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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Buying or Selling used vehicle - difference between Advanced and Developing countries

Vehicle brokers are oft repeated comedians in many cinemas. In a recent film, Vadivelu would influence a two wheeler owner to part his vehicle for a trial ride in the hope of some commission but would end up getting beaten as those who had come as buyers would take all for a ride, running away with the vehicle.
The single most common indicator used for quantifying the standard of living is the per capita purchasing power parity adjusted to gross domestic product and the standard of living in India has a large disparity. There exists a class known as ‘Indian middle class’ who are object of ridicule of many but most markets target them. Now the car market is booming with so many new models and newer versions. People upgrade to newer versions more because there exists a good market for used cars. Buying a second hand car has many advantages ; the cost is significantly lower, depreciation lesser, loans are available and vehicles are readily available. But the bane is the market is largely unorganised though there are some brands of used car sellers. Direct transactions between two individuals are also low.

The buyers are susceptible not only on the quality but sometimes on the ownership aspect also. If the common refrain is - yes, these are common issues of Third World countries – please read on.
European countries are advanced – UK is far advanced – a model place to live in ! ethical people – good governance – adherence to laws – most importantly adaptation of latest technology. There every one who uses a vehicle on road must keep it in roadworthy condition. The MOT test checks that vehicles meet road safety and environmental standards. The first test is required when the vehicle is 3 years old ; for taxi the rules are different. This Certificate would confirm that the vehicle meets the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law. It is no guarantee of the general mechanical condition of the vehicle. Just as we have the Registration Certificate (RC) which was in book format earlier and now a mere Certificate, there it is known as V5C which is generally taken as the proof of ownership. Recently (July 2010) the Govt. has introduced a new, more secure, vehicle registration and has published instructions on line giving tips to general public on what to look out for when buying a second hand car, which underlines the prevalence of frauds and cheating of selling vehicles with fake nos. and registration certificates.

The V5C, commonly known as the ‘logbook’ is a certificate that is issued when a vehicle is registered with the DVLA. (Driver and vehicles licensing agency – our equivalent of RTO) The V5C is sent to the registered keeper who is the person responsible for registering and taxing the vehicle. This may not be the owner of the vehicle. The information contained therein includes the Regn. No., the keeper’s name & address, other details such as make, Vehicle Identification No. and the number of previous keepers.

The Transport Dept. has clarified that V5C is not proof of ownership as DVLA records keepers and not owners. The good thing is that these information can be found on line at Motoring section of which provides access to all public services in one place. Again there is a catch. In the early 1970s, DVLS began computerisation of records of vehicles previously maintained by local vehicle taxation offices. The record for old vehicles was closed in 1983. Subsequently in 1990 rules were introduced allowing vehicles to claim back their original mark on a non-transferable basis.

The flip side is : the introduction of new certificates follows the theft of a number of blank certificates in 2006. Some manipulators have succeeded in selling stolen or cloned vehicle with those certificates catching the buyer unaware. Thus criminals could legitimize the sale of a stolen vehicle.

Here are some of the useful tips put up for buying and selling used vehicle, most of which could prove useful in Indian context as well

When Buying used vehicle :
1) be careful of adverts quoting mobile phone numbers - owners are hard to trace watch out for adverts giving a landline number with specific times to call - it could be a phone box
2) find out the market value of the vehicle - if it’s being offered much cheaper, ask yourself why
3) find out where the vehicle’s stamped-in Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) should be so that you can check it against the vehicle registration certificate (V5C)
4) arrange to see the vehicle in daylight at the seller’s home and not in a public place such as service stations, pub car parks and petrol forecourts
ask to see additional identification
5) check whether the vehicle has outstanding finance, as this could affect your rights to the vehicle
6) ask to see proof of ownership such as a bill of sale
7) ask to see the vehicle service records and a MOT certificate.

When Selling used vehicle :
• it's worth remembering that thieves can pose as potential buyers
• never let the buyer go on a test drive alone as they may not come back
• don't leave the buyer alone with your keys in the ignition
• be careful when accepting cheques or banker's drafts, don't part with your car until you're sure the payment is genuine - if in doubt, contact your bank
• it's also worth asking the buyer for a form of identity, satisfying yourself that it looks genuine.Alternatively the buyer may ask to see proof of your identity'
• know where the VIN number is as the buyer may want to check this

Let the buyer beware is the norm – whether the Country is advanced or developing – cheating does take place and only those vigilant remain unharmed

Regards – Sampathkumar.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Madras High Court raps National Insurance for unnecessary litigation

Today’s Times of India carried an article titled “ HC raps insurance company for thoughtless action ”.    It is a fact of life that cases are pending at various Courts and some unfortunate victims end up spending major part of their life and money in litigation.   The news article read : Quote:

“ Making a mockery of the national litigation policy, which aims to bring down new cases and appeals by the government, a public sector insurance company has filed an appeal against an accident compensation of Rs 6,000. Worse, it has been fighting the case for the past eight years, and has incurred Rs.6,100/- as case expenditure alone.

Rapping the National Insurance Company Limited for the thoughtless action, Justice K Chandru of the Madras high court has dismissed its revision petition, describing it as abuse of the process of law.

The matter relates to a road accident on June 24, 2001, when a van met with an accident injuring three persons near Sevattipatti in Dharmapuri district. After taking treatment, the injured made claims and they were examined by the claims tribunal. In March 2002, the tribunal ordered Rs.6,000/- each to the claimants. The insurance company challenged the award in the high court, that too after a delay of 1,331 days.

Dismissing the company's petition on Thursday last, the judge quoted extensively from Union law minister M Veerappa Moily's statements decrying compulsive appeals and litigation for the sake of litigating.

"Today, in the field of insurance, where there are private operators are also, a public sector insurer must think twice before venturing into a litigation and must consciously make a cost-benefit analysis. They should not end up being penny-wise pound-foolish," Justice Chandru observed.

Ruling that no convincing reason had been given by the insurer for the delay in filing an appeal, the judge said the court was not inclined to condone such an enormous delay as no due diligence had been shown by the company. He also pointed out that the claimants had not been served notice till date -- that is, after more than 1,200 days. He also said provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 had clearly forbidden any appeals if the claim amount did not exceed Rs.10,0000/-

Pointing out that the insurance company would end up spending at least Rs 6,100 towards court fee, filing expenses and counsel fee to recover Rs 6,000, Justice Chandru said: "The fiscal part of such an attempt to make a recovery makes one wonder about the real motive of such insurers. It has been done not out of any bonafide attempt to make recoveries, but to litigate at the cost of public exchequer."


