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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

the double tie ~ and the Rajasthan win !

One expects the shortest version of Cricket T20 to be ‘fours & sixers’ – many a times that is not to be …… the deserts of Sharjah have provided some interesting ties ~ and yesterday’s one at Abu dhabi  was a literal tie – a double tie to be precise. IPL is about to shift from UAE to India after 20 matches and 2nd May, at Ranchi will the first match in Indian soil……. Before that yesterday’s match between Rajasthan Royals and Koklata Knight Riders …. it was past midnight ~ and it appeared to be an ‘all Aussie’ show …. Faulkner bowled – Shane Watson played with Steve Smith…
prematch - Ravi Shastri with Gautam Gambhir - photo credit :

Statistically, Rajasthan Royals made  152 for 5 (Rahane 72) tied with Kolkata Knight Riders 152 for 8 (Gambhir 45, Faulkner 3-11) ~ then came the Super Over….. KKR made 12 (yes only 12 in 6 balls) were all out – RR too made 12 – so tie in Super over too. 

Only recently, KKR prevailed in a tense finish, when Chris Lynn with that catch brought a win ~ this match he was dropped in for the Bangladeshi Shakib Al Hasan – who had a role.  Chasing 153 and Gambhir making some runs, it did appear that KKR would win – but Faulkner who had earlier been benched after lacklustre bowling turned out to be bowling hero.  Followers of IPL know him - Suryakumar Yadav and then Shakib almost brought Knight Riders on the doorstep  with a good partnership of 49 off 26 balls ~ but KKR faltered - Faulkner's fourth and fifth deliveries proved to be the icing on his birthday cake as Robin Uthappa and Vinay Kumar missed straight deliveries to be bowled. Six balls, three wickets and 12 off nine became 12 off 6.  It ended up in a tie and spilled to Super over.  Again, if you imagined at least 2 sixers and 2 fours in the Super over – it was not to be – though it provided much more excitement.  

KKR played first and opened with Suryakumar Yadav and Shakib Al Hasan James Faulkner was he bowler…… 1st ball was dramatic – Yadav moved inside, ball hit the pad – ran like hare – only run out in trying the second.  Manish Pandey came in – took a single; 3rd another single for Shakib – only 3 off first 3 – 4th Pandey slammed over long on for a six. 5th was a good Yorker yielding a single; of the last delivery, they tried a couple but another run out.  So the target as a simple 13.

Steve Smith and Watson came with Stuart Binny padding up.  – runs did not flow either – it was : 1; 2; 1;  4th Watson hoisted and perhaps Pandey was unnecessarily couple of yards inside, jumped could not catch, it was a four.  Another single of the 5th …. 3 off the last ball ! {it was actually different from pure statistics !} ~ the commentator praised Smith as he pushed through extra cover and ran two….but perhaps Gambhir should have had people in saving singles (rather twos) – rather than people manning boundary.  

Before the last ball, there was an animated discussion – with Shakib Al Hasan telling Gambhir something ~ in the post match interview it was revealed that their understanding was that in case of a tie – ‘the team which has hit a six in the super over will win’ … that was poor understanding of the playing conditions.

A Super Over, also called an Eliminator- is the  tie-breaking method used here.  The Super Over is a reduced version of the match that consists only of one over (six balls) and two wickets for each team. The official result of the match would be a "tie" but within the context of the tournament or series, the winning team of the "Super Over" is declared the winner of the match. Runs scored in super overs do not count towards a player's statistical record.  

Here is some extract of the playing conditions governing IPL.  
1. Subject to weather conditions the Super Over will take place on the scheduled day of the match at a time to be determined by the IPL Match Referee. In normal circumstances it shall commence 10 minutes after the conclusion of the match.
2. The amount of extra time allocated to the Super Over is the greater of (a) the extra time allocated to the original match less the amount of extra time actually utilised and (b) the gap between the actual end of the match and the time the original match would have been scheduled to finish had the whole of the extra time provision been utilised. Should play be delayed prior to or during the Super Over, once the playing time lost exceeds the extra time allocated, the Super Over shall be abandoned.
4. In both innings of the Super Over, the fielding side shall choose from which end to bowl.
5. Only nominated players in the main match may participate in the Super Over.  
10. The loss of two wickets in the Super Over ends the team’s Super Over innings.

12. In the event of the teams having scored the same number of runs in the Super Over: 
a) If the original match was a tie under the D/L method, clause d. below immediately applies.
b) Otherwise, the team whose batsmen hit the most number of boundaries (fours and sixes) combined from its two innings in the main match and the Super Over shall be the winner.
c) If the total number of boundaries hit by both teams is equal, the team whose batsmen score the most number of boundaries (fours and sixes) in its innings in the main match (ignoring the Super Over) will be the winner.
d. If the number of boundaries scored by each team from the two innings in the main match and the Super Over are equal, the team which took the most number of wickets combined in both the main match and the Super Over shall be the winner.
e. 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.
f. If still equal, the Super Over shall be declared a tie

Theoretically, there could be no super over, if the time limit is exceeded.  The scheduled finish is  11.10pm, and  60 minutes extra time too was  available…….. it was indeed a thriller, though a low-scoring one.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Monday, April 28, 2014

Pybus to Mudgal ~ catalysing change ..... Farbrace's shift...

In the IPL din, one could be forgiven,  Sri Lanka now and later India in July are to tour England ~ India will play 5 tests and 5 One dayers there.  Did you read of the resignation of Paul Farbrace .... the man who was the coach when Lankans won the T20 WC ..... the appointment of Paul Farbrace as England's assistant coach has been confirmed by the ECB. Farbrace had been identified as the leading candidate to become Peter Moores' No. 2 and his resignation as Sri Lanka coach  cleared the way for him to join England's new set-up. Sri Lanka's chief selector, Sanath Jayasuriya, joined the SLC in expressing dismay at news of head coach Paul Farbrace's move to England,  at a crucial time..
photo :

At Dubai, the star studded RCB crawled to 124...... Chris Gayle played his first game of IPL 2014 after missing the first four matches due to a sore back. Gayle replaced his West Indies team-mate Ravi Rampaul.

