Saturday, October 24, 2009

Death of ODI - Forget it

A lot has been said about the demise of ODI due to the advent of T20. However the recent Champions League T20 has proved many pundits wrong.
The TRPs are lower than the Champions trophy. Why? Well the reason lies beyond a marketing person's perspective. People, no matter what the time constraint love to watch high quality cricket.

People don't just like seeing bowlers just getting hit out of the park on a placid pitch. They also want to see the batsmen smell the the leather. This is what is missing in T20. Catches get dropped. Mis-fields are the norm. Bowlers just bowling line and length to contain the batsmen. In fact this is one of the major reason why none of the Indian team featured in the semi-finals of Champios League T20.

People go crazy when there is zero chances of error. Even in a test match a dropped catch changes the nature of the entire test match. In ODI or in T20 it is almost a sacrilege to drop a catch. However, the IPL and the recent Champion's league just dropped the standard. At the end of the day, people never like a one-sided contest. Everybody wants a evenly contested match between the bat and the ball.

The best advertisement of cricket comes when an underdog beats the favorite under extra-ordinary circumstances. This is why people love cricket. When a country like Bangladesh with little cricket history can beat a giant like Australia. Cricket is a great-leveler; it is said. T20 tournament only accentuated this belief in the beginning when India own the T20 when the cricket pundits gave them no chance. However, in the long run, cricket like any other sport depends on getting the fundamentals right. Taking all the half-chances, adapting to the conditions, and most of all the mental strength - the belief that you can win the game under extra-ordinary odds.

This is what makes the legend and cricket has plenty of it. Cricket always had this quality much more than other sports as mental strength is a bigger asset than the physical aspect. This can clearly be demonstrated by the blows taken by Mike Artherton against Allan Donald to demoralize the entire South African outfit or Steve Waugh telling Gibbs - "You have dropped the World Cup, sonny." The legend once created lives on, in the minds of the followers and creates more followers. How can one forget Javed Miandad dancing down the wicket in front of the entire crowd at the provocations of Indina wicket-keeper - Kiran More?
See the video at here
At the end of the day, the attitude of the team on-field also makes a huge difference. A team from Trinidad & Tobago defeating mighty teams from sub-continent only on the basis of the belief of playing their brand of cricket makes cricket all the more enthralling. In spite of being an Indian, cheering a Caribbean team with all the gusto is the real salute to the Caribbean spirit - The never-say-die attitude - Bcoz that's what makes cricket a sport as any massacre can be withstood if you have it in you....

PS: Got the idea to write from here

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Teacher's Day!! - You were there

This is the day when we pay tribute to the teachers who have taught us throughout the year. This year i pay tribute to a teacher who has been taught me for at least last 24 odd years.
Here it goes :)
You were there

You were there...
When i wrote a, b, c, d,..
Forgetting the bar in the 't's
And the dots on the 'i'
Nudging me, reminding me
Of the hobbits of the language

You were there...
When my gujarati notebook
Was painted red like
Betel-nut chewed mouth of
My language teacher

You were there..
When the sharpest eyes could not discern
My 't's from 'f's and my '7's from '2's
When my answer papers became
My teacher's Sunday afternoon puzzles

You were there..
When i failed spectacularly in three languages
Missing the bar by 1,2,1 in each
When 3 mangoes and 5 rupees and
5 oranges and 4 rupees
Sent chills through my spine

You were there..
Solving fancy algebraic equations
Late in the night by my side
Re-learning that you learnt ages ago
To help me solve them

You were there....
Teaching the ways of living organisms,
Of amoeba, virus and bacteria,
Of xylem, phloem and photosynthesis
Of genetics, DNAs, and Mendel's laws,
Of all the matters in a frog..

You were there..
When i was lost
When i thought everything was gone
When each of my failures hit you harder

But the teacher you were,
Always kept a brave front,
Although every logical neuron of your brain
Was certain of the doom
Only so that I can gather strength
So that I can wipe my tears
To see the hidden light of hope

Happy Teacher's day!
From the student who
remains your student forever
For after all you are my mother!

