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‘Buddhas’ in the making…………….???

I have a friend who visits me every Sunday evening. Frankly I can’t make up my mind whether I look forward to his visit or not. He is actually a nice guy but a little weird in his thinking. What I hate in him is his habit of pushing me into an uncomfortable state of mind before leaving.

I envy my wife and daughter. Both of them are voracious readers. I sometimes wonder how can one read so much. I can’t read more than five to six pages of any book without yawning twenty times – that is an average of 4 yawns per sheet. This is bothering me big time and I decided that I should learn to concentrate more. So, I decided to start with a book which is small and which talked about a subject of which I already knew a little bit – The book ‘Siddhartha’.

For my non – Indian friends a two line introduction is necessary. Siddhartha is the Prince who became Buddha later when he renounced all luxuries of life. His father King Suddhodana had tried his best to keep him away from the miseries of life so that Prince Siddhartha would eventually become a king and succeed him.

I was making some good progress – less yawns per page and more pages per hour when my friend rang the bell. For the next one hour we discussed everything under the sun – Kohli’s centuries, Nirav Modi’s con game, Madhavan’s performance in the new Amazon Prime Video…….to name a few. I was feeling great because I did most of the talking and my friend didn’t say anything which made me uncomfortable. This was too good to be true and I secretly started wishing that he would leave soon so that I can stay in that ‘happy zone’.

He looked at the book I was reading and said – “We are bringing up so many Siddharthas in our society. I wonder how many will turn out to be Buddhas”. I pretended as if I understood this statement but my face showed that I couldn’t get what he was pointing at. The choice was to stay quiet or gulp down the ego and ask for clarification. Reluctantly I did the latter.

His explanation was simple. Today we are bringing up our children just like what King Suddhodana did to Siddhartha. We ‘protect’ them in every possible way – from other bullying children both in class and in the neighbourhood, from public transport, from nearby slums, from even tough teachers and the list is endless. We provide them all the gadgets and keep them away from most of domestic chores. They are oblivious to even the problems of their own parents. They are growing up in an environment where Air travel is the basic mode of transport and car is the basic necessity. They have no exposure to the lives of ‘have nots’.

What happens when these kids grow up and move out of this protected environment? This is the multi-million dollar question. Can they turn into Buddhas or we will end up with two different societies – one with Siddharthas and the other with ‘have nots’.

My friend left my place three hours back but I am still feeling uncomfortable.


Justice Ganguly – why did you play a reverse sweep on the last day in office ?????

We were all jumping with joy when Justice Ganguly cancelled all the 122 licenses issued by Raja. We felt he nailed the last nail in UPA government’s coffin. But the euphoria didn’t last long as my wicked friend walked in with a grumpy look on his face. He was livid because according to him Justice Ganguly bailed UPA government out of the 2G mess.

I was shocked but based on my previous experiences with him, wanted to know why. Here is his analysis.

The whole 2G scam and the adverse perceptions are completely based on the magic figure of the loss estimated by CAG at 1,76,000 Crores. A common man will only remember this number and will not bother about other technicalities. Left to itself, this number would have haunted Congress and the UPA till the next election in 2014.

By canceling the licenses and ordering a fresh issue within 4 months, Justice Ganguly gave an opportunity for Congress to auction these. Now, what happens ? Any corporate with its senses right will never venture into telecom sector and if somebody does, they will never bid a high amount. In all probability, the auctioned licenses will get not more than the fixed amount obtained before cancellation.

This will throw the estimated loss figure of 1,76,000 Crores out of the window. Congress will go to town singing the song that Kapil Sibal was right when he said there was Zero loss. This will take the wind out of the 2G scam for ever !!!!!

I was completely paralyzed by this analysis. Now I have a question for Justice Ganguly – You batted your entire career with a Straight bat but why did you play the reverse sweep off the last ball ??

Is Sachin a dreaded “ 6 letter word ” ?

