Search This Blog

Thursday, November 29, 2018

John Doe order could not constrain Tamil Rockers - Ranji 2.0

Meet John Doe was  a 1941 American comedy-drama film directed and produced by Frank Capra,  starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The film was about a "grassroots" political campaign created unwittingly by a newspaper columnist with the involvement of a hired homeless man and pursued by the paper's wealthy owner.

The much hyped 2.0 ~ the sequel to Rajnikant starrer ‘Enthiran’ could suffer matching the expectations – as the original  kept the audience glued to its storyline – all credit to Sujatha, the great writer and the director Shankar.  The storyline was :  Dr Vaseegaran, a scientist working on alternative intelligence develops a humanoid  robot  which gets rejected by sinister designs.  At a point of time, the robot ‘Chitti’ asks why he has not been provided with ‘emotion’.  Dr Vaseegaran reprogrammes it with human feelings and emotions so that it could  distinguish between right and wrong. However things go wrong when Chitti falls in love with Sana (Aishwarya).   The making of Chitti and developing its functions was well depicted – I felt saddened when Chitti is dismantled [rather asked to self-destruct] and dumped in Perungudi  garbage !

That was not much -  when compared to the lumpen feeling I had  reading the travails of the little Jeeno, in the most interesting Sci-fi of Sujatha -  ‘En Iniya Eyanthira ’  and Meendum Jeano – the story of robotic dog woven subtly around a dictator who keeps the Nation under tight grip.  The real identity of the Head when known at the end  was the real classical revelation.    The pet robot dog which can think beyond humans, assists the dumb Nila in search of her spouse Sibi into bigger things.  Towards the end, the cute exceptional dog loses it memory and back up and fades away ! I felt very sad reading of its end  -  illogical it might sound, it was after all a story – yet  !!

Understand reading media reports that in  ‘2.0’, described as the “successor” to 2010’s ‘Enthiran’/‘Robot’, Dr Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth) is back as the scientist developing artificial intelligence. He works in a state-of-the-art lab with only one co-worker—NILA, an acronym of Nice Intelligent Lovely Assistant, played by Amy Jackson.  A freak event of all the cellphones from Tamil Nadu getting sucked into the troposphere leaves the state authorities flummoxed and the citizens bereft. Days later, a few prominent businessmen and politicians are brutally killed. The phones reappear in menacing, violent ways, mainly as an amorphous entity that begins to wreak fear and havoc. The Ministery intervenes and gives permission for the return of the disgraced Chitti who is kept in a museum !  ~ no more story, as I have neither seen nor am greatly interested.

The movie has been released today and there are mixed reports – fans hailing, detractors criticizing.  It will take time to get a settled view .. .. meantime, prior to its release,  Madras High Court  directed 37 internet service providers (ISPs) to block over 12,000 websites that exhibit pirated versions of Tamil movies. The list included more than 2,000 websites operated by ‘TamilRockers’. Justice M Sundar passed the order on Wednesday while allowing a plea moved by Lyca Productions Private Limited, the movie’s producer.

When the plea came up, Lyca’s counsel Vijayan Subramanian produced an extensive list of 12,564 illegal websites. The counsel contended that when ‘TamilRockers’ website is blocked, it immediately creates mirror websites by changing an insignificant part of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or any other extension, and are therefore able to reinstate the infringing material with minimal effort. Subramanian produced a probable list of extension of ‘TamilRockers’ and sought an injunction against all such websites. According to Lyca, its latest venture is 2.0, starring Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson and others. Directed by S. Shankar, the movie is releasing in more than five languages, including Mandarin in China.

The trailer for the promotion of the film has been released. The official trailer, published on YouTube, has already garnered 13,089,498 views, the counsel said. While the company has acquired all exploitation and distribution rights including theatrical and music, besides other rights, including TV, internet, digital and home video exclusively, under the Copyright Act, it apprehended that such illegal websites might exhibit pirated versions of the film soon after its release. According to the counsel, the web pages and websites which provide such links are multifarious and are disbursed all over the globe. Such websites are allowed to be viewed in India through various internet service providers such as the 37 listed in the plea, the company contended.

An ‘Ashok Kumar’ or a ‘John Doe’ order, is an order in a suit brought against unknown and unnamed defendants, to counter the possibility that someone, somewhere, may possibly be infringing upon the rights of the plaintiff.   The term ‘John Doe’ order traces its origin all the way to medieval England. They usually indicated towards orders directed against persons or groups that are not identifiable. Oxford Dictionary defined John Doe as “Anonymous Party”. These orders are significant in modern days, where technology and the large influence of social media groups make identification quite hard. They are often used when the complaint finds it hard to identify the exact details of the accused who are protected by the expanse and anonymity particularly of the cyber world.

John Doe orders provide relief to the victims and grant timely protection of their rights by avoiding the delay and difficulties in seeking relief due to anonymity of the offenders. Ashok Kumar is the Indian substitute of John Doe and nobody knows how the name came to be used as a local substitute for John Doe.  But the name has gained legal acceptability, according to India Legal.