It would be unfair to make any comment without knowing full facts of the case; yet the amount involved does not make it a fit case for appeal, even if any substantial point of law had been involved.  From the little information available, this appears to be a petition filed by persons travelling in a goods carrier after tipping off the driver of the van.  Obviously, the Goods carrier is not intended for passenger traffic and the Insurers should not be fastened with liability where none exists.  These persons (irrespective of whether the accident was genuine and the extent of injuries sustained) were at best only gratuitous passengers, contributing to the accident in a way.  The MV Act specifies the persons who are required to be covered and there are many Apex Court judgments on this.   Here is something on Motor Vehicles Act for the not so well informed.

Not a day passes out without news of a road accident in the Highway or in some major road. Vehicles are getting damaged, goods are getting damaged and most importantly there is loss of life and injury to persons. The road traffic, the registration of vehicles that ply on the road, the regulation and rules of those entitled to drive, compensation to road accident victims all are regulated by a legislation called Motor Vehicles Act. This was originally enacted in the year 1939, underwent sea changes and amended comprehensively in the year 1988 and some sectional amendments thereafter.

In some ways, it is a welfare legislation; the present Act has done away with the provisions of limitation period which was six months earlier for the victim to file petition seeking compensation. Also the jurisdiction was vastly changed. The Act provides for tortuous liability on those responsible for the accident and vicarious liability on Insurers, following those of the owner of the motor vehicle.

Sec 165 of the MV Act 1988 provides for constitution of Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal by notification by the State Government for adjudicating upon claims for compensation in respect of accidents involving death of, or bodily injury to, persons arising out of motor vehicles, or damages to any property of a third party so arising, or both.

Under Sec 166 application for compensation may be made by the person who sustained injury; the owner of the property; or by any of the legal representative of the deceased (in case of death). This being a Tribunal, the stamp duty is not much and the expenses in the nature of Court fees is nominal.

The Claims Tribunal makes an award determining the amount of compensation and specifies as to who shall make the payment (mostly the Insurers). When an award is so made, the award needs to be satisfied in its entirety within 30 days from the date of announcement. The Tribunal has all the powers of a Civil Court for the purposes of taking evidence on oath and enforcing the attendance of witnesses and of compelling the discovery and production of documents and material objects.

Sec 173 categorically specifies that any person aggrieved by an award of the Tribunal may within 90 days from the date of award prefer an appeal to the High Court but imposes depositing Rs.25000/- or 50% of the amount so awarded, whichever is less. The High Court may entertain appeal after the period of 90 days, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal in time.

Sub sec (2) specified that “No appeal shall lie against any award of a Claims Tribunal if the amount in dispute in the appeal is less than ten thousand rupees.”

In the circumstances, how Tribunals fasten liability when it is disputable and  why the Insurer chose to litigate that too after such a long delay -  the episode  does not sound to be  logical.

Regards – Sampathkumar.

the custom of partying - Potlatch

Ever heard of noun “Potlatch” and its meaning ??

Some of you would have enjoyed the yesteryear “Chinna Gounder” the Vijayakanth starrer – the storyline was the village panchayat man (local Judge) known for honesty and deliverance of authentic judgments; the opening scene itself was one where all the locals (18 patti – eighteen villages) would arrive to hear the pronouncement .

When the heroine runs up huge debts, she organises ‘moi virundhu’ – a function where all villagers are invited, come, eat and then keep money below the plantain leave – so that she gets the money required. Very cinematic indeed.

The meaning of Potlatch is explained as a gift economy or gift culture, in a society where valuable goods and services are regularly given without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards ( no formal quid pro quo) but mostly simultaneous or recurring giving ensures circulation and distribution of valuables within the community.    It is a case of reciprocity which is a common feature in some traditions. One such example is Maori of New zealand. In its primitive days it was the good but in modern days this would obviously only be treasured possessions. It is a ceremony where gifts are bestowed on guests in a show of wealth, the guest would turn host sooner and try to surpass the earlier act. This perhaps in stark contrast to barter economy or a market economy. The Customs of the area or the Sect regulates the exchanges though this would not be explicit or formal or written. In Chinook language, potlatch means gift.

To the Indians of Pacific Northwest, Potlatch is a ceremony to bring people together to share something amongst themselves. There exists a legend in their land that two girls once plucked feathers from a magical bird in forest and shared them with those colourless birds. From that time the other birds also started having coloured feathers as they had their turn to return. The native Indians celebrating Potlatch exchange beautiful gifts – as an invitation bundle of twigs are sent. In the function, they make merry by singing, dancing, story telling, eating and swapping expansive gifts.

Before the invasion of Europeans, the gifts included storable food, fish, canoes and even slaves. Giving a potlatch enhanced the reputation of the giver validating their social ranking. Prestige was proportionate to lavishness. Much later Canada and US made potlatching illegal, largely at the urging of missionaries and Govt. agents. The Canadian statute – the Indian Act was amended in 1885 stating that “Every Indian or other person who engages in or assists in celebrating the Indian festival known as the "Potlatch" or the Indian dance known as the "Tamanawas" is guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not more than six nor less than two months in a jail or other place of confinement; and, any Indian or other person who encourages, either directly or indirectly an Indian or Indians to get up such a festival or dance, or to celebrate the same, or who shall assist in the celebration of same is guilty of a like offence, and shall be liable to the same punishment.” This became a black law as the participating guests were also punished and the Agents were given free hand to try, convict and sentence offenders.

As fate could have it, the ban was repealed in 1951 as sustaining customs and culture of their ancestors was believed to the way of life and reportedly even now indigenous people hold potlatch ceremonies openly in restoration of their ancestral ways.

Regards – Sampathkumar.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Columbus splashing waves !!!

The great navigator, colonizer and explorer from Italy who voyages across the Atlantic led to the discovery of American continents is making news on the waves again. Ocean is always interesting. Just as one sits on the beach and watches the waves - one can think of innumerable things. What made man venture into the unfathomed sea and how he conquered it will always remain a wonder.

Even in modern days, the movement of goods between Countries - how the market is identified, the logistics, the days involved, the packing, the containers - all are quite perplexing. In this part of the world, there are not much of container ships – those big ships stacked with containers all over are a treat to watch. I had shared something on MSC Daniela during Jan 2010. In case you are interested in reading the same, do click MSC Daniela It was an extraordinary vessel not only in terms of size but also in its design aspects; it was stated to be biggest containership ever classed by Germanischer Lloyd (GL). Its design brought infamy of a ugly ship because of a new feature of positioning of bridge not above the main engine but in the foreship.

