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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Indian Army ~ #Surgical strikes - Army strikes with precision over the border.

29th Sept 2016 makes us proud ..  India has carried out surgical strikes targeting “launch pads” for terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC), the Army said today.   In  its first direct military response to the massacre of soldiers at the Uri base in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army  conducted #surgical strikes last night on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) to eliminate terrorists who were prepared to infiltrate into the Indian side of the border.  The Army commandos crawled through mud, rocks and even landmines for about 3 kilometres with the threat of being caught in the Pakistan army's crosshairs. Their destinations included five launch pads where large number of terrorists had gathered.  The launch pads were those of the terrorists waiting to infiltrate into the Indian side of the LoC to carry out terror attacks in the country. The terror launch pads were located in Bhimbar, Kel, Tattapani and Leepa areas.

Very likely you would have watched the news on TV, read it on more authentic sources ~ this for sure is repetition; yet, it is worth knowing and reading again and again.  Surgical strikes by the Indian army and the planned action of  Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji.

The strike was carried out on Wednesday night, senior military and diplomatic sources said at a hurriedly called media briefing at the Ministry of External Affairs.  The surgical strikes on terror launching pads inside Pakistan on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, by the army commandos 10 days after Uri left up to 38 terrorists and Pakistani soldiers dead. Sources said para commandos went 2-3 km into Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) in Mi-17 choppers and destroyed six terror camps, inflicting heavy casualties on terrorists and few Pakistani Army troops. The Indian troops suffered no casualties in the operations.

“Based on very specific and credible information which we received yesterday that some terrorist teams had positioned itself along the line of control, the Army carried out surgical strikes last night at these launch pads. The operations were focused to ensure that these terrorists do not succeed in endangering lives of citizens in our country. During the counter-terrorist operations, significant casualties have been caused to the terrorists and those who were trying to support them. The operations have since ceased,” Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh said. He sought the support of the Pakistan Army in erasing the menace of terrorism. Pakistan has responded to the government statement saying there has been "no such strike."

“We do not have any plans to continue. However the Indian armed forces are fully prepared to deal with any contingency which may arise. I have spoken to Pakistani DGMO and expressed our concern. It is India’s intention to maintain peace and tranquillity in the region but we cannot certainly allow terrorists to operate across the Line of Control with impunity and attack our citizens,” said the DGMO.

When the Indian Army had promised that Uri will be avenged "at a time and place of our choosing", many  intellectuals dismissed it as empty bluster. Some even offered that it was the Army version of "law will take its own course." The Wednesday night of 28 September, 2016, would have taught the doubters to shelve their skepticism of the Indian Army.  According to some TV channels, including Times Now, the special forces of the Indian army were para-trooped across the LoC and the operation was carried out within 500 metres to three kilometres into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir. The operation reportedly lasted for around five to six hours.

It is revealed that the  operation used combination of heliborne & ground forces; it  started after midnight and ended around 4:30am on Thursday.  No casualties to Indian troops, heavy casualties were sustained by Pakistan-based terrorists.

Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif condemns “attack”, says “our desire for peace should not be interpreted as our weakness”. Pakistan army contradicts Sharif and Indian army, says no surgical strikes by India, instead only cross-border fire initiated. The operation was aimed at preventing attacks being planned by Pakistan-based militants, a senior army official said.

After paying back Pakistan in the same coin, the Indian Army's morale is high; it has also stepped up vigil along the LoC and the border in Jammu and Kashmir as well as Punjab. All the three armed forces and paramilitary forces have been put on the highest alert. The leaves of Army and BSF personnel have been cancelled.  Some armchair critics may say  jingoism and war-mongering are the twin obsessions of a growing and increasingly prosperous middle class in India, and the reaction to the latest attack is quite predictable. #ModiPunishesPak was trending top of Twitter in India, hours after the media first reported "the strikes". The other top trending hashtags included #SurgicalStrike and #Indian Army.

Interestingly, as a report in The Times of India points out, India's national security adviser Ajit Doval, who reportedly monitored the entire operation flanked by the Army chief and defence minister Manohar Parrikar, got a call on Wednesday morning from his American counterpart Susan Rice. According to the report, Rice completely toed Indian line on Uri and "offered condolences to families of the Uri attack victims and expressed support for India on the issue of terrorism." This surgical strike is merely the culmination of a concerted diplomatic and military initiative.  Shri Narendra Modi’s government deserves plaudits for handling it carefully. 

In Today’s News Hour, Arnab Goswami happily thanked all the participants for unified view – said it is all about you and me; not something happening somewhere else.  What was raided is terror camps, who were planning to launch at soft targets in India.  If we sleep well today, it is all owed to Indian army; if there had not been such surgical strikes, some Indian city would have been in trouble and for saving all of us, army commandos risked themselves.  Long live and we all owe everything to them.  If you feel, this is jingoism, I am proud – proud to be speaking high of our armed forces ~ and there is no place for anybody here who criticises our forces which protect the Nation ensuring our peace and freedom !! ~ and we all feel, ONE with him. 

