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Monday, July 15, 2019

Black Caps did not lose ~ but robbed of World Cup by rules 2019

The match went past midnight – there was the temptation of the grand final set between Novak Djokovic playing Roger Federer – but the fascinating game provided so many twists and turns – enjoyable as India was not playing and we had nothing to lose !!  -  The great game of Cricket is all about ‘runs and wickets !’ .. .. fundamental Q – ever read the definition of a ‘run in Cricket’ ? According to ICC rules – the  score shall be reckoned by runs. A run is scored
18.1.1 so often as the batsmen, at any time while the ball is in play, have crossed and made good their ground from end to end.
18.1.2 when a boundary is scored.).
18.1.3 when Penalty runs are awarded.

I have been watching the game and have seen many different strokes – the straight drive, square cut, pull, hook, cover drive, sweep, reverse sweep, switch-hit, chinest-cut and more .. .. but have not seen a run scoredt by a batsman sliding face down along the pitch, but that's what Ben Stokes did to deny the Black Caps glory at Lord's. 

The entertaining Cricket World Cup 2019 ended with ‘a virtual no result’ – yes – ‘a tie’ – a super over ending in another tie but England winning the tournament after 48 games, for the first time and, and New Zealand not losing the match !   "Ridiculous", "absurd", "random", "arbitrary", "unsatisfactory", "galling", "unfortunate", "a shame" ~ is what Kiwis are screaming about.  Seemingly fair, as   Black Caps fate  on a World Cup final being decided by a countback of boundaries hit.   Till that moment Cricket was exciting, beautiful, so wonderful and yes, so savagely cruel. New Zealand did not lose this Cricket World Cup. They were not beaten on the day.  Luck is perhaps the most underrated factor in the whole of sport. As humans we like to think that we are in charge of our own destiny.  The fates are laughing behind their hands at that one.

            England are world champions after tying with New Zealand on 241 each after their respective 50 overs. They both scored 15 in the super-over shootout – but England won thanks to hitting more boundaries in their 50 overs.          It is England’s first ever Cricket World Cup and follows final defeats in 1979, 1987 and 1992.  As the dust settles and the analysis pours in on the "greatest ODI match of all time", Kiwi cricket fans have been left wondering just how robbed they were of their first World Cup title.

Black Caps were denied the Cup by their own slow start, poor Umpiring, vague rules – and more - lost in the thrilling late-match madness is another  question; were England awarded one run too many during the chaotic scenes of Trent Boult's final over to Ben Stokes?  It was a contest that could not be separated by runs scored, in regulation play nor during the Super Over, but were England inadvertently awarded one run too many during the chaotic scenes of Trent Boult's final over to Ben Stokes? First of all, was it correct to award runs when the throw from deep hit the bat of a diving Stokes (though inadvertently !) and if the rules are undeniably so, should it have been a Six ! – was that not 1 + 4 = 5 for the run had not been completed.

There is so much more to ponder over for Kiwis - using their one batting review poorly in the Cricket World Cup final against England at Lord's on Sunday, cost the Black Caps super bat Ross Taylor. Reviews played an important part early in the game to decide the new world champions, but a Black Caps got one right, then one badly wrong. Early in the New Zealand innings, Henry Nicholls was saved by a review after being given out lbw to Chris Woakes. In the seventh over Martin Guptill - who earlier had a caught behind appeal overturned when review showed he hadn't hit it - was struck on the pads by Woakes, and again an umpire's finger was raised. Guptill chatted with Nicholls and with two seconds left on the clock called for a review.

Getting back to that run off overthrow (!) – that was coming like an arrow directed at the stumps – Stokes intervened and inadvertently sent that  throw from deep midwicket skimming to the third man boundary, after diving for his crease in a bid to complete his second run. After consultation with his colleagues, umpire Kumar Dharmasena signalled six runs for the incident, meaning that England - seemingly drifting out of contention needing nine runs from three balls, now only needed three more from two.

The law states: "If the boundary results from an overthrow or from the wilful act of a fielder, the runs scored shall be any runs for penalties awarded to either side, and the allowance for the boundary, and the runs completed by the batsmen, together with the run in progress if they had already crossed at the instant of the throw or act." A review of the footage of the incident shows clearly that, at the moment the ball was released by the New Zealand fielder, Martin Guptill, Stokes and his partner, Adil Rashid, had not yet crossed for their second run.

