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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Yashpal Sharma, is no more !!

Can you identify this Cricketer, the unsung hero of World Cup 1983 ! – yes it is Yashpal Sharma, he manned covers gracefully those days, made a heroic 89 in the 1st match against WI and scored again in the Semis.  Remember before 1983, India had lost all its 6 matches in Cricket limited overs World Cup (60 overs those days !) [pic credit Blooming Buds school in Moga,  Punjab] 

Remember watching him play scoring a century and Gundappa Viswanath a double century grinding England bowlers in that Pongal test at Chennai in Jan 1982.  His presence at covers was to save lot of good shots and he was really a fast mover on the field.  He had toured England in 1979 (did not play in World cup) but debuted in the 2nd test at Lords on 2nd Aug 1979 under Srinivasan Venkatraghavan.  He had made his debut in ODI at Sialkot in Oct 1978 under Bishan Bedi.   

His moment of glory came at  Old Trafford, England’s second oldest test venue and one of the most renowned.   It was grand semi finals of WC 1983.  Bob Willis won the toss, their openers put on 69 at more than 4 an over — a fantastic platform considering the era. The wicket was slow, and not at all ideal for stroke-play. Indian bowlers and particularly the duo of Mohinder Amarnath and Kirti Azad choked the scoring.  England batsman struggled after a very good start from Greame Fowler and Chris Tavare.    Indian batting was much organized and they could romp home with 32 balls to spare.  Gavaskar 25; Krish Srikkanth 19; Mohinder46; Yashpal 61 – Sandeep Patil 51* and Kapil 1* saw them through. 

After Srikkanth and Gavaskar exited, Amarnath and Yashpal steadied the innings. Runs came at a slow, steady rate. The two picked the gaps and ran hard. It was this 92-run partnership that washed away all hope and when after 2/3rds – they opened up.  Mohinder hitting Marks for a 6 and Yashpal hitting Allot straight for a 6 and then audaciously moved inside and dispatching England’s fastest bowler Bob Willis over square for another.   A brilliant piece of fielding and throw by Allott ended the partnership and then Yashpal skied towards the end.    Sandeep Patil thrashed Willis again.  With scores level,   Willis called all his men over to the off-side to ensure their reaching the pavilion faster.  Sandeep Patil ended with an unbeaten half century.  Mohinder was the man of the match.

L Sivaramakrishnan made his debut  at St Johns in Apr 1983 -  the match was drawn – WI made 550 with centuries from Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Jeff Dujon  and Clive Lloyd.  For India, Ravi Shastri and Mohinder Amarnath made centuries – Vengsarkar made 94 while Kapil Dev got out at 98.  Gordon Greenidge batted on and on and left having hit a 6 and 14 4s, as he flew to his native Barbados to be with his ailing 2 year old daughter, who sadly passed away.   

                 Kapil Dev could not bowl due to a stiff-neck and the affable Yashpal Sharma bowled a solitary over and took his only wicket in Test Cricket that of centurion Desmond Haynes.  Yashpal who played 37 tests and 42 ODIs also took  the wicket of David Gower in an ODI at London in 1982. 

He was extremely fit during his playing days and continued to be healthy – he was a pure vegetarian. Sad to know that Yashpal Sharma is no more – passed away today due to massive cardiac arrest.  Om Shanthi to him.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
13th July 2021 

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Novak Djokovic eats grass and kisses the Cup for the 6th time : Wimbledon 2021

11th July 2021 – it is a Sunday and whole excitement was about Wimbledon Men’s Singles Finals (it is also the finals of Euro 2020 between England and Italy)

I don’t remember but read about Chennai Open – in 1999 - Byron Black defeated Rainer Schüttler 6–4, 1–6, 6–3. Patrick Rafter was the defending champion but did not defend his title.

Remember following Wimbledon and memory stretches back to 1977 when   Björn Borg defeated   Jimmy Connors, 3–6, 6–2, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4 [7] – it was Borg's second consecutive Wimbledon title and 4th Grand Slam title overall.  He was to win in successive years too .. and in 1980 – he was stretched, perhaps struggled against an angry  antics-filled young leftie -  John McEnroe, 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7(16–18), 8–6[5] – it was Borg's 10th career Grand Slam singles title and his 5th and last title at Wimbledon.    Between 1974 and 1981, he became the first man in the Open Era to win 11 Grand Slam singles titles (six at the French Open and five consecutively at Wimbledon), but he never won the US Open despite four finals appearances.  

It was only back in 2007 when Wimbledon became the final Grand Slam to award equal prize money to both the singles men's and women's champions. And that prize money has risen exponentially over the years from £500,000 just 20 years ago to £2.35m back in 2019. However, all Grand Slams have decreased their money pot for 2021, with Wimbledon champions receiving £1.7m (apprx INR 17.62 crore] this year. In total, the prize money on offer throughout the tournament is £35m in total for all players involved. The runner-up in both the men's and women's final will receive £900,000.[INR 9.32 crores approx.]

Ravichandran Ashwin was at the venue as also was Indian team coach Ravi Shastri.  Earlier there were reports that Novak Djokovic has spoken that  he will be supporting the Italians to beat England in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley – but in the post match conference, he diplomatically said, I like Soccer and I would watching the game ! (without stating that he would not be cheering for hosts England !)

Irrespective of what does about football .. at Wimbledon he tasted yet another success.  Serbian Novak Djokovic won his sixth Wimbledon Gentleman's singles title, drawing level with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on 20 Grand Slam successes, but Matteo Berrettini made him work very hard for it. The Italian, making his debut as a Grand Slam finalist, began nervously but recovered to take advantage of a sub-par period from Djokovic to take the first set on a tie-break. He had come into the final on an 11-match winning streak, all on grass, since losing to Djokovic in the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros, and his facility on the surface was evident.

That breakthrough encouraged his supporters in a fervent crowd to believe Berrettini could become the first Italian man to win a Grand Slam since Adriano Pannatta at Roland-Garros in 1976, and the first to do so at Wimbledon. However Djokovic, though nine years his elder at 34, slowly ground his opponent down. Though not consistently at his best when it came to the key points he more often than not found a way to win. Finally, after three hours and 24 minutes, on his third Championship point, he secured his third successive Wimbledon title.

It was the first set Djokovic had dropped since his first of The Fortnight, to Jack Draper. But his response was fierce, breaking Berrettini twice to seize a 4-0 lead. Even then, however, Berretini pulled it back to 5-4 before Djokovic could serve out. The Serb took the third 6-4 having broken early. It began to look a long road to glory for Berrettini whose left thigh was heavily strapped. So it proved. He pressured Djokovic's serve but was unable to break, lost his own, and the match. Few, though, after his performances this Fortnight, would bet against him being back.

Very well played Djoko .. .. it was indeed a pleasure watching today’s game.

Marián Vajda  a  former player, is  the current head coach of Novak Djokovic and has been his coach during almost his entire professional career, winning 83 titles together (out of the 84 won by Djokovic). Vajda is the most successful coach in the history of tennis in terms of Grand Slam titles.  Vajda has been the coach of Djokovic from 2006 until 2017, then again from 2018 to the present day. From Dec 2013 until 2016, Boris Becker was Djokovic's head coach with Vajda remaining part of Djokovic's team.  Goran Ivanišević   a Croatian former player who won  the men's singles title at Wimbledon as a wildcard is also the coach. Djokovic is a self-described fan of languages, speaking Serbian, English, French, German, and Italian. Djokovic’s wife is Jelena (earlier Jelena Ristić) who was known to Novak from his high school days and was dating her since 2005.  The  couple got married on Sveti Stefan in Montenegro,in 2014.  

It has been a long, steep climb for Berrettini since he arrived at a tennis club in Rome at age 14 and was awed by the credentials of the coach he met: Vincenzo Santopadre, whose career-high singles ranking had been 100th. Berrettini was not one of the best players in Italy in his age range, and Santopadre and the other coaches at the Circolo Canottieri Aniene wanted to give him time and space to decide if tennis was something he wanted to pursue seriously. Vincenzo Santopadre is a former player from Italy who had limited success in his playing days.  Since 2011, he has been the coach of Matteo Berrettini.

