Archive for April, 2009

CAN IPL-2 MAKE INDIA FEEL UNITED

April 21, 2009

The IPL organizers have started intensifying their Advertisement compaigns to promote the viewership for IPL through electronic media especially after the Media watchers reported that the TRP which was 8.21% on the first day of IPL season-1, dipped to 5.55% in the inaugural day of IPL season 2 , The Advt was trying to ‘unite India’ with the saying THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WHEN 100 CRORE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO THINK LIKE ONE COUNTRY”

I could not make out , to which people the Advt. was trying to refer to.Obviousely it must be referring to the cricket loving Indian people. The IPL-2 is betting on the viewership of about 2 million Indians in South Africa and the few thousands(?) who could afford to burn their money(Between Rs 60 thousand to Rs 1 lakh for about 4 days for travel,hotel accommodation and other incidentals) to proceed to South Africa to watch the matches alive. The aim of this propaganda is to popularize the watching of IPL season 2 among the Indian cricket loving public, who lost the chance of viewing the Twenty –twenty matches live in various cities of India,(thanks to the politics in Sports) and settled to watch the matches in their television sets. If one tries to understand as to whether the advertisement really means what it was intended to mean, one may not agree with the message.There is no chance that the spectators or listeners will think like one country. Let me explain.

In IPL-2 totally 191 players are participating from various countries in 8 teams. Out of the above 111 players are Indians and 80 players are foreigners. All the teams owned by Indian companies. Irrespective of the fact , who wins, – the winning team will and can be Indian only.It is not correct to say that the players will play for their country and the audience will support them like one country. The teams which are EIGHT in numbers , are divided region wise. Like Chennai, Bangalore, Hederabad, Delhi, Punjab, Kolkata, Mumbai, Rajasthan. The Indian audience will try to identify themselves with the respective team on regional and State basis. There is no question of any one supporting a team on National basis. In each Match the players on both sides are not expected to play for their country but for their respective team. So unlike ODIs and Test matches and 20-20 International competitions, the IPL is not uniting India but making the people support their own state/region. It is natural for a Rajasthani to support the Rajasthan Royals irrespective of the combination of the players.The Chennai people will support Chennai Superkings not withstanding the fact that Captain of the team MSDhoni hails from Jharkhand. They also will support other foreign players complementing this team. Hence there is no doubt that IPL does not promote national feelings but rather narrow regional feelings. How about Foreign players. They play for MONEY like mercenaries. When they register a win they get more money.If they lose, what the heck,they donot bother. This is the outcome. They will say that they are playing the game for gamesake and not for namesake.

What about the audience in South Africa. Do you think they will support any team. No team will get the local support.The audience will be spectators and may cheer when the ball is hit for a boundary or sixer.That is all. At the most they may support the team in which players from South Africa are playing. The audience in Capetown had interesting moments when a stray dog wandered on to the Cape Town pitch shortly after the fall of Jayasuriya’s wicket, (Mumbai-Srilankan Indian)and the helpless fielders, including Flintoff of the Chennai Super Kings side was watching the chase of the dog as it evaded capture for about ten minutes. The dog finally gave in ,when one of the staff members, lured the dog with some food stuff and the dog after holding the attention of the audience and the players for about ten minutes,and the game was interrupted and later resumed. The dog seemed to have a purpose.It has boldly demonstrated the helplessness of the organizers. They took about 10 minutes to bring under control and remove a the dog from the ground. Substitute an unruly and armed person in place of the dog. What colossal damage he could have caused in the ten minutes.This thought would have crossed the mind of at least one of the IPL organizers,who would have sighed with relief. The next thing is the climatic conditions in South Africa. Nobody expected that the rains will play spoil sport. Did the organizers deliberately turn a blind eye to the weather conditions in their zeal to conduct the tournaments at any cost at the scheduled dates ,which resulted in this.

Without the tacit support from the local crowd in the audience , we could watch the players in the TV channel every now and then looking at the sky. I wondered whether they were trying to catch a glimpse of the satellites which beam the television signals to the entire world including their home country, hoping that the support will rain down from the satellites /from the people who were before their Television sets in India as reverse osmosis. The Indian players appeared to be missing the Indian audience,who hail from all walks of life and who were prepared to postpone or forget the jobs they do for the sake of watching the match . The only silver lining for the audience was the “liberal exposure“of the cheer leaders who would have otherwise had a tough time facing the so called Moral police in India had the matches been held in Indian venues. Now that the IPL -2 has started getting the attention, let us watch and enjoy the matches , via the TV channels.

CAN TREES HAVE DREAMS ?

April 16, 2009

 Recently I read in DNA Newspaper (Bangalore Edition 15/4/09) about how the surgeons in Russia found a Fir tree measuring 5 cm in height. It was reported that a young Russian(27 years) complained of severe chest pain and was coughing blood. This news item aroused my interest and I thought I should post this in my blog. The mystery as to how a Fir tree got inside the lung of a person was somewhat solved by the surmise of the doctors that the patient might have inhaled a small bud, which then started to grow inside his body. I was surprised to know that fir trees can grow up to a height of 30 to 260 feet and any way it is good that it has been removed when it reached a height of 5 cm.

