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Friday, November 28, 2014

Philip Hughes : an uncalled death

A sad demise of a Cricketer on field. Philip Hughes died because of a head injury during a domestic cricket match in Australia. A full blown bouncer was thrown towards him, and his misjudgement in reading the ball costed him his life. 
Such incidences some time make us think, how much of aggression is necessary in games. Isn't it said that games are meant for recreation. It is this this aggression which makes a bowler ball a bloody bouncer, or an athlete take drug doses to go that little extra faster than all others, or even make a racial attack, just to tone down the confidence of the opponent.
Few years one of the Indian players "Raman Lamba" lost his life in a similar incident, when he got little aggressive and tried fielding very close to the batsman. And now this incidence is added to that list. I have always thought about games as a sincere effort to play the game in such a fashion that all can enjoy the game. 
I have seen people getting hurt while playing such games Cricket, Football, Hockey and at times it brings a halt to one's life, just like what happened to Philip Hughes or Raman Lamba. What is the use of playing such a game. I have totally stopped playing all such games where unnecessary aggression comes into picture. My intention is always to enjoy the game. I never found a reason for bowlers to ball bouncers. I was a medium pacer and believe me I was very economic. I have been  hit for only one six in over hundreds of overs I might have bowled. That is my record. And I was always cautious that my ball should not only not touch batsman's bat but also it is safely away from the batsman too. But that was my way  to play cricket. 
And as obvious, that is not the way the world plays it. 
People would suggest that if good quality safety kits are used, then, such incidences can be avoided. In a way, yes, that is possible, but you never know when would your safety guards give up and unknowingly expose you to life threatening situation. Besides, I wonder if Philips was using a low grade quality helmet which can not save him from deadly Australian bouncers.

It remains a question to argue, but mistake if  I become ICC chief, I will put condition. Either remove situations like deadly bouncers or sign  a contract where you are responsible for your life. I will declare games like Cricket as action sports which are dangerous for ones health.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cadbury advertisement - one more favourite after a gap

Cadbury ads always had that quotient of sweetness in it. I have already written a post on this topic , where I revisited an old ad from 90's and how its quality went down with the introduction of Cadbury Silk. But then it recuperated a bit  and with this latest ad probably it is again back to its glory days.
This recent ad has removed all the bad impressions made by those yucky Cadbury Silk introductory ads and brought back the interesting chemistry between people with a taste of cadbury infront of people.  For the first time, I felt like the words in the lyrics make any sense with what is happening in the ad. The expressions on the faces of two actors added more genuineness in to it. I really enjoyed watching this ad.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Calorie chart for Indian Dishes and Tracking

I have written earlier about tracking your running activity using "Caledos Runner". I suggested an app which allows you to track the time, speed, distance as well as relative calories burnt during your walk or run. It is pretty helpful to keep a track and there by improvise your performance.
In addition to such an app, many a times we are looking for an aid that helps you keep track of what you eat. How much calories of food you intake everyday. If you are eating say 3000 calories every day and in return you are burning just 300 calories by running, then there is pretty much significant advantage of exercise.
There is a calculation which suggests that your calorie intake should not be more than
(Your weight in kgs) * 24 calories
i.e. if you are 80 kg, then maximum allowed calories for you are 80 * 24 i.e. 1920 calories.
This will maintain your weight at 80 kgs.
If you want to reduce your weight, then definitely your intake should  be less than this figure.
But this figure can not be reduced by more than 500 calories.
Means there is a lower limit to your reduced calorie intake. In this case, you should not reduce your intake to less than 1420 calories.
And in any case it should be reduced below 1000 calories per day.
 Now, main question that arises, is how do you measure this calorie intake.
For that again there is an app available. Easiest available one is "Bing Health and fitness".
There is a facility of Diet Tracking  with in this app. It has a list of dishes with corresponding  calorie value, and it allows you to keep a track of your calorie per day and makes a record of it for you to follow your regular diet needs.
There is one small problem with this app though. The list mostly is designed according to the food habits of western society. For example, I tried to search for "Besan Laddoo" (Thanks to heavy eating during Diwali). But the list does not contain such an item. Although there is a scope to customize the list. So, if you want to modify the list according to your food habits, there is a scope.
Now the next question, where will you find the list of food items of Indian origin and their corresponding energy content value.Most of the webpages, I came across, provide details of food out of western food habits. So, searching for Indian food with calorie chart needed little digging. I did little search and am providing here with two links which provide most of the food cuisines of Indian origin.

Kindly take advantage of these links, update you "Bing Health and Fitness" list and try to keep a track of your per day calorie intake.  This of course is relevant to those who are continuous about their health. For others, just enjoy the food 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Movies - disappointing day by day

