Rediscovering Lucknow- the City of Nawabs

Lucknow the Capital of Uttar Pradesh,popularly called as the City of Nawabs,was my home town for several long years.The city has a rich historical and cultural heritage laden with art and literary works. Mythology suggests that the city has  been setup by Lord Lakshman hence named also as  Lakshmanpur.


The unique composite culture of doaba i.e. land of rivers Ganga and Yamuna has fostered the growth of literary traditions of Hindi literature as well as Urdu poetry known as Shero-Shairi .Colourful stories in back drop of Lucknow culture and history  have   provided inspiration and motivation to celluloid masters of Bollywood to spin some unforgettable masterpieces like Gurudatt’sChaudavin Ka Chand Rajendra Kumar and Sadhana starrer lyrical Mere Mehboob and tale of two ex Nawabs in Satyajit Ray‘s Shatranj Ke Khilari,.

Around 35 years ago I had boarded Lucknow Mail the popular train to Delhi from Lucknow’s Charbagh Railway  Station to join my new job.

The Charbagh Railway Station

In between the city was revisited for short spells for occasional family commitments.When I had to recently make a series of short stays at the place for finalising some family matters, there was an opportunity for re bonding with the city.

Now having retired I had no time constraints, and there was ample time to freshly savour the history and culture of the town and have a leisurely trip down the memory lane.

The Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport at Lucknow is named after the famous Kisan leader and one time Prime Minister of India. Coming out of the Terminal a towering statue of former PM greets the visitor.

Initial glimpse of the city while driving through  Airpot Road is quite majestic as Mayawati regime has decked up the drive from Airport to city with lavishly built monuments and Parks.

The Samta Chowk
City Skyline from dusk to  nightfall

Our stay in Lucknow at UPTDC owned Hotel Gomti offered view of an ancient house from the window and city skyline which looked more beautiful as dusk settled and later night fell and skyline lit up with exciting colours.


For the morning exercises the proximity of the place to botanical garden made it the best choice.

Exotic Flowering Species at the Botanical Garden

The Lucknow Botanical Garden has been made to grow into a collection of exotic plants in back drop of  a beautiful pond with water lilies. Joggers and morning walkers spread out on the middle area for utilisation of green lawn for yoga and aerobics.

Panormic View of The Botanical Garden
Early bird Health freaks at the Garden
The ShahNazaf Imambara

The Shahnazaf Imambara in the vicinity is being given a facelift as if it is coming out to welcome the visitors and faithful .

Mosque at the Immabara 

A mosque in proximity gives an insight into architectural accomplishment of architects and masons in the middle ages .




Portrait of Wazid Ali Shah

The lobby at Hotel Gomti has a large beautiful painting of Wazid Ali Shah last of the Nawabs who is remembered for his munificence and love for art forms. His regime had provided the backdrop for movie Shatranj Ke Khilari. 


With opening of Malls all over the city the landscape appears to have changed with time, but city has still retained the old world charm. Hazratganj the less than 2 km long stretch of market in heart of town covering  land mark buildings like GPO, Northern Railway Hqs and the Press Club besides the old Hanuman temple still remains the favourite shopping destination for upmarket Lucknowites.

 The GPO Building Lucknow
Panormic view at Press Club crossing
Hanuman Temple at Hazratganj
NR Hqs

While taking a stroll down the Hazratganj it was quite noticeable that with the fencing of walkways, the strolling along the footpaths (popularly referred to as “ganjing” in code book of students in old times) is no longer the pleasant experience it used to be, and popular hotspots such as lover’s lane have also vanished.Off course the addition of hotspots like Cafe Coffee Day and Aryan near Raj Bhawan has blended a new upmarket dimension to the ambience and compensated for the loss.

The Hazarat Ganj Market
It was a pleasant surprise to rediscover  the tantalising taste of tikki and pani ke batashe at MotiMahal Sweets and the malai paan at Ramasrey Halwai and to realise that skills of these masters of culinary delight have remained unchanged over the years.
Tomb of Begum Hazarat Mahal

As Hazratganj stretches towards river Gomti, historical buildings pop up from every corner.A turn to left takes us to Bara(large) Imambara and Chhota (small)Imambara.

