Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sania Mirza

How many times havent my jaws dropped at even a small glimpse of her. I just couldn't restrain myself on blogging about Sania Mirza. How could I ? There was a period where i lost interest in tennis. Sometime when Graf and Hingis called it their day (though hingis came back unexpectedly). Those were the years i completely lost touch with tennis ( be it male or the female). So i remember the last time i saw tennis with emotion was when Sampras was on the Hard court , Ivanesevic ruthlessly meted the aces to his opponent. But after years of passive tennis(kept informed of it only by the print), Sania's tennis sort of got me back on my toes to watch tennis again.

But is she another bait at the hands of the media? Is she over rated ? i wouldnt completely refuse this.It is generally against my nature to review a person whom i like so much . I somehow overlook their weaklinks with the intense adulation showered upon them. So its kind of a tough transition from an obstinate follower of a star to a blogger who has to see both sides of the coin.

Well above all sania is kind of basking in the glory of last year. Hasnt happened in the history before when a teenager, moves from the 700 th odd rank to the 38th. The entry into the 3rd round of the australian open , to the crown at the hyderabad open and a number of other WTA and ATP doubles and singles feats.In a Nutshell her tennis was a tour de force.She took the country by a storm and a lot of endorsements flowing her way.She needs a pat on the back for the maturity with which she has handled the adulation. She has the sensibilities her age tends to obviate. Coming out in the open to flank Khushboo and the accepting the comments the press has over her attire, inspite of the taboo that is pressed on by her reliegon.From dashing looks to attending any function that has a social value attaced to it , she has come a long way.

But is this all we expect from a tennis star . For a star ,yes, this would suffice but for a tennis star, i think she has lots of ground to cover , before she could actually ends up in the history books as an idol( this was a controversy some time back when the Government said she is nt that big a star to enter the history text as the youth icon ).Now about her tennis PRESENTLY i feel that she is a usual "one trick pony" , that India over the years has produced .She has an amazing forehand and no other weapon to back it up .Lots of unforced errors and a weak conversion of the second serve.We do have steffi who just had an amazing forehand and very average other facets to her game , who made it big. But not all can have her perfection in terms of first serve and unforced errors.I personally feel that Sania is camouflaging her weakness (in the form of a fore hand only athlete) in the name of natural game. She needs to buck up in other departments before she can actually satisfy the huge fan following that she boasts of back home. Yeah foreign coach problem is acceptable but she from her side has to reduce the number of unforced errors if she needs her name ( and the country's) to stand apart in the world tenis arena.

Not taking any credits away from last year's performance , She has to bear the brunt of the immense hype that the media has provided the country with. How well she takes it and moves forward with the game is what we have to wait and watch.As Vijay Amrithraj said " she either makes or breaks her career , in the next couple of years ". She needs to wake up that it wont be long before she is fed out with the same treatment that Saurav Ganguly received if she continues to be a "one trick pony". On one side people are waking up that female sportspersons other than her in India aren't gettin the same money(even if their achievement was on par to hers) as she is , and on the other people are speculating what she would do after her ephemeral tennis career. The best way to shut all mouths would be to answer back with consistent performance.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Astrology is one of the major money spinning professions today. How many of us wouldn't have seen or heard, people with their take on how your day is going to be. Almost all satellite channels have their morning slots with one or the other forecast based programmes. You have even the print media giving their forecasts for the day and week.

And why wouldn't anyone capitalise on the huge market that is thrown open. You even have the mobile service providers providing this at a nominal cost.
But I have a different take on astrology. Please don't go ahead if you are a staunch follower of astrology.

Not only I but most of us who have done their schooling, have been taught right from scratch about how to deal with life scientifically. They iterate me to question everything that happens around me and thats the only way i am going to learn . But you always have an antithesis when you are back home. They would ask(rather force) you to accept whatever they do without questioning and the reason atleast i have got for most practices would be " Our forefathers weren't mugs with their lives". Does it mean that practices even though unacceptable would evolve as correct because they are in practice for a lot of years .

There is a school of thought that astrology is a science that can be proved right. Yeah it can be,
but i personally feel that reading a last page of a thriller and probing about your future are the same. Man is a constantly evolving at the mind level. We always learn from experience and are better people everyday , learning from mistakes and more equipped to handle situations , which have shaken us in the past. These may be irrelevant but i have mentioned this to corroborate the fact that "Life is a journey than a destination".

And going ahead assuming that astrology is really scientific , I sincerely don't like that fact that my life isn't under my control. I prefer not to be a pillion so that i can control my vehicle and on a macroscopic level my life. I have grown up with all the lessons that hardwork can take you to horizons that otherwise wouldnt have been possible.

And taking a hypothetical condition that if a person knows he isnt going to have an exiting future, so what's next? The whole hope of succeeding and living is lost.
A Russian author Doestoevesky who was sentenced to death and then was vindicated at the 11th hour. He then went on to write the book called "The Idiot" in which he says that Capital punishment should be abolished , and his rationale behind this was when a person is indicted and put to capital punishment , he loses the Hope for Life . Mankind leverages on hope and when this is lost , living becomes elusive, and spending your time in the cell is better not described .Now when a person gets to know of his future ( through astrology ) and it isnt the way he expects his life to be , he loses the hope towards life and underperforms, thereby having a not so bright life .But few and far between does he realise that it was his lack of effort that has got him here .
This is a vicious circle.

