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Monday, October 29, 2018

Brabuorne history ~ Al Jazeera .. .. and Ranatunga arrested

Michael Herbert Rudolf Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne, [ 1894 –  1939 ]  was a British peerand soldier, the son of the 4th Baron Brabourne. Knatchbull was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, served in the Gallipoli Campaign, rose to heights, was awarded the Military Cross for his "distinguished service in the Field during the operations at the Dardanelles." In 1933, upon his father's death, he succeeded as Baron Brabourne following which he was made Governor of Bombay and was invested as a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire.  Have never read this before !

Television news channel Al Jazeera has hit out at the manner in which the ECB and CA dismissed allegations of spot-fixing involving their teams in its documentary, The Munawar Files, adding that the ICC had failed to answer questions about the alleged "match-fixer at the centre of our investigation" Aneel Munawar. The documentary, the second on corruption in cricket by Al Jazeera, claimed that up to 15 international matches - several of them Tests - in the 2011-12 period had been subject to spot-fixing. Munawar was also at the centre of their first documentary, which alleged that the Chennai Test in December 2016 and the Ranchi Test in March 2017 had been subject to spot-fixing by England and Australia players.

In its race to corporatise, centralise and improve team performance over the past seven years, Cricket Australia's leadership lost sight of the fact that sport is not a business, and that cricket in particular is judged by the way in which its participants abide by the spirit of cricket as much as by how often they win or lose. These are among the key findings of the Ethics Centre's independent review of CA, released on Monday. Composed by Dr Simon Longstaff in conjunction with a player review conducted by the former Test batsman Rick McCosker, it has exposed the governing body as "arrogant" and "controlling", while casting back to the introduction of more outwardly corporate structures and goals by the 2011 Argus review as a key point on the road towards the Newlands ball tampering scandal.

Equally, the review has outlined clear divisions between CA's Board and executive, its state association owners, and the players represented by the Australian Cricketers Association. Critically, CA's overarching strategy for 2017-2022 is shown to be missing strong links to the spirit of cricket that underpins behaviour within the game, with the review also identifying a consistency between the corporate behaviours of CA in dealing with stakeholders and sponsors and the moral decay of the national team leading to the choice of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, with Steven Smith's tacit support, to use sandpaper to try to gain reverse swing in Cape Town  !  ~  among 42 recommendations outlined by the review are the desire for Australian cricket to establish an ethics commission to oversee the ethical health of the game in Australia  !!  ~ sounds pretty interesting !!!

That Governor described in 1st para inaugurated Brabourne Stadium, built on a piece of land reclaimed from the sea which Lord Brabourne, Governor of Bombay, presented to the Cricket Club of India after being tempted with an offer of immortality in the bargain. It was officially opened on December 7 1937 following with a match between the CCI and Lord Tennyson's team. The idea that the ground would be the Lord's of India was the brainchild of a Goan, Neville de Mello. It was as exclusive as its English counterpart and every bit as luxurious - Frank Worrell once remarked that it was the only place in the world where he could watch cricket in his dressing-gown and remove it when it was his turn to bat. It was also a multi-sport complex which hosted international tennis.  The first test here was played in Dec 1948 between India and West Indies while the last one was against Sri Lanka in 2009.  It first hosted an ODI (Australia Vs Pak – 1989) – and today’s match against Windies was played here at Brabourne. 

I have written disparagingly about him, dismayed about the vast support of statements like ‘you are seeing India’s talent on screen’ by sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Manjrekar even when he had stings of failure .. but not  often does a knock of 162 get lamented as a missed double-century.  One cannot wonder counting as this happens to be the seventh - though, three of the previous six have been double-hundreds, the man is Rohit Sharma.

West Indies finally managed to deny Virat Kohli a century, but Rohit and Ambati Rayudu made use of excellent batting conditions to take India to 377 and a 2-1 lead with one match to go in the series. Rayudu managed to score the first century for India from outside the top-three slots in the last 21 months.  Scorecard reads : India 377 for 5 (Rohit 162, Rayudu 100) beat West Indies 153 (Holder 54*, Khaleel 3-11, Kuldeep 3-42) by 224 runs.  Though Ambati Rayudu played a supporting role to Rohit Sharma for most of the day, the significance of his hundred cannot be understated.  It was the completion of a circle in some sense: for a while after he had accepted BCCI's amnesty offer to return to recognised Indian cricket, Mumbai was Rayudu's home in the IPL.

Closer to home, in neighbouring Lanka, former captain Arjuna Ranatunga was arrested over his role in a shooting that killed one and injured two others in Colombo, during Sri Lanka's unfolding political crisis. He has since been swiftly produced before the Colombo magistrate, and was subsequently released on bail. Ranatunga had said his security detail had discharged their weapons in order to protect him from a mob that was intent on killing him, at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) offices. He had to be extracted later from the premises by Special Task Force - elite police - officers. But after almost 24 hours of pressure from a CPC trade union, which had threatened a fuel strike, Ranatunga was arrested today afternoon.