When I googled about Fir trees , and human lungs I got the following result which I reproduce below:

“Fir tree has no insect or decay resistance qualities after logging, it is generally recommended for construction purposes as indoor use only. This wood left outside can not be expected to last more than 12-18 months depending on the type of climate it is exposed to”. “Human lungs help in breathing.There are two lungs on the right and left side with the left being divided into two lobes and the right into three lobes. Together, the lungs contain approximately 1500 miles (2,400 km) of airways and 300 to 500 million alveoli. having a total surface area of about 70 m2 in adults — roughly the same area as a singles badminton court. The surface area is roughly the same area as a tennis court . Furthermore, if all of the capillaries that surround the alveoli were unwound and laid end to end, they would extend for about 620 miles.” Humans (active person) breathes about 20,000 liters of air every day.Even though sufficient safeguards to prevent particles or dust to entering our syetem, it is not known how he allowed the tree to grow inside him.Had he been in India he would have had the chance of seeing the Government Advertisement “Grow one tree per family”,which wanted the people to grow trees outside. Fortunately the doctor were able to remove the young tree,Otherwise it would have grown out of the patient..It would have been difficult to bend it ,like the Tamil Idiom says “Aindhil Valayadhathu,Aiymbathil Valayuma”(When you cannot bend it at 5, how you are going to bend it at 50). I recollect having read an interesting story about the wishes made by three trees.I dug it from the web and reproduce the same below:

“Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, “Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty.” Then the second tree said, “Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull.” Finally the third tree said, “I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me.”

After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, “This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter” … and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest. At the second tree a woodsman said, “This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard.” The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship. When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, “I don’t need anything special from my tree so I’ll take this one”, and he cut it down.

When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end. The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark.

The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams. Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.

Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn’t think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping Man, and he stood and said “Peace” and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.

Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the Man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree at the top of a hill and raised in the air to die. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.”

The moral of this biblical story is that when things don’t seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts. In this story each of the trees got what it wanted, just not in the way it had dreamt. “We don’t always know what God’s plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.”

The Fir tree also might have had a dream to come out of the lungs where he got inadvertently trapped and the surgery must have been a dream come true for the Fir tree.

THE WEB OF MAYA IN OUR LIVES

April 7, 2009

In our lives we encounter Maya and carried away by it. We base our decisions and steer the course of our lives believing the existence of the Maya. To understand Maya, I referred to the following story in  Hindu mythology which may kindle some interest.

Once Sarvalok Sanchari Naradha asked Lord Krishna to let him know what Maya is. Krishna did not give any reply. After some days Lord Krishna took Naradha through a dry forest.They walked for several miles. During this travel Krishna became thirsty and requested Naradha to fetch some water for him to drink. Naradha agreed and went in search of water. He reached a a small village at some distance. There he knocked at the door of a hut. A beautiful young woman opened the door. On looking at her Naradha totally forgot the purpose of his visit to the village.He started speaking with her and later fell in love with that young woman.Naradha requested that girl’s father to get the girl married to him and with his consent he married the young woman and the marriage consummated with the birth of three children. Thus twelve years passed. Naradha became the heir to the properties of his father in law and Naradha was under the impression that he was living happily with his family and properties.

One day there was a great flood in the river adjoining the village, which severed the banks and entered the village and washed away the houses,huts and cattles. Naradha tried to cross the shallow waters of the flooded river along with his family , by holding his wife with one hand and holding the two children with the other hand and keeping the third child in his shoulder . Suddenly the intensity of the flood increased and the child on his shoulder was washed away.He lost the other two children also in his attempt to save the third child. Later his wife was also washed away when the water current intensified. With great difficulty Naradha swam to safety and reached the bank of the river and started crying for having lost his wife and children. Suddenly he heard a voice calling from behind .” Hi, Son where is the water ? Atleast 1 ½ hours have passed since I asked you to fetch water.” The bewildered Naradha turned and Lord Krishna was standing there. He told Krishna.”Oh Lord, I totally forgot about my errand to get some water.Did it take just 1 ½ hours since the time I left to fetch water ?“ and Krishna replied “YES”. All memories of his life as a Family man for 12 years flashed in the mind of Naradha. Then Krishna said “This is Maya”.

Like the legendary Mandrake the Magician, who saves the citizens from mobsters and fight crime with his mass hypnotism and creates illusions, Lord Krishna also created the illusion to teach Naradha about Maya.Of course the momentary illusion of Mandrake is no match for the Maya created by Lord Krishna.

A comparison of this Maya with the Maya in election scenario reminded me of the elections to the 15th Lok Sabha which is is drawing closer. The Indian politics continue to be under the political ‘maya’ and promise to take care of the needs of the people. Behind the veil of Maya, violence and damage to person and property through the length and breadth of the country,goes unabated with indirect support from the so called politicians, whose aim is to come to or come back to power at any cost. Even though Election Commission appointed observers to monitor the expenditure some section of the press have reported about the novel method adopted by the political parties. It has reported that the major Political parties field a number of dummy candidates in each constituency so that they can split the votes,or confuse the voters with candidates with names sounding similar to the popular candidate, and they can also circumvent the expenditure limit of Rs 25 lakhs per candidate prescribed by the Election commission and also get more election agents to be present in the election booth, who take advantage of the situation in canvassing .

I am also reminded of the Song in the Tamil Movie “BABA”,in which Super Star Rajnikanth plays the role of Baba and describes “what is Maya” in his song “Maya Maya Ellam Maya, Chaya Chaya Ellam Chaya”. Which means “Everything is an illusion,Everything is a shadow, Lead a life like a droplet of water on the surface of a Lotus leaf.” One should not give much importance to the wordly pleasures and material comforts in his life time and gets attached and lay bound by them. There should be detachment in attachments. Every body should realize that happiness is in our hands. Therefore try to derive the best from the present, forgetting the past which had already gone and the future which is yet to come. We should not forget that today’s events were yesterday’s future and today’s events are tomorrow’s past.