Now the arrival of a vessel prompted the discussion on deepening the fairway of Lower and outer Elbe. The stake holders though satisfied with the productivity of the Container terminal wanted the river to be deepened to handle bigger ships. This is the port known as Gateway to the world covering an area of 74 km² The news is about the Port of Hamburg on the river Elbe and the vessel which prompted all the discussions was Christophe Colomb.

CMA CGM is the world’s third largest container shipping company and is ranked number one in France. This Group had 389 ships plying on 170 routes; handled 7.9 million TEU in 2009. This Group has added to the explosion in size of containerships, though touted as a period of recession, falling freight and other troubles. Perhaps an indication of the belief that very large ships are still profit worthy even if they are inflexible for redeployment in some routes. Manning huge ships poses added problems of berths, on whether the approach channels would be sufficiently deep and other navigational impediments. There could be difficulty in finding market – the sufficient no. of boxes for single shipment, still the economies of scale would prevail.

The debate for the claim to the biggest containership would continue to rage on. It is difficult to determine as some operators keep the capacity closed guarded secret. The capacity varies with the weight of the containers. By some yardsticks, MSC Beatrice was considered second largest in capacity. She has a max capacity of 137998 TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) and length of 366 M. Emma Maersk would easily beat her with 400 M but Emma Owners using a different basis of calculation claim only 13500 TEU. Ebba Maersk has capacity of 11000 TEU but by standard definition can hold 14770 going by physical space and not weight. Her length is 397 M (1302 ft).

The new arrival of another giant owned by CMA CGM emerging from Korean Shipbuilders has stirred enough interest among all the players. This is the first of 8 to descend on international waters. This CMA CGM flagship has a profile of bridge and accommodation 1/3rd of the length from forward rather than on top of the machinery space. This ship is 365 M in length, beam of 51.2 M and fully laden draught of 15.5 M . Her owners claim that as well as being hugely efficient, their record breaker is particularly “green” from the rudder and propeller arrangements which are notably efficient, to the electronically controlled engine, which can operate safely and economically at low speeds. Fuel tanks are also strategically located away from the ship side and bottom.

CMA CGM took delivery of this giant during Nov09 in South Korea ; few days back at Le Havre the vessel was christened ”Christophe Colomb” by Christine Lagarde, France’s Minister of Economic affairs, Industry and Employment. The official of CMA CGM was quoted as saying that the new giant of the seas is a strategic asset for CMA CGM while volumes and freight rates on the Asia to Europe market are recovering. It is claimed that the vessel is equipped with a Pre-Swirl Stator, a device which helps increase in propulsion efficiency. The new engine is capable of operation at super eco speed of 14 to 15 knots. The tanks of the vessel are located underneath the superstructure and are protected by the double hull of the vessel. The vessel is to start its rotation in Shanghai from Nov and then move on to Ningbo and would call on Rotterdam by December. The vessel is the first of the series of 3 which are named after great explorers. Christophe Colomb is the largest container ship ever to sail under French flag.

Here are some technical details of the vessel :
Port of Registry: Marseille, France
Ship Type: Cargo - Hazard A (Major)
Length x Breadth: 365 m X 52 m
Speed recorded (Max / Average): 21 / 18.2 knots
Flag: France [FR]
Call Sign: FNUY
IMO: 9453559, MMSI: 228315600
DWT : 157092; GT 153022
TEU 13344 of which 800 are Reefers

After Christophe Colomb, the subsequent vessels would be named after Marco Polo, Vasco de Gama, Amerigo Vespucci, Corte Real, La Pérouse, Magellan and Zheng. Here are some photos of this monster

With regards – S. Sampathkumar 

Photo courtesy :
PS : this is a non commercial blog – written with interest of sharing with group of my friends.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Remembering Kargil and the martyrs who gave their today for our tomorrow

This is a day to remember some most important persons of contemporary BHARAT. They'd promised their families they'd come back soon. They more than kept their word. Went as mere men. Came back as heroes in coffins. "THEY GAVE THEIR TODAY FOR OUR TOMORROW".

” Median age 19 to 35.The grim-faced army officers receiving the coffins, draped in the tricolour, the carriage to the army parade ground, the set-jawed shok shastra farewell salute by steely soldiers. The silent sorrow of upraised guns, slowly brought, barrel downward, to the ground, left arm tautly extended to the right before retracting, the holding of palm to chest, the sudden dropping of head, the 30-second hushed silence, then the regulation rajnigandha and marigold wreaths from the army and air chiefs, the general officer commanding, fellow officers, the battalion, before the body escorted by a comrade begins its last journey home. Wreathed in white, the colour of the pure; kesariya, the colour and insignia of the brave. Now across mountains, now across rivers, plains.

The lines of pain criss-cross(ed) the entire nation. All that are things of the past; emotional knee-jerk reaction of the Nation; after passage of merely 11 years the feelings sound only empty rhetoric, looking at what the Nation did in return. If you are not able to make out what this is all about. The fault lies not in us.
Come 26th July – I have been sharing with my friends my thoughts – rather anguish on the Nation having a short time memory in not remembering their heroes – those who gave their lives for our tomorrow. Sadly after the initial euphoria died down, there were celebrations in part by some nationalist minded citizens, the Govt. did nothing nor were there any headlines in the Press about Kargil and the 550 odd martyrs.
11 years now on 26th July 1999, Kargil War officially came to an end. Lt. Gen. NC Vij announced complete eviction of Pak intruders. Kargil Conflict is much more than an armed conflict between Our Nation and intruding Pakistan army that took place in May till July 1999. Though the exact date could not be specified, in May 99, the Indian army discovered large scale infiltration by Pak soldiers across the LOC in Indian territory in the desolate Kargil sector. The operation zones of Drass and Kargil are coldest places on earth next only to Siberia. As has been after the War, a review committee was formed and the Committee submitted its report in record time. How much of it stands implemented is anybody’s guess.

The operations to evict the mountain tops of the intruders is ever etched in the living memory of patriotic citizens as ‘Operation Vijay’. But how much the Nation remember its WAR HEROES ? Slowly, the newspapers were also not allotting any space in their first page and memory was getting restricted to Nationalist minded citizens. It was a war waged on the roof of the world – hence plains of the Nations could only understand the bare politics of power and diplomacy without understanding the crude ways of war.
The conflict took place in a place which part of Baltistan district of Ladakh, , a sparsely populated region with diverse linguistic, ethnic and religious groups, living in isolated valleys separated by some of the world's highest mountains. The town of Kargil is located 205 km (120 miles) from Srinagar where winters are very long and chilly with temperatures often dropping to −48 °C (−54 °F). Kargil is also just 173 km (108 mi) from the Pakistani-controlled town of Skardu, which was capable of providing logistical and artillery support to Pakistani combatants.
During the winter season, due to extreme cold in the mountainous areas of Kashmir, it was a common practice for both the Indian and Pakistan Armies to abandon some forward posts on their respective sides of the LOC and to reduce patrolling of areas that may be avenues of infiltration. When weather conditions became less severe, forward posts would be reoccupied and patrolling resumed. But during Feb 1999 Pak Army sent their regiments covertly and intruded many Indian areas. The Indian Army though strategically much disadvantaged fought valiantly for reoccupation of the places .