Ranatunga, who was the country's Minister for the Development of Petroleum Resources, said he was attempting to retrieve belongings from the CPC offices, when it was surrounded by a mob aligned with the opposite political party. "They came to kill me - I state this responsibly - and you can check the CCTV footage," Ranatunga said following the clash. "For the first time, I feared for my life. I thought of my children and my family." After Ranatunga was dressed in a helmet and camouflage, and escorted from the premises by the Special Task Force, dozens of regular police were deployed in order to pacify a still-agitated crowd. The three wounded had been taken to hospital but the news of one of the men, aged 34, succumbing to his injuries prompted a demand over Ranatunga's arrest from the trade union. Ranatunga first stood for office in 2001, and has held various cabinet portfolios since. He is a member of the United National Party, whose leader, Ranil Wickramasinghe, is in the midst of the ongoing political wrangle.

The man who led Lanka to that famous WC victory in 1996 scored 5105 runs in 93 Tests with 4 centuries and equal no. of tons in 269 one dayers, where he totalled 7456 runs. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Oct 2018.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Paki terror .. .. and call for talks

Imran Khan’s letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was debated hotly.  The Cricketer turned politician claimed to have written  “Pakistan remains ready to discuss terrorism... I wish to propose a meeting between Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj before the informal meeting of the SAARC Foreign Ministers at the sidelines of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York. The summit will offer an opportunity for you to visit Pakistan and for us to restart the stalled dialogue process.”  ~ there were some negative comments on Indian response as well !

The neighbours have played Cricket – Imran is a known figure in India, Navjot Singh Sidhu attended the swearing-in.  ..  remember, there were  no series between Pakistan and India from 1961 till 1978. Both the countries had played three 5-Test-rubbers from 1952 till 1961, but none for the next 17 years. The Indian touring squad in 1978  was led by the classic slow left-arm leg spinner, BS Bedi.   At that time, 5 Pakistani players who had joined the WSC had been banned. They were -  Mushtaq Mohammad, Asif Iqbal, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas and Imran Khan.  The embattled Pak Cricket board decided that they would take back them and suddenly, the outcasts got rousing welcome.. Kapil Dev made his debut then

India, not so strong in limited overs Cricket, won the first ODI at Quetta, thanks to Mohinder Amarnath’s all-round efforts. A four-pronged fast bowling attack helped Pakistan square the series at Sialkot.  At Sahiwal, Mushtaq Mohammad won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a flat track. Karsan Ghavri, Srinivasan  Venkataraghavan and Mohinder Amarnath  bowled well to confine Pakistan to 205 for 7 wickets in 40 overs.  Sunny Gavaskar did not play and openers were Anshuman Gaekwad and Chetan Chauhan, then came leftie Surinder amaranth.  Indians were   183 for the loss of 2 wickets at the end of 37 overs, requiring just 23. Sarfraz Nawaz  ran in, and bounced. The ball went too high and landed in Wasim Bari’s gloves. The batsmen stared in astonishment as it was not called a wide. Perhaps it was a one-off error of judgement, the Indians thought. But Sarfraz bounced yet again. Once again it was too high for anyone to reach. Yet again, the umpire stood unmoved. Sarfraz did it for a third time — with the same response from the umpire. And, incredibly, for a fourth time in a row he bounced so high that even the six-foot Gaekwad, batting on 78, had absolutely no hope of getting anywhere near the ball. The Pakistan game plan was clear — to bowl beyond the batsman’s reach. Equally clear was the complicity of the Pakistani umpires — this was before the advent of neutral umpires — to help the home team achieve their goal .

The bewildered batsmen looked at their captain Bishan Singh Bedi in the pavilion. Bedi saw the futility of the situation and called the batsmen, Gaekwad and Viswanath, and conceded the match, which was reduced to a farce. Just like he had declared India’s innings prematurely at Kingston in protest to Clive Lloyd’s ruthless bouncing tactics in 1975-76, Bedi was not afraid to bring put an end to the farce of a ODI at Sahiwal. Pakistan’s tactics won them the series 2-1, and Sahiwal never hosted another international match. So much so, for Paki antics on field and off too .. .. !!

Elsewhere, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated his pledge to tackle corruption, saying the accountability process will not end until justice catches up with corrupt elements. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of ‘Pakistan Citizen Portal’, an application developed for citizens to register their complaints and suggestions with the government, Imran Khan said corrupt elements will not be spared. Referring to the workings of the application, the prime minister said that the portal would enable the government to understand the performance of ministries and departments. “Every citizen will know how much time it will take to respond to their query since each case is different. We will publish all the complaints data coming in, so the public holds provincial governments accountable too.