Bara Imambara constructed in 18th Century by Nawab Asifuddaulah is also known as Asifi Immabara.There are tombs, mosques and other structures which are connected with royal activities. Chhota Imambara has a lighting Hall decorated with imported lamps.A local guide on visit to the place opens up loads of stories about royal behaviour, secret passages underneath and insight about architectural highlights.

Panormic View At Bara Imambara

There are anecdotes about royal treasures and underground tunnels which were to provide escape routes in ancient times.Close to Imambara is the clock tower with ancient picture gallery which has paintings depicting Royalty in full glory.Interesting insight into Royal charities is offered in the Wasikadar office located in the clock tower.The descendants of Royal family and other beneficiaries of Royal patronage are known as Wasikadars. The office maintains volumes of records for ensuring regular payments which may be as low as a handful of rupees.But being  a Wasikadar means being a part of royalty , something to be proud of to no extent.
History has left behind it’s footprints in shape of another land mark which are the ruins of British Fortress known as Residency- the place where families of British Resident and other Britishers stationed in Lucknow were staying when the city was besieged by soldiers of British Army under Mutiny in year 1857.
The Ruins of Residency
89c38-thumb_img_4692_1024 The Museum At Residency

Residency with lush green lawns and preserved structures bears mute testimony to historic events of the era.A museum in the basement has rare collection of pictures and writings connected to uprising which was labelled as “Sepoy Mutiny” by the British.

As population increased Lucknow continued to grow beyond Gomti river as colonies of Niralanagar and Mahanagar came up.  Further stretching of city limits has added up Janaki Puram , Gomti Nagar and Indira Nagar taking the city upto outpost of Chinhat .As Metro Rail Construction Boards dominate the skyline even Wajid Ali Shah would find it difficult to locate his Lucknow.

The city of Nawabs in ancient times was famous for Nazakat and Nafasat two Urdu words meaning delicacy of style and tastes. Nazakat and Nafasat epitomised the character of Lucknowite in middle ages.The traditions have been meticulously preserved in Chickan Art works (very finely embroidered garments for both sexes) and semi solid Galouti kababs of famous Tunday Kababi in Aminabad in old city. 
Luckhnawi Tehzib in times of Nawabs was summed up as”Pahle Aap” culture, meaning “..Please Sir…you first”.There is a famous joke referring to two Nawabs who could not board a train as they kept on requesting each other to board the train first…”Pehle AAP..Pehle AAP”….and the train whistled and left the station.

Now as Metro Train network is coming up in the city Lucknowites shall definitely need to give up at least this one part of traditional culture  while boarding and de boarding the Metros or the slide gates would be locked !!.


Seventh CPC: Approach for simplification and rationalisation

The Seventh CPC like other Pay Commissions had been entrusted with the responsibility of evolving pay structures which were rational and simple.It was expected that the pay packages offered should be able to attract best talent in civil and defence services and also be capable of ensuring  performance related efficiency while taking note of  the existing socio political setup in the country.The pay structure should ensure value addition to services by talent of individual employees.

While discussing the pay structure for civilian employees the report explains the evolution of compression ratio to present level.Compression ratio is the ratio between the lowest pay  and the highest salary drawn by Secretary to Govt. of India in the pay structure.At the time of first CPC the ratio was 1:36.4(min Salary of ₹ 55 against highest of ₹ 2000.) .This came down to 1:11.4 in sixth CPC (min Salary of ₹ 7000 against highest of ₹ 80000).

There were several innovations brought about by  VI CPC which included running pay bands for both Civilians as well as Defence forces as well as  the introduction of the concept of Grade Pay as a level differentiator besides  calculation of the annual increment on percentage basis.Sixth CPC had also recommended abolition of Gr.D category posts by elevation of present incumbents to Gr.C by skill upgradation.It reduced 35 pay scales of Vth CPC to 23 (19 Pay bands +4 fixed pay levels).