Call it by whatever name Western John Doe, Indian Ashok Kumar or any other local name – perhaps the efficacy of the order was nullified as by afternoon so many friends claimed that the film could so easily be downloaded from the web – and that Tamil Rockers has rocked more than Enthiran or 2.0.

Interesting ! ~ believe me, the photo at the start has nothing to do with the movie.. .. .. 2.0

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Nov. 2018

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

sad tale of dropping of Mithali Raj ~ would Board & coach explain ?

In Cricket, especially in shorter versions, it is the form and sooner a star player could be shown the exit – gone are those days, when players got selected on reputation. The effervescent king  MS Dhoni stands omitted from T20s  .. .. and there was more Shocking thing to happen – a player who has socred 663 runs in 10 tests; 6550 runs in 197 ODIs and 2283 in 85 T20s was dropped for an all important match – which India lost  - it was a ,World T20 semi-final, against the very side that broke their hearts in the World Cup final last year.

In Aug 2014   at  Wormsley  ‘Indian women won the One-off test by 6 Wickets’… England Women 92 & 202; India Women 114 & 183/4 (95.3 ov) is what the brief score reveals ..   There were 10 debutants – 8 from Indian side (E Bisht,  Murugesan Dickeshwashankar Thirush Kamini, H Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Nagarajan Niranjana, S Pandey, PG Raut and  Shubhlakshmi Rajendra Sharma) and that has a story to reveal….a sad one at that ….. prior to that - the last time England Women hosted their Indian counterparts in a Test match was when  Tony Blair was Prime Minister in 2006 and only three players of that match remained - players - Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Karu Jain – not the fault of others, as 8 years had  rolled by in-between.  In Sept 2006 at Taunton, in Test no. 129, Mithali Raj was the Captain; the star was seam bowler Jhulan Goswami, who took five wickets in each innings and ended with superb figures of 10 for 78. 

Mithali Raj is a fabulous player – way back in Aug 2002, at Taunton,  Mithali Raj  made the highest score in the history of women's Test cricket – 214 ! - The 19-year-old from Jodhpur smashed several records on her way making 214 off 407 balls with 19 fours .. a classy player, now getting drowned.

After enjoying an unbeaten run in the group stage of the Women's World T20 in Guyana, India's batsmen collapsed spectacularly against England in their semi-final in North Sound and exited the tournament. An attacking approach - amplified by captain Harmanpreet Kaur's blistering hundred in the tournament opener - had served India well in Guyana, but it worked against them at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, which offered more turn to the spinners. Harmanpreet, Veda Krishnamurthy and Anuja Patil all fell while looking to hit aerially, as India crashed from 89 for 2 to 112 all out. .. .. and there was no place for Mithali Raj !! – she had been dropped !!!

Mithali Raj has accused India women head coach Ramesh Powar and former captain Diana Edulji - a member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) supervising the BCCI's operations - of leaving her "deflated, depressed and let down" with their actions during the recently concluded World T20 in the Caribbean.
Raj, who was controversially left out of the starting XI in India's eight-wicket semi-final loss to England, has also termed India T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur's decision to support her exclusion "baffling and hurtful". Ever since Mithali Raj was dropped for the World T20 sem-final against England, there have been murmurs that India's T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur does not get along with her senior team-mate. After the game, Harmanpreet had said, "We were going with a winning combination. We did really well against Australia. And that is the reason we just wanted to go with the same combination." In her email, Raj called Harmanpreet's decision "hurtful", but said she was still optimistic of sorting out any differences via a face-to-face meeting.

"I have nothing against the T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur except for the fact that her call to support the decision of the coach to leave me out of the eleven was baffling and hurtful," Raj said in the email. "I wanted to win the world cup for my country and it hurts me because we lost a golden opportunity. But I am of the opinion that Harman and I are senior players and our issues, if any, should be sorted out by the two of us by sitting across the table.  Raj laid bare her feelings in an email on Tuesday to the BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and the BCCI general manager, cricket operations and women's cricket, Saba Karim. Raj sent the email a day after meeting Johri and Karim in Mumbai to discuss the fallout of the controversy concerning her exclusion from the World T20 semi-final. Among others who met Johri and Karim on Monday were Harmanpreet and team manager Trupti Bhattacharya.
In the email, accessed by ESPNcricinfo, the majority of Raj's ire is directed at Powar, the former Mumbai and India offspinner who took over as the India women head coach in July, after Tushar Arothe's resignation.

Raj, who has opened the batting across formats for the past several years, was pushed down the order in India's tournament opener against New Zealand. According to Raj, Powar told her the move was made in order to increase India's batting depth. Raj says she approached Sudha Shah, the national selector on tour, after Powar told her she wouldn't open. On the morning of the next game, against Pakistan, Powar told her she would open. Raj opened against Pakistan and Ireland, and scored half-centuries in both games. Raj reaching out to the selectors, according to her email, changed Powar's behaviour towards her.