Immediately after 1999, Tiger Hill & Pt 5140 became household names but how many of us still remember them still ?? The then DG of Military operations proclaimed - July 26, 1999 as KARGIL DIWAS in commemoration of those who laid down their lives for the sake of the country. A Total 537 soldiers sacrificed their lives to give the country a pride victory.

Param Vir Chakra, the Nation’s highest military decoration was conferred on Four who were instrumental in Kargil victory. Param Vir means Bravest of the Brave and Captain Manoj Kumar Pandey, Granedier Yogendra Singh Yadav, Rifleman Sanjay Kumar and Captain Vikram Batra richly deserve this honour.
It is quite unfortunate that there were no official remembrance / celebrations of the sacrifices for few years and the Govt was busy negotiating peace talks with the friendly neighbouring state again.

Mere celebrations would never be enough. The Govt. should ensure that such an incident is never repeated and it has the responsibility to secure better the life for the family members of martyrs of our home land and provide extra care of the highest order for the wounded soldiers. The Govt. should also ensure that there are no POW suffering in any Pak camps.
It is worth knowing the entire list of those who sacrificed their future for us. BUT let us atleast recall the names of the Param Vir Chakra winners :
Captain Vikram Batra IC 57556 – 12 JAK Rifles
Lt. Manoj Kumar Pandey, IC 56959 – 1/11 GR
Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav – 2690572 – 18 Grenadiers
Rifleman Sanjay Kumar – 13760533 – 13 JAK Rifles.

JAI JAWAN. LONG LIVE THE NATION. The entire Nation would proudly and sincerely say to the Army and its Jawan : You have given your blood for our MEAJ BHARAT (MOTHER INDIA) - We will always remember you

With regards - S Sampathkumar

PS : It is quite unfortunate to repeat. The fact of life is that the papers & newschannels were concentrating on something else. Before posting, I checked the headlines and here is what the media covered as prime news. Seemingly, there was not much coverage in the newspapers. Nation has not forgotten its warriors totally but Press has other important burning issues.

At Drass Sector in Jammu & Kashmir, two day celebrations to commemorate the victory began with a briefing on Operation Vijay at Umbala View Point, followed by a friendly polo between Ladakh locals and Ladakh Scouts Regimental Cetre teams. Ceremonial functions such as wreath laying, candle light vigil, Sainik Sammelan – would be held today.
On Sunday Bangloreans flocked to the National Military Memorial (NMM) site near Indira Gandhi musical fountain. The large gathering paid homage to Kargil martyrs.
In Panchkula. rich tributes were paid to the Kargil War martyrs at Major Sandeep Sankhla Memorial in Sector 2. Members of the Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement also took out a candle march on the occasion. Brig Kiran Krishan (retd), coordinator of IESM, meanwhile, demanded that ex-servicemen be given one-rank, one-pension.
The prominent news sites of the Nation gave their front space for news such as :

Encounter between Maoists and Security forces at Jharkhand ; Naidu for debate on rights of lower riparian states ; Shah arrested, sent to judicial custody. ; Parliament session set for confrontation ; £500-million arms deal on Cameron's wish-list for India ; Kashmir breathes normal for a day; Test series on a razor's edge ; Sri Lanka needs a 2-0 result to displace India from the top ; Congress MLAs back Reddys in Karnataka ; Praful Patel says no job, wage cuts in Air India ; Ranjitha’s complaint credible – Hockey India

Friday, July 23, 2010

Testing our Language Skills - Taxis & Garner ..............

Dear (s) :                 Not all words ending with ‘s’ are plurals

Learning and mastering a language is very difficult and challenging even for those who think themselves to be well versed. For those interested in improving their skills, some basic steps would be to fine tune spelling, refine vocabulary, improve vocabulary by learning new words, mastering grammar, practicing frequently and of course sticking with the basics. The knowledge of grammar is power. Detractors would be inclined to say that it is just latin recycled to fit another language.

In any language, grammar is the body of rules describing the properties and construction of words and sentences and their usage. Now read the starting the sentence again – mostly we tend to put s or es to make the noun a plural i.e., representation of more numbers.

All of us have used taxi in our life. A taxi or taxi cab is a type of vehicle used for hire with a driver. In our younger days, all places will have a taxi stand where yellow coloured ambassador or Fiat vehicles would be standing. Those travelling for Railway stations and going to hospitals, used to hire these vehicles which had a meter fixed on them. Whether these meters were ever put to use would better be answered by those who have utilized the taxi as also auto rickshaws. Those were the days when the call taxi had not ventured in and less number of households had own cars. Cars were a luxury those days and were owned by people who were somebody in the society. It is believed that cab is an abbreviation of cabriolet, a type of horse drawn carriage, which was the earlier cousin of transport vehicle. There were horse drawn and bullock drawn carts – for long some horse driven tongas remained in front of Central station in Madras.

Whilst taxi cabs is a right usage, the word taxis is not the one to mean plural of taxis. Taxis pronounced rightly as TAK-sis (plural taxes) is an innate behavioural response by an organism to a directional stimulus or gradient of stimulus intensity. Taxis differ from tropism and is sometimes distinguished from a kinesis, a non-directional change in activity.

The common dictionary meaning of Taxis is : 1) movement of an organism towards or away from a stimulus; 2) order, arrangement or classification 3) the manual repositioning of a displaced body part to its normal position. Etymologically, taxis is derivative of Greek tassein.

Whilst that surprised me, there is another common word “Garner” which many of us use. As a verb, it means: a) to gather into storage b) to deposit c) to acquire by effort, earn, d) accumulate, collect etc.,
Commonly we would use the word granary for meaning a repository or storehouse of grain – read today that for long, garner was used as a noun meaning something that is collected. The verb part of usage came into being much later. Thus garner was earlier used to mean ‘something that is collected’ but in today’s parlance to mean to earn or to accumulate.

For Cricket buffs, Garner is the Big Bird – Joel Garner (1952) a famous fast bowler who hailed from Barbados and played for West Indies with fame. This really tall 6ft 8 in tall Bowler capable of ripping through any famed line up was part of the famous carribean quartet and played in 1983 WC also. The quartet of  pace bowlers operating in tandem {Andy Roberts, Colin Croft, Michael Holding and later with Malcolm Marshall} sliced through many batting line ups and their period was perhaps the period when Windies were simply unconquerable.