However the Seventh CPC was confronted by stakeholders with several inconsistencies in Pay bands and Grade Pay structures and anomalies in Entry pay  recommended by Sixth CPC at various level . This  scenario had lead to demand for a fitment factor which may cover all cases in equitable fashion.

The recommendations of Seventh CPC are for abolishing the system of Pay Bands and Grade Pay and creation of  new functional levels  by merging the grade pay with the pay in the pay band. Commission said that it has ensured that all of the existing levels have been subsumed in the new structure; and no new level has been introduced nor has any existing level been dispensed with.The Seventh CPC has recommended a Pay matrix with distinct Pay Levels. The Level would henceforth be the status determiner as per table given below:

Pay Levels as per Pay Matrix

The Commission  has pointed out that  with this methodology of pay fixation “..any new entrant to a service would wish to be able to make a reasonable and informed assessment of how his/her career path would traverse and how the emoluments will progress alongside. The new pay structure has been devised in the form of a pay matrix to provide complete transparency regarding pay progression.”

In addition to the pay matrix the CPC has also applied concept of rationalisation of entry pay to take care of uneven pattern of  a jumps in the career hierarchy under existing pay scales in the Government of India. This system is based on the premise that with enhancement of levels from Pay Band 1 to 2, 2 to 3 and onwards, the role, responsibility and accountability increases at each step in the hierarchy.

Rationalistion table.png

The  pay matrix as suggested by CPC is intended to  replace  existing system of Pay Bands and Grade Pay.The pay matrix comprises of two dimensions. ” It has a “horizontal range” in which each level corresponds to a ‘functional role in the hierarchy’ and has been assigned the numbers 1, 2, and 3 and so on till 18. The “vertical range” for each level denotes ‘pay progression’ within that level. These indicate the steps of annual financial progression of three percent within each level.”

The Commission has devised the pay matrix by calculating the sum of Basic pay and Grade Pay at various stages and multiplying the sames of  by a multiplication factor of 2.57 . While devising the pay matrix the entry pay has been calculated by adopting different multiplication factors (shown as index in table below) for different pay bands depending on respective functional responsibilities.Pay Matrix is given below.

Pay Matrix

Pay Matrix 2

The following methodology has been suggested for fitment:

“The fitment of each employee in the new pay matrix is proposed to be done by multiplying his/her basic pay on the date of implementation by a factor of 2.57. The figure so arrived at is to be located in the new pay matrix, in the level that corresponds to the employee’s grade pay on the date of implementation, except in cases where the Commission has recommended a change in the existing grade pay. If the identical figure is not available in the given level, the next higher figure closest to it would be the new pay of the concerned employee. “

The CPC report has given some working examples for calculation.Having had a brief insight into Civilian Pay Scales we shall take up Army Pay Scales shortly.


Civil servants who abdicated the beacon light

A recent piece of brilliant writing by a senior civil servant highlighted the life story of an IAS officer who gave up comfort and authority of civil services in favour of a life of spiritual leader.The graphic description of transformation in life of the much respected spiritual leader from civil servant to the guiding spirit of a much revered ashram also evoked certain questions in my mind.Questions are ultimately related to objective of human existence.Or to state it more clearly are all the human beings expected to be divine creatures involved in purification of self and remaining detached from all the weaknesses of mankind.If yes then how shall the difference between good and bad survive? Further what will  be the  fate of all those individuals or activities which are not exactly divine or to put it bluntly are not working solely for betterment or welfare of all human beings ?The answer is not difficult to find . Human beings like other creations of nature will remain as they are – a mixture of good and bad. If that is so then who will take the responsibility for fighting the demons in hand to hand fights…who will teach lessons to the criminalized politician or the   crooked businessman.Off course it will be the civil servant –the street fighter using all his inner strength and survival instincts to stay afloat and also to deliver something for betterment of lives of vast population. In my eyes he or she the Ashoks and Durgas who abdicated their prime postings showing unbending spirits  for upholding rule of law are the true heroes and heroines and hopes for future of mankind.