We have lost another test by an innings and again everybody is giving his expert suggestions. Bishen Singh Bedi was lamenting as if his close relative or friend died at a very young age and Saurav suddenly started preaching about how to win on overseas pitches.  Kapil Dev completely forgot that he frustrated even small babies for 2 years to take 34 wickets (in 32 innings) to achieve the record of 434 wickets and talked about why young blood should replace Dravid and Laxman.

But, surprisingly everyone was silent on Sachin. They saw what none of us saw – fluent batting!!!!!! He is equally old and was worse than Dravid in the number of runs scored in Perth. If Dravid got bowled in both innings, he was LBW in both. How does that make him better ? Nobody is asking for his blood.

Fortunately for selectors, ICC did what selectors could never do. Dhoni got one match ban.    Going forward, we should request ICC to ban all eleven players whenever there is a slip up. That way, we can play new teams very frequently.

Indian cricket team is like Indian politics now. Nobody wants to govern the country and nobody wants to captain the cricket team.

The blame game was also quite interesting. Duncan Fletcher was done to death. I am wondering why we didn’t blame Gautam Gambhir’s wife ? After his marriage he has refused to spend more time on the pitch. Is this not fatal attraction ? I believe Sachin’s son was also there bowling to Indian batsmen and misleading them about the pace of the 22 yard playing surface.

In all this frustration, only one man is very happy. Our own Bajji. He must be thanking his stars for being not selected for this tour.

As far as Sachin is concerned, whether he plays some more tests or not, for now he can kiss the “Bharat Ratna” award good bye.

Sehwag will make a great Statistics Teacher

The way Sehwag is batting in Australia, it is only a matter of time before he has to find some other profession to make a living. Since he already owns an international school, he has an opportunity to become a great teacher in Statistics.

One of the concepts the kids struggle to understand in Statistics is Mean, Median, Mode and Standard Deviation. It is always very difficult to give examples of how a Mean can be a big number when the Mode can represent a small number and how a standard deviation can be used to show poor level of consistency.

Sehwag has to just write down his scores in the last 5 years and every kid will become  a master in Statistics. Probably, it will be the only example in the world of mathematics where Mean can be as high as 50+ and Mode a guaranteed 0. Standard Deviation will probably go through the roof.

So, Sehwag has really got something to make a living. What will Kohli do ? I think teaching Piano may be a good option where “Fingers” can be used effectively. Since Ashwin may not make it big in Cricket, teaching Carrom is the next best option. Anyway, he is familiar with carrom ball – he just needs to change the balls to coins.

Laxman can become a groundsman as you may have noticed how he taps the pitch hundred times before every ball is bowled. He can also choose to be a priest as he is good at muttering lots of prayers when batting.

Dravid can be a quality inspector in any wood cutting industry and can tell how a wood is cut just by hearing the sound. His ears are tuned to the sound after being bowled so many times in the last ten test matches.

So, when these cricketers retire or forced to retire, they do have an alternate profession. As far as Scahin is concerned, no comments. May be he will play a few more years following in the foot steps of Kapil Dev (who frustrated everybody to death) and probably my grandson or granddaughter will watch him scoring that hundredth century that we are all looking forward to.

Why this “Middle Finger di ?”

The Middle Finger is in the news recently although for all the wrong reasons. It is quite unfortunate that a part of God’s own creation is not given equal importance. All other fingers are used for various purposes and people don’t take offense to them.

Umpires sometimes give completely wrong decisions using the forefinger. Nobody objects to it even if it is used against our own Sachin. We have all used our little finger many times during our childhood to show desperate situations and our teachers have understood and respected it by allowing us to run to the toilet. Children have used their thumb effectively and we call them cute when they are caught sucking it. Another finger which is just next to our villain is the most respected and used for wearing the wedding ring.

As you can see, all fingers have respect – although some more than the other – except our dear Middle Finger.  When people try to give respect to it by raising it, you are fined big time  – sometimes lakhs as Kohli found out recently.