Whatever, New Zealand would forever rue the loss or rather awarding of the Cup when they did nothing wrong.  As NZ Press writes – the  centimetres between Trent Boult's heel and the boundary rope, as his catch turned into a six. The centimetres of Ben Stokes' diving bat that cruelly deflected four final-over overthrows. And ultimately, the centimetres between Martin Guptill's bat and the crease, as he dove in desperation for the winning run. Jos Buttler whipped off the bails, sending England into ecstasy. They had just won a Super Over – yes, a truly absurd Super Over – by the narrowest of margins.

So when Buttler smashed the stumps, England went berzerk, the Lord's crowd erupted, and Guptill sat slumped in despair. And it broke New Zealand's hearts. They didn't deserve to lose. Not like this. Especially not with how the final moments unfolded. Having set England 242 to win after a solid batting performance led by Henry Nicholls (55), Tom Latham (47), and Kane Williamson (30), the Black Caps looked poised for glory, with the hosts needing 22 runs from the last nine balls. Then, utterly incredible scenes - never before witnessed in cricket history – unfolded.

First, Boult looked to have taken the game-defining catch, snagging Stokes on the mid-wicket boundary. But as he stood back to complete the catch, he stood on the boundary rope – turning a match-winning moment into a potentially game-changing six. The Black Caps fought back though, making the equation tough once more - 15 needed off four, before Stokes sent Boult over mid-wicket. This one wasn't catchable. Nine from three. A full toss came in, and Stokes smeared it to mid-wicket. Guptill was on it quickly, and went to attempt a runout at the striker's end. Diving for his ground, Stokes inadvertently managed to deflect the throw for four overthrows. Six runs. Instead of a runout, or merely two runs, England were left needing just three from two balls. Somehow, the drama was nowhere near finished. Stokes could only manage a single from the penultimate ball - Adil Rashid run out trying for a second run - and needing two for victory, the final ball of the innings was a repeat – with Neesham's throw from the running out Mark Wood's attempt for a second run, and sending the game to a Super Over.

Stokes and Buttler – who had earlier rescued England from 86-4 with a 110-run partnership that gave the hosts the chance to win the Cup – came out for the Super Over, and hit Boult for 15. Needing 16 for victory – and aware of the tiebreaker - the Black Caps sent out Neesham and Guptill. England's bowler – Jofra Archer – started with a wide, before the Black Caps scampered a quick two. Neesham then produced a massive six over mid-wicket, putting the Black Caps in the box seat. Seven off four became five off three, then three off two, as the Black Caps scampered three consecutive twos. The tension is unbearable. The nerves unimaginable. The scenes unthinkable. The penultimate ball comes off Neesham's inside edge, and they run a single, putting Guptill on strike, with a chance to be a hero, and claim the ultimate redemption.  Guptill clipped the ball to midwicket ran one turn for the 2nd dived and .. ..   New Zealand's 44 years of waiting just got extended by a few more centimeters to some more years.

Here is the rule for super Over :-
·         The team batting second in the match will bat first in the Super Over.
·         The fielding captain or his nominee shall select the ball with which he wishes to bowl his over in the Super Over from the box of spare balls provided by the umpires. Such box to include the balls used in the main match, but no new balls. The team fielding first in the Super Over shall have first choice of ball. The team fielding second may choose to use the same ball as chosen by the team bowling first. If the ball needs to be changed, then playing conditions as stated for the main match shall apply.
·         The loss of two wickets in the over ends the team’s one over innings.
·         In the  event of the teams having the same score after the Super Over has been completed, if the original match was a tie under the DLS method, clause 15 immediately applies. Otherwise, the team whose batsmen hit the most number of boundaries combined from its two innings in both the main match and the Super Over shall be the winner. ~ and there is more
·         If the number of boundaries hit by both teams is equal, the team whose batsmen scored more boundaries during its innings in the main match (ignoring the Super Over) shall be the winner.
·         If still equal, a count-back from the final ball of the Super Over shall be conducted. The team with the higher scoring delivery shall be the winner. If a team loses two wickets during its over, then any unbowled deliveries will be counted as dot balls. Note that for this purpose, the runs scored from a delivery is defined as the total team runs scored since the completion of the previous legitimate ball, i.e including any runs resulting from wides, no ball or penalty runs.