There was a time when a bunch of people preferentially chose to watch Hollywood movies over Bollywood movies. I belong to that bunch. The main reasons for such a preference included good story, better presentation, no songs! and short time (almost half of any Bollywood movie). Most of the Hollywood movies I watched back then used to grip me to the seat right from the beginning till the end. I came across first part of Lord of the Rings and it made me voraciously read that huge book of almost 1200 pages with font 8, just because I could not wait long for the second part of the movie to know the story. Movies like Gladiator, Brave Heart, still have a great impression on my mind. Jurassic Park really opened a new chapter of imagination for us. Movies like Day after Tomorrow introduced to the concept of probable extinction of human race. And who can forget the series of Harry Potter movies who took every body right from a small kid to a Grand father for a joy ride.
When I used to once in a while watch a Bollywood movie, my time was spent looking at the watch. Except for a few movies like Tare Zameen Par or 3 idiots, watching a hindi movie is most of the time a torture. I enjoyed watching Chak De movie though. It was so good to watch a sports based movie in Hindi which was a rare case till then. Fortunately there weren't too many songs (specifically some romantic song) to unnecessarily stretch the movie. But then " Bhag Milkha Bhag" was little disappointing, though, Farhan Akhtar has taken some real efforts to get in the character. At the same time, I wonder how few movies cross 100 crore mark so easily when it is not even worthy of even 1 crore. Recently released movie "Happy New Year" has crossed  100 crore mark in just 3 days. I wonder if that movie is so good. All such movies ride on publicity stunts.
In between, few Marathi movies also started making a mark. People started talking about these marathi movies. So, I also took a dip in this ocean. But, I am mostly disappointed. Recently, a movie named "Duniya dari" became a big hit among Marathi movie fans. Even financially, it was very successful. It crossed  28 crores scale as I had heard reports. So, when it was released on TV, I decided to watch this movie. I am yet to understand what clicked in this movie. I found it really difficult to continue watching it after 45 minutes ( with first 45 minutes spent in some hope of good story further).
So, with such reasons, I was reduced to watch only Hollywood movies for my entertainment. I was fascinated by Iron man series. First part was just awesome. The way it built up was fantastic. Its second part was also interesting, but by the time third part arrived, the series lost the touch. Same thing happened with Trasnformer series. First and second part were mind blowing but then it kind of lost the plot. By the time fourth part arrived, I guess the main character changed and it suddenly become alien. Same way, I was disappointed with the Bourne Series. I thing first three parts of the movie are the most fast pace movies I have ever seen. But, the fourth part took another turn, changing story a bit, the main character and it lost its touch. 
I was so looking forward to the new Godzilla version. For some reasons, I could not watch that movie when released. yesterday, I happened to watch it and felt good, not spending money on it. Are you kidding? 2 mutant creatures trying to reproduce and Godzilla comes to save us by killing them in a fierce fight! What kind of story is this.
I liked Thor, to some extent. And hoping that second part won't be a disappointment. I have the movie with me, but, wondering, should I spend my time watching it!
Avengers was a series which did not attract my attention at all. I think, the movie arrived when we were too much saturated with the super heroes and so, it could not make an impact, though, it is one of the most watched movies.
I liked Avatar and I heard they are bringing the next part. I hope it is not true.
I liked Spiderman with Toby Mcguire. Believe all the movies in the series. But then, they converted it into Amazing Spiderman with new hero and it lost all.
One movie that amazed me was "Planet of the apes". Its second part is released. I haven't watched it, but I am looking forward to get a copy of it and watch how the movie progressed.
Overall, I have realized that over the time, even the Hollywood movies have become predictable. Either, the movies do not have very high standards, or we have matured enough to not just get impressed by any thing that comes in front of us. We have started finding mistakes in those movies. We have started pointing out " How can they miss this? ". We have started wondering " Isn't it that obvious!". If this is a case with Hollywood movies which surely keep much high standards compared to our Hindi or Marathi movies, there is not surprise when we find it difficult to get through a Hindi or Marathi.
I just hope, we don't see a day when movies become totally insignificant

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Maharashtra elections

A week more and Maharashtra goes into election. Lots of new developments took place in last couple of days. All should be called significant. On one side, BJP-SHIVSENA coalition (25 years old) broke, and on the other side (CONGRESS-NCP) coalition also broke.
This has made elections very intresting. It is a 5 cornered fight now. And I believe, this will really bring the real image of all the parties in front of the voters.
On one side, Shivsena is still sulking on the breaking of the partnership. They are trying to create a picture that it is all BJP's fault. It probably worked for initial 2-3 days of campaigning, but now, it has started appearing that Shivsena has no other agenda to present. Seems like Shivsena is doomed.
BJP seems to have chosen the high road. They are as far as possible neglecting what shivsena or other parties are saying regarding the breaking of coalition. They have brought their star campaigner, Modi, who is pitching once again for Development.
Seems like Modi wave is yet to be over and may help BJP.
Congress and NCP seem to have no agenda.
While Congress is trying to encash some developments like monorail, metro and worli -bandra sealink, they have no other thing to show. All these developments are part of Mumbai. What about rest of Maharashtra. No advertisement on that front.
NCP is also trying to make some profit out of the development in last 10 years. But some how they are not able to encash it. Their main power resides on the local popularity of their candidate. Some regions of Maharashtra are their forts, untouchable. At rest of the places, hardly a possibility.
The fifth corner is MNS. Raj Thackrey is another one than BJP who is pushing on development card. He has released the blue print for Maharashtra's development(available at http://mnsblueprint.org/)
A quick look shows that he has done his homework. As always, he impresses with his oratory. But on the backdrop of his Loksabha results, its difficult to say, how good he is at the moment. But, my guess is, he could be underdog.
Overall, its going to be a tough contest. Most probably, it will be a hung parliament.
I feel BJP will make the most of it, followed by NCP and Shivsena, then Congress and MNS.But its difficult to pinpoint the number of  seats each party will win. That requires a little more detailed study. 
But one thing is sure, all the leaders shouting at each other at the moment, will soon become friends once their need for each others help to form a government  becomes the major intention.
Every body in Maharashtra will be eagerly waiting for October 19. The big day

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yes!! Mangal Yaan

Today morning, after a long time, I believe, pretty much all Indians were concentrating on only one news. Normally it happens when Indian team is playing a crucial cricket match, either a world cup final or a match against Pakistan. But this time the event was altogether different.
For  the first time, any country's satellite has reached and successfully has started revolving around any other planet than Earth. Our Mangal Yaan,which was launched almost 300 days back finally reached in the zone of Mars. A set of commands were sent almost 10 days ago, which functioned today and the engines were started. This was done to adjust the path to be followed by the satellite, so that it will start orbiting around Mars in the decided trajectory.
There is a time delay of nearly 24 minutes to know what exactly is happening some millions of kms away.
Our Scientists at ISRO have done it. That is the tag line for today. It is a big boost for all of us. At the same time, we have been economic in doing this. We have spent less money than in the making of movie Gravity and in turn have actually sent a satellite to Mars. This is a big achievement.

After a long time I am feeling proud and feel like sharing and discussing it with any body I meet today. 
I wanted to talk about it and that is why this post. I believe all of you are also sharing the same feeling.
Congratulations to all the involved scientists and also congratulations to all of us.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The story of Sailing Stones of California

Imagine  a day, you come out of home and see a big rock (immovable by normal humans) lying on your way. And no body knows how it came there. And apparently, it sailed its own way at your doorsteps.
Sounds creepy. But there are some rocks known to move on their own. These rocks are as heavy as 300 kgs and they may cover a distance of upto 250 meters.
These rocks are found in the Mojave desert of  California where the temperature goes upto 57 C on a hot day. In this desert, there is a plain surrounded from all sides by mountains. In this plain, the temperature in the night may go down to sub zero. And this is the key behind the movement of the stones.
Scientists have been trying to understand the mechanism behind the movement of these stones since 1948 when it was first observed. And it took so many years, when just last month, the work of Dr. Lorenz of Hopkins University revealed the mechanism behind this movement.
Apparently after the rain what ever water is remaining on the surface of the soil, it freezes to ice under sub-zero conditions. If this ice is surrounding a stone, then it will be responsible for the movement of the stone. When wind breeze moves over the ice, this ice partially melts and a motion in the direction of the wind is initiated. The friction offered by the surface of the soil is relatively less as compared to the push by the ice layer covering the stone. As a result, the stone is compelled to move in the direction of wind.
Thus, a suitable combination of water on the surface around the stone, a sub zero temperature condition, a slight wind breeze makes it possible for a heavy stone of ~ 300 kgs to move with out any human intervention.
This is an interesting observation solving a mystery revolving around scientists mind for over 70 years.
You may read a lot more in details about sailing stones here and about the answer to the mystery here.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Flame