Raj injured her knee during the match against Ireland and missed India's final group game, against Australia. Raj says Powar told her "not to come to the ground" for that match, and - after she asked the manager to intervene - "not to step out of the dressing room" for its duration. Then, Raj says Powar called her onto the ground to join her team-mates in a victory lap. Raj's knee recovered in time for the semi-final, but she says it was evident days before the match that Powar had made up his mind to leave her out. Raj says she was paired up with the lower-middle-order batsmen in the nets, and made to face part-time bowlers. "The kind of practice given to a player who is not in your scheme of things in a key match." Raj also said she felt let down by Edulji, her former Railways and India captain, who had said it was not the CoA's "headache" to interfere in the controversy surrounding the semi-final, or any other decision of the team management.

The fact that the media gained access to Raj's mail, meanwhile, has perturbed Amitabh Choudhary, the BCCI's acting secretary. He emailed Johri and Karim, with the subject line "LEAKAGE OF REPORT".

For statistics, Mithali’s 214 was pushed to 2nd place in 2004 by Kiran Maqsood Baluch a Pak player, who made her debut in  1997. She went on to play 40 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 3 Test matches for Pakistan. Her 242 against the West Indies in 2004 is the highest individual score in Women's Test cricket.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Nov. 2018.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Puerto Rican wrestler knocked out unconscious - with concrete block throw !

John Ceena, Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels,  Triple H, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Kane, Rey Mysterio, Eddie Gurrero, Dave Batistua,  Mike Henry .. .. ..  the list could extend more .. .. ..    famous sportspersons !!!  -  WWE, TNA, ROH and many more … all names of Wrestling shows that are shown on TV – not what you see in Olympics, Asiads and such International competitions – ‘wrestling manias’ promoted by many entertainment media.  Ask your children of chokeslam; frog splash; brainbuster; taste of pain; sleeper with body scissors; tadpole splash; patriot lock; tombstone; 619; bombshell; bull hammer …… !! to parents such shows could be nauseating and would feel that their children should never see these shows; .. but children are already addicted to them.  There are varied yardsticks to greatness and in WWE – they could well be :  the entrance music, finishing move, on the mic, in the ring and more …  

A couple of years ago, The world of Mexican wrestling was deeply shaken by the death of star fighter Hijo del Perro Aguayo, who collapsed after being kicked during a bout.  The lucha libre fighter, was left slumped against the ropes after a flying kick from one of his opponents, Rey Mysterio, during a match.  The other wrestlers continued with the fight as Aguayo's limp body slid down onto the mat, according to video footage of the bout posted on social media. The video showed ringside personnel repeatedly shaking Aguayo and talking to him without any response. He eventually received medical attention and was rushed out of the arena in the city of Tijuana.

With the Doctors  unable to revive him. AAA, the wrestling promotion company for which Aguayo worked, said it was informed of his death around 1 a.m next day. He was 35 years old.  On that fateful day,  Aguayo wrestled a tag match, teaming with Manik against Rey Mysterio Jr. and Xtreme Tiger at a show in Tijuana, Mexico. During the match, Mysterio used a headscissors takedown to propel Aguayo out of the ring, but Aguayo quickly returned to the ring, upon-which Mysterio dropkicked Aguayo in the back to set up for Mysterio's signature 619 as Aguayo landed throat-first on the middle rope. Manik then fell onto the middle rope to set up a double 619 spot, whiplashing the rope Aguayo was resting on.   When paramedics arrived, Aguayo was brought to the local Del Prado hospital, where he was pronounced dead. According to the initial announcement from the hospital, Aguayo died from a cervical spine trauma, reportedly as a result of a dropkick ; at the time of the incident Aguayo was not immediately attended to by a physician and was actually taken from the ring on a piece of plywood instead of a stretcher, which lead to some criticism of the event organizers. 

Whatever it could have been – and whatever name be it called – it was not Sports but something brutal -  the Mexican wrestling star was  dealt fatal blow in the ring in front of thousands of people... and the show kept going as he remained motionless on the mat for two minutes ~ and we call all these games and entertainment !! Óscar Gutiérrez,  better known by the ring name Rey Mysterio, is a Mexican-American professional wrestler.  Now read this : A wrestler is fighting for his life following emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain after a rival threw a 'concrete block' at his head during a 'death match.'

Puerto Rican wrestler Cuervo who had been competing in Mexico was knocked unconscious after the brutal assault from rival Angel o Demonio. During the match, Cuervo repeatedly struck Demonio with a steel chair before Demonio went backstage area and returned armed with a concrete block. .. .. is this involving humans, one tends to think !!

Cuervo  is fighting for his life following emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain after a rival threw a 'concrete block' at his head; he was knocked unconscious after the brutal assault from rival Angel o Demonio.  Footage showed Cuervo searching for his own weapon under the ring apron while fans cheer both men on, only for Demonio to launch the brick at him from behind. Cuervo, 44, real name Jaime Correa, was knocked immediately unconscious having been completely unprepared for the missile.