Jai Hind

~ S. Sampathkumar

29th Sept. 2016

#ModiPunishesPak   #SurgicalStrike  #Indian Army.  #Indian valour.

Google doodle honours the inventor of ball-point pen

The art and the habit of writing is slowly dying !  Can you recall the last time when you wrote a [handwritten] communication to your friend or family member !  ~ in this beautiful World, there are still some who write with pen and some more who carry pen in their pocket all the time.  Some get so irritated when people casually ask for their pen  in a bank or at a public place !!  - at a time, when there are so many cheap throw-away pens,  there are the fountain pens – with nib, reservoir of ink and some costly ones too !! [mere status symbols !!]

Ladislao José Biro may not be well known but his invention —is [or should it be was]  one of the most widely used instruments found anywhere in the World.  Google's regular doodle series is celebrating the inventor's 117th  birthday on Thursday 29 September, by using a doodle with the words Google scribbled alongside an animated version of how it  works. That man clearly was ahead of his times !

Putting one’s thought on paper ~Writing is most important though the practice of writing is slowly dying.  It is believed that Indians pioneered writing with writing materials as many of our epics have been recorded in various forms.  In earlier days, bird feathers, sharp instruments, bamboo sticks were used to write, especially on palm and other leaves.  Legend has it that Sage Vyasa dicated ‘Mahabaratha’ which was written by Lord Ganesha with his teeth (ivory tusk)

Much later pen was discovered – pen (Latin – penna) is a device used to apply ink to a surface generally paper.  There are many types of pens – remember we used fountain pens in our study days, there were also ball point pens.  Now a days most students use gel pen in which ink is a water based gel.  The ink is thick and opaque and shows up more clearly.  Fountain pens had the nibs and had reservoir of ink in the bottom portion. Filling was manual though there were some using vacuum.   Camlin was one of the most popular brands in use those days.  Parker, Pilot were in the hands of the rich.  Though any good writing pen would do, there has been craze for costly brands such as Schaeffer, Cross, Ferrari, Mont Blanc, Bentley, Mercedes,  Giorgio Armani, Parker, Koh-i-noor, and  more.  There are also Celebrity pieces made for the occasions and limited versions studded with gems and diamonds on gold and other metal of high value

In our school days in late 1970s and later, we craved for brand ‘Red-leaf’ – prized possession was one from Singapore which my uncle brought on a visit.  Later market was flooded with many other brands with Reynolds perhaps ruling now ! You may not realise this but the humble ballpoint pen, used by millions of people around the world every day, is less than eight decades old.  Invented as the Second World War was about to begin in 1938, the biro takes its name from its creator Ladislao José Biro.

Biro, who was born in 1899, was a sometime journalist, painter and inventor who was frustrated with fountain pens blotting and smudging. He got the idea on a visit to a newspaper printing press, which used quick-drying ink and a roller. His thought process enabled simplifying the process and he set about creating the biro, which would begin production in 1944 under the name "Eterpen" and retail for the equivalent of £33.

Today would have been Biro's 177th birthday and Google is honouring the occasion with a Doodle. Biro's first idea for the ballpoint pen was to use the quick-drying newspaper ink in a fountain pen. This however didn't work as the ink was too thick and slow-moving to reach the tip of the nib. So he created a ballpoint nib which was coated with a thin film of ink from the cartridge as it made contact with paper and spun in its socket. Biro initially tested the invention with fountain pen and printing ink, both of which had the wrong consistency.  Biro enlisted the help of his brother György Bíró who was a chemist to create ink that was just the right viscosity. The pair gave their name to the invention when they patented it the "Biro" on July 15 1938.

The pen is still called a biro in countries including the UK, Ireland, Australia and Italy, but in the US it is known as a ballpoint pen. The nib in a ballpoint pen is normally made of a metal such as brass, steel or tungsten carbide. When it comes into contact with a piece of paper, or other writing material, the ball rotates and picks up a thin film of ink from the cartridge, which is a pressurised tube.  Biro was not the first person to come up with the idea of a rollerball system for delivering ink to the nib of a pen. John Loud is widely believed to have patented the first ballpoint pen back in 1888, but he failed to turn it into a commercial product and so his patent lapsed.

Ladislao José Biro, the eponymous inventor, was born into a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary, and started life as László József Bíró. In fact he maintained that name until after he invented the handy ballpoint pen when, in 1940, he was forced to flee the Nazi occupationof his home country.  After escaping the hostile occupation of Hungary, Biro made his way to Argentina, where he eventually secured backing to turn the biro into a commercial product. The pen's first backer was the British accountant Henry George Martin, according to the Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology.  The first major buyer of the newly created pen was the Royal Air Force. During the Second World War the organisation ordered 30,000 of the tools, which would work at high altitudes unlike traditional fountain pens. After the war it entered commercial production.

Today, the Bic Cristal biro is the world's most popular pen. Astonishingly, the price of the pen in the US has remained the same at around $0.19 [around Rs.12.50], since when it was first put on sale in 1959 despite flying decades and increasing inflation.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

29th Sept. 2016.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Sushma's speech at UNGA; TN CM meeting at Apollo; Trump blames mike and Gambhir is back !!

