Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the budget and a layman!

Ever since I gained sense, I have followed, at least attempted to follow, Budget proposals closely. And the one constant has been this: whatever the announcements, by whoever, it invariably never ever makes any positive difference to my own budget. I don’t gain a penny, but lose many.

Amazingly, whether it is Yashwant Sinha, P Chidambaram or Pranab Mukherjee, after no Budget have I, or some People Like Us that I know, rubbed two hands in glee and said, ``Wow, this year’s gonna rock for us.’’It is the best budget I had ever seen.

Somehow, in the end, we end up spending a bit more than the last year. If LCDs become cheaper, the cable guy jacks up his rates. If tea becomes cheaper, milk gets dearer. If cars cost less, petrol costs more. If a common man save Rs 3,000 at the end of 365 days because the income tax exemption limit has been raised, he spends Rs 6,000 more because transportation charges have gone up and my subzi walla says he’ll have to take a little extra for that tomato, potato, bhindi and lauki.

For the bulk of people like us , especially those employed by others, which is almost all of us, the bottom lines, more or less, remain what they are and life goes on in exactly the same manner after the Budget as it did before it. If anything, you should be happy when the Budget guarantees status quo. Because, come to think of it, the Budget seldom has anything for the people like us

So you peer close to the TV as the finance minister makes his grand speech, quoting from everybody under the sun – from Gandhi to Mandela, Kabir to Nanak, saint to scoundrel – to make the boring exercise sound interesting. And you look busy as hell as you turn away the mummy n dadi when she asks if the Budget will make any difference to her life. You don’t take the unimportant calls, and the important ones you try to cut it suitably short, making sure the sound on your TV is loud enough to reach the guy on the other side of your phone. You skip your breakfast and delay your lunch. And you discuss with everybody the various things that were announced by the FM but are actually of no use to you – like branded jewellery being fully exempt from excise duty.

But when you get out of your office at the end of the day – with most of your proposals on hold because your boss, too, was busy with the Budget – and hit the hard road home, you realize nothing has changed for the better. The edgy cab driver suddenly charges you more because fuel prices have gone up, the pirated CD you pick up is rented out at Rs 5 plus and the gardener you pass by makes a quick request for a wage hike because he’s just heard Budget se bhao badh gaya hai.

And so, what did I gain from Pranab da’s budget? Zilch. As usual. And what did I lost?
My electricity bill of four hours to watch pranab da making promise over promise.But why do I forgot? The aam budget is not for aam janta

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I had never been a die hard fan of ganguly.for me cricket always meant sachin .but there is some thing about him for which I still remember him n missing him

What is it about Saurav that has struck this emotional chord? It isn't just the mountain of runs he scored and the matches he won. Although he is easily the finest left hander to play for the country, there have been other even better players who haven't quite received the same adulation.
Perhaps, the key lies in the fact that Ganguly has been a very different character to the constellation of other great cricketers - the so-called fab five - assembled around him. Sachin Tendulkar has always been the 'master', a cricket deity to be worshipped from afar.
Rahul Dravid has been "The Wall", solid and dependable, the kind you want as a son in law. VVS Laxman has always been very, very special, a man of few words who prefers to let his bat do the talking. Kumble was the Silent Assassin who, like Laxman, speaks with his deeds .
Ganguly, on the other hand, is both "Maharaj" and "Dada": feudal lord and neighbourhood 'pada' gang leader, both protector and aggressor. He has been alternately perceived as arrogant (remember the stories that were spread of how on his first tour he was not too keen on carrying the drinks trolley) and resilient (has anyone made as many successful comebacks as Ganguly). He has looked the mighty Aussies in the face, including the famous incident when he kept Steve Waugh waiting for the toss, and yet has been accused of shying away from fast bowling.
At home, he is a most gracious host, and yet he is remembered as the captain who bared his torso on the balcony of Lords. He has pushed for Greg Chappell as coach and has also fought with him. He has been criticised for being selfish, yet arguably no other Indian captain has backed his players more firmly.
Perhaps, its the complex nature of his personality that makes Ganguly so attractive, a fallible human in a cricket universe populated by robots.
Perhaps, Ganguly's greatest contribution to Indian cricket is that he was the first captain to actually look beyond regional loyalties.
It is no coincidence that the rise of Ganguly as captain also saw the emergence of new cricket talent from outside the traditional centers of the sport. For it was Ganguly who provided a ready platform to Indian cricket's generation next, channelising their small town bravado into on field success.
Till Ganguly took over the captaincy, the Indian team was usually led by men who preferred to see their role as gentlemen first, players later. Bishen Bedi and Sunil Gavaskar did symbolize player power, but they couldn't quite change the elite order of the sport.
Ganguly was able to achieve the transformation, supported by a group of ambitious cricketers, many of whom had little time for the colonial traditions of the so-called "gentleman's game".
It wasn't always edifying, but in a way it was necessary. The act of shirt removal at Lords may have been inadvertent, but it was a defining moment. It marked the end of the domination of the sport by those who believed they had the divine right to decide on how it was to be played.
This was aspirational New India, unwilling to be lectured to, and desperately keen to shake off the burdens of a long-standing inferiority complex. It was as if a boy from Behala was screaming for attention on the world stage, demanding recognition based on merit not lineage.

the silent crusader says it all!