Some of the rules may have to be redefined but the moment of truth is England won the World Cup 2019 and NZ are the runner-up.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th July 2019.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

SYMA in service to Society ~ Education Aid Function 2019

Dear Friends & well-wishers of SYMA 

Greetings to you from our SYMA – for those who are not familiar ‘Srinivas Youngmen’s Association’ ~  We are a social service organization rendering service to the downtrodden, working for the betterment of society since 1977.  This post is  focussed on SYMA ~ the Organisation that I have been writing about for many years now, being the Secretary.   
This post is specific on  SYMA’s Educational Aid function held on 6th July 2019   and seeks your financial support for the same.  Please do read this – together we will change the way some students attend school.

NKT Kala mantapam has seen many grand events.  It was the seat promoting ‘Natakam form of Tamil’.  The great RS Manohar inaugurated many of his historic dramas here.  July is a very important month for SYMA - our Educational Aid function, was held on 6th July 2019 at NKT National Girls High School at Sudarshan hall.  Honble Justice K Chandru (Retd. Judge) was the Chief Guest.  Mr AS Ravi, Advisor, Lucas TVS was the other guest.  TA Sampathkumar, President SYMA presided over the programme.  S. Sampathkumar, Secretary welcomed the audience, introduced the guests and compered the function.  R Sanjeevi, VP, gave vote of thanks. 

Mr AS Ravi, spoke on the need for servicing the society, appreciating the concept, implementation of various service activities of SYMA.  Justice K Chandru (Retd) spoke on the challenges of running an educational institution, need for discipline among the students, the need for commitment and will to succeed. 

Srinivas Youngmen's Association popularly (SYMA) has been rendering social service from 1977. We are registered with the Registrar of Societies. With care and concern for the society, we have been actively involved in social service doing multifarious activities which include – coordination with civic authorities in keeping the environ clean, conducting health campaigns – promoting health care and hygiene; organizing Eye Camps, Blood Camps and other camps. In our earnest effort to improve the competitive spirit and to instill confidence in school children, We have been conducting Child Fest every year in which more than 3000 students from around 100 city schools participate.

With a focus on sustainable service, we have two bigger continuing projects :

1) Medical Centre and Laboratory run for the poor wherein free consultation and medicines are provided – popularly known as ரெண்டு ரூவா மருத்துவமனை [Rs. 2 hospital !] This functions between 5 – 7 pm on all days except Sundays and National holidays. Consultation is free and medicines too – provided through regular medical shops with whom we have working arrangement. Around 40 – 50 people utilize this daily. We also have a Medical lab wherein blood and other tests are done at very nominal costs. The running of Medical Centre and Lab costs around Rs.45000/- per month.

This year  SYMA is posed for a quantum leap as we are moving into a bigger premises at Car Street and sooner would have besides Consultation, Lab – Physiotherapy, dental care and more ..

2) SYMA Growth – a purposeful special tuition centre for coaching poor students of 10th and 12th standards.  Into its 12th year now, this was inaugurated in  2008 and producing good results year after year, changing the lives of poor children.   This year we have X Std English medium; X Tamil medium; + 2 Science Group and +2 Commerce Group.  Every year, we educate around 130 students selected from weaker sections of the society and that way perhaps we have touched the lives of more than 1000 poor students. 

Through this project we aim to provide quality educational support to students who would otherwise will have no opportunity to such quality education. Education is imparted through qualified senior teaching professionals who are paid nominal fees by us. Classes are conducted on all days of the week. We have created an excellent infrastructure and have dedicated staff for this. The classes are conducted at the premises of National Boys High School, Triplicane for which we pay a nominal rent and some amount towards electricity and other expenses. The project expenditure of our Tuition centre is around Rs. 7 lakhs lakhs per year.

Both this projects are  fully  sponsored by Manpower Group this year (2019-20), to whom, we express our deep gratitude.  M/s Karix Mobiles have sponsored the Educational Aid programme and there are many philanthropists and corporate behind our success.

