10 Ways for Non-followers to look cool during Cricket conversations

1. If you are forced to watch a match with your more enthusiastic friends, keep repeating the following often – “Ahhh”, “Ohhh”, “Indiaaaa Indiaa!!” + 3 bangs on the table or any place you see fit… also randomly scream “No ball!!”,”Wide”, “Four”, “Six”. Do not worry about sounding silly, as these expressions are essential for any serious Cricket (read Indian) fan, nobody will wonder why you just said it.

2. When someone talks about an innings, just say “but it wasn’t like that innings earlier…” and stare enthusiastically at someone who may be more knowledgable than you. If nobody remembers, babble out a random period like “2 months ago”, “3 years ago” or “in World Cup”. But be careful not to mention any opponent.

3. If you really want to feel safe, simply say “But not like Sachin…”. This phrase not only grants you immunity from being found out, but is also an instant ticket to ‘True Knowledgeable Indian Fan’ status. Of course, take this step only after making sure that they are not talking about Sachin.

4. The line mentioned above, and any other random praise for Sachin like “Sachin for Bharat Ratna”  “Sachin for Nobel!!” “Sachin for Prime Minister!!” etc… is so powerful that it may be used to sound cool any time. You can praise him when comparing any Batsman, Bowler, Fielder, Entire Cricket Teams, achievers in any field, powerful world leaders and even God!!

5. There are 3 formats of the game – Test Cricket, ODIs, and T20s. Once you identify the format the discussion is in, immediately use this phrase “<another format> is so much better!!”.

6. For any discussion on cricketers’ salary, lifestyle, etc, blame the IPL!

7. For any discussion on injuries and tight schedules, blame the IPL!

8. For any discussion on corruption, blame the IPL… additionally blaming N Srinivasan here will score you extra points among non-Chennaiites! To impress friends from another country, blame Sharad Pawar!

9. Throwing around random accusations of fixing on random players will make you look like a person with much practical insight into the functioning of the game

10. If all else fails… just buy an India T-Shirt and sit there saying nothing. Symbolism is the ultimate route to coolness as an Indian fan! And it will also make the rest of the non-T-shirt-wearing group feel guilty for not being as good a fan as you!! How cool is that??

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Some facts about 49-O – Note: this is not a collection of the usual information… please read it even if you are aware

(Sorry for putting this up on election day – did not get enough time to write about this.)

49-O as a concept started gaining popularity through e-mails and SMS forwards. But there are some misconceptions floating around. False awareness is more dangerous than no awareness! It’s quite long, but I request you to read it if you really are interested in 49-O awareness.

A sample message below. You can skip the text if you have already read about it.

How many of you know that we have a right to boycott elections and ask for re-poll? According to the constitution,the 1969 Act clearly mentions that anyperson who is unacceptale or non eligible if you feel you can use the section 49 (O).A voter can go to the polling station, confirm his identity by getting his finger marked and convey the authority that he dont like to vote for anyone.We are not informed of this because none of the representative wants any voter to boycott elections.

In any particular constituency if any voter get 123 votes and more than 123 49(o) the polling will be cancelled and the election commission will schedule a new date.The particular contestant against who the number of 49 os are received will not be held eligible.

Our election commission has never revealed this section to the general public so that people will abstain from voting a particular candidate whom they dont feel fit enough to contest from their constituency. We all feel that we have to vote for some candidate from our constituency even if we dont like to vote for them.We can save our votes and the valuable votes of many by eliminating corrupt and illiterate politicians and save our country from the clutches of such hooligans.

Use your constitutional rights against the anti-social elements in our country. If not we are dishonouring our fundamental rights and sacrificing the nation’s future.

Jai Hind!

It is easy to get swept away by such ambitious words and make a mental note to register 49-O and make sure the candidiates are ‘disqualified’ by our action. However well-intentioned this email might be, it is full of misinformation, about the rule, it’s awareness and consequences. The strong words at the end of the message that you will be ‘dishonouring’ your fundamental right and harming the nation somehow will most often stop you from doing any further research and checking on any of the information in the message. But just as it is our duty to know our right, so it is to cross check facts and verify them, apart from thinking over the validity of some points made.

