Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dogs and Indians Are Not Allowed

....to be accused as racists. Says so Mr.Pawar.

"The judge has given a proper judgement. BCCI was consistently taking only one stand that it was practically impossible for us to accept the racist charges against any Indian player." - Sharad Pawar

LSE V: Printer Curse Continues

I have to somehow explain to my employers that I can never take print outs. Inability to take a print out still continues to limit my life. I wish I knew what the reason for this jinx was. Most people I know can take print outs at will. Yesterday there was an "echicootive" presentation. My very first presentation. 1 hour before the presentation, I pressed the 'print' button with shaking hands, unsurprisingly every printer in all 6 floors of my building stopped working. I spent 1 hour begging the printer gods to excuse me for just 1 time. They continue to be unrelenting about this.

About a decade ago I was doing my final year BE project with logicRamani. The night before submission, he sent me to take printouts. I think that was my first ever attempt at taking a print out. I couldn't. I called him after an hour's worth of trying. He came and all he had to do was press 'print' and it worked like a charm. I told him then - "maybe I am not destined to take print outs". How prophetic? Like the way Parasurama cursed Karna that he'd forget to bow-and-arrow at crucial moments, Sage Printerama has cursed me. And I have never been able to print at will since then.

Previously: LSE-1 LSE-2 LSE-3 LSE-4

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Movie Review: Bheema: Brokeback Mountain Revisited

Bheema is a tender love story. One may think it is a traditional 3-way love story, but in my mind this is really the first time a Thamizh movie deals with a homosexual theme. The movie completely and only deals in metaphors. Sekhar (Played by Vikram) falls in love with Chinna (Prakash Raj), a man possibly a decade older than Sekhar. Chinna's sheer masculinity sends ripples down Sekhar's thighs. The childhood moment where the love-at-first-sight blooms has been wonderfully captured. The flashback tells you in a touching way how Sekhar gets to play with Chinna's 'kattai'. Chinna gives his 'kattai' to Sekhar after he is done using it. The opportunity to handle Chinna's 'kattai' gives Sekhar wet dreams. Sekhar and his father police 'yettu' Krisnamurthy spend a sleepless night that is shown in minute detail. Sekhar possibly writhing in fantasy and wet dreams of someday being with Chinna and Krishnamurthy possibly wondering about the impact of a child marriage.

Sekhar grows up, develops his body and pursues Chinna to 'arpanichify' his body to Chinna. I thought the segment where Sekhar earns his right to stand beside Chinna was well directed. Over time he beats people up to earn the rare opportunity of having Chinna's hot hands paw over him. Trisha's navel is a key character in this movie. Her navel falls in love with Sekhar. Trisha's navel has certainly grown and matured as an actor. I have been tracking its growth for the past five years. In my PhD proposal I had observed that "Trisha's little navel is disproportionately small to her stomach. Given a little bit of time, it should grow in size and command more attention". Now, one can confidently say that Trisha's navel is firmly ensconced as the #2 navel in Thamizh Nadu way ahead of Simran's navel and right behind Reema Sen's navel. It has become better in emoting during certain crucial moments, have an attitude, and aptly conveys the proverbial 'directorial touch'. Trisha's mammoth stomach also aids her navel in getting its much needed screen space.

The raw sexual aspect of the movie has to be commended. All three characters cannot sleep well at night - for most nights. Sekhar is told several times that "chinna night ellam unna neneichu thoongave illai". This ensures that Sekhar also has his wet sleepless nights. Trisha does not sleep well and so does her sister. The equations between key actors get complex as Sekhar's love for Chinna goes unrequited for a while. They constantly express they 'love' for each other. Their eyes move and meet during several sequences. Even when Sekhar beats up the entire population of Madras during the Nayagan-like slum scene, Chinna sensuously gives him a 'I want you now' look. This happens several times and Chinna clearly runs his eyes around Sekhar's body and sizes him up. This movie shows Sekhar, even as a young boy, saying that he wanted to talk like Chinna, walk like Chinna, play with his thing like Chinna (cry Chinna's name in the final moments). Sekhar is shown as if he was about to say that he wore the same underwear as Chinna - but he just stops short. Clearly, their love is extremely mature and beyond the understanding of S.Ve.Sekhar's 'bloody society'.
But perplexingly Chinna decides to pursue his heterosexual ambitions and Sekhar faces Trisha's 50-meter-circumference navel as a serious obstacle. The nature of police involvement in this soft love story was confusing. I understood Chinna and Sekhar whenever they said "avane podu", "ivane podu". I could understand Sekhar's anger when Raghuvaran tries to 'pottufy' Chinna. After all Chinna is Sekhar's own. Sekhar is young and raw whereas Raghuvaran is old. I did not understand why police want to 'pottufy' Chinna, Sekhar and many other people. I thought the director lost the plot there. In the end Sekhar unsurprisingly ends up where he wants - his face lies as close to Chinna's armpits as possible - for eternity. A splendid thoughtful ending.