For me there are three kinds of people in this world. One who do less n get more credit for their deeds, other who get the credit what they deserve n third one who keeps on doing great work but was never credited ,never recognized .In the fast growing commercial world it is extremely difficult to find third kind of people especially in entertainment sector . But one man had done it, and done it to the perfection .Yes he is none other than V V S laxman,the architect of majority of victories of team INDIA in test cricket. The unsung hero of test cricket doesn’t believe in speaking with his mouth he rather allow his bat to do so. If sachin had been god like, sourav have been the aggressor ,dravid have been the person whom every mother wants to be his son-in-law.Laxman batting n his presence is like a glassful of water in the desert
When VVS is fielding, he is one of the most vocal of supporters of the bowlers, but nothing much is said to the batsman. He along with the other senior batsmen were all being asked questions by a section of the media, perhaps tired of writing about the same faces day in, day out. VVS, like he does to the verbals on the field, has responded to it with the eloquence of his bat.
This bat speaks a language that is as sweet as any Bengali or Lebanese dessert, and there is not a cricket supporter or critic, even the most indefatigable of them, who has not been enchanted by it. The fastest of bowlers is caressed to the boundary with little more than a turn of the wrist, and in all the years that he has been playing, he never appears to have hit the ball in anger though his scoring rate is no less than all the bludgeoners of the ball.
It’s the way he finds the gaps that is breathtaking. People have to find a fault. So they see it in his running between the wickets, but then VVS has seldom been run-out either, so that argument is thrown out of the window straight away.

People may call his silence as shyness , lack of communication skills.But he is one of the few who will shut the other’s mouth up with a classic one-liner.I still remember harsha bhogle asking him doesn’t it hurts that despite of ironical performances the name laxman is always lost in glory? And like his every innings the elegance and timing was near to perfection when he responded ‘’You are not here for adulation. How many receive a chance to play for the country? Luckily I had a good upbringing. Values were taught to me early. You should never forget where you came from. More than education it is the upbringing that matters. Mine is a simple middle-class upbringing. Despite being educated if you cannot handle success or failure, it doesn't matter how educated you are."

People remember and celebrate every success of sachin,dravid ,sourav and even yuvraj and dhoni but laxman like his name always stays in background. He is as supportive as laxman the mythological character was but when had fellowmen really cared of him when he was on the verge of dying.Perhaps V V S LAXMAN importance too will be known when he will bid good-bye to cricket .The phenomenon of loving what you like to do and never caring what you got in return will end that day too. But before that day several people like me who had always thought but never dared to say because of strangeness with which listeners n reader will react will say it today “YES,WE WANT TO BE LIKE LAXMAN.A VERY VERY SPECIAL LAXMAN.

dont take my childhood away!

The events of the last few months are freaking me out. Anil Kumble has gone, Sourav Ganguly has gone, and the other three may not be far behind. I assume there is a large group of cricket fans in their start-to-late 20s, like me, who are grappling with the implications. This transition is messing with our minds.

Sachin Tendulkar spoilt us. He commanded that we sit in front of the television sets. He ensured we got late with homework, he took care of our lunch-break discussions.He forced us to bunk our classes. He was not all that much older than us, and some of us naïve schoolboys thought we would achieve similar feats when we were 16. We got to 16 and continued to struggle with homework.

Then came Kumble and the two undertook a teenager-pampering mission not seen in India before. Tendlya walked on water, Jumbo parted seas. Our mothers were happy that we had nice heroes - down-to-earth prodigy and studious, brilliant bespectacled engineer. They were honest, industrious sportsmen, embodying the middle class.

Economists would probably have predicted the bursting of the bubble. We had a deluge instead. One fine day at Lord's we got a glimpse of two new saviours: Delicate Timing and Immaculate Technique. Suddenly my group of eight friends was split into two camps. You were either with Ganguly or Dravid. In that period we even took Kumble and Tendulkar for granted. It was adolescent indulgence taken to the extreme.

When we played cricket on the streets, we had a number of choices. Left-handers were thrilled, defensive batsmen were happy, extravagant stroke-makers were delighted, the short boys didn't need to feel left out anymore, spectacles became cool, and freaky bowling actions were no more laughed at.

In such a state of bliss did we live our lives. We flunked important exams, , crashed bikes, had drunken parties, choked on our first cigarettes, and felt utterly confused about our futures. But every time we felt low, we had an escape route. One glimpse of Dada stepping out of the crease, or Jammy leaving a sharp bouncer alone, or Kumble firing in a yorker, was an uplifting experience. So what if India lost? Could any of those Pakistani batsmen even dream of batting like Sachin or ganguly?

Wasn’t that enough that one day we see a batsman who had forced the aussies to run for whole day n see their dream getting shattered of record wins.kudos to special sorry very very special effort of VVS laxman.The 281 which no Indian can forget n aussies too I guess.

Now, after close to 20 years, my generation needs to brace itself for this exodus. Some of my friends, crazy as this sounds, have been talking of needing to revaluate their own careers. Others are realising they need to recalibrate their childhood definitions of cricket. "Part of me just died," said a college friend who was the kind of extreme cricket buff who memorised scorecards. "No Dada, no Jumbo. I'm positive I'll stop watching after Sachin and Rahul and VVS retire."

These players were not only outstanding cricketers but also great statesmen. However hard they competed, they were always exceptional role models. Now we dread the next wave of brashness and impetuosity. Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth are talented cricketers, but there's no way anyone would want a young kid to emulate either. The younger crop seems worse - a visit to some of their Orkut and Facebook pages tells you enough - and things may only get cruder in a cricket world when you can make a million dollars in a little over three hours.

"Our childhood is ending," said a friend from school, and in some way he was probably spot on. Tendulkar's retirement may mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but for a generation of 18 - to 30-year-olds it will mark the end of the first part of their lives. Switching on the television the day after will be a serious challenge.