Consider the following –

Right of Secrecy: The procedure of 49-O violates the basic right of the voter to maintain secrecy of his/her choice. Inserting this option into EVMs would be a solution that would clear the hesitation and fear of many people. Infact, this can be seen as one of the major reasons as to why 49-O fails to get people to vote for it even if they are aware.

Awareness: Only a fool would expect a representative of political parties to ‘inform’ the voters of the option – mentioning the fact in this message achieves nothing more than kindling up anger against politicians. Seriously, how many righteous ‘Mahatmas’ among ourselves wish to fail, even if we know we did wrong? Politicians are no different, they want to win – why else would they contest?

It is left to activists, well-meaning people and the Election Commission of India to spread awareness about it. And unlike the text given above, the EC has not been hiding this from the public. In earlier times, ballot papers could be nullified by multiple voting. Implementation of EVMs has made the 49-O concept a relatively new tool. In fact, it is the Election Commission that has put forward a proposal to include this option in EVMs in order to maintain the right of secrecy. It can be read in Page 14 of the following letter http://eci.nic.in/eci_main/press/current/PN_030804.pdf. Why the proposal has not been considered by the Government is obvious.

The Result: The most dangerous hoax of all, perhaps, is this. To have such an amazing power in our hands sounds too good to be true – and it is exactly that. Please inform this to your friends too – majority of people voting for 49-O will not nullify any candidate or result in re-polls. This has most probably been included as an additional motivation by some well-meaning soul, although false, to encourage people to exercise this right.

The EC has itself issued a clarification for this. You can read it right here – http://eci.nic.in/eci_main/press/current/pn051208.pdf. A simple Google search will tell you the fallacy of this statement. The best that this right of ours can do at this point of it’s existence, is to inform the political parties of the people’s view – that most of them are disappointed with the candidates. It also prevents bogus votes. Whatever happens, the candidate with majority valid votes will win.

Of course, nothing stops people from taking initiative and seeing this law to the next stage, i.e when it really does nullify a polling on majority of neutral voting. But at it’s present form, it just does not happen.

Please spread this around. This is not a skeptical piece or a criticism of the law. I have written this down to clear the misconceptions about 49-O and my thought is that people should not go on to vote for it believing such false promises. I too sincerely wish this law would evolve more to give the people some real power instead of simply expressing displeasure. 

Happy voting 🙂

Anna Hazare and The Argumentative Indian

What started out as a small initiative by a handful of people quickly became a massive awakening gaining thousands of supporters everyday. And, in a very unlikely response, the Government of India promptly responded with offers of compromise and promise of action.

The most revealing aspect of this whole exercise has not been the reaction of the politicians – whom we can probably assume to feel threatened by a fully functional Lokpal law – but the Pandora’s box of views and opinions that it has opened up among the public or the ‘civil society’, as the public guardians of the to-be law would like to call it.

Many among us, even those who have readily given out bribes to get favours at some point in the past, have readily given out our vocal support for the campaign. If moral qualification was a criteria for the Anti-Corruption drive, I doubt Anna Hazare would have gathered a large group in such a little time. While the overwhelming support that this man has received has made us feel proud, there have been instances of equally widespread cynicism and skeptical comments. Not to disregard them, of course, but very few people against it seem to have got a hold of the real purpose behind the movement.

It is true that Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh were demanding change from the Government. They were not trying to undermine the Government in any way or go against the Constitution as some people would have us believe. All that was asked for was the people’s version of the bill be considered, and people be given equal representation on the consitution of the Lokpal Committee. As opposed to that, the Government’s version of the bill does not enourage direct public participation in the functioning of the committee. Nor does it give enough power and scope that is expected of any decent enquiry committee. As for the argument that the representatives in the Government too are elected by the public itself, Anna Hazare himself put it beautifully in an interview today (in Hindi) – “The people whom we have elected think that the are our masters, when in fact they are our servants”. MPs may be there as our representative, theoritically, but how many of us can claim that we are truly ‘represented’?