Remember in Apr 2013   at Bangalore  ~ Pune Warriors won the toss, put their opponents in, had a rain break too……………. but suffered heavily at the hands of - Christopher Henry Gayle..... … Ishwar Pandey, the highest wicket-taker in that year's Ranji Trophy, was hit for 21 in his first IPL over, still could  consider himself luckier than  Mitchell Marsh,  whose first went for 28; Aaron Finch gave 29 – Ali Murtaza 28 as Gayle first reached the century in just 30 balls and went on to remain unbeaten 175 off mere 66 balls ~ it was the astest 100 in T20s – 30 balls; Highest individual score – 175*; Most Sixes in an innings 17; Longest in IPL 119 M……………..

An year earlier, in May 2012 - it was carnage at Ferozeshah Kotla as Chris Gayle kept hitting them into stands -  one went 110M and all looked so simple.  His 62 ball 128 destroyed any hopes Delhi Daredevils nurtured.  He hit 13 sixes and took the match away from DDR – all were hit with ridiculous ease – and remained calm, which baffled, bemused and bewildered the opponents. 

Today, naturally much was expected of him..... the 1st ball of Glenn Maxwell was edged past the first slip (4); 2nd was defended back;  3rd was sliced – looked miscued – went for 4; next came the shout for LBW (appeared to be out); 5th was despatched over long off for 6; 6th over mid on – hit the rope on full for 6 .......... 20 runs of the very first over...

In came Sandeep Sharma who  was part of India's Under-19 squad for the 2010 World Cup in New Zealand, but came into his own in the same event two years later, in Australia. 

He took four wickets in the final, against the hosts, and finished as the joint-highest wicket-taker for India (12).  Today off his 2nd ball, he cleaned up Chris Gayle.  Kohli strode in made a majestic boundary ~ then was struck on the front pad and given out by Billy Bowden – Kohli was shocked ....

In neighbouring country, Lankans though shaken by Farbrace’s move – have started training at home with Duke balls, in preparation for the two-Test series in June. Tests in England pose a unique challenge for foreign sides, most of whom use Kookaburra balls across all formats. 

photo credit :

Chaminda Vaas did not have memorable Test tours of England in his career, but as the fast-bowling coach, he has drawn up specific plans to consolidate the pace attack's 2014 gains.

Thousands of miles away,  catalogue of sweeping changes have been  proposed by the new director of cricket, Richard Pybus, and accepted by the WICB directors at their meeting in Port-of-Spain last month, the 2014 first-class format is likely to be the last in its present form. Pybus, an Englishman, was twice Pakistan coach and, briefly, Bangladesh's. His reputation was made in South Africa where he managed and coached at all levels and was twice named provincial coach of the year. He knew very little about West Indies cricket when appointed last November - and vice-versa. The proposals contained in his hefty document, under the heading "West Indies Cricket System Review and Plan", are "shaped by interviews and discussions with former West Indies captains and great players, from Sobers, Griffith, Nurse and Hall to the generations of Lloyd, Roberts, Richardson, Walsh and Ambrose". There were other former and current players who shared their thoughts. The relevant points are the "professionalisation" of the regional first-class game and the expansion of the season.

Remember Cricket Australia made sweeping changes based on Argus report.... back home,  it is for the Apex Court to confirm whether Justice Mukul Mudgal will once again head a probe to uncover more IPL corruption. There is now a weary acceptance that the BCCI cannot be expected to do so on its own. What began essentially as IPL code violations is today stuck in gridlock due to an entanglement of colliding, conflicting interests and personal and political agendas. An open-and-shut case of broken rules has turned into a Rubik's Cube conundrum; except, this cube has eight colours on its six sides.

So will things change ....
With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th April 2014.

Travel to a wrong destination ~ the height of security....

A boarding pass is a document provided by Airlines during check-in, giving a passenger permission to board the airplane for a particular flight. As a minimum, it identifies the passenger, the flight number, and the date and scheduled time for departure. In some cases, flyers can check in online and print the boarding passes themselves.   (some offices insist on production of  boarding passes when employees seek reimbursement !!!)

In Tamil cinema ABCD, Vadivelu plays forgetful bus conductor ~ who would enter into a bus ordering passengers to get down as it was going to Tambaram …. Only to be told that, he had only got into a wrong bus and not the passengers …. Passenger getting into a wrong bus happens ~ especially at intermediary stops in nights – imagine travelling back to Chennai – and bus stopping somewhere near Ulundurpet / Tindivanam in a wayside hotel ….. once you get down – you could be stumped as ‘all buses’ standing there will have a board ‘Chennai’ …… and you could be wildly searching for your bus !........... in another comedy, a man would board a bus bound for Trichy and would sleep down ….. at Tambaram, bus stop and conductor would shout ‘trichy, trichy….’ Seeking more travellers .. this man would get out of slumber, collect luggage in hurry and try to get down thinking that destination has been reached…

When one travels by train ….. things are different … at bigger stations like Central, one could have problem in locating the train bound for their destination, as there are many platforms and in a rush, one could board wrong train…. One tends to double-check with the list before getting in and gets comfort only when the TTE checks the ticket and validates…….. again, if your destination is scheduled to be reached in odd hours – it could spell trouble – in night, there is poor visibility and at say 03.30 am or 04.00 am – one may not know easily where exactly they are – which station is nearby – whether train is running on time and when the destined place would be reached ……

To travel by air is the best – it saves time, you have people guiding – multiple checks (security and otherwise) – announcements – and you are guided at every step !  … all good (read this report in TOI …  flying to a wrong destination - Times of India )

In a bizarre sequence of events that amounts to a serious breach of security, a 37-year-old man who did not have an airline boarding pass managed to clear three security checkpoints and fly from Mumbai to Rajkot on a Jet Airways flight last Friday. The man was supposed to take a flight to Nagpur, but boarded the one to Rajkot, that too after leaving behind his boarding pass at the airport. After he reached Rajkot he realized he had flown to the wrong destination and informed Jet officials. The airline remained clueless till then.

