Apr 062012

After the onslaught from the politicians in India, renaming everything in sight to gain political mileage, it’s the turn of our past rulers, the Britain to follow(for once, other countries are following us)

All the 361 London tube stations have been renamed after the past and present great sportspersons of the olympic games. A rare and bold feat, ahead of the opening of the 30th games on 27th July this year. Legends like Muhammad Ali, Michael Phelps, Carl Lewis, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Nadia Comaneci figure in this list.

The point of interest for us Indians is the inclusion of 3 great players of Indian hockey, Dhyan Chand, Roop Chand and Leslie Walter Claudius. Dhyan Chand, Hockey ka Jyadugar( the wizard of hockey), is a well known name in Indian households. Anecdotes about how he was asked to change the hockey stick during a game, fearing that it had some kind of magnetic power in it, are well known. We even had a lesson in our hindi text, entirely dedicated to him. I remember the name Roop Chand referred in some context, I think in one of the Kaun Banega Crorepati episode. But I am not sure. I definitely did not hear about Leslie Walter Claudius. After reading about his exploits in the Olympic games, I was surprised that I read the name for the first time. Or maybe it’s me who is ignorant. And the worst of all, I didn’t know the details about their exploits. Nor did I try to find out, with wikipedia being at hand. Such is the pitiful state of the knowledge of our national game among the current generation. I hate cricket, for being a bat-centric game. I always feel that hockey is being neglected by the current generation. I myself do not take much interest in watching the game. Hockey has been neglected. I believe, or have been led to believe that the team is being mis-managed.

It is heartening to find out that the people who were left mesmerized by the great Indian sportsmen, have not forgotten them. The gesture of renaming the stations is really sporting and I hope that the inclusion of Indian names will rekindle the flame for Hockey amongst the youth of India.

Read Details : The Times of India

Dec 292011

All those missed hours of my morning sleep were waste. I am on a holiday and yet I woke up enthusiastically to watch the “Agnipath” series. And it has all been for nothing. Except for the Australians, no one else has played good cricket. I even fail to understand the meaning of he word “Agnipath” in this context. Or were the promoters of this series aware of the fact that it would be a road full of fire for Indians?

India has been consistently helping the cause of he opposing batsman or the bowlers for that matter. Ponting, the out of form man has come to his senses due to some sloppy bowling by the Indians. Hilfunhaus had been out of form and the team for quite a while. This match has done good for both these players. The Australian tail-enders got the much needed batting practice, and their team, the much needed runs.

Go for the kill, would have been a good punch line for the “Agnipath”. When the captain spreads out the field for the tail-enders and hope for a miracle edge, there will be none to come. Miracles have to be made; they don’t come cheap. Attack the last batsmen, put in slips, put men in catching positions. That’s what the great analysts of the game kept on saying. But I discount Dhoni due to the fact that walky talkies are not allowed in the game. So how could he know?

Early today morning, before the Indian innings started, my brother predicted that the match would end today with us losing. Its headed that way and I will be surprised if Dhoni manages to keep the other batsman alive for the day. Or if he manages to stay alive himself. I had a feeling in my mind that Tendulkar would get his 100th today and that would be the only medicine to the bruises. That too out of the window with his wicket.

And someone please explain to Gambhir that you cannot get out twice in a similar manner. Bowlers tend to take this as your weakness and capitalise on that in the next games. It has become a habit for the Indian players to forget about their past mistakes and never learn from them.

Full marks to Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav. They have done their part brilliantly. Ishant, well, not much to speak, apart from his 152.2 Kmph delivery, “fastest” by any Indian bowler till date!

Nothing is lost yet. Not atleast keeping in mind the entire series. Dravid and Laxman, the masters of the away game can still make a difference. And we have the above praised Zaheer and Umesh. But then, that’s only four players to depend on. The team is normally made of 11 in form players.

Before I finish off, a reminder. Whenever a series has been given a fancy name, we have failed to even level the series.

Dec 252011

Have you ever wished that you could somehow be compensated for the amount you recharge on your phone. Well there is just the website operating in India which refund you not only the amount you recharge on mobile, but also the amount you recharge on DTH and Datacard. The catch is that they refund you in form of coupons which can be used for shopping at stores and online and you have to pay rs.10 for the delivery. But something is better than nothing.

I have found that the coupons for mc donalds are the best deals as you get food worth rs 50 when you buy food worth rs. 100, which we almost always do when we are at mc donalds. But do look around if you find some better coupons. The procedure is quite simple and explained in steps on the website itself. There is an option not to avail for coupon if you don’t want to pay those extra bucks. In that case, you just recharge. The website keeps on adding more coupons on the site and I am almost addicted to it.

The website is freecharge.in. Go, charge for free.

Dec 252011

Being an Indian, I love the above words. Free!! If it’s being given out, I am taking it. No guilt, no shame.

I knew that in the USA, people get lots of stuff to tryout for free. Ranging from cosmetics to electronics, products are delivered at their door steps and they can use them for free, or for limited time, depending on the product. I had been searching the internet extensively for any deals in India, and I did come across one.

Procter and Gamble gives out their new products in the form of tryout samples, and I have successfully managed to get hands on most of them. All we need to do is create an account and fill up a short questionnaire(about 3-4 questions) and they send it to your home. The sample quantities are quite appreciable. And you don’t need to pay even for delivery.

Here is the website. It can also be accessed through this web-link. A caution. Try to give an address which is in a major city, since they ship through DTDC, and DTDC does not normally deliver in remote places.

Enjoy the new culture that’s arriving in India. Get for free.