A simple search on the Captain reveals that PM Imran Khan’s sister is among 44 prominent political and government figures owning benami properties in United Arab Emirates, revealed a Federal Investigation Agency list submitted to the Pakistan Supreme Court. The list was part of the annexure submitted to a three judge SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, seized with a case relating to illegal transfer of money from Pakistan to foreign countries, the Dawn reported. The list has identified those who owned properties registered in the name of other people, the report said. It contains the name of Aleema Khanum, a sister of Khan, who has been identified as ‘benamidar’ of a property. A notice has been issued to her, but her servant said she is abroad. The list also includes the name of government spokesperson on economy and energy issues Farrukh Saleem’s mother.

There is another interesting media report too ! The Supreme Court of Pakistan has reintroduced the ban on Indian content on local channels in the country. All Indian content including films and television shows have been banned from playing on TV channels, as per a report by news agency PTI.  The judgement was passed by the apex court as Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar observed that the channels should "only air appropriate content". The hearing was for a case filed by the United Producers Association pertaining to the broadcast of foreign content on local television channels, as per a report by Dawn.   “They are trying to (obstruct the construction) of our dam and we cannot even ban their channels?” Pakistan Chief Justice Saqib Nisar is quoted as saying.  

Getting back to that letter of Imran – one need to read the current affairs -   BSF Head Constable Narendra Kumar was abducted and tortured before his throat was slit by Pakistani Rangers in Ramgarh Sector of Jammu along the International Border (IB). His body—with three bullet wounds and slit throat—was retrieved from a spot ahead of the India-Pakistan fence after the Pakistani side did not respond to calls for six hours to maintain the sanctity of the IB and ensure that the BSF search parties were not fired upon. Second, Pakistan issued 20 commemorative postage stamps portraying slain terrorists and some others as victims of atrocities by Indian troops in Kashmir. And third: To India’s insistence that “terror must stop before talk”, Pakistani Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa said a few months ago: “Ultimately they (India) will have to talk !!

The message from Pakistan is explicit: We will continue using terror against you and you will continue to talk to us whenever the amnesia strikes you. Some are of the view that this meeting of foreign ministers is a diktat from the United States, but that may not be true because the US recently admonished Pakistan for not doing enough to curb terror and said that Pakistan does not favour a stable Afghanistan.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Oct 2018.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Rheumatoid arthritis @ 28 .. Caroline Wozniacki's positivity

Towards end of middle age, some experience the following symptoms : -
          Joint pain, tenderness, swelling or stiffness for six weeks or longer
          Morning stiffness for 30 minutes or longer
          More than one joint is affected
          Small joints (wrists, certain joints of the hands and feet) are affected
          The same joints on both sides of the body are affected
Along with pain, many people experience fatigue, loss of appetite and a low-grade fever.  ~    the dreaded condition that many face .. .. .. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of any age, although often starts when a person is between 40 and 50. It occurs when the body's immune system targets affected joints, leading to pain and swelling.  Experts say there is no cure for the condition, but medication and other treatments can relieve symptoms.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was knocked out of the WTA Finals as Ukraine's Elina Svitolina booked her place in the last four in Singapore. The attractive Caroline Wozniacki is a Danish professional tennis player. She is a former world No. 1 in singles. She is also the first woman from a Scandinavian country to hold the top ranking position and 20th in the Open Era.  She finished on top of the rankings in both 2010 and 2011.

AT WTA, World number three Wozniacki, 28, knew only a straight-set victory would see the Dane progress from the group stage. After taking the first set, she was a break up in the second but Svitolina, 24, recovered to win 5-7 7-5 6-3. World number eight Pliskova, 26, claimed her first victory over Kvitova, 28, in four attempts.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system – which normally protects its health by attacking foreign substances like bacteria and viruses – mistakenly attacks the joints. This creates inflammation that causes the tissue that lines the inside of joints (the synovium) to thicken, resulting in swelling and pain in and around the joints. The synovium makes a fluid that lubricates joints and helps them move smoothly. If inflammation goes unchecked, it can damage cartilage, the elastic tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint, as well as the bones themselves. Over time, there is loss of cartilage, and the joint spacing between bones can become smaller. Joints can become loose, unstable, painful and lose their mobility. Joint deformity also can occur. Joint damage cannot be reversed, and because it can occur early, doctors recommend early diagnosis and aggressive treatment to control RA.

Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the joints of the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles. The joint effect is usually symmetrical. That means if one knee or hand if affected, usually the other one is, too. Because RA also can affect body systems, such as the cardiovascular or respiratory systems, it is called a systemic disease. Systemic means “entire body.”