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ganapati Bappa Moraya

Since tomorrow a big festival is beginning in India. Especially in Maharashtra. Its called Ganesh Utsav.
Beginning tomorrow, people in Maharashtra brings a statue of Lord Ganesh at their homes or even in their society and worship for period of upto 10 days.
The story behind this festival is less of religion and more of social and political reasons.  In 1893, Lokmanya Gangadhar Tilak started this as an event to bring people together and create awareness among people about the ruling British empire. It received a huge support from people and became an important event. Slowly over the time, it spread all over India. After Independence, the social cause of social development got attached to this festival. But over the time, somehow, the component of social cause has been depleting in the festival. Even the component of religious belief has reduced significantly. At the same time, people are using this festival more like an opportunity to earn money and giving an erratic form to the celebrate. Big processions which went on  for over a day, when all the transportation of the city is crippled is very common. People drink and dance on very loud music without bothering that the loud music may bring heart attack to some one.
There is a heavy load over police in these days. Not to forget, this is a very big chance for terrorist attack since there is a big crowd every where.
But all is not bad. There are some groups which are very famous among people for their activities.
For ex. Lord Ganesh statue by Dagdu Sheth Halwai in Pune. This is one of the most famous Ganesh Statue in Maharashtra. People not just from Maharashtra, but from all over India and even abroad Countries visit Pune to worship.
This group is very famous for the kind of decorations and arrangements they make during this 10 days festival. In the immersion procession which takes place on 10th day, this statue is among the last few ones and all the people actually wait for this statue to participate in the procession. Once this statue passes through, the crowd significantly decreases.
One interesting activity by the group is the "Atharvashirsh Pathan". Atharvashirsha  is a most recited Sanskrit text in Maharashtra. Here, Lord is praised in many different fashions by remembering his strength, wisdom and intelligence. The interesting thing to note here is this Atharvashirsha is recited by hundreds of women in front of Lord Ganesh. This has given an opportunity to bring women power together and brings awareness and change in many different ways of looking towards women. All the women of Pune actively participate in this event where there are hundreds or thousands of women reciting Atharvashirsha together. It is an amazing environment to experience.
One of the Lord Ganesh Statue which is equally famous is the Lal Baug Raja statue in Mumbai. This is the most famous statue in Mumbai and is the centre of attraction for all the people in Mumbai. A rough estimate is that in the 10 days of festival, number of visitors for this statue as big 50 million or even bigger than that.
These coming 10 days are a wonderful time to visit Maharashtra. There is some kind of energy every where. All the people are in festival mood and all evenings are an event. It brings people together, and teach them to celebrate together. At times, as is the basic theme of the festival, it crosses the boundaries of  religion and involves every body irrespective of religion or caste. There is a need to route out some erratic behaviours that got associated with the festival. But it will take its course to undo them.
So, if you happen to be in Maharashtra and more specifically in Pune or Mumbai, do make an appointment with Lord Ganesh and get upbeat.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bobby Jasoos - An entertaining movie

Now a days I have kind of visiting Cinema Halls for movies.It is painful to spend Rs. 300-400 and end up with disappointment. My last movie in theatres was IronMan-III. That is what almost 2 years back I guess.
Anyway, I happened to catch a recently released movie "Bobby Jasoos" on TV. 
We were apprehensive to watch the movie considering it was recently released and now it is on TV with in few months. But then there was nothing else worth watching on other TV channels, we ended up watching this movie. And for a change, it was a good decision. Some how, the movie managed to kept us connected to it for whole time. Good thing is even whole time was hardly one hr and 30 minutes.
Movie started OK. But the Hyderabadi style started taking grip slowly which it could hold till the end. Well ofcourse there were many visibly lacunae in the movie but still it was entertaining.
For a change there were a few songs in the movie. And even the songs were bad. In stead of regular "Dinkachika" kind of lyrics and music, the songs carried some beautiful words which went well the melodious music.
Vidya Balan really pulled the movie. One doesn't feel, but her acting skills slowly takes hold of your attention. And then there were some strong actors working as side actors. This is one movie which I found clean and cool to watch. Its entertaining and surely is not disappointing. If you haven't watched this movie yet, so find some time and take a look at it. You will surely have a good time for atleast one and a half hour.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Dahi Handi, new rules made and taken back

Just five days back I wrote a post about the new rules brought in for Dahi Handi festival. As per the rules, members involved in pyramid formation should be at least 18 years old and the pyramid can not be of more than 5 steps.
But with in 5 days, Supreme court changed this rule. Now the pyramid is back to 9-10 steps and the members age can not be less than 12 years. For safety purpose, there should be cushions on the floor surrounding the pyramid.
As of now, while I am watching the live telecast on TV, what  I am seeing doesn't really fit in these new rules. There are no cushions I see on the floor. Also, the apex member seems to be in the range of age 10-12 years. For name sake, there is safety belt given to this only member. On Paper, it says that this time there is no cash money prize on any of the Dahi Handis in Mumbai. The program live doesn't show it that way though.
 I believe some reformations will be brought in coming days to make it a safe festival and reducing it from commercial value.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

New rules for Dahi Handi: Justified

 One of the big festivals of India is Dahi Handi. Back ground of the festival connects it to Lord Krishna who used to gather his friends and with their help used to steal Makhan (Butter) which used to kept at a height in a pot. To gain access, Krishna's friends would make a pyramid and Krishna will ride over it and get the pot down. Some times, the pot would break and all the butter would spill out.
In today's date, a bigger version of this small story is seen round every corner. This festival is most famous in Mumbai. It has received a professional touch where some businessmen, MLAs, Corporators put this as a challange for different groups called Govinda Pathak to make huge pyramids and then break the pot. There is a big prize for the winner. Sometimes, the prize money goes upto Rupees 65 lakh or say Rs 6.5 million ( 1 $ = ~ Rs. 65)
To make the challenge more difficult, the pot is put at a very big height. At present, the group has to make a pyramid of 9-10 steps. If average height of group members is considered say 5.5 feet then, the pit height would be somewhere around 50 feet from the group. 

To top that, till date the person who breaks the pot is a small kid mostly around 10-12 years old chosen because of his light weight. As far as my knowledge goes, there is a support provided to this person only through a crane. All other group members who make pyramid steps say upto 8 steps  (40 feet) are on their own.