All in all - a fantastic must watch. 'Bheema' should have ideally been named as 'Shikandi'. One must appreciate a different and bold theme of 'karpai kooda natpai pola ennuvom'.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shoe is on the other leg

leg is on the other shoe, sox is on the other leg..whatever.

I am in Michigan now. Back in AA for conducting interviews. 'ai jaali'

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Movie Review: Taare Zameen Par

There is a moment where Mr. Avasthi, the father of the boy, comes to meet Amir Khan to show-off that he cares about the kid. This is a beautiful moment and a highlight of the movie. Khan replies in a calm way and redefines for the parent what 'taking care' actually means. I wish they had ended the movie there. It had made its point very effectively right there. After that point the movie was indulging in needless posturing and it actually trivialized stuff through an unreal illustration. That and Amir Khan's introduction song was completely unnecessary and annoying.

Having said that, this is a splendid movie. Not-a-dry-eye-in-the-house stuff. That gap between Amir Khan and rest of Bollywood is as wide as the gap between Kamal Hasan and rest of Thamizh movies. Both have developed either the ability or the reputation to make viewers, who are used to masala, to somehow adjust their radars and receive an odd artsy movie. Some good movies make an interesting argument with the viewer whereas some good movies make a readily acceptable argument, which get the viewers buy-in immediately. This movie belongs to the latter category and populates the journey with interesting events to engage viewer attention. I thought empathy was the reason why I and many others liked this movie. Even though the boy had a condition very few could relate to, the movie decides to show aspects of the boy that the audience can empathize with.

Moms would be impressed because Mrs Avasthi is a relatable person. Most moms tend to believe that they have been there. Anybody who has been a kid would relate to Ishanth because - portions of his behavior that most kids will empathize with has been carefully chosen and depicted. My parents and Oz Dude's parents decided to kick us out of house and put us in a hostel 1000 kms away in Madras. Hostel life in secondary/senior school years is annoying. It was easy to assume my world had crumbled and that gave me a reason to be perennially teary eyed after I watched the taxi leave the school gate with my parents in it. Unlike this movie, my hostel didn't let people outside school campus. I'd keep watching the road and talking to the watchman until the dinner bell rang. Made sure every south-bound Nellai express would carry a letter from me to my parents. The eyes though not crying would be filled to brim with tears - all the time. While I immersed myself in chocolates to forget the homesickness, OzDude believed that putting some special leaves into a well would bring his parents back soon. No wonder we both decided to suck in academics at that time.

I have to say Amir Khan has captured details that were immensely enjoyable. The amazing details that Amir Khan brings are actually relatable obvious things but nobody has captured them with so much clarity. The teary-eyed hostel boy, the useless-boy who always stands out in class. We've been there or at least seen that. He has even captured the hostel-style receiving-phone-calls-from-home thingie (parents call, arbitrary person picks up, asks them to call back in 10 minutes, informs you if he sees you within 10 minutes) . This movie is Manirathnam's Anjali (which is my favorite Mani movie) minus the noise with emphasis on the kid instead of the mother. The dyslexia part was 'okay' but that wasn't why I liked the movie and I ended up thinking less about that aspect than the other parts of the movie. For people who are now using the word 'dyslexia' in every other sentence because of this movie - I only hope that this movie doesn't lead parents or dyslexic kids to search for that earth shattering non-academic talent to justify or validate their self-esteem/existence. Being dyslexic and unexceptional would have been a better, more realistic ending.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Men: The Toilet Mile