Yes its my Mom who has been my teacher from the time i can remember..
This post is a tribute to her for all the thing she taught me in life. :)

PS: Forgive me for murdering English poetry

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Why India should not agree on carbon emissions?

Though this post was planned as the continuation of my earlier posts, the real inspiration to write this post came on reading this article from The Economist. Some of the facts on climate change -

  1. India is the fourth largest carbon emitter in the world. See link
  2. That is India account for 5% of the total world carbon emission. Whereas US and China accounts for a total of 40% of the world's total emission. Adding Russia and European Union's contribution the total comes to whopping 61%.
  3. If we consider the carbon emissions per head then India lies at 139th position. See link

Well this sums up the entire post. :)

All the countries especially the US, Russia and the European Union have exploited the environment without giving a thought to the environment. Even China had started growing from the 1970s period. India on the other hand has started the last in terms of sustained economic development. Thus when India starts developing, world especially developed countries wants India to curb its growth by putting cap on its emissions.

All the world literature surrounding the Copenhagen conference in December, 2009 is pushing India to a corner and making it a villain in the whole scheme of things. In this endeavor, at the forefront is the US which still has not signed the Kyoto protocol. It has come up with a declaration to cut its emission by 80% by 2050. But here it expects the world to follow suit by cutting the emissions by 50%. On the other hand countries like Russia, Japan, Canada and European Union members have agreed to cut their emissions to 15-21% below the 1990 levels. This again excludes US & China who contributes 40% of the total emissions. See link.

So the argument that India should follow suit denies opportunity to India or the other developing countries to grow.

Another bone of contention is the transfer of clean technology. Here again, the developed countries are not promising free transfer of clean technology to the developing countries. This despite the fact the current world's climate is the entire making of the western economies who ruthlessly exploited Mother Nature.

Again I do not deny that India should not cut its emission. (Check out my previous post.)India needs to cut its emission but that cannot be imposed by the world's richest countries. More Indians are aware about the impact of GHG than most people of other democracies. Additionally, India has a vibrant democracy - the nature of which it will ensure imposition of carbon-emission cuts.

Still this leaves out the current scenario. Are the developed countries pledging to help the developing countries to tackle the current problems that have arisen due to their past activities?? The answer is a big "NO". So in any case the pressure on India is completely unjust and it does looks like bullying by developed countries.

For example, most of India depends on agriculture. Any climate change will impact agriculture. So the issue of climate change will feature in every Indian’s mind. Already there is a talk of inclusive growth - inclusive meaning the climate as well and this as come from none other than India's Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.

So the western countries instead putting pressure needs to first tackle US which still won't curb its emission until India agrees to cap its emission (meaning growth). In a nutshell, India does not need the western powers to tell of its responsibilities. It is fully aware of it. What they can do is help India in getting access to cleaner technologies so that would help India in preserving its and the world’s environment.

Ending the post on another old saying –

Those living in houses of glass should not throw stones at other people’s houses.

PS: - Message to US - First implement and then preach. At least members of European Union have implemented some of the decisions.

PPS: The image is for the year 2006. At present India has surpassed Japan in its emission.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Why India should cut its emissions?

The answer is very simple. India depends on mother nature far more than any other country. The dependence of India's agricultural ouput is the best example. A drought or a flood has a major impact on the amount of foodgrains that country is able to produce. Another major reason is that India is essentially started to feel the imacts of global warming already.

  1. The Himalayan glaciers are shrinking at a rate of 10 to 15 metres every year. This means water shortages for about 500 mn people.See link.
  2. Sea levels - As the global warming sinks in the sea levels are bound to rise. This would cause the low-lying areas to be submerged in sea. The danger can clearly be seen with the last week's high tide warning on mumbai. If high tide would have happened, many parts of Mumbai - the financial capital of india would have been under water for quite some time. See link
  3. Due to very limited scientific approach to agriculture, most of the Indian farmer rely on rain for a good yield. However, with the increasing global warming, the weather pattern has become more erratic directly impacting the yield of the farm. See link
  4. Finally, looking at the place where I live - Pune. A simple observation here - The winter was warmer in 2008-09 compared to the one in 2007-08. Similarly the summer was hotter than normal. There was a delay in the onset of monsoon. This resulted in water shortages and cut in daily water supply.
Sceptics can say that I am taking a sample data of one year and India most part of in its history have faced such situations. Yet, scores of studies on climate change across the world and india has come up with the same result. Global warming is for real and its impact life-threatening.
Thus it is imperative for India to look at global warming as a problem it has to solve rather than put the ownership on the international community. Ending this post on an english translation of sanskrit subhashita learned during school
"It is not wise to start building a well when a house is on fire"
PS: In my last post, I had said that India rightly has rejected caps on its emission. Why I said? More on that in my next post.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Is Obama good for India?