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki says she was "shocked" to be diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, but wants to become a role model for people with the condition. The Dane, 28, discovered she had the auto-immune disease in August and says "it has been a lot to take in". "You feel like you're the fittest athlete out there and all of a sudden you have this to work with," she said. Wozniacki - who won the Australian Open in January, her only Grand Slam to date - revealed she had the condition after her season ended with defeat at the WTA Finals.

She said she began to notice symptoms of fatigue after Wimbledon, where she lost in the second round, and one morning was unable to lift her arms over her head. The world number three says some days she has struggled to get out of bed and doctors diagnosed her in August before the US Open. "In the beginning, it was a shock," said Wozniacki. "It's obviously not ideal for anybody, and I think when you're a professional athlete, it's also not even more ideal. "I think I didn't want to talk about it during the year because I don't want to give anyone the edge or thinking that I'm not feeling well, but I have been feeling well.  "You learn how to just cope after matches. Some days you wake up and you can't get out of bed and you just have to know that's how it is, but other days you live and you're fine. You don't even feel like you have it."

Rheumatoid arthritis can affect people of any age, although often starts when a person is between 40 and 50. It occurs when the body's immune system targets affected joints, leading to pain and swelling. The NHS says there is no cure for the condition, but medication and other treatments can relieve symptoms. Wozniacki has been taking medicine and receiving treatment to manage the disease and is positive the condition will not impact on her career - she won the China Open earlier this month.

"Winning was huge. It also gave me the belief that nothing is going to set me back. I'm going to work with this and this is how it is, and I can do anything. "I'm very proud of how I have been so positive through it all and just kind of tried to not let that hinder me. "I know there are a lot of people in the world that are fighting with this, and hopefully I can be someone they can look up to and say that if I can do this, then they can too. And you just kind of have to get together and pull each other up."

Appreciate her positive attitude

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Oct 2018.

Friday, October 26, 2018

beautiful Kashmir ~ and accession day

Bernier,  the first European to enter Kashmir, writing in 1665, wrote : " In truth, the kingdom surpasses in beauty all that my warmest imagination had anticipated." This impression is not universally felt, for one of the very latest writers on Kashmir speaks of it as overrated, and calls the contour of the mountains commonplace and comparable to a second-rate Tyrolean valley

More importantly, the Instrument of Accession is a legal document executed by Maharaja Hari Singh, ruler of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, on 26 October 1947. By executing this document under the provisions of the Indian Independence Act 1947, Maharaja Hari Singh agreed to accede to the Dominion of India.   .. .. sadly within few decades, it showed an ugly face to the World when the exodus started in Sept 1989, leaving only a few thousand of them behind in the Valley and about seven and a half lakh Kashmiri Pandits were left to live the life of refugees in their own country.  The act of losing something can ensure that you elicit great wisdom. For the hapless Pandit, this wisdom translates into pain.

Today, we read far too different stories on Kashmir.  .. .. today’s reports read that a soldier was killed after protesters threw stones at an army convoy passing through the Anantnag bypass tri-junction in Jammu and Kashmir.  Rajendra Singh (22), who was part of a quick reaction team responsible for providing security cover to a Border Roads Organisation team, died in a hospital today. Sad, instead of mourning, we are debating on ‘dosa’ and its casteist dimensions !!

Our neighbouring country has been trading propaganda war on Kashmir ~ it is 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. AT the UN Conference, Pak Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the United Nations General Assembly session, said Pakistan wants peace with India but maintained it is "not possible without resolving the Kashmir issue". 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”.  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.

To recall some history, back in Aug  1965, Pakistan Army's airborne paratroopers and Pakistan Army's guerrillas, disguised as locals, entered Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan with the goal of fomenting an insurgency among Kashmiri Muslims. However, the strategy went awry from the outset due to poor coordination, and the infiltrators were soon discovered. The operation sparked the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the first major engagement between the two neighbours.  Much of the war was fought by the countries' land forces in Kashmir and along the International Border between India and Pakistan. This war saw the largest amassing of troops in Kashmir since the Partition of British India -  in the end, Pakistan was made to realise the futility of war, pushed to the corner surrendered.

Nearly a thousand year ago, our Acaryar Sri Ramanujar on a pilgrimmage visited Srinagar searching for manuscript of Bodhayana-vritti, a commentary  on the Brahmasutra by Bodhyana.  His ardent disciple Kuresar was able to memorise it in one glance; the commentary of Udayavar is known as Sri Bashyam ~ Goddess of learning Saraswathi approving Sri Bashyam conferred the title  ‘Bashyakara’ on Sri Ramanujar.  Thus was fulfilled the main desire of Alavandhar – writing of an authoritative and illuminating commentary on Brahma sutra. Kashmir is associated with Adhi Sankarar.  He is believed to have written ‘Saundarya Lahari’, in praise of Shakti, at the top of the hill, known till then as Gopadari Hill.  The Shankaracharya Temple is situated on the top of the Shankaracharya hill, also called Gopadari Hill,  in the Zabarwan Mountain in Srinagar, Kashmir. The temple is on the summit of the same name at a height of 1,000 feet (300 m) above the plain and overlooks the city of Srinagar.