He reached the semifinals of Bournemouth in 1998 and the quarterfinals of Chennai and Munich in 1999, defeating Gustavo Kuerten in the latter. He is the son-in-law of former Poland international footballer Zbigniew Boniek. 

Berrettini's girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic is a tennis player herself, straight from the land that Barty belongs to, and is ranked 75th by the Women's Tennis Association. Tomljanovic has been watching Berrettini in all his matches unless she is playing a tournament somewhere, and she appears to be his number one fan and supporter.  

Well played Novak Djokovic winning  Wimbledon 6 times !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th July 2021. 

former India pace bowler Pankaj Singh retires from all forms of Cricket !!!

How much of Cricket do you follow ! ~ and did you read about this fast bowler announcing retirement from all forms of Cricket !!

Leslie O'Brien Fleetwood-Smith,   played in 10 Test matches for Australia between 1935 and 1938, taking 42 wickets. A left-arm spin bowler who changed his style after breaking his right arm as a schoolboy, he often exploited the googly and the "chinaman" with effect.  

A few decades ago, we read interestingly about Cricket  camps before Overseas tours, when Barun Burman, Jyoti Prasad .. .. came close to selection and a young lad Kapil Dev was denied extra rotis, stating that there are no pace bowlers in India. In 1970s, we had heard of Abid Ali, Solkar, Madanlal, Ghavri opening the bowling and India’s fortunes changed with the advent of great Kapil Dev !  .. .. remember that in Chennai 1st division league there were young lads bowling fast – not only locals like Rajamannar, Bharathkumar, Arunkumar, Kalyanasundaram, TA Sekhar, Arun – but from MRF - Vivek Razdan, Subroto Banerjee and Ashish Winston Zaidi.

In 2014 – in England, after  Indians were bundled out  – Alastair Cook pulled Varun Aaron playing his 2nd test after his debut in 2011 into the hands of Pankaj Singh ! (post is on him on his retirement)

                 In the 3rd Test at Southampton the tall Pankaj Singh became 282nd  player to represent India in Test matches.  The previous player  from Rajasthan was Parthasarathi Sharma who played against the WI in 1975.  Pankaj had taken more than  300 wickets – Dilip Doshi had scalped close to 500 before he made his debut at Chennai and Amit Mishra also completed 300 first class wickets before his debut.  So it was Test no. 2132 in July 2014.  Scorecard does not paint a happy picture for Team India  -  England 569 for 7 dec (Bell 167, Ballance 156, Cook 95, Buttler 85) and 205 for 4 dec (Cook 70*, Root 56*) beat India 330 (Rahane 54, Dhoni 50, Anderson 5-53) and 178 (Rahane 52*, Moeen 6-67, Anderson 2-24) by 266 runs thus ending a winless run of ten Tests, which began in  previous August.    

In the next Test Pankaj Singh took the wickets of Joe Root and Jos Butler but never would have imagined that they would be his career haul ..  there have been so many fast bowlers representing India – Kapil was phenomenal, then there were the likes of Javagal Srinath, Zaheer, Irfan, Ishant, Bumrah, Shami, Bhuvneswar  and more ..  and some like Yograj who bowled fast but played a solitary test and luckless fearsome TA Sekar.  

Pankaj Singh, a tall and strapping right-arm medium-fast bowler from Rajasthan,  progressed from the Under-19 level to the India A side with consistent performances.   By 2006 he started showing signs of having matured, taking Rajasthan to the final of the Ranji Plate league, with 21 wickets at 20.95. In 2007, he was part of India A's twin tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya, and a total of 18 wickets in the unofficial Tests and ODIs in Kenya earned him a spot for the home series against South Africa A. With Sreesanth and Munaf Patel injured, he earned a call-up to India's Test squad to tour Australia. He signed with the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural IPL before transferring to Royal Challengers Bangalore for the second season. His next big break came when he was included in the limited-overs sides for India's tour of Zimbabwe, when the selectors decided to rest several senior players.   He was among the top wicket-takers in the Ranji Trophy between 2009 and 2014 and also produced match-winning efforts for Rajasthan during their title wins in 2010 and 2011. He was finally rewarded for his performances with a spot in India's Test squad on the tour to England in 2014

Now comes the news that former fast bowler Pankaj Singh, 36, has retired from all forms of cricket, thereby ending his professional career that spanned nearly 17 years. Singh said he had to listen to his body after a bout of Covid-19 left him feeling weak.  "I was down with Covid, and once I recovered, the post-Covid symptoms left me drained," he told ESPNcricinfo. "Also, when I looked at where I stand, I felt I wouldn't have added anything by pushing on for one more year. During the previous domestic season itself I realised it's hard to come out after months of not playing. Training and conditioning to play a full season seemed tough, so I thought I should listen to my body and retire."

In 2019, Singh became the first seamer to take 400 Ranji Trophy wickets. Overall, he finishes with 472 first-class wickets in 117 matches, apart from picking 118 List A wickets and 43 T20 wickets. The domestic stalwart ends his career with new entrants Puducherry, but it's his body of work with Rajasthan that stands out.  

"Getting my Test cap from Sourav Ganguly in England was special," Singh said. "I am fortunate to have played under a legend like MS Dhoni. Playing Test cricket is my most cherished memory as a professional cricketer. It came after a lot of struggles, so that has to be the most special memory."  Singh is a Level-2 certified BCCI coach, having recently taken part in a course conducted by the NCA. With a full-fledged domestic calendar announced, Singh hopes to transition into guiding youngsters, both in Rajasthan and elsewhere.

Sadly on his debut test :  Pankaj had figures of 37-8-146-0 & 10-4-33-0 & then in the next test 28-5-113-2.  Thus his 2 international wickets came at 292 runs!  – and you have many big names in that list including Imran, Sarfraz, Vaas, Jeff Thomson and the whispering death Michael Holding.  The feared quickie with such a smooth run-up Holding made his debut at Brisbane in 1975 – went on to take 249 test wickets and 142 ODI wickets – but went wicketless conceding 81 & 46 in the 2 innings; while the fiery pacer Thommo gave 100 without a wicket on his debut.   

Pankaj Singh’s debut became forgettable as he has the dubious record of most expensive in debut – the towering 1.98m paceman finished with a match haul of 0-179 when  England declared its second innings on 4-205 in the third Test at Southampton. The previous worst was 0-164 by Pakistan’s Sohail Khan against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2009. The worst performance in an innings on debut is that  Aussie leg-spinner McGain.  In what proved to be his only Test, McGain was smashed for 149 in 18 wicketless overs (a shocking 8.27 runs an over) as South Africa made 651 all out at Cape Town in 2009 before going on to win by an innings and 20 runs.  

Pankaj should consider himself unlucky as England captain Alastair Cook was dropped on 15 in the slips by Ravindra Jadeja,  and Ian Bell, then on nought, survived a confident lbw appeal  when Singh bowled well – but his career is not reflective of that.   Much like Thirumalai Ananthanpillai Sekhar who bowled well in Pak – saw two key Paki batsman dropped off his bowling and eventually did not strike it big in Test.  Life is harsh on some.

If you remember that Smith name of second  para, LO Fleetwood-Smith in  test in Aug 1938 (test 266) had figures of 87-11-298-1 !!!! – close to 300 conceded; then there was an Indian Off-spinner by name Rajesh Chauhan who had figures of 78-8-276-1 at Colombo on Aug 1997 in Test no. 1374.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th July 2021. 

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Wimbledon 2021 ~ Women in the finals on Sunday

Wimbledon offers great thrill and entertainment – this is post about a woman in the Sunday finals of Wimbledon !