Public Services Bill 2007: Magna Carta for public servants in India

The Public Services Bill 2007 which is expected to be taken up by the Indian Parliament in the current session is a manifestation of the struggle of the Indian bureaucracy for devising a mechanism which could ensure efficiency and efficacy of public services . The proposed legislation attempts to set up a regulatory and protective framework for making the civil and police officers perform in a competitive atmosphere without interference and without fear of persecution for being upright and impartial. It covers All India Services namely the IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Services. State Govts. have the option to extend it to respective state public services.

The bill visualizes setting up of a Central Public Service Authority as the apex agency responsible for coordination, control and monitoring of various structural changes visualized in the proposed enactment. The matters relating to the constitution of the Central Public Authority are dealt in Chapter VI of the Bill.

The Authority is to be headed by a person of eminence with at least 25 years expertise in dealing with public service matters. However the bill prohibhits appointment of a MP or MLA or a person connected to any office in a political pand India’s arty to this post. The authority shall have between 3 to 5 members in addition to the Chairperson.

The appointment of Chairperson and members is to be done with approval of the President of India based on recommendations of a selection committee comprising of the Indian Prime Minister , Leader of Opposition, and India’s  Home Minister with  the Cabinet Secretary in the Govt. Of India as the convener. The salary and conditions of service of the Chairperson  and the members shall be at par with the Chief Election Commissioner of India and Indian Election Commissioners respectively. The tenure of appointment is proposed as five years or till attaining of age of 65 years.

The Central Govt shall have to compulsorily consult this Central authority on various matters of public services including evolution and monitoring of a Public Service Code and matters relating to ethics in public service as well as the performance management startegy for public services.

The Public Services which shall be covered by the scheme visualized in the Bill have been defined as below:

Public Services” means the All India Services, the Central Services and any other Service and posts in connection with the affairs of the Union notified by the Central Government;

The principles to be followed in the matter of recruitment to public services are contained in Chapter II which highlights that such appointments shall be on basis of merit and open and fair competition.

Chapter II of the bill deals with certain idealistic concepts such as Public Service values and Public Service Codes. Central Services and All India Services have been so far covered by Conduct Rules which have over the years become a patch work quilt of instructions related to behaviour expected of public servants and need restructuring. The bill proposes to reformulate the approach to these matters .

The Public Service Values projected in the new legislation are coined in more poetic language referring to patriotism, and allegiance to law of the nation while simultaneously making reference to other practical aspects such as integrity, honesty,  transparency etc. for the public services.

The bill seeks to ensure preparation of a Public Service Code with the objective of setting standards of good governance for ensuring that public services are carried out with integrity and efficiency. Any breach of public service ethics shall be subject to punishment as per sanctions prescribed in the law.

Chapter IV of the Bill concerns Performance Management and Accountability for the public services .For this purpose a Performance Management Code is to be evolved by the Central Authority .This code will help ensure that the Public Services function as per developmental and management requirements of the State and objective evaluation of performance is facilitated. The code is expected to inject elements of accountability, neutrality , integrity and professionalism of approach in public services.

Chapter V concerns the conditions of service and protection offered to public servants.

The bill proposes to retain the existing jurisdiction and functions of statutory bodies like Union Public Service Commission, Central Vigilance Commission and assigns several responsibilities to cadre controlling authority which include formulation of service rules and a grievance redressal mechanism for public servants.

In course of discharge of it’s mandated functions , the Central Authority can seek public opinion on policy matters . It has to also submit an annual report to Govt. on various functional  issues including cases of non consultation or non compliance of it’s directions.

The scheme of governance conceived in the bill if accepted and sincerely implemented could metamorphose the picture of public services . Besides offering protection and performance based encouragement it could create a mechanism which is committed to deliver while taking away the interference and pressure tactics which reduce the bureaucratic performance. This will mean depriving the politicians of the unfair advantage which they enjoy today. It is to be seen whether the lawmakers would approve of the suggested changes. Let us keep our fingers crossed.