The incident brings into question the security arrangements at Mumbai airport made by both by the airline and CISF.

"Jet officials flew him back to Mumbai and put him on another flight to Nagpur. It is a serious breach of security — the kind that one thinks could never happen," said a source. This man had no business being on the Rajkot flight, but none of the security checks in place zeroed in on him," he added. "We are looking into the matter," said a CISF official. At the time of going to press, Jet was yet to respond.

The incident occurred on April 25 after Liju Verghese landed in Mumbai airport from an international flight. He was booked for an onward journey to Nagpur and was supposed to board the 4.11pm Jet Airways flight 9W 2165. Verghese, who was reportedly in an inebriated state, cleared the CISF security check at domestic terminal 1B of the Mumbai airport. With the security-stamped boarding pass and a handbag, he then proceeded to the security hold area to wait for the boarding announcement. Meanwhile, a boarding call was made for the JetKonnect Mumbai-Rajkot flight 9W 4079 scheduled for a 3.25pm departure from gate number A2 of domestic terminal 1C. The passengers were to board the Rajkot flight using an aerobridge.

That is when things spiralled into a different direction. "The man left behind his handbag, which also contained his boarding pass and for some reason proceeded to board the flight to Rajkot," said a source. First, he managed to walk past Jet's customer service staff entrusted with what's called "passenger reconciliation". It is a mandatory security procedure done to ascertain whether the number of passengers who check in for a given flight is equal to the number of passengers who have boarded the aircraft. The airline staffers manually check the seat numbers on each boarding pass and tally it with the data they gather from their check-in desks.

"That he crossed this security check is surprising. For, this was a passenger who was not supposed to be on that flight and those at this security checkpoint are supposed to spot such cases," said a source. Next, Verghese managed to get past the CISF security personnel who check whether the boarding pass and the tags on the hand baggage of passengers have the CISF's security-cleared stamp. Then, prior to entering the aircraft, Jet's security personnel man the doors to verify whether all passengers are carrying the boarding passes for the right destination, whether their boarding passes and baggage tags carry the CISF security stamp.

Verghese crossed that barrier as well. On entering the aircraft, Verghese randomly chose a seat and sat down only to be questioned by a passenger who claimed that seat. "He got up and gave the seat to the said passenger. The flight attendant present in the vicinity did not bother to enquire about Verghese's boarding pass to find out his seat number. He was told to occupy any vacant seat available," said the source.

Lastly, a headcount of passengers is supposed to be taken to tally it with the number of passengers entered in what's called a Load and Trim sheet. It is essentially a register of weights and their location inside an aircraft. It carries details like the total number of people onboard, total baggage weight, weight of fuel uploaded, etc. "While a final headcount is judiciously taken on international flights, on many domestic flights the practice is not diligently followed," said an official. Had a headcount been taken, they would have figured out that flight had one unaccounted passenger on board — a very serious situation from the security point of view.

It was after the flight landed and the passenger disembarked and found himself in Rajkot instead of Nagpur that the airline realized what had happened. Meanwhile, the Mumbai-Nagpur flight that he was supposed to board departed but not before finding out that one passenger who had checked in had not reported for boarding. His check-in bags were removed from the aircraft and left at Mumbai airport for a security check. That was the only thing that went as per the laid-down security norms.

Travel by Indian Railways is entertaining … the SMS facility in train is a wonderful facility….. it provides onestop answer to all the enquiries like Train Alert, PNR Status, Train Status, Seat Availability, Train Schedule, Train Information, Train Time Table, Train Fare etc offered on the web site  ~ all these are available on your mobile phone through SMS facility.

Advantage 1 … one need not carry ticket at all – just use the SMS;

2 : get the schedule of the Train which will give you a fair idea of distances and when the destination would be reached for example – the SMS gave me the schedule of Train No - 16184-UZHAVAN EXPRESS (from Thanjavur to Chennai Egmore)

Schedule :TJ Dep-20:45-PML 21:04-KMU 21:23-ADT 21:34-KTM 21:44-MV 22:28-VDL 22:46-SY 22:51-CDM 23:08-CUPJ 23:41-PRT 00:08-VM 01:10-TMV 02:08-MLMR 02:38-CGL 03:28-TBM 03:58-MBM 04:18-MS Arr-04:55.

3) on way to Mayiladuthurai – at midnight the SMS showed me that the train had just left Chidambaram – next station : Vaithisvaran koil scheduled at 04:32 Hrs  and expected to reach by : 05:25 Hrs ~ running close to an hour late …… great facility indeed. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

28th Apr 2014.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Glenn Maxwell ~ Tambe ~ Chahal ~ Gambhir .... all in news IPL 7

Can you identify who this bowler is – his figures after 4 matches read : Against Delhi 4-0-18-1;  against MI – 4-0-017-1;  against Kolkatta 4-0-26-1  Against Rajasthan 3-1-17-1; ...........................

At Sharjah, today the 16th and 17th matches are on .... this IPL has thrown out some new stars – Glenn Maxwell; Lynn; and more..... and there is some little fellows striking it rich too.

Ajit Agarkar, Bob Holland and Mohammad Asif share the ignominy of 5 consecutive zeroes in Test Cricket.  New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin holds the maximum pairs ...  Five players have been dismissed for four pairs of ducks in Tests. Four are bowlers with no great pretensions towards batsmanship – Bhagwat Chandrasekhar of India, Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka and West Indians Mervyn Dillon and Courtney Walsh – but the fifth is top order batsman Marvan Atapattu of Sri Lanka

"Gambhir, please open your account," read a banner as the Kolkata Knight Riders captain walked in to bat after three ducks in a row. He was nearly dismissed first ball again as a leading edge was almost taken by the bowler Sandeep Sharma, who dived to his right and got a hand on the ball but couldn't hold on. Gambhir made 1 and somebody commented on FB – stating at this rate, Gauti can score max of 9 – 3 ducks opening and 1 coming at 1 drop .....

