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Monday, July 26, 2021

Cycling Gold medalist in Olympics Anna Kiesenhofer is a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics

One of Tamil cinema’s heroes  cycled his way to the polling booth in Chennai to cast his vote – and people were talking about that !! .. funny, is not cycling a very easy thing !  .. .. .. in our school days, only elites had cycles and came to school in their bicycles.  In every area, there would be shops hiring cycle [it was 30 paise per hour !] – cycle was a vehicle for common man .. once a while in TV they would show the song from Pavamannippu whence Sivaji Ganesan would pedal a bicycle.

A wrong cliché those days – those who did well in Sports would not study well – rather if you show inclination towards sports, elders would scold that it would affect studies.  .. .. it was another fact that those days famed Cricketers Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivasan Venkatraghavan and later Krishnamachari Srikkanth among many others were Engineering graduates (long before the concept of Private Engineering colleges came !)

Do you remember your Maths teacher at School – I remember well, Mrs Bhagawathi at Samarao, Mr ST Padmanabhan, Mr Munuswamy, Mr V Chandrasekaran among others ..  was Maths the most difficult subject ?? 

The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) is a public research university located in Lausanne, Switzerland. It specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, with three main missions: education, research and technology transfer. The QS World University Rankings ranked EPFL as the 14th best university in the world across all fields in 2021.   


The women's individual road race event at the 2020 Summer Olympics was held on 25 July 2021 on a course starting at Musashinonomori Park and ending at the Fuji Speedway in Tokyo. 67 cyclists from 40 nations competed, with 48 completing the course.  The road race was a mass-start, one-day road race event.   The women's road race was 137 kilometres (85 mi) long with a total elevation gain of 2,692 metres (8,832 ft).

The race was won by Anna Kiesenhofer of Austria. Kiesenhofer was part of the original breakaway after having broken away at the very start of the race along with four other riders. She proceeded to drop her breakaway companions, soloing off the front at the Kagosaka Pass with 41 kilometres (25 mi) to go and holding off the late chase from the peloton. She won by 1' 15" over the silver medalist, Annemiek van Vleuten of Netherlands. Van Vleuten made a late attack with 2.1 kilometres (1.3 mi) to go, distancing the remnants of the peloton. She celebrated after crossing the line, having mistakenly thought that all the breakaway riders have been caught and that she had won gold. The bronze medal went to Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy, after unsuccessfully attempting to bridge up to van Vleuten's attack and holding off the peloton.

Anna Kiesenhofer of Austria produced the performance of a lifetime to win the women's cycling individual road race. The 30-year-old cyclist was in a race of her own, going it alone for the final 40km before coming home first in a time of 3:52:45.

By the final stretch of a gruelling 137km race, Kiesenhofer was ahead by over two minutes, with the chasing pack seemingly unaware she was out in front. Her face was filled with emotion as she crossed the line, a minute and 15 seconds ahead of silver medallist Van Vleuten, with Italy's Borghini a further 14 seconds back. Kiesenhofer has had an unconventional journey to the top echelons of the cycling world, having previously competed in triathlon and duathlon until injuries forced her to stop running. She holds  a Master's degree in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge in England, and a PhD in applied mathematics at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. However, her decision to concentrate on cycling has now paid dividends as she took home one of the ultimate prizes in sport at Tokyo 2020.

"I planned to attack at kilometre zero and I was happy I could get in front. That is something I could not take for granted because I am not good at riding in the peloton, said Kiesenhofer. "I am happy that I was not too scared and I just went for it. I attacked and with the group we worked more or less together - it was helpful to have a group. I saw I was the strongest and I knew I had the climb before the long descent.

The Austrian mathematician’s gold at the final seconds was assisted by the  veteran Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten mistakenly thinking and celebrating  she had won. The 30-year-old who  holds a doctorate in applied maths from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia having also studied at Vienna and Cambridge Universities, held her nerve    

Anna Kiesenhofer  hails from Austria and is a postdoctoral fellow in mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL).  Kiesenhofer studied mathematics at the Technical University of Vienna, completing her Master's degree at University of Cambridge. She earned her PhD at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia with her thesis on Integrable systems on b-symplectic manifolds. Kiesenhofer is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and is part of a group researching nonlinear partial differential equations which arise in mathematical physics. Truly vera level.

Five Red Tulips (Cinq tulipes rouges) is a 1949 French crime film directed by Jean Stelli and starring René Dary, Suzanne Dehelly and Raymond Bussières. The film's sets were designed by the art director Jacques Colombier. The plot was the murders of five riders during the Tour de France.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th July 2021. 

Appreciating AmbuRx Radhika Shastry - Mann ki Baat !!

The Nilgiris (Blue Montains)  district is one of the 38 districts of Tamil Nadu.   Nilgiri Hills are part of a larger mountain chain known as the Western Ghats. Their highest point is the mountain of Doddabetta, height 2,637 m. The district is contained mainly within the Nilgiri Mountains range.

Incessant rains in the Nilgiris district for more than ten days resulted in landslides at many places. The dams in the Western Tamil Nadu are filling to the brim, reported a Tamil daily on Saturday. The Nilgiris district has been receiving heavy to very heavy rains with thunderstorms for the last two days. The catchment areas like Avilanji, Upper Bhavani, and Ooty suburban areas are receiving incessant rains. Avilanji recorded 16 centimeters of rainfall while Naduvattam recorded 14 centimeters of rainfall on Friday. Farmlands at Kappathorai, Muthorai Palada, and Nanjanad areas are flooded destroying more than 50 acres of crops.

Moving away, the sirens of 108 Ambulance are heard lesser these days – a movie criticized stating  ‘pizza arrive faster than ambulance’ but that was abject lie,  sensationalism in a movie, nothing beyond.  108 is an excellent service in the State, comes much faster and the people of Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai too are to be appreciated, for in general, everyone moves out and makes way for the ambulance when they hear the siren !!  