P.S: I am not an atheist , but just a non be
liever of astrology

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Golden Words From The "Grey" Gold

The speech delivered by the Honorable President of India at the inaugural
memorial lecture on the first death anniversary of Shri Ambani in

Please make time to read it. Especially if you live in India.
May be this is long but i am very sure you'll long for more

"Why is the media here so negative?
Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our
achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success
stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?

We are the first in milk production.
We are number one in Remote sensing satellites.
We are the second largest producer of wheat.
We are the second largest producer of rice.
Look at Dr. Sudarshan, he has transferred the tribal village into a
self-sustaining, self-driving unit.

There are millions of such achievements but our media is only obsessed in
the bad news and failures and disasters.

I was in Tel Aviv once and I was reading the Israeli newspaper. It was the
day after a lot of attacks and bombardments and deaths had taken place. The
Hamas had struck. But the front page of the newspaper had the picture of a
Jewish gentleman who in five years had transformed his desert into an
orchid and a granary.
It was this inspiring picture that everyone woke up to. The gory details of
killings, bombardments, deaths, were inside in the newspaper, buried among
other news.
In India we only read about death, sickness, terrorism, crime. Why are we
so NEGATIVE? Another question: Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with
foreign things? We want foreign T. Vs, we want foreign shirts. We want
foreign technology.
Why this obsession with everything imported. Do we not realize that
self-respect comes with self-reliance? I was in Hyderabad giving this
lecture, when a 14 year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her
what her goal in life is. She replied: I want to live in a developed India.

For her, you and I will have to build this developed India. You must
proclaim. India is not an under-developed nation; it is a highly developed
nation. Do you have 10 minutes? Allow me to come back with a vengeance.
Got 10 minutes for your country? If yes, then read; otherwise, choice is
YOU say that our government is inefficient.
YOU say that our laws are too old.
YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the garbage.
YOU say that the phones don't work, the railways are a joke,
The airline is the worst in the world, mails never reach their destination.
YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute pits.
YOU say, say and say. What do YOU do about it?
Take a person on his way to Singapore. Give him a name - YOURS. Give him a
face - YOURS.
YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your International best. In
Singapore you don't throw cigarette butts on the roads or eat in the
YOU are as proud of their Underground links as they are. You pay $5
(approx. Rs. 60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Mahim
Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 PM and 8 PM. YOU come back to the
parking lot to punch your parking ticket if you have over stayed in a
restaurant or a shopping mall irrespective of your status identity... In
Singapore you don't say anything, DO YOU?

YOU wouldn't dare to eat in public during Ramadan, in Dubai. YOU would not
dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah. YOU would not dare to
buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds ( Rs.650)
a month to, 'see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to someone
'YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 km/h) in Washington and then
tell the traffic cop, 'Jaanta hai main kaun hoon (Do you know who I am?). I
am so and so's son. Take your two bucks and get lost.'
YOU wouldn't chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage
pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand.
Why don't YOU spit Paan on the streets of Tokyo? Why don't YOU use
examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston???
We are still talking of the same YOU.
YOU who can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but
cannot in your own. You who will throw papers and cigarettes on the road
the moment you touch Indian ground. If you can be an involved and
appreciative citizen in an alien country, why cannot you be the same here
in India?
Once in an interview, the famous Ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay, Mr.
Tinaikar, had a point to make. 'Rich people's dogs are walked on the
streets to leave their affluent droppings all over the place,' he said.
'And then the same people turn around to criticize and blame the
authorities for inefficiency and dirty pavements. What do they expect the
officers to do? Go down with a broom every time their dog feels the
pressure in his bowels?
In America every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job.
Same in Japan. Will the Indian citizen do that here?'

He's right. We go to the polls to choose a government and after that
forfeit all responsibility. We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect
the government to do everything for us whilst our contribution is totally
negative. We expect the government to clean up but we are not going to stop
chucking garbage all over the place nor are we going to stop to pick a up a
stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to
provide clean bathrooms but we are not going to learn the proper use of
We want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and
toiletries but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least opportunity.
This applies even to the staff who is known not to pass on the service to
the public. When it comes to burning social issues like those related to
women, dowry, girl child! and others, we make loud drawing room
protestations and continue to do the reverse at home. Our excuse? 'It's the
whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my
sons' rights to a dowry.' So who's going to change the system?

What does a system consist of? Very conveniently for us it consists of our
neighbours, other households, other cities, other communities and the
government. But definitely not me and YOU. When it comes to us actually
making a positive contribution to the system we lock ourselves along with
our families into a safe cocoon and look into the distance at countries far
away and wait for a Mr.Clean to come along & work miracles for us with a
majestic sweep of his hand or we leave the country and run away.

Like lazy cowards hounded by our fears we run to America to bask in their
glory and praise their system. When New York becomes insecure we run to
England. When England experiences unemployment, we take the next flight out

to the Gulf. When the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and
brought home by the Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape
the country. Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience is
mortgaged to money.
Dear Indians, The article is highly thought inductive, calls for a great
deal of introspection and pricks one's conscience too.... I am echoing J.
F. Kennedy's words to his fellow Americans to relate to Indians.....
Lets do what India needs from us."

Thank you,
Dr. Abdul Kalaam