Terrorism remains a global scourge despite effecting sweeping change in mindsets and causing a massive drain on human capital and finances because it successfully inhabits the gap in strategic interests of countries. And because most democracies — not the so-called ones like Pakistan — work within a domestic or international legal framework, they cannot tackle the hydra-headed monster on their own without a convergence of mutual interests.

It is this point that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj laboured upon the most while delivering her address at the United Nations General Assembly. "We will not be able to win against terrorism by making specious distinctions between your problems and mine, between terrorists who attack you and those who attack me. For we do not know who this Frankenstein’s monster will devour next", she said on Monday.  What has been particularly frustrating for India in its fight against Pakistan is that it is an unequal battle. In absence of a credible deterrent, New Delhi can do precious little except haemorrhaging over its gashes and intermittently calling the talks on or off – a situation the rogue nation is extremely comfortable with. Therefore, for the global community to take tangible steps against Pakistan, the terrorism that it sponsors must be placed in the larger context of the global scourge, not the cubbyhole of an India-Pakistan binary where it has been traditionally boxed.

Sushma Swaraj's speech at the UNGA reflected an understanding of this reality which we have often missed in the past while railing against Pakistan on global forums. She linked Uri and Pathankot to attacks in "New York, Kabul, Dhaka, Istanbul, Mogadishu, Brussels and Bangkok" and immediately set the tone, ensuring that the blood of our slain soldiers mingles with that of the victims of terrorism in different parts of the world. In so doing, she subtly placed India's battle within the larger ambit of a global fight against extremism. There can be no illusions about the difficulty of her task. However, for India's initiative to bear fruit, a common ground between world powers on terrorism is imperative.

The minister stressed on the need for this unified global platform towards the end of her speech, urging the UN to pass the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) which India had proposed back in 1996.  Swaraj made two important interventions. She categorically reiterated India's position on Kashmir and for the first time, raised Balochistan on UN platform, inspiring delighted responses from fighters at the forefront of Baloch freedom movement. Indian Express carried a reaction from Baloch Republican Party (BRP) founder Brahumdagh Bugti on Swaraj's UN address. "This is a very good move and we expect that India will keep raising this issue, because India is that democratic country and responsible country, which undertakes its responsibility with sincerity," he said.

It has been alleged that Kashmir significantly robs India of the moral high ground from where it usually engages with Pakistan. Overturning this narrative was Swaraj's biggest achievement. Consider the immediate reaction from UN chief Ban Ki-moon who lauded India for its "swift action" over the decision to ratify the Paris pact on climate change, saying he is looking forward to receiving New Delhi's instrument of accession. Firstpost reports that - We have come a long way since SM Krishna read out Portugal foreign minister's speech at the UN.

Reports of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa being unwell has been doing rounds of political and media circles for a while now. Most recently, reports said that after complaining of fever and dehydration, Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospital in Chennai – one would not like to hear the rumour-mongers for there earlier too have been bad reports on CM’s health.  Now comes the appreciable news that  Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Ms  J Jayalalithaa discussed the issues related to the Supreme Court directions on Tuesday on the Cauvery water sharing row at the Apollo Hospital.  First Post report further adds that Ms Jayalalithaa also dictated her speech to be read out by Chief Secretary P Rama Mohana Rao at the meeting of the Executive Heads of Tamil Nadu and Karnatka to be convened on Thursday. 

The Apex court had directed the Attorney General to facilitate a meeting with the Executive Heads of the two states with the Union Ministry of Water Resources to recommend ways to break the impasse in the Cauvery row. Chairing a meeting of government officials at Apollo Hospital where she is recuperating, Jayalalithaa told Edapaddi K. Palaniswamy, the Minister for Public Works, Highways and Minor Ports, and officials to attend the Thursday meeting.  Tamil Nadu had filed its application in the apex court that Karnataka shall not be heard on any matter on Cauvery until it complied with and made good the shortfall in releases as directed by the Supreme Court.

This week Justice Markandey Katju sparked off another controversy, offending Biharis, by offering them up to Pakistan. In a Facebook post on Sunday, Katju suggested that Paksitan should end conflict with India by taking up the package deal — if they take Kashmir, they will have to take Bihar too. “Pakistanis, let us end our dispute once and for all. We offer you Kashmir, but on the condition you also take Bihar. It is a package deal. You have to take the whole package or none at all. Either you take both Kashmir and Bihar, or nothing. We will not give you Kashmir alone. Deal?”.  .. .. unbecoming !

Miles away, Donald Trump blamed the moderator, a bad microphone and anyone but himself on Tuesday after he was forced onto the defence by Hillary Clinton's cascade of attacks about his taxes, honesty and character in the first presidential debate.  Trump tried aggressively to pin America's problems on Clinton at the debate. But Clinton, showing her intensive preparations, went after him as hard or harder, including sharp criticism of his business practices and crude comments about women. She also attacked his false assertions about President Barack Obama's birthplace, calling it part of a pattern of "racist behavior." And she repeatedly criticised Trump for breaking tradition by refusing to release his tax returns, declaring, "There's something he's hiding." Still, Trump insisted on Tuesday he'd gotten the better of Clinton, awarding her a C-plus while declining to assign himself a grade. Unsurprisingly, Clinton's aides and running mate took to television to argue she'd accomplished precisely what she'd set out to do.