Don’t think so if you are looking at the kind of noise that is coming from the white house. From the time Obama was elected, this question pestered me as none of his speeces gave that away. However, now after more than seven months in office, the picture does not look good on many fronts for India. Recently US has tried to allay India's fears with Clinton's visit but those steps I think are too less and infrequent. Some of the major observations from which I could answer the question is given below.

Taxing Outsourcing
Obama – “It's a tax code that says you should pay lower taxes if you create a job in Bangalore, than if you create one in Buffalo, New York.” There is no problem if you simply plugging a loophole in your tax system. However, to associate Bangalore with the loss of jobs in the US economy is not the correct way of looking at the problem. The major issue is that the current employees have stopped adding more value to their work. Thus any business when sees that a guy can do the same work at a cheaper rate would definitely prefer the cheaper option. Another point here is that outsourcing is done to other countries as well apart from Bangalore.

Signing of NTP
India has always opposed the signing of NTP on the grounds that NTP would take away the minimum nuclear deterrence that India needs to protect itself from China and Pakistan. However, Obama administration is trying to get India sign it more dangerously equating India with countries like North Korea, Pakistan and Iran. This is despite the clean record that India has regarding nuclear proliferation. Iran and North Korea openly defy US and go on with their nuclear armament programs. On the other hand Pakistan is already indicted of proliferating nuclear technology.

Kashmir Issue
India has long adopted the stand that it is a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan and there is no need for any third party to get involved in this. The visit of Jones and Hillary Clinton now do indicate an indirect pressure from US on India to resolve the Kashmir issue urgently. No issue in that. However, US cannot force a solution on India so that Pakistan is satisfied.

One major reason for such aggressive posturing is to please the Pakistani administration so that Pakistan deploys more forces on the Af-Pak border rather than on the Indo-Pak border. The situation here is ironic to say the least. US is giving millions of dollars to make Pakistan to co-operate on its war on terror. Pakistan on the other hand is gleefully accepting that, give more forces to US for manning the Af-Pak border and on the same time is putting the same money to develop terrorist camps in PoK to spread terror.

Emission Cuts
The US lobby is trying hard to sign India for the emission cuts which India has rightfully rejected. The main reason is that the emission level of India is far below than US or China itself. India contributes only 5% of the total CO2 emissions while US and China contributes 22% and 18% respectively of the total CO2 emissions.

For US, China is the buzzword as it is looking at China to escape from its economic turmoil as China can bankroll America’s debt. This is the main reason why for US, China is more important than India. China can ruin US without firing a single bullet. Similarly for China US is the single largest market for its cheap goods. Thus both US and China have become interdependent on each other for each other’s survival. India thus has to ensure, it doesn’t get sandwiched between the interests of these two giants. Another point to be noted is that the US for its war in Afghanistan needs Pakistan and for its economic security needs China. Thus US will always be wary of India’s interests to ensure its interests are met by China and Pakistan.

However US is trying to reduce India’s fears with the recent Hillary Clinton’s visit. We can only hope that US is really serious about its commitment towards India under the current circumstances where it is severely dependent on China and Pakistan.
Flipside to all this is that India, can stand up for itself and do not require US support on lot of issues that affect the world. However, we need leaders who can discern the difference between what is good for India and what is not in the long run. Can the current leaders do that? Only time will tell.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Guest Blog - An Old Man's rant