Remember following Wimbledon and memory stretches back to 1977 when   Björn Borg defeated   Jimmy Connors, 3–6, 6–2, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4 [7] – it was Borg's second consecutive Wimbledon title and 4th Grand Slam title overall.  He was to win in successive years too .. and in 1980 – he was stretched, perhaps struggled against an angry  antics-filled young leftie -  John McEnroe, 1–6, 7–5, 6–3, 6–7(16–18), 8–6[5] – it was Borg's 10th career Grand Slam singles title and his 5th and last title at Wimbledon.  That year  Evonne Goolagong Cawley defeated   Chris Evert Lloyd 6–1, 7–6(7–4)[6] .. .. today watched the match between - Ashleigh Barty and  Karolina Pliskova, and it was not all that impressive as easy points were won .. .. and at some point of time Pliskova appeared cold-feeted, not moving at all ..

Of course the stage is big and the finals at a Grandslam can be nerve-wracking. Yet in the first women’s final since 1977 where neither contender had ever reached the ultimate decider before, in Pliskova’s case it showed so much that for much of the opening set she played as if she could barely recall her own name. Few would have thought that from those toe-curling beginnings, there would emerge an utterly riveting contest. Not since 2012 has the women’s final gone the distance, and ultimately it was Barty who lasted the course to triumph 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3 in five minutes under two hours. Fifty years after Evonne Goolagong became the first indigenous Australian to win Wimbledon, Barty walked a dance of joy in her footsteps.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched Ashleigh Barty triumph in the Wimbledon final this afternoon - Kate's first outing since she was forced to her self isolate after coming into contact with an Covid-infected person.  The Duchess of Cambridge, the patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, presented the champion with her trophy alongside president of the All England Club the Duke of Kent as the crowd cheered.  

Today, Ash Barty authenticated her world number one status with a triumphant performance that brought her a first Wimbledon title. The former French Open winner, who sat out so much tennis during the pandemic, showed that she has properly resumed being the world’s best player with a 6-3 6-7 6-3 victory that took an hour and 56 minutes. The 25 year-old Australian took advantage of an initially nervy performance from an opponent who stands eight inches taller than her. The top seed produced a super display to cement her status as the best women's player.  She also became Australia’s first singles champion of either sex since Lleyton Hewitt in 2002, closing the match out with an edgy service game. Throwing different spins and paces at the 6” 1’ Czech, Barty eventually built on a dominant start that at one point looked in danger of turning into an embarrassing rout. Pliskova recovered admirably to fully use her wingspan but was ultimately outfoxed by a more agile opponent.

Karolina Pliskova was moved to tears as she spoke after her defeat to Ash Barty in Saturday’s Wimbledon final. The Czech tennis player was playing her second Grand Slam final after losing in the 2016 US Open final, and made the world number one work hard for the women’s title at SW19. Pliskova began to play much better in the second set and was in the ascendancy at 5-5 and 40-0 before losing five points in a row against the relentless slice of Barty.  

If you had read the first para right – it makes no big news about Wimbledon finals on Saturday but on Sunday – it is Men’s Finals and there would be no woman on the Centre Court.  Wimbledon is set to break with tradition by appointing its first female umpire to oversee a men’s singles final.    There will be a female chair umpire for the Wimbledon men’s singles final for the first time in the history of a tournament first played in 1877. Marija Cicak, a 43-year-old from Croatia, will officiate Sunday when Novak Djokovic faces Matteo Berrettini for the championship at the All England Club.

Cicak is  one of the game’s most experienced umpires and has been an elite ITF Gold Badge holder for the past 10 years. Cicak, 43, was in the chair for the marathon Wimbledon men’s semi-final between John Isner and Kevin Anderson in 2018. Her other notable matches have included the women’s Wimbledon final of 2014 when Petra Kvitova beat Eugenie Bouchard. Now she is expected to make history when Novak Djokovic takes on Italy’s Matteo Berrettini on the Centre Court. Wimbledon overlooked highly-regarded WTA Tour official and former player Clare Wood when it appointed Gerry Armstrong as referee last year to replace Andrew Jarrett. But now it looks likely to follow other sports events in promoting female officials to one of its highest-profile tasks.

Woman-power at Wimbledon finals 2021 !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
10th July 2021. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

winner of Djoko - Shapovalov to meet Matteo Berrettini in Wimbledon finals 2021

Sunday 11th July 2021 would be a day of significance for Italy !  .. ..on that day, Italy will play England in Euro 2020 finals – England have  reached their first final in 55 years after beating Denmark on Wednesday night. Due to strict Covid-19 quarantine requirements for visitors to Britain, supporters from outside the UK have effectively been unable to attend Italy’s past two matches at Wembley. For the final, “British authorities have guaranteed a maximum of 1,000 people from Italy the possibility of going to London, with a series of requirements to respect” but without quarantining in the UK, the FIGC said in a statement. 

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s broad unity government has overcome deep divisions to agree to a contested justice reform, which the European Union has demanded as part of a deal to unlock billions of euros in recovery funds. Italy has long been dogged by a dysfunctional, painfully slow justice system, but repeated attempts to overhaul it have failed to significantly reduce backlogs in many courts. Sharply opposing views between the parties have complicated efforts to improve the situation, but Justice Minister Marta Cartabia managed to reach a compromise deal late on Thursday that the government hopes will improve efficiency. “Italy has taken a significant step forward in modernising the justice system and speeding up trials,” said Regional Affairs Minister Mariastella Gelmini, a member of Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party. The draft law will now go to parliament for approval.

A case brought by more than 500 families of Covid victims seeking a total of €100m in compensation from the Italian government has reached court, as the first hearing into continental Europe’s deadliest outbreak got under way in Rome. Lawyers representing the relatives of coronavirus victims filed a dossier of more than 2,000 pages on Thursday containing hundreds of testimonies and evidence of “systemic negligence” by the Italian authorities, which allegedly caused the deaths of thousands of people. “Italy was late introducing measures to contain the outbreak of Covid,” Consuelo Locati, a legal representative of the families, told the Guardian. ‘‘And when they finally did, these measures were not adequate.’’ According to a 65-page report compiled by a retired army general, Pier Paolo Lunelli, tens of thousands of deaths could be attributed to the lack of sufficient anti-pandemic protocols. ‘‘The pandemic plan and strategies put in place to stop the infections did not take into account the structural deficiencies of hospitals and the Italian health system,’’ said Locati. “This civil case calls into question the responsibilities of politicians and institutions and asks that they assume their responsibilities in front of the citizens they were called to protect and whose rights they have violated – both the right to health and the right to life.”

Moving away from all these – this is a Sports post .. .. .. Three of the men’s semi-finalists today at Wimbledon  have one main problem. The fourth man. Novak Djokovic. In the past 10 years at Wimbledon, three men have beaten him in completed matches: Roger Federer in the semis in 2012, Andy Murray in the final in 2013 and Sam Querrey in the third round in 2016. Djokovic also lost to Tomas Berdych in 2017, but on that occasion he retired hurt with an elbow injury, so the size of the task facing Denis Shapovalov, and by extension the other two semi-finalists, Matteo Berrettini and Hubert Hurkacz, is clear. The Serb has been flawless in the tournament so far. The five-time Wimbledon winner reached the semi-final after beating Hungarian Márton Fucsovics in straight sets. On the other hand, Denis Shapovalov had a tough fight against Russia’s Karen Khachanov to reach the last four.

This is Denis Shapovalov's first slam semi-final and a pulled forehand, dragged wide, shows some early signs of nerves for 15-30, but he quickly recovers as Djokovic dumps a two-handed return into the net and we're at 1-1. Then the Canadian reaches greater heights !  A gorgeous one-handed backhand across the court puts Djokovic on the stretch to his right and can only then send it into the net.  Shapovalov breaks and leads 2-1.  Now at 09.40 pm IST, still very, very early days though.

Few minutes earlier - Italy's Matteo Berrettini beat Hubert Hurkacz [6-3 6-0 6-7 (3-7) 6-4] -  to reach first Wimbledon final.  The 25-year-old from Rome became the first Italian man to reach the SW19 showpiece.   Everything was moving quickly on Centre Court, from the serves to the scoreboard to the galloping realisation that Sunday could be quite the day for Italian men on the green bits of London. Serving at almost 140mph, and at one stage even ripping his way to an astonishing 11 games in a row against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, Matteo Berrettini was on the hottest of hot streaks as he became the first Italian man to reach a Wimbledon final.