Back home after that win in 500th test - Gautam Gambhir has been  announced as KL Rahul's replacement for the ongoing India Test series against New Zealand on Tuesday after Rahul picked up a hamstring injury in the opening Test in Kanpur while running between the wickets. The southpaw's Test career has received an unexpected boost, and he has been included in the national Test squad after a period of two years. Meanwhile, Jayant Yadav was also picked as a replacement for Ishant Sharma who is suffering from chikungunya.  Gambhir played his last Test in August 2014, during India's tour to England. In that series, he registered only 25 runs in four innings, with India losing 3-1 in the five-match series, despite taking a 1-0 lead. At 34, Gambhir's international career seemed all but over after he was not named in the original squad despite putting up great performances in the recently-concluded Duleep Trophy.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th Sept. 2016.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Google turns 18 ! Googlle ~ and goat employees !!

Goats are stout-bodied mammals with horns and cloven hooves. There are two types of goats: domestic goats (Capra hircus), which are raised and bred as farm animals; and mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), which live in steep, rocky areas.   ~ such knowledge is easily delivered everyday by Google and the ones you are looking at are not mere pets – b u t – employees !!

Before we do a search on Google, today you will notice balloons and celebrations – the  company is showing everyone a cute, celebratory doodle on 27 September to mark the company’s coming-of-age. It shows Google’s “G” blowing up a balloon to spell out the rest of its name – but blowing it up too much, and being carried off into the sky.   Welcome to adulthood, Google! The tech giant is celebrating its 18th  birthday with this  festive, balloon-filled Doodle by artist Gerben Steenks.

Google is celebrating its birthday on September 27, and has done since 2006, but no one quite knows why -- not even Google. In 2005, it celebrated its birthday on September 26, and in 2004 and 2003 respectively, the date was September 7 and September 8.  However, the first Google birthday Doodle in 2002, to celebrate the company's fourth birthday,  went live on September 27. Yet there is nothing in Google's history to indicate any of these dates are important. Larry Page and Sergey Brin registered the Google domain on September 15, 1997, and the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998.

Whatever it be in  18 years, Google has become one of the biggest companies on the web, second only to Amazon.  Google is now officially an adult.  It is stated that the  idea for Google began years earlier in 1996, as a research project at Stanford University, when Page and Brin had a new idea for a search engine that would rank pages by how many other sites linked to it, rather than the crude format others used at the time - ranking them by how often the search term appeared on the page.

Google alluded to confusion over its birthday in 2013, admitting it had celebrated its birthday on four different dates, but September 27 now seems to have stuck.  Last year, the company split under a new corporate umbrella, Alphabet, which hived off more outlandish divisions of the company such as its driverless cars unit and robotics subsidiary Boston Dynamics. The change saw its founders move away from Google’s day-to-day running. 18 years after it was founded at Stanford University, Google is one of the world's most powerful companies. It is second only to Apple in value, with a market capitalisation of $541bn (£417bn). Page and Brin are ranked 12th and 13th on Forbes' list of the richest people in the world.

Some reports state that  Google is already feeling death breathing down its neck – or is worried that it might. The company’s campus has a huge model of a T-Rex skeleton, which is meant to remind employees not to let the company go extinct.  When Chrome doesn’t have an internet connection, it will show a warning about not being able to connect, alongside a picture of a little dinosaur. adds that, if  you press the space bar when that’s showing, it will start a game where you run along as the dinosaur, jumping over any obstacles by pressing the space bar again. The game will last forever, because all of the obstacles are generated by the code.

Now to the goats at the start. Google’s headquarters are big, and lots of it is green. So much of it is grass that it would need a lot of lawnmowers – but Google has a novel way around that. Instead of gas-powered machines, Google hires a load of goats to clear the fields around its campus. They visit for about a week at a time, and about 200 of them come to much up the Google grass.

If you had noticed the spelling mistake in Googlle – in Sept. 2009,  the search giant's name appeared with an extra letter "l" on its home page, a change that did not escape the notice of the internet. Within hours of the new logo going live, "why is google spelt wrong" and "why does google have two ls" were two of the most popular search phrases on the web.  It was to mark its 11th birthday !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th Sept. 2016.

Monday, September 26, 2016

ISRO - PSLV C35 successfully launches 371 kg SCATSAT-1 Satellite +7 co-passenger satellites .

Our Nation is feeling happy and proud because of the achievement from Sriharikota, in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. This place is in Nellore Dist, separates Pulicat lake from Bay of Bengal.  The nearest town and railway station is Sullurpeta.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)today (26th Sept 2016)  successfully placed advanced weather satellite SCATSAT-1 and seven other satellites in orbits in its longest ever launch mission, which spanned over two hours and 15 minutes.  SCATSAT-1 is a continuity mission for Oceansat-2 Scatterometer to provide wind vector data products for weather forecasting, cyclone detection and tracking services to the users.  