Those were the days of pace bowlers and any team touring Caribbean islands would return battered and bruised. A remarkable transformation now – when we have the top 3 wicket takers in tests in Spinners - Muthiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble.

Between 1977 to 87, he played 58 tests and took 259 wickets at an average closer to 20, one of the most effective bowlers. In One dayers, he took 146 in 98 and was measly giving just over 3 per over. In 1979 WC Finals, he took 5 for 39 ensuring WI victory.

Hope you liked this ` -  Do share your feedback

Regards – Sampathkumar S

Thursday, July 22, 2010


At Galle, with Indians forced back to the wall – the main interest was whether Murali would get to the magical figure of 800 test wickets.

The lankan tail wagged merrily to close at 520-8; Indians were in somewhat a comfortable position but collapsed from 250 to 276 all out after Sehwag left. As usual a section of the Press brayed for his blood at the manner he got out, forgetting that he had complied a glorious century treating the bowlers with disdain.

Following on, India lost 5 wickets yesterday and at lunch were 292/8 – a slender lead of 48 with Lakshman and Ishant at the crease. When this test started Murali had 792 scalps and the second day wash out made his chances thinner. He took five for 63 in the first essay simmering closer and took two thus far in the second innings – Lakshman departed run out – denying Murali a chance to complete the phenomenal 800 – now how long Mithun or Pragyan would hold was the only Question.

Galle has been a farewell test for Murali and rightly so – the entire town is posted with Muralitharan posters, banners, cut outs, messages, an electronic countdown to 800 wickets. At Galle Fort overlooking the stadium there are two giant cut outs. This morning red carpet was rolled out when he walked in. Fitting tributes to a legend whose career started on Aug 28, 1992 at Colombo against Australia. 18 years have fleeted past and there perhaps would never be one – so great taking buckets of wickets. Somebody getting anywhere closer to 800 would be unthinkable, given the least priority to Test cricket and with the nos. dwindling. Also the present generation cricketers with spread of ODIs and T20s may never last long enough to get anywhere nearer.

And no other bowler would have so much weapons in their armoury as Murali did – his big dancing off breaks, doosras, flippers and et al. In the first innings, he thought out and flummoxed Dhoni – an off spinner’s dream that had the loop, turn, and everything. The second innings started with greater expectations, with Murali needing only 3- soon as the Umpire said play, Gambhir was back and Murali had one opportunity less. When it was about to be stumps, Murali got one to spin across the left handed Yuvi who was clueless – whether it was a clean catch by Mahela is another story altogether.

It looked more of a mockery to read an interesting article in cricinfo which read that Murali actually stands fifth on the all time list of Lankan test match six hitters with 29, behind the famed Jayasuriya, Arvinda, Jayawardene and Ranatunga. As a batsman, in 132 tests / 163 innings, he has 1257 runs with a solitary 50 – has 146 hits to the boundary and 29 over it. Has an impressive strike rate of 70 +

It is a sheer coincidence that Warne’s debut was closer to that of Murali, Kumble was recalled in the same year and Ian Salisbury too made his, at the same time.

In our younger days, as I wrote earlier, 300 was the bench mark, broken by Gibbs, bettered by Lillee, then Hadlee and Kapil was perched at the top with 434 for long. Now 800 beckons Murali - after agonizing wait, Pragyan Ojha edged Murali to become part of the history.

MURALI IS 800 NOW.  In all probability, he would remain the first, the last and perhaps the only man to take 800 test wickets, that besides his 515 in one dayers.

Regards – Sampathkumar.

David Warren - inventor of black box is no more

Aeroplane continues to be a fascinating object. In our younger days, we used to look up at the sky wondering the metal bird in flight – blessed were those who had occasion to see a landing or take off of a flight. My classmates used to talk about a flight being shown ascending in a Kamal Rajini starrer of1970s. Some who can speak of complex parts like fuselage, cockpit, aileron, rudder, flaps, landing gear boasted themselves of knowledge in front of others.

The present generation which has travelled many a times in planes would not understand this. Even today, many fear travelling in a plane – this is a distinct phobia in itself as also is combination of one or more such as claustrophobia (fear of contained spaces), acrophobia (fear of heights), agoraphobia (fear of open spaces). The news of Mangalore crash and other plane accidents do add to the fear of ordinary mortals.

In 1934, Warren’s father reportedly died in a plane crash. The boom in commercial air travel was associated with fear of crashes which shook the public’s confidence. Added woe was the fact of non availability of any witness or survivor to tell the tale of what went wrong, hence there could only be speculations and no lessons learnt from the disaster. A clever Australian inventor made an equipment which ended this misery. This was a recording medium initially made of steel wire which stored the crew voice data and instrument readings such as air speed, altitude, engine speed and engine temperature. For protection of the data and the equipment from the physical impact and heat, this was contained in a titanium box with heat insulation. The modern day equipments use magnetic tapes and memory chips and are much smaller in size than their earlier ones.

This is black box – most sought after one after a crash – a flight data recorder (FDR also ADR) – a device recording specific performance parameters. There is also the cockpit voice recorder which records the conversation in the cockpit, radio communications and ambient sounds. The black box helps in analyzing air safety issues, material degradation and engine performance.

David Warren is credited with the invention of black box. He died in Australia the age of 85. Dr Warren was the foremost research scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation's Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne for more than 30 years and in 1953, the Department of Defence said that he headed the investigation of the world's airline disaster. The prototype was introduced in 1956 and in the following decade it was adopted in all Australian cockpits. Dr Warren and his research team were conferred the Lawrence Hargraves award in 2001 for that pioneering achievement and by the following year, he was designated as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia. In 2008, Australian flag carrier Qantas named an Airbus A380 aircraft after Dr Warren for his pioneering work.

A much advanced version of this is now mandated on all flights standing as a testament to his pioneering work. Some road transport in advanced countries also use them. Interestingly, the black box is not so named because of its colour but because it was a magical idea . Contrary to the leading suggestion, the equipments, exterior is coated with heat-resistant bright red paint for high visibility in wreckage, and the unit is usually mounted in the aircraft's tail section, where it is more likely to survive a severe crash. Nowadays, they are of brilliant orange for better visibility.

Regards – Sampathkumar S

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chlorine gas leaks at Mumbai Port - the uncomfortable questions ??

Dear (s)

It was bad news of leakage of chlorine gas at the Mumbai Port Trust warehouse at Hay Bunder near Sewri. Over hundred fell sick, some reported critical sending shock waves of panic among the residents and port workers. Those affected complained of breathlessness, nausea and coughing fits.