Image Source 
Finally after a long time of no-activity I have been able to pen down a post albeit with the help of an anonymous old man who was last seen trying to catch an auto-rickshaw. :)
All autos whizzed past me but none stopped as every auto had a passenger. The time’s 9.15 AM. It is the peak time for the office-goers. I used to be like them not so long ago. I myself started my office-days playing catch-up with the elusive bus that helped me reach my office on time. But if I missed that, which happened quite often, did mean an earful in the morning from my not-so benevolent boss.
Anyways as my income increased I graduated to the auto-rickshaws which is a unique breed compared to all other modes of transport. The 2-stroke engine 3 wheeler has a tendency to roll over the moment it encounters any change in centre of gravity and thus it is a little dangerous if you have the weight to alter its centre of gravity. Yet remarkably this vehicle can wriggle out from the tightest corner like a cockroach with consummate ease. Yes I call the ubiquitous 3-wheeler the cockroaches of the road. They just come out and go in out of nowhere and if you are in them, you never know the route the driver is going to take. These days they also smell like cockroaches with toxic petrol and kerosene mix fumes coming out. I don’t blame the cockroach-roadie. The government has given them incentive to do that with differential pricing on all petroleum products. However, unlike the silent cockroaches, the cockroach roadie can spew out great invectives if by chance you block their progress. The best part is when at the end of ride you are mentally and physically exhausted they ensure you get financially exhausted too. But can’t really blame them. The system mandates them to be like that, else they get slaughtered like a pig. ( No pigs were harmed when writing this )
As time passed I moved to my “Hamara Bajaj” two-wheeler; the largest selling two-wheeler of the country. As the slogan went, it was a family vehicle equally loved by my wife and children. But my children have grown and they prefer the fast cars and motorbikes to “Hamara Bajaj”. So now my “Hamara Bajaj” sits in the corner of my household gathering rust and living a retired life just like myself. But hats-off to it for giving our family some of the best moments of our life.

Now in the retired life I prefer walking rather than navigate the cows, potholes, the fancy cars and bikes. However I have to take my pension from the same place where I worked for so long and they have asked me to come sharp at 9.30. Wonder when India started working on time!!Ah, yes an empty cockroach has arrived and here I go reliving the journey of my younger days...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Where have all the leaders gone??

Elections have been announced by the Election Commission of India and all the TV channels are going blah, blah over it. The parties have started looking for alliances for the election. The blame-games have begun. Allegations and counter-allegations are coming up. More skeletons will tumble out of closets as election fever starts rising with the mercury! Amongst all the hoopla surrounding the election - this is the question that is the most disturbing one. - do we have the leaders who can lead the dynamic and young India in such extra-ordinary times of economic turmoil, terrorist threats, global warming to become the superpower that Kalaam envisaged?

The so-called national-level parties have septuagenarians and octogenarians as the prime ministerial candidate. Even for the state-level the situation is not much different. Again I am not criticizing these people just because of their age. They are all good and have served the nation for so many years. But isn't it time for someone else to take over who can bring in fresh ideas and be more proactive in the biggest business of running the nation?

I have been following elections since A. B. Vajpayee first became prime minister for 13 days. Sadly since then not much has changed. The faces all have remained the same albeit most of them have grown a little older.  No new ideas. In 2004, when UPA came to power, I thought there would be some improvement. After all we had a scientist as the president, economist as a prime minister and P. Chidambaram as the finance minister. Sadly they did not do anything radical when they had their chances. I was hoping something on the lines of 1991 from Manmohan Singh but am now disappointed.

Instead, we are seeing the decades-old tradition of chronic nepotism and cronyism when it comes to announcing the candidates. They talk of reservation for women and minorities in the parliament, yet the percentage of women and minorities standing for the election is in stark contrast with the reservations principle. Again minorities are normally given the political ticket only if the constituencies have majority population of that particular community.

Wannabe American Presidents debate on the type of policies that they are going to implement to win the election. Heck, we don't even know clearly who the prime ministerial candidate will be. I don't deny that there is no mud-slinging at the opposition during the American presidential campaigns. However, in India it is the only thing that the politicians engage in. They say that we would be bored of hearing the same old promises of roti-kapda-makaan. And my guess is that we will see a new low in the mud-slinging department too with technology being used as major weapons by all the political parties concerned. When can we see somebody at least promising us of some change? Even if we consider the younger lot - they seem absolutely clueless about the whole thing? If we consider Rahul Gandhi's immature statements, the future doesn't look promising.