The SCATSAT-1 was launched by PSLV-C35 on Monday morning at 9:12 hrs (IST) on September 26, 2016 from the First Launch Pad of SDSC SHAR, Sriharikota. It is for the first time that satellites were placed in two different orbits with a single rocket. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre director K Sivan said, "The rocket has placed all the satellites in precise orbits."  The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C35) carrying the eight satellites took off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota at 9.12am. Around 17 minutes later, SCATSAT-1, the main payload of PSLV in its 37th flight, was placed in the polar sun synchronous orbit at an altitude of about 730km.

In its thirty seventh flight (PSLV-C35), ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle successfully launched the 371 kg SCATSAT-1 Satellite along with seven co-passenger satellites .  This is the thirty sixth consecutively successful mission of PSLV.  The total weight of all the eight satellites carried on-board PSLV-C35 was 675 kg.  

After a flight of 16 minutes 56 seconds, the vehicle achieved a polar Sun Synchronous Orbit of 724 km inclined at an angle of 98.1 degree to the equator (very close to the intended orbit) and 37 seconds later the primary satellite SCATSAT-1 was separated from the PSLV fourth stage. After separation, the two solar arrays of SCATSAT-1 satellite were deployed automatically and ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC) at Bangalore took over the control of the satellite.  After the successful separation of SCATSAT-1, the PSLV-C35 mission continued. Still carrying the seven co-passenger satellites, the fourth stage of PSLV coasted over the South polar region and then started ascending towards the Northern hemisphere. A safe distance between the orbiting SCATSAT-1 and PSLV-C35 fourth stage was maintained by suitably manoeuvring the stage.  At 1 hour 22 minutes and 38 seconds after lift-off as the fourth stage was in the North polar region, the two engines of PSLV fourth stage were reignited and fired for 20 seconds. As a result of this, it entered into an elliptical orbit measuring 725 km on one side of the Earth and 670 km on the other.   

Of the seven co-passenger satellites carried by PSLV-C35, two – PRATHAM weighing 10 kg and PISAT weighing 5.25 kg – are University/Academic institute satellites and were built with the involvement of students from IIT-Bombay and PES University, Bangalore and its consortium, respectively. The remaining five co-passenger satellites were international customer satellites from Algeria (three – ALSAT-1B, ALSAT-2B and ALSAT-1N), Canada (one- NLS-19) and the United States (one – Pathfinder-1).

With today’s launch, the PSLV’s capability to launch satellites into two different orbits has been successfully demonstrated. The total number of satellites launched by India’s workhorse launch vehicle PSLV has now reached 121, of which 42 are Indian and the remaining 79 are from abroad.  SCATSAT-1, which will provide weather forecast including cyclone detection and tracking, will succeed the now defunct Oceansat-2 satellite launched in 2009.

One proudly recalls that in June 2016, India launched 20 satellites in a single mission, the most in the history of the country's ambitious space programme. Seventeen of those were foreign. Monday's launch takes the number of foreign satellites launched by India to 79. This has earned the country more than $120m (£92m). And India's space agency has already secured deals to launch dozens more foreign satellites.  This is good news for a country that has often faced criticism for spending money on a space programme when it has problems like poverty and hunger to tackle.

A remarkable day for the Nation ~ and we salute those scientists behind this great show.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

26th Sept. 2016.

Ash bowls India to victory ~ a coach with no First class experience

Reading articles (surfing NZ sites)  about Ashwin’s bowling feat and the loss of New Zealand at Kanpur in India’s 500th test  - 3 incidents attracted me.

Luteru Ross Poutoa Lote Taylor  - Senior Black Caps batsman Ross Taylor with more than 250 International appearances  has been blasted on social media for "a schoolboy error" after his runout left the team tumbling towards defeat against India in the first test.  Taylor, who recorded a duck in the first innings, was anything but convincing as he battled his way to 17 on Sunday night (NZ time), before making the mistake of a junior cricketer.  He was a good two meters inside the crease, when a great throw from long by Umesh Yadav hit the non-striker stumps – Taylor had not grounded his bat !!!

Had it been India, people would have drawn daggers at the Coach.  Mike Hesson was involved with Otago cricket for 15 years before taking over as Kenya coach after the team's poor performance in the 2011 World Cup. He took up coaching at an unusually early age of 22, beginning with a seven-year apprenticeship as Otago cricket's director of coaching.  He  stepped down as Kenya's national coach, citing security issues  fearing safety of his family !!

Take the good, the bad, and the ugly, and look forward to Kolkata. That was the message from Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson after India wrapped up victory on the fifth and final afternoon of a first test in Kanpur that took more twists and turns than a Ravi Ashwin over into the rough. The hosts won the first session, New Zealand the next four but that was all made redundant as Ashwin and spin sidekick Ravidra Jadeja twirled their team back into the match and they powered away to a 197-run win.  Now, Kiwis have  three days to prepare for the second test against India, and find a way to level their three-match series.