Do all human beings survive on opiates

Recently one of the leading magazines in India published an article which brought out the fact that gossiping was a favourite pastime of most of us human beings and it added to social networking abilities of human race. While social networking may be one the fallouts of this activity the reason for the indulgence into gossip seems to be something beyond this analysis. Close analysis of day to day human behaviour appears to lead to the inference that human brains appear to need regular dose of stimulation in order to keep us in a state of positive thinking and survive against ups and downs of our struggle for survival in a harsh world. Different members of human species have in the process developed our respective opiates on which we depend for doses of happiness   or excitement .

Take the case of cricket lovers. Nowadays since the game is on round the year in one or another part of the world and innovations like the T20 format of  cricket offer instant results, the cricket lovers seem to have  evolved a continous source of stimulation in shape of ball to ball commentary,  accompanying fanfare and analysis . Other joys and sorrows of day to day life have secondary importance in life of a genuine cricket fan whose brain cells are regularly  tickling with the details on tumbling  records and updates on fluctuations in fortunes of teams and the men who toil between the performance of cheerleaders.When it comes to minute to minute account , another breed of human beings are those interested in ups and downs of share market index. Far too many of us keep track of online tradings without having any worthwhile stakes in the share market.The thrill of being a part of speculation keeps a good proprtion of us glued to laptops when life becomes less exciting for a while.

Not close behind in the reliance on stimulants are the human species practising the avocation which is branded as last refuge of scoundrels. Sheltered behind dignified terminology of politicians these men and women need continuos injection of ego inflating monuments and statues which give  them a temporary impression of towering over ordinary mortals. Take away the stonelaying ceremonies and public felicitations from a politician and the person sinks into depression , becomes  social anarchist and tends to attack everything within sight whether it is a railway budget or a photographer taking snaps.

Religion -another widely used source of stimulation offers allurement  of having higher quality of life after death or in rebirth. That keeps so many of us professing different religious beliefs, busy in continous process of offering our prayers to whichever power we consider to be supreme. In practical terms it gets translated to sporting prominenetly one  religious symbol or other and considering religious duties as something which should take precedence over our professional commitments and social responsibilities. But it does surely keep a large chunk of humanity in state of contentment and sometimes also busy in dreams of conquering all other religions to establish a supremacy of our own religion.

This discussion cannot be complete unless we think of those for whom pay revisions , promtions and transfers are the opiates which keep their minds and hearts preoccupied on 24X7 basis. The Govt. servants  of all hue survive   on calculation of pay benefits,  discussion over supremacy of respective service over others  and the unfair treatment meted out to them by the employer . Hoping for a better posting, anticipating release of next installment of DA or awiting the meeting of Departmental Promotion Committee keeps our brother hood in a state of intoxication which makes them tick in a otherwise treachorous environment.

Bloggers have their own galvanising force.When I statred blogging, the first thing which I usd to do in the morning was to check the hit counter and accordingly would feel happy or depressed if hits were too many or too few during the night. For months together I kept analysing the statistical details to find out as to which readers came from where and read which posts. Thank god I ultimately  realised the absurdity of all this analysis and gave up blog writing for a long time in order to become deaddicted to hit counter.Things are back to normal now i.e. I am more preoccupied with routine addictions of Govt. servants mentioned above.

While  opiates certainly seem to have taken a firm grip over our intellectual behaviour, this situation  has thrown up  some complications and  challenges too.  The recent tragic end of a famous Pop star has exposed the risks involved in  taking of too many anti depressants  since the combination produces unpredictable outcomes.The same complication sometimes occurs when a peron gets addicted to more than one  opiate like a govt servant getting interested in politics or a politician becoming deeply religious .The system and society has to then put in extra efforts to survive the mutants.

Dostana the Karan Johar Film:Having your cake and eating it too

There are some issues which Indian film makers have traditionally preferred to stay clear of.  Same sex relationship is one such contentious issue which has remained untouched even by enterprising film producers and Directors for the reason that one can never be sure as to what would be the acceptance level for such a presentation by the multicultural Indian audience. At least on this count i.e. for venturing in an unexplored territory, the producer and Director of Dostana  need to be complemented along with the two lead players Abhishake Bacchan and Arjun Ramphal. But that is the only count after  which the appreciation ends.