Finally the most disturbing part of the whole election is, even if I vote a particular party out - they can come in through coalition. This entirely defeats the purpose of elections. This has happened in Kashmir elections that were held recently. The people voted out the PDP-Congress coalition and voted for National Conference. Congress dumped PDP and joined National Congress to form a Congress-NC alliance. How can people expect democracy to work if people don’t get the change they demanded in the elections?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Parody of Pal do Pal ka Shayar...the IT way!!

This  one's a parody song of Pal do Pal ka Shayar. The song had been playing back within my mind for quite some time. So this parody just came out to stop that!! :)

Main pal do pal ka coder hoon
pal do pal meri debugging hai
pal do pal meri rating hai
pal do pal meri coding hai
main pal do pal ka coder hoon (2)

Mujhse pahele kitne coder aaye aur aakar chaley gaye
kuch defect chodkar laut gaye kuch naya code kar chaley gaye
woh bhi ek module ka kissa thhey main bhi ek module ka kissa hoon
kal tumse jhuda ho jaunga jo aaj tumhara hissa hoon

Main pal do pal ka coder hoon
pal do pal meri debugging hai
pal do pal meri rating hai
pal do pal meri coding hai
main pal do pal ka coder hoon

kal aur ayenge application ki khilti defects fixkarnewale 
mujhese behetar code-likhnewale tumse behetar testkarnewale
kal koi mujhko yaad karhey kyon koi mujhko yaad karhey
masroof manager mere liye kyon waqt apna barbadh kare

Main pal do pal ka coder hoon
pal do pal meri debugging hai
pal do pal meri rating hai
pal do pal meri coding hai
main pal do pal ka coder hoon

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bench Period - in Java

This is a description of life on bench in software industry compiled inJAVA language ;)

class Bench extends Life()
void checkMails(){

void drinkCoffee(){


void ForwardMails(){

ClickForward(On all the incoming Mails);

void chatOnCommunicator(){

Ping(“The busiest person until he starts believing that bench is heaven”);
Chat(With people on bench even if they are sitting across your cubicle);

void riteBlogs(){

Think(crazy stuff);
Open(Word Doc);
Write(Post in MS-Word);
// To let your manager know about that you work even when there is no work

Wait(for the Comments);

void askforProject throws Exception(){
Beg(“Allah ke naam project de de baba”);
//In name of God,please give me project

catch(NoProjectException e){
Blame(“Economic slowdown”);

       catch(SkillsNotMatchingException e){
StartPraying(God Save Me);
MadeBillable(Project Assigned);//hope soaring :)

void doSleep();

public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception{

Bench Me = new Bench();


         Me.drinkCofee();//To stay awake


Me.chatonCommunicator(); //Improves communication skills


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Current Pune Room-mates !!

Back again to writing about my Pune room-mates!
If my Chennai room-mates were from different parts of India, my pune room-mates' mother tongue was always different from the state they lived in. So another sets of interesting people came in to live under one roof. Each one of us having a tale of two origins. To make it more clearer we have a Gujarati, and an Hyderabadi who have lived all their life in Maharashtra. Then we have a pure "Mathu" - He is the exception. He is from Maharashtra and has mother-tongue as marathi (A very rare exception for our room.) Finally there is me, who is a mallu born and brought up in Gujarat, worked in Chennai, and now working in Pune, Maharasthra. So much for the introduction. Again to protect the privacy of the persons concerned (including me), I won't disclose their names. You people can take a guess on that. They are A, B, C, D.

He is the real story-teller. If you are with him, you would never get bored as he brings up one story after another; all stories based on real life. The best part is that you would know so much about the person he is talking about that you do not need a formal introduction when you meet his friend. He really should be part UN's world peace initiative. He builds bridges between people who have never met each other in their lives before. So he is the ultimate catalyst for creating mashups in the real world. Finally he devours MTV and he cannot ever miss a Roadie or any of the reality show that MTV can crank up. So he is our MTV (Mashup TV)!!