Looks like Middle Finger can do nothing right on its own. Then why did god give this to us ? Every child is told right from day one not to use this but nobody tells why it is there in the first place if it is not to be used.

Probably the only explanation is that it is a very powerful weapon of mass destruction. If used even for a few seconds, it  will be known world wide. It also attracts the attention of everybody around the world. Everybody and his or her uncle knows what it stands for. Only the brave can use it and it is not for weak hearted people.

Now my respect for it has gone up multifold. Thanks Kohli and Ishant. You two have made the Middle Finger proud.

Has Cricket become the play ground of jokers like Mihir Bose and Boria Majumdar ?

Any school kid who is watching debates on TV channels about India’s loss in Australia will immediately run and burn all the cricket gears. I think the “supposed to be experts” on cricket are no better than investment experts on CNBC.

It is a complete comedy when the “so called cricketers” like Atul Wassan and Arun Lal join hands with the football shaped Boria Majumdar and a comedian called Mihir Bose to analyse Indian batting and question the honesty of cricketers.

Till a few days back the same set of guys were hailing the trio of Sachin, VVS Laxman and Dravid. Today, they want their replacements. Till recently Dhoni was Captain Cool – now he is called Captain Clueless.

After all, what has happened for us to jump around like monkeys ? We are losing to a good team like Australia just like good teams get beaten in India. If we can’t play pace, they can’t play spin. Each team is a tiger in its territory. Has any team beaten Sri Lanka in their backyard consistently ?

Now, suddenly we clamour for youth. With the type of analysis and character assassination these guys do, no young cricketer can make it big. We just don’t allow them to succeed. Before scoring centuries, both Hussey and Ponting were on the verge of losing their place. Clarke had failed a dozen times before coming good. But, we can’t tolerate Dravid failing in three innings. We want Sachin to score only centuries – Even sixties and seventies are called failures. Every test defeat is termed national shame. Even England had lost many test matches in a row before becoming the top test team in the world.

Look at the cricketers who are giving expert advice. Arun Lal – 729 runs in 29 test innings and 122 runs in 13 ODIs & Atul Wassan – 10 wickets in 4 test matches and 11 wickets in 9 ODIs. Add to this, Boria Majumdar whose only qualification is that his face is as round as a cricket ball (although a little bigger with lesser shade of red) and Mihir Bose whose only claim to fame is that he is from London and lives closer to Lord’s cricket ground.

The only way forward is to ban these guys from commenting on cricket. It would be nice if Arnab Goswami sticks to his instigating tactics in political field only. Can’t we treat cricket as a sport and start enjoying without getting hyper.

Thank god, I am not a cricketer.

Are We Eternal Cribbers ??

According to my wicked friend, we Indians search for a reason to crib and be unhappy. For some unknown reason, we want all good things to happen to us always. I first dismissed his observation but when I thought over it I could see sense in what my friend was telling.

Let us look at cricket. Till a few years ago, we were very happy to win against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. We experienced ecstasy whenever we won against Pakisthan. Slowly we started becoming greedy and now we want to win every test match, every one day match, every T-20. We don’t seem to understand that other countries also have some ambition and they also put efforts to achieve their goals.

Take international relations. Till a few years back, we were still a developing country. Not long ago we had reached a stage where government was pledging gold to save the economy. But, now we want to rub shoulders with developed countries and get annoyed when US doesn’t treat us like an equal partner.

When it comes to military, we refuse to believe that China is far more advanced just because we got free only in 1947 from the British and there is lot to catch up. We always compare ourselves with China and start cribbing why we can’t be like them.

Sometimes, our sorrows extend to even good things that we have. We have the best democracy (it is another matter whether we deserve it) but we blame that also for all the corruption and sins in the society. We are sad that we are not Singapore.

What is that which makes us so unhappy ? I don’t know the answer. But, I certainly know what makes us temporarily very proud of ourselves – Sachin’s century.

Mera Bharat Mahan