Part of the blame for the negative wave can be passed on to the media. In their eagerness to get good ratings and improve their image, they immediately presented this as a People vs Government war. With this perspective gaining popularity, the main aim of co-operation was invisible to the eyes of many. As always, it was followed by an information (opinion!) boom across different media, which further contributed to the view that each party was pitted against the other. Questions were raised about why Anna Hazare was ‘fighting against’ the Constitution. Apparently, they don’t have a problem if the Government is free to draft laws as per it’s wish, but will they think before blaming the judiciary and legal system when the same law affects them personally? Here was a man trying to bring in a law that was fair, which is also going to be brought about by the same process as any other law i.e through Parliament. So where is the question of being against the Constitutional process?

Some even accused him of ’emotional blackmail’. Blackmail – really! Gandhiji would have turned in his grave had he known what his principle of non-violent protest has become today. Needless to say, this only complicated the understanding of what the activists were really trying to do. If a fast was the only means to get those who matter to act promptly, then so be it. Those who talk of patience should know/recall the fact that this law has been in the backburner for more than 40 years. Infact, if Anna Hazare had not started his fast, I doubt if we would have even heard of this law.

The saddest and funniest comment which I came across was that Anna Hazare was threatening and bullying the Government to accept his demands. We want the Government to bend down to terrorists and Maoists threatening them with captives, even praying for their safe return… but a 72-year-old man who makes a peaceful protest for the good of the country is spoken of like a terrorist! Nothing to say about the opinion of those who put forth such accusations – their attitude speaks words.

Another social disease that reared up it’s ugly head in this scenario was the inability to tell people and ideologies apart. Once the opinion of an anti-government war gained it’s hold, another purpose of the bill which was simply to enhance the anti-corruption process against politicians, was seen as a personal attack on MPs and MLAs. Public anger helped. The ‘Mera Neta Chor Hain’ slogan would not have been missed by many. Anna Hazare himself was a victim of such generalization recently. The moment he praised Narendra Modi and Nitish for their Government’s work in bringing about development – he was accused of supporting communalism. The new hero had to clarify that he had spoken in view of developmental measures only. We too often fall into the trap of Proof by Association. Anna Hazare appreciates Modi for development – Modi is communal – so Anna Hazare must be communal. Silly as it sounds, this is how we are.

By now, you have probably formed the opinion that I’m also a supporter of Anna Hazare. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not… But one need not be a follower or supporter of someone to appreciate their actions in bringing about change. He is not doing anything for his gain, as some ‘protesters’ do. He is doing it so that you can get basic amenities, like good clean water, enough food to eat… so that your children can go to good schools and get free and equal education… so that you may live a smooth life as a citizen of this great nation… if you are still asking questions about the validity and need for the protest… and ‘interference’ in the law making process – may God bless you – believe me you need it!

I came across this very moving post in the blog of a friend remembering his mother on Children’s Day.

Our childhoods would have been very incomplete without our mother who took care of us, made sure we had our meals on time and with complete nourishment (even if we didn’t always like it) ignoring her own nutritional needs, would wait for us while we took our time to get back home, prayed for us to succeed even in the tiniest of efforts… the qualities of a mother can never be expressed in words – only felt!

So let us thank our mothers for all that they have done for us. Children’s Day is not just to celebrate childhood, but also to celebrate the wonderful being that made childhood possible!

Thank you Sylvian for sharing your link today!

8 Things To Do Instead Of Watching A News Discussion

WARNING: For People With The Generalization Disease !!! :)… This post is not including by default all the shows ever aired on national/regional/local television. Some may be good, respectful and informative. This is purely aimed at a few shows which do not even qualify as being called discussions…

1. Watch A Cartoon In Chutti TV – Frankly, they make more sense to the average human mind. As for the children, it’s best not to let them listen to ‘experts’ in news discussions. Cartoon characters, even baddies of the extreme kind, have a better sense of conversation.

2. Go To A Fish Market – If you have listened to a few of the ‘debates’ that go on, you will know what I mean.

3. Read The News Elsewhere – Ten minutes with a good newspaper in your hand, or scrolling through Google News, can give you more information than hours of discussion on news channels. As for youngsters who think watching these shows can help you ace GD, please think for a few minutes as to how your prospective employer will feel… sitting in a room full of people talking the way they do on the show.

4. Listen To Music – Actually, I would recommend this more for people who regularly follow these discussions for the sake of it – it really helps keep your pressure in control! I would recommend a break every five minutes.

