Archive for June, 2011

Cricket Tradewinds…Vital Changes in ODI Format

June 27, 2011 Leave a comment

………..Cricked has evolved over the years,the Gentleman Game is long gone; it has morphed itself over the years in to its current form. Watch one game of Aussies and any preconceived notions of the gentleman game will slowly liquefy and then vaporize. It is probably the only sport that has so many versions that are played internationally and are considered each one has considerable fan following. The five day format, three day format, one day format, T20 and there are those other variants like the Hon Kong sixes. It just proves we are willing to watch anything as long as there is a pitch and lush green grass.

ICC today announced some significant changes to the ODI format. This is what they are …

1. Can’t have someone else to run for you any longer. Runners have been abolished in international cricket. So you need to work harder on the pitch. If you are tired, spent, not fit or still recovering from last night’s hootch, you can’t call your mate to do the dirty work for you anymore. I guess it was long due for this vestigial rule from the colonial times, (where the master hits the shot and the salve runs for him), to go from international cricket.

2. Captains can’t play ODI as test matches.  Captain o Captain, you will now be suspended for two over-rate breaches in a 12-month period in any one format of the game rather than the current position which is three breaches prior to suspension. I wonder if bowlers running from boundaries will be something of the past now. Fast bowlers will now have to learn from Prabhakar the art of short run bowling; he did it very well in the world cup 1996 group match against Sri Lanka (remember the massacre by Jayasuriya, reminds me of IPL matches)

3. Power Play in middle play.  Elective power plays would be restricted to over between 16 to 40. This will come into effect from 1 October. I guess they want the batsmen to do the job rather than asking the bowlers to lappa in the end. Makes more sense to have a power play in the middle overs when most of the views tend to dose off  than in the end. i guess we will see more of those elusive 400 scores in ODI

4.To be or not to be an umpire? is the question now: Draconian Review System: (Decision Review System) in all Test matches and One-Day Internationals subject to availability and commercial considerations. The agreed standards will include infra-red cameras and audio-tracking devices. Going by what an Iphone and IPAD are currently able to do and what apple wants it to do in the future there will be day when our men in whites will be replaced by an all black iDevice.

……. independent and expert research will be carried out into ball-tracking technology and its accuracy and reliability. The continued use of ball-tracking technology as a decision-making aid will depend on bilateral agreement between the participating Members.

5.We are always right ICC Rankings: CEC gave its unanimous support to the present ICC Rankings system following a presentation by statistician David Kendix, who devised and operates the system for the ICC. I dont know the mumbo jumbo of the statistics. All i can remember about statistics is Mark Twain “Lies, damned lies, and statistics“. But as long as the current system says that India is Numero UNO then i guess the system is right.

6. One for you and One for me: Two new balls per innings – one from each end – would be used in one-day internationals from 1 October. what would  happen to all the reverse swing and ball tampering, we need the old tampered ball for the reverse swing. Ishant sharma and Irfan Pathan will def like this. They can now blame the new ball for his lack of any movement in the air.

Source of Pictures


The canvas Walls….Street art from across the globe

June 20, 2011 Leave a comment

One thing that always fascinates me is Street art; there is something very underground, very mystic, something special about it. Whenever I see art on a wall it makes me want grab a can of paint and fizz around the street bringing those walls to life. A drab rotting wall suddenly becomes a work of art when an artist works on it with his cans and stencils. It is an art form that started as a rebellious expression of teenage creativity and over the years has become an established art form with the wall as the canvas.

As a child I used to associate street art and graffiti with the 70’s and the 80’s but later realized it is much more ancient. In

fact it is the most ancient form of art and expression. The cave paintings and murals of yesteryear’s arethe earliest form of street art. The earliest forms of graffiti date back to 30,000 BCE in the form of prehistoric cave paintings and pictographs,using tools such as animal bones and pigments. These illustrations were often placed in ceremonial and sacred locations inside of the caves. The images drawn on the walls showed scenes of animal wildlife and hunting expeditions in most cases,few of them were satirical, some political even philosophical in some cases but all of them were a form of expression and the need to let go.