Hyderabad Traffic Police have faced criticism following allegations that two ambulances were stopped to give passage to a VIP convoy. In the visuals of the incident that have gone viral, long queues of vehicles are seen waiting for the go-ahead at Masab Tank area in Hyderabad. Among them are the ambulances and their sirens can be heard in the videos.  The ambulances were reportedly going from Mahaveer Hospital to Virinchi Hospital when the traffic movement was allegedly stopped to let the VIP convoy pass. Local residents said traffic movement was stopped to give passage to the convoy of Telangana Home Minister Mahmood Ali.

People, especially those from the tribal areas of Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu have always faced difficulty reaching hospitals during emergencies. The hilly terrain and narrow roads restrict the movement of vehicles. To overcome these hurdles, a cafe owner in Coonoor purchased six-autorickshaws through crowd-funding and remodelled them into auto ambulances.

A Bengaluru resident for nearly 30 years and a senior professional in a timeshare holiday company, Radhika Shastry decided to retire to a quiet hillside one day. Years of working in Resort Condominium International had given her enough opportunities to see idyllic locales while location hunting for new resorts for her company. She homed on the Nilgiris. In 2017 - Café Diem started in Coonoor in January this year and is a cute, cosy spot with a to-die-for-view of the Nilgiris, reported Rediff at that time.  now that lady icon is in news especially with the Prime Minister making a mention of her in Mann ki baat. 

The woman entrepreneur, a cafe owner in Coonoor has crowd-funded six ‘autorickshaw ambulances’, customised for the hilly terrain and narrow roads of Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris.  "AmbuRx has been customised in Jabalpur and it will run free of cost in Nilgiris. These will be very convenient for patients' movement, especially in the narrow hill roads. It will be very useful for non-critical patients as well as Covid patients too," it is reported.  Tamil Nadu Forest Minister K Ramachandran along with Collector J Innocent Divya inaugurated the ‘AmbuRx’ services on Saturday.

The auto ambulances have a separate driver's cabin and are fitted with a patient stretcher, attendant seating, an oxygen cylinder, drip hooks, a fire extinguisher, a first aid box, and a fan. Each of the remodelled vehicles costs Rs 3.5 lakh. In total, Shastri and her supporters, including patrons of her cafe and those who contributed to the social media campaign, spent a total amount of Rs 21 lakh to get the ambulances to the hill station. AmbuRx will be donated to the Ketti government hospital, Pushpa hospital (Coonoor), Kotagiri Medical Fellowship hospital, Hotel Federation Kinder Trust (Wellington), and 3-star ambulance services.

The cafe owner Radhika Shastri, a resident of Coonoor, told, “I came across these electric auto ambulances, a project of Vivek Tankha of Jabalpur, on social media, and thought the Nilgiris also should have such facilities. The terrain is quite difficult here and these autos would enhance mobility in the narrow hilly roads. I contacted the manufacturers in Jabalpur and asked customisation of the ambulances for the Nilgiris’ unique topography”. Then came the task of raising money for the ambulances. Shastri appealed to the patrons of her cafe, Café Diem, and also conducted social media campaigns.

The entire process of modifying the ambulances and their delivery took only 30 days. Six 470-CC Bajaj Maximas were remodeled for the purpose, with each ambulance costing Rs 3.5 lakh. Shastri spent around Rs 21 lakh to get the ambulances to Nilgiris. Once their registration process is complete, the ambulances will be deployed in public and private hospitals and NGOs in Ketti, Coonoor, and Kotagiri areas to help patients residing in remote villages.  I think AmbuRx can be very effective and deliver great services to non-critical patients,” Shastri said. Dr. Harija, Block Medical Officer in Coonoor, agreed that the AmbuRx can serve hilly areas well. “We have 108 ambulance services in all Primary Healthcare Centres. But this AmbuRx is focused on people living in tribal hamlets and remote areas, where roads are narrow and patchy. It will improve mobility in inaccessible areas,” Dr. Harija said. 

This is not the first time Shastri has helped improve medical infrastructure in the region. Last month, along with other welfare associations, she helped raise funds to build a 500-lpm oxygen generator unit in Lawly Government Hospital in Coonoor.

The auto ambulance service initiative of Smt. Radhika Shastry of Nilgiri district found a mention in Prime Minister’s monthly radio broadcast, “Mann Ki Baat” this Saturday. During the programme, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi said, “Radhika Shastry has started the AmbuRx (Amburex) Project. The purpose of this project is to provide easy transport for the treatment of patients in hilly areas. Radhika runs a cafe in Coonoor. She raised funds for AmbuRx from her cafe colleagues. Today six AmbuRx are serving in the Nilgiri hills and are coming to the aid of patients in remote parts during the time of emergency.  Following the acknowledgement of the Prime Minister, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Shri L Murugan spoke to Smt. Radhika Shastry over the phone and congratulated her. Later, in a tweet, Shri Murugan said this compassionate gesture by her in Nilgiris will motivate others and also improve health facilities in the region.

Let us appreciate good things – hats off to Radhika Shastry.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
26th July 2021. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

PNG women lifter's unique achievement !!

Can you connect Cricketers – Wilfred Rhodes, DB Close,FE Woolley, GA Headley and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar ??

Papua New Guinea,  is a group of islands located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.  It is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world - 848 different languages are listed for the country, of which 12 have no known living speakers.  Though mining provides impetus to the economy, many people live in extreme poverty.  After being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea established its sovereignty in 1975 after Australia ceased to administer it. It became a separate Commonwealth realm with Queen Elizabeth II reigning as its Head of State.

Papua New Guinea's women weightlifter Loa Dika Toua made history on day 1 – 24.7.2021  at the Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first woman weightlifter to compete at the games five times. Her career started at 16, when she became the first-ever female Olympian lifter. At this year's games, Toua belted out a scream and smiled at the camera as she grabbed the bar weighing about 368 pounds.  "I am so proud of this moment, I hope the young girls in my country follow my footsteps," Toua told Reuters.

