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Cruel… June 19, 2009

Posted by astralwicks in Cinema, Cricket, crime, india, Mass Media, Media, People, t20 world cup, victim, viewership.
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…every which way.

A man allegedly rapes a woman working at his house. The channels go berserk calling her a ‘naukrani’ or ‘naukar. The heinous allegation almost being mitigated by the social position and of the girl and the nomenclature of her profession.  The media of the biggest democracy in the world doesn’t extend basic courtesies to victims of crime. In this case however they extended the same to both parties. For so long considered the repository of all things promiscuous – the film actor now has proved that he or she is indeed a vile, licentious animal that preys.

The perpetrator of this crime – Shiney Ahuja had to strangely be barefoot. That is the rule in India. An accused can’t wear shoes. What do shoes and guilt have in common? No idea. Anyways he still has to be chargesheeted, the case fought and the sentence delivered – a long way from now, some years probably – but why can’t he wear a shoe or a chappal for that matter.

India’s loss at the T20 World Cup. Another instance of the mob fury. Cricket is a sport. Cricketers are not gods. You win some and you lose some based on your strategy. Like petulant schoolboys with no emotional anchor finding solace in somebody else’s victory, they came out on the streets and burned the captain’s effigy.

It is not the mob alone that is to blame. It is the incessant analysis and counter – analysis, by ‘I-know-better-than-you’ ex-cricketers, who have to justify their payments, who hype the match and then impute reasons where there are none.  The self-feeding hype machinery of all media has to strike a balance between reporting responsibly and viewership targets.


This Miss is a Sure Hit April 21, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in contemporary, Cricket, india, nation, Religion, Sports, World.
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It is a HIT. The fours, the sixes, the claps, the eyeballs. It is a resounding success. Mr. Lalit Modi and team are laughing all the way to the banks. All doubts, speculation about the economic feasibility of the T20 league in India have been put to rest in the inaugural 2 matches. 2 hundreds in the first 2 matches. Hundreds in 50 balls! Scores of 240 in 20 overs!

What does this mean? One thing for sure – cricket has been changed forever.

It is the biggest thing to have happened since 1 day cricket. Just as the nay-sayers of that era became practitioners and devotees of the 50 over format, the critiques of T20 will be victims of the party in the coming 3 days months and years.

Millions are riding on it. And billions will be earned in the future! Foes who sledged yesterday are your locker – room mates of today! Your national team – mate of today is your arch enemy of tomorrow!

Ponting in the same team as Harbhajan is a possibility! What does this mean to traditional rivalries? Will the next time India visit Australia, bonhomie will be the staple much to everybody’s dislike? Will we suddenly regret by the dilution of the so called ‘sporting – hate’ of yore? Nah, not possible.

But one thing is for sure – there is a chance of understanding better each other’s cultural mores and differences. You can still dislike but it will be based on more understanding and less on assumptions.

Will this also lead to the end of the 1 day or 50 over format, with more and more games of the T20 kind? Too early but that day is not far when the 50 over format; its rhythm, pace, build-up, pacing, slogging etc will be lauded for possessing a purity that the T20, the populist upstart, has allegedly corrupted. Similar to the complaints our fathers had, against the 1 dayers.

The pure bludgeoning spirit of the T20 will please many. It is the season of 3 hours of highlights. Every ball promises a sixer, a four or a wicket. More bang for the same shrinking buck. More risks for the plebian spectator to walk the tight-rope and lose or win – at the same time feeling patriotic about the hometown or city. One’s national obsessions will now be shifted to the local and regional.

Another inevitable result will be the birth of more local talent. For so long at the mercy of talent scouts playing the card of regionalism, the uncelebrated, waiting – in – the – wings player will get a chance to display his skills. And become a hero.

Cricket has had a re-birth. Probably a badly needed one, and in time, struggling as it was after the match – fixing allegations some 10 years back. An entire generation of cricket fanatics had suddenly cut the umbilical cord. The adrenaline of the T20 format might me the rush that can bring them back.

Till cricket gets even more shorter.