The tragedy of Dec 3, 1984 at Bhopal was of a different magnitude. It was leakage from a storage tank containing methyl isocyanate at the Union Carbide pesticide plant – that the victims got measly compensation and Anderson could not be brought to book are different stories altogether.  If it were to be a mere accident affecting more than 120 which includes students of a nearby maritime college, labourers, port workers and fire fighters – none can be blamed but lessons will have to be learnt to ensure prevention of any recurrence. But as usual there is element of callousness and neglect which has caused. It is now reported that the cylinder which leaked was part of 140 such canister which have been lying abandoned with no precautions for ages, waiting for a disaster to happen to make authorities wake up. Now after the incident MBPT reportedly has launched enquiry on finding out why the cargo was left exposed in such a careless manner. 

Times of India report suggests that these cylinders had been abandoned by an importer over a decade ago in 1997 and were found corroded. The leakage affected residences and other buildings situate within radius of 1 km.   Chlorine (from Greek meaning pale green) is the chemical element with atomic no. 17 and symbol Cl. As chloride ion, it is abundant in nature and necessary to most forms of life, including humans. In its elemental form, it is a powerful oxidant used in bleaching and disinfectants; its compounds are used in swimming pools to keep them clean and sanitary. Quite often, in Public pools users would complain of red eyes and skin itching when chlorine is excessive. Municipal Corporation uses I as disinfectant in roads and is mixed in some measure in Corporation supplied drinking water that comes in taps. But all that only when diluted.
The German Army reportedly first used chlorine gas cylinders in Apr 1915 against French army at Ypres. The French soldiers smelt mixture of pine apple and pepper, later had to complain about pains in chests and burning sensation in throats. Concentrated chlorine gas would destroy the respiratory organs of its victims and could lead to slow death by asphyxiation. Masks of cotton pad soaked in ammonia would neutralize chlorine.

Cylinders in huge quantity of massive size have lying idle and nobody seemingly cared all these days. Mumbai Port Workers blamed the company demanding now that all unclaimed hazardous goods inside the dock premises be cleared off immediately. Being a Port, there are lowly paid contract labourers who could ill afford treatment nor the time at hospital which would prevent them from gaining wages. The Port on its part stated that permissions had been sought 2 yeas earlier for disposal from the Controller of Explosives and Customs and the clearance was yet to be given. One report stated that a firm called Agro Gases P Ltd had imported, the consignment landed at dock inApr 2001; the firm did not claim the consignment after some objections were raised.

Reacting after the incident, the Mumbai Police has registered a case against unknown persons under the Environment Protection Act. The charges included in the First Information Report (FIR) are attempt to commit culpable homicide, causing hurt by dangerous weapon, negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance and endangering life or personal safety of others. Whether the probe would identify any persons, only time would reveal. The difficult clean up operations were on and cylinders containing chlorine are being neutralised. A team of experts of National Disaster Response Force arrived from Pune for safe disposal of the remnant cylinders

The age old Customs Act of 1962 clearly provides for clearance of goods. Sec 48 reads that ‘if any goods brought into India are not cleared for home consumption or warehoused or transhipped within 30 days from the date of unloading or within such further time as allowed, or if the title of any imported goods is relinquished, such goods may, after notice to the importer and with the permission of proper officer be sold by the person having custody thereof "

Incidentally, even recently, the MBPT had advertised for e auction of uncleared/ unclaimed cargo to be conducted by Gandhi Auctioneers P Ltd. There are provisions to sell / dispose off / initiate action against the erring importers – but whether these do happen and why such delay and carelessness may perhaps remain ever unanswered.

Most unfortunately, it requires a serious accident to make Agencies spring into action and most times the lives of common man are not worth anything !!!

Regards - Sampathkumar S

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The story of Ant - Retold in Corporate World

A story in the Corporate World in the form of a Fable which illustrates a moral lesson. Obvious that the characters are not real and no inference to be drawn to any real life situations, which would only be purely coincidental.

 In the famed jungle, there lived a small ant which habitually got up early and started work immediately
 Being very sincere and having no other diversions, she kept producing a lot and was happy with whatever was available and provided for.
 The Chief, the Lion was too surprised to see somebody performing so well without any supervision
 He shared this news with Tiger, Wolf and other Board members happily stating that things are going on so well
 The Wolf intervened and said that a continuity plan was essential and suggested that there be a supervisor – not a high cost resource
 They recruited a cockroach, who had experience as supervise and was famous for writing excellent reports
 The first day at work – cockroach introduces attendance system to regulate the working hours
 He needs a Secretary for preparing the reports and reports a Spider
 The trendy dressed spider manages archives, monitors phone calls and makes reports in XL and in graphs
 The Managing Committee of Lion & Others are delighted seeing the cockroach’s reports
 This time, another member stresses the need for analysis of the reports so that PPT presentation can be made in the Board meeting
 They buy a new computer and laser printer
 A fly is recruited to work on the Computer
 A Butterfly is roped in to manage the IT Department
 There are meetings and more meetings and Ant starts feeling the pressure
 The reports depict fall in production and everyone comes up with a new working plan
 The need for somebody to manage is understood and the position goes to Cicada
 The newly appointed Manager buys a carpet, an ergonomic chair, makes the office presentable
 He brings a person who had earlier worked with him to rationalize, prepare budge and make Strategic Optimisation plans
 The need for market strategy and advertisement is also figured
 The workplace becomes too serious and the charm and entertainment in air vanishes
 The profits are vanishing; enraged the Management engages a top notch firm for evaluation.
 The Owl studies the Office for months and reveals that the place is over staffed.

Management gets tough and takes punitive action to remedy the situation

- somebody who showed lack of motivation and has a negative attitude towards work is fired
--- Yes – it is the ANT – which gets fired………

Moral : You should always understand who you are and where you are. Rain or shine – keep working without seeing whether you are monitored or not.

Regards - Sampath

Jonas, Toad and Sean's Day Out - the anixous moments ---

The psychic Paul hit the headlines ; Psychic from Greek ‘of the soul, mental’ is somebody who professes extraordinary ability to perceive information hidden from the normal senses through extrasensory perception. Psychics mostly appear in fiction. Whether PAUL the Octopus had any ESP or was it too much of a confidence - the debate could rage on !!

All successes are to be replicated and in Capetown, they did the exact thing. Jabulani, an octopus at Two Oceans Aquarium, South Africa was put to test - similarly two jars were lowered into his tank one containing Spanish and other the Dutch flat. Jabulani reportedly picked up Spaniards as winners.

