Alpha dogs and blinking theory!?

Oh my god! I thought these guys were sportsmen. But for Mr Hayden, it clearly is more than that. Here is his answer to “Away from the field, how were the Indians?” question (full intvw here):

They were reasonably pleasant. At the end of the day, two alpha dogs are never going to sit in a cage and not look at each other. It is what it is. The way I see my cricket, if you’re the other alpha dog, you better not blink. I feel I’d be letting down my country if I was to blink. In terms of general human relations, I wouldn’t say there was ill-feeling. India had four months out here. We rarely saw them other than at the ground. It’s play and get back into the cage.

What the hell? What exactly is ‘blinking’, how does it make him let his country down? And whats this “play and get back into the cage” stuff? Moreover, how did he conclude that Indians were ‘reasonably pleasant’ when he rarely ‘saw them other than at the ground’? Continue reading

The news: Jodha Akbar, Bus Permit etc

They spotted Bhajji eating bananas, and thus started the latest round of monkey gesture allegations. From now on, a program director from Animal Planet channel will accompany media-men as they keep watch on Bhajji, his habits and gestures. Bihar will boycott all movies made in Bollywood, and Raj Thackrey, in turn, will force Mumbai-wallahs to make only Marathi movies. Whatever.

In the middle of all the news in papers over last month, here are 2 smallish items I have hand-picked for you. One of them said that Supreme Court has prevented UP state government from stopping screening of Jodha-Akbar in that state. UP banned Jodha Akbar for the most un-democratic of reasons – “to maintain law and order”. Wonder whose job it is to maintain law and order, and the right to freedom of expression? SC judges agreed, though March 14 is when we will hear more on this interesting petition.

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Ishant and Craig, 2008 and 1986

I don’t know why, but the the win today (Ind vs Aus), reminded me of a very similar ODI that was played in Brisbane, Australia about 22 years ago. India managed only 161, Australia surpassed that thanks to a nice 6th wicket partnership between Steve Waugh and one Mr Greg Mathews. Back then in early 1986, India had some reputation as winners of 83 and 85 ODI World Cups, a series against England at England, and they almost beat Australia in Australia in the preceding test series (rain saved Aus from losing Test #2). As we realized a few years later, Australia was on its way up then and and India was sliding down (just check the ODI and test records of the two teams from 1986 till 1996). That 1985/86 series saw a guy named Craig McDermott emerge as the lead strike bowler for Australia. Its Ishant Sharma right now. Steve Waugh turned out to be a fine captain just a few years down the line, and we might just see M S Dhoni turn out to be similar.

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So really, who owns Hindi?

Alright, okay. So I am a North Indian, and someday I will be branded a Northie and questioned in Bangalore as well. I can take that, and would understand the sentiments and politics around that. But, at times, when I am called a Hindi guy as opposed to a Northie, I pause and think.

Would you have guessed that both my grand-moms (ajjis, as in daadi and naani) found it hard to talk in Hindi? One used angika, and another maithili, both of which I can describe as languages that sit somewhere between Bengali and Hindi. Yeah, one is more of a dialect today, but maithili has well documented grammar and literary history as well.

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Why do they do it?

“Richmond Circle”, I said as I hopped on to the yellow-black three wheeler. The driver cut across a crowded road to do a flashy U-turn inviting glares and screeches from other motorists. But I knew my journey had begun and I was in safe hands. This is one set of service providers that respects its customers’ time, isn’t it.

While admiring his deft maneuvering skills, pavement hopping and well timed red-signal jumps, I wished for more entertainment inside the auto. Inhaling soot was the only option – I don’t like smoking – so I started watching the meter. Time ticked slowly, so did the meter, but after a few minutes, I witnessed it. 1.50, 1.60, 1.70 … 1.90, all in about two seconds.

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Story of Bangalore traffic – in pictures

This is how it begins, so I told you a few months ago. Nothing but a no-parking sign in June. Small shops sprung up in August. September: two wheelers parked and pedestrians off the pavements. Now, no-parking sign is almost gone, and road-side parking is common on Varthur road, right next to the busy Kundalahalli intersection. Unregulated construction, irresponsible small businesses who think roads are free parking space, motorists with scant respect for no-parking signs, and no enforcement of pedestrian rights (pavements are almost gone) – this my friends, is the story of most roads and intersections in Bangalore with annoying traffic congestions. Pictures tell the story – Aug, Sep and Jan -

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Cricket – Protest the Gandhian way

How about this. Indian team goes ahead and plays the Perth test, but protests in this Gandhian style. It will work a lot better if Kumble wins the toss and bats first.

First delivery, straight and full from Lee, Jaffer lets it go and hit the off stump. Ditto, does Laxman. 2 for none, in over number one. Aussies are amused, whats happening? They sense foul play, so they stop bowling straight. Never mind, there are other ways of getting out, like hit-wicket, or spooning a catch. India all out for less than 10 – damn those wides and no balls – and could do it in the second inning as well. The end result would be what Australia try so hard for, a victory for them. Isn’t it?

What would ICC do then? Expect an accusation, India didn’t play with the spirit of the game. And then will begin the all-settling debate on what exactly is this spirit of the game.

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