Education is the only thing that can change the lives of children coming from lower echelons of society.  We firmly believe that only quality education can improve them and ensure their moving to a higher echelon.  For making students attend schools with dignity, we have been providing uniforms for more than 2 decades now.  In the Educational Aid Function conducted now, we provided more than 1000 sets of unstitched uniforms to poor students. In the Educational Aid function, We also provided financial assistance to select college students,   honoured School toppers of various Schools in Triplicane and the toppers of our own tuition centre, SYMA Growth.  Every year we recognize some silent achievers of the Society and this year too we presented SYMA Seva Award to a Mr K Sriram  who has been doing great service for the old aged destitutes.

Generally, we collect funds in the months of  July & ahead coinciding with our Educational Aid Programme, though donations are welcome throughout the year. You have patronized us in a big way in the past, and we look forward to receiving your donations this year too. Cheques are to be drawn in the name of  ‘SRINIVAS YOUNGMENS ASSOCIATION’ – payable at Chennai. In case any donor wishes to make a Bank transfer, we will provide details of our Bank A/c on request. Contributions to SYMA are eligible for deduction under Sec 80G (5) (vi) of Income Tax Act, as applicable.

Here are the details of our Current Account with Punjab National Bank.

Punjab National Bank  :   Current A/c No. 0346002100024570,
Triplicane Branch, Singarachari St. Triplicane, Chennai - 600 005.
RTGS/NEFT IFS Code : PUNB0034600 MICR Code : 600024015

You have all along supported us in a big way and we look forward to your continued support in small or big measure – donations can be Rs.1000/- or multiples.  Together we will ensure transformation towards a better Society.

A Big Thank you to you all .. .. .. ……. ……..

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.
Secretary – SYMA
13th July 2019.

For complete details of SYMA – please log on to :  ; or email us at :
o   To those of you, who have already contributed to SYMA this year, this mail is not to seek additional donation but only to say thanks again.
o   To those who effect bank transfer  - please do email me ( or do send SMS
o   Only select schools were invited for this function ~ the actual distribution was made at NKT Boys High School today morning
o    Some photos of the Educational function are posted.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Senescence .. .. .. vanishing thandatti !

Ever heard  OF Senescence / Gerontology ?

Miles away, the U.S. economy entered its 11th year of uninterrupted expansion, breaking the previous record for the longest period of growth in American history without a recession.But far from celebrating, many economists conclude from this unprecedented performance that a recession is now overdue, if not immediately then surely before the 2020 presidential election. Fortunately for the U.S. economy, but sadly for President Donald Trump’s opponents, the idea that economic expansions have some kind of natural lifespan and then die of old age has neither empirical nor theoretical support.

Old age refers to ages nearing or surpassing the life expectancy of human beings, and is thus the end of the human life cycle. Terms and euphemisms include old people, the elderly (worldwide usage), seniors (American usage), senior citizens (British and American usages), older adults (in the social sciences), and the elders (in many cultures—including the cultures of aboriginal people).Old people often have limited regenerative abilities and are more susceptible to disease, syndromes, injuries and sickness than younger adults. Old people will also have a lot of symptoms. For example, healthy bones are critical to senior health. As the body ages, it begins to absorb old bone tissue faster than new bone tissue can be created, thus bones tend to become thinner and weaker. This leads to a condition known as osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become very fragile and can easily break after a fall, or even during everyday movements.

Besides ageing, economic demands can be cruel on people.  Some have to work menial jobs to earn and make their ends meet.  After retiring from formal employment, scores of the country’s elderly people are forced to live a life of humiliation, abuses and isolation. In such a scenario, one is compelled to think about the living conditions of the aged from the economically weaker sections.  Some studies confirm that a high majority of old people are poor with no source of known income. Relatively smaller  per cent still have money, properties, savings, investments, inheritance and above all supportive children. However, put up against facts like India has a population of 100 million old people and that the number will touch 324 million by 2050, the good news fizzles out.

The study, which had a sample size of 3,400 spread across 323 districts across the country, also stated that older women are more prone to suffer abuse due to factors like gender discrimination, longer life span than older men, longer span of widowhood and no source of income as traditionally most of them are housewives.  The responsibility is not primarily that of the Government, but more weighing on the loved ones of the aged who are truly responsible for keeping them happy and healthy.