5. Have Your Own Discussions On The Same Topic – Normal people, with proper conversation skills can arrive at conclusions, or a compromise at the least, within a few minutes. And you can know what you feel about it, without letting people on TV decide it for you (they decide for the entire ‘country’… as they say…) Even if you can’t win the argument, you can just laugh it off and start talking about the latest movie releases, or crib about your job – makes you feel much better, doesn’t it? 🙂

6. Talk To A Friend – Atleast you could catch up on something closer to reality.

7. Watch Your Favourite Videos, Over And Over Again – Rather than watching the 10-second amazing-because-I-couldn’t-get-anything-else video footage played over a hundred times.

8. Stare At A Blank Wall – Really… What’s the difference???

This Week’s Colourful Post :)

Here is this week’s colouring work – 🙂
(what a nice way to ensure a post every week!!!)


No living things over there, so I doubt we can get any characters here. 🙂
Maybe it’s not as good as Duckie but atleast I tried :o…
And I’m toooo sleepy to elaborate on this right now so maybe I’ll update this later.
Your comments are always appreciated!!! 🙂

What makes me Happy

This sweet girl wanted to know what makes me happy.

I just love being tagged :)…

So here it is –
[if you don’t like/can’t stand heavy doses of mokkai I warn you against reading further :)]

Watching (staring at) greenery, the blue sky, and a slight wind brushing my face makes it even better.

Seeing people [especially the ones I like] smile.

When my mother treats me like a baby :).

Listening to music that makes me stop whatever I’m doing, close my eyes, take a deep breath, and suddenly make everything (note not ‘everyone’) around seem to beautiful [even if it happens to be the same place in office where I have been sitting all day facing all kinds of annoying technical/human issues 🙂 ].

Chocolaaate, Ice Creeeam (which I’m eating right now :p), Potato Fry, Lays and Kurkure

Finding some interesting headline in the last page/editorial of The Hindu everyday.

When a friend calls me up [you will know how good it feels if it happens to you as rarely as it does to me :D]
Corollary: Seeing missed calls and messages in my mobile [unless it’s from my teammates/manager – those things are quite scary 😮 ].

When someone says I’m a good girl :p

When my friends laugh at all the silly jokes I (try to) make.

Reading interesting forwards.

Finishing a job that I really worked hard to do.

When I get the time to go to a temple, and just sit there in peace – forgetting everything – for a minimum of 30 minutes.

When a release date goes smooth without any issues (right now my next greatest fear after death).

Everything that makes me laugh.

When I feel something very deep in my heart and it comes out quite well in words.

When friends share their feelings with me. (It’s not like I’m happy at their state, but the feeling that they trust me does give a slight shade of happiness)

All the people who have turned my life from the hopeless wreck that it was 6 years ago to the happy and beautiful one I’m living today (includes the girl who made me write this post).

I took a Chalk
And tried to draw
A Circle to contain
What I knew as Joy

Suddenly,
The Chalk split into seven
And drew a Rainbow
The end of which
I could not see

I kept walking
Looking for the end
But why did I feel something
Growing in my Heart?

Was it not little?
Was it not contained?
Oh, the Joy I had
Was growing within me

The more I looked outside
The more Joy I found inside
How I wish the Rainbow never ends
How I wish the Rainbow never ends…

Happiness is not doing what we like, it is liking what we do. Find it, See it, Feel it in everything you experience. No one hates to see a smiling face (unless you are a serial/cinema villain/villi). The world has never regretted having to hold one more happy soul.

Stay Happy always!!!

People I’d like to tag:

Normally would have tagged Pingu and Suba, but that has already been done.

So who said you can’t tag the same person twice hehe…

Suba

The Great Indian Tragedy

The 2007 World Cup is all but a financial disaster, thanks to India’s horrid performance. And yes, it’s sensational so our dear media will not miss a chance to analyze each and every atom that was involved in this great Indian ‘tragedy’ (speaking of tragedies, I doubt the tsunami or Gujarat riots invoked a similar amount of empathy from the media).