Incidentally, the official match ball of FIFA 2010 WC was Jabulani, a ball made from eight spherically molded panels with a textured surface intended to improve aerodynamics. The word means ‘happiness’ in Zulu language. This article is not about Octopus or football but marine transit. Marine insurance is insurance providing indemnity arising out of loss or damage to subject matter which is in transit from one place to place. Though coverage mostly is on All risks basis, there is a clause known as “TPND” – which provides coverage for loss of or damage to the subject matter insured caused by theft or pilferage or by non delivery of an entire package. The subject matter need not necessarily be ‘cargo or inanimate object’ – there could be live cargo as well.

In Eastern Canada, there were anxious moments as thieves drove off the truck and the trailer containing a Bengal tiger named Jonas and two camels named Todd and Sean. This caught International attention.
Moving a live animal from one place to another presents manifold risks and even Risk Managers find it difficult to think of all potential situations avoiding unanticipated consequences. Many countries have strict rules in place which include restriction of journey time, transport vehicles fitted with high quality equipments including temperature monitors, mechanical ventilators, availability of feed and drinking water, prohibiting young ones, females in the last stages of gestation and more. Some Companies offer expertise in transportation with totally insulated, closed, air controlled vehicles.

Some trailers even have torsion flex axles for a smoother ride. Most of these companies would go in for a standard insurance protection as well.

The animals belonged to Ontario Zoo, had been transported by road and were stolen when it was halting from a motel. A reward of $ 20000 for the safe return of the animals was announced. The Zoo officials were worried as there were no clues of the missing animals and they were concerned of the safety of the animals when kept without food and water for days. Initially it was thought to be a simple of vehicle theft without knowledge of the contents but the anxiety increased with the possibility of thieves being fully aware of the exotic animals being carried. Jonas being a tiger was contained in an internal cage inside the trailer preventing any possible escapade; for camels it was different as they were considered very friendly being trained zoo animals.

The Law enforcing authorities of Quebec tasked 40 officers and a search helicopter to find the tiger and two camels searching for the aluminum EBY brand trailer with licence plate number of E4398Y.  The Bowmanville Zoo in Ontario, a private zoo in Canada is a very famous one and is one of the largest suppliers of animals for Hollywood movies and television programmes. Days after the theft, the concerned Zoo authorities pleaded the thieves through the media to provide water and shade to the animals stating that camels which had been placed in stalls on the trailer can be given buckets of water whilst the tiger can be given water by extending a water-filled turkey baster through the cage because the tiger knows how to drain water from the baster.

The plight of the animals occupied space in World media including BBC News.  As time passed by the zoo keepers were anxious as the tiger would require fluid and could not withstand long hours. The camels were biologically built to withstand extreme conditions and can live without water for many days, but tiger could soon dehydrate.

Attempts were made to stop any illegal sale of the ill gotten animals. Theft of exotic animals – small ones like reptiles, amphibians, birds, tarantulas or monkeys have all been reported earlier but not bigger ones of tiger and camels. Joan had been raised in the zoo from its childhood and had been bottle-fed and camels had been used to rides.

After few days, the tiger and camel pair were recovered – still there were concerns amongst the Zoo authorities about their health conditions as this is hot period in Canada. Medical supplies were rushed to the recovery spot (details of which remained secret). One of the authorities was quoted as saying “it’s is like amber alert, the longer it lasts, the less likely you are to get them back”.

From an insurance perspective, the marine policy would indemnify theft and non delivery but death to the animal arising out of delay and non availability of feed / water would be outside the purview of the policy of insurance.

Jonas the tiger was 400 pounds (180mg) though trained, friendly and locked behind several doors in an internal cage, it is still a tiger. The trailer had been located on the side of a small paved road under a tree roughly 40 km away from the parking lot where it was stolen. Those who had stolen had fed cat kibble and supermarket steaks – the lurking fear was lack of water and possible dehydration to tiger, as camels could go on without water for even 10 days.

Later reports from Montreal stated that investigators arrested two men aged 23 & 44, following a search. The motive of the theft remains undisclosed. It is also stated that the Zoo paid out a reward to the tipster which led to the recovery.

Thus ended the Big Cat and Camels’ day out. Hope you found that to be interesting. Look forward to your feedback.    (Source :, and photos :

With regards – Sampathkumar S

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The noble act of Tamil teacher Mrs. PONMANI DEVI OF ERODE

Chithode is a small village nar Erode in Tamilnadu and would not be in news generally. A noble soul living here has hit the headlines of some newspaper (reported in The Hindu and Kumudam)

Smt. Ponmani Devi, is a tamil teacher who retired from service. She states that her husband (late) Kumara Nadesa Varadappan was also a tamil teacher. Teaching is a noble profession lighting up the minds of hundreds of students thereby making them better citizens. The conditions of schools in remote villages and of those involved in teaching is somewhat pitiable as there are no basic amenities even. Yet there are teachers who have been rendering yeoman service mainly because of their nature and not being greedy.

This woman retired after serving in Nadupalayam village in Chithode retired as HM of Gobi Municipal Higher secondary school in 1996. The school Govt. Boys school at Chithode was devoid of compound making it a place for other activities impeding the concentration of students. She donated Rs.4 lakhs for construction of compound. For constructing a library, she donated 5 cents of land on the Gobi main road. Now she has donated close to 10000 sq.ft of her land worth over Rs.40 lakhs to the State backward class welfare department for the construction of a hostel for girl students.

She humbly stated that this to her was not an act of donation but an act done to help poor girls access quality education. It is quite unfortunate that her son who was studying MBBS died of electrocution. Anybody else would have cursed fate and would have resorted to a life of solitude but not this woman who has steely nerves and resolve to serve the society.

Madam PONMANI DEVI deserves to be known through the World for her noble mind and action

Regards – Sampathkumar S

Saturday, July 10, 2010

First Test at Galle - Murali will be missed thereafter !!!

Dear Cricket lover,

Probably I belong to a different generation that loved Test matches. In my early years, a Test match during Pongal days were the most sought after ones. At the age of 10, I relished one of the greatest innings of GR Vishwanath against Andy Roberts, Julien, Holder and Boyce on a green top. Despite his heroic unbeaten 97, the Indians could muster only 190.  Scores of 250 + by Indians were rare those days and those totals were good enough for the famed spin quartet to win some for India. A slender lead of 2 to the mighty line up of Fredricks, Greenidge, Lloyd, Kallicharan and Richards was  largely due to the performance of Prasanna and in the second essay, Indians were looking down the barrel with half the side back at 85.  The young gutsy Gaekwad partnered Vish and then Ghavri  to take them to 256.   The third day 13th Jan was a rest day and Indians were 85/4 in their second when play started on 14th.  Pras, Bedi and Chandra routed them for 154 and Indians won by 100 runs.  The stumping of Lloyd by the flashy Engineer was a picture that featured prominently in The Hindu. A holiday was declared which added lustre.  