Dec 152011

It was in preschool that I came across the english alphabet for the first time. We had a cursive writing book with all those dotted letters on which I had to trace the pencil, so very slowly at  first, but at a higher speed later on, to learn cursive writing. It was a very difficult exercise for me, given that I didn’t have a free hand at art, then and now. But there was a purpose to this exercise at this tender age. Ii itched a writing style in to my hand.

It was somewhere around class III that we were allowed to use a pen for the first time in school. I had graduated and the feeling was good. But my writing skill was as bad as ever. The difference between a pencil and a pen is that, in a pencil you get lot of resistance while writing so you need to put in that extra effort while trying to trace a smooth letter. This helped in inducing a curve in to my hand which is unique to me. On arrival of the pen, the resistance was reduced drastically and my hand needed a longer time to restrain the occasional slip of hand and get back those curves. But eventually I did manage to get back to my dirty handwriting and managed to get through those long exam sessions with some ease.

I do remember the last time I picked up the pen to write a few coherent lines on paper. That was during the marine engineering exam that I appeared for last year. Apart from that, the notes that I take down at my office do not qualify to be called as lengthy and meaning full sentences. They are just bits and pieces of information noted down at random intervals, and won’t help me with being in touch with my hand curves. Most of my work is done on a computer, in office or at home. All it does is flatten my finger tips due to the regular strikes on keyboard.

Gist is, the pen is almost as good as dead for me. But I can live with it. I am not going to be a writer. And if I am going to be, I can do it on the computer. But what concerns me more is the news I read today. A school in Mumbai has made it mandatory for students to buy an iPad for “learning process”. Some of the parents have accepted it while some are of the feeling that it will hamper the writing abilities of their kids. The school has given an option of either buying it outright or availing a financing option.

I will not go in to the ethics of making it mandatory. I will not argue on the ethics of the school giving out “options” for mode of purchase, which I feel, should be left with financial institutions or retail establishments, not educational institutions. There is not much information about the class from which students have to buy it, or what kind of actual educational tool will it be used as. But I give voice to the concerns of those parents who contest this decision with the argument of handwriting.

How exactly are the schools going to use these tablets? Are they planning to ask students to take down the notes on their iPad instead of their notebooks. If that so, it’s a shame that the art of writing will no longer be practiced by them. Handwriting is not at all an outdated way of learning. Secondly, at the tender age, if their wrists are subjected to non-ergonomic working styles, I am afraid lots of these kids will grow with problems at their wrists. So who will teach them ergonomics with iPad? Another risk being, who will ensure that the kids are not exposed to restricted contents on the web which will be freely available on the tablet? Who will ensure that the students use it only for educational purpose instead of playing angry bird during classroom periods?

And it’s a very expensive tool for learning which I feel is not required.

On the other hand, if the schools are able to control the use of the tablets to a restricted amount of time, it will be a boon. Students will be exposed, and when I say exposed I mean in both ways, to the age of the internet at the tender age. But then, the kids who can afford such luxuries at schools, surely have been exposed to these gadgets at their homes. So where’s the need?

All said, I just hope it’s not the death of the pen.

Oct 062011

The co-founder of the most iconic brand of the world, apple, is dead. The year long battle with pancreatic cancer is finally over for Steve Jobs, as he rests in peace.

He was the one who introduced the iMac, iPod, iPhone and the iPad to this world, and made it a huge success. His replacement in the company has always been a debate. Steve Jobs also acquired the animation studio, PIXAR, and made it a huge success.

Apple is paying tribute to their co-founder by redesigning their webpage and accepting thoughts and condolences from general public.

Such people are hard to replace. May his soul rest in peace.

Sep 112011

After pampering him for 10 days, Mumbai is finally ready to bid adieu to their favorite lord, the Ganpati, on the day of Anant Chaturdashi.800px-Anant_Chaturdashi The slogans, “Ganpati Bappa Moriya, Pudhachya Varshi Laukar Yaa”(O lord Ganesha, come again early next year) will be in the air the entire evening.

In the evening, all the Ganesh idols around Mumbai and other places in India will be immersed in water. Water is believed to be the bridge between the heaven and the earth and the immersion of Lord Ganesha in water symbolizes his return to the heaven.

The departure of Lord Ganesha is an emotional even for the people of the house who have served him, looked after him, loved him for ten days. They will be eagerly waiting for him until next year while their heart keeps on resounding, Pudhachya Varshi Laukar Yaa.

Aug 252011

Steve Jobs has finally resigned as the CEO of Apple Inc. The reason being inability to continue at the top any longer. This was conveyed to the board through a letter which stated, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come”.

Having been tormented with many health problems, including pancreatic cancer, a liver transplant few years back, it was a surprise that he managed to run the show successfully for many years since the first iPhone. Speculations were high until very recently that he had very short time to live. Be he seems to have lived through those rumors.

Tim Cook, the chief operations officer will take over the reins of this winning company. But some believe that he lacks the vision which Steve has. Will Apple flourish or flounder under him? Time will tell.

Jul 202011

Great news for Bada smartphone users. The wait is over. Samfirmware has released a leaked copy of Bada 2.0.1 for Wave II(S8530). Later today, they will be releasing Bada 2.0 for Wave I(S8500). For more details visit samfirmware.com.

Mind you, this is not an official firmware so you will need to flash it to your phone. Also it might be buggy, since this is not the final release. Flash your phone only if you know what you are doing. Neither wordfight.in nor samfirmware.com takes any responsibility for any damage to your phone.

Jul 132011

A bomb blasted in Mumbai today. The location was Roxy cinema near opera house. The severity of the damage has not been declared yet but there are casualties as being reported by eyewitnesses on tv.

I pray for everyone’s safety and no more such incidents today.

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