Monday, September 3, 2012

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Men in Blue and the 'blue' recipe for success

Will the Indian cricket team be given a 'A' certificate now ?

Coach Gary Kirsten's sex mantra to boost the team's competitiveness has at least one positive -- the players can make amends for a failure on the field with a solid performance off it.

Ever since the extraordinary document found its way to the media, it has become the subject of much amusement and discussion in the cricket fraternity.

No wonder, many teams now want Kirsten to be their coach.

Kirsten, a former South African opening batsman, has handed out a four-part document which broadly envisages an active sexual life and disciplined food and sporting habits, aimed at helping the Indian players on and off the field.

The document, the contents of which are quite unusual, looks back into India's history, its food habits and its lack of aggression.

"From a psychological (body) perspective having sex increases testosterone levels, which causes an increase in strength, energy, aggression and competitiveness.

"Conversely, not having sex for a few months causes a significant drop in testosterone level in both males and females with the corresponding passiveness and decrease in aggression," the dossier circulated to the players says.

The document, jointly prepared by Kirsten and mental conditioning expert Paddy Upton, advice the cricketers 'to go solo' if they didn't have any partner.

"If you want sex but do not have someone to share it with, one option is to go solo whilst imagining you have a partner or a few partners who are as beautiful as you wish to imagine. No pillow talk and no hugging required ... just roll over and go to sleep," the document advises.

No Indian team in the past had been given such an open license to indulge in sex during tours and it now remains to be seen whether increasing testosterone levels will actually fetch more runs and wickets.

I wonder what would have been the reaction of the players when they saw the dossier.

Well, even if the on-fields results fail to reach dizzying heights, Kirsten will at least be remembered for giving a new connotation to the phrase 'Men in Blue'.

Picture: PTI

Thursday, September 17, 2009

bande mataram

Bande Mataram and a lecture on the hidden meaning of that song
by Sri Aurobindo (1908 & 1909)

Bande Mataram

Song in Bengali of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
translation by Sri Aurobindo (November 20, 1909)

Mother, I bow to thee!
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleams,
Cool with thy winds of delight,
Dark fields waving, Mother of might,
Mother free.
Glory of moonlight dreams
Over thy branches and lordly streams,
Clad in thy blossoming trees,
Mother, giver of ease,
Laughing low and sweet!
Mother, I kiss thy feet,
Speaker sweet and low!
Mother, to thee I bow.

Who hath said thou art weak in thy lands,
When the swords flash out in twice seventy million hands
And seventy millions voices roar
Thy dreadful name from shore to shore?
With many strengths who art mighty and stored,
To thee I call, Mother and Lord!
Thou who savest, arise and save!
To her I cry who ever her foemen drave
Back from plain and sea
And shook herself free.
Thou art wisdom, thou art law,
Thou our heart, our soul, our breath,
Thou the love divine, the awe
In our hearts that conquers death.
Thine the strength that nerves the arm,
Thine the beauty, thine the charm.
Every image made divine
In our temples is but thine.

Thou art Durga, Lady and Queen,
With her hands that strike and her swords of sheen,
Thou art Lakshmi lotus-throned,
Pure and perfect without peer,
Mother, lend thine ear.
Rich with thy hurrying streams,
Bright with thy orchard gleams,
Dark of hue, O candid-fair
In thy soul, with jewelled hair
And thy glorious smile divine,
Loveliest of all earthly lands,
Showering wealth from well-stored hands!
Mother, mother mine!
Mother sweet, I bow to thee,
Mother great and free.

in SABCL, Volume 8 "Translations, From Sanskrit and Other Languages"
(and in Collected Poems 2, page 227) published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram - Pondicherry. diffusion by SABDA

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Austerity, economy class and the common man

There's a mad rush among 'netas' to fly economy class in flights these days. Some have gone a step further and have started taking trains. These are unsual times for our comfort-loving politicans...

The Congress party's austerity drive, or rather the overdrive, is spreading like a wildfire. Every leader worth his salt wants to prove his loyalty by making their 'economy class' travel plans public.

But just spare a thought for the common man. The grand show of austerity has come with a price for them.

I am not a frequent flyer but I shudder to think if I have to board one such flight where a VVIP will be sitting in the economy class. Apart from the additional security hassles, every movement will be watched by the over-zealous security men who will no doubt accompany the VVIP. We may just have to sit like a statue.