Now read this interesting article in The Hindu ~  .. .. .. R Rajammal, a retired nurse from the Government Hospital, is seated on the thinnai of her home in Usilampatti. In a pink cotton sari and hair in a bun, her skin is a beautiful contrast against the gold thandattisthat gleam in the afternoon sun. The earrings, in a 3D geometrical shape, which are sometimes as heavy as 15 grams each, add to her character. They hang heavily from her slender earlobes, which have stretched over the years from the weight of the accessory.

Wizened older women with elongated ear lobes have long been a part of Madurai’s fabric. These days, though, it is becoming increasingly rare to find women who wear these distinctive pieces of jewellery, except perhaps the occasional lady who sells greens at the weekly market.Where have they all gone? In Usilampatti, Madurai district, however, thandattis thrive. Women in this small town, which has less than 10,000 households, continue the practice of wearing these heavy pieces of jewellery, on elongated earlobes, although this is confined to the Kuruvar community.

First, the ears are pierced and the hole is made bigger with a knife. Then, dried cowpeas stuffed in cotton balls, which are in turn wrapped in a kunuku leaf, is placed inside the hole. After a week or two, more cotton is added. This process is repeated for a month, such that with each passing week, the ear lobe elongates. Once the hole stretches to more than 1.5 centimetre in diameter, the ear lobe will never spring back to its original shape !

The savudi is similar to the thandatti, but is shaped into multiple rings and each one is adorned with four to five rings weighing around 96 grams in total. Depending on the shape and design, the heavy earrings go by various names; these include mudichu, nagavadam, and arisithattu, all of which are no longer seen. Koppu, murukutchi, and idathattu are studs worn in the helix, scapha, and antihelix, respectively.

While worn purely as an accessory, the earrings were part of the wedding trousseau, according to 70-year-old Chinnathayi from Madhrai in Usilampatti. “They were an indicator of how wealthy one was. Women sold them during times of financial crises as well,” she notes. The thandatti women of Usilampatti have been featured in several films, including the recent Devarattam. Although they’re proud of their long ears and the rather unconventional earrings, many of them are now getting the ear holes surgically stitched. “They feel it is not fashionable any more,” concludes the article adding -  “Who knows, future generations may see these earrings only in museums.”

Senescence or biological aging is the gradual deterioration of functional characteristics. Senescence is the inevitable fate of all multicellular organisms with germ-soma separation,  but it can be delayed. The discovery, in 1934, that calorie restriction can extend lifespan by 50% in rats.  Environmental factors may affect aging, for example, overexposure to ultraviolet radiation accelerates skin aging. Gerontology is the study of the social, cultural, psychological, cognitive, and biological aspects of ageing. The field is distinguished from geriatrics, which is the branch of medicine that specializes in the treatment of existing disease in older adults.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th July 2019.

TN Court directs Aavin to revert to bottles

Milk has special significance and is seen as the most important health drink. Although considered a complete food, there are many lobbies that discourage milk consumption, alleging — without any convincing proof — that it might promote some diseases.  Billions of people around the globe  — barring a minority suffering from lactose intolerance — have been consuming milk daily in various forms, without any visible problems.In 1992, a new dimension to the debate was added, when scientists in New Zealand alleged  a correlation between the prevalence of type-1 diabetes and the type of milk consumed. It led to the discovery of the so-called A1 and A2 types of milk.

Today, news reports suggest that in New Zealand, the  market value of a2 Milk rocketed by almost three quarters of a billion dollars on the back of a series of upgrades from brokers.Shares in the alternative milk and infant formula company closed at $16.25, up $1.00 or 6.6 per cent from Tuesday's close, and lifting its market capitalisation by $735 million to $11.94 billion.Analysts said the move followed favourable reports from brokers UBS, Goldman Sachs and Forsyth Barr over the last few days.UBS New Zealand head of research Marcus Curley, who co-authored the brokers' latest report, said UBS had upgraded a2 Milk's recommendation from "neutral" to "buy" and lifted its valuation from $14.0 a share to $17.50.