New Zealand began the last day at 93 for four - 341 runs behind India - and were eventually dismissed for 236. The result is India's 14th test win at home against New Zealand in 32 tests, against just two defeats. The hosts like Kanpur too. Their last loss at Green Park was to the West Indies in 1983. Since then they have won five and drawn three matches there. Ravichandran Ashwin picked up his 19th  five-wicket haul as India wrapped up a 197-run win in their 500th Test match.

Needing six wickets at the start of the fifth day, India endured a wicketless first hour as Luke Ronchi and Mitchell Santner stretched their fifth-wicket stand to 102, but the wickets came quickly thereafter. The win arrived 43 minutes after lunch when Ashwin had Neil Wagner lbw with a carrom ball. Chasing a nominal 434, New Zealand had been bowled out for 236. Ashwin finished with innings figures of 6 for 132 and match figures of 10 for 225 in 66.2 overs. Bowling with a callus in the middle finger of his bowling hand, he used the carrom ball frequently after lunch, possibly because he was finding it difficult to grip the offbreak.

The wicket of Santner came off of almost an unplayable delivery – pitched so much away from the leg stump of the left hander, it kept coming, bounced, took the edge to Rohit Sharma.  Then Ish Sodhi  walked across his stumps to get bowled around his legs.

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson has done more to show that a paucity of playing experience need not be a barrier to a plum coaching job. His coaching journey began accidentally. When he was a player for Otago A aged 21, he was offered a contract for a club in Cambridgeshire in England on the condition that he was involved in coaching too.  At 23, when he gained coaching qualification,  Otago appointed Hesson coaching director, working under Glenn Turner. He remained there for six years. After taking up an offer to become Argentina's coach, Hesson returned to Otago a year later, replacing Turner as head coach.  Kenya provided  Hesson's  international job when he was hired after the 2011 World Cup. Only 11 months later he resigned, fearing for his family's security after his family fell victim to an attempted car-jacking and a grenade exploded near their house in Nairobi.

When John Wright quit as New Zealand coach in 2012, Hesson became one of the few full-time coaches of a Test nation not to have played a single first-class match.  "There's a preconception that it helps to have played to coach - that has some advantages, but it's not completely necessary. If you haven't played you need to be able to look, learn, watch and absorb - Mike's got those qualities," his predecessor Wright reflects.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Sept. 2016.

Photos taken from video grab of :

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ravichandran Ashwin becomes the 2nd fastest bowler to claim 200 wickets

Kiwis faltering on chase – Ash on high ! – Over : 9.1 – Ravichandran Ashwin to Ross Taylor,  ball spins like a top – from wide outside off, it keeps coming in – Taylor has no clue at all – stands erect in front – leg stump visible – massive appeal – Umpire Kettleborough says no ! -  what !! – it could have missed either leg or off but certainly not the middle – Ashwin denied rich celebrations…

200 is a great number – more so, for the bowler – not many reach there – and today this man stood tall, reaching there to become the second fastest in the world and the fastest Indian to reach that landmark – Ravichandran Ashwin.

The Countess of Wessex has completed her epic 445 mile bike ride from Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse to Buckingham Palace for her father-in-law’s Duke of Edinburgh 60th anniversary challenge. Sophie said she was overwhelmed as she pedalled through the gates of Buckingham Palace to the huge crowds and the Coldstream Guards. The Countess and her team set out from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland on Monday for the ride in support of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award to celebrate the scheme's 60th anniversary. It was revealed that Prince Philip thought she was 'slightly mad' for partaking. Big feats, worthy of celebration – just as Indians are at the achievement of Ashwin.

At Kanpur, in India’s historic 500th test, New Zealand will go into the final day of the first Test against India requiring a dogged batting effort to save the game.Needing 434 to win or to bat out four sessions in Kanpur for the draw, the Black Caps closed on 93 for four after Ravichandran Ashwin made early inroads. India resumed in the morning on 159 for one and made steady progress for much of the day, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara taking their second-wicket stand to 133 before the former was trapped lbw by Mitchell Santner for 76.

India was hailed as land of spinners – when the famous quartet Bishan Bedi, Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna and Venkatraghavan prospered – there were the likes of VV Kumar, Doshi, Shivalkar, Goel, Hans, Dhiraj Parsana, Ramnarayan,  Shukla, Raghuram Bhat and more – who could not make the cut over the dominance of the quartet and Ranji matches were ‘bowler-dominated !’. Dilip Rasiklal Doshi,  was one of only two Test bowlers who played in their first tests after the age of thirty, yet went on to take 100 wickets, the other being Clarrie Grimmett.  Dilip Doshi, the slow leftarm spinner with spectacles, was born in Rajkot in 1947, debuted in 1979 when he was 32+, went on to play 33 Tests and 15 One dayers. 