" We are men! Throughout history, we have always needed, in times of difficulty, to retreat to our caves. It so happens that in this modern age, our caves are fully plumbed. The toilet is, for us, the last bastion, the final refuge, the last few square feet of man-space left to us! Somewhere to sit, something to read, something to do, and who gives a damn about the smell? Because that, for us, is happiness. Because we are *men.* We are different. We have only one word for soap. We do not own candles. We have never seen anything of any value in a craft shop. We do not own magazines fill of pictures of celebrities with all their clothes *on*. When we have conversations, we actually take it in turns to talk! But we have not yet reached that level of earth-shattering boredom and inhuman despair that we would have a haircut *recreationally*. We don't know how to get excited about... really, *really* boring things, like ornaments, bath oil, the countryside, vases, small churches. I mean, we do not even know what, *what* in the name of God's *ass* is the purpose of pot-pourri! Looks like breakfast, smells like your auntie! Why do we need that? So please, in this strange and frightening world, allow us one last place to call our own. This toilet, this blessed pot, this... fortress of solitude. You girls, you may go to the bathroom in groups of two or more. Yet we do not pass comment. We do not make judgment. That is your choice. But we men will always walk the toilet mile... alone. "

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


'Jolna' bag hung from the forehead, coconut oil, vibhoothi, aluminium tiffin carrier, lemon rice, egg inside rice, buttermilk stains inside lunch bag, people talking in loud voices, empty water bottle, unfinished home work that is due in the afternoon, no PT period today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Captains Agreement and Dangling Pronoun Pointers

CricInfo says some interesting things. Must be an interesting read for those who think they know everything about the agreement.

Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble, it is learnt, have decided the on-field umpires' word will be final and they can make a choice to refer the decision to the third umpire. Before the series they decided they would take the word of the fielder in relation to low takes.

If on-field umps can now refer to the third umpire after the agreement was scrapped - does that mean they could not refer to the third umpire before?

It also says this;

However, the Indian team's media manager MV Sridhar said the final decision would be made by match referee Mike Procter after consulting the captains. "Even though the two captains had previously committed themselves on this understanding, the decision was taken at the consent and guidance of the match referee," he told PTI. "Now it is up to the match referee to ask the two captains their views on this issue and then a decision would be arrived after the three parties, the two captains and the match referee, reach a decision."

Ooh! The match referee is now involved. When the match referee is involved in the pact, reading between the lines makes me suspect that the umpire is instructed to take the fielder's word before the third umps word. Hours of web search still does not reveal exactly what the pact is.

However, when one does not know what the agreement is. One asks question like this -

"What was the pact about - What was violated? Was there a pact? These are more interesting questions in this entire monkey business."

One never makes a very arrogant head-in-my-ass assertion like this;

"Even worse than those jingoists ignorant about the Kumble-Ponting agreement are those who actually seem to know about it, but don’t know about it well enough. The agreement between Kumble and Ponting was between Kumble and Ponting. i.e, a batsman will take the word of the fielder... However, it does not govern umpires...The player agreement is NOT relevant to umpires. It does not apply to umps. It applied only to players."

FYI, the ponting-kumble agreement does not extend to umpires),

Even if it turns out that MV Sridhar is a monkey and does not know what he is talking about. Even if the agreement does not explicitly govern the match referee or umpires I suspected that it could've been an informal understanding between the players and the umpires.

Athi Bayankharamulu!

"It's been scrapped," Ponting told a news conference on Tuesday.