India Wins March 4, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Cricket, Entertainment, india, Sports, World.
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India wins. Euphoria. Celebrations. Ecstasy. Madness. Patriotism. Revenge. Country. Poetic Justice. Hard work. Luck. Grit. Belief. Youth. Struggle. Adventure. Tables turned. Cricket – a funny game. Monkey. Racism. Honour. Ego. Satisfaction. Media. Pride. Hunt. Hunters. Prey. Victim. Attack. Sledging. Mental. Killer. Instinct. Survival. Tide. Bias. Decisions. Aggression. Over-confidence. Homecoming. Young Turks. Spirit. Daring. Chance. Risk. Possible. Impossible. Blood. Arrogance.

10 Favourite Films of the Australian Cricket Team February 28, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Australia, Blogging, Cricket, Culture, Entertainment, Films, india, Lists, Movies, Personal, Reviews, Sports, Writing.
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  1. Full Metal Jacket (obviously the training modules are the same)
  2. Mad Max (take a guess)
  3. Battle Royale (again, take a guess)
  4. Rambo (good hearted cricketers, surrounded by abusive Indians)
  5. First Blood (even their own country doesn’t understand them)
  6. John Rambo (body count, simple)
  7. Matrix (all 11 think that they are the ‘One’ + Hugo weaving is an Australian)
  8. Apocalypto (they seem to like all things Australian)
  9. Godfather Trilogy (allegiance at all costs)
  10. Love Story (at heart they are all soft you know)


Let the Fun Begin February 26, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Australia, Blogging, Cricket, Culture, Entertainment, india, Personal, Sport, Sports, World, Writing.
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It’s possible.

That there will be blood. Literally, that is. In the best of 3 finals between India and Australia from the 2nd of March. There are anyways 9 possible weapons on the field. 6 stumps, 2 bats and the red cherry. One can also use the 4 bails creatively. If one of the players had a Oriental origin, say Japan or China etc, they would have sufficed. But our cricketing gentlemen are talented and macho and can make do with the given resources.

It is not impossible. One more provocation and on a bad day anything can happen. And why not? That’s the way of life and sport. Take it or leave it. It happens in rugby, football, boxing so why not in cricket?

Lets come to some blows. The batsmen have an unfair advantage, what will all the padding and helmets and guards, but such is life. Some people will always have an advantage. But you can poke the hell out with a stump. Stumps can hurt. I speak from personal experience. I was hit once and lost a tooth. And the batsmen are hampered in a different way. By their pads. Nowadays they are all light but still a teeny-weeny advantage, nevertheless is an advantage.

So make hay while the sun shines. Very few will get an opportunity…to be the pioneers, leave their footprints on the clichéd sands of time. But forget not, you warriors of the bat and ball that you are special. Hope, dreams and pride of cricket is at stake and you will be looked with wide-eyed admiration by the followers. Go for it.

Break the other’s jaw, hand, legs; turn the green pitch red; your nation beckons you.

We play it hard. This is the only way it is played. All sport is like this. Chess, badminton and table tennis too. You only don’t see it. So wear your opponents down with abuse and hate.

It works better if the other side retaliates. Now we have equals. Works better, if you ask me, if there are no umpires also.

Ah blood on the dance floor. Let’s sing the anthems.




World’s Greatest Loser January 17, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Australia, beauty, Blogging, Cricket, india, Reflections, Sports, Thoughts, Writing.
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1 comment so far

Another tennis player lost to Roger Federer. Nothing new. Wrong. Hear the loser.

The 35-year-old Santoro, playing in a record 62nd Grand Slam singles tournament, had no answers to Federer’s mastery as he lost 6-1, 6-2, 6-0.

“Everything looks easy to him,” the Frenchman smiled. “There is no space to play. There is no space to hit aces because he’s returning everything.

“I’d love to play him once again. Because it’s so beautiful, what he’s doing,” Santoro added.

Is tennis not a game. Played between individuals, pairs and also between nations. There are more tennis playing nations I am sure than cricket playing ones. Or are tennis players weak, meek and don’t know what gamesmanship or strategy is all about. They do not or cannot play the game of attrition? They just serve, hope to hit an ace, or volley and sit on their chairs, sip energy drinks or have bananas, take bows and walk to the locker rooms in an almost servile manner.

Is that so?

Is it possible for us to love the game so much that we don’t start hating its players?

It is. If we start looking at beauty. In everything.

