Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dravid's omission: Pains me

Way back in my TCS placement interview to the question of who is my favorite cricketer I had answered Rahul Dravid and it is shocking to see him out of the Indian team now. Though my answer in the TCS interview was just to sound different than the usual Sachin Tendulkar, I have to confess that Dravid has been one of the pillars of Indian cricket in recent times. How can we forget the contributions he has made to the famous Australian tour when we managed to salvage some pride or the Calcutta test against Australia where India won the game after being made to follow on, which changed the approach of follow on forever(Now teams don't ask teams to follow on ). How can we forget the role he played in 2003 world cup directly with the runs he scored and indirectly with him donning the double role of wicket keeper batsman so that India could play the extra batsman. I am not a vivid supporter of historical statistics and I don't argue that he should be kept in the team based on his previous performances. But replacing him for someone like Sehwag is what pains me. Sehwag's form is known to all. Dravid has an impressive record against Pakistan. Can Indian selectors be brave enough to leave him out of the Australian tour? Then why this step motherly treatment towards him ?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Democracy: Facts

Be it the reservation row or the Ram sethu row or the nuclear deal row, One wonders whether the policies and actions taken by the Govt. truly represents the mood and opinion of the entire country. Being the largest democracy in the world ideally it should. Here is some mathematics to show how wrong we are if we answer in affirmation to the above question.

Elections are held in constituencies where , lets say on an average 10 contestants from various different parties contest. Lets say the winner gets 30 % of the votes and is elected as a MP/MLA. Now just extrapolating this situation to all the constituencies we get a house of say 500 members each member with 30 % votes from his/her constituency. Now to form a Govt. a party needs majority that is more than 50 % members in the house which is 251 in our case. So the % fo votes for this so called majority is 251/500 X 30/100=15.06%.

Hence, the party having "majority" in a house has typically the support of only 15% of the people who have cast their votes and they in turn choose a leader of their own to run the country/state.

So what's the point? How do we solve this? I am of the belief that the leader of the Govt. say PM/CM must be chosen directly by the people and not by other members who were chosen by people. Along with the ballot box/EVM for chosing the local constituency member there should be anothet box/EVM to choose the PM/CM of their choice and this should be taken into account for choosing the PM/CM. Also, the total % of votes for a particular political party should be taken into consideration for choosing the ruling party.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Banks or Us? Who is to be blamed?

Recent incidents of banks harassing people who are unable to repay loans are making headlines. Who is to be blamed? The banks or the people who fall "prey" to such offers? Here is my analysis to the story.
Banks are doing nothing but selling themselves when they offer loans,credit cards etc etc with lesser interest rates and other lucrative offers. You really can't blame them. Don't all of us do that at some point of time? I personally feel we should be careful about such "lucrative" offers.
Some personal tips and advices.

We should go through all documents religiously before taking a loan/credit card or any such thing. Any * marks should be clarified first shot and all promises made by the agent should be read and verified in the documents.

Do not go for more than one credit card. All the plans of transferring balance from one card to other will surely land you up in trouble one day. As you never know how much you are spending as it becomes difficult to track all the credit cards up to date.

Do not pester bank for more loan or to increase your credit limit on your credit card. Banks have their own mathematics which they use to calculate how much you will be able to repay and most probably that will be the maximum you can do.

Last but most importantly, do not go for anything if not necessary. This is applicable for loans,credit cards or any shoppings you do using your credit cards.

I am not giving a clean chit to banks here. But all I am saying is that , it is our responsibility to make sure we can make ends meet before jumping into something and then repenting for it.

P.S: I know I might be in a minority here supporting banks. I am open to comments. Pls keep them coming.

Chickmagalur trip

There are places which are truly in the lap of nature, It is only nature and nature wherever you see around. I had been lucky the last weekend when I got to see one of such places. I am talking about Chickmagalur, Eagle Eye resort. Chickmagalur, a district in Northern Karnataka is indeed a beautiful place. Our resort was around 50 kms from Chickmagalur town in a ghat situated in deep forest. It was truly a wonderful experience. For the first time in my life I saw real life bugs(not the software ones) and photographed them also. The journey which began with a wrong note ( buses getting delayed by 1.5 hours and journey taking more time than expected), it was sheer thrill once we were on ghat road and we truly didn't mind the length of the ghat journey unless our way was blocked by live electric wire. The hardcore optimist I am, I found this opportunity to photograph some of the best shots I have ever taken and of the live wire which threated us. The moment we reached the resort, the first feeling which came across was that all the sufferings of the 8 hour long journey vanishing in the serene locales which surrounded our resort. As evening set in, we had bon fire and loads of fun before finally calling it a day. Experience of the tree house and the view from there was once in a life time opportunity for me. Next day was full adventure lined up, trekking(with live leeches), boating with self rowing , fishing and swimming ( for those who knew swimming) . Like all good things, this one also had to come to an end. So, post lunch we left for Bangalore with our hearts full of wonderful moments but still yearning for many more.

Australia Vs India : In words

Recently the relations between the Indian and Australian cricket team have gone from worse to worst. From the time India has beaten Aussies in the T20 world cup, there has been a downward slide in the relations between the two teams. But this is nothing new. Since a long time, the arch rivals of India have been Australia and not Pakistan according to me , because the matches played against the formers have been more thrilling than the later. But why this hue and cry now? Relations have touched an all time low now. With Symonds accusing of racist comments from a section of crowd and BCCI playing a deaf ear to the whole episode involving Sreesanth also. As you can't clap with one hand, I feel both the teams are to be blamed here. Sreeshant is to be blamed for staring at the batsman evey ball he bowls. Come on, not even a bowler of Wasim Akram's caliber can manage to dominate the batsman in every ball he bowls. Symonds giving out statements like Indians will have to pay back in Australia , clearly shows the kind of mentality they have. What does he mean, T20 champions have a lot to learn? Agreed he is a part of a champion side, but that doesn't give him rights to make such comments on other sides. With both sides captains and board giving a deaf ear to this whole episode, matters have turn worst. Australia may have won the series , but it is cricket as a whole which has been defeated in this whole series. It is more of a verbal battle than a battle with Ball and bat and the loser is of course cricket.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chickmagalur : A fun trip

They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. So here comes 1000 x 400 odd words on Chickmagalur trip.

Photos link

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Chennai going the Bangalore way!!

Disclaimer: People not very well aware of Chennai will not be able to relate to this post.

With IT growth affecting all quarters and all places , how can Chennai be left behind. But what scares me is the area where the growth is happening. The so called urbanization is happening in Arcot Road, which is barely 30 ft road on each side of the road divider and is open for two way traffic. I already see the construction of a multiplex theatre , a purvankara project a prestige group project going on , on this road. Traffic is already at its peak in this road, one wonders how will this road be able to manage the heavy traffic which these structures will generate.

Is Chennai growing the wrong way? Is Chennai not learning from the mistakes of Bangalore? Only time will tell.

Have a look at the map of Arcot Road.