"That wasn't the way I wanted to play, I wanted to continue the way it was,
but the feeling through the Indian team, and probably just not necessarily
Anil's thoughts on it, were that they would like it to go back and be in the
hands of the umpire

There is a line which Gaundan says to Rajini in Mannan; "irunthaalam unakku dhairiyam jaasthi pa. Udanja kannidiya pottitu ivalavu peru munnadi vekkame illama nikkare". This Gaurav monkey does not know anything about the agreement, image analysis and logic and he thinks he is at a level where he can link and criticize.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Flogging The Dead Horse

Well it may not my area of speciality but I'd like to point out things. Pointing out things will ultimately aid me in my ulterior plan for world domination, crazed dictatorship and my general craving for all-consuming power. What I have got hold of so far is that Video is a 2D approximation of the actual events. That height angle and distance of the camera capturing this 2D picture only allows you to see part of the picture and not the entire picture.

Not many had been following the Sri Lanka England Series. Mike Selvey reports this from that series

All these — HawkEye, the snicko-meter — are an aid to the enjoyment of the television viewer, rather than definitive. However, it is the use of cameras to attempt to adjudicate on low catches, as occurred in Colombo, that is most disconcerting. Time and again this has been demonstrated to be fundamentally flawed. Some years ago, in Australia, for one experimental series it was decided to allow adjudication on low catches as a matter of course. The result was bedlam. The nature of camera angles - particularly at low level, with foreshortening in magnification, impinging shadow and general blurriness of image - made it seem as if every catch had been picked from the ground. It took no time for the players to twig that here was an escape clause and so even the most obviously squeaky clean low slip catch was treated as a felony, batsmen refused to leave the crease until it had been examined by the third umpire who by the very nature of the pictures that were offered to him had no option but to invoke the benefit of the doubt. Not one referral of the dozen or so made in the course of that series was upheld.

So contentious had the issue become, in fact, that the Australian broadcaster Channel Nine, never shy of opinions, took it upon itself to demonstrate, against its own interest, why this particular piece of televisual assistance should be used for nothing more than viewer delectation. To demonstrate, Tony Greig stood in a slip fielding position on the ground, back of his hand on the turf, with a ball in his palm: the resulting camera shots, those that would be used in determining such decisions, showed what some might term indisputable evidence that the ball was on the ground. Later, in England, Channel 4 went through precisely that same process, using Dermot Reeve, to precisely the same end.

Players, as a rule, demand the best decision-making possible, knowing how it can affect matches and careers. There is nothing wrong with this. But an assumption that the use of technology, rendering umpiring essentially redundant, is the panacea is just plain wrong. Sidebottom may have been given out erroneously from a thick inside edge in Kandy and, had a replay been used, would have been given not out. But overall where is the net advantage when a correct assessment by an umpire could be undone by flawed technology? In judging Pietersen out Dar, a very fine umpire with an uninterrupted view of the incident, almost certainly made the right call. For that his partner Harper and he were pilloried.

Johnathan Agnew reports this

However, virtually every catch that is referred is turned down because of TV’s two dimensional shallow depth of field.

There has been a move to stop umpires from turning to the third umpire unless their view of the catch has been genuinely impaired.

This column has long resisted the use of technology in the decision making process. The main reasons are the many imperfections and inaccuracies; the camera's foreshortening of the image in two dimensions and the resulting danger of justice for some but not for others

One could argue that these people are not image experts or camera experts. So I am assuming they report what is hear-say. I am also assuming that they have not 'foreshortened' details about this image business. But according to 'patriotic indian crowd' - the biggest drawback of the quoting business above is that the quotees happen to be white folks. Indian media folks, especially rediff.com want their exclusive interviews and have apparently understood that anybody not writing in favor of the team (read as writing anti-aussie columns) will not get player's audience. So they will blindly fuel the anti-aussie fire no matter what. The latest trend in the bandwagon says that all white people barring Peter Roebuck are bad people. Mr. Roebuck will continue to be a good boy unless he suddenly starts to make sense or decides on a whim, to be more balanced. Brown people who are sane, balanced and talk logic are considered to have various self-esteem related problems and are safely discarded as white man's lick ass. The moment I see avar own desi folks writing about lofty topics such as video reliability, I will be sure to aggregate that knowledge here. Brown makkal who know this stuff or who have worked on such technlogies with a company bearing my brand name; Will you consider this to be my gentle nudge to write something about this?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Sydney Test, Monkey's Uncle and The Whole Monkey Business

I think Indian media, bloggers and arbitrary people have gone about being stupid in the right order