Today is an all important day – ‘Accession Day ‘  is celebrated on October 26 every year to commemorate the day when the last Dogra ruler of Jammu and Kashmir Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in 1947. The agreement made the former independent princely state of J&K join the Union of India.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Oct 2018.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

West Side Story ~ Steven Spielberg .. 'red genia' ~ Satyagouri Mahal

His first professional TV job came when he was hired to direct one of the segments for the 1969 pilot episode of Night Gallery, written by Rod Serling and starring Joan Crawford. Crawford, however, was "speechless, and then horrified" at the thought of a twenty-one-year-old newcomer directing her, one of Hollywood's leading stars. "Why was this happening to me?" she asked the producer. !!  - more than changing the attitude, the man made little child ‘Oliwia Dabrowska’ – turn a legend some 25 years ago !!  ~ and this post has something on Cocanada (Circar area) cinema road theatre ‘Satyagouri’ [Sachhyagowri !] ~ the typewriter naturally attracted this typist !

The Sugarland Express, in 1974 crime drama film was  co-written and directed by Steven Spielberg in his theatrical feature directorial debut. It was  about a husband and wife trying to outrun the law and was based on a real-life incident. The event partially took place, the story is partially set, and the movie was partially filmed in Sugar Land, Texas.
The famous man - Steven Allan Spielberg KBE OMRI  is a legendary  filmmaker. He is considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era and one of the most popular directors and producers in film history.  After gaining traction in Hollywood with directing television and several minor theatrical releases, Spielberg became a household name as the director of Jaws (1975), which was critically and commercially successful, and is considered the first summer blockbuster.  His subsequent releases focused typically on science fiction and adventure films, with Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), the Indiana Jones series, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and the Jurassic Park series seen as archetypes of modern Hollywood escapist film making.  Spielberg co-founded Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks Studios, where he has also served as a producer for several successful films, including the Back to the Future, Men in Black, and Transformers series. Some of his movies are also among the highest-grossing movies of all-time, while his total work, unadjusted for ticket-price inflation, makes him the highest-grossing film director in history.

The three-time Academy Award winner scored his best box office tally in two decades with 'Ready Player One,' a sci-fi romp that grossed $582 million.  Today, a slice of the cash from every ticket at Universal theme parks goes directly into Spielberg's pocket thanks to blockbuster hits like 'E.T.'  The man is in news – for his  upcoming film adaptation of West Side Story—the classic musical about rival street gangs in 1950s New York City—has found its male lead, Ansel Elgort, and is on track for a summer production start. Still, the Oscar winner isn’t quite ready to discuss the remake publicly.

“I don’t like to talk about things when I’m in the process. I’m still discovering things as I am working on the film. But I think it’s going to be special,” said Spielberg at the Arthur Miller Foundation Honors in New York, where he turned out to support West Side Story screenwriter Tony Kushner—recipient of the foundation’s humanitarian award. But unlike his collaborator, Kushner had plenty to say about the forthcoming movie. The playwright said that the new adaptation will not be an exact retelling of Robert Wise’s iconic 1961 film, instead, Spielberg’s version will turn back to the original 1957 Broadway musical written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.  Some critics are against the idea of remaking West Side Story, arguing that the beloved original film—which won 10 Oscars, including best picture—should be left alone. Kushner, of course, disagrees. “Our version is not meant to wipe out the original film, which is a masterpiece. It’s just meant to be a new interpretation,” he said.

In good olden days of 1970s, people would stand in the line in long queues, before the film was released for buying a Rs.2.90 ticket at Devi Paradise !  Of the many Cinema halls in Cinema Road in Kakinada in East Godavari district, Satyagowri (written as Satyagouri mahal on its façade)  was perhaps unique.  In 1990s it used to screen only English movies – the specialty was they would issue only one ticket to the person standing in the queue, all had to stand in the queue and those who stood within the marked line, were sure of getting a ticket ! – it had good music system inside – understand that this theatre stands renovated in 2008, has increased  capacity and now screens Telegu movies as well – understand that this theatre after renovation  in 2008, it has  capacity of 696 and now screens Telegu movies as well.  I remember seeing this movie there – on day 1 – there were not many and more than half moved out fast in a few minutes as they could see more of a typewriter and letter only as someone leaving the hall remarked that after 20 minutes, the film is yet to begin !!

Oliwia Dabrowska, the polish actress who played Red Genia — otherwise known as the little girl in the red coat — became an instant celebrity.    Perhaps the most moving image in Steven Spielberg's epic Schindler's List is the little girl in the red coat, one of only four color images in the three-hour black and white film. Our attention is drawn to the little blonde tot, overlooked by the Nazi troops, who wanders alone amid the horror and panic. She is wearing a red coat which draws the viewer to her even when she is but one of a hundred people in a wide shot.