It is learnt that some Ministers and Congressmen are not too happy for stretching the austerity drive to such ridiculous levels. But who dares to defy the diktat.

A minister found himself in a spot of bother because of his Twitter message "in cattle class out of solidarity with our holy cows". Needless to say, he was immediately pulled up for the remark.

But have these austerity measures helped in curbing expenses ? Is it really helping in any way ? Ask the common man, and you will get the answer.

I do believe that high-flying politicians need to be austere in their lifestyles, but just by flying economy class will not make much of a difference. There are surely better and more effective ways of doing it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Twenty20 has helped me to finetune skills : Brett Lee

Twenty20 might be considered a bowler's nightmare but for Australian speedster Brett Lee it's a format which has helped him finetune his skills.

"Twenty20 has developed a range of new skills. The yorker, slower ball and slower ball bouncer have all become more regular," Lee said.

Lee will be in India next month to play for New South Wales in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 tournament. The high-profile tournament will be held at three venues -- New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad -- from October 8 to 23.

The pacer said teams without stars are likely to do better than the star-studded ones in the tournament as there won't be any pressure on them.

"I think teams that don't feature the 'stars' will have an advantage in this tournament. There is more pressure on the teams that are expected to win! We have a good balance in the NSW Team," he said.

The 32-year-old speedster, who is battling to save his place in the Australian Test side after a string of ordinary performances and injuries, said he likes to intimidate batsmen to get the psychological edge.

"If most batsmen don't like facing me then this is an obvious advantage. Anything that puts other thoughts into a batsman's head is only going to assist the bowler. Like any bowler, I gain confidence if I know I am attacking a batsman," Lee said.

His love for all things Indian is well known and Lee says it is fun to play in the country where noisy spectators add excitement to the proceedings.

"The Indian spectator is one of the most knowledgeable of all cricket crowds. They are passionate but support good play, a little more for an Indian player though. I love the constant noise when playing in India," he said.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bhajji Ko Gussa Kyon Ata Hai ?

Harbhajan Singh has done it again.
The feisty spinner, who has now made it a habit to find himself in one controversy after another, has delivered a strong message to his tri-series opponents Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
Bhajji has been using his hands to good effect of late and it was the turn of an unsuspecting cameraman in Bangalore to bear the brunt of his foul mood. Fortunately it was only a jab...Lucky man, this cameraman.

I dont know what the Indians practiced at the recent preparatory camp in Bangalore, but the quick jab executed by Bhajji will make an ace pugilist like Vijender Singh proud.

True, Bhajji may have lost his cool after hordes of mediamen virtually mobbed him at the airport and a camera hit him on the head. It was just an accidental collision, but our star player thought it otherwise. Is this not a part and parcel of celebrity status ?

It does not take much for Bhajji to whip himself into a combative mood. His dubious disciplinary record shows that cricket's concept of being a 'gentleman's game' has not appealed to him much.

Well, this incident may help Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men in Sri Lanka. Bhajji's 'jab show' may leave the opposition teams redrawing their strategies and opting for extra protection. Will it be a 'doosra' or a jab ?
Picture: PTI

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oye Sehwag, don't want to be captain ?

India's dashing opener Virender Sehwag has dropped a bombshell. He doesn't want to be the captain of the Indian cricket team.

Like his uncomplicated batting style, a candid Viru came out with a suggestion that a new face should be given the responsibility of vice-captaincy so that he can be groomed to take the reins after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"I don't want to be a captain, I have already told selectors about it. I have said that a new player should be made vice-captain and be groomed to be a captain," Sehwag told a television channel.

But the question is has Viru ever been offered the captaincy ? Why should he talk about not being interested in captaincy when there is no such proposal at all.

True, Sehwag has been the vice-captain for some time now but Indian cricket, like the game itself, is known for its glorious uncertainty. There have been innumerable instance when long-standing vice-captains have been overlooked for the hot seat. Ask Yuvraj Singh, a favourite vice captain for long till he lost that position also.

Every cricketer harbours the dream of leading the country at some stage of his career. Some say it openly while others just keep it to themselves, but there is no doubt that everyone has this desire.

Sehwag does things differently. It is all fine to give up the lure of captaincy to concentrate on batting. But is there something else ?

Viru also lavishly praised Sourav Ganguly as the best ever captain for India but not a word was mentioned about current skipper Dhoni. Will this trigger a fresh round of speculation of a rift between the two ?