Gilly Danda

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Whenever two cricket lovers get together for a conversation, especially if they be from different generations, arguments become inevitable—was Richards better than Sachin, were the West Indies team of the late 70s and early 80s better than the all conquering Aussies of today or were they both nothing compared to Bradman’s Invincibles, whether Akram could hold a candle to Lillee, whether Thomson was faster than Fred Trueman, and whether M L Jaisima more dashing than Yuvraj Singh.

There are however a few things about which there is almost never any argument, things that people from all generations agree on.

Namely, Bradman was the greatest batsman of all time, Sobers the best all-rounder and Noel David the most puzzling Indian selection ever.

I propose we add one more to this list of cricket axioms.

Adam Gilchrist is the greatest “wicket-keeper batsman” that ever set foot on a cricket field.

Period.

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A Few PJs

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PJ1

T-shirt that’s selling like hot cakes in Janpath:

(On T-shirt front)I had to let go the Prime Ministership for the royal son. I had to let go the Presidency for the royal confidante.

(On T-shirt back) And all I got in return was a lousy Poddo Beebhushon.

PJ2

Shakti Kapoor on hearing that Tom Alter won the Padma Shree:

Who cares? Aoooo…I only want Padma Laxmi

PJ3

Why does Manoj Kumar not want to receive the Padma Bhushan?

He is afraid people will call him “Mr. Bharat” Bhushan.

All of them very poor jokes? I agree. But not as poor a joke as the granting of our Shris, Bhushans, BiVibhushans and Ratnas.

Fun Baba Fun

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Take the pleasure of winning a Test against the best side in the world in their backyard on a pitch that suits perfectly their style of play. Add to that the joy of bringing down to earth, albeit briefly, the most arrogant group of sportsmen one could ever hope to see. Multiply that by the ecstasy of seeing Team India displaying the heart and the balls to fight back after tumultous events that would have broken lesser sides. And only after doing this, can one even begin to understand how exactly an Indian fan felt as R P Singh’s yorker sneaked through the gap between the blade and the Star Trek pads of Shaun Tait.

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Offense Is the Best Form of Defense

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Forgive me for being irregular in posting this week.

I have just been very offended.

Firstly as an Indian, I am offended at the fact that Eklavya the Royal Guard did not make it to the Oscar nominee list for best phoren fillum. Face it, that movie about Saif Ali Khan’s paternity and Jimmy Shergill in the dark was plain and simple awesome. Of course, many people in India hated it but there is a reason for that. As Vidhu the Vinod Chopra points out:

Maybe the critics here didn’t quite get it. I got a great response at UCLA and NYU, where they’re asking me to lecture about the film. They must have seen something

Indeed they had. Make no mistake. This would have been an Indian “Crouching Tiger Vidya Balan” had the Oscar committee comprised of friends of Vidhu the Vinod Chopra like Sudhir Mishra and Jagdhish Sharma and people like Ranjit Bahadur (he shot the “Making of Eklavya”). Had that been the case, they would have shown the same neutrality and good taste they displayed,as members of the Indian entry selection committee, while sending “Eklavya–the Royal Guard” to the Oscars.

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Kangaroo Courts and Bent Umpires

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[updated]
There’s a point at which political correctness and politeness of phrase have to be jettisoned in favor of brutal directness — of calling a spade a spade and a cheat a cheat.

So all you people talking about the abysmal umpiring from Bucknor and Benson in the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, get it straight. What we saw at Sydney was not incompetence but openly biased decision-making with Australia universally benefiting from almost all the wrong decisions (except when Ponting was given leg before wicket of an inside edge but many runs after he had already enjoyed grandpa Benson’s indulgent eye when his huge snick behind of Ganguly had been overlooked), with even the third umpire getting into the Cricket Australia act by his sparing of Symonds from a stumping decision.

Have you no shame sirs?

Of course you don’t.

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Bhakti Mein Shakti

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Anu Solanki (24) told her husband that she was going to immerse a statue of Ganesha in the river. She left her car running and vanished. Only to resurface a few days later, alive and well, with another man but not before $25,000 $250,000 of public money had been spent looking for her. Her husband Dignesh Solanki was shocked at her flight, though he did remember seeing romantic SMS-s that he himself had not sent on his wife’s phone two days “after” they were married a year ago.

Moral of the story: Next time your wife says she is driving down to the river, alone, with devotion for Ganesha/ Narayana/Shiva in her eyes, just check her cellphone to see if they have been leaving messages for her.

Tears For Fears

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It has been said that we Indians, as a nation, lack a sense of history. Well going by the “candle burned out long before the legend ever will” Benazir hysteria that was unleashed in Indian news channels and media outlets in the last week, I would say we have no sense of current affairs either.

I don’t blame the Irish for giving Benazir Bhutto a posthumous peace prize with the citation “fought all her battles through dialogue and political debate and was an example to all those who do not use or surrender to terrorism”. [They should have just added "financial probity" in the citation while they were at it and we could at least have a good laugh] After all why should they remember Ms. Bhutto’s legacy of hate and violence when we in India,who were at the receiving end of her “political debate” and her “peaceful dialogue” , have forgotten everything?

Such is our amnesia that our “perennially-bent-at-the-waist” Prime Minister calls Benazir “one of the outstanding leaders of our sub-continent, who always looked for reconciliation between India and Pakistan”.

Yeah right.

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