The Italians have been waiting 144 years for this, for one of their own to go through into a final at the All England Club. No Italian man had ever previously served as quickly or as brilliantly on the Wimbledon grass, or played with as much poise at such a big, life-defining moment, as the 25-year-old Roman in a reversed baseball cap. When Berrettini led 6-3, 6-0 it appeared as though this meeting of first-time Wimbledon semi-finalists was going to be very lopsided. While Hurkacz took the third set in the tie-break, Berrettini broke in the opening game of the fourth set and went on to win 6-3, 6-0, 6-7(3), 6-4.

A few hours before the Italian men's football team play England in the Euros final at Wembley, Berrettini will attempt on Sunday to become the first Italian man to score a Grand Slam singles title since Adriano Panatta became the Roland-Garros champion 45 years ago. The main course may be England’s date with Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday evening, but Berrettini will provide a tasty antipasti when he walks out on Centre Court at 2pm.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9th July 2021 @ 21.45 hrs. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Novak Djokovic cruises to Semis - Wimbledon 2021

Wimbledon 2021 is underway.  Their country man Jack Draper was cheered on to Centre Court and roared off it. In between he caused sufficient discomfort to arguably the great male player in history that it seems a rather safe bet that he’ll be back.  It was  a stirring performance on the opening day of Wimbledon from the talented 19-year-old. It ultimately ended in defeat for the lad from Surrey, with sets two, three and four being won by the 19-time Slam champion for the loss of five games. And yet it was the first, won 6-4 in 37 minutes, that will lock Draper in the memory and reinforce the idea that he is the best of the emerging British players.  .. .. the hero of this post, has lost only that set thus far, and today decimated his difficult (in spelling and pronunciation) opponent in straight sets to move into Semi-finals.

The first written mentions of Nyíregyháza date back to 1209, although it was then called simply Nyír ('birch'), after the Nyírség, the greater region in which the city lies. In the 16th century, during the Turkish occupation of Hungary, Nyíregyháza became deserted; it was resettled later. Nyíregyháza   is a city in northeastern Hungary and the county capital of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg.   It is famous for its zoo - Nyíregyháza Zoo, with over 500 species. After the War for Independence led by Prince Francis II Rákóczi, the town's population increased. Most new settlers were Slovaks from the area of Békéscsaba.   In the early 19th century, Nyíregyháza was wealthy enough to secure freedom from its feudal lords, the Dessewffy and Károlyi families.  

You are reading all these for the man who lost today in the Quarter finals of Wimbledon 2021 - Márton Fucsovics,  a Hungarian professional tennis player was born here in 1992.

After reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Monday, Novak Djokovic admitted that he tries not to think about who the greatest player of all-time is and where he fits into that conversation. The Serbian feels that devoting energy to that would “derail” him from the task at hand, which is winning matches and tournaments.  But the World No. 1’s next opponent to be in QF, Marton Fucsovics, chimed in on the “GOAT” debate — speaking about the ‘Big Three’ of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal — before their clash in the last eight. “I think they are the greatest of all time, all three of them. For me there is no difference between them,” Fucsovics said. “When I play against these guys, of course it's a pleasure for me. But they bring out the best of me, and I think I can improve my game when I play against them.”

Nothing of that sort today as  Novak Djokovic reached his 10th semifinal at Wimbledon and 41st at a major tournament with a straight-set victory over unseeded Marton Fucsovics. The World no. 1 Djoko continued his quest for a third consecutive Wimbledon title with a simple uncluttered  straight-sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 quarter-final win in the  Centre Court. The top seed needed two hours and 17 minutes to record his 100th tour level win on grass.

“I’m aware of certain stats and obviously I love this sport with all my heart, body and soul,” said Djokovic. “I’ve been devoted to this sport since I was four and sometimes things do look surreal, but I try to live in the moment and not take anything for granted. Going for history is a huge inspiration for me.”

Match statistics: aces (4-5), double faults (3-5), winners (23-24), unforced errors (30-31), total points won (106-86).  The 34-year-old from Serbia also improved to 19-0 at majors this season as he pursues the first calendar-year Grand Slam by a man since Rod Laver in 1969.

The top-seeded Djokovic raced to a 5-0 lead after 18 minutes against Fucsovics, a 29-year-old from Hungary who is ranked 48th and was making his major quarterfinal debut.  Djokovic then had a three-game blip and needed six set points before eventually closing out the opener. He used a five-game run bridging the end of the second set and start of the third to leave no doubt about the outcome.

Djokovic will face No. 10 Denis Shapovalov or No. 25 Karen Khachanov in Friday's semifinals. In serbia the nickname for someone that has the name 'Novak' is 'Nole. ' Djokovic is fondly known as Nole.  The “GOAT” (Greatest of all Time) debate has divided opinions for a decade and remains a hot topic as the trio of Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal continue to dominate the field despite the challenge from the younger generation.  The Hall of Famer names Rod Laver as the pre-Open era GOAT and says the Open era GOAT will be the Big 3 champion—Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic—who wins the most career Grand Slam crowns. In an interview for Channel 9's Wide World of Sports, a great Tennis legend Ivan Lendl said Rod Laver, the only player in history to sweep the Grand Slam twice—once as an amateur in 1962 and again as a professional in 1969—is the pre-Open era GOAT.

Now at the time of posting this @ 0930 pm of 7th July 2021 – in the Centre Court, another Roger Federer is playing Hubert Hurkacz from Poland.  His mother, Zofia Maliszewska-Hurkacz, was a junior tennis champion in Poland.  The news is Hurkacz has won the first set against Federer !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Movie 'RRR' - and remembering Alluri Sitarama Raju, this day !


తెలుగు వీరలేవరా..ఆఆ ..ఆఆ - దీక్షబూని సాగరా.  Heard this song !  "Telugu Veera levara " – written by Sri Sri and sung by Ghantasala, V. Ramakrishna that won the National Film award for best lyrics in 1974.  The film in which this song was featured  ran for 175 days and grossed more than a crore !! 

Alluri Sitarama Raju (4th July 1898  – 7 May 1924)[1] was a great  revolutionary involved in the Indian independence movement. After the passing of the 1882 Madras Forest Act, its restrictions on the free movement of tribal people in the forest prevented them from engaging in their traditional podu agricultural system, which involved shifting cultivation. Alluri led the Rampa Rebellion of 1922, during which a band of tribal people and other sympathisers fought in the border areas of the East Godavari and Visakhapatnam regions of Madras Presidency, in present-day Andhra Pradesh, against the British Raj, which had passed the law. He was referred to as "Manyam Veerudu" (transl.'Hero of the Jungle') by the local villagers.

Harnessing some aspects of the earlier non-cooperation movement and with widespread support among the tribal people, Alluri led raids on police stations in and around Chintapalle, Rampachodavaram, Dammanapalli, Krishna Devi Peta, Rajavommangi, Addateegala, Narsipatnam and Annavaram. With his followers, he stole guns and ammunition and killed several British police officers, including two near Dammanapalli. Alluri was eventually trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalle, then tied to a tree and was executed by gunfire in Koyyuru village. His tomb is in Krishnadevipeta village.

Alluri Sitarama Raju was born in Pandrangi village in Padmanabham mandal in the Visakhapatnam district.  This  lies in the Bheemunipatnam legislative assembly constituency. Contemporary reports indicate that he had an undistinguished education but took a particular interest in astrology, herbalism, palmistry and horse-riding before becoming a sannyasi at the age of 18. His father died when he was in school and he grew up in the care of his uncle 'Rama Krishnam Raju', a tehsildar in Narsapur in the West Godavari district.  

After the passing of the 1882 Madras Forest Act in an attempt to exploit the economic value of wooded areas, its restrictions on the free movement of tribal peoples in the forests prevented them from engaging in their traditional podu agricultural system, a subsistence economy which involved shifting cultivation. The changes meant that they faced starvation and their main means of avoiding it was the demeaning, arduous, foreign and exploitative coolie system use by the government and its contractors for such things as road construction. Alluri harnessed the discontent of the tribal people to support his anti-colonial zeal, whilst also accommodating the grievances of those muttadars.