I Love Abuse…It’s the Sign of the Times January 8, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Abuse, Andrew Symonds, Australia, Blogging, Cricket, Ernest Hemingway, Harbhajan Singh, india, Politics, Racial Abuse, Ricky Ponting, Seven, Slur, Sports, Writing.
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Mr. Ponting is an honest man. He is being uneccesarily targeted by the Indian team. What are a couple of bad umpiring decisions and few lies by the Australian cricketers. Come on, grow up to the real world.

As for Mr. Ponting, he is the perfect role model for all kids, Australians or otherwise. Parents across continents should buy posters of Mr. Ponting and hang them on their walls. Pray to the lord of success to bless them…how to play hard and win at all costs. All this is not sarcasm.

Mr. Ponting after all is an honest man. He is after all a the national asset of Australia and of all ambitious people across the world. What is a little bit of abuse?

A little bit of abuse should be part of school curriculum in fact. Will toughen up kids who want to make a mark. A bit of verbal and in the coming days, physical also, is good. Makes you win. And that’s all that matters.

You have no option but to win.

So you think you can play?

Play like us, that is.

Can you abuse? Can you taunt? Can you ridicule? Can you rile? Can you irritate? Can you make me lose my focus? Can you make me lose concentration?

This is the way we play. Can you play like us? You can’t? No matter, we will still play the way we do. We are what we are. We will abuse your mother, father, your kids, your wife, your country, your honesty and integrity.

We will not stop at anything. We have to win because that’s all that matters. Who cares for the way you play. I don’t. I hae to defeat you. I have to rub your nose in the ground. I have to prove that I am superior to you. You are nobody. Your talent is irrelevant. Your skill is of no importance. I don’t clap when I see you doing good. I am not awe-struck when I see perfection at what you do.

I cringe. I hate myself when I see you succees. I loath the ground you walk on. How can you be better than me? How can I let you defeat me? Because my country will hate me. My fans will hate me. The Board will throw me out of the team. The advertising agencies will disappear. How can I not win everything I participate in?

My wife too shoos me away when I lose. She fails to understand that it’s just a game. My kids shoot me down with their toy guns when I don’t emerge victorious. Chants of sissy engulf me in the locker room if I am not like the others, shouting, cheering, inciting, cheating, lying. They will throw me out if I don’t become like them.

Success at all costs. The Australians are good at it. Do they have a nuclear arsenal also? They might just get riled and decide to bomb it because like Hemingway said ‘ the world is a fine place and worth fighting for’. The Australians too, like Morgan Freeman in 7, will most likely agree with the 2nd part, and kill everything in its wake.

That’s the sign of the times. It’s time Indians stop complaining and just play. Cheats will be seen as cheats, even by fans. And there will be a time for everything… a time for war and a time for peace, a time to win and a time to lose.


Ponting The Fascist January 7, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Australia, Blogging, Blogs, Cricket, india, Politics, Sport, Telelvision.
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Ponting and the Australian team are fascist cricketers hell bent on emerging victorious at any cost. In an unequal world if they were warriors carrying a gun then they will pillage, plunder and rape if need be because to win is more important than playing the game in the spirit.

Congratulations to Australiam Ricky Ponting and the Australian public. The Aussies like to win. Who doesn’t? Indians too like to win. Aussies plays it hard. Like Waugh said, a bit of banter, a friendly word here or there, only arouses the passion for your game and country. Agreed.

Sledging is a valid act of in the winning and all teams, even tat plays gully cricket indulges in some for of verbal banter.

Winning matches and winning it honestly are two different things. The umpires reminded one of Pakistani umpires in the late 70’s or 80’s when it was almost certain that the local team always wins. So does Australia. By playing great cricket.

But no more. Ponting and his bunch of achievers are nothing but a bunch of cheats and thieves. The captain of any sport is supposed to represent and uphold certain ideals…of gamesmanship, integrity and honesty. Ponting’s desire to succeed has robbed him of basic cricket ethics. For him cricket is like the Foster’s advertisement. It is played only by Australians, for Australians and in Australia.

The Australian captain is dishonest, a slave to victory, has no gamesmanship and is defending the indefensible. Te evidence is for all to see. All hail te new God of Victory. Do anything but win. Lie, lie lie again, lie in face of evidence.

All hail the new captain who encourages you to cheat, lie, gang up, intimidate and lift the cup.

