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Archive for September, 2005

Slimes of India: Keeping everybody happy

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So what’s the latest slime at The Times of India?

After being overly concerned about Sania Mirza’s sleeveless shirt and her skirt, could there be any better masala for The Times of India than the Chappell-Ganguly row!

I have always said- Good publications take a stand and stick to it.

But what does TOI do?

On wednesday, reports this in the print edition:

…and taking a U-Turn in under 24 hours, has this on the TOI website, Thursday:

How convenient! What a way to make everybody happy!

Sick, cheap journalism.

Written by aditya kumar

September 29th, 2005 at 11:36 pm

Posted in Cricket,Society

7 seconds

with 8 comments

I see the people who cross the roads in Bangalore. They try to sneak in within gaps of the never ending traffic. They look for opportunities that last a few seconds to cross the road. They run. I see that and I wonder why this seemingly simple act of crossing a road is literally life threatening.

And once someone takes the wrong foot ahead I see that person reaching out and making eye contact with the driver of the vehicle with straight arms and hands open, signifying a last, lame attempt to put an end to the motorist’s speed and almost begging all of them to slow down, have mercy… “I just want to cross this road; It won’t take more than 7 seconds. Please.”

I know this happens, I do it myself. Many times a day. Each time someone or the other on the road puts the wrong foot ahead and is trapped in the middle of the road. The final, “begging-like” rescue act is executed. Some get hit, most do not.

I can safely claim that being a pedestrian in this city is more stressful than being behind the wheel. It may sound strange, but I am serious. I was once hit by a speeding autorickshaw. I was not on the road, I was on the footpath. Apparently, the driver thought all his counterparts on the road were foolishly waiting for the signal to turn green so he took on the footpath.

An article that was published sometime ago in Deccan Herald claimed the city had to be made “Pedestrian Friendly” and suggested measures for it by modifying and making provisions in the city’s “Infrastructure”. I am not sure. I think the problem lies somewhere else.

In a city that has it’s infrastructure crumbling to an extent that echos are heard as far as Hongkong– “Pedestrian friendliness” is a concept unheard of.

In fact, I do not have a vehicle and since I have to walk everyday, what I face on the street as a pedestrian could be termed as “Pedestrian enmity”. When the signal turns Green- the vehicles are not merely “machines that carry human beings”- they become those highly motivated soldiers of the army and charge in as if they are at war.

So, you see, it is not any “infrastructure” problem at all- If a driver chooses not to slow down for the pedestrian who is in the middle of the road, crossing it, there is less the “Infrastructure” can do about it.

Is it so difficult for the speeding driver to realise that he was once a pedestrian? Or should the driving schools also teach that pedestrians are not to be run over and saving those 7 seconds are not worth threatening a life?

Written by aditya kumar

September 26th, 2005 at 12:36 am

Posted in Bangalore,Society

When Truman was a little boy

with 5 comments

Thanks to Google Earth and the satellite up above, I was literally able to locate my home, the one I spent my childhood in. This was off-shore Bombay and a place so serene that you have to be a part of it to imagine it. I stayed here for 6 years and at the end of it I had travelled more on sea than land.



And of course, below is the magnificent Bombay. Seen from 22000 feet above.


Written by aditya kumar

September 24th, 2005 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Personal

From the Archives: Sunday Post

with 7 comments

From the Truman Archives.

This post, was originally written on Sunday, the 23rd of January 2005. It has nothing much to offer but an account of my almost ninety minutes stay at a cafe, during which I almost completed a really wonderful book, while keeping a keen eye on the surroundings. Some of the readers might have gone through it before since I had circulated this on email.

Sunday was good to spend. I was about 100 pages away to end Amitav Ghosh’s “The Hungry Tide” and thought it would be nothing better to read the ending pages over a coffee. So I went to MG Road and there Barista has an open air cafe.

I have developed this habit of stopping by at every bookstore that I see. Be it a street vendor or a big bookshop I visit it, if it’s on my way and if time permits. If I have a book in my hand, the bookstore owner always(well, almost) requests me to let him have a look at it. While he looks at it, his face expression changes to give the impression that he is an expert in literature, a scholar who spends more time reading than anything else. While he flips the pages of the book, it seems he is understanding every word that flew by, every page flipped achieved something for him that previously he could not. And maybe it really did. Trying to keep himself updated about the business he is in. Trying to be with the times I guess. Nothing wrong in that. In fact, Its amusing that street vendors who, it seems, don’t even know English, talk to me, sometimes in broken words, ask about how the book is. They listen with keen interest and try to memorise the name of the author (If it is an author they are not aware of) and sometimes they come up to me, pointing to the book I hold. It’s a brilliant book, I am told. Has it been read by you, I ask, wondering about the authenticity of his last statement. The answer is (surprisingly) affirmative, to some extent. Read in parts only, so as to suggest the reader something. Typical book store owners mentality. And a good one at that by the way.

There are less better things in life than reading a book in the warm afternoon winter sunshine with the breeze blowing with your hand holding a cuppa latte. On the table next to mine, a girl with 4 guys, cribbing about life while smoking a cigarette. I do not know, but there was something strange about it.

A couple on the right, who seemed to be meeting each other for the first time. “I believe I can fly, I believe I can touch the sky”, quoted the guy, from the song by R.Kelly, loud enough to be heard across the table. Pretty strong words on your first day out, I guess. Let the lady judge you lad.