The Govinda pathak agrees to take up this challenge mainly because of the cash money associated with it. This pyramid building is a difficult task and most of the time the attempts fails when one of the group member looses balance. This results in crashing of all the members. Imagine one falling down from 40 feet. On the ground, it is mainly the people who  try to catch them and that is the only way for the safety of the Govinda pathak. It so happens that many of the group members get injured and even sometime die because of the head injury. In short, the festival has become more of a money making businesss than the actual connection with the Lord Krishna.

This year, there was some controversy where allowing small kids in pyramid building was prohibited. A lot of things happen and eventually the court gave orders that the minimum age of the member of Govinda pathak is 18. No body less than this age will be allowed in pyramid building. Also, the maximum height has been reduced to 20 feet. That means the pyramid will be formed maximum of 4-5 steps.
I think this is a welcoming order and it should be strictly followed. One should not forget that the people who actually participate in such activities are those who have to earn their bread daily. These are the people who don't have lots of money in their bank account and if they don't get their daily wages, they might not get food for the day. And many a times, this need is the reason which makes them put their life in danger.
Many of the organizers have opposed this order and are planning to go ahead with their original plan. Because other wise there won't be big gathering to see a small pyramid breaking a pot. Guess, they care more about the gathering and less about the festival and Govinda pathak.

Monday, August 11, 2014

India's debacle at Old Trafford, Manchester

What happened few days back in Old Trafford, Manchester Test match was a Cauchemar. There are so many things debatable about this match.
Beginning with the decision to bat first. Was it a right decision. Apparently not. When four of your batsmen get out at a score of 8, it certainly can not be called a right decision. But, I think, it could have been proved a  right decision, if our batsmen would have shown little temperament to stick around. When one or two of your wickets go down, one should get extra vigilant for every ball thrown towards them. If nothing else, the way English batsmen batted proved the point. They played well enough to get a lead of almost 200 runs, a lead bigger than what Indians scored overall.
Indian batsmen did not learn their lesson even in the second inning. I tried to follow the inning for some time. I took  few minutes break and when I returned to the match, India was one down. Murali Vijay was gone. Another 20 minutes and Gambhir was on his was back to pavilion. I kind of gave up seeing this performance and started watching a sit com that goes for around 20 minutes. When I returned once again to the match after 20 mins, India went down 61-5. That felt disgraceful to even watch. Why can't Indian team adapt to the condition on foreign soil. Agree that there is a swing of as big as 28 cms at occasions, but guys, you are professional cricketers! You are supposed to play those balls right. Forget English batsmen, even low order batsmen managed to survive those balls to an extent. Dhoni, who is not a technical batsmen could survive and score 71 runs in first inning. Even Ashwin could score 40 runs. This probably is more than the collective effort of our top 5 batsmen in both the innings.
One good thing is Dhawan is rested. I don't believe, he is a player for India in  a long run. India should continue with Gambhir instead of Dhawan. Also, give rest to Kohli. He is probably busy with other curricular activities, so as not to concentrate on his game. I am wondering what is the problem with Pujara. He is supposed to be the next Dravid in making for India. With this performance, that seems doubtful. Rahane is instead succeeding in his efforts to stay strong, but even he is not consistent. And what to say about Sir Jadeja. No doubt, Ashwin is better alternative for him in the next test.
Our bowlers are also funny. Ishant Sharma, played one good game and then he got injured. How on earth, do you expect to be the spear head of Indian attack. Who is this Pankaj Singh? Never saw him playing anywhere. Never heard of him and suddenly he is the main Indian attack who is preferred over Shami or Varun. Some thing is not right.
Indian think tank is probably resting in some corner and  the Captain is still in Lords. Wake up, do something in the last test match. Make Indian batsmen realize that they are supposed to consistently score runs. With out runs, our already weak bowling attack becomes pathetic.
For last few days, we rather enjoyed watching Common wealth games over the test matches. Probably it will be good to make this a habit to look for other sports rather than this pathetic Indian performance.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Good Work India at Common Wealth Games

Common Wealth games ended yesterday. It was an interesting 10 day tour which helped us witness all different variety of games. India's performance at these games was marginally well. Though their medal tally reduced significantly, but Indians managed to make a significant mark in some games. 
It is clear now that, we hold a good control over shooting events. India managed to grab as many as 17 medals in different events. Of course, the number of gold in these 17 medals is less, but still, it proves our hold on this game. Abhinav Bindra as expected brought one Gold for India. He has declared it to be his last Common Wealth stint. I believe he has done a great service to Indian sports by not only winning Gold but also promoting this game to such an extent that we have started grabbing most of the medals of the sport.
Shooting is followed by another game which brought India 13 medals. It is Wrestling. Two names, Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt are a must. These two names have been rounds for some time now and I guess now they should be included in the list of legends. While Sushil Kumar made us learn that we can win Wrestling, Yogeshwar Dutt taught us the meaning of hard work and perseverance. This times Yogeshwar's performance was beyond limit of any wrestler in his weight category. He managed to win all his matches with 2 minutes. There was simply no match for him including Finals. No wonder, more and more better wrestlers including girls have started not only knocking the doors but even grabbing golds in their first ever attempts.
There is a little disappointment with Boxing though. We had a chance of winning four golds here but we ended up loosing all four of our final bouts. And we did not just lost, our boxers including the famous Vijender Singh were at times not able to stand straight on their feet. It was painful to see their fights.
This time Table Tennis and Squash teams also managed to bring home some laurels. It was good to see our teams doing good on these fronts too.
I was impressed the way Kashyap won his Gold in Badminton. It was a tough fight against the young 19 years old Singaporean. The opponent was not just good but amazing. The way he was covering the ground was astonishing.  He made me believe at a point that the Gold is going their way. But Kasyap fought back with such an aggression, that the kid on the other side got tired and pretty much lost his way. Although, he made Kashyap struggle to the maximum possible extent before loosing control over Gold.
In contrast, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lost their Gold in a most pathetic manner I have ever seen. I was wondering whether this is a Common Wealth Final games. The two ladies were hardly making any movement and were playing all using their hand and wrist. There hardly was any court coverage. Even I, who has played Badminton to marginal competition level could find so many gaps left in the court. Some of Ashwini's shots even reminded me of the famous hindi song "Dhal Gaya Din, Ho gayi Raat" where Jitendra and an actress are playing a funtime outdoor badminton game. I think its high time India needs alternativce doubles team.