There have been some quality off-spinners apart from Erapalli Prasanna and Srinivasan Venkatraghavan.  Harbhajan was quite  successful – remember his bowling during that Aussie tour in 2001, and that Kolkatta hat-trick.... there was Shivlal Yadav too (M Venkatramana, Ashish Kapoor, Ashok Patel, Arshad Ayub, Sarandeep Singh, Gopal Sharma) – all Off-spinners, who played for India at some point of time.  Ravichandran Ashwin prospered so well at home, and gone longway proving his mettle !  

Ashwin today  took the first three wickets to fall, in the process becoming the second-fastest man to 200 wickets in Test history. His 37 matches to reach the landmark puts him just ahead of Dennis Lillee and Waqar Younis, behind only former Australia leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett on 36.

Opening the bowling, the off-spinner removed openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham in the fourth over of the innings with only three runs on the board. Having been denied Ross Taylor,  Ashwin trapped Kane Williamson on the back foot in the final session of the fourth day in Kanpur, becoming  the second-fastest bowler to 200 Test wickets, behind only Australia's Clarrie Grimmett. But for two rain-affected Tests in the West Indies series, he was a good chance to beat Grimmett to the mark. Ashwin got there in his 37th  Test while Grimmett took 36. In 46 Tests, Harbhajan Singh was the fastest Indian before Ashwin.

In getting there, Ashwin amassed 18 five-fors and four 10-wicket match hauls. He has more Man-of-the-Series awards than any other Indian. To go with that Ashwin has also scored four hundreds –making him a bowling all-rounder.  The most famous Offie,  Muttiah Muralitharan is the next quickest offspinner to 200 Test wickets, having taken 42 Tests.  Harbhajan Singh had taken 46 matches to reach the milestone and Ash has beaten him by flat 9 tests.  51.40 Ashwin's strike rate - the best among 32 spinners to take 150 or more wickets in Tests. Among those with at least 100 wickets, only Johnny Briggs and Colin Blythe - who bowled on unprepared pitches around the turn of the 20th century - have struck more frequently.

Glory to Ravi Ashwin – hope he bowls NZ out tomorrow beating them and earning another Man of the Match.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar

25th Sept. 2o16.

Presenting Sept 2016 issue of Bliss – voice of SYMA

Presenting Sept 2016   issue of Bliss – voice of SYMA

The newsletter of SYMA – Bliss is in your hands.  Click here : SYMA Bliss Sept 2016  to download the issue : 

Blood of jawan and tears of Indians are running in river Jhelum for at Uri, a town on the river – in  one of the worst terrorist attacks on the Indian Army by fidayeen attackers,  17 army jawans were martyred.  We pay homage to our martyrs.

SYMA over the years has been greatly supported by kind-hearted donors.  The names of donors of Rs. 1 lakh and above stand etched on the façade of our Medical Centre ~ the list is growing.  SYMA heartily thanks the new additions to the list … these noble donors by their kind act are ensuring that SYMA continues its service to the society  for many more years to come. 

The present issue has in detail
·         Our Educational Aid function whence we distribute more than 1000 sets of uniforms to school children
·         Activity report of our medical camps held recently
·         Every year, we honour good social workers with SYMA Seva award.  7th Aug 2016, provided a different experience of SYMA (our President TJ Ramani) being conferred ‘Lifetime Achivement Award’
·         Expanding our Medical centre into a specialty – we have planned to have consultation by experts on every Wedneday – starting this month, we had Eye consultation, Skin, and dental ~ நமது மருத்துவ பணிகள் மேலும் சிறப்புற, உங்கள் அனைவரின் ஒத்துழைப்பையும் கோருகிறோம்.
·         A century is a great achievement – an article on Sri Mandayam Parthasarathi, the grand oldman of Triplicane, who turned 100 recently.

Bliss ~ the voice of SYMA, the newsletter has silently crossed 100 – the present issue is 105th one.  Of late, I am not in a position to bring out in time every month, thus missing a few months.  Sincerely regret the missing issues and look forward to the support / contribution of youngsters in ensuring that it hit the stands every month.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
Editor – Bliss.
25th Sept. 2016. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

young Eenam Gambhir slams Pak at UN General Assembly - calls it 'Ivy league of terrorism'

Israeli and Palestinian leaders have traded pointed barbs at the UN general assembly, in a rhetorical exchange that underlines the deep differences between the two sides – and the dim prospects for meaningful dialogue.  Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, invited the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, to address the Israeli parliament and said he was willing to speak to the Palestinian legislative council in Ramallah. But Netanyahu insisted on Thursday that the central problem was Palestinian rejectionism, not Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. The two leaders’ speeches reflected their very different personal styles, with Netanyahu relying heavily on the theatrical and confrontational style he has brought to his recent general assembly addresses that have seen him deploy props and, last year, a period of silence.

Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, is now host to the Ivy League of terrorism…  that is how  First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, described Pakistan soon after its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ended his speech at the UNGA debate on September 21. Exercising India’s right to reply after Sharif’s address, which focused mostly on what he described as violation of human rights in Kashmir, the delegate said Pakistan was a “terrorist state” which conducted “war crimes” against Indians through its “long-standing policy” of sponsoring terrorism.