The plot which unfolds in the movie is not connected with the acceptance or rejection of the concept or with  sensitive portrayal of the issue involved. Off course this was not expected in a light hearted comedy film like this one but still the manner in which the issue has been dealt with throws up a host of questions.

As the story proceeds, the two lead male characters have to pretend to be gay for getting to rent an apartment which was open for hiring only for females. The property owner permits them to stay as tenants only after they pretend to be gay (and thereby are considered to be  harmless to other female inmates in the same house and accepted as tenants !).

Countless heroes and heroines have tackled the issue of changed identity for short term gains in HIndi movies. Oldest example being that of Ek Phool Char Kante where Sunil Dutt had to play different roles to impress  the four uncles of his lady love for securing her hand. Close by Kamlahasan came up with appreciative portrayal of a house maid in Chachi 420.

But Dostana overflowing with gloss and glamour but lacking the class and intellectual content of these films while trying  to give one laughter a minute, mauls the subject of same sex relations with an approach which is rather painful for a sensitive audience. After watching the film the question which comes to mind is what right did the film makers have for presenting the same sex oriented males as buffoons, pathetic and despicable characters salivating over male honchos. Is there an awareness over the hurt which the portrayal would cause to the image of males who are trapped in a body which is naturally inclined towards such relationships. . At a time when people are getting bold enough to openly come out with acceptance of this concept, the irresponsible image of same sex relationship   which the film throws up seems  quite out of sync with the changing times.

 On the other hand imagine the plight of that class of audience which has different views and  which finds the concept of same sex relationship  revolting and unacceptable. The film shows similar contemptuous attitude towards this category of filmgoers.

The Director did not wish to let go a single opportunity for giving subtle hints of homosexuality in shot after shot climaxing in the male to male kissing scene between the two lead players . Horribly enough., the suffering of the viewers does not end  even thereafter  as the female lead character Priyanka Chopra asks an absolutely unnecessary question as to whether the two characters developed some feelings for each other after the kiss.

 The movie while trying to cash on the tiltating influence of this sequence on the viewers  for whom  the act might have  been pleasing or comical totally  ignores the viewers with opposite mindset who would be definitely disgusted at the level to which art of film making has declined.

The film shot in foreign settings may have appeal for youngsters or NRIs due to their exposure to such situations .Yet even amongst such viewers the generation which has  grown up with comedy films of Rishi Da  and Gulzar may feel that Indian films churned out by Directors of this genre have nothing to offer for us old men.


NANO to the rescue of NAMO

The decision of Tatas to shift the Nano Car project to Gujrat  after the bitter experience at West Bengal has given an opportunity to the State to  have some good cheer  for the festival  season. The Modi Government which has been facing international criticism for it’s human rights violations and for it’s insensitivity to plight of population displaced by ambitious developmental projects has seized the god sent (or Mamta sent) opportunity to tout this development as a tribute to State’s investor friendly climate. So much is the feeling of elation that some fans of Narendra Modi find the similarity between his abbreviated name  (NAMO) to NANO rather exciting .

The State does deserve substantial credit for having facilitated this quick transfer due to decisive abilities of it’s CM. The fact that the State was able to quickly start the process for acquisition for land required for approach roads and it’s ability to mange the same without protest from the affected farmers speaks for it’s management techniques.

IPL DLF T20:Chennai Super Kings March into finals

The tame surrender of Delhi Daredevils in their semi final encounter with Shane Warne’s Rajasthan Royals team ensured that the final of IPL DLF T20 tourney would be a battle between the Royals and a king’s taem –either the Chennai Super Kings or King’s XI Punjab. But the 2nd semi final between the two teams with claims to Kingdom on Saturday evening was hardly the battle royale which one had expected . The CSK marched into finals rather effortlessly without any anxious moments.

