUT. Australia at stumps: 254 for the loss of 4 wickets.

It will continue tomorrow…enjoy

 

 

 

A tribute to Sourav Ganguly

 

Dada has finally decided to hang up boots, one of the saddest days in Indian cricket. In a routine press conference on Tuesday, Sourav Ganguly made a surprise announcement of his retirement from all forms of International cricket. After the end of 4 matches test series against Australia, his 16 years of sterling cricket career will come to an end.

 

“Before I leave, I have to make an announcement. This is going to be my last series. I have decided to quit. I have spoken to my team mates that these four Tests would be my last matches. Thanks for all the support; hopefully I will go out on a winning note” 

 

There were speculations around his retirement when he was left out from Irani Trophy squad. But the new selection committee chairman Krishnamachari Srikkant picked him for first two tests against Australia, beginning on Thursday October 9th.

 

The former Indian skipper has played 108 Test matches, scoring 6,835 with an average of 41.92. On the other hand, in one-day international he has scored stunning 11,363 runs in 311 matches at an average of 41.02.

 

Back to back century in his debut in 1996 against England, Sourav Ganguly started his cricketing career with a bang. After the match fixing controversy in 2000, Ganguly was handed the captaincy to handle the team in worst shape. With his fighting instinct he led the team from the front and supported all the young guns like Ajit Agarkar, Virendra Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh. 

 

Records

 

Ganguly is the seventh Indian cricketer to have played 100 Test matches. He is currently the 5th highest overall run scorer for India in Tests. He is the fourth Indian to have played in more than 300 One Day Internationals. In terms of overall runs scored in ODIs, Ganguly is the second among Indians after Sachin Tendulkar (who has the highest ODI runs in the world) and the fourth in the world. Ganguly has scored 15 centuries in Test matches and 22 in ODIs. He is one of only seven batsmen to score more than 10,000 runs in ODIs Ganguly has 22 centuries in ODIs, in terms of number of centuries in ODIs, he is only behind Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya and Ricky Ponting. Sourav, along with Sachin Tendulkar, formed by far the most successful opening pair in One Day Cricket, having amassed the highest number of century partnerships (26) for the first wicket.

 

“On the off-side, first there is God, then there is Ganguly”. Rahul Dravid

 

Wishes

 

We wish you all the very best for the 4 test match series against Australia and whatever you do, do with your head held high.

 

Indian Cricket fans will remember him as a most successful Captain and a fearless left handed batsman of all time.

 

Come to God for a faith lift

Have you ever seen an amazing picture like this? You must have. But this picture is easily one the best pictures caught on camera. I forgot to tell you where exactly I had taken this picture. This picture is from my Ranthambhore expedition. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw this scene in front of me. A squirrel is praying with both hands folded, paying its gratitude to the almighty. Its eyes, too, are transfixed in the genuine admiration for the symbolic idol of Lord Shiva. In this agnostic age where we human finding it difficult to bow our head in front of the god almighty, this beautiful creature is keeping the faith alive.

 

“God understands our prayers even when we can’t find the words to say them”.

Smoking banned – A non-smoker’s bliss

 

Feel like smoking soon after a good meal at the restaurant or light up a cigarette in a pub? So let me tell you dear, it is strictly prohibited on the Indian turf now. If next time you wish to make rings out of smoke, then please find a suitable place for yourself to put up a show. It will impress no one but police to charge a fine of Rs. 200 for non compliance. You are surely forbidden to light up a cigarette in the public area.

 

You know what? Even I am forbidden.

 

Flash back

 

Shock

 

This ban takes me back in time when I went to London for a business meeting. I booked a smoking room in a hotel to take a puff every night in that beautiful city. Short after my check-in I realised, I was given a non-smoking room with sprinklers and fire alarms. Like any other foreigner I headed straight to the reception and started to behave as an irate customer. I showed the booking confirmation mail to a well-suited gentleman, which clearly stated – Non-smoking room for 7 nights. Trust me British hospitality is no where close to Indian “bend backwards” attitude. It comes from our five thousand years old heritage and culture, “Atithi Devo Bhava” (Guest is a god). This guy at the reception said in his deep voice “Smoking is banned in the UK since last month, you can feel free outside on the road”. Thinking, why the hell this ban was implemented a month before and not a month later?