Now this guy really rocks. He is the absolute cool dude that people (read girls) want around. He would reach a CCD on a friend's(you know what to read) call before Obama could think of his next sentence during his speech. The best part of his is that he likes cricket and soccer. He is really into a ESPN, Star-Sports, Neo-Cricket, Star-Cricket. Unfortunately he is our Sanjay Singhania of our Room. Not that he has 8-packs, but he suffers from amnesia. But instead of exact 15 min interval that Aamir Khan had, somebody has inserted random function in his brain which causes him to forget things after a random interval of time. So he is our Star Cricket!! (he is a star of our room that sometimes blink and the rest of the time he forgets to blink ;) and he loves cricket)

Now this guy is our Door Darshan. He has no specific genre in his content. He shows everything - news, reality shows, sports, movies, music, daily-soaps and even the old DD colgate ads :). You can get his views on all the topics present in the world. Caution has to exercised when taking his advice or when he says "Tension kyon leta hai?" (Why do you take tension?). Then there is more of a chance of your having your heart in the mouth till he resolves your issue. But the issue will get resolved. So taking his help is not for the weak-hearted.

This guy is aloof from all the concerns of the world. You never know what his next action item his. I wonder whether he himself knows about what his next action item is. Still it is very dangerous to have a remote in his hands. He will make you watch movies not the normal Hindi ones. Hindi is a definite no on his list. You are lucky if you are able to see an English movie as he is bent on watching Espanyol, Francaise, Italia, Portuguese, Deutsch, or even Korean. He would be sitting there with an intensity that Rahul Dravid also cannot match when defending a ball. If you think, it all going over your head, I do not blame you. For all his intensity he still gets out to some of the most simplest of the deliveries in the most comical of the fashion. In short, he also does not understand anything ;) )I call him World Movies (Nobody can understand how World works and he likes movies!!)

So thats completes my room-mates profile. Now challenge is back to you! Guess the people. You can map people Gujju in Maharashtra, Tamdu(Telegu) in Maharashtra, Mathu Manoos (Pure Marathi) and finally the Mallu from Gujju in Maharashtra!!! :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Its Time to bed - Our gender war begins!!!

I have switched off my lights. The night was long and it suited me. I needed the rest. And somehow sensing my presence she came in. Noiselessly at first. I could not see her in the dark. Only felt her overwhelming presence coming upon me. She had been coming here for the entire last week.

I wanted to avoid her today as I was tired. I snuggled up deep in my blanket to avoid her. For a moment though, I felt relieved. I felt safe. But she sensing my uneasiness had waited. Waited patiently so that I can be comfortable with her presence. I popped out my head. I felt like her overwhelming presence has disappeared.

Again a sigh of relief went. Yet again she came in. This time with a definite purring. A soft voice came up as she started snuggling up around me. I was unsure of what to do the whole week. I tried to stop it. She was unrelenting. I did not want to hurt her. Actually I did not have the strength to hurt her. I just submitted to her desires. She sensed my powerlessness.

She now became a little more bold. She started caressing my hair and a soft purring started over my hear. I did not wanted this to go further. But powerless I was. My head again went inside the blanket. She still did not go. She knew my head would soon pop-out of the blanket. She knew my every pulse. After all same blood ran through our veins.

Finally she touched me. In the beginning the touch was a gentle caress. As her hands and feet all touched my bare skin - I waited for it to get over. And then like the phoenix rising from the ashes I arose. My strength returned. Her soft purring had stopped. She knew what was coming next. With bated breath she waited. My blanket was now off me. I started attacking her. She was deft and skillful and avoided my hands gracefully.

My mind again went tired and again i snuggled up inside the blanket. But now the heat was rising. I started sweating. She stayed put. I always admired her patience and perseverance. She knew the exact time when to touch me. In a way she knew everything about me. I was not surprised.

Finally I gathered my last bit of strength to reach the switch-board and switched on the fan and went deep into my blanket. She was shattered with this form of rejection. She knew I won't come out now. Her strengths - patience and perseverance was tested. They failed her with my last form of rejection and finally she just flew out of the room in an outrage. I was satisfied as I had finally own the battle of sexes. I can now enjoy me rest and sleep. Good Night :)

Now for all the reader out there - guess who she is??