Friday, October 11, 2013


The day has come. It is inevitable but hard to digest. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar will finally bid good bye to the game which he loved so much, which he was passionate about and which he breathed for life. This is not a blog about his achievement on the field but a tribute from a fan whom he idolized, who learnt to hold a bat watching him and whom learnt the game of cricket watching him. If I can say, I would say myself as Eklavya and Tendulkar my Dronacharya.

I never celebrated my birthday with so much joy but there were times when April 24th will sport a festive look in my room. I remember there were 5 posters of his that adorned my small room.

I never cried much for anything but I remember shedding some tears when you took India home in Sharjah in 1998, when you got out scooping a Saqlain Mushtaq delivery in Chennai in 1999, when you scored that brilliant century against Kenya at Bristol, when you were let down by bowlers in 2003 at Johannesburg, when you lifted the 2011 world cup and finally when you announced retirement.

I remember getting up at 3 in the morning just to watch you bat whenever India toured NZL, running upstairs after coming from school during those innumerable test matches played at home, refreshing cricinfo page loading in my slow GPRS connection to follow the scores, bunking college annual festival when India took on Aus in 2003 world cup, seeing you on the field from the nearby stands against the mighty Aussies and the low ranked Windies.

There are many innumerable moments in my life I can cherish but one that will always remain in my memory is the way you behaved yourself. Having achieved so much and still remain humble is the greatest trait which only you and Dravid possess and that is why from the mighty Aussies to Bangladesh feared you and respected you as well.  I will borrow this and say again that after Mahatma Gandhi no one united India as you did and on a personal note after Mahatma Gandhi no one inspired me as you did.

I can eulogize further but I stop here and say once again THANK YOU SACHIN for being the hero India wanted to see, for being the role model India wanted and for being a kind hearted human being you father wanted you to be.  


Friday, December 28, 2012


The more I try to refrain myself writing about cricket, the more I am induced to do it because something or the other happens in the Indian cricket team.  But I never expected to write about the retirement of the little master so soon even though it is inevitable. It is been almost a week since he retired from the shorter form of the game, but the fact is it has not yet sunk in. Anyway better late than never and I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU SACHIN.

Cricket even though is a team game, it was a one man show in India. As soon as Sachin gets out, India is bound to lose the remaining wickets in a heap. The 1996 world cup semifinal against SL is a perfect example of what was India in the early and mid 90’s. Until he was batting, the pitch looked a batting beauty and the moment he got out, India lost the remaining wickets as if the pitch turned in to a square turner. There are so many instances which prove “India is a land of billion people but its cricket team is a one man army called SACHIN.”  

Thank you Sachin for, you are an icon for many but for me, you are my Dronacharya. I consider myself as Eklavya who learnt the art of batting watching you bat. I am sure I am not alone and there are millions of Eklavya all around India. I remember people saying “I watch Sachin, not Cricket”.  There is not a better straight drive than the one coming out of the MRF bats which you hold. There cannot be a better back foot punch or the cover drive. I still remember the way you shook your head after hitting a six of Glenn McGrath in 2001. The straight six off Shane Warne in Sharjah, the pull shot over the mid wicket for six off Andrew Caddick, the six over third man off Shoaib Akhtar, the upper cut six off Brett Lee, I am sure there is no better sight than watching these shots again and again. Laxman is silky, Dada is god of off side, Dravid is rock solid and you are embodiment of all these 3 greats.  

Thank you Sachin for giving us such a wonderful memories. I have never seen a better human being who even after achieving so much is so humble and down to earth. I cried when I saw you shedding tears for the 26/11 victims, I cried when you were taken on the shoulders after lifting the world cup, but I should thank GOD for when you announced your retirement, I was not watching the TV channels, else I would have cried one more time. I don’t remember celebrating my birthday ever, but I have celebrated your birthday many times and the wallpapers and posters of yours in my room is a proof for this. I do not know how to end this but all I can say is THANKS ONCE AGAIN.

My brain wants you to retire from all forms of cricket for my heart pains seeing you struggle but somewhere deeper in my heart it wants you to continue playing test cricket for test cricket will be poorer without you.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Name is Rajinikanth

12/12/12 is a special day as this series will not appear in calendar for another 100 years. It is even more special for cine goers because it is the birthday of the biggest super star of India. Well there are no guesses on this as there is only one super star and there is only one Rajinikanth.