Ricky Ponting, the former Australian captain, has joined Mumbai Indians on an ‘advisory role’. Ricky Ponting was part of the victorious Mumbai Indians side last season and had led the team in the first few outings before handing over the reins to current captain Rohit Sharma ~ it is another matter that high value coaches and those in the box do not add much value .... as today too MI huffed to 125 against DD. 

Before we answer the Q at the start, Pravin Tambe had figures of 4-0-20-4 – when Banglore was restricted to paltry 70 by Rajasthan.  One can recall taht in May 2013, he debuted against DD..... Pravin Vijay was a surprise element ~  had not  played any form of top-level domestic cricket~ and was 41 years and 212 days old at debut. 

Now in Sept 2011  - against Mumbai Indians, T&T batted poorly scoring a paltry 98 but fought back brilliantly and perhaps the spread out field enabled a result in favour of MI.  The match went down the wire, two needed of a final delivery when T&T captain Daren Ganga chose to keep  a fairly spread out field.  It was the nervy Yuzvendra Chahal, the 21 year old who bowls leg spin with no great exposure at the stumps  -there was high drama as the low full toss was hit to mid wicket and batsmen tumbled like a hare – the throw of Adrian Barath was off the mark, Denesh Ramdin fumbled – if he had hit the target with a underarm lob, then it would have been a super over -  more excitement for the spectator.  It is the same Y Chahal who is having a dream run, this time bowling for Bangalore.

When the game returns to India after 20 matches in UAE – there could be different heroes clambering back to success.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Photo credit : 

Reviewing the decision of On-field Umpire – the Referral system

Dear (s)  -

The Test No. 1882 which started at Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo today is significant in a novel way.  The exciting game of  Cricket is  established team sport for hundreds of years  with affiliation of many nations. The sport's modern form originated in England, and was most popular in the countries of Commonwealth.  Cricket is a passion and almost a religion in our country.
The  life of the governing body ICC (International Cricket Council) can be traced to early 1907  with the formation of  'Imperial Cricket Board' by the President of the South African Cricket Association, Abe Bailey.  The Board's function would be to formulate a set of rules and regulations to govern international matches involving England, Australia and South Africa.  In 1926 in a meeting at the Oval, it was agreed that the membership of the ICC should comprise, 'governing bodies of cricket in countries within the Empire to which cricket teams are sent, or which send teams to England.
The rules and regulations of the game has changed in very many ways thereafter, many for the good.  In the midst of the cricketing action stand gentlemen called Umpires who declare decisions.  They are human too and their mistakes have sometimes thrown to disarray the result of a match and they at times have been accused of cheating, teams threatening to leave the country and flying home and boards criticising the umpires.  The need for opportunity to review their decision has been debated for too long.
In tune with the new technology to show with increasing accuracy the correctness of umpires' decisions. 1993 saw the first chance for umpires in Test matches to refer doubtful line decisions to a third umpire equipped with video playback facilities. By 1995 it had been agreed that TV replays should be available in Tests 'wherever possible' and that the third umpire should signal out with a red light and not out with a green. The following year the cameras were also permitted to pronounce on whether a ball had crossed the boundary. In 1997 the third umpire could be called on to rule on the cleanness of catches. This was also the year in which, for the first time, the Duckworth Lewis method of adjusting targets in rain-affected matches was trialed by ICC in ODIs.
Cricket is about to take a leap of faith in technology with the trial of a system that allows players to challenge the decision of the on-field umpires in the Test series between Sri Lanka and India. The umpire's word will no longer be final.   Here  comes the  significant decision “the referrals” – in effect appeals against the Umpiring decision by the affected !    These appeals can be made only by the batsman in receipt of the umpire’s original decision or the captain of the fielding side, in both cases by the player making a “T” sign with both forearms at shoulder height.
The on-field umpire will consult with the TV umpire, who will review available television coverage of the incident before relaying fact-based information back to his colleague.   The on-field umpire will then deliver his decision either by raising his finger to indicate “out” or by crossing his hands in a horizontal position side to side in front and above his waist three times – as per a “safe” decision by an official in baseball.
For implementation at Colombo  there will be 22 cameras for monitoring at the Sinhala Sports Club here to assist in facilitating the decision-making process and for first time 'Virtual Eye' system will be used for line decisions for reviewing leg before decisions.
Tennis was the first spectator sport that allowed players challenge decisions.  This  trial has received positive responses from the captains of the two teams which will use it over the next few weeks.   There is also a perception that this system may not bring justice for a bigger howler perpetrated if three referrals had gone fruitless.
Looking at it, these are attempts not to challenge the primacy of the Umpires but ways of adapting to reduce the contentious decisions. And technology is neither foolproof nor 100% conclusive.
The ICC will review the process at the end of the series.   Incidentally, at close of play on rain curtailed first day, Lankans were 85/2.
With regards – S Sampathkumar.

PS :  Circulated to my group on 23/07/2008 when the Referral on Umpire Decisions was introduced.  Posted on Web now.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

know this Nagaraj - the food provider at Jolarpet and hotel Yelagiri

From a FB post was led to this article in Tamil daily Dinamalar.... certainly one worthy of sharing ~ here is some translated text too ....

The twosome you see on photo are Nagaraj & Sujatha... they run a small hotel  named ‘Hotel Yelagiri’ near Jolarpet Railway station, in Vellore district.  One tends to think what is great about a roadside hotel.......... even if it were to speak of his providing food as charity to many ... still !

He is educated upto 7th standard .. started working in hotels ~ after years ventured on his own – stuff being tasty and price being reasonable – he started earning something... unlike many eateries, this hotel is open on all days and reportedly he sleeps only 5 hours – spending all his time in the hotel.. still nothing ...