Then another girl holding a red rose, waiting for someone. I could see that in the brief moment when I took the liberty of looking in her eyes, which were quite oblivious to surroundings, expecting that known face any moment from the evercoming and never ending tide of people on the sidewalk. Biting her lips, cursing inside maybe, that men are always late.

Enough for a day I thought. And the book was coming to an end anyway. As the writer rightly puts,

“Words. What are they afterall. Like a wind blowing ripples on the water surface. The real river flows beneath. Unheard of, Unseen. With a story never told.”

Written by aditya kumar

September 21st, 2005 at 11:02 am

Letter to the Editor, CricInfo

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The fact that I have been writing a lot about Cricket might have surprised my old readers since this is not a subject I usually mention on my blog. But frankly, the game and it’s proceedings have never been this interesting since a long, long time. So I am giving into the temptation.

The Chappell-Ganguly row that has followed after the Indian Team debacle(s), what can I say, it all seems like a movie script so well written. Perfect execution by the characters involved, of course. All the experience gained in show business came in handy, afterall.

cheap rhetoric.

Cricinfo has the full story here.

And my letter to the editor, Cricinfo, below.

Dear Editor,

After reading CricInfo’s full story the confusion is no more and I
believe it is up to us, the readers, to arrive at a rational

It’s a case of arousing sympathy. The coach was projected as the
villain here. If you take a closer look and think about it you will
see that what Chappell has done here is given it straight to Ganguly.
He has spoken those words to him which the media has only been
whispering about. Once confronted with a situation akin to a child
facing his strict father, Ganguly has come out complaining about it
expecting sympathy by projecting the coach as a villain.

Chappell is new to this place, this whole cricket system of our
country. He could be given the benefit of doubt here. But Chappell or
no Chappell, Certainly, Ganguly is at fault. He is an experienced
campaigner, has lead India for 5 years now and he should know well the
consequences of washing dressing room’s dirty linen in public. By
going to the media, he has behaved like a spoiled child.

But I wonder, if India would have been touring Australia now (and not
Zimbabwe or the likes) and if Ganguly would have been confronted with
the same situation, would he have gone to the media? Would he have
made a hundred in the first place?

I doubt it.

Good day ahead,

Written by aditya kumar

September 18th, 2005 at 11:30 am

Posted in Cricket

Keep Talking

without comments

As I gasp for air, the words of Pink Floyd come to my ears.

“There’s a silence surrounding me, I can’t seem to think straight”

What precise timing. And there I was lying on the floor with my fists clutching the corners of the blanket. Sunlight washed the interiors of the room but I lay in darkness. My mind going blank, bleak with every passing moment. The only allowance, the music that overwhelmed the room.

“I’ll sit in the corner, No one can bother me”

The crushed bed sheet beneath me probably gave a hint of my restlessness. My feet numb and this state of inactiveness moving up, taking over my body, rendering it frozen, at it’s own pace.

“My words won’t come out right, I feel like I’m drowning”

In this state of momentary lapse of consciousness, sources of inspiration are extinct. Hope is not a bad thing to have, if you can find any that is.

“Why won’t you talk to me. You never talk to me ”

That time and that sudden silence. I remember, first I was taken aback and then sank in it, like a burnt out Torpedo shell in the deep sea.

” I sometimes wonder, Where do we go from here ”

Where could have we gone from there?

If not here, then where?

Written by aditya kumar

September 17th, 2005 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Aftermath: Media Excerpts from Down Under and England

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As expected, the Australian Team is facing the heat down under. Opinion seems to be divided- on one hand we have greats like Dennis Lillee, Ian Chappell and Michael Slater asking for Buchanan’s removal and on the other hand we have former Captain, Mark Taylor, who believes Ricky has “generally” done well with the captaincy. Meanwhile, Buchanan is busy finding silver lining(s) in the recent defeats here.

Jason Gillespie intends to go back to the basics of bowling, train hard and come back fine, afterall, “it’s not rocket science”. More here. By the way, can he take Zaheer Khan and Agarkar with him, too?

If the Australians were good, England were better. But here’s the fine print- the Australians were not good all the time. They did not play their usual brand of cricket and they know it. Slip-ups by the Australians have happened, there is no denying that fact. The nervousness is there to see.

The English press is celebrating and how. The Telegraph is offering a “Ashes Heroes” DVD for free to it’s readers. Now rare moments of Hoggard hitting a boundary and Ricky Ponting’s clueless face expressions at office will be revived on home television.

[The Sun: Cover]

[The Mirror: Cover]

On a more serious note, Coach Fletcher warns the English team to not to let it go to their heads. Mirror reports here.

I guess the best way to look at the English celebrations is through pictures. CricInfo helps me out here.

Image hosted by
[Above: In Australia, Ponting isn’t able to hide his nervous moments…]

[…While the English Captain catches with sleep at work!]

[Above: Vaughan, Pietersen and Flintoff celebrate on the bus ride]

[…and Flintoff can’t stop smiling!]

I wish I could find a picture of Michael Atherton, the former English Captain, smiling at the presentation ceremony- I have never seen him smile so much!

Signing off, for now.

Written by aditya kumar

September 16th, 2005 at 2:17 am

Posted in Cricket