Its uncommon for a diplomat of relatively junior rank to make headlines. Most times, they are relegated to doing the running around to make their seniors or political masters look good. And if they do hit the headlines, it’s mostly for the wrong reasons.  But when Eenam Gambhir, first secretary at the Permanent Mission of India in New York, took the floor to exercise India’s Right to Reply following a combative speech by Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif accusing India of human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir, she won only praise back home. Relatively low-profile till now,  she is a celebrity with millions of searches made on the web about her.  Gambhir’s crisp speech—carefully drafted and vetted by senior Indian diplomats —rebutted Sharif point by point though she took much less than her allotted seven minutes.

*Ivy*  is a widely cultivated evergreen climbing plant (Hedera helix) native to Eurasia.   Ivy League is a collegiate athletic conference comprising sports teams from eight private institutions of higher education in the North eastern United States. The conference name is also commonly used to refer to those eight schools as a group;  Ivy League has connotations of academic excellence, selectivity in admissions, and social elitism.

Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly session on Wednesday, said Pakistan wants peace with India but maintained it is "not possible without resolving the Kashmir issue". The premier reiterated Pakistan's stance of resolving the issue of Kashmir through dialogue with India and said Pakistan has "gone the extra mile to achieve this".  As the unfriendly neighbour has done often, there was reference to the death of Burhan Wani  - referred as a leader of peaceful freedom movement.  One cannot fault him – for that is what ‘peace’ means in the strife-torn neighbouring country. 

It was to be rebutted .. Rejecting Pakistan’s repeated demand to the United Nations to resolve the Kashmir dispute, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Nawaz Sharif that Pakistan and India should address their issues, including Kashmir, through “dialogue”.  Already India is experiencing the pain of its martyred soldiers at Uri – Eenam Gambhir, the first secretary of the Permanent Mission of India to the UN grabbed the opportunity to exercise the right to reply to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s statements at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).  She not only slammed Pakistan for calling HizbulMujahideen commander BurhanWani a patriot but also called it a “terrorist state” which keep on funding terrorist activities.  While calling Sharif’s “long tirade” about the situation in Jammu andKashmir at the UNGA, she called Pakistan a host to the “Ivy League of terrorism”and “global epicenter of terrorism”

“What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region,” she said. She also accused Pakistan of channelizing billions of dollars from international aid, to train, support and finance terrorist groups in its region. “That terrorist attack is part of a trail of continuous flow of terrorists trained and armed by our neighbour and tasked to carry out terrorist attacks in my country,” she a said while mentioning about Uri attack that claimed 18 Indian lives.

Firstpost today writes  that a  “brainstrust” of 5 senior staffers sitting around Syed Akbaruddin's desk on the 4th  floor of India's permanent mission to the US in New York's East 43rd  St put their heads together to write up the 513 word stinger that has broken free from the trap of knotty officialese while Pakistan errs on the other extreme with cuckoo outbursts at its annual whine fest in New York City. Syed Akbaruddin, a 1985 batch IFS officer, is India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations - the boss in the New York outpost.

The applause for India's strident tone, content and the brevity of the rebuttal on September 21 has been stirring. “Deception”, “deceit”, “lies”, “terrorism”, “toxic curriculum”, “sermons”, “preaching” - the word cloud from India’s rap taps into the collective loathing Indians feel about Pakistan’s web of lies. No wonder then that the Eenam Gambhir slam dunk is taking a dizzy ride on social media platforms.  By slamming Pakistan’s baloney so hard on the world stage, India is responding to the change in how audiences consume foreign policy and meeting them where they are, in language that is evocative yet blunt, something that appeals to outliers who are shunning elitism in droves.

Short attention spans have been fully factored in - a 500 worder for a Pakistan pushback is as good as it gets.  Firstpost adds that the decision (of Gambhir speaking) was taken well before the group  finished writing this.  It was the youngest officer, a woman at that.  A top diplomat who oversaw the latest India offensive to the last detail admits there is a deliberate change in style. “Diplomacy has to reach audiences spead across wide swathes of the world, not just Indians in a limited sphere of operation,” he said.  “If they want to come to the United Nations and talk about India, we will do what we have to do. Our default position is that this has to be sorted out bilaterally, however if you (Pakistan) bring this to the UN, we have a counter narrative ready which is stronger,” says the official.

Every paragaph of the India counter has at least one mention of the word terrorism — This was a consensus among the group of five who authored that powerful speech.  Apart from being chosen for being the youngest, Gambhir as the woman factor was strategy, not randomness. “They (Pakistan) talked about women and all that bluster, we said chalo, we’ll send a woman in reply. The optics are not lost on us. We got it right. The whole world could see that the bullies were watching while Gambhir spoke." External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is likely to raise the terror attacks in Uri and Pathankot in her speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) most likely on September 26.

The United Nations General Assembly  is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation.  The General Assembly meets under its president or Secretary-General in regular yearly sessions.  The first session was convened on 10 January 1946 in the Westminster Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations.

With regards- S. Sampathkumar
23rd Sept. 2016.