Back home, Indian native breeds of cows and buffaloes are of A2 milk type and hence are a source for safe milk. The A1/A2 status of cattle is determined by the two alleles for beta-casein gene i.e. A1 and A2 and cattle may be homozygous for one type of protein (A1A1 or A2A2), or heterozygous (A1A2). A1A1 cattle would produce only A1 milk, A2A2 would produce only A2 milk and A1A2 cattle would produce milk with both A1 and A2 beta – caseins .. .. most baffling !!

I have posted on this earlier too .. .. in mid 1970s – there was a paradigm shift in Triplicane from cow/buffalo milk to Aavin. The milk booth in the street was all important place.  The area would be disturbed if the van is late and when the early risers could not have the morning coffee ! – remember those days only a handful of households had the refrigerator.  People would stand in long queue with empty  bottles in custom trays, give them and take the milk bottle.  Some would bring eversilver vessels, into which milk would be emptied. The bottles would have aluminium caps [most households would collect these and earn something from the trash too].   This always carried potential danger – glass bottles do break – sometimes crack and where would be the small broken pieces go ~ would they not get mixed with the milk, and be consumed !  Besides handling crates (containing 20 bottles) was a challenge – persons manning the milk booth would throw the crate artistically into the empty lorry.

Slowly Aavin ventured into plastic sachets – looking more attractive, lesser space occupied and ease of handling. Besides there was no need for carrying vessels or bottles to be exchanged.  One can walk across and pick the ½ litre or 1 litre milk packets [carrying 4 or more in a single hand is a challenge !]   .. .. a nice suggestion in social media said ‘don’t cut the edge of milk sachet – millions of such cut pieces clutter the drains’ – better cut open the milk packet straight and drain out the milk without removing a small piece !

In what could be termed as returning to old – it could be back to bottles for Aavin.  It is reported that a Division bench of the Madras High Court has directed the State government to give up the practice of supplying Aavin milk in plastic covers and follow the old method of using bottles or any other means. The bench of Justices R Subbiah and Krishnan Ramasamy gave the direction while dismissing a batch of public interest writ petitions from Chennai Non Wovens Private Limited in Ambattur Industrial Estate and 29 others, on Thursday.

The PIL sought to quash a GO dated June 25 of the State Environment and Forest department and a consequential letter dated December 8, 2018, in so far as it banned non-woven polypropylene carry bags and consequently direct it not to interfere with the petitioners’ manufacturing, storing, supplying, trading and selling of the products,  irrespective of GSM.

“We, therefore, direct the government to implement the banning of all multi-layered plastic wrappers and covers, which are meant for one-time use and throwaway, so as to make the ban effective and meaningful. The government can also explore alternatives for supply of Aavin milk through bottles or any other means, which was hitherto followed in the State, instead of using the plastic cover,” the bench said.

The bench also observed that the State government had banned one-time use of plastic and other similar products with effect from  January 1, 2019, with an avowed object to make the environment a plastic-free one.“We feel that the ban is neither effective nor complete. In spite of the ban, one-time throw-away plastics are freely made available or accessed for being used,’’ the bench said, adding that the order which is impugned in these writ petitions, banning one-time use of throwaway plastics, can, therefore, be construed to remain only in paper owing to its poor implementation.Stressing on the importance of levying fines, the bench said: ‘’Unless hefty fines are imposed on the suppliers or stockists, the ban cannot be claimed to be effective or complete. The State should promote alternative products such as cloth or jute bags for being used by one and all, in the larger interest of protecting the environment from being hampered.’’‘’By allowing the citizens of this State to continue to use one-time use and throw plastics, it would only adversely affect the ecology of the State. The State is duty-bound to enforce certain stringent measures to protect the environment and the decision to impose a ban on one-time use and throwaway plastics, is one of the steps taken in that direction,” the bench said.

The bench added that slowly and steadily, plastic had infiltrated and intruded into the daily lives and the large scale use of plastic, for the purpose to which it was not intended to, had in fact sounded a death knell to the ecology and environment.‘’By virtue of burgeoning use of plastics for all purposes, it resulted in mounting of garbage strewn all through the lanes and by-lanes of the streets and the Municipal authorities throughout the State find it an uphill task to deal with the situation,’’ said the bench.

So, what would Aavin do, and how would that meet the convenience of customers – perforce,  Aavin may have to chuckthesachets andbottleits milk from now on – or is there any other alternative !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th July 2019.