Monday, January 7, 2008

23 & 3 & 1...Another Rat Race

Enough said. Period.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Sad Rant

Just when you think the pall of hypocrisy and contorted views can't cast a longer shadow upon our supposedly educated society, something comes along which perfectly well makes you believe otherwise. Let me tell you a couple of examples that I encountered over the end-semester break...

December 23 (or so I remember)...I was watching the Gujarat elections' coverage on CNN-IBN. One of the 'experts' being questioned was Teesta Sethlavar - well,I might have got the spelling wrong...don't care about the spelling though since I guess the name would sound right enough) - a self proclaimed social activist. A question posed to her spoke of why the only human rights violations during the 2002 Gujarat riots are the only violations they saw. The question went on to ask about the lack of action of these very human rights activist groups in the case of the blatant atrocities that were committed in Nandigram. The reply didn't surprise me. The reply could have made the best diplomat proud in the way the question was dodged.

January 7, today...Sachin Tendulkar scored a hundred at the SCG, and the same media, which was vilifying him for such reasons like not scoring/failing under pressure/scoring too slowly/getting out in the 90s and what not, showered upon him the same adulation reserved for demi-gods who can do no wrong? And funnily enough, we had all these discussions popping up about whether Tendulkar now deserves to be awarded the Bharat Ratna...And of course, then we have people who were vehemently opposing the possibility of the government ever taking such a step (a social activist was one of them, surprise surprise!!!!)

Now, don't get me wrong! But there are two fundamental flaws in the topic of discussion itself. First, the Bharat Ratna should be awarded to persons in recognition of a life time of work. In Tendulkar's case, he might be nearing the end of his career but he's certainly not hung up his bat. The honour can wait...but having said that, I must also emphasize that the honour must be given, which brings me to the second flaw in the discussion...

When we have people who grossly underestimate the power of a particular medium talking about achievements of a person engaging himself in that medium, we get senseless reasons being thrown about which only succeed at tarnishing not only the person's achievements but also the medium itself.

Sport is a medium that transcends the physical and psychological sphere. The joy and inspiration that we, as plain and simple supporters of a sports team, get out of watching a genius wield his bat around like a wand, cannot be quantified in terms of sheer direct influence on a person's life. Isn't the example of the heights attained by Sachin through sheer hard labour an inspiration to everybody who wishes to achieve something in life? Isn't the example of his undying hunger on the cricket field a lesson in keeping the flame of desire glowing inside one's mind?

It is time we looked beyond strictly defined rules and analyzed the real influence...the real service done by a person to the nation...Sachin has done a service to the nation which few in post-independence India can claim to have done...he's made us proud of being Indians...he's given us a reason to hold our collective breaths when he steps out to bat...he's given the great Indian middle class a reason to believe that the sky is the limit for their achievements...

It is for only this reason that Tendulkar must be honoured...but only when the time is right (and that time certainly isn't now)

Unfortunately, the media has made this issue a media circus. No doubt, it is going to be the same group of people who will be the first to vilify Sachin once again when the going gets tough.

Sadly, it is this hypocrisy that is gnawing at our collective conscience. People might never have liked others climbing ladders to success even while they themselves lingered on the lower rungs, but now our society and its components have begun doing something that's even worse...We've begun pulling down those who show the spirit, the endeavour and the industry to attempt to climb the ladder.

Maybe it is time for change...Probably it's upto us to find a way to make sure that the values we treasure don't get lost in a race for instant popularity...Probably it is upto us to concentrate on our own success - and that too, without trying to vilify and harm others.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Year Gone...What About Manchester United?


Well, it's now exactly a year since I started off on this little thingy called Blogger. Well, I'm not really going to go all bleary-eyed and rant about whatever I've written over the past year. No, not at all!

I'm just going to write on a topic that was also the subject of my first post - Manchester United Football Club.

Last time I wrote about United, we were at the top of the Barclays Premier League, chasing a title that we once considered ours by right but one which we hadn't been able to claim for the last four years. This time, the time of the year is the same...the number of games played by each club in the league is the same...only United is going for its tenth Premier League crown.

So, with half of the season gone, I thought let me take a look (as a fan) at what all United have done (or not done) during this campaign.

  1. Barclays Premier League: We currently lie second in the table, two points behind the leaders Arsenal. Not bad, although the loss at West Ham United might come back to haunt us. Still, with as many as 18 games to go, it's a long race ahead. Only, Arsenal don't seem willing to let the lead slip (unlike Chelsea who were quite charitable during the festive season last time around)
  2. FA Cup: A 3rd round tie against Aston Villa beckons.
  3. Champions' League: The team did brilliantly to make light of a potentially tricky group to qualify on top. Lyon in the pre-quarters will be a completely different proposition (in a difficult sort of sense) but man for man, it seems like Lyon should be more afraid of United.
  4. League Cup: Another early exit meant that questions were once again raised about the quality of United's youngsters. Okay, I might not be an authority on United youth teams, but I reckon we are expecting too much from the club's youngsters. The specter of the Class of '92 hangs over these lads and that probably, is the reason why the pressure is getting to them.

Overall though, the team is looking good. The new boys Tevez, Nani, Anderson and Hargreaves have settled remarkably well. Ronaldo is still in awesome form, and the defense looks good too. Fergie too seems quite ready for battle and even more glory, despite being 66 years young as a man and 21 years old as a manager. So, I guess there is only one thing left to say: "Go For It United."

Here's a list of some of the best action of the season thus far according to me:

BEST MATCH: Definitely a toss-up between the match against Aston Villa (away) and the match against Middlesborough (home). Will probably go for the Boro match, since the one against Villa ended up with United against nine men.


  1. Christiano Ronaldo : 18 goals. Enough said.
  2. Nemanja Vidic : Best defensive record in the league. Enough said again.
  3. Anderson : I never thought I'd say this, but at last United seem like they've got a genuine contender to replace Paul Scholes after he retires. If only he adds an added dimension of scoring regularly to his game, Anderson could be United's midfield lynchpin for the future.


  1. Carlos Tevez against Birmingham City (H)
  2. Carlos Tevez against Middlesborough (H)
  3. Nani against Tottenham (H)