Archive for the ‘India’ Category

An end of an Innings… Sachin Tendulkar

November 11, 2013 Leave a comment

sachin attitude

Sachin Tendulkar has been the greatest sports icon for India and he inspired Indians from all walks of life. I am just one among the millions who love, admire and awed by the talent of Sachin Tendulkar on the cricketing field. For long time he was the only sports superstar that we had to boast about. Saying this I am not trying to ignore the accolades of our other sporting stars like Vishwanathan Anand, Vijay Amritraj, Prakash Padukone, Milka singh, PT Usha and others. While they were great none of them achieved anything close to what Sachin has achieved in their respective sports. They were always the brides maid never the bride. We can argue at length that cricket has much more budgets, funds and support than any other sport in India, but the fact remains that  we are a cricket crazy nation and that is the only sport where we compete at the highest level. Other than cricket I can not really think of any sport where we would be called a top class team. So why crib?

 While there are few skeptics out there who believe that there are other who were better than him;  that he only plays for records or he should have retired couple of years back, I choose to ignore them as people who speak without out facts in hand.For those who play the tune that Sachin was never a match winner and played for his centuries, pls check this analysis of his win ratio for those games he hit a century, the links are given below.

(“Another Sachin century, another match India couldn’t win…” is there merit in that statistic.) 

Centuries going down the drain….Sachin and his 12 non productive centuries

Those who are convinced that he plays for the records, I just want to add “he plays and the records follow him”. What i really like about Sachin Tendulkar is his humility. The fact that he has been humble all his live even after what he has acheived is in itself a great achievement as a human being.In the two decades we have not come come across any controversy, loose gossip or incidents that have always been associated with super stars.He is always calm, composed and always speaks with  dignity that befitted someone who is not only a great sportstar but a good human too. He is someone who can be a sporting idol for current generation and generations to come.

 As his innings comes to a close and and he walks back in to the pavilion one last time, I tSachin-Tendulkar byehought is is just right to compile all that he has achieved on the green circle. Given below are 200 facts about Sachin that you may like to know.

(Compiled from internet)

1. His father named him after the legendary music director Sachin Dev Burman.

2. During his school days, he grew his hair and tied a band around it to copy his idol, tennis legend John McEnroe.

3. While growing up, Sachin would ask his friend Ramesh Pardhe to dip a rubber ball in water and hurl it at him to see the wet marks left on the bat to know whether he had middled the ball!

Read more…

The Rape Culture….

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

The recent Rape of a Delhi Girl and the subsequent outrage in the sections of the society is something that we have got used to. Our general fear and subsequent apathy to the such crime has become so deep rooted into our culture, it seem routine. I have found the below article online and it is one of the best essays on the subject. I hope it will help us be more sensitive and one day we will do something more concrete about it.


New Delhi: There has been a slew of responses to the recent rape of a woman in Delhi and the brutal attack on her male friend. Derek O Brien expresses fear for his daughter’s safety, Salman Khan at a press conference to promote his latest film says that he thinks the rapists should be killed, and parliamentarians demand the death penalty for rape. However, these responses and the media coverage on the incident seem to be marked by a refusal to think about the conditions that allow for rape to happen and how we even think of ‘rape’ itself.

It is almost as though the rape legitimates increased control by the family, community and other custodians of women as it brutally enacts the fantasy of a dark and unsafe city where a woman cannot negotiate the streets without being gruesomely violated.

The continuum between the family (the place of safety for women, the home where one is taken care of) and the rape have to be stressed: both are fantasies of control, of doing whatever it takes to keep women in their place, wherever that place is. The elaborate everyday control of women’s lives by families and institutions (both will find increased legitimacy because of the rape) is as systematic, planned and violent as this rape was.

An image of an uncontrolled horde is brought forth by a gang rape – but other groups – families, religious groups, communities that police sexuality are seen as the very essence of civilisation and civility.

The rape of women is seen as aberrant, as outside of the framework of what can be thought, thus the continuous comparison of rapists with animals. However, this very construction of the rape as an event that cannot be understood shows the refusal to see, or act against, brutal everyday forms of control.