Tamil cinema has produced many legends over the past 5 decades or so. To start with M.K.Thyagaraja Baghavathar was the first super star of Tamil cinema. Following him, we had the likes of MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, Savitri, Nagesh, Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan to name a few. Each one of them is brilliant in their own way. Sivaji Ganesan, Nagesh and Kamal Hassan were the best method actors India has ever produced whereas MGR and Rajinikanth were massive crowd pullers. Even if they appear on the screen for 30 mins, the movie is a sure shot success. Such were their charisma that people used to throng the cinema hall to catch a glimpse of their hero first day first show.

Rajinikanth is probably the biggest of them all for a simple reason. His style and charisma is second to none. I started enjoying Rajini’s movies ever since I started watching movies. His movie Baasha has become a cult movie which ran successfully for more than 100 days. Annamalai, Padaiappa, Muthu, Sivaji to name a few were some of the biggest blockbusters in Tamil cinema. He is reported to be the second highest paid actor in Asia after Jackie Chan. Despite achieving success of this big, he remains down to earth and simple. It is his ability to treat everyone equally with respect regardless of his or her status earned him the respect all over the world. When he fell ill a year back, people all over Tamil Nadu prayed for his recovery is evident for people’s love and respect for this man.

It is not possible for me to answer the question, When did I become a Rajini fan. I am sure every person in Tamil Nadu is a fan of Rajinikanth. I still remember when he received the NDTV Indian of the Year award, the dignity and simplicity with which he spoke of truly moved me. I am sure people like me who have achieved none compared to what he has done are not that simple. From being a bus conductor to super star, his journey has been a tough one, but he travelled with ease taking success and failures in similar stride. That’s why he is the super star of India and that is why he is RAJINIKANTH.  If there is one smile that can move the whole of Tamil Nadu, that has to be of Rajinikanth. Long live Rajinikanth, long live super star.

Wishing you a Happy Birthday Thalaiva!!!!

My favourite Rajini Movie: Baasha

My favourite Rajini Song: Vetri Nichayam from Annamalai.

My favourite Rajini dialogue:அதிகமா ஆசை பாடுற ஆம்பளையும் அதிகமா கோபம் படுரை பொம்பளையும் நல்ல வாழந்ததா சரித்திரமே இல்ல.

So what is yours?

Friday, March 30, 2012

The legacy of corruption

My maternal grandfather was a freedom fighter who fought in his home town of Karur. He was called as Gandhi in his home town. My paternal grandfather was selected for National Defense Academy but he couldn’t join it due to some family constraint. So it is no surprise on why I love my country so much but pained by its present situation. Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister wanted India to be a socialist republic where state had control over the industries. The constitution also describes India as a Socialist country.  He instituted some of the biggest projects of his time for which we are reaping benefits even now. He believed in Science and was a visionary in his days. Unlike other Prime Ministers, he enjoyed people’s support right until his death. He continued the legacy of Congress after the death of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and other great leaders.  His vision for the country was authentic and growth oriented but what he could not able to foresee was the issue of corruption. He followed the British system of civil servants who were supposed to serve the ordinary citizens of this country. But they turned out to be the masters of the people and corruption seeped in to his cabinet as well.  His finance minister was forced to resign on the Mundhra Scandal. There were also reports of extreme corruption in procuring Army jeeps. Following the death of Nehru, Lal Bahdur Shastri was sworn in as the next prime minister.  His term did not last long enough as he died in a mystical circumstance at Tashkent in the then USSR. Later Nehru’s daughter Indra Gandhi sworn in as the Prime Minister of India. Corruption was a major issue during her tenure because of which she was disqualified by the Allahabad High Court on accounts of election malpractice. Citing law and order issue, she declared a state of emergency across India in 1975. Once the emergency was lifted after 2 years, she was defeated by the Janata Dal under the leadership of Morarji Desai. But the government did not last long and Indra Gandhi came in to power for the 4th time. During her tenure there were large scale corruption and undue favours were given to her son Sanjay Gandhi in setting up the Maruti Manufacturing plant. In 1984, she was killed by her own sikh body guards in retaliation to operation blue star. Following the trend set by Indra Gandhi, her son Rajiv was sworn in as Prime Minister of India. He too was seen as the visionary and clean and initiated several projects in Telecom and IT sector. But corruption got in to his government too in procuring the Bofors Gun from Sweden.  When the finance minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh exposed the large scale corruption involved, he was expelled from the government.