India once again lost the final of Hockey to Australia. Some how, Australia is always a barrier for India, which we find difficult to cross. We need to come out of this issue with Australia and build ourself so strong that no matter which team comes infront, its their time to fear and not ours.
This time we got some success in Athletics and Gymnastics too, which is welcoming.
Over all India did well. I expected 80 medals, but we could reach upto 64. We scored 15 golds and as many as 25 silvers.Which means, Indians could reach the finals of 40 events. That is not bad.
I will avoid making any comments on the last minute controversy of 2 Indian officials bring shame to the Country.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dekho dekhe ye zamana

A new ad has been "floating" on our TV screens. After a long time a fresh music based ad is creating space in our mind. There are two aspects of the ad who gets your attention. One is visual treat. In the back drop of Rajasthan, a bunch of  ski divers make a jump and create an impression of wing while floating over the space over people. It looks improbable to imagine such a huge impression of wing being created that floats across the sky. But it is fantastic. Hats off to those who actually perform this stunt.

Dekho dekhe ye zamaana
Panchhi uda jaye re.
Ud jaye re, ye dekho panchhi
uda raha ye, pankh phelaye

Sabhi ko chhod kar
Wo dekho udd gaya

Are ud ud ud ud, are udgaya, udgaya, udgaya (Akshay Kumar voice)

Dekho dekhe ye zamaana
Panchhi uda jaye re.

Second and probably more impressive thing of the ad is the background song, that makes you stop for a minute and watch the complete ad. Song has very beautiful wordings heard in recent times and the voice used makes it eternal. I could not get the name of the singer anywhere, but it reminded me of Ustad Sultan Khan's singing who is well known for the video album " Piya basanti re".

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Lets go Glassgow

Common wealth games 2014 were inaugurated yesterday. Unike India, we hardly came to hear any news about the lacunae observed during preparation. That was surprising. In fact most of us must have come to know about commonwealth games just yesterday or may be today. I remember 2010 commonwealth were all full of mismanagement and involved corruption news. Anyway, that is an unending story.
Indians should be keep some good expectations from our players. Last time, we had a good season where India won 38 Golds, 26 Silver and 36 Bronze crossing a tally of 100 medals for the first time in this sporting event.
But there could be a problem in repeating the same run. Some of the events like Greeko-Roman Wrestling will  not be conducted this time. This will really badly hurt India's campaign.  Also, some Indian players like Saina Nehwal have pulled out of these events.
Overall, these games  will be interesting to watch. But expecting Indian tally to cross a ton is difficult. My expectations for the whole number stays around 80 at the max.
If you want the schedule of Indian player's day to day events, you may follow the link here:

Saturday, July 19, 2014

MH17 crisis: where did it really started

Two days back we saw a crisis struck all of us when a passenger plane was shot down at a height of 33,000 feet above the ground. This probably is first ever such incident when a plane full of non-troubling passengers was shot for probably no reason. 
MH17 -  a Malaysian plane going from Amsterdam - Kuala Lumpur  while on its way was crossing over the airs of Ukraine -Russia border. This region at the moment is on a war front. And for some reason, either the Ukraine defence, Russian defence or the pro-Russian rebels of Ukraine took this drastic step to hit the plane with missile and bring it down. All the 298 passengers are dead. For once, I was praying that all the passengers should have died the moment missile struck the plane. Otherwise, what those passengers must have gone through while falling down 33,000 feet.

Ukraine-Russia has been in this tense situation for some time now. As far the reports, last November Ukraine was supposed to sign an agreement with the European Union. But, Russia apparently put economic pressure on Ukraine. They put a counter offer of buying $15 billion Ukrainian bonds and provide gas to Ukraine at one third of the price.
The then President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, agreed to this deal and postponed signing of agreement with the European Union. This did not go well with the opposition. They smelled a dead rat and on investigation, revealed that it involves lot of corruption on part of the President himself. President made several attempts to shun these protests and even lead to few horrible massacres.
After lot of protests including violent as well as non violent, at one point opposition took charge. But there is a pro Russian group in the parts of Kiev (near to Russia) having their own agenda to be a part of Russia. Some how, the new Russian government succeeded into shun down this protest for some time. But they made a mistake soon. They went ahead and tried to declare Ukrainian as their only language. This did not  go well the pro Russian rebels who are comfortable with the Russian. A new wave of protests erupted where rebels started taking over the charge of cities closer to the Russian border.
Things have been going from worse to worst since then. There are three centres who are trying to get hold of Ukraine now. One, that is the government of Ukraine, second the pro Russian rebels who want to dissolve Ukraine back in Russian and third is the Russia, who are silently leaving no stone unturned to keep this issue on fire.
Two days back, the issue absorbed some innocent people who got nothing to do with this issue. 298 people form different countries lost their lives for no reason. 189 people belong to sole Netherlands. Their were some researchers who have big names and contributions in curing AIDS disease were also part of people who lost their lives. Their number may be in the range of 75-100. All of them were going to Australia for a conference.
There is an Australian family who lost their family members not just on MH17 but also on MH370 flight just few months ago which just disappeared some where with no clue what so ever of its existence.
This tragic incident should at least make politicians open their eyes and realize that the game they are playing is killing innocent lives. In the end this game leads to no good deeds and all that happens is suffering to every body involved or not. Will we ever learn any lesson out of it?

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Well deserved World Cup Winner - Germany

Congratulations Germany!
Football has received a well deserved Champion in this World Cup. I have been following performance of many teams since last few years. One team that always stood out was Germany.
In Euro Cup, I couldn't believe when Germany lost to Italy, thanks to Balotelli's two goals. Germany somehow don't have good answer to Italy and Spain's way of playing. If Germany is playing to either of these two teams, I am not sure if Germany would win. But, since, both the teams could not qualify beyond first round, I was kind of sure, that, this time, it is Germany.
Brazil and Argentina's game is not impressive. It is player centric and I feel there is lack of team work in these teams. That's why we get Neymar and Messi. We hear chants by their names, which, I doubt happen about Muller who has always been consistent but never came into picture untill last few days.
That also brings up another point how media turns a God into a criminal with in a day. Till yesterday, Messi was the God of Football, but today, he is looked upon as a criminal by the media. I found it so difficult to watch news today, because, overall tone of the news was, how it was all Messi's fault that Argentina lost. Luckily, Neymar managed to escape such a situation.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Was it really a Brazil -Germany match!