Sadly, it is reported that often – mentally challenged people are thrown out [rather dropped off the trains] at Jolarpet by their merciless relatives ..... such people wander aimlessly past gold palaces and silk palaces ~ without an iota of feeling .... even for them – the food joints are luring ... when they walk past, they might stare at the eatables, yearning to get them.  At some point, a moved Nagaraj started providing food for such people free /// - they would go off happily after eating and would return the next day with perhaps some more..   Nagaraj happily provides them.... to such recipients got added old and disabled ~ reportedly close to 150 (!) per day ~ for the food provided, Nagaraj gets wished back .. not paid for.  In a similar vein, he reportedly charges half for conservancy workers, poor school children in uniform and the like.   In a commercial world, where money rules the roost, people like Nagaraj are indeed rare. The couple have been doing a lot of  charity besides this feeding too, reports the article. 

In a World, where people thrive to advertise whatever they do, they do not even want their deed to be called service – they say do it with sense of duty.  The article further states that they do not accept donations from individuals and Trusts .... the article touchingly finishes with the mobile no. 9944565814 stating that those who are moved by the article can wish them..............  here is the link to that article Hotel Yelagiri goodness   and the article as it appeared in Dinamalar is pasted below :

மனிதரில் தெய்வம் உண்டு... நாகராஜ் என்ற பெயர் கொண்டு...

வேலுார் மாவட்டம் ஜோலார்பேட்டை ரயில்வே நிலையம் பக்கத்தில் உள்ளது ஹோட்டல் ஏலகரி. காலை ஏழு மணியில் இருந்து வயதானவர்கள், பெண்கள், மனநிலை சரியில்லாதவர்கள் என்று ஒரு பாவப்பட்ட கூட்டமே வந்து தங்களுக்கு பிடித்த இட்லி, பூரி, தோசை, புரோட்டா போன்றவைகளை வாங்கி உட்கார்ந்து சாப்பிட்டு விட்டு பின், கல்லாவில் உட்கார்ந்திருக்கும் கடை உரிமையாளர் நாகராஜிடம் 'காசுக்கு' பதிலாக வணக்கம் மட்டும் தெரிவித்துவிட்டு செல்கின்றனர். இது போக நகரசுத்தி தொழிலாளர்கள், கை வண்டி இழுப்பவர்கள் போன்ற எளிய தொழிலாளிகள் மற்றும் மாணவர்களுக்கு உணவு பண்டங்கள் பாதி விலைதான். மேலும் நாள் முழுவதும் கைக்குழந்தையுடன் பால் கேட்டு வருபவர்கள் கையில் காசு இருந்தால் கொடுக்கலாம் இல்லை என்றால் பாலை மட்டும் வாங்கிக் கொண்டு செல்லலாம்.

இந்த ஆச்சர்யத்தை நிகழ்த்திக் கொண்டு இருப்பவர் நாகராஜ். இதுதான் வாழ்க்கை என்று வாழும் இவரைப்பற்றி இன்னும் கொஞ்சம் விவரமாக பார்க்கலாம்.

ஏலகிரியில் ஒரு ஏழைக் குடும்பத்தில் பிறந்தவரான நாகராஜுக்கு ஏழாம் வகுப்பிற்கு மேல் படிப்பு வரவில்லை, குடும்பத்திற்கு பாரமாக இருக்கவேண்டாமே என்று எண்ணி ஓட்டல் தொழிலாளியாகப் போனார். நீண்ட காலம் ஓட்டல் தொழிலாளியாக இருந்ததினால் இந்த தொழில் அத்துப்படியாக, தனியாக ஓட்டல் துவங்கினார். ஹோட்டல் ஏலகிரியில் இட்லி, தோசை, பூரி, புரோட்டா, குஸ்கா என்ற எல்லாமும் ருசியாக கிடைக்கும். நாகராஜ் தானே கடைக்கு தேவையான தரமான உணவு பொருளை தேடி வாங்குவதாலும், அதனை தரமான முறையில் தயாரிப்பதாலும், நியாயமான விலையில் விற்பதாலும் நல்ல வியாபாரம் நடக்கும்.

வருடத்தில் 365 நாளும் இவரது கடை திறந்திருக்கும், இரவில் ஐந்து மணி நேரம் துாங்கும் நேரம் போக மீதம் இருக்கும் நேரம் முழுவதையும் கடையில்தான் செலவழிப்பார். இப்படியான சூழ்நிலையில்தான் ஒரு சம்பவம் இவரது கடைமுன் நடைபெற்றது. ரயில் பயணிகள் ஜன்னல் வழியாக காலி குடிநீர் பாட்டிலை துாக்கி எறிவதை போல ஜோலார்பேட்டை ரயில் நிலையத்தில் அவ்வப்போது சிலரை துாக்கி எறியாத குறையாக ரயில்களில் இருந்து இறக்கிவிட்டு செல்வர். இப்படி வலுக்கட்டாயமாக இறக்கிவிடப்படுபவர்கள் பெரும்பாலும் பெண்களாகவும், அந்த பெண்களில் பெரும்பாலோனார் மனநிலை சரியில்லாதவர்களாகவும் இருப்பார்கள். இவர்களை இப்படி கல்நெஞ்சத்துடன் இங்கே இறக்கிவிட்டவர்கள் ஊருக்கு போனதும் காணாமல் போனாதாக உறவுகளிடம் சொல்லி பொய்யாக தேடிக்கொண்டே இருப்பார்கள்.