The movie  ‘Schindler’s List’ was  based on the novel Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally, an Australian novelist,  released in 1993 -  directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian.  It was a film based on the life of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories. It starred Liam Neeson as Schindler.  Reportedly, Poldek Pfefferberg, one of the Schindlerjuden (Schindler Jews), made it his life's mission to tell the story of Schindler. Spielberg became interested in the story when executive Sid Sheinberg sent him a book review of Schindler's Ark. 

Schindler’s List perhaps  was a turning point for Steven Spielberg. As the movie turns 25 this year, some hold that the World started looking at Spielberg with more awe and regard.  The Academy Awards has often had a love/hate relationship with Steven Spielberg. On one hand, he made a lot of money for the industry. Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. were all nominated for Best Picture. However, a combination of jealousy and snobbery meant that several members of the Academy dismissed his early work as too sentimental, too crowd-pleasing to be important art.

Interesting !  ~  perhaps now (this juncture in life) is more suited to see and understand that masterpiece of Spielberg – ‘the Schindler’s list’.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23rd Oct 2018.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Battle of Saraighat ~ debut of Baraspara and chasing 300 with ridiculous ease

Guwahati (Pragjyotishpura in ancient Assam, Gauhati in the modern era) is the largest city in the Indian state of Assam and also the largest urban area in Northeast India. A major riverine port city and one of the fastest growing cities in India, Guwahati is situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra. The ancient cities of Pragjyotishpura and Durjaya (North Guwahati) were the capitals of the ancient state of Kamarupa . Many ancient Hindu temples are in the city, giving it the name "City of Temples”. Guwahati lies between the banks of the Brahmaputra River and the foothills of the Shillong plateau, with LGB International Airport to the west and the town of Narengi to the east.  The city was the seat of the Borphukan, the civil military authority of the Lower Assam region appointed by the Ahom kings.

Today it was a debut of sorts ~ Rishab Pant, C Hemraj & O Thomas and .. .. the stadium – Baraspara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati in Match no. 4056 -  The stadium was inaugurated by Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal on 10 Oct  2017. It has become India's 49th international cricket venue. In 2010, Assam Cricket Association changed the Stadium’s name in memory of the late Dr. Bhupen Hazarika. His songs, written and sung mainly in the Assamese language by himself, are marked by humanity and universal brotherhood and have been translated and sung in many languages, most notably in Bengali and Hindi. He was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, in 2012.

Rishab Pant played as a batsman – in fact the commentators were speaking on his running after the ball, not having seen him do that in lesser matches even.  Remember that Chandrakant Pandit, played some games as a pure batsman and perhaps recently it was Dinesh Kartik.  It is a luxury for a wicket keeper to get a chance as a batsman in the X1, overshadowing some others.  For WI, Indian sounding - Chandrapaul Hemraj made his debut.  The 25 year old is no relation of the more famous Shivnaraine Chanderpaul who played in 164 tests made 11867 runs with 30 tons and 8778 runs in 268 ODIs and played 22 T20s too.  Today Hamraj was castled having made 9 with couple of boundary hits. In 2017, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul had the honour of playing with his son Tagenarine in a first class match against Jamaica in Kingston.  There were reports that there were full of banners with old photos of the two captains. Every 50 metres or so, the state's chief minister was also on the banner. Outside the stadium's main gate, counterfeit Virat Kohli India jerseys sold like hot cakes.   Guwahati, in the state of Assam, last hosted an ODI in Nov 2010, when the Nehru Stadium was being used.

West Indies mustered 300 + ;  way back in Feb 22, 1979 at St. Johns, WI crossed 300 for the first time. They were 313/9. Desmond Haynes made 148 off 136 balls and he opened with RA Austin ! ~ Viv Richards, Alwin Kalicharan, SFA Bacchus, Shillingford, DL Murray, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Wayne Daniel and Colin Croft was the team.  Aussie bowling attack was spearheaded by Jeff Thomson who had figures of 10-0-67-4; supported by WM Clark, IW Callen, TJ Laughlin (father of Ben Laughlin); RB Simpson and Gary Cosier.

The next time WI crossed 300 was at Jamshedpur in Dec 1983 when Gordon Greenidge (115) and Viv Richards 149 carted Indian bowlers all around. Clive Lloyd was the Captain ~ from 27/1, they reached 248/2 and 332/8.  Kapil Dev had figures of 9-1-44-3; Chetan Sharma 9-0-60-3; Binny 17 off 1.5; Madanlal 47 off 9,  Mohinder 9.1 – 79 & Ravi Shastri, the present coach had figures of 7-0-77-1.

