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.

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Team India shines

Mother India has something to be proud of. A fighter for national pride nicknamed Bhajji , a member of Indian cricket team presently touring Australia has established that he is not one who believes in insulting the racial pride of any human being. He has admitted that certain words uttered by him during a cricket match between India and Australia were in fact intended to be simply abusive in a routine sort of way since the words only referred to the anatomy of victim’s mother rather lecherously and nothing else. Bhajji’s mom heaved a sigh of great relief that his son had not called the foreigner by the name of an animal but was only being vulgar towards another woman. Newspapers carried photographs of young girls in his native territory celebrating this victorious turn of events by carrying playcards “Chak ditta India” a much abused term which translates into something like“India you rammed them”.

The watchgaurds of national pride frothing with tension through out the whole week over the dispute between the players stood vindicated by virtue of a victory scored in the court of enquiry. The dispute had taken an ugly turn after Bhajji was banned from playing next five matches after a summary trial. It ended in our favour after his clarifications of above nature were accepted by the appellate authority.

Indian cricket team members have added another feather to their cap of off the field achievements. Team players shine so well on fashion ramps and on publicity ads even while sponsoring humdrum products like sweetened soda water or biscuits . Their bold gestures like rushing for a movie theatre after loosing a crucial match or competing over starlet girl friends are much acknowledged media events. The Hotels and eateries which they have opened (with the wealth earned partly from the game and substantially from off the field events) for serving fish fry and seek kabas do cover up for missed fours and sixes.

Australians India’s traditional spoil sport rivals however could not relish our feeling of enjoyment. They butchered us on the playfield in the 20-20 match which followed. The onslaught was so devastating that we missed the record for the lowest score by just one run. We must however appreciate Bhajji again for, this brave figure from the land of Shaheed Bhagat Singh scored one single run before going down like a martyr. That single run separated us from the dubious low score record just as his careful selection of abusive utterances saved us from being labeled as a nation of racists.

Kumble joins the 600 plus league

Eight years after having joined the company of all time great leg spinner Jim Laker with a ten wicket haul in an innings in the New Delhi Test in the Indo Pak series of 1999 , Anil R Kumble has now leaped in the exclusive club of bowlers having crossed the 600 wicket mark. Anil shares the company of Shane Warne and Muttaiah Murlidharan, both of whom are way ahead having crossed the 700 wicket tally .

Having started his career in the year 1990 Kumble crossed the first milestone of taking 100 wickets in the year 1993 in a matter of 21 test matches and moved on to the magical figure of ½ K i.e. 500 wickets in test matches in March 2006.

Certain other records to the credit of Anil Kumble need to be recalled. His maiden test century ( 110 no Vs. England in August 2007) came after having played 118 matches and surpassed the record of Chaminda Vaas who could reach the three figure mark after 96 Test matches. His tally of 31 caught and bowled dismissals is also a world record which he shares with Muttiah Muralidharan. He is also the first bowler in Tests to have 150 batsmen out leg before wicket. On more than 30 occasions Kumbley has taken more than 5 wickets in an innings an achievement which has no precedent amongst Indian cricketers. He is also the first Indian bowler to get 100 wickets against Australia . His most memorable performance in ODI is 6 wickets for 12 runs against West Indies in 1993 at Kolkata.

Hailing from Banaglore , Anil is a Mechanical Engineer . His surname Kumble is related to his grandfather’s village Kumble in Kerala . Having started his Test career in 1990 the cricketer made his way to Wisden cricketer’s list in 1996. He was honoured with Padam Shree in 2005. His home town Bangalore has honoured him by naming a traffic Island after him to commemorate his ten wicket haul in an innings.

Kumble’s bowling forte is known as flipper. A flipper is a back spin ball which remains low after pitching. It is deceptive to the batsman who may except wrongly that the flipper will drop and loop like a normal over spinning delivery. The ball which pitches under the bat may result into lbw if not tackled in time.

Kumble who is considered to be one of the ever shrinking group of gentlemen cricketers in the gentlemen’s game is nicknamed as Jumbo due to his long legs.

Down under, a Thunder over Bandar

It is said that every human being has certain characteristics of some species belonging to animal kingdom. A man or woman may be considered clever as a fox ,or watchful like a dog or peaceful as a dove. It has also been said that a close look at the facial structure of a man or woman might give a hint of resemblance to some animal whose characteristics dominate his outlook towards life, it may be a bull or a cat or a bulldog and we routinely tease our friends and cohorts for such resemblances. Hardly ever such comparisons are seriously contested. In fact sometimes we on our own compare ourselves to some cute little animals , (like Australin Captain Ricky Ponting’s statement that he was not Harbhjan’s bunny). We even had advertisements over Bandar theme featuring cricketers ( Don,t be a Bandar taste the thunder ).

However things turned out to be very different when Bhajji our ever chirpy and comical cricketer , the typical Punjabi puttar compared a kangaroo to a monkey. Monkeys and Chimpanzees because of their superior intelligence enjoy a much higher rating above the Kangaroos as far as the hierarchy of evolution of species is concerned.

However this time the incident which was reported by the alleged victim (?) a member of Australian cricket team-which is routinely referred to as Kangaroos in the cricketing parlance , triggered off an international crisis between two cricketing nations of India and Australia . The incident let off a fiery protest from the Australians in rather funny sort of way . The comparison was labeled as a racist action inviting severest punishment for sports person. The heat and dust generated by the controversy threatened to insert a monkey ranch in the smoothly rotating wheel of Border Gavaskar trophy being contested on Australian cricket grounds.

Monkeys worshipped as descendants of our mythological Lord hanuman are not the monopoly of any race or nation . Comparison of a human to a monkey , may be irritating to a person totally devoid of a sense of humor but to call it a racial abuse raises serious doubts about the intention of the complainant and his supporters. It is the developed superior logical ability which separates humans from other species down the ladder of evolution. We should try to remain as such.

Thank God the Series is on

Cricket fans rattled by the name calling controversy in Indo Australian cricket series for Border Gavaskar trophy finally have something to cheer about. The series will continue and Harbhajan will perhaps be allowed to continue for the team. The fact that a match of Cricket -the gentleman’s game could raise so much of heat and dust is a disturbing trend and all possible efforts should be made to check the declining standards of players’ behaviour. The recent incident has shown that ignorance over cultural background and sensitivities of the rival teams can lead to very unpleasant developments on field and off the field also. It was seen as to how an act of small indiscretion can pose threat to the series and could have cost both the countries heavily by way of financial losses . There is thus a definite need for grooming the players on behavioural aspects . The silver lining in the entire episode was that Australian media was impartial and supported cause of fairplay.