In  an industry built on theatrics, it is impossible to verify the true extent of the injuries. Professional wrestling stars have reacted with fury following the vicious attack, with former Olympic gold medal winning athlete Kurt Angle slamming the hit.  According to an update on Cuervo's Facebook page, surgery was required to remove the clot and hours later it was said to be a success by his manager. The Boxing and Wrestling Commission of Mexico have now indefinitely suspended Demonio, 54, real name Héctor González, for the horrifying attack. Angel o Demonio has insisted he was aiming for Cuervo's back but 'did not have the accuracy  ! 

~ these too are called Sports

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Nov. 2018.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Remembering Kakatiya Queen Rudramadevi

As we grow older, we perhaps feel that we have not studied history of India enough or what was portrayed in school text books were a bit skewed ! – yes a history as presented by commies and the British school of thought !!  We read about Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi, no doubt a valiant warrior .. .. however, the deeds of Queen Velu Nachiyar perhaps was not   documented with the same vigour, as history too lies in the eyes of the beholder.  Rani Velu Nachiyar (1730 – 1796), known as Veera mangai,  was the  queen of Sivaganga and was perhaps the  first queen to fight against the British colonial power in India.

It is unlikely that one may recognise the Queen depicted   riding a horse with a sword installed at  Chandupatla village of Nakrekal mandal.

History records that  Spartan  Princess Chilonis,  daughter of Leotychidas, wife of Cleonymus and mother of Areus II rose to prominence. Her much older husband Cleonymus was not allowed to succeed to his father's throne because of his violent and tyrannical behaviour, and had spent many years away from Sparta as a soldier of fortune.  Chilonis preferred death to a return to her husband; in Plutarch's account of the battle, she kept a rope tied around her neck ready to commit suicide in the case of defeat.    Cleopatra II (185 BC – 116 BC) was a queen of Ptolemaic Egypt who ruled from 175 to 116 BC with two successive brother-husbands and her daughter—often in rivalry with her brother Ptolemy VIII.    She was sole ruler of Egypt from 131 BC to 127 BC. Her final reign from 124 BC to 116 BC was also spent in coregency with Ptolemy VIII and Cleopatra III.

.. .. but you are unlikely to have read in history books this valiant woman ruler of Kakatiya dynasty !  ..  One ancient inscription discovered in 1994 suggests that Rudrama Devi died in battle at Chandupatla village on 27 November 1289  though some dispute this .. ..    Kakatiya dynasty was a South Indian dynasty with capital at  Orugallu, now known as Warangal.   The demise of Kakatiya dynasty resulted in confusion and anarchy under alien rulers for sometime, before the Musunuri Nayaksbrought stability to the region.

Rudhramadevi (రుద్రమదేవి) released in 2015 was  Telugu 3D epic historical fiction film based on the life of Rudrama Devi, prominent ruler of the Kakatiya dynasty in the Deccan, and one of the few ruling queens in Indian history.  Anushka Shetty portrayed the title role of Rudrama devi in the film  directed by Gunasekhar.   Allu Arjun, Rana Daggubati, Vikramjeet Virk, Krishnam Raju, Suman were also featured in this film.  The film's soundtrack and background score were composed by Isaignani Ilayaraja.  The Tamil version was released by Sri Thenandal films and grossed many a crores .. .. who is this Rudramadevi ?

Rani Rudrama Devi was a queen ruler  of the Kakatiya dynasty in the Deccan Plateau from 1263 until her death. She was one of the women to rule as monarchs in India .. .. Rudrama Devi probably began her rule of the Kakatiya kingdom jointly with her father, Ganapatideva, as his co-regent, from 1261-62. She assumed full sovereignty in 1263.  Unlike her Kakatiya predecessors, she chose to recruit as warriors many people who were not aristocratic, granting them rights over land tax revenue in return for their support. This was a significant change and one that was followed by her successor and also by the later Vijayanagara Empire.

Rudrama Devi faced challenges from the Eastern Ganga dynasty and the Yadavas soon after beginning her rule. She was able to repel the former, who retreated beyond the Godavari River in the late 1270s, and she also defeated the Yadavas, who were forced to cede territory in western Andhra.  However, she was bogged down by   internal dissent posed by the Kayastha chieftain Ambadeva after he became head of his line in 1273. Ambadeva objected to being subordinate to the Kakatiyas and he gained control of much of southwestern Andhra and what is now Guntur District.

Rudrama Devi married Virabhadra, a member of the Chalukya dynasty, probably in 1240.  Rudrama Devi is believed to have  died in 1289 while fighting Ambadeva.  She was succeeded by Prataparudra, a son of one of her daughters, who inherited a kingdom that was smaller than it had been when Rudrama Devi had ascended her throne.

In the movie version Rudramadevi, Ganapatideva was the emperor of the Kakatiya dynasty who rules Kakatiya Empire from Orugallu(present day Warangal, Telangana) as its Capital. With Kakatiya Dynasty at a problem, Ganapatideva's wife gives birth to a baby girl, but as the Dynasty is in big trouble and the people want a prince, not a princess,  the minister advises king to announce the baby girl as a boy. Rudramadevi was formally designated as a son and given the male name Rudradeva.