Alluri adopted aspects of the Gandhian non-cooperation movement, such as promoting temperance and the boycott of colonial courts in favour of local justice administered by panchayat courts, to attract support. Although the movement died out in early 1922, it had reached the plains area and he had been involved in propagation of some of its methods among the hill people as a means to raise their political consciousness and desire for change.  The armed rebellion began in August when Alluri led 500 people and raided  police stations at Chintapalle, Krishna Devi Peta and Rajavommangi, from which he gained possession of guns and ammunition. He subsequently toured the area, getting more recruits and killing a member of a British police force that had been sent to find him. The British struggled in their pursuit, in part because of the unfamiliar terrain and also because the local people in this sparsely populated area were unwilling to betray Alluri.     Alluri ambushed a police party from a high position as they went through the Dammanapalli Ghat, killing two officers and cementing his reputation among the people.   

Alluri was eventually trapped by the British in the forests of Chintapalle. He was tied to a tree and shot dead in Koyyuru Village. His tomb is in Krishna Devi Peta Village

The Telugu-language movie Alluri Seetharama Raju (1974), featuring actor Krishna, depicted Alluri's life.  The film  directed by V. Ramachandra Rao from a screenplay by Maharadhi Tripuraneni starred Krishna, Vijaya Nirmala and Jaggayya, the film was produced by Padmalaya Studios marking the 100th film of Krishna.  The movie is considered to be South India's first CinemaScope film.  Here is the award winning song :  Telegu veera levara : 

RRR is an upcoming action drama film directed by S. S. Rajamouli. The film is produced by D. V. V. Danayya of DVV Entertainments. It stars N. T. Rama Rao Jr., Ram Charan, Ajay Devgn, Alia Bhatt, and Olivia Morris.   It is stated to be a fictional story about two Indian revolutionaries, Alluri Sitarama Raju (Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Rama Rao), who fought against the British Raj and Nizam of Hyderabad respectively. The film's music is scored by M. M. Keeravani with cinematography by K. K. Senthil Kumar. The film's  expected release in Jan  2021 has been deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film is now scheduled to release on 13 October 2021 in multiple languages including Tamil, Hindi, Malayalam, and Kannada.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th July 2021. 

India wins at Worcester .... Mithali Raj on top !

A Nation collapsing would have serious repercussions in International arena but this was on a Cricket field !

At Worcester, Indians salvaged some pride winning the 3rd ODI.    The scorecard reads : India Women 220 for 6 (Mithali Raj 75*, Mandhana 49, Ecclestone 2-36) beat England Women 219 (Sciver 49, Knight 46, Deepti 3-47) by four wickets.  India clinched a four-wicket win in the final over of the rain-curtailed third ODI of the multi-format series against England in Worcester courtesy Mithali Raj's unbeaten 75, Smriti Mandhana's 49 and Sneh Rana's cameo, after Deepti Sharma's three-for helped bowl the hosts out for 219. Needing six of the final over, Mithali  hit the winning four after she and No. 8 Jhulan Goswami scored two off the first two deliveries. Piercing the off side with a square drive off Katherine Brunt, Raj helped overhaul the 220 target with three balls to spare, becoming the most successful captain in women's ODIs with an 84th win in the format leading the side.

Elsewhere, a strange incident happened during the second T20I between West Indies Women’s team and Pakistan women’s team, as the hosts’ two cricketers Chinelle Henry and Chedean Nation suddenly fell on the ground while fielding in Antigua and after that, they were immediately taken to the hospital. Henry and Nation fell on the ground in separate incidents on Friday (June 2) almost 10 minutes apart from each other while fielding in the second T20I against Pakistan at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua and both cricketers had to be stretchered off the field.

Chedean Natasha Nation, born in 1986 is a batswoman.  In 2016 - West Indies women have recalled Jamaican Chedean Nation after a gap of nearly seven years, for the ODIs and T20s in India.  West Indies also recalled wicketkeeper-batsman Kycia Knight and medium-pacer Shakera Selman, both of whom were dropped for the home series against England. Nation, 29 at that time had  last played international cricket in November 2009, against England at home, in both ODIs and T20Is.  

Both the incidents took place during Pakistan's chase, which was also beset by weather interruptions. "Chinelle Henry and Chedean Nation were taken to hospital for medical attention," CWI said in a statement. "Both Henry and Nation are conscious and stable at hospital and are being assessed." West Indies Women brought on two substitutes and the game continued, with the home side eventually declared winners by seven runs on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern after another interruption. "It isn't very easy in those conditions and situations. I'm just happy that the team was able to go over the line for those two ladies who weren't with us, and we're just waiting on all the information that we can get," Courtney Walsh, the West Indies head coach, said. "They have our full support and we'll be riding with them as well."    

Mithali Raj has identified Sneh Rana as a key allrounder for India's future after Rana completed a memorable comeback to the longer formats with a stunning Test debut last month and impressive returns in India's thrilling win in the third ODI on Saturday. Rana's cameo of 24 from 22 balls at No. 7 in Worcester was pivotal to her 50-run sixth-wicket stand with Raj as the duo helped India seal a four-wicket win in the final match of the three-game ODI leg of the multi-format series. Earlier in the day, Rana had also made an imprint with the ball, returning figures of 7-0-31-1, having opener Lauren Winfield-Hill caught for 36 to break a 67-run second-wicket partnership. She had picked up 1 for 43 in the second ODI.

Mithali Raj, the India Test and ODI captain, surpassed former England captain Charlotte Edwards as the leading run-scorer in women's international cricket on Saturday 3rd July 2021. Raj, 38, bettered Edwards' tally of 10,273 in the 24th over of the Indian innings in the third ODI in Worcester. She reached the milestone with a four down the ground off quick bowler Nat Sciver. New Zealand's Suzie Bates is third on the list with 7849 runs.  Raj and Edwards are the only players to scale the 10,000-run mark in women's international cricket.

7304 Runs aggregated by Raj in ODI cricket. No other player has managed to breach the 6,000-run milestone in women's ODIs. Raj is the only player with a batting average over 50 among the top ten run-getters in the format. On July 12, 2017, during the league stage of the 11th edition of the ODI World Cup, Raj went past Edwards to become the highest run-getter in women's ODIs. In the same match, against Australia, she became the first batter to cross 6000 runs in the format.  Raj quit T20I cricket in September 2019, and is placed at No. 7 on the list of the leading run-scorers, with 2364 runs at an average of 37.52 and strike rate of of 96.33. Harmanpreet Kaur, who succeeded Raj to T20I captaincy, is the only other Indian in the top ten of that chart.

In Tests, her 669 runs from 11 matches at an average of 44.60 are the fourth-most among India Women players and highest among Indians still active in the women's international cricket. Raj, completed 22 years as an India cricketer last month.  

Hearty congratulations to Mithali Raj !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th July 2021. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Covid - Kerala model ... and collection of stamp duty amidst Corona !

South Africa all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius  tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 ahead of the T20I series against West Indies and had tobe replaced. While all the other South Africa squad members arrived safely in Grenada,   Pretorius tested positive   and did not travel with the T20I squad .. .. a stroll outside today in Chennai suggested that people have overcome Corona and have sort of forgotten that there was one !   .. .. so when will it officially end, and when will the World return back to normalcy !!

The World Health Organization was the first to announce that the world was in the midst of a pandemic in March of 2020. Sometime in the future, the WHO will be the body to announce when it's officially over. However, there isn't a set standard to mark the end of the pandemic, either. Healthcare and medical experts point to vaccination rates as a guide to when the COVID-19 pandemic might end.  If a very high % of populace gets  vaccinated against the coronavirus, it may soon end.