King’s XI won the toss and decided to bat .The first ball of the match was posted to boundary   and the audience anticipated a thrilling encounter. The excitement was however short-   lived .Kings XI batsmen , soon started a march back to the pavilion with six wickets down for   45 .While Preity Zinta’s cheerful face slowly lost the smile as Yuvi returned to pavillion out for   3 caught by M’Daran of Gony there was a feeble sign of fightback till the seventh wicket was down for 63. The Maratha warrior Powar then took charge of the proceedings for the Punjab King .The highest partnership of the innings yielding 35 runs came off the bats of Mota and Pawar . Powar’s 28 off 21 balls which included one 6 and four boundaries was highest for the side. Lustily hitting round the wicket with a six and two fours of consecutive balls he helped the team to reach certain respectability at 112/8. Only two batsmen could get to double figures.

The bowling honours were shared between Natini, Morkel and Gony with two wickets each. M’Daran getting the wicket of Chawla. Irfan Pathan was run out when he failed to back up after an abortive run. The most economical bowling figures being that of Gony 2/14.

Set up the target of 113 runs CSK opened in stylish fashion with Parthiv and Vidyut who electrified the proceedings with 14 runs coming of the two opening overs from Irfan & Srisanth. In middle of     3rd over Vidyut parted ways with Parthiv returning to pavilion. Thereafter the Chennai     Jauggernaut rolled on effortlessly . The fifty came off 8 overs with the solitary loss of wicket.     Raina hit a brilliant six off Yuvi to push up the run rate. Midway down the street the CSK were     cruising at 66 at the end of tenth over.  While Sreesanth, Powar and Irfan sweated it out, Rain     and Patel continued regular hits to the boundary. After Raina ‘s massive six off Irfan 100 of the innings came in the 14th over and nothing much was thereafter left to be done. Patel reached his second fifty of the tournament shortly.I t was the last boundary from Raina in the next over which sealed the match in favour of CSK. The partnership between him and Patel for the 2nd wicket  yielding 102 runs.

While Raina with 58 runs  was the best bat for Dhoni’s side, Irfan was the lone wicket taker for the bowling side with most economical figures (24 runs in 4 overs).CSK won with 9 wkts and five overs to spare.

IPL DLF T 20:The highs and the lows of the tournament

IPL DLF League T 20 tournment will be at last reaching the last four stage with completion of 56 matches in next week. The league matches saw ups and downs in fortunes of teams and the men who gallantly fought for the respective sides .The march up to the semis has not been without some controversies as well as some hilarious developments. The first controversy interestingly related to a non sport event. The cheer girls from foreign soil hired at a huge cost were the first target of criticism for the outfits which some found against our cultural heritage. To add to their sorrow a famous film star dubbed them as “nachaniya” (dance babes). The girls however hardly lost any cheers and adorned some extra covers to their eye catching costumes to silence their critics.

A more eye catching incident followed in shape of teary eyed Sreesanth caught on camera. We learnt that the eye flue like condition was in fact the after effect of Harbhajan Singh’s slapping of young paceman after a match which his team Mumbi Indians lost to Sreesanth’s team. The slap cost Bhajji a five match ban and loss of match fees in approximation of Rs.2.5 Crs.

While the tournament was still recovering from the slap effect and baby Sreesanth’s tears had started drying up , the media started another whisper campaign about emotional response of a team franchisee about selective hugging of good performers based on their nativity. The allegedly class based welcome invited sarcastic responses. The bewildered franchisee thereafter had to contend the team members with a toned down welcome note on return to pavilion after a good knock.

And then came the booze baron’s bombshell. Vijay Mallya the franchisee of Royal Challengers a consistently losing team openly challenged the management potential of his CEO Charu Sharma and blamed him and captain Rahul Dravid for having instigated him into buying a vintage collection of players which turned out to be without any fizz. His choice of the second costliest team, appeared to be chasing victory like the elusive kingfisher as the team remained at second lowest place in the standing on match points. A volley of protests followed .