Her Olympic journey has taken her to Australia, Greece, China, Britain. She skipped the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, giving her position to her sister, but financial issues stopped the country from competing that year. Toua was  placed sixth in the 2004 Athens Games, her highest score.  "You can dream of attending one Olympics, and if you're lucky enough, you can make it to two. But I've made it to five Olympic Games, you don't even dream about this," Toua told Reuters.

The Tokyo Olympics will feature several trailblazing women, including Georgian shooter Nino Salukvadze, who will be the first woman at nine Olympics in any sport. Gymnast Oksana Chusovitina of Uzbekistan is defying age and odds as she continues to vault at 46.

When women's weightlifting was introduced as an Olympic sport in 2000, Papua New Guinea's then 16-year-old Loa Dika Toua became the first-ever female Olympian lifter. On Saturday in Tokyo, the now 37-year-old athlete did it for the fifth time. Wearing her country's flag colours of red and black, Toua grabbed the bar with a scream, lifted 167 kg in total and smiled in joy, making a heart gesture with her hands at the television camera that she said was for her children. "This would have been my sixth, but in 2016 Rio Olympics I pulled out from the team to give my spot to my sister. Unfortunately due to financial constraints of the country, we couldn't send our team there."

Amid coronavirus restrictions, her achievement in returning to the Games after previously lifting in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London was witnessed live by just a handful of journalists, judges, coaches and other athletes - an achievement nearly thwarted after she contracted tuberculosis in 2013. Coming from a family of weightlifters, Toua was encouraged to get involved in the sport by her aunt. "I had just turned 16 when I attended the Sydney Olympics, and it was nerve-wrecking. It was my third international competition ever and it was an amazing experience, being called an Olympian," Toua said.

That list on top is that of Test Cricketers who had the most career span :  Wilfred Rhodes of England debuted on 1st June 1899, played across the century for 30 years 315 days playing 58 matches, followed by Close, Woolley, Headley and then fifth in the list is Sachin who played from 15.11.1989 till 16.11.2013 spanning 24 years and 1 day – playing 200 Tests !

In One dayers,  it is Sachin who tops the list 18.12.1989 to 18.3.2012 – 22 years 91 days – 463 matches in all; followed by Sanath Jayasuriya 445 matches in 21years+; Javed Miandad 233; Chris Gayle 301; Shoaib Malik 287 and P Arvinda de Silva 308 matches in 18 y 352 days.

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar




Saturday, July 24, 2021

Horsemen, lake - and more !


Horsemen do interest us – Vallaravayan Vanthiyathevan was a famous horseman in Ponniyin selvan – one may not immediately recognize the other horseman at  Godavari in Andhra Pradesh – in case if you would be interested, do read this post :  


Come Summer, Chennai would be hit by water shortage – the home of millions of people coming from all parts does not have a perennial lake or river – and sadly no reservoirs to keep the rain water too. 

விஜயாலயச் சோழனின் பேரனான முதலாம் பராந்தகச் சோழன் சோழப் பேரரசுக்கு அஸ்திவாரம் அமைத்தவன். தில்லைச் சிற்றம்பலத்துக்குப் பொன்கூரை வேய்ந்து வரலாற்றுப் புகழ் பெற்றவனும் முதலாம் பராந்தகச் சோழன் தான். 

சோழசிகாமணி, சூரசிகாமணி முதலிய பெயர்களோடு விளங்கிய இவன், வீர நாராயணன் என்னும் பெயரையும் பெற்றிருந்தான்.  1011 - 1037 ஆம் ஆண்டுகளில் அமைக்கப்பட்ட இந்த ஏரி, 16 கிலோ மீட்டர் நீளமும் 4 கிலோ மீட்டர் அகலமும் கொண்டது. தொடக்கத்தில் 74 மதகுகளும் வாய்க்கால்களும் இருந்தன. இப்போது 28 வாய்க்கால்கள் மட்டுமே உள்ளன. 1445 mcft கன அடி நீரைத் தேக்கி வைக்கும் திறன் கொண்ட இந்த ஏரியில் இப்போது 935 mcft கன அடி நீரையே தேக்கி வைக்க முடிகிறது.  

அமரர் கல்கி தனது “பொன்னியின் செல்வன்” நாவலின் கதையை, அப்போதைய சோழ சாம்ராச்சியத்தின் நிலையை, சுவையோடு தொகுத்தளிக்க ‘வந்தியத்தேவன்’ என்கின்ற கதாபாத்திரத்தை கச்சிதமாகத் தேர்ந்தெடுத்தார்.  அக்கதாபாத்திரத்தின் போக்கிலேயே நம்மை காஞ்சி, கடம்பூர், குடந்தை, திருவையாறு, தஞ்சை, திருப்புறம்பியம், பழையாறை, கோடிக்கரை, இலங்கை, மாதோட்டம், அனுராதபுரம், தம்பள்ளை, நாகைப்பட்டினம் என ஒவ்வொரு இடமாகத் தரிசிக்கச் செய்தார்.   இன்றைய தமிழகத்திலே, சித்திரை வெயிலிலும், வற்றிப்போன காவிரிக் கரையோரத்தில் தாமரையும் அல்லியும் மண்டிக் கிடக்கும் இரண்டு மூன்று குளங்கள் மிச்சம் இருக்கின்றனவென்றால், ஆயிரம் வருடங்களுக்கு முன்னர், நீர் மேலாண்மைக்குப் பெயர்போன சோழ தேசம் எவ்வாறு இருந்திருக்கும் என்பது ஒரு இனிமையான கற்பனை.    அதன் உண்மை பிரதிபலிப்பு தான் வீராணம் ஏரி !!  