What happened last night was nothing less than a nightmare. Did any one expected that Brazil will go down so badly, the worst ever performance of any team in the semi finals of World Cup.
Before the match, when I was talking to someone, I predicted Germany's win. To support my statement, I added that since Nyemar is out and Silva is not playing, their strong point that is attack has become weak and their defence has always been weak. Brazil wins match because of their attack. I did not know, my words will be so true. Brazil's defence was not just weak, it was the weakest. Somewhere, Spain must be relieved that they were not worst looser of this world cup.
I always wanted Germany to win. I have been supporting them. I felt they had some problems from two teams, Spain and Italy. But since these two teams even did not make beyond the first cut, I started feeling assured that this times its Germany.
Yesterday's win has made that expectation even stronger.
I am wondering if Argentina or Netherlands are really thinking about winning the semi final match. Because if they win, they face Germany. Are they ready for it? 
I think, Argentina will make it to finals. Riding on the waves of Messi, they can make it to finals. But Messi alone is not enough to get them the cup considering they will be facing Germany. 
Netherlands is good, but are good enough to be in the finals? I suspect. 
Very soon, every thing will be clear.
Finally, a glimpse of the difference in body language between the two teams that mattered the most yesterday.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Airtel 2G data balance enquiry

Last week, I had a situation. I was supposed to be on the move for some time and I desperately wanted my mobile internet to be available during this move. But, my 2G data had almost finished and that too quite before its validity date. Considering that I won't get access to internet, I decided to make a recharge for 2G even before its validity expires, so that I will have enough 2G balance. I made an online Rs. 153  recharge giving me 1GB data balance on 2G for 28 days.
I got a message from Airtel saying "Recharge successful for Rs. 153. Talktime Credited: Rs 1.00, Processing Fee: Rs. 135.17, Service Tax: Rs. 16.83, -----Validity:  -----"

Now, normally when this message is received, the 2G balance of 1GB is added to your account. So, I did not bother about checking the balance. Later on, after using net on mobile for some time, a pop up came on my mobile mentioning my 2G data balance is only 11mb remaining. It showed no added balance of 1GB. 
This took me by surprise and I started trying different ways to check why the balance has not been added.
While doing so, I had to check the 2G balance after every (un) successful attempt. Normally, I receive pop up giving details of this balance but I was not sure how to check for the balance as per your convenience.
I did what any one would do. Check online. 
I came across many sites like these:




or many others like these

All these sites mostly suggest dialling a number *123*10# which apparently should let you know your 2G balance. For me it doesn't work. It ends up with very funny pop up like "local and STD minuted DA 10 bal 0.00 INR; "FaceBook without internet *325*88#(tollfree)"

That surely doesn't give me my expected answer.

There is another number mentioned in there:
This number returns 2G balance, but occasionally. And many a times some absurd balance that doesn't fit your calculation. Most of the times, I came across some error in returning answer.

I had also checked airtel's website.


Till few days back, when I check this site also was suggesting *123*10# for 2G data balance.

But now, it seems to have changed. I could not find any number specific number for 2G but there is a number *121*2#.
This number returns your call data, its validity, 2G data and validity together.
Once you dial this number a message pops up which basically is an ad of some airtel scheme. You need to wait for almost 3 seconds and then your expected message arrives.

So, next time, if you want to check your 2G balance, try *121*2#

And by the way, the answer to why it was not showing the added balance? Because, apparently my earlier scheme (where balance was almost finished) was still running with preference. Once its validity got over, automatically new scheme was started and new balance started appearing.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mumbai Airport - new Terminal 2

Click on photo for better view

Monday, June 23, 2014

Caledos Runner - A jogging App

I am trying to be a regular runner. My aim is to make it every alternate day, as that is the best way to get maximum benefit from running. Well, as of now, I succeed in doing it twice a week, which is not bad if compared to my few month back performance of once in 10 days.
There are two things which need to be improved while running. One is the distance covered and second is the time taken i.e. speed. Out of the two, at the moment, I am trying to concentrate on distance.
It all started, when my German friend took me to play Football in his group. I was surrounded by players from countries like Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal and many other European nations. Believe me, I could run around with them for hardly 3 minutes and that too in an indoor hand ball ground, which was followed by my 67 minutes rest. (Let me add it here, this is the best ever performance any normal Indian Cricket loving guy would give). This made me think, we need to do something. So, I started running and at one point I played one half  with out a break. (Played means I could run around with them. Touching football with feet was a rare situation countable on fingers.)
While in India, I tried to continue the same. I measured the distance around Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai using Wikimapia .org (http://drkaustubhjoshi.blogspot.in/2013/03/wikimapiaorg.html).
I had this old mobile having stop watch that helped me to keep track of time required. But since, I was not very regular as wished, it was difficult to keep track of performance. Recently, during a similar conversation with someone, I was suggested to check for an app that does this task. And that is when I came across this windows based app name "Caledos Runner". It is freely available. I installed this app on my Lumia. It took me little time to understand how it works, but now I am getting comfortable with it. It allows you to keep track of the distance ran, walked, jogged or any other such activity. You can even use it check your swimming performance, provided you mobile is water proof.
It tells you the time required. Probable calories burned, your average speed during the run. It also tells you your present pace, so if by mistake are running little fast (not very good for long distance running), you can pace down a bit.
The app also gives you instruction on distance covered, speed and time and other things. It has GPS activated, so, it can provide you the location in case you are running in some new area. It can also adjust the back ground music from your list that syncs in well with your running pace, thereby, helping in improving performance. I am yet to properly figure out this facility.
It can also count your heart beats, but it requires some extension to be brought that attaches to your chest. It needs to be bought and I guess that is good for trade mill kind of work out. I am not there yet to buy it and I prefer outside running rather than on trade mill.
Overall it is a great app. There are many similar apps available for windows phone and I am  sure there must be big list available in Android. All you have to do is search "Jogging Tracker" or something similar and you will get a list. Some free, some paid. But I guess, the free apps are good enough. Because, at the end of the day, no matter which app you have, if you don't run, they are all useless.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chess at its best, Geneva

Monday, June 16, 2014

Football Fever on rise

It seems Football fever has started claiming its victim. I am one of them. I am trying to follow the proceedings as closely as possible. Unfortunately, the timing of the matches is a problem. All the matches is in the night. Fortunately, the first match begins at 9.30 p.m. I have sincerely trying to watch that match at least, although, it can only happen after lots of convincing for others to give up their regular shows. Worst part is none of the big names have played as yet in this slot. All I could see is Columbia Vs Greece and yesterday's match between Switzerland Vs Ecuador. All the goals I have witnessed are through corners converted to goal through heading. I am yet to see a field goal.
I wanted to watch Spain Vs Netherlands match because their last big encounter was the finals of 2010 world cup final when Spain crushed the latter. Netherlands performance was amazing and has really questioned the quality of present Spanish team. Will they be able to rise up after such a humiliating defeat?
Today is one hell of a match. Luckily it starts at 9.30 pm.So, I should surely be able to watch it right from start to end. Overall the German team is fantastic and I will be supporting them. Portugal's team revolves around Ronaldo and it will be interesting to see how he performs. Among three most famous names, Nyemar and Messi have performed as expected in their respective matches, so, it is Ronaldo's turn to prove his mettle.
So, all Football aficionados, mark your diary for tonight's encounter between Portugal and Germany at 9.30 pm IST . I just hope it doesn't turn boring with no goals scored by either team.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Parasailing at Kashid Beach, Alibaug