While for some graffiti is seen a criminal act of vandalism I personally see it as an art form worth of display in an art gallery. While I wish I would one day be able to do a proper catalogue photographing the actual walls, it is a project that is going to wait for a while So I wanted to do a small gallery of some of the more radical artists and their work that I can pull of the net. When I started to write this I wanted to collect some fine pieces of street art on the net and then post it as a collection of street art, but as I researched I realized that there is so much on the net that I would need a 10 volume catalog just to pick the art that I liked, so some I decided to write about 5 artists that I really fancied after see all the art on the net. I picked some of their iconic works and made collages so as to make a mood board of their works to get the general idea of what their work is like. If you like anyone in particular Google them and you will be amazed at what they have been doing over the years.

Bansky – UK

Bansky is the epitome of street art; he is everything one would visualize as a street art artist. He is multi-talented, uses different mediums and takes different roles. He is a Graffiti artist, movie director, painter, activist and the list goes on. Anonymously out of England his style of work is easily identifiable can be seen across the world. A Satirical street art or subversive epigram combined with irreverent dark humor with graffiti done in a distinctive stenciling technique is his trademark.


“Above” anonymous contemporary street artist from California, whose work is visible across the world. It is said he moved to Paris when he was 19 and where his trademark arrows appeared for the first time. He is a prolific traveller and has tagged more than 90 cities in 50 different countries across the world. His work is identifiable from his distinctive style of multi-layer/full color social and political stencils, spinning wooden “arrow mobile” installations, and large mural “word play” paintings. An upward arrow is his distinctive signature.

Vhilis – Portugal

VHILS is the tag name of Portuguese graffiti/street artist Alexandre Farto (born in 1987) He gained prominence when his work of a face carved into a wall appeared alongside a picture by Bansky at the Cans Festivalin London in 2008. A photograph of him creating the work appeared on the front page of THE TIMES. Vhils art is poetic, complex, and ambitious, often focusing on the needs we have abandoned in favor of our wants, and the realization that trading pleasure back in for happiness will be a less than straightforward exchange.

This is how creates these images, a truly fascinating…


Nunca – Brazil

Brazilian street artist Nunca addresses the effect of globalization on a society caught between exporting its culture and embracing foreign products. Blunt expressions are engraved into the walls of Brazil, doused in paint and branded with the logo of Naique (NIKE). His characters are frozen in a struggle to maintain the authentic culture of Brazil while adapting to an influx of foreign goods on the global market.

I found an interesting short documentary on him produced by Nike…


Shepard Fairey – USA

From humble beginnings as a defiant, skateboard-obsessed art student pasting homemade stickers, Shepard Fairey has developed into one of the most influential street artists of our time. Fairey’s multi-layered renderings of counter-cultural revolutionaries and rap, punk and rock stars, as well as updated and re-imagined propaganda-style posters, carry his signature graphic style, marked by his frequent use of black, white, and red. Recently, his portrait of Barack Obama, a ubiquitous sight on the campaign trail, drew a new level of attention to the artist’s work and was recently acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, for its collection.

The street art is a sub culture in itself. People love it and appreciate it (i guess when it not their newly painted wall). The five artists above are not in any order but they definitely are the one that i liked.  I list below some of the other artists who are absolutly fantastic but i did not have time to work on their work. check them out for sure!

1. Os Gemeos :
Base Country: Brazil
Type of work: Murals

2. Boxi :
Base Country: UK/ Germany
Type of work: Stencils

3. M-City :
Base Country: Poland
Type of work: Stencils

4. C215 :
Base Country: France
Type of work: Stencils

5. Zoo Project :
Base Country: France
Type of work: Murals


The Great Indian Drama

June 14, 2011 1 comment

The Great Indian Drama

Even as yoga guru Baba Ramdev vacated the hospital bed on Tuesday and went straight to address media persons, not many realised that another ascetic, who had been admitted to the same hospital, had lost his life after fasting for 114 days. After four months of fasting for saving river Ganga, Swami Nigamananda Saraswati died on Monday at the Jolly Grant Himalayan Institute Hospital, Dehradun.