The lake that  is referred is not within the geographical bounds of our city. But though it is 235 km away, it would be no exaggeration to state that it is Chennai’s lifeline, supplying roughly 50 to 180 million litres of water to the city every day. Nothing prepares you for its vast expanse — 11.2 km in length and 4 km in width (as per Wikipedia), and when full of water, it is an awesome sight. I allude to the Veeranam Lake, located in Cuddalore District. We need to thank the Chola prince Rajaditya for this.  – it is the Veeranam lake.

The man in the left is horseman fighter Vanthiyathevan .. .. and on the left collaged is a Britisher – the statue now stands at his museum that was  inaugurated by the then  Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Sri Nadamuri Tarakarama Rao on 25.2.1988 and is located in the building which was previously under the occupation of Executive Engineer, Godavari Head Works Division Dowleswaram.

In 1877, at the height of the Great Famine that devastated the south, a distinguished Englishman, recently knighted for services rendered to the British empire, yet again took a vociferous stand against the policies of his queen’s government in India. For years he had railed against imperial overzeal for the railways—a sophisticated scam that funnelled out Indian resources while delivering unconscionable profits to faraway investors—and now he was vindicated. For “we have before our eyes," he noted, “the sad and humiliating scene of magnificent (rail) Works that have cost poor India 160 millions, which are so utterly worthless in the respect of the first want of India, that millions are dying by the side of them." The railways certainly brought grain to starving masses, but the costs were so disproportionately high that nobody could afford to buy them—official profiteering perverted even the delivery of famine relief.

The British,  the man,  thought, brought “disgrace to (their own) civilized country" by their “grievous neglect" of India. He decided to make amends. When the Godavari project was sanctioned in 1847, he  asked for six engineers, eight juniors and 2,000 masons. Instead, he was allotted one “young hand", two surveyors, and a few odd men. Yet he persevered. “To save on masonry work," Jon Wilson writes, “he copied the method of construction" used by the Cholas. “Cotton created a loose pile of mud and stone on the riverbed, which he then covered in lime and plastered with concrete, instead of building up entirely with stone." The whole project was finished at a third of the cost initially estimated, till 370 miles of canals (339 of which were navigable) irrigated some 364,000 acres of land, transforming a dry expanse into the “rice bowl" of Andhra Pradesh.

Wonder who the man was ? - General Sir Arthur Thomas Cotton KCSI (15 May 1803 – 24 July 1899) was a British general and irrigation engineer.

Cotton devoted his life to the construction of irrigation and navigation canals throughout British India. He helped many people by building the Dowleswaram Barrage (Rajamahendravaram), the Prakasam Barrage and the Kurnool Cuddappah Canal (K. C. Canal).   Sir Arthur Cotton Museum has been built in his honour in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. The museum holds approximately one hundred images and 15 machine tools that Cotton used when constructing the barrage in Andhra Pradesh from 1847 to 1852.  

In the 1830s, (later Sir) Arthur Cotton, the engineer who later harnessed the waters of the Krishna and Godavari, studied the  veeranam tank in detail. He noted that there was no serious defect in the tank (this, 900 years after it was constructed) apart from the narrowing of the mouth of the Vadavar River that connected the lake to the Kollidam and the tendency of the bund to breach when filled to the brim. Interestingly, Cotton’s report is full of anglicised Tamil terms — totie (thotti or tank) and calingula (from kalingu or sluice) being two commonly used words.

In  1967, C.N. Annadurai, then freshly elected Chief Minister of the State, mooted the idea of supplying water to the capital city from Veeranam. He died in 1969 and it was left to his successors to execute the plan. The project, estimated at Rs. 21 crore, was then the biggest to be sanctioned in independent India. The contractor put up a plant at Tirukazhugukundram in collaboration with a Greek firm for making the pre-stressed concrete pipes. What happened next reflected no credit on any of the parties involved. There were allegations of corruption, delays in sanctioning foreign exchange and quality issues. With the DMK government being dismissed in 1976, the matter was taken to court, and in the middle of it all, the contractor suddenly died. The pipes were abandoned all along the Cuddalore-Madras route and were put to good use — entire families were raised in them and some others became latrines.

Today is Aadi Uthiradam – celebrating the birth of Acaryar Alavanthar who was born in Kattumannarkovil – veeranam lake is named after Perumal at this sthalam Sri Veeranarayanar.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th July 2021.

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu wins Silver medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020

The Meitei people, are an ethnic group native to the state of Manipur in northeastern India. The Meitei primarily settled in the Imphal Valley region in modern-day Manipur, although a sizable population have settled in Assam, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram; with notable presence in the neighbouring countries of Myanmar and Bangladesh.    The origins of the Meitei people are not conclusively known. They follow Hinduism.  Their settlement on a fertile plain and valley regions of the Imphal River and the tributaries of the Manipur River enabled the Meitei to develop sophisticated wet rice cultivation systems, which supported a denser population and drove the development of a more complex political and social system than in adjacent hill areas.  A Meitei girl has done India proud today !!

Tokyo Olympics 2020  is underway after so many hurdles – today on day 1 - India’s Sumit Nagal began his campaign with a 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-4 win over Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin at the Ariake Tennis Park. Nagal’s win was the first for an Indian men’s singles tennis player at the Olympics since Leander Paes’ bronze medal-winning run at Atlanta 1996.

India begin Tokyo Olympics hockey campaign with win over New Zealand. Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh scored for India in the Pool A match. Kane Russell and Stephen Jenness scored goals for New Zealand.

On April 17, India’s star weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was on the verge of a most unpleasant moment of déjà vu. At the Asian Championship in Tashkent, the diminutive lifter from Manipur failed to nail a lift in the first two of her three attempts in the snatch. A third ‘no-lift’ would have ended Chanu’s medal hopes, a repeat of the horror show five years ago, at the Rio Olympics, where she crashed out after failing to lift the weight in any of her three attempts in the clean and jerk category. But Chanu is not someone who repeats mistakes. In her final attempt, she lifted 86kg and then went on to create a world record by lifting an incredible 119kg in the clean and jerk. The combined total of 205kg earned her a bronze medal and a ticket to Tokyo.