If only history had been recorded properly, in all probability, we would have been commemorating the mourning the death of the Queen this day, way back in 1289.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Nov. 2018.

Mumbai under siege ~ a decade ago !! - scars remain !!!

The frontpage of newspapers are not exactly screaming today .. .. .. a visitor to Mumbai, may get down at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, have a sip at Cafe Leopold, look on the way at Cama and Albless Hospital, pass through  big buildings and wonder whether an ordinary man can ever walk into Oberoi-Trident Hotel or the much inspiring  Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel on the sea-front !

From every angle, the Taj Palace near the Gate way of India, the imposing arch monument on the Arabic sea erected  to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder on their visit to India in 1911, prior to Delhi Durbar. The hotel preceded it – the Queen could have seen the hotel, but not the monument.                
                                             The historic Taj Mahal Palace hotel first opened its doors to guests 113 years ago, on December 16, 1903. Located in Colaba, Mumbai, the Taj Mahal hotel, or the Taj Palace hotel, was the country's first ever harbour landmark. Over the last century or so, the hotel has played host to royalty, several dignitaries, and eminent personalities from all over the world. A popular theory states that Jamshedji Tata built the hotel because he was refused entry at Watson Hotel, one of the grandest hotels of that time, which was for 'whites only. It was the first Indian hotel that had electricity, American fans, Turkish baths, German elevators, and English butlers. Later, it became the first ever hotel in the city that had a licensed bar and India's first discotheque, called Blow Up. It was also the first Indian hotel to have an air-conditioned ballroom and an all-day dining restaurant.  In 1903, when it first opened to guests, a room with fans and attached bathrooms would cost 13.

Operation Flood, launched in 1970, was a project of India's National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), which was the world's biggest dairy development program.  It transformed India from a milk-deficient nation into the world's largest milk producer, surpassing the USA in 1998.  All this was achieved not merely by mass production, but by production by the masses; the process has been called the white revolution. The Anand pattern experiment at Amul, a single, cooperative dairy, was the engine behind the success of the program.

In the beautiful motherland, there have been debates on surgical strikes with politicians calling for proof !! -  Nation can never forget this day  26/11 when it was  under siege by militants from across the border.  How many felt sorrowed and spoke for those martyrs of Police and jawans of the motherland ??

The horrific memories of the night when the terrorists hijacked the police vehicle  and killed top cops and then went on shooting innocents haunts people.   Comics are an integral part of every child’s growth – in our days we had the Ambulimama (chandamama) / Amar chitra katha.  Today’s kid are obsessed with Jetix of Walt Disney.     The illustrious   Bhaskar Kadam, Hemant Bawdhankar, Sanjay Govilkar, Tukaram Omble,  Hemant Karkare, Ashok Kamte ,  Vijay Salaskar, Shashank Shinde, Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Hawaldar Gajendra Singh – and the like should be the heroes whom the Nation must be reading and knowing.  There were so many unsung heroes too – for example the Fire Service of Mumbai whose personnel did not flinch once as they grabbed their gear and rushed to douse fire amid an intense gun battle.
It was the carnage of innocents – the  2008 Mumbai attacks [simply 26/11 – Indian hour of shame] were 11 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, by terrorists who came from Pakistan. Ajmal Kasab  who was captured alive, later claimed upon interrogation that the attacks were conducted with the support of Pakistan's ISI.  The attacks, which drew widespread global condemnation, began on Wednesday, 26 November and lasted until Saturday, 29 November 2008, killing 164 people and wounding at least 308.  The heroic efforts of Police, Military and NSG ensured that things were brought under control.   On 29 November, India's National Security Guards (NSG) conducted Operation Black Tornado to flush out the remaining attackers; it resulted in the death of the last remaining attackers at the Taj hotel and ending all fighting in the attacks.

Four years later, on  21st   Nov 2012, -  Ajmal Kasab, the living  face of Mumbai terror  was hanged.   In this great Nation of ours, even the killer was given a fair trial – the entire legal process unfolded with Kasab being served food and he asking for Urudu papers and more.  India took  the trouble to conduct and ensure, that it believed in a proper justice system and would deal with attacks against its people according to the law. There were so many victims whose pathetic cases were buried deep – and that was not restricted to humans.  In Dec 2014,  Sheru, a stray dog who took terrorists' bullets at CST during the 2611 attack died of a cardiac arrest after surviving a few years. 

Today, we recall those horrific memories and more particularly pay homage to our heroes who saved the Nation giving their lives protecting us.  Now to connect those places in 1st para  ~ they are not simply places, but places where innocents were butchered by the mindless Pakis.  At Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station – 58 people were killed; and leaving the station, the butchers fired at crowds killing 10 more;  at Cafe Leopold – 10 killed,  they did not leave hospitals too – at Cama and Albless Hospital a group of 6 Police officials were killed, at Nariman House, 7; at Oberoi-Trident Hotel, around 30 and at Iconic Taj, it was siege for 4 days when 31 people were killed.