இப்படி இறக்கிவிடப்படும் மன நோயாளிகளின் கதி என்ன?
மன நோயாளிகள் ஒரு பாங்கையோ, நகைக்கடையையோ, ஜவுளிக்கடையையோ தாண்டி போகும்போது அவர்களிடம் எந்தவித சலனமும் ஏற்படாது, அதே நேரம் உணவு பண்டங்கள் விற்கும் ஓட்டலையோ அல்லது டீகடையையோ தாண்டிப்போகும்போது உடலும் உள்ளமும் பசி என்ற சலனத்தை ஏற்படுத்த கண்ணில் ஓர் ஏக்கத்துடன் அங்கேயே நின்றுவிடுவார்கள். என்னதான் மனநிலை பாதிக்கப்பட்டவர்கள் என்றாலும் பசி உணர்வு இருக்கத்தான் செய்யும், ஆனால் பசிக்குது என்று கேட்கத்தெரியாது.இப்படிப்பட்ட ஜீவன்கள் தனது கடையை ஏக்கத்துடன் பார்ப்பதை அறிந்ததும் பதறிப்போன நாகராஜ், அவர்களை அன்புடன் அழைத்து விருப்பப்பட்டதை சாப்பிடக் கொடுத்தார். நாகராஜ் கையால் நன்றாக சாப்பிட்டுவிட்டு கிடைத்த இடத்தில் துாங்கியவர்கள் மறுநாள் காலையிலும் வந்தனர். இந்த முறை வந்த போது தங்களுடன் மேலும் சிலரை கூட்டிக்கொண்டு வந்தனர். சந்தோஷத்துடன் எதிர்கொண்ட நாகராஜ் அனைவருக்கும் அன்புடன் உணவு வழங்கினார்.

இவர்களைப் பார்த்து சில முதியோர்களும் உடல் ஊனமுற்றவர்களும் கடைக்கு வர இப்படியாக கிட்டத்தட்ட தினமும் நுாறு நுாற்றைம்பது பேர் காலை உணவு சாப்பிட வாடிக்கையாக ஹோட்டல் ஏலகிரிக்கு வந்து கொண்டு இருக்கின்றனர். அவர்கள் பாட்டிற்கு வருவார்கள் குட்மார்னிங் போல நாகராஜ்க்கு ஒரு வணக்கத்தை போட்டுவிட்டு வேண்டியதை சாப்பிட்டுவிட்டு திரும்ப போகும்போது ஒரு வணக்கத்தை போட்டுவிட்டு போய்விடுவார்கள். இதே போல துப்புரவு தொழிலாளர்கள் போன்ற ஏழைத்தொழிலாளர்கள் மற்றும் சீருடையுடன் வரும் ஏழை மாணவர்களுக்கு பாதி விலையில் உணவு இதனால் இரண்டு இட்லி சாப்பிடுபவர்கள் நாலு இட்லி சாப்பிட்டு இன்னும் தெம்பாக, ஆரோக்யமாக இருப்பார்கள் என்பது நாகராஜின் நம்பிக்கை.

எப்படி இதெல்லாம் முடிகிறது என்ற போது எனக்கு பசியோட அருமை தெரியும் ஆகவே என்னால முடிந்த அளவு இல்லாதவர்களுக்கும் இயலாதவர்களுக்கும் உணவு வழங்குகிறேன். எல்லாவற்றுக்கும் மேலாக எனது இந்த காரியத்திற்கு பெரிதும் துணையாக இருப்பவர் என் துணைவியார் சுஜாதாதான் என்கிறார் பெருமையாக. அன்றாடம் எங்கள் வீட்டு அடிப்படை செலவிற்கு தேவைப்படும் பணத்தை தவிர மற்ற பணம் அனைத்தையும் இதற்கே செலவழித்து விடுகிறார். விசேஷ நாளில் வியாபாரம் நன்கு நடந்து கூடுதலாக லாபம் கிடைத்தால் அந்த லாப பணத்தில் பேனா, பென்சில் என்று வாங்கிக்கொண்டு போய் அருகில் உள்ள அரசு பள்ளி மாணவர்களுக்கு வழங்கிவிட்டு வந்துவிடுவார்.

பணத்திற்காக வாழக்கூடாது என்ற கொள்கையில் இருவரும் உறுதியாக இருக்கிறோம், இன்னும் வருமானம் கூடுதலாக கிடைத்தால் மதிய உணவும், இரவு உணவும் கூட வழங்க எணணியுள்ளோம், கடையும், குடியிருக்கும் வீடும் வாடகைதான், பாங்க் இருப்பு எதுவும் கிடையாது, கால்பவுன் தோடும் மூன்று பிள்ளைகளும்தான் எங்கள் சொத்து. எங்கள் பிள்ளைகளையும் மற்றவர்களுக்கு உதவும் வாழ்க்கைதான் வாழவேண்டும், ஒருக்காலத்திலும் பணத்தின் மீது ஆசை வைக்கக்கூடாது என்று சொல்லிக்கொடுத்து வளர்க்கிறோம். சுஜாதா ஒரு வேலைக்கு தயராகிக்கொண்டு இருக்கிறார், வேலை கிடைத்ததும் அந்த சம்பளத்தில் நமது குடும்பத்தை நடத்திக்கொள்வோம், கடை வருமானம் முழுவதையும் ஏழை, எளியவர்களுக்கு உணவு வழங்குவதிலேயே செலவழிப்போம் என்றும் சொல்லியுள்ளார்.

நாங்கள் செய்யும் இந்த காரியத்தை சேவை தொண்டு என்றெல்லாம் சொல்லி எங்களை பெருமைப்படுத்தி கொள்ள விரும்பவில்லை, பசிக்கும் சக மனிதர்களுக்கு செய்யும் சிறு உதவி அவ்வளவுதான் என்கின்றனர். கடையில் வேலை பார்ப்பவர்கள் பசியோடு வருபவர்களை அலட்சியப்படுத்தி விடக்கூடாது, அவமானம் ஏற்படும்படி பேசிவிடக்கூடாது என்பதற்காக எங்கு இருந்தாலும் காலையில் நாகராஜ் கடைக்கு வந்துவிடுவார். தானே அவர்களை வரவேற்று உணவு வழங்குவார். இதற்காக இவர் வெளியூருக்கும் தற்போது போவது கிடையாது, உறவு விசேஷம் என்பதைக்கூட இந்த நேரம் தாண்டிதான் வைத்துக்கொள்கிறார்.