 In 1980, the fiery Imran flung at Sunil Gavaskar led Indians. Sandip Patil made his debut and Kapil Dev won the Man of the match winning ‘Enfield Bullet’ with a 7 wicket haul for 56 in the second innings.   Years later, in 1988  Viv Richard’s team bit the dust in a literal dust bowl when Narendra Deepchand Hirwani, the bespectacled 19 year old took 16 wickets in his debut; the other debutants being WV Raman and Ajay Sharma.  Narendra Hirwani spun and mesmerized the Windies handing over a massive 255 run defeat.  That was the only match captained by Ravi Shastri.  Poor Hiru took further 20 wickets in his next three appearances, but his fortunes were the never the same again. He eventually ended with 66 wickets in 17 tests.  That way one looks forward to a Test match

But the First Test match beginning at Galle on July 18th 2010 (India Vs Lanka) somehow weighs heavily on the mind, not bringing the regular pleasure. For a genius, affable gentle person who spins the ball high, spins it both the ways and makes the ball jump around like a toy has chosen it to be his lost. That’s bringing in melancholic feelings.

Galle is a fortified Port city, situated on the southwestern tip of Sri Lanka, 119 km off from Colombo. It has a long history of trade – way back in 1505 Portuguese ship was driven there by a storm, Portuguese stormed the city. It was very prominent during the Dutch colonial period; badly affected by the Tsunami on 26th Dec 2004. Rumassala Kanda in Unawatuna is a large mound-like hill to which legend attaches some events of Ramayana.
Namma ooru mapillai - Muttiah Muralitharan, the leading wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs, will retire from Test cricket after the first Test against India in Galle, which begins on July 18. He could command his place in any International XI, has chosen to hang up after the first test, even as the magical 800 beckons closer. He is the greatest off spinner (in fact the Emperor amongst Spinners) – he is not bowler in the mould and action of Srinivasa Venkatraghavan or Erapalli Prasanna but perhaps the first wrist-spinning offbreak bowler. His leg spinning delivery often turns as good or more than that of Shane Warne.

Murali was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka on 17th April 1972. His has been an up swinging career bothered by many injuries, some racist taunts and out of field attempts to insinuate him. It started way back in 1992 on Aug 28, 1992 when he made his debut against Australia at Khettarama Stadum and took 3 for 141. For stat buffs, Craig Mcdermott was his first victim. In 1993 on Aug 12, he made his ODI debut against India at the same stadium; took one for 38 off ten overs. Praveen Amre was his first ODI wicket. The magical milestone of 700 was reached in July 2007 against Bangla; On Dec 3, 2007 – he broke Shane Warne’s record of 708 and became the leading wicket taker in Test Cricket. Paul Collingwood was the victim this time at Kandy.

Sure he would have thought of retiring for quite some time now but still it hurts. The Lankans want him for the next WC in 2011. As of date, Murali has taken 792 wickets in 132 Tests and 515 wickets in 337 ODIs. Whether Galle and Indians will provide him the 8 wickets in a test to close at 800 is still a vibrant question.

For long, it was the elite club of 300 wickets in Tests. In 70s Gibbs broke Trueman, Lillee took it to 355 and Hadlee breached 400, only to be broken in 1994 by the great Kapil Dev Nikanj at 434; eclipsed by Courtney Walsh’s 519. In 2004, Murali dethroned Walsh by dismissing Mluleki Nkala at Harare (89th test) becoming the first spinner to be on top after Lance Gibbs. Shane Warne equaled the WC in 2004 & Murali broke him. In Oct 2004, Warne took the crown with tally of 532 in his 114th test.

Everything else was interred deeper at Kandy in 2007 when Murali bowled Paul Collingwood increasing his tally to 709 in his 116th test. Feb 2009 another milestone was achieved when he scalped Gautam Gambhir to surpass Wasik Akram’s tally of 502 in One dayers.

His rise in stature has placed Sri Lankans in a commanding position – from a closer losers tag to potential match winners in any soil, Murali has taken them along – with due credit to his mentors and captains with special reference to Arjuna Ranatunga, who stood by him steadfast.
Stats reveal them all - in 228 innings (of 132 tests); Murali has taken 792 at a frugal 2.47 and high strike rate of 55.1. He has taken 10 wickets in a match 22 times and 66times 5 wickets in an innings. In 329 One day innings, he has taken 515 with 10 five wicket hauls

The effervescence and bubbling energy he has displayed are seen to be believed. He is a great fielder at deep with a good throwing arm in his young days.

His career was blemished when he was called for throwing – no doubt his action is freakish but it has been okayed after tests of bio mechanists. His deformed elbow creates the optical illusion of throwing but the arm bend is well within the ICC’s new 15 degree tolerance limit.

His action was cleared by ICC after biomechanical analysis in non-match conditions but in 2004 he was tormented again with doubts on the legality of his doosra – all at a time when you have a handful of raw medium pacers chucking with questionable actions. Will Bret Lee ever be called by the same Darrell Hair or any other Umpire for suspect action ?

It was quite a paradox and ironical that his career was threatened and he had to bowl with medicinal tabs all over the body – bio mechanics or humiliation !!  To many Gilmour, Thompson, Mcgrath, Bret Lee, Shane Bond, Iam Meckiff, Shoaib Akhthar all have suspect action. Lasith Malinga has added completely different dimension to bowling. Perhaps there were very many in the past with not so conventional style of bowling but the mechanism of TV cameras and super slow motion were not present in those era and they escaped.

He has mastered the art, mesmerized the batsmen and taken Lanka to great new heights. The sharp vulture eyes, bubbly run up, whiplash release, huge turn, bamboozled batsmen will always remain a treat to watch. Though Saqlain is credited with invention, the doosra would remain a radical attachment to bowler’s armory.

Just as defining the finesse of gold, spinners can be rated by their performance against Indians who play spin so well. (forget our last tour to Lanka when mendis ran through us). When it comes to comparison, Shane would pale very badly for his heroics against the Indians and Pakis; whereas Murali has proved to be a nightmare to all. He has more top order scalps.

In a test at Kotla, he sliced the famed Indian batting line up taking 5/23 and the ball that spun across like a vicious leg spinner to castle Dhoni around the legs was a beauty and not beast of a delivery.

Here under is the comparison of top 10 in terms of wicket in Tests and One dayers and it is so revealing that Murali beats them by any possible yardstick.

Regards – Sampathkumar. S