After 26/11 – the butcher massacerer Ajmal Kasab was executed in Nov 2012,  in Jan 2013, the planner Headley was sentenced to 35 years in prison.  In Mar 2015, the   Islamabad High Court in Pakistan ordered the release of Lakhvi, calling his detention illegal.  In 2017,   Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the leader of a group associated with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, was placed under house arrest in Pakistan for his suspected role in the Mumbai attacks.  However,   Authorities in Pakistan say that Saeed has been freed from house arrest. The United States, which labels Saeed as the leader of Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, said it was "deeply concerned" about his release.

Today an official communiqué released at Washington DC, by Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State reads :

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America and all Americans, I express my solidarity with the people of India and the city of Mumbai on the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai terrorist attack. We stand with the families and friends of the victims, whose loved ones were lost in this act of barbarism, including six American citizens. The barbarity of 26/11 shocked the entire world. It is an affront to the families of the victims that, after ten years, those who planned the Mumbai attack have still not been convicted for their involvement. We call upon all countries, particularly Pakistan, to uphold their UN Security Council obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this atrocity, including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and its affiliates. The United States is committed to seeing that those responsible for this attack face justice. The Department of State Rewards for Justice (RFJ) Program is offering a new reward for up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any individual who was involved in planning or facilitating the 2008 Mumbai attack.

~ and inside our Nation, we still have people supporting every killer, every anti-National, every Urban Naxal, and speaking against our armed forces and Nation. Fie upon them .. ..

National Milk Day on January 11 commemorates the day that many think the first milk deliveries in glass bottles began in the United States.  Alexander Campbell of the New York Dairy Company professed to the New York State Senate that his company was the first to make these deliveries in 1878.  Back home in India, today  is National Milk Day, the birthday of Verghese Kurien,  who spearheaded  ‘Operation Flood’ the key instrumentality for transforming milk-starved India into the world’s largest producer, albeit with a fraction of the productivity achieved in advanced countries, through protection from imports, assured prices for farmers, improvement of livestock via artificial insemination, and a combination of decentralised processing with centralised marketing.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th Nov. 2018.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Appreciating those who have donated big in Cyclone Gaja relief

Whether you like him or not, you cannot wish him away – there were so many memes when he danced with heroines paying them his own money ! – yet people were complaining – Mr Arul of Saravana Legend now controlling the empire created by Sri Selvarathinam and Yogarathinam (Saravana Stores)

Cyclone and heavy weather are not unheard of ! ~ the Southern States know them too well.  Some records of Geological survey of India indicate that the southern part of Dhanushkodi township sank by almost 5 meters during 1948 due to tectonic movements. But something worst happened later  (23rd Dec) in 1964 – a cyclonic storm wiped out part of the Nation and took away Dhanushkodi from the Indian map.  It is stated that it was the formation of a depression with its centre at 5N 93E in South Andaman Sea on 17 December 1964. On 19th  December it intensified into a cyclonic storm. On 22 December it crossed Vavunia of Srilanka with a wind velocity of 150 knots (280 km/h), moved into Palk Strait in the night and crashed into Dhanushkodi of Rameshwaram island on the night of 22–23 December 1964. It was estimated that tidal waves were 8 yards high when it crossed Rameshwaram.  Fatefully, train No.653, Pamban-Dhanushkodi Passenger, a daily regular service with 110 passengers and 5 railway staff, was hit by a massive tidal wave near the Dhanushkodi station and was washed away killing all its passengers.

On Nov 5, 2018 -  a low pressure system formed over the Gulf of Thailand. The system crossed through Southern Thailand and the Malay Peninsula on Nov 8. The next day, it crossed into the Andaman Sea and lingered there, organizing further throughout the day and intensified into a depression over the Bay of Bengal on November 10. The next day, the system was designated by the IMD as BOB 09. Soon after, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) issued a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert (TCFA). At 00:00 UTC on November 11, the deep depression strengthened into a cyclonic storm, and was named 'Gaja'. There was red-alert too .. .. it made a landfall later – there were not even heavy rains in Chennai and social media made memes making fun that ‘Gaja went jaga’ – .. .. sadly, it had devastated Tamil Nadu

While the state capital Chennai was not affected by Gaja, a rare Blue Button Jelly Fish variety has been spotted at a city beach, compelling environmentalists to believe that it could have been an effect of cyclone Gaja. Enthusiasts and wildlife lovers have been thronging to Chennai's Marina beach to see the beautiful creatures.  According to information available in the open domain, the fish, also called Porpita porpita, are a different type of jellyfish, a colonial creature made up of hydroids. According to multiple reports, the fish variety was also spotted at the Jersey Shore after the Hurricane Florence receded in October. They were again spotted in Mumbai after August 2017 floods. This is reportedly the first time that they are being spotted at Marina beach in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and sought central assistance of Rs 15,000 crore for relief and rehabilitation work for the  destruction caused by Cyclone Gaja in the state.  According to the memorandum, the state government has sought Rs 14,910 crore towards permanent renovation activities, including in the power sector which lost crucial infrastructure in the cyclone.  Mr E Palaniswami said that Modi, responding to his request, deputed a central team to assess the damage caused by the cyclone. The state government released Rs 1000 crore for immediate relief and rehabilitation efforts in the affected areas. Chief Minister said a total of 3.41 lakh houses were damaged, while 1.04 lakh heads of cattle and birds perished in the cyclone. Noting that as many as 11.32 lakh trees had been uprooted, he said 7.27 lakh of them have been cleared. Around 3.78 lakh people were lodged in 556 relief camps, even as relief and renovation work was on, he said. Supply of electricity and drinking water was being gradually restored, he added.