உங்களோடு சேர்ந்து நாங்களும் சேவை செய்கிறோம் என்றும், ட்ரஸ்ட் ஆரம்பித்து முறைப்படுத்தி செய்யுங்கள் என்றும், எவ்வளவு பணம் வேண்டும் உங்களுக்கு மாதாமாதம் அனுப்புகிறோம் என்றும், நிறைய பேர் சொல்லி வருகிறார்கள் அதை அன்போடு மறுத்து விடுகிறோம். காரணம் நாங்கள் எங்கள் போக்கில் எங்கள் மனதிருப்திற்கு ஏதோ செய்கிறோம், பாராட்டு கிடைக்கும், பணம் கிடைக்கும்,உதவி கிடைக்கும் என்றெல்லாம் எதிர்பார்த்து செய்யவில்லை. ஆகவே எங்களுக்கு நல்ல ஆரோாக்கியமும், இதே போல நியாயமான வருமானமும் வந்தால் போதும் அதை தாண்டி மக்களோட ஆசீர்வாதம் மட்டும் போதும் என்று சொல்லும் இந்த நாகராஜ்- சுஜாதா தம்பதிகளை வாழ்த்த விரும்புவோர் தொடர்பு கொள்ள வேண்டிய எண்: 9944565814.  - எல்.முருகராஜ்

pigeons seized by Chennai Customs ~ death of P mail... and homing pigeons

Rock, Pink, Eurasian collared, wood, Mourning, Magnificent fruit, Victoria crowned,  Crowned sandgrouse , Indian fantail, Indian fantasy, Mondain, Iran roller, Italian Owl, Laudino Sevillano Cropper, Lenardo, Naked Neck Tumbler,  Nish Highflyer, Norwich Cropper  and much more……. If you are wondering what this is all about ~ these are some of the varieties of Pigeons…… those lovely birds…. the  word ‘pigeon’ is derived from the Latin word ‘pipio’, meaning ‘young cheeping bird’. It is also known as ‘dove’ which is of Norse origin. Pigeons are commonly found on Temples – the walls of Sri Parthasarathi Swami Temple have them in large numbers. I had once posted of the thousands that gather everyday morning opposite the famous Vivekanandar House or to be precise opposite the Lady Willington teachers’ training institution.  Pigeons and doves constitute the bird ‘clade Columbidae’  that include some 310 species.    What has amazed Scientists and researchers for centuries is their ability to find their homes and fly back, even if it is hundreds of miles away……… pigeons released from any location tend to head straight home with amazing accuracy.  

From time immemorial, man has domesticated pigeons using them for delivering communication – the bird-mail – often you can see them transporting important messages in historical films and more so between amorous lovers….. !!  ~ the ones that fly across is a special breed known popularly as “homers” ~ the homing pigeons.  They have the ability and "map sense"  of  their geographic location and the "compass sense" ~ finding their direction back home. There are competitions for the Pigeons testing the duration of their flight as also the distance that they travel back home. 

Often we hear of smuggling of rare species of animals and birds. At the time of disembarking, the  arriving passengers have to declare the dutiable items that they are carrying as also declare that they are not carrying seeds, plants, wildlife, star fish and the like……….. some time back there was a  queer attempt of smuggling  cat-eyed sname, the parcel reportedly booked in Trichy and destined for Slovakia. The address of the sender turned out to be fake. 

Today’s TOI has a news that 30 pigeons were seized from a flyer and sent back to Saudi Arabia. The news report stated that  Customs officials at Chennai airport on Monday early morning stopped a passenger who arrived by a Saudia flight and seized 30 pigeons worth 30 lakh. The birds, all homing pigeons, were sent back on the same Saudia flight as they were classified as a protected species under the Wildlife Act and there was a ban on bringing them into the country. 

              During interrogation, Mustafa, a native of Ramanathapuram, told officials he was a pigeon enthusiast. He had paid Rs 1 lakh each for the homing pigeons that he wanted to take to his native village for pigeon racing. He said he had purchased them from a racing pigeon enthusiast in Saudi Arabia. Mustafa pleaded with authorities to let him take the birds home but officials refused citing the law. Officials said he became emotional and that it was difficult to reason with him. Mustafa was allowed to go.

Strange … 30 pigeons ! – how were they carried – in hand luggage or in any box placed with the air carrier – then sure it would have been subjected to scanning… the hand luggage would have been subjected to physical check – how could he get through !!!

The homing pigeons are selectively bred to find its way home over extremely long distances. There are competitions testing their duration of flight and distance of return. There are many such clubs in North Madras.. Tuticorin is famous for this race. There is the  Valarpirai Racing club actively engaged in this sport for over  2 decades.  The reared pigeons are let off from places as distant as Rajahmundry in AP and have to reach within the allotted time – the distance for the birds (as the crow flies they say) is closer to 1000 km.

Some reports state that in Afghan – the Taliban banned the keeping and using homing pigeons…….. another interesting BBC report of Mar 2002 suggested that homing pigeons were employed till the dawn of this century by certain remote police departments in Odisha state in eastern India to provide emergency communication services following natural disasters. In March 2002, it was announced that India's Police Pigeon Service messenger system in Odisha was to be retired, due to the expanded use of the Internet.  The Govt audit suggested that the service - employing some 800 birds - had become redundant with the advent of e-mail and electronic communication. The pigeon courier service dates back to 1946 - a year before India's independence from Britain - when it was handed to the police by the army and had its headquarters in Cuttack.