As the dust and din was settling, another dusty rider arrived in shape of Shohaib Akhtar the banned but bailed Pakistan pacer. While everyone thought as to why the guy was sweating so much, some Paki newspapers planted a story of 36 syringes allegedly seized by custom authorities from his bag. While the charge was not found to be correct yet it ushered in dope tests which were to be done randomly. Knight riders then found themselves mired in a controversy spun around their franchisee Shahrukh Khan’s mixing too much with his bunch of knight riders. When anti corruption staff (??) checked his intrusions in player’s area King Khan aggressively protested and also dispatched (leaked to media) an adieu SMS to his team announcing his withdrawal from the playfield till “he learnt rules of the game ” (completed bollywood commitments ???) . The organizers had to come down with systematization of the process. But by that time Dada’s gang already appeared to be riding into the sunset notwithstanding the support from the faulty and fading lighting system at Eden Gardens.

(With Thanks to IPL site for the Pics)

The T20 brand -elusive for Dr. Vijay Mallya

The recent entry of liquor baron Vijay Mallya in the field of Cricktainment known as DLF IPL League has generated some comic confusion, an activity which has been the hall mark of Mallya’s style of functioning. The business tycoon whose name figures two steps ahead of the magical figure of 666 in the Forbes list of billionaires is known for his eat drink and enjoy lifestyle (if you can afford it). Having inherited a conglomerate of motley companies at the age of 28 years Mallya’s fortunes climbed steeply in course of next two decade to make him owner of some of the most sought after territories in liquor trade. But it has also brought in public domain his confusing and contradictory approach to issues of consequence.

Dr. (?) Mallya true to his spend thrift image purchased ( or assembled) the second costliest team ($111.6 millions) of Indian cricketers in the IPL T20 tournament. The Ragged Mallya Challenge It seems that the business baron who proudly acclaims (when you board the Kingfisher aircraft and switch on the mini TV set) that every airhostess in his Kingfisher Airlines has been personally selected by him to treat the passengers as his personal guests was a bit indiscreet this time since his golden team did not display similar devotion to the cause of it’s master and seems to be gravitating towards the bottom of the pit under it’s weight . Mallya reacted promptly and sacked Charu Sharma “CEO” of the team- a commentator whose adornment with this corporate style assignment was decision of Vijay Bhai himself. Dr. Mallya as expected is trying salvage some part of his reputation as producer of world famous liquor brands and breeder of winner race horses with the information that he had left the selection to Chru and Rahul Dravid who selected a test team instead of a team suited for the abbreviated version of the game. Later when another team member Anil Kumble came out in defence of captain Rahul Dravid, Mallya further backtracked and came out to defend team coach.The team despite the changes and fire fighting efforts continues to loose.

Mallya watchers would however contest his contention and recall that he is a man who is inconsistent even while reporting his family roots .While the Wilkipedia reports his place of birth as some obscure town in Karnataka and Calcutta as his place of education, Mallya in an interview to journo Anjali Rao given at his Kingfisher Villa (is it not encroaching on Coastal Regulatory Zone ???) at Goa keenly painted himself as a Goan apparently to reinforce his colorful image. Mallya hardly known for any philanthropic projects, once reported to have spent Rs.1.5 Crs. to purchase a sword belonging to Karnataka warrior king Tipu Sultan in a Sotheby auction at London , for restoring the sword to the motherland. However strangely his wife and family contrary to his patriotic leanings remain ensconced in USA as their home place . About the doctorate which adorns his name, there are apprehensions that it is from a disputed source.

While the blogs promoted by his group rightly praise his genius as a business man , there is a only a subdued reference to his disastrous performance at another sunken ship -the long forgotten Janata Dal of which Mallya is president apparently even now. Having taken over the mantle of Janata Dal President from Subramaniam Swami in the year 2003 he fielded candidates for 20 (unlucky no. for him?) seats for Karntaka Assembly elections. Unfortunately his choice of candidates at that time was total failure since every one from his party lost.

What Dr. Mallya perhaps needs to understand is that while the selection of horses , hostesses and hot calendar models can be made on visual appreciation of certain features , selection of a sports team or political representatives for an election campaign requires tactical skills and intellectual proficiency of a different nature. There are other investors also whose teams are not that successful but they are not complaining because a good businessman should also have a good shock absorption mechanism and in difficult times should wait for the tide to turn.