Meantime, a division bench of the Madras High Court has ordered notice on another PIL petition praying for a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to assess forthwith the damage caused to the property, crops and livestock of the people in all villages in the delta districts, which were devastated by Cyclone Gaja on November 16 and 17 last and grant suitable compensation. The interim prayer seeks restoration forthwith the electricity supply in all villages in the delta districts of Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur and Pudukottai and distribute the relief materials on a war-footing.

                           Industrialists, political leaders and actors called on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and handed over their donations to the relief fund. Legend Saravanan, chairman of Legend Saravana Stores and MV Muthuramalingam, chairman, Velammal Educational Trust have contributed `one crore each.  Duty is cast on those who memed on Savarana Stores owner dancing and those enjoyed such fun, to heartily appreciate the generous gesture of Saravana Stores and all those who are doing their mite in relief work.

Appreciations to all of them

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th Nov. 2018

Friday, November 23, 2018

Indian Women struggling at Antigua in Semis - T20 WC 2018

The match is now on at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, in North Sound, Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda. It was built for use in the 2007 Cricket World Cup where it hosted Super 8 matches.  For those not following it is the 2nd Semi finals involving Team India and England – in the  ICC Women's World Twenty20, 2018.  ICC organized the first edition  in England in 2009. For the first three tournaments, there were eight participants, but this number raised to ten from the 2014 edition onwards. Australia are the most successful team at the World Twenty20, having won three tournaments, while the most recent tournament in 2016 was won by the West Indies.  Australia are already into the finals and now await the winner of today’s match !

Antigua  also known as Waladli by the native population, is an island in the West Indies. It is one of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean region and the main island of the country of Antigua and Barbuda. Antigua and Barbuda became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1981.  Antigua means "ancient" in Spanish.  The island's circumference is roughly 87 km (54 mi) and is  mainly reliant on tourism, with the agricultural sector serving the domestic market. English Harbour on the south-eastern coast is famed for its protected shelter during violent storms. It is the site of a restored British colonial naval station called "Nelson's Dockyard" after Captain Horatio Nelson.

Sugar became Antigua's main crop in about 1674,  when plantation came from  Barbados.  According to A Brief History of the Caribbean, many West Indian colonists initially tried to use locals as slaves. The enslaved Africans adapted better to the new environment and thus became the number one choice of unpaid labour; they also provided medical services and skilled labour, including carpentry, for their masters.  Sugar cane was one of the most grueling and dangerous crops slaves were forced to cultivate. Harvesting cane required backbreaking long days in sugar cane fields under the hot island sun.  The no. of slaves vastly increased in late 1700s. The Slave Act of 1723 made arbitrary murder of slaves a crime, but did not do much to ease their lives. They were subjected to many abuse and years alter in 1807 Great Britain abolished the slave trade !

England have a psychological advantage having prevailed over the nervy Indians in last year’s World Cup final – this is a different game, different place, different format – still will India have the mental power to survive seems to be the Q !!  for the 2nd Semi-Final (N), ICC Women's World T20 at North Sound, being played now. Mithali Raj sat out India's last group match against Australia to nurse a knee injury. Her replacement, the allounder Anuja Patil, picked up three wickets with her offspin but did not get to bat despite India needing nine batsmen. Today too, there was no Mithali Raj

Indians were coasting along – Smriti Mandhana had given a start – Harmanpreet and Rodrigues were hitting the ball all over – at 13.4 Indians were 89/2 and then came the collapse triggered by Eng captain Heather Knight – Indians were bowled out for 112 and England appears to be coasting to victory now !!

In the 1st Semis - Australia 142 for 5 (Healy 46, Lanning 31, Haynes 25*) swamped  West Indies 71 (Taylor 16, Perry 2-2, Gardner 2-15, Kimmince 2-17) by 71 runs.  Meg Lanning's side   vaulted into their fifth final, giving themselves a shot at a fourth title with a performance of a side with a demonstrated history of rising up at crunch moments. West Indies' hopes of a home final to do an encore of Kolkata 2016 went up in flames less than halfway into their chase of 143 on a sluggish surface where pace-off-the-ball was the most important mantra. Stafanie Taylor's 16 was the highest score in a sorry batting performance, with the hosts crumbling on the face of sustained pressure exerted with the new ball by Ellyse Perry, who now sits on 99 T20I wickets.