We need to stress the continuum between people who rape, people who judge those who get raped, and people who try to protect the women in their lives from getting raped by imposing structures of control. The portrayals of the rape of women allow for those men who want to understand themselves as protectors or avengers to do so, they allow for patriarchal structures of control to strengthen themselves and, crucially, they create women as the ‘legitimate’ subjects of rape.

Why is the rape of women not seen in relation to the rape of men and hijras? Even amongst the rapes of women, it is certain kinds of cases that attract attention: marital rape, date rapes and the sexual violence that takes place within the family are systematically ignored.

Sex workers and domestic workers are at the receiving end of systematic sexual violence but the violence faced by them is normalized in the structure of our society, just like certain continual forms of sexual harassment on metros, public transport, schools and universities are seen to be so routine that it is seen to be in bad form to respond to them. Everyday, routine, ‘normal’ sexual practice hardly involves the discussion of consent or what might constitute a violation.

The fantasies of heterosexual love in our popular cultures are fantasies of dominance and submission, our idea of ‘romance’ sexist to say the least. Our idea of sex is so completely dominated by the vision of a penis penetrating a vagina that other kinds of forced penetration and violation do not even get the kind of limited response that such a rape does get.

The fervent responses to those rapes which even become the subject of public/ political discussion, such as demands for violent retribution to be visited upon the rapists are actually more a sign of unconcern rather than an expression of an angry will to change the structures we live in.

They manifest the desire to witness and enact violence (what better when this enactment of violence is legitimated by public discourse). The slow, difficult thinking through, the rigorous and exhausting work required for changing the psychical, economic and social conditions which create the conditions for rape demand much greater commitment and strength than wishes for public lynchings. The danger of feeling legitimated in performing violence on someone else has to be stressed. The rapists also felt ‘outrage’ at the behaviour of woman and her companions, they felt their positions to be legitimate.

We need to move outside the frenzy around rape in order to be able to think about it. The demand for “speedy justice” that is being made can never be effectively satisfied by a police force, government or court because these entities are not outside of or separate from family and community structures that legitimise rape in the first place.

Cases of rape committed by army and police force members, or the impunity afforded by the AFSPA show how they themselves are involved in perpetrating sexual and other violence. The police and the judiciary cannot be given up as structures we turn to with our demands for justice but they will not be the bringers of the transformation we need.

To change the manner in which people occupy public space we need sustained effort and political will. Rape creates many victims – women whose lives will be policed more, public spaces that will exude more fear and threat. We have to take responsibility for being complicit in this through our refusal to question what we cherish – family, heterosexuality, marriage, romance.

In our desire to blame the violated woman who was out after dark watching a film, we forget the gay man who picked up a fuckbuddy and gets robbed by him, the sex worker simply because she or he is one, the migrant worker, the Dalit being put in her/his place, the adivasi resisting mining corporations, the Muslim. Their violation seems so routinised that we even forget to ask why let alone call for public lynchings. We are all rapists of one kind or another, complicit with the rape culture we have created, legitimised and contained through a convenient condemnation of one manifestation of it.

Source SIFYBy Akshi Singh



A Land of Dreams

November 4, 2012 Leave a comment

We live in a land of pipe dreams…dreams that are woven every election year which just fizzles out with time. But we  live in the hope that for once we may dream a real dream and continue to sleep for that beautiful dream.
This is one of many dreams woven by our leaders to keep us all in a state of sombre nothingness….


A land of dreams…..

Day DreammingIn a land where I live,
to my people I shall give,
a life of bliss,
that none shall miss,
but my hands are tied,
The media has lied,
the judge was bribed,
the Maoist have tried
rains have failed
Trains derailed
Forget not your horrid past
remember my dream, that shall long last

O my fellow countryman, dream a dream
wake-up not from its sombre scheme
………………………………….sunil varma

Who was The Laughing Buddha

October 16, 2012 2 comments

Laughing buddha artEveryone must have seen the statue of “Laughing Buddha”. He is also called as the “Happy Man”. I have a few of these idols and some of these have been with me for a very long time. It never occurred to me to figure out the significance of the idol. I always thought it was Gautam Buddha and wondered why it was so different from the other serine images and idols of Gautam Buddha. Just the other day a friend posted a reference and I was compelled to do some reading and found out.