1. Get emotional & stupid - check
2. Confuse patriotism with logic and sport. Call this game a "national honor" - check
3. State issues and concerns as ambiguously as possible - check
4. Use an extremely incompetent media to add more ambiguity - check
5. Use Navjot Singh Sidhu to represent India in foriegn television and completely destroy credibility - check
6. Burn effigies to ensure that that India is perceived as a more barbaric civilization than Australia - check
7. Show general lack of awareness about nuances of the game - check

Video Replays: Seriously, Indian media should start watching the sport more closely and actually hear what the experts have to say. Listen to the opponents argument clearly. Then begin your defence. Mark Nicholas has been doing a good job of experimenting and educating the audience. During the lunch breaks and Tea breaks he is showing viewers how umpires get to view no-balls and snicks. He is showing live demonstrations that are far more instructive and educational than naming a donkey "Mark Benson" in Patna. In 2002 Indian tour of England there was a controversy regarding Sachin Tendulkar's catch. Mark Nicholas, then in Sky Sports commentary team, did an extensive experiment. I believe they have repeated that experiment several times after that. They showed this during lunch show. They had Mark Nicholas (or an old English spinner) spread his hands on the ground. Palms facing upwards and the back of the hands touching the ground. The ball was placed on the fielders palms. The bottom of the hand was raised a little so that the tip of the hand made a 30-45 degree angle with the ground. The hands were between the ball and the ground and the ball was not touching the ground.

Then they placed the camera directly above the hand. You could see that this was a legitimate catch. Then they slowly moved the camera away from the fielder. As the distance between the camera and the fielder increased the ball began to appear to touch the ground. At some distance, which was lesser than the distance at which TV cameras are usually placed, the ball clearly appeared to be touching the ground. It appeared as if the fielder had grounded the catch. The fielder had not moved his hand and the ball was still on top of his palms. It was still a legitimate catch but the video showed otherwise. The camera resolves 3-D images into 2-D images. It approximates a dimension. It does not resolve the depth ratio very well. As depth becomes a factor in the video - the dubiousness of the catch increases. This is a well established argument (though not yet a fact) - Video is unreliable. Every team, by now, knows that if the catch is taken reasonably close to the ground, it will not pass the scrutiny of video umpire. In that it will only result in 3rd umpire giving clear 'outs' as 'not outs' (this does not mean that all 'not out' decisions necessarily meant 'out'). India is not the first team to experience this.

Look at Prem Panicker, much like the millions of smug self-righteous indignated Indians around him, put a photograph of Ricky Ponting. This photograph is a freeze-frame taken from a video. The picture is only worth a 1000 stupid words. There is a saying in Thamizh; "Seeing is not believing. Hearing is not believing. Thorough Investigation is the way to go." How true is this here. This picture although on the surface extremely convincing, means nothing. Ask yourself this. Do you see the Advt board behind Ponting? What is the distance between Ponting and that board? Can you estimate that reliably with this picture. All the depth/breadth information is compacted into 1 plane. 3D becomes 1D. Let us say Prem Panicker makes a patently ridiculous claim based on the picture. Hypothetically, let us assume, he says that Ricky Ponting's head is only 3 cm away from the Advt Hoarding behind him. If this photo was the only evidence we had, we cannot effectively argue back. We has no way of proving beyond doubt that his claim is wrong. It is only because we saw the game and we know that he was in silly point, can we safely say that the board was far behind. This photograph is not taken to scale. Even amateur photographs when zoomed in to heavy close-ups reveal a different picture. This photograph shows that Ponting's head is 1 cm away from the ground. Obviously, in reality, his head was much higher than the ground. Now can anyone claim that only his head-ground distance was distorted in scale (or) everything else was distorted in scale but his hand-clutching-the-ball-touching-the-ground was perfectly reproduced to scale. Much the same way this photograph distorts the dimension the separates Ricky Ponting and the Advt hoarding behind him -it also distorts the distance between the ball and the ground. Video only gives us the second dimension that is missing in the photo. It resolves the distance between Ponting and the board. But it does not resolve the depth.