Click on the photo for a better view

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Football World Cup 2014 in Brazil

Football is a religion in most of the countries of the world. If there is one game that is most famous, then, you can be sure of it to be Football. Unlike India, where Cricket is a religion, Football, is a game which has followers in every part of the world, be it South America, North America, Australia, Asia, Africa or the Core of Football i.e. Europe.
India also has a big fan base, but if compared to Cricket, number is negligible. Apparently, India stand 157th in the world ranking which tells story about its low fan base. Except for Bengal, Kerala and North-East states, fan base are hardly in small packets, which erupts only during big events like World Cup, spread across the country.
This year, starting tomorrow is the world cup of football. This time's host is Brazil. It should be a proud moment for that country. But seems, it is caught in some kind of turmoil. Every day we hear some news of protests, some times violent,  going across in Brazil. Brazil is also a developing country just like India, which faces lots of problems in carrying out quality work. I remember news during commonwealth games preparation back in 2010 in India. The news coming from Brazil about World Cup arrangements remind me strongly of those. Anyway, over the time, some how it is managed, and organizers manage to save their skin. I am sure, same will be true about Brazil.
Coming back to Football, this time, it is speculated that Brazil is the most probable champion. Somehow, that has become routine to expect Brazil to be champion, but then, it some how manages to loose out either in Quarters or Semi. This time they are depending a lot on players like  Neymar. I personally won't go with Brazil. I have the same image for Brazil as we have for South Africa in Cricket.
Other team that falls in the same category is Germany. I have supported Germany a lot. Thanks to my German friend, I followed their game closely in the recent European cup and was shattered when after consistent performance they lost pathetically in semis to Italy, thanks to Balotelli's two goals.
So, my advice, do not support these two teams till they do not raise world cup in their hands. They are the two best teams who can loose at any point from any team.
Last time champion, Spain, apparently is not a favourite any more. They don't have a very successful track record on South American soil. Also, its too boring to watch their matches. Nothing happens in the match where Spain. I guess they will manage to keep all their matches draw with 0-0 score except for one two where they will just score a goal just enough to win a match and reach the next level. In later phase, however, they somehow manage to score goals at their will.
Italy could probably be a big contender in the race. With players like Balotelli, they have a strong attack. But probably they are a little weak on their defence.
Argentina is another team I will be looking forward to. With Messi at the top, this team can do wonders.
Ronaldo's Portugal is one good team. I followed them during European cup. It is a good team, but it doesn't seem like a threat at any point. They are good qualifiers but I suspect if  they good finishers to touch the World Cup.
Back in 2010, I was praying for France for some good reason. But their internal team problems marred their way and threw them out in the initial round itself. This time, I am not sure what to expect from the team.
England is one team which try to portray itself as a big team and in reality on grounds, it is always a disappointment. 
There are many other teams which may make an impression. Some teams like Belgium, Netherlands, Nigeria, Mexico are called underdogs. But except for giving some unexpected results they won't make much difference. 
I will be looking forward to the performance of Asian teams. Among all, I guess Japan is the strongest team which may show some good moves.
Overall, its going to be awesome month ahead. I am going for Germany and Argentina to begin with. Let's see how it develops over the time.
If you want to know about any team in detail, their history, their team or any other thing, you can check this link:

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Aahuti - an offering

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Modi vs Rahul: A difference worth noting

Now that the election fever is over, one thing that has stopped or atleast reduced is the comparison between the two leaders of the competing parties, Narendra Modi of BJP Vs Rahul Gandhi of Congress. All the while when during election fever, people/media would come up with any reason that can be used to compare them. Many of the times, these comparisons were biased and made only to highlight one of them compared to another. But this can said that people in general had already weighed the two leaders in their minds and that is the reason, we are seeing Narendra Modi becoming the Prime Minister of India.
One of the criteria that has made place in mind while comparing these two leaders is how did they dealt with the outgoing prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
There is a lot to talk about the Rahul's treatment towards Dr. Manmohan Singh. Starting with his act of tearing down the ordinance headed by PM in front of media to giving a miss to the party organized farewell dinner to the PM, he pretty much appeared  a bit arrogant. May be, the first act of tearing down the ordinance could be a part of showing him as a strong leader. But, his absence from the dinner, really created a bad impression in people's mind. Worst part, it was discussed widely and many channels even mentioned that he went for 2 day vacation, post election campaign, to Bali. Now that is big.
If these acts are compared with what Narendra Modi did yesterday, it becomes really easy to distinguish the two leaders.
Now, because of late oath ceremony followed by dinner held by President, the regular formality of new PM seeing off old PM from 7 RCR, could not be followed. Narendra Modi, yeasterday, on his first day in PM office, out of busy schedule, took a never walked road and went to meet Dr. Manmohan Singh at his new residence. This visit was no where planned in his schedule. But this humble gesture must really have added few more people in his fan following.
This reminds me of the Indian Cricket Captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's gesture when he let the outgoing, retiring Sourav Ganguly to lead the team in the last session of his last test match. I think that was one of the best gestures made by any body towards their seniors. It unknowingly added respect towards Dhoni. Yesterday's Modi's visit was a reminder of the similar act and I believe that is one of the significant  signs of a good leader. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Water fountain at Versailles Palace, France

Monday, May 19, 2014

Abki Baar Modi Sarkar

This times election in India has been significant. It has changed many definitions and baffled every body.
What Narendra Modi has done, can only be called as a Magic. For the first in the history of India, has any party other than Congress, grown to such a stature to get the majority on its own. It brought an end to the era of coalition politics. It reduced a party of 150 years history to a level to stand in lines with regional parties. It saw many stalwarts loosing from their own forts. It saw for the first time, a big name like Rahul Gandhi trailing till half the counting before he managed to survive some how. It for the first time has shaken the roots of politics in India which was based on dynasty till date. It proved that people do not care any more caste, religion or any other such discrimination but instead want development. People for the first time were heard saying that they do not want free things but want opportunities to grow.
Something surely has changed. Any person we meet  is looking upbeat and excited. There is different kind of vibe coming from foreign countries which make us feel that India is a stronger country than before.
I believe all the expectations, the people of India have, will come in to reality. Coming 60 months should set a mark of development for India.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Light House in Marseille, France