It was a pleasant shock to realize that Laughing Buddha is not a Gautam Buddha at all, but an eccentric Chinese Ch’an (Zen) monk who lived in china, Circa 907 AD during the Liang dynasty. He was a native of Fenghua, and his Buddhist name was Qieci literally meaning “Promise this“.

He is also referred to as Hotei or Pu-Tai and is best known as the “jolly Laughing Buddha”. In China, he is also known as the Loving or Friendly One. Hotei is a significant part of Buddhist and Shinto culture and is regarded as an incarnation of the bodhisattva who will be Maitreya (the Future Buddha). His large protruding stomach and jolly smile have given him the common designation “Laughing Buddha” and he is regarded as a true Zen master.

Like all legends of yester years Hotei has a great inspirational story. While I am not sure if this has any historical authenticity but it still is a very good read.

The legend says: The jolly saint would travel from place to place in search of wisdom and spread the zen philosophy.laughing buddha art Where ever he went he attracted curious eyes; he was a funny looking man with a big belly and an even bigger smile on his face. He would go to a town square and wait for people to gather, which was never a difficult thing for him.

Hotei would then distribute sweets and small toys to all children who had gathered around him. When the euphoria of gifts and presents died down, he would slowly keep his bag down, look to the sky and just start laughing. He would continue to laugh and not care if others joined him. Soon, his laughter would turn contagious and all who had gathered would begin to laugh. In some time the whole town would begin to laugh thanks to the mysterious monk. After sometime he would pick the bag, which he had kept down, smile to all, and go to the next town. It is said that he did the same thing in every town he visited. It was the only thing he did. It was his way of bringing enlightenment to people, hence his name the laughing Buddha.

The term buddha means “one who is awake”, connoting one who has awakened into enlightenment. Over the history of Buddhism, there have been several notable figures who would come to be remembered as, and referred to as, buddhas. Later followers of the Chan school would come to teach that all beings possess Buddha nature within them, and are already enlightened, but have yet to realize it. This teaching would continue into Zen. ……Wikipedia

The legend continues that he would rarely speak and one occasion when he was asked to describe why he does what he did, he said

Giving Sweets to Children:

 laughing buddha with kids sculptureIt symbolizes that more you give, more you get. He referred to it as the “Joy of Gifting”. The children represent the qualities that one is born with and the qualities that we should all cherish; living in present, cheerful, without ego, without prejudice and un-judgmental. I term it “return to innocence”; a blissful state of life where every day is a day of learning and something to look forward to.

The Bag:

The bag represented the burden of human existence. The problems that we love to accumulate. We live in a self-created illusion of difficult life. He illustrates it by pointing out, we are great at giving advice and solutions to deal with a difficult situation as long as the problem does not belong to us. But the same creativity is lost if it happens to be our own problem; we simply don’t seem to find any solution.

laughing buddha with a bundel sculptureDropping of the Bag:

The monk’s symbolic act of dropping the bag is part of a more significant Zen philosophy. It represents separation from burden, disassociation from your problem and looking at it from the eyes of an outsider and then attempting to solve the problem and getting on with life. It also represents the overall Zen and East Asian Philosophy of detachment of your soul from the limitations of your human senses and look at the reality with the objective eyes of your soul.