Today the target of 323 was hit with ridiculous ease.  India 326 for 2 (Rohit 151*, Kohli 140) beat West Indies 322 for 8 (Hetmeyer 106, Kieran 51, Chahal 3-41) by 8 wickets.  Shimron Hetmeyer scored his third hundred in only his 13th  ODI, a display of attractive strokeplay, but the  hapless West Indies bowlers found themselves caught in a hit-out between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who chased down 323 with ridiculous ease. Kohli scored his 36th ODI hundred - his 22nd in chases - and Rohit his 20th. They added 246 delightful runs, their 15th century partnership and fifth of 200 or more. This partnership's aggregate is now only five behind Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan in this era of Indian ODI cricket.  

Indian bowlers had a forgettable day ~ Mohammed Shami 10-0-81-2; Umesh Yadav & Khaleel Ahmed 64 in 10 and Ravindra Jadeja 10-0-66-2; Yajuvindra Chahal had figures of 10-0-41-3 before Kohli’s century and Rohit’s unbeaten 151 saved the day

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
21st Oct 2018 @ 10.30 pm.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Oriental denies claim to victim of mob lynching citing criminal act

Tripura defeated Manipur by 75 runs in the Women Cricket Under 19 T 20 League 2018-19, played at Nimpur Ground in Cuttack of Odisha.  Tripura in North East India is third-smallest state in the country.  It is bordered by Bangladesh to the north, south, and west, and the Indian states of Assam and Mizoram to the east.

The area of modern 'Tripura' was ruled for several centuries by the Tripuri dynasty. The independent Tripuri Kingdom (or Hill Tippera) joined the newly independent India in 1949.  The Ujjayanta Palace is a museum and the former palace of the Kingdom of Tripura situated in Agartala, which is now the capital of the Indian state of Tripura. The palace was constructed between 1899 and 1901 by the King of Tripura, and stands on the banks of two lakes surrounded by gardens. It was the home of the ruling Manikya dynasty until Tripura's merger into India in 1949.  Ujjayanta Palace is now a State Museum; its name was given by Rabindranath Tagore, the first Nobel Prize laureate in Literature in Asia and a frequent visitor to the princely state as guest of the Tripura royal family.

Agartala is in news for wrong reasons in recent past.  Sukanta Chakraborty, 36, who was appealing to the public on behalf of the administration to refrain from rumour-mongering on social media,  himself fell victim of a mass hysteria over child-lifting that has claimed two lives and left as many as six people injured in three separate incidents in the past 48 hours, forcing the government to suspend all mobile internet services for two days. Chakraborty’s lynching came just hours after Uttar Pradesh resident Zahir Khan, who had been selling crockery and garments in remote markets of the state for the past 20 years, was killed and three others severely injured after 300-odd mob attacked them on suspicion of being child-lifters at Murabari in West Tripura district, about 30 km from Agartala, police sources told Outlook.

The trigger for the three back-to-back attacks, the sources said, were the alleged reports about illegal harvesting of the kidneys and other organs of an 11-year-old boy, Purna Biswas, who was found dead in the Tulabagan area of West Tripura district.  Amid reports of clashes between locals and the police over the incident, chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb took to social media to debunk the rumours, and claimed that the kidneys and other organs of the boy were found intact, citing the autopsy report.

The PSU – Oriental Insurance Co had issued GPA earlier in favour of Governor of Uttar Pradesh for the coverage of personal accidental insurance benefit up to a maximum of Rs.5.00 lakhs to the head of the family/bread winner of the covered family.   Mukhyamantri Kisan Evam Sarvhit Bima Yojna (earlier name Samajwadi Kisan Evam Sarvhit Bima Yojna) was introduced by the Government of U.P., insuring Head/Bread winner of the families of farmers and also for landless farmers, small businessman, labours, shopkeepers, coolies etc. of the Uttar Pradesh, whose income was below Rs.75,000/- per annum. Personal Accident policies in general, inter-alia exclude  death /injury / disablement   (a) from intentional self-injury, suicide or attempted suicide, (b) whilst under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs (c) whilst engaging in Aviation or ballooning or whilst mounting into, dismounting from or traveling in any aircraft other than as a passenger (fare paying or otherwise) in any duly licensed standard type of aircraft anywhere in the world, (d) directly or indirectly caused by venereal disease/s, or insanity, (e) arising or resulting from the insured committing any breach of law with criminal intent.

Today, read a report in National Herald web edition that Oriental insurance had repudiated a claim of Tripura lynching victim stating that  the deceased was killed by the public because at that time he was involved in a crime.