She was hogging limelight as the focus was on her   high medal-winning chances at the Tokyo Olympics, as  the Indian hopes to exorcise the ghosts of a disappointing Rio Games and write a new chapter in the country's weightlifting history. Competing in the 49kg category, Chanu was being considered a sure shot medal prospect for India as her personal best of 205kg is only second to China's Hou Zhihui's effort of 213kg in the eight-woman field.

The happy news is she has won a Silver medal in Olympics today. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu  has  won a silver medal at Tokyo Olympics in women's 49 kg, thereby bringing India its first medal in the event. A regular presence in international events since 2014 in the 48 kg category, Chanu has won the World Championships and multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions to the sport. She was awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards by the Government of India for year 2018.

Chanu had won the silver medal in the women's 48 kg weight class at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow; she went on to break the games record en route to the gold medal at the 2018 edition of the event held in Gold Coast. Her biggest achievement came in 2017, when she won the gold medal at World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, United States. She won a Silver Medal and India's 1st Olympic Medal at the Tokyo Olympics

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was born on 8 August 1994 in Nongpok Kakching, Imphal, Manipur, to a Meitei Hindu family. Her family identified her strength from an early age when she was just 12.   Chanu is now in news for winning the first medal for India at Tokyo.   Karnam Malleswari was the only Indian weightlifter to have won an Olympic medal, a bronze in the 69kg category at the 2000 Sydney Games.

A confident Mirabai entered the competition with the highest entry weight of 210kg, five kilograms more than her personal best, followed by Zhihui (205kg), who had previously lifted 213kg (96g+117kg) at the Asian championship. Mirabai, in her first attempt in snatch, lifted 84kg, then settled with 87kg in her second attempt. She failed her final attempt (89kg). China's Hou Zhihui started on 88kg, then created a new Olympics record with a lift of 94kg, which is two kgs below her own world record.

Thus, the Indian lifter entered the clean & jerk with a deficit of seven kgs, to Zhihui. United States' Elizabeth Jordan Delacruz finished third with 86 kg, ahead of Indonesia's Windy Cantika Aisah, who lifted 84 kg. In clean & jerk, Mirabai, who holds the world record, could manage only 115k kgs for a total of 202 kgs.

Well done and congratulations to our silver lady Saikhom Mirabai Chanu

The not so good news from Tokyo is that the Indian archery mixed team of Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav was knocked out in the quarter-final at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. The Indian duo lost 6-2 to the Korean pair of An San and Kim Je Deok at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field. The top-seeded Koreans dominated from the beginning, winning the first set 35-32 as the Indians shot two 8s and a low 7.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
24th July 2021. 

Aadi Velli - worshipping Nagar


செல்லாத்தா செல்ல மாரியாத்தா

எங்கள் சிந்தையில் வந்து அரை வினாடி நில்லாத்தா !

கண்ணாத்தா உன்னைக் காணாட்டா

இந்த கண்களிருந்து என்ன புண்ணியம் சொல்லாத்தா !!


~ இன்று (23.7.2021) ஆடி வெள்ளிக்கிழமை.  பட்டிதொட்டிகள்தோறும் கம்பீரமாக ஒலிக்கும் இந்த பாடல் இன்று கேட்கவில்லை. கொரோனா கொடுமை வேறு தலைவிரித்தாடி, இப்போது குறைந்தாற்போல் உள்ளது.  மக்கள் அனைத்தையுமே மறந்து விட்டனர் போல !  .. தெருக்களில் மறுபடி கூட்டம், மாஸ்க்குகள் கழுத்தை சுற்றி - மூக்கை வாயை மூடி அல்ல !!  அரசாங்க ஆணையின் படி தெருவோரக்கோவில்களிலே மைக்செட் தடையாம் !! மக்கள் சிலர் கூற்று .. .. கேரளாவில் கொரோனா விடுமுறை !!  .. ஆனால் கன்வர் யாத்திரைக்கு உச்ச நீதி மன்றம் தடை !! இந்துக்களின் வழிபாட்டு முறை ஒவ்வொன்றுக்கும் ஓர் பெயரில் தடை !  என் சொல்ல !!!

திருவல்லிக்கேணியில் இந்நன்னாளில் பக்தர்கள் - முக்கியமாக பெண்கள், பக்தியுடன் அம்மன் கோவில்களுக்கும்,  வெங்கட்ரங்கம் தெருவில் உள்ள - பார்த்தசாரதி சபா என்றழைக்கப்படும் இடத்திற்கும் சென்று, புற்றுக்கு பால் வார்த்து வழிபடுவர்.

ஆடிமாதம் என்பது அம்மன் கோவில்களுக்கு மிக உகந்தமாதம் ஆகும். இந்த மாதத்தில் அனைத்து அம்மன் கோவில்களிலும் தீமிதி திருவிழா, தேர்திருவிழா, என அனைத்து திருவிழாக்களும் நடைபெறும், குறிப்பாக இந்த மாதத்தில் உள்ள ஒவ்வொரு வெள்ளிக்கிழமைகளிலும் அனைத்து கோவில்களிலும் சிறப்பு பூஜைகளும், அபிஷேக ஆராதனைகளும் நடைபெறுவது வழக்கம்.  ஆடி வெள்ளிக்கிழமை  நாட்களில்  பக்தர்கள் 'புற்றுக்கு பால் தெளித்தல்' எனும் வழிபாட்டு முறையில் - . நாகர்களுக்கு பால் இட்டு வழிபடும் சிறப்பு நாள். 