Hospital wards across Uganda are filling with COVID-19 patients as the country faces an aggressive surge in cases. One of the biggest issues have: a serious shortage of oxygen.  Greenslade says inadequate supplies of oxygen have been a problem in many parts of the world during this pandemic but the shortages in Africa are acute. While countries like Brazil and India have industrial plants creating oxygen, much of Africa does not. Sierra Leone, for instance, has only two plants for the entire country !  .. it may sound similar – there was a time, when one could replace Uganda with any Indian State .. .. but the Central Govt has certainly handled the oxygen crisis very well.

Kim Jong un has sacked senior officials over what he called a 'crucial' lapse that had caused a 'great crisis with grave consequences,' in an apparent reference to a Covid-19 outbreak. The North Korean dictator recalled the country's Politburo and berated high-ranking Communist officials on Tuesday, signalling that the country's Covid defences had been breached. He lashed them for neglecting their duties and 'creating a great crisis in ensuring the security of the state and safety of the people and entailed grave consequences.' The official Korean Central News Agency did not elaborate on what the dictator was referring to and it is not known how many senior officials have been sacked or what has happened to them.

North Korea has so far claimed to have had no coronavirus infections, despite testing thousands of people and sharing a porous border with China - the source of the disease. Experts say the claim is highly dubious and have warned that any outbreak could easily overwhelm the isolated country's poor health infrastructure.

There was a time last year when everyone was singing and heaping praises on Kerala model of handling Covid – the Health Minister got UNESCO award while the CM kept speaking of his achievement.   Now that bubble has burst all over as Maharashtra and Kerala continue to contribute a lion’s share of India’s reduced Covid-19 cases. While Maharashtra has remained one of the worst affected states right from the beginning of the pandemic, Kerala reportedly had controlled  the outbreak  during the first wave, only for cases to skyrocket over the past couple of months. Kerala on Wednesday logged 13,658 fresh Covid-19 cases and 142 deaths, pushing the tally to 29,24,165 and 13,235 respectively.

                    Tamil Nadu added 4,512 fresh Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, and number of deaths crossed the 100-mark to 118 after reporting 91 deaths on Sunday and 98 on Monday. After discharge of 6,013 patients, the state had 39,335 people undergoing treatment for the viral infection. Cumulative case tally touched 24.75 lakh while the toll reached 32,506. Director of public health Dr TS Selvavinayagam said fresh cases and positivity rate have been steadily dropping across Tamil Nadu. “The state has relaxed lockdown restrictions in several areas, but it is still important for people to stay at home unless it is required to step out. Wear masks and maintain social distance,” he said.  It appears that there is no fear in people and there is no lockdown of any sort in the capital Chennai. 

Moving away a glance in Money Control provided some interesting news.  Domestic carrier SpiceJet has posted a net loss of Rs 235 crore in the fourth quarter of financial year 2020-21. The airline, similar to other carriers, have been hit due to the stringent travel restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Another report stated that Cricketer Rohit Sharma has sold a property worth Rs 5.25 crore located in the hill station of Lonavla, documents accessed by show. The property is spread across 6329 sq.ft. The sale deed was registered on June 1. The per sq ft value of the property works out to be around Rs 8,300 per sq ft.   A stamp duty of Rs 26 lakh was paid by Sharma, the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team, the documents said. The buyer is a woman named Sushma Ashok Saraf, the documents said.  – sounds too much of intrusion in to the privacy of the Cricketer … but are people buying properties in the midst of such severe Corona ?

Despite the Maharashtra government deciding not to extend the stamp duty waiver on property registrations in March this year, the collections in the month of June 2021 stood at Rs 420 crore which was at 93 percent levels of June 2019 when Rs 450 crore was collected by the exchequer, an analysis by Propstack has indicated. This data clearly indicates that homebuyers are gradually trickling back into the market as vaccination picks up and the second wave appears to be waning. In May 2021, Rs 268 crore worth of stamp duty was collected due to the onset of the second wave. This was almost half of the collections in May 2019 (Rs 534 crore), the analysis said.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
30th June 2021. 

Ancestral village Dusi (Mamandur) 100 years ago ! ~ a historical perspective !!

மிக முக்கிய முன்குறிப்பு :   1970 களில்  பள்ளி நாட்களில் - எங்கள் தமிழ் வாத்தியார் கேட்ட முதல் கேள்வி :  சொந்த ஊர் ! - இது அன்று பெரிய தாக்கத்தை ஏற்படுத்தவில்லை.  சென்னை, திருவல்லிக்கேணியை தாண்டாத என் போன்றோர்களுக்கு எல்லாமே, திருவல்லிக்கேணி, சென்னை தான்.  2007ல் தான் (நினைவு தெரிந்து) நம் மாமண்டூர் கிராமத்துக்கு வரும் வாய்ப்பு கிடைத்தது.

இன்று சென்னை மாநகரில் வசிக்கும் பலர் - பல கிராமங்களில் இருந்து இங்கு வந்து குடியேறியவர்கள்.  அவ்வாறாக எங்கள் பூர்விகம் 'மாமண்டூர்' கிராமம்.  இது காஞ்சிபுரத்தில் இருந்து வந்தவாசி செல்லும் பாதையில் தூசிக்கு அடுத்து அமைந்துள்ளதால் 'தூசி மாமண்டூர்' என்று வழங்கப்படுகிறது.  இந்த தூசி  கிராமம் பற்றி 'தென்னிந்திய கிராமங்கள்' என்ற தலைப்பில் சென்னை பல்கலைக்கழத்தின் பொருளாதார பேராசிரியர்  கில்பர்ட் ஸ்லேட்டர் பதிப்பித்த நூலில் பி. கிருஷ்ணமாச்சார்யா என்பவர் எழுதிய உரையின் சிறப்பம்சங்கள்.  இந்த நூல் 1918ல் ஆக்ஸ்போர்ட் யூனிவர்சிட்டி ப்ரெஸ் வெளியிட்டது.   

இன்னமும் நமது மாமண்டூருடன் தொடர்பு உள்ளவர்களுக்கு இதில் உள்ள தகவல்கள் புதிதாக இல்லாமல் இருக்கலாம். புத்தகத்தை படிக்கும் போது - அதனது தகவல்களும், கட்டமைப்பும் என்னை பிரமிக்க வைத்தன.  தென்னிந்தியாவில் ஆயிரக்கணக்கான கிராமங்கள் இருக்க, நம்  கிராமத்தை ஒட்டியுள்ள, நம் கிராமத்துக்கு பெயர் காரணமான   தூசிமாமண்டூர் - 11 கிராமங்களில் ஒன்றாக இங்கே இடம் பெற்றுள்ளது மிக சிறப்பே ! - நமது ஊர் ஸ்ரீசுந்தரவல்லி சமேத ஸ்ரீலக்ஷ்மி நாராயணப்பெருமாளுக்கு இது சமர்ப்பணம்.


Dusi Mamandur where ??  :  There are many important places in and around Kanchipuram and as you travel from Kanchi to Vandavasi / Cheyyar, you would cross the SalaiKinaru (from where thirumanjanatheertham for Devarajar was brought), Iyengarkulam, Palar bridge, Dhoosi, you would come to the hamlet ‘Mamandur’ – known as Dhoosi Mamandur due to its proximity to Dusi. This village has a big reservoir and is about 3 km away from Palar and about 8-9 km away from Kanchipuram.   

The beautiful Mamandur village is in Venbakkam Taluk, Thiruvannamalai district – is known for its 7th century rock-cut temple and the huge lake .. .. on the left side from the bus stand – one can have darshan of the Temple and the roads leading to the village – on the right hand side there are lush green paddy fields leading to the Mamandur lake.  

The Battle of Wandiwash was a watershed in Indian history  that  cemented British supremacy in South Asia. On January 22, 1760, a British force led by Eyre Coote defeated a French force led by General Lally. .. our village is on way to Vandavasi from Kanchipuram !  Kanchipuram , Tiruvethipuram , Uthiramerur , Vandavasi are towns nearby Dusi. Narasamangalam (3 km) , Abdullapuram ( 3 km ) , Vadakalpakkam ( 3 km ) , Pallavaram ( 3 km ) , Namandi ( 4 km ) , Vembakkam (10km) are villages nearby Dusi. 