After Rajiv’s death, congress once again came to power and P.V.Narasimha Rao was chosen to become the Prime Minister of India. He is the first congress PM from non-Nehru family. This term changed the face of India among the world after the historic budget speech by Manmohan Singh. India is now a free economy and lots of investments poured in. With the investments, the magnitude of corruption also increased when the prime minister was charge sheeted. The next government under A.B.Vajpayee didn’t last long for unable to prove majority. This was a turbulent period for India as elections happened almost every 15 months. H.D.Deve Gowda became the prime minister under the United Front government. Born in to a small farming family, he is now a millionaire. It is still a mystery for me on how he earned so much being in political life. Inder Kumar Gujral was made the next prime minister of India following some issue with the current PM Deve Gowda. This government too did not last long and then came the BJP government. The government lasted for only 13 months and elections were conducted again. This time the NDA under the able leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed the government for the 3rd time. Similar to other Prime Ministers there were some developments and so as corruption. Bangaru Lakshmanan, BJP’s president was caught on camera by Tehelka accepting bribes for a defence deal. Few would know that what is going to follow is the mother of all corruption. In 2004, after the UPA government formed the government Manmohan Singh was made the Prime Minister for the first time. This government was credited to bring in lots of welfare schemes which helped poor. This government is also credit for some of the biggest scandals ever to happen in India. Dayanidhi Maran forced Aircel to sell it to Astro Network of Malaysia in return for investment in Sun Network owned by his brother Kalanidhi. T.R.Baalu was credited with some big corruption in some of the shipping and highway projects. Madhu Khoda, Jahrkand’s chief minister was arrested for high level corruption. Due to some family feud, Dayanidhi Maran was replaced by Andimuthu Raja as telecom and IT minister. He went on to become the big daddy of corrupt ministers when he sold 2G spectrum to ineligible players in 2008 at 2001 price. This happened even after there was an agreement in auctioning the spectrum. CAG report calculated the loss to government to tune of 1.7 lakh crore rupees. Suresh Kalmadi was involved in large scale corruption during the 2010 commonwealth games, which tarnished the image of India across the globe. Coal blocks were given to private players at below market price, Rs 14 crore as bribe for the Army chief for the purchase of Tetra-Vectra trucks for the Army, illegal mining scam in Karnataka the list continues.

Had the legacy of creating world class institutions of Nehruvian era continued, India too would have had its own Harvard and Stanford, had the legacy of creating a second green revolution of Shastri era continued we would not have had a single person without food. Had the legacy of creating world class IT and telecom infrastructure of Rajiv era continued we would have had our own Microsoft and Google, but what we followed is the legacy of Mundhra, Bofors, Hawala and Tehelka  which is ruining this great country.

The country which gave this world its first university, the country which showed this world to move beyond 9, the country which showed this world to perform surgery is currently in shambles. Unfortunately, the country which showed the world the likes of Rama, Yudishtra, Harischandra is battling with the likes of Rajas and Kalmadis.

The legacy follows but it pains me to know that it is following a wrong legacy. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Food Security Bill

After few stints with my travel diary, I am back with one of my favorite topics, Politics. The government has introduced the food security bill in Parliament today along with the burden of Rs 1,00,000 crores of burden on the Finance Minister. Surrounded by corruption scandals and lack of political reforms, the government needed something to talk about in the upcoming state elections in UP, Gujarat and Punjab, 3 of the most important elections in the current political scenario. The food security bill is the brainchild of the National Advisory Council headed by Sonia Gandhi. After NREGA, this is the second biggest social security policy advised by the council. If the bill is passed, then it will feed rice/wheat/millet to almost 65% of the Indian population at a subsidized rate of Rs 1/2/3 based on different levels of poverty. Personally I appreciate the government for bringing in such a bill which hopes to wipe out the malnutrition and starvation across the country. However, the government once again proved that how ineffective and inefficient in planning such a important bill. There are issues of corruption, infrastructure, supply issues and on top of it is the global economic scenario. 

Before implementing the bill, it is important to identify the people who are considered as living below poverty line and above poverty line. We as such do not have a consensus on how to define the poverty line. Should it be based on the money a family earns per day or should it be based on the nutrition level they consume. Once identified, I am not sure how effective the distribution will be. With the history of high level corruption every where, it is important that the government should ensure that the amount of money allocated towards the programme is reaches fully to the public. Rahul Gandhi himself have acknowledged that most of the money allotted for the welfare schemes does not reach the public. The government do not have any mechanism to check corruption and with a weak Lokpal Bill it is planning to introduce, I am not very confident that the government will be able to achieve the target of feeding all the Indians. 