 

The innovator

 

Craving for a puff, I tried everything possible to convince this gentleman in black suite to get me a room with balcony, but no luck. My notorious mind started to think faster in crisis, I took a portable table fan from the hotel’s store for a deposit of £10 and switched off the lights in my room. I placed that fan nicely against the window, like an exhaust fan in the kitchen, and started to blow smoke in the fan to flush it out. I didn’t want the alarm to set of and penalise me with £50 dent on my very first night in London. This trick made me survive nights after nights.

 

Grand acceptance

 

I used to smoke on the road while rushing to the tube station in Earl’s Court. As it was banned in all the public areas I had to stub the cigarette right outside the station. I was cursing the ban. On my first visit to London office I was little excited and hesitant at the same time. After a quick introduction with everyone in the office, I started to make myself comfortable on my British made seat. As the hours passing by, I took a small 15 minute break to smoke a cigarette and got along with a friendly gentleman called Dave Roberts. I asked him over blowing a puff as to how people are accepting the new smoking law? And surprisingly, he said, “It is good; people were getting hurt being passive smokers”. With my jaw dripping reaction, he added “people have rights to decide what do they want and we shouldn’t take their rights away from them by making them breathe the toxic air”. I noticed people were health conscious as they passed by us avoiding our path of smoke blowing chimneys. I asked the same question to many other people there and the answer was ditto. I was amazed to see their civic sense and their positive attitude in accepting the change.

 

Learning of the day

 

One morning while travelling to my office in 39 Victoria Street in a tube, I noticed one lady avoiding my tobacco coated breath and changed her seat. She stared at me as she spotted an unhealthy drifter into her territory. I was ashamed of myself and made sure to carry mouth fresheners or completely avoid smoking before travelling in close encounters.

 

As the day progressed I decided to venture out in a hip pub in Soho. I mostly had Guinness beer in the pub; it was a dark (rum look alike) beer, unlike Indian beer. I didn’t enjoy that beer as I was more interested in finding my same old Barley juice. What a shame, my craving for a smoke took over me suddenly. I had to choose between leaving the pub and smoke outside or forget the craving completely. So sanely I decided to stay put. The pub was packed with people and surprisingly no one was smoking. Out of curiosity, I asked a guy wearing a white shirt and blue jeans if he craves for cigarette while drinking in a pub. He smiled and said in his British accent “I can’t handle two poisons at one go, enjoying beer right now and saving another for a smooth passage in the morning”. I laughed. I knew exactly what he meant to say “a smooth passage”. At least, people are not a lot different in this country crossing 7 seas.

 

Situation now

 

What are we looking at after imposing this ban on a country which is the second largest producer of tobacco in the world after China? To add little spice to it, 1.2 billion people have been forbidden by law from lighting up in bars, offices, bus stands and other public places on pain of a Rs. 200 fine, that’s a day’s wages for many. Keeping in mind the corruption level in India, people would pay a little amount to get away from paying a fine. In India where money has the maximum importance and showing it off is an understatement. I am little apprehensive in enforcing this new law to our over populated country infested by 1.2 billion of head count. We have a history for not following the traffic rules, spitting, littering and leaking everywhere possible. We are contributing in turning the entire country to a giant toilet or dustbin. We don’t feel man enough until we paint the wall with our pee and leave a master piece behind for admiration.

 

We learn so many things from western culture, the way they walk, the way they talk and take pride in just be cool as they are. But one important thing that goes unnoticed; their passion to do whatever’s possible to make their place and life worth living. There is no harm in being modern and pace up to brush shoulders to shoulders in this rapidly changing world. We need to learn more, in order to call our country modern and developed; we need to change our mentality as well.

 

Request

 

I wish to see a modern India where its citizens follow the law and order without being enforced to do so. It comes with good civic sense and compassion for the all human beings. No one is stopping anyone from smoking but the idea is to smoke without hurting anyone. There is a lot of public interest involved into it, so please make it a success. This is not banning those who want to smoke but saving those who don’t want to. One has rights to spoil his/her life or make it beautiful, think about your children, spouses or parents for that matter. Do they deserve your blown smoke even if they decided not to inhale the toxic air which might kill them?  I took the decision to smoke but not at the cost of my loved ones.

 

“The World Health Organisation says Western style ailments such as lung cancer and heart disease are set to end more lives per year in India by 2015 than all infectious illnesses.”

 

My vow

 

I promise to follow the law and avoid smoking in public areas. It is not an enforced decision but a compliance that I need to adhere to.

 

My question remains the same: Can I expect the same from you my fellow citizens?

 

 

 

Are we ready yet?