The following text is extracted and excerpted from ‘Economic Studies’ edited by Gilbert slater, MA, D.Sc,  Professor of Indian Economics, University of Madras,  Vol I – ‘Some South Indian villages’ – published by Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press in the year 1918 – more than a century ago.  (this is primarily about Dusi  village which is nearest and yielding name to our village and not specifically about Mamandur though !!)

In Jan 1913, Sir Theodore Morison delivered the inaugural Address of the Madras Economic Association, he suggested that economic enquiry in the Madras Presidency should begin with a sociological and statistical survey of a typical Indian village. Obviously too much stress must not be laid upon the word “typical.” No single village can be typical of the Presidency of Madras and the neighbouring States of Southern India. It can at best be typical of a particular district, and long acquaintance with the district is necessary to qualify an enquirer to decide which village is most typical. On the other hand the advantages of the method of study recommended by Sir Theodore Morison are obvious. Villages came before towns, and even in the most industrialized countries, where all economic questions tend to be studied from an urban point of view, it is well to be reminded that the economic life of a town or city cannot be understood without reference to the lands which send it its food and raw materials, and the villages from which it attracts young men and women. The importance of rural activities and of village life in India, in view of the enormous preponderance of its agricultural population over that engaged in mining, manufacture, commerce and transport, is not likely to be overlooked ; and least of all in Southern India, which has no coal mines and no great industries like cotton manufacture in Bombay and jute in Bengal.

On taking up my appointment as Professor of Indian Economics, in the University of Madras in December 1915, I determined to direct the attention of students towards the study of particular villages.   The introduction by Gilbert Slater concludes  ‘On the basis of preliminary inquiries, I drew up a “ Village Questionnaire,” as a guide to students in the investigation of their own villages ; and the following Village Surveys were worked out in the basis of that questionnaire’.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
Mamandur Veeravalli Srinivasan Sampathkumar
13th June 2021.


North Arcot District :  Dusi  - by P Krishnama Acharya

The village of Dusi in the Cheyyar taluk, North Arcot district, is the headquarters of the Deputy Tahsildar, the Sub-Magistrate and the Police and Abkari Sub-Inspectors of the taluk. It is what is termed a ‘ firka, ’ a subdivision of a taluk, and it is shortly to become the centre of an office of the Sub-Registrar of Assurances.

The village occupies an area of nearly seven square miles. No forests are situated near it. It is situated on the southern bank of the river Palar. But the lands of the place are not directly irrigated by water from that river. It is about 30 miles from the sea-coast. A hill about five miles long is situated on the western border of the village. This hill is attractive as forming the eastern bank of the Dusi-Mamandur Lake, which is considered the biggest in those parts, occupying an area of more than 25 square miles, and supplying 36 villages with water for irrigation. In winter, when the lake is full, it is very picturesque, and the few Europeans stationed in the neighbourhood enjoy boating on it. There is a channel connecting the River Palar with it, whereby it is filled whenever there are floods in the river.

Without any great claim for excellence in regard to natural scenery, it can safely be said, that the village has a peculiar simplicity and charm of its own which is alike attractive and interesting.

Population—The total population of the village is 1,266 individuals in 251 households. There are nearly half a dozen castes in the village, such as Vaishnavite Brahmins, Saivite Brahmans, Sudras or Vellalas, Padials or Goundans, the carpenter and other artisans, and Muhammadans.  It puts the no. of Vaishnavaite Brahmans to be 64 families ! 

On the average there are about six persons in each family. There are 89 living children in the 66 Brahman families alone. According to the statistics of last year there were 23 births and II deaths. As every one in the village is expected to register any birth and death in his house within three days of its occurrence, to the village munsif, under pain of punishment for default, and as the village is divided into two hostile factions (one street against another), and members of either faction are ready to inform against members of the other, it is probable that the official record is accurate.

Land.—There are 517*35 acres of wet land, 221*13 acres dry, 1,180*53 acres of common pasture and waste. There is no land watered by wells, and no woods and forests, but there are scattered over the village about 2,826 trees (fruit and shade). Of the fruit trees the most important are mango (300), pomegranates (42), coconut palms (576), plantains (142), and tamarinds (618) which is a most useful tree, supplying the sour fruit essential for cooking purposes. The rest are shade trees. Chief among them aremargosa, aswatha and pursa. The coconut palms are mostly leased out for drawing toddy.

There are also two channels in the southern portion of the village. They are used for irrigation and drinking. The last and largest source of water-supply for the village is the Mamandur Lake, which has been mentioned before. In the hill adjoining the lake are several caverns, mandapams and temples, all ancient and each of them having an interesting and ancient history of its own. These are places of interest which have a deep meaning to the archaeologist; and these places are held in sanctity by the people of the neighbouring villages. People within a radius of about ten or twelve miles go there on pilgrimage.

Occupation of land and Agriculture—Tenancies.—Three-fourths of the land is let by the landowners on the “ varam ” or share system. One-fourth is let on lease. Under “ varam ” the tenant does the work under the personal supervision of the landowner. The tenant has to sow the land and reap the harvest for the landlord and in return for his work throughout the year, he gets a certain proportion of the produce. There are three landowners of the place who do not reside in the village but are employed in other parts of the Presidency. The lands of these also are managed and cultivated by their relatives in the village, who pay the kist and the tenant out of the produce and hand over the remainder to the owner either in paddy or its money equivalent.  

This is what is called the “kuthakai ” system. Here the tenant isfree from the landlord’s interference during the period for which the lease is taken. The lease is taken generally for one year and it may be renewed year after year. The landlord is at liberty to increase or reduce the amount of grain which he may claim at his tenant’s hands when he renews the lease. But the increase or reduction must not be made during the term of the lease.  There are 57 landowners who let land on “varam,” and about 410 acres of wet land are so cultivated.

There are about eight non-cultivating landowners, and they are employed variously. One is an Assistant Inspector of Salt and Abkari Department, another is a District Munsif, some are employed as petty officials in Madras. These eight landowners hold about 100 acres of wet land, and lease it on the “ kuthakai ” system.

The rents paid by the tenants are always in kind. Under the “varam” system, where the landlord supplies everything and the tenant supplies only labour, the tenant is entitled to one-sixth of the produce. Under the “kuthakai” system where the tenant supplies everything and cultivates the land at his own cost, the tenant will have to pay to the landowner 10 to 15 kalams* for every crop on every acre of land which he has taken on lease from the landlord. The amount of rent varies according to the fertility of the land. The selling price of wet land varies from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 2,500 per acre, the price depending on the fertility of the land, its accessibility from the village, and its proximity to the source of irrigation.

The land revenue for wet land ranges from Rs. 10 to Rs. 12 per acre,! this difference being due to the classification made by the * [One local kalam = 12 local marakkals = 48 Madras measures = 120 lb. and at present wholesale prices is worth about 5 rupees. The non-working landowner therefore receives from Rs. 50 to Rs. 75 per acre in rent, or from five to seven times the kist.—Ed.]

Of the two lakes which supply water for irrigation, the Mamandur lake supplies water for raising two crops every year with certainty. Therefore the assessment of the lands under the ayacut (irrigable area) of this tank is compounded, i.e., the assessment for first crop plus the assessment of the second, which is always half of the first, is totalled together and something is deducted from the total and the balance is fixed as the compounded assessment for two crops. 

All the wet lands are used for the cultivation of paddy. The dry lands are used either for cultivation of groundnuts and at times gingelly or sesamum, or as pasture. Eighty-three acres yield one crop per annum; 435 acres yield two crops per annum, one being harvested in May and June and the other in December or January. The old-fashioned Indian wooden plough drawn by two bullocks or buffaloes is used.It is not customary to transplant paddy. The usual method is to sow the seed broadcast in well ploughed land. After some time the weeds, which grow along with the crop, are all plucked out. But in 1916 one enterprising villager read some of the suggestions of the Agricultural Department and tried to apply them to his own land. He replanted the young plants in another well-ploughed field. Each plant was planted a yard apart from its neighbours to give it space to take root and grow well. This, of course, leads to an economy in the amount of seed. He used onlythe chemical manure of Messrs. Parry & Co. The paddy grew about 5 feet tall, taller than the growth in the neighbouring fields.