The report stated that according to the AG's office, the expenses were around 500,000 rupees ($10,260) a year. P-mail, as carrier pigeons are sometimes known, were extensively used in Orissa during floods in 1982 and a cyclone in 1999, as radio networks were disrupted. Those pigeons retired from the service at that time were reportedly given to the state's wildlife department.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

22nd Aug 2013.

something on shipping containers... knowledge sharing

Dear (s)
We have been  in the field of  marine insurance for considerably good time, presumably knowing some aspects of the trade / carriage of goods.  The traditional dry cargo ship was loaded with goods carried in different forms, mostly on pallets. Every time the ship reached port, some of the cargo had to be unloaded and new cargo had to be taken on board. This made loading and unloading complicated and time consuming.  The process of offloading cargo from the vessel took several days to complete.  The costs were soaring and there was lurking danger of cargo being damaged / pilfered.
The container revolution in the late 1960s came as a boom overcoming most of the problems.  Initially, people smiled condescendingly at the "boxes", but soon it was the rationalization potential that became the focus of attention.  Once the container was loaded and sealed it could be transported by ship, truck or train with equal ease. Land and sea transport, in short, could be fully integrated. A shipload of containers could be loaded or unloaded in hours rather than many days, enabling turn-round times to be greatly reduced.
Goods carried in a container are thought to be good risks; one is often lead to believe that nothing happens to the commodity, as it goes in a sturdy structure with no possibility of any damage. The container is structurally sound.  The floor is generally made of wood, usually planking or plywood. Although wood is relatively expensive, it has substantial advantages over other materials: it is strong and resilient, does not dent, may be easily replaced during repairs and, when appropriately finished, has an adequate coefficient of friction, which is important for cargo securing.
One of the keys to the success of the container is that the International Standards Organization (ISO) very early on established base dimensions.Though there are many types, the most common reference size is the 20 foot box, 20 feet long, 8'6" feet high and 8 feet wide, or 1 Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU).  Jus to have some idea this is what 20’ dry container is :
 Just as you begin to think that containerization is the  panacea – losses do take place and it is  estimated that over 10,000 ocean containers are lost each year over the side in the world ocean trades -- the result of high seas perils, improper stow, fire & even pirates.  Skilful pilferages by organized gangs are oft heard.
Here is a  photo of containers falling down (certainly not intended to state that these sort of things could recur regularly)

With regards.
S. Sampathkumar

PS: something shared with my group on 15th Mar 2007 and posted on web now.

Friday, April 25, 2014

IPL glitz .... keeping Pakis out of IPL ... and the anchors...

This is a photo courtesy : ~ the toss between MI V RCB – Ravi Shastri, Virat Kohli tossing as Rohit Sharma about to call ~ can you identify the other person – the match referee !

Yesterday, Kolkata Knight Riders successfully  defended the 150 in a thriller....... the match appeared to be heading RCB way … they had wickets in hand – yet the last over dished out different … the catch of Chris Lynn stood out…  At  the start of the final over with two renowned finishers, AB de Villiers and Albie Morkel, in the middle, Royal Challengers were favourites. Nine runs were needed, - Sunil Narine and Morne Morkel, had bowled out – the man considered ‘the run giver’ - Vinay Kumar bowled the climax filled with full deliveries that kept his old team down to six !

~ the turning point was that catch an acrobatic display sending back  De Villiers who looked to clear easily the long boundary at midwicket.  

Lynn jumped, took the catch and more importantly kept his balance consciously pulling himself back inside without touching the rope.   

After de Villiers' exit Royal Challengers needed six off two, not entirely out of reach, but Morkel could not succeed and so did RCB….. earlier our favourite Muttiah Muralitharan made a comeback but was hit around. 

In the present IPL thus far, Yuzvendra Chahal has bowled so well with an unbelievable economy rate ~ and has not conceded a single boundary thus far….. Jaques Kallis shared an unlikely record with Gautam Gambhir – that had had 8 ducks and against Daredevils, Gambhir was out for a duck, briefly leading – only to be equalled sooner by Kallis…….. now Gambhir has marched another step ahead with the third duck in the match against RCB.  Sad for someone who has 4021 test runs and 5238 ODI runs besides 932 T20 International runs…..has he jeopardized his continuance in IPL itself, leave alone pedalling back to the National team on IPL performance is the moot Q ?

IPL is all about entertainment – a big bash … and there is more hype pre-match – in that flagship analysis ‘Extraaa Innings T20’ – where once again, you will see glitz and glamour of dancers and more.  There is Navjot Sidhu, Ajay Jadeja -  Sony MAX and Sony SIX, the official broadcasters of the Pepsi IPL 2014 have roped in Archana Vijaya and Shibani Dandekar. Then there is Samir Kochhar and Gaurav Kapur.  While Jadeja dances, Archana and Shibani talk about cricket !  in the campaign ‘Bulaava Aaya Hai’  ~ there is also former Pakistan captain; pace bowler  Waqar Younis ; Arun Lal and Isa Guha.  The sponsors would claim that the segments involving Archana Vijay and Shibani Dandekar have been 'entertaining' for the viewers !!! 

archana vijaya

Do you know or remember the best bowling performance in IPL… it was 6 – 14 by Sohail Tanvir against the Chennai Super Kings at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in the 1st IPL.   He took  22 wickets from 11 matches at an average of 12.09, an economy rate of 6.46 and a strike rate of 11.20 that time. 

Then after the 26/11 and continued hostile situation from Pakistan, Pak players were kept out of IPL.  For those of us with good memory, last year the political tension sin Tamil Nadu kept lankan players out of IPL matches in Chennai.  This year we have 20 matches off-shore before IPL returns to Ranchi…. ..the host is UAE which has been Pak home for more than five years. They have played 76 international matches there since 2006, and there has been no indication that will change.

The political relationship has not changed and perhaps it is still not time ripe for including Pakistan players in IPL franchisees.  The  Pak players did themselves nothing good by making some anti-rhetoric immediately after they were neglected…… but when it is so – what is the rhyme and reason in having Pak in commentary box and in the middle…. You have Aleem Dar – Asad Rauf standing in IPL – Ramiz Raja commenting; Waqar Younis earlier sitting in dug out as Coach and now speaking more…….. do you see any logic in that ?

IPL has done good to many ex-players too.. there was a time when Lankan pace attack comprised of Asantha De Mel; Rumesh Ratnayake, Ravi Ratnayake and for sometime Grame Labrooy.  Labrooy who had a different action modelling after Richard Hadlee took 27 test wickets in 9 tests and 45 in 44 One dayers. He made sort of forgettable debut against India in Test.  He once had a 5 wicket haul at Brisbane.  He was the match referee in the recent IPL match between MI and RCB

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

Lynn catch photo credit :