The other day, Discovery Channel was showcasing a documentary on Beijing Olympics; the preparation was overwhelming. Beijing Olympics was a success and it didn’t happen in a day, weeks or months but it was continuous hard work of 6 to 7 years. China was hoping to see more than a hundred thousand tourists during the event and to manage such a big number never seemed too easy. The Olympic committee expressed their concern regarding the air pollution which was five times above World Health Organisation standard for safety. Nearly US$17 billion was spent to clean the air and Beijing implemented a number of air improvement schemes for the duration of the games. This included stopping work on all construction sites, closing many factories both in and around Beijing, closing some gas stations and cutting motor traffic by half. Two new subway lines were opened and thousands of old taxis and buses were replaced to encourage residents to use public transport. China added 3800 natural gas buses in Beijing, which is the largest fleet in the world.

 

I loved their passion for their country, everyone volunteered in their best possible way to make it a glory. Local people to car drivers started learning different languages and retired officials took the ownership of guiding tourists on the road. To address maximum people, schools started to teach children so the message can be sent to their parents as well. It was a heartfelt moment when engineers and labours working in the deepest tunnel said, ‘We are not working hard for Olympics but for China’. Very true, during Olympics people will travel to China from all over the world and there would be no better time to present modern and high-tech China which is not less than any other developed country.

 

Comparison

 

If I start to compare the preparation between India and China, then I would sadly say there is yawning gap. I don’t want to find an escape route by saying that was Olympics and this is Common Wealth Games. In both the cases huge amount of bidding and planning are involved, as Olympics and Commonwealth committee take the country’s infrastructure and readiness very seriously. Below is the reality check for all of us, including me.

 

Delhi

 

Most of the people driving in Delhi have no civic sense; they would over take your car from any side, change lane frequently and to make it worse, drive with full high beam during night hours. I wonder when government would initiate action against such insanity and when would people learn to follow the traffic rules!

 

Humble request: Do not switch on high beam during night hours, it turns people completely blind and jeopardise their life.

 

I have been driving in Delhi roads for quite sometime now, but the pain and agony while driving on the bumpy road is relentless. Before accelerating I literally plan the route to avoid uneven road. Just think what a heavy cost I would pay for driving in Delhi and NCR roads if car servicing falls under monthly tasks list. Every month a chunk of money goes out from my salary as TAX to government but, what do I get in return? Power cuts! Roads from hell! Useless drainage system falling apart in rainy days!  

 

NCR

 

Staying in Gurgaon, one can imagine the worse when it comes to infrastructure. Gurgaon is a corporate hub where all the multi national companies are strengthening their roots. This is where property rates are at its peak for designer villas and apartments. Haryana government claims Gurgaon to be another “Singapore” but I wonder if they have ever thought of the basic needs to a well maintained city! All the lavish villas and apartments have to pay a huge amount for power back up and it is a reality check for a resident to step out on the road, where half constructed roads, water logging and traffic jam await.

 

Overall

 

Thankfully Metro work is going fast; it has covered all the major parts in Delhi and NCR. In the process, roads in Delhi have taken a good thrashing by rain with huge construction trucks and daily traffic grilling on it. However, it doesn’t excite me any bit if new flyovers, Metro connectivity and a few natural gas vehicles are added to present India to the world in Common Wealth Games, 2010. On the contrary China did a fabulous job in improving overall infrastructure for Beijing Olympics, 2008, it was a complete facelift.

 

Hope

 

I read an article somewhere, the Indian government is pouring an estimated $37.5 billion into the city for it to be ready in time for the 2010 games. I pray to god, the amount such as this reaches to the right people through the right channel; otherwise we will be caught napping and bring shame to our country. We have exactly 24 months to go for Common Wealth Games and I hope we would make our country proud. Let’s come together and contribute in shaping up our ever loving city, Delhi, at our on level.

 

I am changing myself from today, saying no to littering, spitting and leaking in the open. Promise to follow the traffic rules religiously.  Can I expect the same from you my fellow citizens?

Here I come

Welcome to my debut into cyberjournalism!

Finally I have joined the rest of the world and started to blog, it is an addictive task. I am excited to write my thoughts and display it to the entire world to read, so I want to keep it proper. In the afternoon I work with a travel firm as a content manager and during the nightfall I become a writer. After writing things for someone else’s site, now, I have decided to write for my own self. It will be interesting to see how good I am in writing the general stuff that boils inside my head. Hopefully I don’t mess up with my thoughts and put something irrelevant on the weblog.

You are most welcome to join me on my writing expedition and in my new addiction to cyberjournalism.

 

Have fun

Praky