The sight of the field itself was interesting. It seemed one big dark mass. But after the harvest he complained that the produce of his fields was not in proportion to the labour and money he bestowed upon them. That method of cultivation was abandoned.

Live-stock.—The village has: 260 oxen, 200 cows, 84 bull buffaloes, 92 cow buffaloes, 455 young of above species, 2 horses, 5 donkeys, 98 sheep, 64 goats, and 17 pigs. The villagers both buy and breed. They rely mainly on the cattle they breed themselves; not many are bought. They buy the more valuable oxen for road work. The quality of the cattle is pretty good, but the animals are usually small and light. Oxen and buffaloes are fed with straw and powdered husks. Cows are fed with grass, oilcake and cotton seed. Donkeys are fed on the waste lands. Horses are fed with grass and gram ; the sheep and goats feed upon the leaves of plants. The pigs live upon refuse ; they are not particularly cared for; powdered husk is their favourite food. Each family engages a cow-boy to look after the cattle. He is paid a small wage.

The village.—The village occupies an area of 28 acres 55 cents. Brahmans live in the western part of the village. This portion is called the “ agraharam.” The other castes live together and form a sort of semi-circle round the Brahman quarter, on its east, north and north-west sides. Most of the village houses are thatched. There are 180 thatched houses, 64 tiled houses and 7 terraced. Every house has a small garden attached to it, situated within the house compound and occupying the rearmost portion. The gardens are used for the cultivation of vegetable plants and small fruit trees. The chief plants cultivated are brinjals, pumpkins, drumsticks, beans, bandaikkai and chillis. The chief fruit trees are guava, pomegranate, plantain and coconut. 

It costs a man about Rs. 1,500 to build a house on a site 30 feet broad and 150 feet long, the house itself occupying about one third of the area. This sum includes the cost of the site which might be valued at about Rs.500. The maximum distance of cultivated land from the home of the cultivator is two miles. The tenants exchange lands in order to get their lands contiguous, if these lands belong to the same pattadar. 

There is no industry at all in the village excepting agriculture and the minor crafts of the carpenter and the other smiths. There are no weavers in the place. In some adjacent villages, the whole population carry on the weaving industry and they supply the neighbourhood with cloth.  In these villages  men and women work at their handlooms from morning till evening. The poorer weavers go to Conjeeveram every evening with their daily turnout and sell to the traders there so as to use their earnings for next day’s bread. Each weaver will on the average earn nearly twelve annas profit a day. Only handlooms are used, and it is noteworthy that the handloom industry is thriving well in these parts. Also in the village of Pillaipalaiyam, five miles from Dusi, about 2,000 families carry on this industry. 

Almost all the landlords have made savings. About 20 per cent of the savings is utilized as agricultural capital, about 10 per cent in savings banks, about 50 per cent on loans to neighbours, the rate of interest being about 12 per cent per annum on promissory notes, and about 5 per cent on jewellery. Nearly all the landlords are rich and they are not indebted to anybody. They have lent money to the ryots, who in return promise to be their tenants under the usual conditions, till they are in a position to redeem themselves from their bondage.

             The fish rent, i.e., the rent paid by the contractor who purchases the right to fish in the lake for one year, is one of the sources of communal income. Another source is the price obtained from the herd who is allowed to feed his geese on the lands of the villagers after the harvest. These geese belong to a neighbouring village. Again there are groves, the produce of which is sold and the sum divided among the villagers. The extent of the communal income for the village is Rs. 2,000 per annum. A portion of the money is spent on the festivals during the year. A smaller portion is spent in digging canals which have silted up. The annual expenditure on festivals is about Rs. 200. During festival days, the villagers arrange for a series of dramas, the expenses of which are met from the communal income. 

For Chitra Pournami, which falls in April, thousands of devotees come here to worship Lord Sri Devaraja who comes in procession  all the way from Conjeeveram. The Abishekam or Tirumanjanam performed to Him in Iyangulam is bothsacred and grand. This festival costs the villagers about Rs. 200, and they consider the occasion worth spending even more.

The general sanitary condition of the village is good ; cases of persons suffering from malaria are few, ill-health itself is rare. Cholera visits the village perhaps once in five years and its victims are few in number. There are no cases of plague. There are about five cases of tuberculosis. Though many are attacked by smallpox it seldom happens that even one or two cases become fatal. About half a dozen infants die per year in their first years. No case of snake-bite has proved fatal, at least during the past two years. But there are about a dozen cases of snake-bite every year.

All diseases are treated successfully by the native doctors with the help of herbs. The percentage of cures through such means excels the cure through even English medicines in every variety of treatment, whether surgical or medicinal. In the case of snake-bites, the person bitten is cured by the mere pronunciation of certain mantrams; it is not a superstition to be lightly spoken of, is the actualcase. And all men are cured of their poisonous wounds generally by means of these mantrams, the pronunciation of which itself has some scientific effect.

Everyone, whether he is a Brahman or non-Brahman, especially the former, rises up early, goes inspecting the fields and bathes in the channel water at 6-30 or 7 a.m. Every man washes his own clothes, and so he always wears very clean though cheap clothes. Drinking-water is got from the channels. The channel water is free from any mud or dirt- It is healthy and sweet. The villagers also bathe in the same channel. But as the water is flowing, bathing and drinking the same water is not considered insanitary.

Education.—There is only one school in the village, a small building situated at the end of the Brahman quarter of the village, capable of accommodating about 150 children of various castes studying up to the fourth standard. Arithmetic, kindergarten, nature study, vernacular and a little English are taught. It is a primary board rural school maintained by the villagers out of fees with the help of a small Government grant. The teaching is done by a master and his assistant who are matriculates and who have received training in the Government Training School, Saidapet. The master is paid Rs. 20 and his assistant Rs. 15 per month. It was at first a free school, but now a small fee is charged.

There are about 61 boys and 22 girls attending the school this year, aged from five to ten years. In the Brahman quarter more than 60 per cent of the inhabitants both male and female read and write the vernacular. Among the non-Brahmans about 25 per cent of the males are able to read and write the vernacular. No non-Brahman female can read. About eight or nine individuals can read, write and speak English. There is only one pundit in the village who is well versed in the Vedas and other Sanskrit books. There are about three persons who have taken the degree B.A., and are employed elsewhere. Twenty-four boys have proceeded to advanced schools elsewhere, but no girls.

Of those who have passed through Secondary schools there are about half a dozen Government servants (District Munsif, Deputy Collector, Salt Inspector, etc.). Some are continuing their education. One is in the pass B.A. course and another in the Honours, about two are in the Intermediate. The rest have discontinued and are quietly reposing in their village homes. It is a credit to the village that one of its sons is the State pandit in Mysore and is considered a profound scholar of Sanskrit. There are about 200 books in the village ; all religious, either written in Sanskrit or Tamil. The villagers are all very orthodox.

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Overall, the book presents our village in high esteem in so far as Education, sanitary conditions, agriculture and the culture of the people.  We can be proud of Dusi village and perhaps the same was the condition of Mamandur too.  The editor of the book  - Gilbert Slater (1864 – 1938) was an English economist and social reformer of the early 20th century.  He was born in Plymouth,  studied economics and worked as a professor. In 1909, he was appointed principal of Ruskin College. From 1915 to 1921, Slater served as the Professor of Economics at the University of Madras. Slater died in 1938 at the age of 73.

Slater was the  first Professor of economics and head of the new economics department of the University of Madras which was founded in 1912.  Slater had learnt the Tamil language and was ready for his new assignment.  Slater was nominated to the Madras Legislative Council in 1921 and served for a year until his return to the United Kingdom in 1922. During his term in the council, he recommended the appointment of a committee to investigate the feasibility of the adoption of a common script for the whole Presidency. Slater's motion was, however, defeated by a huge margin.