Just consider this, hours of air time was ‘used’ in going through statistics of Indian team players and the media taking decisions through important polls about who should stay in the team and how things can improve. And when all this was happening, the news of an Indian becoming the world’s top chess player was pushed to the background. Who cares about chess?? The Great Indian Cricket Team is in shambles. How can we possibly be celebrating an Indian as the No. 1 Chess Player when the future of many mediocre Indian cricketers holds more national importance?

Actually, it’s strange how the media that jumps up on every chance to glorify the India Story missed this. However, I suppose Mr. Anand would not really mind missing the spotlight. As an Indian, he would be used to the way cricket is being hyped up. And I’m sure he would be thankful to God that the media and advertisers are not after him to give him a larger-than-life image and ruin his concentration. Chess is not a commercially viable game, so he stands clear of all distractions and can continue reaching new heights in the game.

Back to the ‘tragedy’, it’s amusing the way the news channels are treating it.

Here is a small imaginary transcript of a news channel’s cricket ‘analysis’ (comments in brackets):

Scene: a news reporter standing outside BCCI HQ.

A few meters away, a BCCI official comes out of the building and sees his friend and colleague there.

BCCI official: Did you have your tea?

Colleague: No. The tea here for the past 2 days is very bad. I have sent the security to bring some tea for me from the stall around the corner.

BCCI official: Ok. I have to go home early. Promised to take the kids to the park today.

Saying thus, the official simply nods his head, gets into his car, and drives away.

The reporter immediately gets in touch with the news channel. The news channel flashes the words ‘BREAKING NEWS: BCCI officials hold important discussion at HQ! Future of Indian team questionable’

The headline reads: The Big No(d)

Newreader: Let’s go over to our reporter who is at BCCI Headquarters

Reporter: Just a few minutes ago I spotted a BCCI official discussing something important and nodding his head. We don’t know what it was all about, but there is a high possibility they were discussing about Sachin’s future, as I heard some rumors flying around in the morning. There seems to have been a heated discussion in there. The BCCI official came out early and left in a hurry after talking with a colleague. These are strong indications that serious things are going on inside the headquarters.

(In the screen, repeated visuals are played of the BCCI official walking out of the building and talking to his friend, nodding and leaving in his car.)

Newsreader: Is there any news on the composition of the Indian team now? Because we are sure that some major changes are going to be made after the… (reader slowly glances at his desk) World Cup debacle.

Reporter: No I think no major decisions have been made so far on who’s going to be in the team. Though there are some strong indications that Dravid is going to be retained as captain. Many people here seem to be of the view that it was the team that failed and the captain cannot be blamed.

Newsreader: Thank you. So that is the breaking news for this hour (!!!). Keep watching while we bring you more updates.

After the break…

Newsreader: Welcome back. We continue our discussion on Cricket with a special guest. She’s beautiful, she’s lovely and of course, she’s talented as well (!!!!). We welcome actress Jil Jil Ramamani (sorry I couldn’t resist that bit :p) to the studio. Jil, thanks for joining us here.

Jil, dressed up as most of us normally would do for a wedding ceremony, simply nods her head with a slight smile.

Newsreader: So you like Cricket? (a silly grin on his face).

Jil: Ooohhhh Yeeessss!!! (a siller laugh follows)

Newsreader: So tell us what are your views on the Indian team’s current state after the World Cup?

Jil: I think it is very bad, I have been following India’s progress (???) from the beginning and was very disappointed when they lost to Bangladesh. You know I was praying Oh they shouldn’t lose shouldn’t lose… hahaha… but I guess you know things didn’t happen that way.

Newsreader: So do you think Sachin should be out of the team now that he seems to be out of form?

Jil: Oh no not at all!!! He is such a wonderful player. You see Form is temporary, but Claaasss is permanent (ooh now where have we heard this before??). So I think yes, he should stay (selectors did you hear that??).

Newsreader: Who should be the next captain?

Jil: Ummmm… (thinks – oh they didn’t tell me they would be asking this question…)

Newsreader tilts his head and smiles at Jil. Come on, it’s not everyday a lovely heroine comes into the studio.

Jil: I really think Dravid should continue (which means I can’t think of anything now).

Newsreader: Ok Jil. Thank you for joining our discussion here. Good luck for your upcoming movie.

