Word of the Week #141:

Purist

Ah, Test cricket… There is just a beauty to it that the other formats lack.

Of course, the Indian team playing well overseas makes it all the more special, regardless the result.

Now, while India may have beaten Australia in Adelaide, can we really say that we played well? Sure, the pace bowlers have been impressive and Ashwin did exactly what was required of him, as did most of the batting line-up, at least sporadically.

The victory was still too narrow, in my opinion, especially against this severely depleted Aussie squad.

The good news is that there is one obvious aspect where we could see significant improvement. Take a look at this video, and see if you can notice it.

This is what happens when your top order is more accustomed to T20 than Test cricket. People get out flashing outside the off-stump. Repeatedly.

Back in my day, temperament and shot-selection actually meant something. We didn’t give our wickets away. The opponent had to pry them out of our sticky, sweaty hands.

But the kids these days, I tell you… Sigh…

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Word of the Week #104:

Denounce

Ever since I can remember, I have always heard how cricket was supposed to be a gentlemen’s game. Playing the sport for all of my childhood, the concept of sportsmanship had been etched deep into my mind.

It is partly because of these memories that the events of this week about the details of the state of the sport, and the attitudes of those who practise and govern it, have left me quite disheartened.

Now, of course, I am not talking about the allegations of corruption surrounding DDCA. No, today, we talk about the rot at the very top.

Today, we talk about what is increasingly being referred to as the Sandpaper Gate.

Sure, enough has been said about the players who were caught in the act, and were thus forced to confess. But what about the men sitting high up in the governing council, who thought a one-match ban would suffice for the mastermind, while the actual culprit gets away with little more than a slap on the knuckles?

To put this in perspective, back in 2008, when Australia was visiting India, Gautam Gambhir received a one-match ban for seemingly elbowing a Shane Watson who was quite obviously impeding the batsman’s natural running motion and was clearly in the wrong. You cannot jump in the path of a moving vehicle and then blame your injuries on the driver, can you? Well, apparently you can.

This was not an isolated instance, of course. Many players from the subcontinent have faced punishments disproportionate to their infractions, while Australian and English players seem to get away conveniently.

I wonder what the reason might be…

 

Word of the Week #103:

Vexation

Generally, I love science fiction, especially the futuristic ones.

And while I do enjoy a good post-apocalyptic dystopia, tonight I am talking about the more urban futurism, the kind one would expect from something like I, Robot or Avatar or Fifth Element, or even Altered Carbon, more recently.

I love how these stories transport us to a wonderful world where the realm of reality has been expanded upto, and often beyond, the limit of our expectations.

The brief escape they provide can be valuable…

This escape, however, comes at a cost. The stark contrast they offer to this ridiculously mundane world of ours can be quite disheartening, and even infuriating at times.

Sure, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades, but it has not even nearly caught up to what was promised in Back To The Future.

And do you know where this contrast between what is and what could be becomes the most jarring? Why, the banking sector, of course…

Have you been to a bank, lately? Since the advent of e-banking and such, we don’t have to, as often as we used to, so we don’t have necessarily care as much. However, an occasional encounter is enough to remind us exactly how archaic and patchy our banks still are.

I mean, an entire afternoon to reset your net banking password and linking your PAN to your account is not reasonable, okay.

And the removal of what doesn’t work is really the bare minimum. There are still way too much we can do, and it is annoying when nobody does it.

Now, is it fair to blame them for not living up to our expectations? I don’t see why not.You see, the technology does exist. If you won’t use it for banking, of all things, then where will you?

As consumers, it is our right, nay, duty, to keep whining about mediocrity, and to keep dreaming about excellence.

As a great man once said, the future must remain bright.

Word of the Week #72:

Sovereignty

Well, yes, this is indeed a day for celebration.

The roads are filled with men and women waving the tricolour, and the screen with speeches and colourful highlights of our relatively young nation.

Yes, this is, for the most part, a day for celebration.

After all, in most respects, we have arguably come farther in these 70 years than any other country, with the exception of China. Of course, anyone who knows anything about China would know the exact reason for that.

And if you don’t know, just ask Liu Xiaobo, the Chinese human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Oh wait, you can’t, can you?

Anyway, let us return to our own territory, and let us make merry, for this is a day for celebration.

However, as I’m sure a teacher of mine would have reminded us, it is also a day for introspection.

Yes, we have make far, but this is still not nearly far enough, is it?

To quote the very first speech made in Independent India, or was it the last one made prior to independence… Anyway, the quote is what matters, here.

“That future is not one of ease or resting but of incessant striving so that we may fulfil the pledges we have so often taken and the one we shall take today.”

— Jawaharlal Nehru, Tryst with Destiny

It is quite obvious that despite having achieved freedom from our colonial rulers, we haven’t yet succeeded in ridding our land of the plethora of problems that plague it.

Since I am not a JNU student, I probably wouldn’t just suddenly start chanting out the entire list. You live here, you know it as well as anyone else; if you don’t, you should probably be on the list…

Today, we stand at an undeniably interesting juncture in our planet’s history. A shift in the balance of power is already underway, and we have the opportunity to not just observe this historic moment, but mould it with our own will.

How exactly will that pan out? Time will tell, I suppose…

Word of the Week #50:

Matrimony

Basically, the thing people always describe as holey

What, they mean holy, you say? I never really knew. But, yeah, the general masses sounding that honest should have made me wary.

There are few words in this language that evoke as extreme reactions as this one, right?

Some would say, it is right up there with Demonetisation and Obamacare and Shahid Afridi…

Today, as we complete our 50 weeks online, I thought I might drop my own tuppence worth on the matter.

Firstly, let me just start off by saying that I always believed Afridi was an underrated bowler, until one fine day when he wasn’t.

Yeah, I believe this is what they call the ol’ switcherooContinue reading Word of the Week #50:

Word of the Week #49:

Egregious

Fun word, right? Right?

WRONG!

Basically, as the owner of a bank, how do you make sure people do not run away with their cash, leaving you high and dry?

Why, simply increase the transaction fees… That ought to shut them down, right?

Well, it has begun. Continue reading Word of the Week #49:

Word of the Week #46:

Indelible

So, it is finally 14th of Feb…

Oddly enough, I have never celebrated this day as most of the world does, or more often than not, strives to celebrate but fails.

In our household, this date has always had a special significance. Well, I say always, because 17 years does feel like an eternity for a 23-year-old, right?

Tonight, we remember the one who has often been considered the most memorable member of our family.

In Memoriam

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Bobo (14/2/2000 – 14/2/2014)

“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
― Thomas Campbell


PS: Do not be fooled by the flowers… One suspicious move, and she would rip you into little shreds…