Mehul Choksi, an Indian billionaire businessman, wanted for alleged fraud in India, was granted Antiguan and Barbudan citizenship in November 2017.  Recently, the  local attorney representing wanted billionaire diamond dealer, confirmed that his client is ill, saying he has a serious cardiac condition and is on medical care in Antigua and Barbuda.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23.11.2018 @ 07.45 am.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Rains and more rains in Chennai

“vortex”  noun  :  environment a mass of air or water that spins around veryfast and pulls objects into its empty centre.  Literally sense it could also mean a   dangerous or bad situation in which youbecome more and more involved and from which you cannot escape:

In fluid dynamics, a vortex (plural vortices/vortexes) is a region in a fluid in which the flow revolves around an axis line, which may be straight or curved. Vortices form in stirred fluids, and may be observed in smoke rings, whirlpools in the wake of a boat, and the winds surrounding a tropical cyclone, tornado or dust devil. Vortices are a major component of turbulent flow.

Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth. It provides suitable conditions for many types of ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation.

After long  nervous and excruciating wait for rains – this week finally Nature decided to bless Chennai with the heaviest spell of rains in many days as widespread rains lashed the city around yesterday night.  While the southern suburbs areas missed out on the heavier spells Nungambakkam AWS recorded 80 mm at the time of post while the northern parts of the city like Madhavaram, Ennore, Puzhal recorded between 7 to 10 cms of rains until 4:30 AM in the morning.

When it rains and when water maroons some places, the immediate thought is to move out ! – in city roads, people would have difficulty in transportation – buses could be leaner, difficulty in reaching out the bus stands,  not many autos  would be found on road, most refuse, and many ask for the moon.  The mobile apps of Taxi operators would  either bunk  out or  show astronomical surge pricing !!

Within one week of Cyclone Gaja, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry are facing another depression. The depression over the Tamil Nadu coast is unlikely to become a tropical cyclone. However, heavy to very heavy rain with gusty winds reaching up to 50 kmph is forecast for Tamil Nadu. The path of depression has shifted slightly northward during the past 24 hours and hence, Chennai will get heavier rain than what the previous forecasts suggested.. As the depression moves inland tomorrow, rain will still continue along the coastline from Chennai to Pondicherry.  In the past 24 hours till 3 pm Wednesday, coastal Tamil Nadu has received over 100 mm rainfall across many regions.

Chennai District Collector has announced holiday for schools and colleges in Chennai district On Thursday (November 22) following prediction of heavy rains in the district. Holiday has been declared for educational institutions in Kancheepuram district too. Chennai will witness rains for the next two days while north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will see heavy rainfall in one of two places for the next three days, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted. Tamil Nadu will also witness moderate rainfall in many places. IMD Chennai Director Balachandran is quoted as saying, “It is still a well-marked low-pressure area over southwest Bay of Bengal. It is not going to become a depression.” The Met Department has issued a warning to fishermen to not venture out into the sea. A wind warning has also been issued, with squally winds touching 60kmph along Tamil Nadu and south Andhra coasts. Battered by Cyclone Gaja, the Met Department issued a heavy rainfall warning for the delta districts on Wednesday, stating, “Scattered heavy with isolated very heavy rain is likely to occur over Kancheepuram, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Pudukottai, Cuddalore, Nagapattinam, Karaikal, Ariyalur, Tiruvarur and Thanjavur districts.”

According to IMD, Karaikal received the highest rainfall at 68.9 millimetres in the last 24 hours. In TN, Nagapattinam received the highest rains at 41.6 millimetre and Thiruvarur at 24.2mm. While Kancheepuram received 29.4 mm, Cuddalore received 20.1 mm. Chennai district received 15mm of rainfall, with Meenambakkam receiving 60mm and Nungambakkam receiving 20mm.  the bulletin issued by India Meteorological Dept,Chennai @ 22:00 on 21.11.18 reads :  _ Morning's well marked low pressure area now lies over Southwest Bay of Bengal and adjoining Tamil Nadu coast today, the 21st November 2018.  (22-11-18): Moderate rain or thundershower is likely to occur at most places over North Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Light to moderate rain or thundershower is likely to occur at a few places over South Tamil Nadu.

Vortex over NE TN centered within half a deg of   12.5N/79.5E – with heavy rains lashing out the city and its suburbs,  the  Q in mind of Chennaites is  whether these downpours will  help them escape the looming water crisis.  There is yet to be authentic information on any copious inflow of water to the four  reservoirs in Red Hills, Cholavaram, Poondi and Chembarambakkam.

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia has been suffering from heavy rainfall since 10 November, seriously damaging houses and leaving 30 people dead, according to the Saudi Gazette. 30 people have died in Saudi Arabia over the past few days as a result of heavy rains and subsequent floods, the Saudi Gazette reported earlier.

Rain falling Wednesday in some areas of Northern California could help crews fighting a deadly wildfire. But it could also raise the risk of flash floods, complicate efforts to recover remains and make life even more difficult for people. Heavier rain is expected later in the day in the Paradise burn area, which is about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of San Francisco, where the Camp Fire has killed at least 83 people, including two victims who were found Wednesday in burned homes. The blaze also destroyed more than 13,000 homes.

Regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd Nov 2018 @ 08.00 am.
INSAT pic of 0615 IST today.