A Thousand Suns October 8, 2007

Posted by astralwicks in Cricket, crime, Culture, God, india, Kitano, Life, Movies, Murder, Office, Suicide, Suns, Television, Tickets.

Not done, I admonish myself. For not being able to write and post. But time is nobody’s slave. And to wriggle out of it all the time is well night impossible. So whats new? Grab it before it is old. New is India’s victory over Australia by 8 runs. A real cliffhanger. Couple of birthdays got celebrated at the office. The cakes had to wait till India’s victory to be blessed by the knife’s caress.

Ideation. Morning, afternoon, evening…ideation. Television is different from films. That’s obvious. Is it a bane? Probably. Network executives are millionaires. And news is made. The era of cultured news. Sohisticated, appealing to the eye to a population that is sucking on candy and wasting more than it can spend. Who cares about the world until the next tragedy knocks on my door?

Salary. The place I work is a reputable organization. But not when it comes to paying on time. Every month its the same story. Will the organization tolerate my incompetence if I display it? Your guess is as good as mine…sigh.

Saw a touching, humorous film yesterday. 3 films that is basically 1 film made by 3 different directors. Set on a train it is. Saw Kikujiro by Kitano yesterday. Simple and moving. What else?

Lots if one is honest. A muslim boy who got married to a hindu girl died under mysterious circumstances in West Bengal. Suicide or murder? Considering the manner in which the authorities are trying to cover and protect it seems obvious that a heinous crime has been committed. In India trying to take one’s own life is a crime also but you know what I mean. Where is the love? Not dead yet for sure. Inter-religious marriage is looked down upon. Inter – caste marriage is frowned upon. Adoptions are frowned upon.

We should be ashamed of what we are and what we are steadily becoming. All this knowledge, information, luxuries, faith, not to forget God. The onward rush is eternal. We and everything else are but milestones. Sometimes analogue, sometimes digital. Finally mortal.

You Make Me Mad O Lord September 21, 2007

Posted by astralwicks in BJP, Boss, Cricket, DMK, Ecology, Faith, Hurricane Katrina, india, Karunanidhi, Life, Office, Science, Sethusamundaram Project, Tamil Nadu.



Indians are late at work today. And the boss doesn’t mind losing man-hours and money-hours. That’s because India won again last night. Against the hosts South Africa. Indians are happy. The boss too. Otherwise he can kiss bye – bye to co-operation and camaraderie. Plus Ganesha is in the air. There is music, dance, alcohol, smoke in the air and you dare not complain.

It is considered an affront to raise objections against anything that religion touches or casts its shadow on. You are as good as a blasphemer. Atheists are tolerated as long as they are silent. So are the devouts who keep criticism to themselves and muzzle themselves.

I was scared of traffic snarls yesterday. But it was a genuine surprise. The cops were doing a more organized job at hand and well…I extend my congratulations. Keep it going on.

Another affair of the faith that is making the airwaves. Should the Sethusamundaram project be undertaken or not? There are the ayers and the nayers. There are 2 groups opposing it. One is led by ecologists and environmentalists. They oppose this herculean task that will construct a bridge and connect India and Sri Lanka due to various factors that can be taken as evincing from genuine human interest. The other is led by political parties led by the BJP who say that the current project will damage the ancient bridge constructed by the Lord’s simian army some 17 thousand years ago or something extravagant like that.

Did Lord Ram exist? Who is Lord Ram one can ask, as a lot of them – government agencies, archaeological department etc are asking. My question is this – Who is Lord Ram who on a regular basis…once every 10 years or so comes like Hurrican Katrina and makes waste of common sense, humanity, logic and other such trivia?

To begin with – Lord Ram is the beloved God of most of northern India other than South India. The ruling party of Tamil Nadu, the Indian state overseeing the construction of the bridge is DMK. Led by writer, poet and atheist Karunanidhi who posed some very entertaining questions – sample this – who is this Lord Ram? How did an army of monkeys construct this bridge over troubled waters? Where did Ram get his engineering degree from?

This has outraged the hell and heaven off the believers. How dare anyone ask WHO the good Lord is or was? Isn’t it understood, they ask, incredulity writ large on their faces. They also being experienced politicians have extended support to the ecologists. Now the work on the project has been stopped. Battle lines have been drawn. Faith vs Science. Where is Lord Ram?