The public distribution system itself is a failure in most of the states with lots of grains intended for the public is smuggled and sold else where. Apart from this, statistics says that almost 40% of the agricultural products produced in India is being wasted because of poor infrastructure.Most of us have seen how wheat grains were stored in open and allowed to rot in Punjab due to lack of storage space. There are not enough proper warehouses to store the procured grains. Moreover, the quality of the food products is identified based on the number of days it takes to reach the retailers from farmers. The more the days travelled, the less the quality and I am sure with the kind of roads and infrastructure we have it will take more time to reach the retailer.Ultimately government will be left with low quality food grains to be distributed to the poor. 

India is land of billion people and to feed them requires enormous supply. Currently, Southern states, Punjab and Haryana have been producing surplus and feeding almost the entire nation. Taking in to account of the unpredictable nature of monsoons in India, we do not know when will we be hit by water problems and with lots of disputes on water down South, we do not know how are we going to get the supply for the entire nation. India seldom enter the international markets to procure food grains and if the necessity comes for India to procure from the International Market, it is going to definitely inflate the already high food inflation. I am sure government would have thought about it before introducing this bill, but I am sure this is not the right time to introduce the bill in the Parliament. The economy has slowed down in India and in 2012, if the euro zone crisis worsens, it will have a major impact in Indian economy as well. I feel government should wait till we come back to 9% growth levels before introducing this bill in the Parliament. We have already seen farmers protesting against the government on the MSP. In fact farmers in Andhra Pradesh are planning to have a crop holiday as mark of protest against the government. When the government is not able address the issue of those who are feeding the nation, what is the point in the introducing the bill. 

Indian government has taken a short cut way to come back to power. Being dormant for 3 years with elections are around the corner all of a sudden the government seems to bring in all the populist measures without having any major discussion in the parliament. Personally I have lost the confidence on these politicians but there are still people whom I can bank on to see my country a developed one.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Continuing my travel blog, next in the list is Singapore. The Lion City is one of the best cities to live and by any standard it is one of the best cities to visit on a holiday. There are plenty of places to visit in Singapore and contrary to the size of the city it takes at least a week to see all the places here. The most important part of this is all these places can be accessed through public transport itself and there is really no need to take a taxi to reach these places unless you have time constraints

Singapore Zoo/Night Safari: This is a cool place for all the animal lovers. There are plenty of different types of animals which you would not see in your native country (at least for me). Polar bears, Orangutans, Proboscis Monkeys, Baboons, Sea Cow, and Sea Lions are some which will attract the visitors for sure. More than the animals, it is the habitat which is designed to be more like a natural habitat is commendable. Night Safari is in the same campus of that of Zoo and it opens at 6.30PM. The visitors can experience the various habitats of different animals sitting on a tram. Apart from seeing the animals, the different type of shows which highlights the sufferings of animals at the hands of humans is well highlighted and appreciated.

Jurong Bird Park:  Magnificent is the word I would use for this place. One gets to see the most colorful species of birds here. Also one can witness the most beautiful creatures of the world here. The Pelicans, Flamingos, Penguins, Peacock, Eagle, Vultures, Parrots, Toucans and Hornbills can been seen at their best here. But the most important of all is the Lory Loft, where one can feed the Lories for a meager amount of S$2. There is nothing more beautiful than the colorful Lories sitting on your body for a cup of honey.

Sentosa Island:  A separate island connected to the island of Singapore. This is an entertainment place and it requires at least 3/4th of the day to see this place. There are lots of important places to be seen here and the most important ones are the Merlion, Underwater World, Dolphin Lagoon, Siloso Beach and Songs of the Sea.  Apart from this there are lots of adventurous sports, 4D movie, Fort Siloso, and other beaches of Sentosa.

Universal Studios: Between Singapore main land and Sentosa is the world famous Universal Studios. It is a theme park based on the movies of Universal Pictures. This place is expensive but will be really a good experience for tourists.

Botanical Garden: The National Orchid Garden located at the heart of Singapore is certainly not be missed by the tourists. There are many varieties of Orchids one can see here and it is a very good place for Photographers. The colorful Orchids is perfect example of the creativity of God.

Raffles Place/Marina Bay: The downtown Singapore, this place shows why Singapore is regarded as the financial powerhouse of the world. Sky scrapers by the Singapore river which houses almost all the financial giants, beautiful bridges, Merlion, Marina Bay Sands, Marine Barrage, Esplanade Hall, Singapore Parliament, Supreme Court and finally restaurants by the river. The most happening place in the weekends and certainly one of the most beautiful places in Singapore.