In a detailed report, the paper reports that the wife of the deceased received a letter from   the Muzaffarnagar branch of the Oriental Insurance Company. The letter she has received from the insurance company mentions that the deceased was killed by the public because at that time the deceased was involved in the crime of attempting to kidnap. Therefore, under Mukhyamantri Kisan Sarvhit Bima Yojana, the person is understood to be involved in a criminal conspiracy at the time of murder. So the claim is not determined, the correspondence hence is closed.”

The deceased Zahid had 2 bighas of land, and under Uttar Pradesh Sarvajit Kisan Bima Yojana, after the death of the farmer due to accident or murder, his family gets compensation of ₹5 lakh. Zahid has three children. His family had applied for compensation under Uttar Pradesh Sarvahit Kisan Bima Yojanaand has received this response.

Newspaper report further citing Tripura police investigator states this to be  incorrect.  It adds that the victim’s family has not received any government aid. His family applied for compensation under this insurance scheme. It was examined by the local tehsil. After 4 months, the Insurance Company has closed the claim with a letter of repudiation. The family too stated that it is totally wrong and that he never had any criminal case against him, the killing was claimed to be a fall-out of child-lifting in the area. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Oct 2018.
Source :

What is Underwriting ........... and Underwriting agreement !

What happens when a Q is put to an ordinary man and an expert ?

While an Ordinary man would try and answer looking into various realms, Specialist’s answer would get constrained to the field of specialization.  He may be authentic, yet would be constricted to a specific set of ideas.  Now the Q is what is Underwriting ?

photo above : Bharat Insurance Building, Mountroad, Chennai

Those in Insurance industry transact Insurance business and call themselves  variously Insurers, Assurers, Underwriters, Risk Managers and so on.  Insurance primarily is a form of risk management providing protection against uncertain losses.  In a way it is the equitable transfer of a risk of a loss from one entity to another, in exchange of consideration called premium. Insurance Company is the one selling insurance; the rate determined for undertaking the risk is known as premium.  Insurance is a  contract whereby one person, the Insurer – promises and undertakes in exchange of consideration to indemnify the policy holder in the event of a loss or damage occurring due to certain specified perils.  There are sound theories of ‘law of large numbers’ and the like. 

The man at the helm, evaluates, analyses and determines whether the proposed risk should be accepted, if so on what terms and conditions and at what rates- that is Underwriting.  The term comes from the tradition of Lloyds of London, a historical Insurer who has been in business for centuries.  The function of the underwriter is not only to collect premium enriching the coffers of Insurers but also to ensure protection to the company's book of business from risks that they feel will make a loss and issue insurance policies at a premium that is commensurate with the exposure presented by a risk But Underwriting is not restricted to ‘Insurance alone’.  Broadly, Underwriting refers to the process that a large financial service provider (bank, insurer, investment house) uses to assess the eligibility of a customer to receive their products (equity capital, insurance, mortgage, or credit). 

Securities underwriting :  refers to the process by which investment banks raise investment capital from investors on behalf of corporations and governments that are issuing securities (both equity and debt capital).

Underwriting agreement : Securities-purchase contract between an underwriter or underwriting syndicate and an issuer of bonds or shares. Among other terms, it specifies the price at which the security will be offered to the public (public offering price), underwriter's profit margin (underwriting spread), and the date by which the payments must be settled (settlement date).

Definition of 'Underwriting Agreement' : A contract between a group of investment bankers who form an underwriting group or syndicate, and the issuing corporation of a new securities issue. The underwriting agreement contains the details of the transaction, including the underwriting group's commitment to purchase the new securities issue, the price that the underwriting group will pay to the issuing corporation and the initial resale price.
Investopedia explains 'Underwriting Agreement'  as : Underwriting agreement can be considered the contract between a corporation issuing a new securities issue and the underwriting group that has agreed to purchase and then resell the issue for a profit. The purpose of the underwriting agreement is to ensure that all of the players understand their responsibility in the process, thus minimizing potential conflict.

The main purpose of an underwriting agreement is to clarify all the terms and conditions associated with the underwriting process related to these new securities. To that end, both the corporation and the underwriter will make specific commitments regarding the stock issue.

Some more Underwriting :

Real estate underwriting : In evaluation of a real estate loan, in addition to assessing the borrower, the property itself is scrutinized. Underwriters use the debt service coverage ratio to figure out whether the property is capable of redeeming its own value or not....

Forensic underwriting : is the "after-the-fact" process used by lenders to determine what went wrong with a mortgage. Forensic underwriting refers to a borrower's ability to work out a modification scenario with their current lien holder, not to qualify them for a new loan or a refinance. This is typically done by an underwriter staffed with a team of people who are experienced in every aspect of the real estate field.

Have heard this with reference to study of large losses by Insurers also.

Sponsorship underwriting: will  refer to financial sponsorship of a venture, and is also used as a term within public broadcasting (both public television and radio) to describe funding given by a company or organization for the operations of the service, in exchange for a mention of their product or service within the station's programming.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th Feb 2015.