My claim - if you think video is reliable. If Prem or the Indian commentators or Indian media thinks so - tell us why. People will believe you if you make sense. Make a logical argument. Is anybody doing that? The ball maybe touching the ground. But only maybe. It also may not be touching the ground. We cannot use the video to make any claim with any sort of reasonable certainity. We certainly cannot say it did touch the ground. I hope for education sake, Channel 9 buys that video from Sky Sports and show it 100 times a day like that Karnanidhi arrest episode. This will shut up people who are over-convinced about Ganguly's catch and Ponting's grounding of the ball. This may also wake up people who believe that video evidence is fair and reliable. This unreliability is the reason why Sunil Gavaskar, an Indian, heading the ICC committee, has not approved for technology ruling on low catches. They have left it to the on-field captains. This brings us to the second part.

Pact, No Pact, Ponting Shows 'Out' signal: Apparently Indians are indignated that Mark Benson sought Ponting's permission to give his decision. I was seeing this live much like everybody else. One frame shows Ponting showing the 'out' signal to somebody on the right of the frame. One frame shows Benson nodding to someone to the left of the frame and showing 'out'. There are 3-4 fielders, bowler, Bucknor and Ganguly between Benson and Ponting. Nobody knows conclusively who is talking to who. Nobody knows conclusively the timing of the events. The commentators are not sure. They are merely discussing "Did Benson ask Ponting?". As much as I searched youtube (above and beyond the fact that I was watching every minute of the telecast) - I did not see these 2 actions performed in a single frame. Not one frame. There is no conclusive evidence to establish that Benson sought Ponting's opinion. One naughty commentator speculates and millions of Indians begin to ride on a rumor that is only a definite maybe. Is anybody thinking critically? Is there at least one person who can set aside emotion and wonder if there is indeed enough evidence.

Ponting could have shown the 'Out' signal to someone after Benson had given his 'out' signal. Benson could have been nodding at Ganguly, Bucknor, Lee - for that matter anybody and given his 'out'. Ponting could have been signalling to Lee, fielder, Ganguly. But somehow Indians have a special eye that has detected that Benson was indeed referring to Ponting and vice versa. He might have been signalling to Benson - but do we know it for sure from a silly concatenation of videos? How? What is this mad rush to assume things?

Let us assume for the sake of million emotional folks that Benson did indeed ask Ponting and Ponting did signal 'out' to Benson. Let us assume that this was the case - That brings the topic to this incestual 'pact'. The Age, SMH and many sources report that visting captains make a 'pact' with Home captain -called 'Captain's Agreement' on how they will behave during doubtful low-catches catches. This 'pact' - allegedly - states that if the Square leg umpire has no line of sight - the fielder's word will be taken to determine if the catch is legit or not. Video replay will be used as a last option because of the reasons stated above - Video replays are unreliable and 99% of legit catches result in 'not out' decisions. This was the reason behind the pact.

Now, how many Indians know about this pact? Which writer has referred to it so far? Kumble refers to it in his interview and it appears in 2 articles. Ponting refers to it in all his interviews. If it is true and Kumble agreed to the pact then Clarke or Ponting are within their right to show the 'out' signal. Even otherwise they can show the 'out' signal to appeal for a catch but its not necessary for Benson to acknowledge it or consider it. So even in the worst case if Benson did ask Pontings word for it, he is entitled to. Because Kumble agreed to it. Is there anyone talking about this? In 97 when India visited RSA, Cyril Mitchley made a 'Jonty Rhodes is a true Christian' argument to tell us all that Jonty's claim on Sachin's catch in the final was indeed true. How ridiculous was that? Now compare that situation to this - where there is a pact. The question is not 'Should benson ask Clarke?' - he can (if there is a pact). Kumble agreed to it. The question is "Can Clarke be trusted?"