ஆடி மாதத்தில் வரும் ஒவ்வொரு வெள்ளி கிழமையும் பக்தர்கள்  புற்றுள்ள அம்மன் கோயிலுக்குச் சென்று நாகருக்குப் பால் வார்த்து, குலம் தழைக்க வேண்டி வழிபடுவர். ஆடி முதல் வெள்ளியன்று இனிப்பு தேங்காய் கொழுக்கட்டை, உப்பு, எள்ளுக் கொழுக்கட்டை ஆகியவற்றை செய்து அம்மனுக்கு படையலிட்டு வழிபட்டு மகிழ்வது தமிழக மக்களின் வழக்கம்.  அதேபோல, ஆடி வெள்ளியன்று மாலை நேரத்தில் அம்மனை அலங்கரித்து வழிபட்டால் வளங்கள் அனைத்தும் வந்து சேரும். குடும்பம் முன்னேற்றம் அடையும், மாங்கல்ய பாக்கியமும், தொழில் மேன்மையும் ஏற்படும். ஆடி வெள்ளியன்று குத்துவிளக்கு பூஜை செய்து சுமங்கலிப் பெண்களுக்கு மங்கலதுணி, தேங்காய், பழம், வெற்றிலை பாக்கு, மஞ்சள் மற்றும் குங்குமம் வைத்துக் கொடுத்தால் நற்பலன்கள் நம்மை வந்து சேரும், இல்லத்தில் மங்கலம் உண்டாகும் என்பது ஐதீகம்.

இவற்றில் நாகர் வழிபாடு பல்லாண்டுகளாக தொடர்ந்து பெண்களால் வழிபாட்டு வரும் முறை.  இன்றும் தென் மாவட்டங்களான கன்யாகுமரியிலும் நாகர்கோயிலிலும் - இது சிறப்பாக கொண்டாடப்பட்டு வருகின்றது.     நாகம் பூமிக்குள் இருந்து வந்து அங்கேயே சென்று மறைந்து விடுவதால் மக்கள் தம் மூதாதையரும் அங்கிருந்து வந்து அங்கேயே சென்று விட்டனர் என்று காரண, காரிய இயைபுடன் நம்பி வந்தனர். தொன்மம் என்பது ஆதிமனிதனின் அறிவியல் தேடல் என்பர் தொன்மவியல் அறிஞர். மண், மலை, கடல் போன்ற இயற்கை கூறுகளில் இருந்து தோன்றி திரும்பவும் அவற்றுக்குள்போய் மறைவதைக் கண்ட மனிதன் சூரியன், சந்திரன், பாம்பு ஆகியவற்றை வழிபடத் தொடங்கினான்.  நாகர் வழிபாடு   உலகின் அனைத்துப் பக்திகளிலும்  தனிச் செல்வாக்கு பெற்றிருந்தது.  

நாகங்கள் கறையான் கட்டும் புற்றுக்களில்போய் குடிகொள்ளும் என்பது ஆழ்ந்த நம்பிக்கை.  நாகப்பாம்புகள் பால் உண்ணாது எனினும், அவற்றிற்கு பால் வார்த்தல் ஒரு நம்பிக்கை சார்ந்த பக்தி..   புற்றை சுற்றி வருவோருக்கு நோய் தீர்கிறது; மனம் தெளிவடைகிறது;  பாம்பு என்பது ஆதியில் இருந்தே வளமைக் குறியீடாகவே உணரப்பட்டது.  நாகத்தைக் கிறிஸ்துவ இஸ்லாமிய சமயங்கள் சாத்தான்/ சைத்தான் என்று சொல்லி அதன் வழிபாட்டுத் தகுதியைப் போக்கி விட்டன. விலக்கப்பட்ட கனியை உண்ணும்படி ஏவாளை தூண்டியது ஒருபாம்பு. இந்த பாம்பை சைத்தானின் உருவமாகக் கருதுகின்றனர்.  பவுத்த மதத்தில் நாகர் வழிபாடு பிரசித்தி பெற்றது. இலங்கையிலும் ஜாவா தீவிலும் நாக பூஷணி என்ற பெண் தெய்வம் பவுத்த மரபின் செல்வாக்கு படைத்த தெய்வம் ஆகும்.  

இன்று பௌர்ணமி திதி - சந்திர மாசம் ஆரம்பம் -   பாதாள லோகத்தை பற்றிய விரிவான விளக்கங்கள் - விஷ்ணு புராணத்தில் - அழகாக விவரித்து இருக்கிறார்கள்.  நாம் அனுதினமும் வணங்கும் திருமாலின் படுக்கையும் அனந்தன் எனப்படும் ஆதிசேஷன் நாகங்களின் தலைவன்.  

முன்னர் 'பார்த்தசாரதி சபா' என்று குறிப்பிட்ட இடம் - சில தொழிற்சாலைகளுடன் பல்லாண்டுகளாக  இருந்து வந்தது.  எவர்சில்வர் குடங்கள், லேத்து பட்டறைகள், வார்ப்பகங்கள், சாயத்தொழிற்சாலை, வண்டிகள் பழுது பார்த்தல் என பல்வேறு கடைகளின் இடையே கடைசியில் ஒரு பெரிய இடத்தில - நூற்றாண்டு பெருமை பெற்ற 'ஸ்ரீ பார்த்தசாரதி ஸ்வாமி சபா' சிறப்புற இருந்தது.  கர்நாடக இசை, பரதக்கலை, நாடகக்கலை இவற்றை பெருமளவில் உயர்த்தியது இந்த சபா.  முன்னொரு காலத்தில், சபா உறுப்பினர்  என்பதுவே ஒரு கெளரவம்.  திருவல்லிக்கேணி பணக்காரர்கள் அழகாக உடை, நகைகள் அணிந்து,  சபா நிகழ்சிகளுக்கு  வருவார்கள்.  சபா இருந்த இடத்தில் 'விஜய் அவென்யு' எனும் அடுக்குமாடி கட்டம் 1995ல் வந்தது.  சபா மற்றும் கடைகள் உள்ளடக்கிய இடங்கள் யாவையுமே டிகேகேஎன்என் வைஸ்யா சாரிட்டிஸ்க்கு சொந்தமானவை.  இப்போது இவ்விடத்தில் 'வாசவி பார்த்தாஸ்' எனும் அடுக்குமாடி குடியிருப்புகள் அழகுற அமைந்துள்ளன. 