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One interview: different reflections

Some body suggested to watch recent AAP KI ADALAT's episode on Raj Thakre. Apparently it was awesome. The way he was blunt and clear in his views made an impact on many people including the anchor who appreciated this answers at many instances. It was more evident, when a girl from the crowd called Raj's views inspiring ( and even looked little inspired). I have been a big fan of Raj Thakre for some time, if not for any good reason, at least for his oratory skills. He is one of the best speakers in India at the moment. I think, I will improvise on my words and call him the best speaker I have heard in long-long time. He speaks with proof in hands, talk straight and blunt and has a passion in his words which no wonder attracts crowd in millions. If you start listening his speeches, you can't stop in between and you don't want him to stop. The experience has always been exhilarating. The only issue is all his speeches have been in Marathi language which makes it cut off to all other people who doesn't understand Marathi. This has a negative impact that many a times, his words have been construed and presented in odd manner making much different meaning than what he intended to convey. And since his speeches are straight and blunt, he has often been portrayed negatively.
In this context, his recent  visit to Aap ki Adalat's new episode was a relief. Since, here, he talked in Hindi, he put his views on many of the issues in words which now can be understood by many people of India. 
 Apparently, it helped in making his image a little better than earlier. While watching the video, I came across two other of his interviews recently taken by Arnab Goswami by Times now and by Rajdeep Sardesai for IBN.

What really made me think is the way Raj put his points in the same way across all the three interviews. He was consistent in his points (including the examples and puns). And it also didn't seemed rehearsed.

What put me off is the way Arnab and Rajdeep were stuck with the questions and the way they kept repeating the same questions again and again. The worst one was by Arnab, who really made me wonder, how on earth has he reached to such big heights to run a channel on his shoulders. He was pathetic. He looked unprepared with no matter to discuss with Raj Thakre and so circled around one question for almost 20 minutes. This changed only after Raj warned him to move over to some other topic.
Rajdeep was no different. Only thing is Raj bluntly said no to answer his repeated questions and so he had to move to other questions which again were not taking the interview in any good direction.
In comparison, Aap ki Adalat was a much better show where he had a variety of allegations to answer to and even Raj didn't appeared angry as he looked at times in other 2 interviews.

After viewing these videos, coincidentally, I came across an interview of Rak Thakre on Z24TAAS  a Marathi channel. Though, it started on the same note as other three interviews, where once again Raj answered in the same fashion as earlier. But here, something different did happened. Raj was asked about his views on development, his views to include Reliance in the development of Godapark in Nashik, his views on privatisation etc, and his views did made some sense which needless to say were very clear and blunt. Unfortunately, I could not find its video on YOUTUBE  to share here.

All in all, one thing is clear to me that the media in our country is irresponsible and apparently haven't understood the meaning of strength they have with them. As a result, some are misusing it while others can not make the best of the opportunities they get. The end result: confusion and chaos in the public. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vegetarian Food delight at bluewhaleecotourism, Cheul, Alibagh, Maharashtra, India

Vegetarian food delight at  bluewhaleecotourism, a fantastic spot in a small village Cheul near Alibagh, Maharashtra, India. A place famous for a huge baby blue whale skeleton.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

IPL -7

So, an year has passed and we are back to new season of Indian Premier League (IPL).
If you are looking for the schedule of matches, you can find it here
It seems, IPL has completed one complete round and has returned at the point from where it started. To begin with, IPL had 8 teams, which changed to 10 for one of the season, then reduced to 9 in the last season and once again it has 8 teams participating. The exiting teams are from Kochi and Pune. Pune's exit has relieved me. Now I won't be in dilemma whether to support Mumbai or Pune.
Most of the players I knew are out of the league now. Even Bret Lee went unsold this time. That makes little less interesting for me. Virat Kohli is the new hero of Cricket. Off-course he is fantastic, he can not cast spell on me (much older than him), as Tendular or Ganguly did some 15-20 years back.
IPL is also marred by so many controversies, which again makes it worth avoiding for some. When even the owners of the team seem to be involved in the controversies, credibility is bound to go down.
But in spite of these I prefer IPL for many which I have already discussed earlier through this blog. It gives one last opportunity to fading out players like Sehwag. It gives opportunities to upcoming players like Sanju Samson. It helps removing unwanted players like Chandila who basically play for money and not for the love of the game. It helps remove bad blood among players of different countries. (Off-course it at times creates one among players of the same team, read: Gambhir Vs Kohli).
What I appreciate most is the fact that it diminishes the line of country wise division among players. I think there is a need to remove the idea of one country playing against another. I think there is a need to go beyond that give more importance to the passion of the game.
I keep hearing from almost all commentators and players saying, "India-Pakistan match is a very crucial match which neither of the team would like to loose. All other matches apart, this is one match they want to win". Watch any India-Pakistan match and you will hear words on these lines. Same is the case with Australia-England match. Whether it is Ashes cup or any other match between these two teams. You will never hear such words for India-WestIndies, India-Newzeland match. Is it because of some history of exciting battle between two players like Sachin Tendulkar vs Shane Warne? It surely is not. 
Recently, I watched India-Pakistan 20: 20 match as well as India-Pakistan match in Asia Cup. Both the matches had commentators as well as some players uttering words like this is the most important match which they can not loose at any other cost. Doesn't matter if they loose all other matches, but not this one.
Interesting thing is nobody asks question like Why? and no body tries to answer it even if not asked.
Why this match is so important to win?
All I can understand is there is lot of history between the two countries, and the two countries try to look at this match as a representative of those wars, battles and unexplainable activities which they want to take revenge of. And that's why all the players are so full of passion and pride that they make this match a question of life and death. This is what makes me repel away from such country wise matches. The bad blood flowing here is between the two countries while the bad blood flowing in IPL matches is between two players. There is a big difference between the two. 
Even if you are supporting Mumbai Indians, but if Yusuf Pathan hits long sixes for KKR, you appreciate it. No matter which team you are supporting, you don't want Gayle to get out cheaply, because that will take all the interest out of the match for which you are watching. But, same can not be said about the country vs country matches. Most of the Indians/Pakistanis want their team to win the match because of the national pride and the fact that they can not accept defeat from Pakistanis/Indians with open heart. This is a feeling which really makes IPL preferred over Country vs Country matches for me.
Off-course this  feeling has subsided in recent years, but you need to give  a big  credit to events like IPL for that. So, when I hear words like "This match is the most important one for India against Pakistan", it doesn't resonate with me. For me, Pakistan is as good as South Africa, Srilanka, West Indies. I am trying to understand what these players and commentators try to communicate while uttering these words.