The Logical Inconsistency: The next popular claim that the Indians are making is this. Michael Clarke stood his ground when he edged a catch to the slips and so his words regarding Ganguly's catch cannot be believed. What the Einsteins are saying here is that if he has displayed Behavior A in the past, he will only show behavior A in the future. Once a liar always a liar. Agreed. But let us be consistent on this. On the other hand, if Ricky Ponting has shown Behavior B in the past (he did not claim a catch) then the Einsteins believe that he will not necessarily show Behavior B in the future. Because their eyes were blinded by unreliable video - they believe a different rule applies to Ponting. Nobody can explain why different logic applies to Clarke and Ponting. Either people must be convinced that a player's current behavior has no causal relationship with his past behavior (I believe in this) and not use Clarke standing his ground as an argument (he could be very well lying but Kumble decided to get into bed with a liar) (or) People should assume that past behavior is an indicator of all future behavior and take Ponting's word as the ultimate truth (indian media believes only half of this). Its the jumping and dancing in the middle that is logically stupid. Ishanth Sharma stood his ground a good minute before he was given out. Does that make him the world's biggest liar?

India did not lose because Bhajji was charged as Racist: The real problem I have with Indian media is that although they may have valid points to bring up against Australians, the media is destroying India's credibility by confusing allegations and arguments. Harbhajan calling Symonds a monkey has no bearing on the defeat. It is irrelevant to the defeat. India lost the game because Ponting and Symonds were given not out when they were and Dravid was given out when he was not. (Remember - Sachin was plum LBW when he was in the 20s - he was let off and he made 154). It is a fact that if the decisions had gone the other way around (hypothetically if Symonds and Ponting were given 'out' when 'not out' and Dravid was let off when was out) Indians would have taken it and gone without complaints. It is not as if Indians would have not appealed or recalled the batsman. Indians did appeal for LBW when Ponting took an inside edge on to the pads. My problem is - what is the exact accusation against Australians? What have they done which the Indians would not have done or did not do - that directly contributed to India's defeat. In my mind the Aussies behaved exactly like the Indians.

My problem is everytime somebody asks 'what did the australians do' - the Indian bandwagon diverts the topic to bhajji's racism issue. That is not why we lost the game. Sledging is not why we lost the game. Bad umpiring is why we lost the game. What did the Australians have to do with that?

Thank god for Suresh Menon. He put the words I was searching for

If India's media are to be believed, the Indian players are angels, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an unpatriotic Gandhi-hater and should be condemned to watching Navjot Sidhu expressing his views on a dozen television channels.

Australian media is doing an exceptionally bad job. That does not mean that if they eat shit Indian media can eat shit too. Unfortunately, the Indian media is no better. In fact the Indian media is beating them at being biased and illogical. Prem Panicker in the column referred in the previous post uneccesarily uses words like 'condescending' to some 'white' author and refers to Sachin wanting to be 'not out'. The 'condescending' comment clearly is a sign of 'get the gora aadmi' jingoism. If anybody disagrees with Prem - whatever little they agree on is out of condescencion. What nonsense? 187 runs were addded because Sachin gave strike to tail-enders. Could Sachin have scored 187 runs by hitting out? All this silly posturing, filminess and a George Bush-like "are you with us or are you with them" is nauseating. There is no bigger shame to India than allowing Navjoth Sidhu to don the role of patriotic Indian and represent India in any forum.

I am terribly bummed with Bucknor and India's loss. Genuinely sad. If there is a legitimate greivance against the Aussies - I am willing to hear that. If Kumble is allowed to expand on the "spirit of the game" comment - maybe we will get to hear a legitimate grievance. But nobody seems to be interested in that. What was the pact about - What was violated? Was there a pact? These are more interesting questions in this entire monkey business.
P.S: If you came this far and are bracing up for writing a fantastic comment along the lines of "but benson did ask ponting. i saw interview" - I have handled that scenario in the post as well. Re-read that segment and the questions asked in the last para of the post? While you are at it - distinguish parts of this post that asks questions Vs make claims.