இவ்விடத்தில்  [வாசவி பார்த்தாஸ் குடியிருப்பு பகுதி உள்ளே]  நெடிய அரசமரம் / வேப்ப  மரங்களும் - நாகப்ரதிஷ்டையும் உள்ளன.  பற்பல ஆண்டுகளாக பக்தர்கள் இவ்விடத்தில் வழிபட்டு வருகின்றனர்.  இந்த ஆடி வெள்ளி அன்றும் திரளான பக்தர்கள் - இவ்விடத்தில் வழிபட்டனர்.   அரசமரமும், நாகர்களும் - சில புகைப்படங்கள் இங்கே. [மத்திய வேளையில் மக்கள் இல்லாதபோது எடுத்தவை ]

அன்புடன் - ஸ்ரீனிவாசன் சம்பத்குமார்
23rd July 2021. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

5 debutants lucky to play in ODI 3 at Colombo

In life, often we hear people say that they performed so well, but had no luck or were overshadowed by the efforts of somebody else.  One of my bosses used to say, that even for regular things he had to struggle, while others got them so easily – is life cruel to some !  is not the Q of the day .. .. at times life throws a bounty as today – when 5 Indian cricketers are making their debut in ODI.

Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana,

Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson & Chetan Sakaria

A  successful leftarm pacer born in Secunderabad and played for Delhi regularly ended up ‘a trivia Q in Quizzing circles’….. he was part of that famous Kapil Devils which won World Cup 1983 – did not play in a single match… coming back, when India struggled against Windies – he was not selected and never got a chance again to be part of the Indian squad.    that was "Sunil Valson"........Then 16 years later he had another for company ~ an attacking left hander Amay Khurasiya was included in team for 1999 WC but did not get a single chance to play……… [later he played in some odd One dayers without great success]

The man, very unfortunate that he never played for India - Rajinder Goel,  is the highest wicket-taker in the history of the Ranji Trophy with 637 strikes. In all, the Haryana left-arm spinner bagged 750 wickets in 157 first-class matches from 1958-59 to 1984-85.    In Sept 1982, when India played the first official test against Srilanka - Arun lal and Rakesh Shukla debuted.  That turned out to be the only test for Shukla.  Among the many others who missed was Kerala born Bhaskar Pillai who turned out for strong Delhi -   was a standby for India's tour of Sri Lanka in 1985 but that was as close as he came to national selection. Have read that he was about to make his debut in a match at Jammu but unfortunately that match was washed out.

Moving away from the past – the Indian squad today reads :  1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 3 Sanju Samson (wk), 4 Manish Pandey, 5 Suryakumar Yadav, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Nitish Rana, 8 K Gowtham, 9 Rahul Chahar, 10 Navdeep Saini, 11 Chetan Sakariya  - yes 5 debutants ..  There are three changes," Dasun Shanaka, the Lankan captain says. "Praveen Jayawickrama, Ramesh Mendis and Akila Dananjaya are in."

Among the debutants is young exciting IPL player - Chetan Sakariya   who made his debut for Saurashtra in 2018-19. He was picked up for INR 1.2 crore in the IPL 2021 auction by the Rajasthan Royals, and made his IPL debut at the first opportunity, named in the XI for the Royals' opening game of IPL 2021, against the Punjab Kings.  A left-arm swing bowler who hails from Vartej, a hamlet 180 kilometres west of Rajkot. Sakariya grew up wanting to be a batsman, but turned towards fast bowling when he was in class XI because that helped students get a lot of 'bhaav' (attention) in school.

Interesting and all the best to Team India and its young generation Cricketers

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Thursday, July 22, 2021

interesting migration of butterflies ! 'வண்ணத்துப்பூச்சி வலசை செல்வது'

சில நாட்கள் முன் பிரபல தமிழ் நாளிதழில் இந்த செய்தி என்னை ஈர்த்தது !  -  பருவமழை தள்ளிப்போனதால் பட்டாம் பூச்சிகள் வலசை செல்வது தாமதமாகியுள்ளது, இதனால் இயற்கை சமன்பாடு மாறுவதாக பட்டாம்பூச்சி ஆர்வலர்கள் கவலை தெரிவித்துள்ளனர்.  உங்களில் சிலருக்கு தெரிந்து இருக்கலாம் - 'வலசை செல்வது' எனக்கு புதிதான சொல்.  எனவே தொடர்ந்து படித்தேன்.


Mostly you have read, seen videos and photos of Masai Mara.  Promoted as one of nature’s greatest spectacles, the annual migration draws  millions of tourists to the African country annually.  The annual migration consists of wildebeest, zebra, eland and gazelle.  More than one million wildebeest, 500,000 gazelle, and 200,000 zebras migrate in a clockwise hunt for greener pastures across the plains of Africa.  During this time,  huge herbivore herds, which have been grazing in Masai Mara Reserve of Kenya, make the trip south to Serengeti Park of Tanzania.  Many of them may not make it as they have to transverse crocodile-infested rivers and lion-filled lands.   A couple of times, Kenya’s wildebeest was  broadcast live too, providing unique opportunity for people to experience what the great migration has to offer as well as an insight into what it is like to go on safari in Kenya. 