The seer of Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Nigmanand was demanding immediate stopping of quarrying in the Ganga at Haridwar and alleged corruption in the government’s system with active involvement of the mafia. He had begun his fast on February 19 and was in coma since May 2.

With all the drama that is going on with Babas and Annas the core issue has lost its relevance. What are these people fighting for? This is a classic case study for a political party: How to maneuver public opinion from something that is relevant to something which has no meaning. This is what I call the Great Indian Drama

ACT I : Curtains raise with Anna Hazare fasting and millions coming up for support, i thought India has arrived. We the people are committing ourselves to the biggest evil in our society. It took everyone by surprise, both the congress and the oppositions. While congress was basking in glory of their biggest victory in recent decades Anna came down like rain on a Diwali night. With nothing to tackle the mass movement they just gave in and went into their Planning boards. That marked the end of Act I

ACT II: Curtains raise dRAMaDEV and his cronies. Add a little bit of RSS and BJP the entire movement went out of context. It somehow moved from a mass civil movement to a communal movement headed by a Yoga billionaire guru who was great on TV doing Yoga was just a pawn who thought he was the queen on the chess board.  The movement ended before it started and with it ends the mass movement that India could have witnessed after a long long time.

ACT III started with Ramdev calling for arms to fight corruption; this moved the movement from communal movement to a terrorist or a naxal movement. Lokpal was murdered before he was created and that draws the curtains of theater for the last time, and people go back to the RTA with a 5000 Rs note to get a driving license.

Fasting has always been a political trick, Fasting is the most militant of political weapons employed to bring any government to agree to one’s demand. Mahatma Gandhi was acutely aware of this aspect due to which he resorted to it more often than any other weapon. History knows him as the most famous wielder of this weapon. It is used to coerce the government to give in more like blackmail, or negotiate with them for ransom. It works only when there is a mass movement supporting it. The seer of Haridwar died after 114 days of fast because he was not able to market it well, his protest did not have a high flying baba with private islands and aircrafts, nor did it have beautiful movie stars tweeting about him, there were no politicians there to meet him or greet him in five-star hotels and clubs. It also did not have Barkha Dutt and Vir saghvi asking hard questions to the public. It was an honest protest, by an Indian who wanted to save a river from the clutches of query mafia.Environment has never been burning issue with Indian media. But this seers death there would be ACT IV. I guess the evening news will be all about him today because his death raises questions which the media can feed on…..They will link it to corruption by the query mafia, sympathize with him, feed us with irrelevant information about him and family and fuel the story as long as possible, in the end curtains draw again. The drama continues to august when Anna will fast again.

Now some hard questions are….

1. Can corruption be removed by creating a Lokpal and giving him all the powers that the committee is asking for?

2. Are there not sufficient Laws right now to get the corrupt to the court

3. Do we have sufficient judicial infrastructures to prosecute the corrupt in their life time? (Most die of old age before the trial starts)

4. What makes us sure Lokpal will not be Corrupt? Going by the precedent the Police is corrupt, Investigative agencies are corrupt, judiciary is corrupt why would Lokpal be an exception?

5. Why should an Anna or Ramdev decide on the legislation when we have elected representatives to do that job? If u questions their honesty or capability then why did we elect them?

These are never ending questions that keep coming back to me. We do not need a Lokpal bill but we need a mass movement that makes the government accountable for its actions. We need Indian public to commit itself to the movement and ensure it is tackled at all levels from the RTA to Telecom Ministry. Nothing else matters. We are in a democracy and all political parties need to be elected to remain relevant, so we should play them to the same chord. If DMK now is relegated to obscurity then a message is sent to all the parties but we the people will elect DMK to power in the next election because AIDMK has been really corrupt for the next five years so it makes no difference to DMK and in fact it pays to be corrupt.

If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother and the teacher.
Abdul Kalam 

 The cartoons are from, an excellent blog highly recomended



Now, the Baba Ramdev Show

June 6, 2011 Leave a comment
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