Apart from the places I have mentioned above there are numerous places to be seen which I list below

Orchard Road (best seen during the Christmas when it will be decorated with lights)
Little India
China Town (one of the best places for shopping)
Asian Civilization Museum and the Singapore National Museum
Chinese Garden

How to get going:

Travelling with in Singapore is very easy as the entire island is very well connected with public transportation. There is the SMRT/SBS Buses and the Trains which go to almost all the places in Singapore.
Singapore is best visited in the month of April-May where there will be no or little rain. The climate here is tropical and one does not know when it rains. So it is advisable to carry an umbrella whenever one goes out.

Friday, September 30, 2011


Continuing on my travel blog, next in the list is Mysore. The heritage city is where I started my professional career and I enjoyed every bit of it. Mysore is known for its palaces and the famous Chamudeshwari Temple.

Mysore is located in the southern state of Karnataka and one of the biggest cities of the state. Mysore has got a domestic airport and the nearest international airport in the Bangalore International airport. Mysore is easily reached from Bangalore and the journey takes around 2 to 3 hours.

Mysore is well connected by Bus and Train to most important places of the country.
The most important aspect of the city is it is one of the cleanest cities in India only next to Mohali. The climate is Mysore is hot in the summer and it gets cold during the winter.

Below are some of the most important places to be seen in Mysore

Mysore Palace, beautifully lit at the night
The Mysore Palace: The well-known Mysore Palace is the official residence of the erstwhile royal family, the Wodeyars. The palace is built in the heart of the city and it is huge and grand. Any one visiting the palace for the first time will certainly be in awe given the majestic construction and size. A person needs atleast 3 hours to see the whole of this palace. Inside the palace is the rich artifacts, prizes and gifts given to the Rajas and most beautiful of them all is the durbar hall, something similar to court. The paintings on the wall certainly add attraction to the already beautiful palace. The palace is best seen during the Dussera when the famous 10 day Dussera festival takes place here. The palace will be lit beautifully and it will be a treat to watch the elephants decorated with various ornaments.

Mysore Zoo: One of the attractions of the city is the Mysore Zoo. It is beautiful and the major attraction is the Gorilla. Mysore Zoo is the only zoo in India which has Gorilla. The zoo is closed on Tuesdays and it is not far away from the palace.

Chamudeshwari Temple: The famous Chamundeshwari Temple on top of the Chamundi Hills should certainly be on the list of must see places in Mysore. Certainly one of the most beautiful temples I have seen. On top of the hill gives a beautiful panoramic view of the city. On the way to temple is the big Nandi the bull which is believed to be growing in size.

Brindavan Gardens
Brindavan Gardens: One of the earliest and most beautiful gardens of India, the Brindavan Gardens. It is located near the Krishna Raja Sagar dam in the outskirts of Mysore. The best time to visit the garden is in the evening when it is pleasant and one can witness the dancing fountain late in the night. When I visited the place, it was bit dirty with plastic covers and I hope the authorities have taken corrective actions and have cleansed the garden. Its high time plastic is banned within the garden premises or at least enough dust bins be provided so that the public do not pollute the beautiful garden.

Devaraja URS Road: The road which leads to the palace is the place to be in the evening. Buzzing with people everywhere, this is the place for shopping in Mysore. The famous Mysore Silk is sold in almost every shop that is there in this road. Some of them are government subsidies while some are private shops.  Apart from this, there are lots of places to eat (both veg and non veg) in and around this place.

Tipu Sultan Summer Palace
Srirangapatnam: The land of Tipu Sultan, Srirangapatnam is hardly 30 mins drive from Mysore and certainly the place to be. There are loads of places to see here like the Tipu Sultan Palace, the Ranganathar temple, sangamam, the place where Tipu Sultan’s body was found by the British, the underground prison, Gumbaz (the tomb of Tipu Sultan, Hyder Ali and his mom) and Nimishambal Temple.  Atleast 3/4th of the day is required to see the whole of this place and I would suggest reaching this place in the morning. On visiting the place one would get to know the valor of the ‘Tiger’ Tipu Sultan and his father Hyder Ali.

Travelling with in Mysore is easy as it is not as big as Bangalore and lots of autos are available and should be enough to cover all the places. However, I would suggest not to hire auto to Brindavan Gardens and Srirangapatnam as they will charge exorbitant prices to these places.

Mysore is best visited in the month of October during Dussera when one can see the palace at its best. The climate during January and February is superb and is an ideal time for those who do not mind missing the Dussera festival.