The laughter: hotei laughing buddha sculpture with hands up

It is an act of mocking the problem at hand and looking at the insignificance of it in the overall scheme of things. It is an act of acknowledging that life is a beautiful bouquet of roses but with prickly thorns. Problems are going to stay with us as long as we live, so why brood over it when good times just around the corner. It is also an act of prayer, thanking God for making your life beautiful and an act of acknowledging bigger problems of people around you. So stay happy and get yourself through the rough patch of life

Picking of the Bag:

In the final act of the monk, he picks up the bag to signify that the burden is always part of you, live with it rather than abandon it. Learn from it and use the knowledge to help other with the same problem and move on in life. It also signifies that if we are able to detach from the problem and look at it objectively the problem ceases to be heavy and suddenly becomes very manageable

The contagious laughter:

Finally the contagious laughter signifies that “being happy” philosophy is as contagious as laughter. It can also be interpreted as one cannot bring happiness in people around them just by being unhappy with his or her own life.

I am not sure if story is a true fact, or even less sure if Hotei ever said any of the above but like all legends it is a good story. It propagates living a happy life and emphasizes that being happy can make this world a better place. That message in itself is worth to think about. So stay happy folks!!

FDI Cartoons…

September 16, 2012 1 comment

Kapil Sibal Cartoons

September 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Kapil sibal is one of my favorite when it come to Indian Political cartoons. This is a small compilation of different cartoons of our dear minister that are circulating on the net. Most of these can be attributed to Munjul and satish acharya. I love the works of these too cartoonists.  The credit also goes to all the other wonderful cartoonists whoes works I have compiled here…

So here we go…

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An empty Chair Talking….Clint Eastwood and an Invisible Obama

September 2, 2012 Leave a comment

From dirty harry to crazy harry it did not a lot of time…..

Clint Eastwood,the Hollywood filmmaker who knows all about sticking to the script, turned in a bizarre, unscripted endorsement of Republican Mitt Romney Thursday night.
Standing on the convention stage with an empty chair, Eastwood carried on a sometimes rambling conversation with an imaginary President Barack Obama. The Oscar-winning director of “Unforgiven” and “Million Dollar Baby” criticized Obama for failing to turn the economy around and for wanting to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects.

“How do you handle the promises you’ve made? What do you say?” Eastwood asked the imaginary Obama. “I know even some of the people in your party were disappointed you didn’t close Gitmo,” the Guantanamo prison.
“What do you mean `shut up’?” said Eastwood, acting indignant. “I thought it was just because somebody had a stupid idea of trying terrorists in New York City.”

At another point, the 82-year-old Eastwood acted as if he were listening to the imaginary Obama unleash a diatribe against Romney, poking Vice President Joe Biden and letting the convention audience guess what the president said.

“He can’t do that to himself. You’re absolutely crazy!” Eastwood responded. “You’re getting as bad as Biden. Biden is the intellect in the Democratic Party. It’s just kind of a grin with a body behind it.”

Rachel Maddow was at a loss for words on Thursday after Clint Eastwood finished what was largely considered a bizarre and awkward GOP convention appearance.

“I don’t — I don’t — I don’t know what was going on there,” Maddow said, seemingly tongue-tied. “Clint Eastwood is 82 years old and I think that — I don’t know if that’s what was going on there.”

Maddow attempted to recap Eastwood’s speech. “It started off with him clearly off-prompter talking, rambling, about conservatives in Hollywood. He did make one point about the end of the war in Afghanistan and fake interviewed an empty chair as if it was Barack Obama, the President of the United States, swearing at him,” she said.

As Sen. Marco Rubio took the stage to deliver his speech, Maddow continued to react to Eastwood’s remarks.

“That was the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen at a political convention in my entire life, and it will be the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen if I live to be 100,” she said. “Here’s Marco Rubio.”

Maddow was not the only journalist to wonder about Eastwood’s comments. Brokaw tweeted that Eastwood became famous as being a man of few words. “As a surprise guest on the Tampa stage he had too many words (I say as a friend),” Brokaw wrote.

After the convention was over, Maddow revisited Eastwood’s speech and said she did not understand why the video introducing Romney, which she described as “very good,” was left out of the prime time hour of coverage so that Eastwood could speak to an empty chair.

“I don’t mean to make light of other things, but I think the Clint Eastwood thing really, seriously blew [the Romney campaign’s] final night, and they’re making light of already, but I cannot believe that it happened,” Maddow said.

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