Jil: Hahaha.. Thanks…

Newsreader: Stay tuned. We will be continuing our discussion with more experts (!!!!!!!) after the break.

*** THE END ***

Ok maybe some of it was a little too much, but not very far away from the truth :).

All this leaves us thinking which is the real Indian Tragedy, the state of the Cricket Team or the state of News in the country.

Who cares??? Money Rules!!!

If you enjoyed reading this, please do read my inspiration for this, by my dear friend and writer Pingu. Even if you did not enjoy reading this one bit, do read that – it will be much better I promise you :).

The Loan

“Sir…”

“Go away you fool. I cannot do anything for you. Who let you in?” the bank manager shouted at the man in rags standing before him.

“I need the money very badly sir. Just ten thousand rupees” the man named Kumar begged, tears welling up in his eyes.

“You are standing in ARD Bank. Do you have any idea how big this bank is? If I agree to give a worthless person like you a loan, then every mongrel on the street will walk in asking for money. Go find some local seth and pester him.”

“Sir please, just this once. My family is in a very bad state… I…” Kumar looked at the manager with the look of a downtrodden man etched all over his face.

“Security…” shouted the bank manager.

“Sir… no need to force me out. I will leave.” Kumar walked out slowly, his head hung in disappointment.

When he reached his slum, he was welcomed to a great celebration. His neighbours and the children were dancing with quite a lot of energy. Even the dogs roaming around in the slum were having a good time enjoying the pieces of meat thrown to them by the slum people.

Even with a lot of sadness in heart, the scene he was witnessing made Kumar wonder what could have happened. Shanta, his wife, came running toward him.

“You won the 10 lakh lottery” she said, happiness spreading to every part of her face.

Kumar could not believe what he has just heard. This could not be true. Was this a joke?

When Shanta realized her husband’s disbelief, she showed him the newspaper that she had brought along to show him, and the ticket.

Kumar looked at the ticket and the winning number. He was stunned into silence for the next few seconds.

One year later…

Kumar was sitting in the verandah of his bungalow. A cool breeze was blowing over his face.

He silently recollected how his life had changed in the past few months.

He had used his prize money to start a small hotel named after his wife. His hard life had made him wise enough to treat his customers well, making a good number of them loyal. His hotel became very popular and his business grew greatly. He opened many new braches around the city.

He was brought back to his senses as he felt something vibrating in his shirt pocket. Then he heard a ring. He put a hand into his pocket and took out his brand new mobile phone. He looked at the number in the display. He could not recognise who it was.

“Hello”

A smart–sounding lady voice started speaking at the other end.
“Good morning Sir. I am calling from ARD Bank. We would like to know if you are interested in taking a home loan from us. We have low interest rates and…”

“Sorry, but I am not interested right now” Kumar said politely.

“Alright sir. Thank…” before the lady finished her sentence Kumar cut the line.

As he placed his phone back into his pocket, Kumar let out a silent laugh thinking of what had just happened.

The Dust

I am walking on a road
My legs are tiring
As I move toward the horizon…

The way is full of dust
To which I give a glance
And I look toward the horizon…

A speck falls on my ear,
And seems to whisper
As I see the horizon…

‘Please look back’
Whispers the dust…
As I move toward the horizon…

I don’t have the time
To look back
I need to reach the horizon…

I keep walking, and walking
Then down with fatigue
I look back

The dust is all cleared
And there is a child,
With a smile on his face

I ask him –
‘Who are you Child?
Are you following me?’

No‘ he says
‘I have been here long
You have walked past me’

I cannot believe
That I did not see the child
I ask him – ‘Who are you Child?

He does not reply
I hold his hand…
I feel happiness in my heart

I want to take the child with me
Why, I do not know…
And walk toward the horizon

The way seems so beautiful now,
Flowers bloom as I walk…
I ask him – ‘Who are you Child?

He looks up at me, and says –

‘You saw me as dust,
That was barely visible
As you walked your way,
Toward the horizon

You did not see…
You did not care…
As you walked your way,
Toward the horizon

When you were down,
You looked back
And I was seen by you.
You took me by my hand

You may reach where you want,
Or you may fail

Whatever the result may be
It will all seem beautiful
When I am with you…

I am Love’