Monkey Puke Of The Millenium

My My! How the mighty have fallen
Prem Panicker shows us a live demo of how one can make a complete fool of himself. Never play to the gallery filled mostly with stupid audience. Never sacrifice logic for emotion. Never bank on patriotism to compensate for lack of common sense and moderation.
I should kick myself for assuming that this author, once upon a time, had more intelligence than the extremely retarded people who comment below the articles in rediff.com

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Cheering in a Cricket Stadium 101

Channel 9 is doing a gimmick called "face in the crowd" where they pick an arbitrary person from the crowd and interview the person. I am strong in my belief that if you picked a random sample of Indians cheering Team India from any stadium in the world, the sample would be littered with idiots who'd make you cringe. Let me put it this way - whenever the mike has been pointed to an Indian crowd of supporters and an opinion is solicited, the crowd as a whole or individuals comprising the crowd have never said anything that can be construed as part of human intelligence. They babble some nonsense and makes one feel very embarrassed. Contrast this with our Pakistani and Sri Lankan colleagues who actually stop shouting, pause and speak cogent words that actually mean something.

Both in Melbourne and in Sydney I couldn't help observing the crowd chants. Since the days of "oog Aah Glen mcgrath" - I am interested what the crowd says. I was hoping the Indian crowd would put together a creative cheer that will be reasonably funny. I mean we are a species that make smart comments in movie theaters and really develop mean eve teasing comments. But Here are the top three cheers that the Indian crowd visiting stadiums have managed so far in Australia.

I am patriotic Indian cheer: So, I was hoping some of that creativity described above would be directed and channeled for some very funny cheers. Well! what do you know? The Indian crowd is still sticking with the "zindabad". The crowd goes - "India Zindabaad". Wow! I mean, how 21st century is that? Very funny too. Several decades have passed since the old man with stick marched to Dandi with a host of tired people behind him shouting "Zindabad". Agreed that Team India's running betwen wickets reminds us of Dandi March in super SlowMo. But is "Zindabaad" the best the crowd can do. We've been at it for years together now. On second thoughts, I agree its slightly better than "east or west - India is the best".

Say it again! Sam bhaiyya Cheer: The second popular cheer is saying a persons name with a huge drawl, the first time around and repeating the same person's name quickly the second time. Like "saccccchhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin" "Sachin". Sometimes its a creative "Indiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" "India". huh?

Sing the Plagiarized Song Cheer: This time I heard a new cheer. I was very troubled by this cheer. They were singing "Oye Oye" from that Tridev movie. I began to wonder what the bemused Aussie crowd would be thinking. They'd probably be thinking "No Gloria Estefan won't get us. Rhythm also won't get us. India won't get us too". Lord praise the Miami sound machine. What in the devil's name is this song being chanted for? Agreed its a change from the boring "we will rock you". But is it better?

A couple of times I heard the 'mann vaaasanai' of "gumtha lakadi gummaaaaava" and the sacred "gumtha lakadi gala gala gala gala gala ooh aaah oooh aaah". I felt terribly happy. But those cheers went away after a brief time. I think an audience that cannot develop a funny cheer automatically condemns the team to bad luck.

Speaking of luck and karma. I think the bad karma of S.K.Bansal is getting back to the Indian team. I was watching the game and thinking "if there is justice in this world, at least some karma - India must get out of jail in Sydney". I am now thinking Lord Varuna who showered us some good Karma to help us from certain to very probable defeats at Lords, Brisbane and New Lands wasn't timing his shots very well this year. He was a day early. I have never seen an umpire single-handed'ly swing a test match so decisively since the days of S.K Bansal and Cumberbatch. The scoreline should read India-0; Aus -1; Bucknor-1. Bhajji is getting a 3 match ban anyway, he might as well call Bucknor a 'monkey' and walk away from Oz Land happily. On the topic of racism, why don't we ban all of Australia because the word "mate" is a racially abusive word in Sanskrit (we could make it mean "son of a badava rascal").

Sunny Gavaskar used to say that the best way to frustrate a fielder is to hit a shot in such a way that fielder thinks there is hope of saving the boundary, he chases, he dives, he screeches but the ball should cross the boundary by a whisker. Apparently that is the ultimate frustration for a fielder. Imagine what the ultimate frustration for a crowd of poorly cheering Indians would be?

Friday, January 04, 2008

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth

You know! This guy has a life outside cricket. That is always good. I dont know what song he and sharukh are dancing to but SRK's get up is MJ'ish. Sreeshanth actually looks very stylish.

His previous attempt at dancing