வலசை போதல்  = Animal migration -  என்பது பல இனங்களைச் சேர்ந்த பறவைகள், விலங்குகள் ஆகியவை பருவகாலங்களை ஒட்டி புலம் பெயருவதைக் குறிக்கும். எல்லா விலங்குகளும் பறவைகளும் வெப்பநிலை வேறுபாட்டை உள்ளூர உணர்கின்றன. மேலும் மனிதனைப் போலவே, விலங்கினங்கள் கோடைக்காலத்தைக் குளிர்ந்த இடங்களிலும், குளிர்காலத்தை வெதுவெதுப்பான இடங்களிலும் கழிக்க விரைகின்றன. அவை தங்கள் வாழிடத்தைப் பல்வேறு பருவகாலங்களில் மாற்றிக் கொள்கின்றன.  குறிப்பிட்ட காலங்களில் விலங்குகள் அல்லது பறவைகள் தங்களின் வாழிடத்திற்கு ஒவ்வொரு ஆண்டும் ஒரு குறிப்பிட்ட காரணங்களுக்காக இடப்பெயர்வு செய்வது வலசை போதல் எனப்படும். அவை குழுக்களாகச் செல்லும் போது அவற்றைக் கொன்று தின்னும் உயிரிகளிடமிருந்து பாதுகாக்கப்படுகின்றன. வலசை போகும் பறவைகள், பூமியின் காந்தவிசையில் ஏற்படும் மாற்றங்களை உணர்கின்றன. அதன் உதவியுடன் அவை தங்களது சேருமிடத்தைக் கண்டறிகின்றன. பந்தயப் புறாக்கள் இந்த முறையில் தான் தனது இருப்பிடத்தை அறிகின்றன. 

பறவை இடம்பெயர்வு என்பது வழக்கமான பருவகால இயக்கமாகும், பெரும்பாலும் வடக்கு மற்றும் தெற்கு திசைப் பறக்கும் பாதையில், இனப்பெருக்கம் மற்றும் குளிர்கால மைதானங்களுக்கு இடையில் நடைபெறுகிறது.  நாரைகள், ஆமை புறாக்கள், விழுங்குதல் போன்ற உயிரினங்களின் இடம்பெயர்வை, 3,000 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்பு ஹோமரும், அரிஸ்டாட்டிலும், பண்டைய கிரேக்க எழுத்தாளர்கள், போன்ற சிலரால் பதிவுசெய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது. மிக சமீபத்தில், ஜொஹன்னஸ் லெச் 1749 இல் பின்லாந்தில் வசந்த காலப்பறவைகளின் வருகையின் தேதிகளைப் பதிவு செய்யத் தொடங்கினர்.  ஆர்க்டிக் டெர்ன் பறவைகளே, மிக நீண்ட தூர இடம்பெயர்வினைச் செய்யும், சாதனையை வைத்திருக்கிறது. ஒவ்வொரு ஆண்டும் ஆர்க்டிக் இனப்பெருக்கம் செய்யும் இடங்களுக்கும் அண்டார்டிக்கிற்கும் இடைப்பட்ட நீண்ட தூரங்களைக் கடக்கும் பறவை இனமாக உள்ளது. இந்த இனங்களே இதுவரை புதிவு செய்யப்பட்ட நீண்ட தூர வலசை செய்யும் பறவைகள் ஆகும்.

மண்ணில் பறந்து திரியும் வானவில் தான் பட்டாம் பூச்சி. வானில் தோன்றும் வானவில்லில் ஏழு நிறங்கள் மட்டுமே இருக்கும். ஆனால் பட்டாம் பூச்சிகள் பல வண்ணங்களில் பரவசப்படுத்தும். அதற்கேற்றார் போல் அதற்கு வண்ணத்துப்பூச்சி என்று மற்றொரு பெயரும் உண்டு.  மலைக்காடுகளிலும் அடர்ந்த வனங்களிலும் அரியவகை தாவரங்கள் மற்றும் மலர்கள் பரவி இருப்பதற்கு பட்டாம் பூச்சிகளே காரணம். சின்னஞ்சிறிய பட்டாம்பூச்சிகள் பெரும் உயிரினமான யானையைப் போல் வலசை செல்லும் வழக்கம் கொண்டவை. 

தென்மேற்கு பருவமழை தொடக்க காலத்தில் மேற்கு தொடர்ச்சி மலைக்காடுகளில் இருந்து லட்சக்கணக்கில் புறப்படும் வண்ணத்துப்பூச்சிகள் வானை அலங்கரித்தபடி கிழக்கு தொடர்ச்சி மலைக்காடுகளை சென்றடையும். அங்கு இனப்பெருக்கம் செய்யும் பட்டாம் பூச்சிகள் வடகிழக்கு பருவமழை காலத்தில் மீண்டும் மேற்கு தொடர்ச்சி மலைக்காடுகளுக்கு திரும்பும். வண்ணத்துப் பூச்சிகளின் இந்த இடப்பெயர்ச்சி காலம்காலமாக நடக்கும் ஓர் இயற்கை நிகழ்வு.   

The annual migration of North America’s monarch butterfly is a unique and amazing phenomenon. The monarch is the only butterfly known to make a two-way migration as birds do. Unlike other butterflies that can overwinter as larvae, pupae, or even as adults in some species, monarchs cannot survive the cold winters of northern climates. Using environmental cues, the monarchs know when it is time to travel south for the winter. Monarchs use a combination of air currents and thermals to travel long distances. Some fly as far as 3,000 miles to reach their winter home!  Monarchs cluster together to stay warm. Tens of thousands of monarchs can cluster on a single tree.  

Back home, it is reported that a surge of a million butterflies happens annually in the Western Ghats, as they migrate just before the onset of the Southwest Monsoon.  In 2020 as the World reeled under pandemic – an unusual phenomenon took place in late August.   A record 1060 butterflies were found to be migrating from one hill complex to another, in a single hour, on August 25. The movement itself was not unusual—but the timing was. Every year, two seasonal butterfly migrations occur between the Western and Eastern Ghats of the Indian peninsula in search of food and survival.

Intense rain in the Western Ghats complex during the southwest monsoon makes it difficult for the butterflies to survive. To avoid the inclement weather, butterflies start their first migration in May and June (before the onset of southwest monsoon) from the Western Ghats to the plains and to the Eastern Ghats.  Year 2020 was  different. “This year, after a gap of eight years, early migration took place. The migratory butterflies started to travel back to the Western Ghats between the last week of August and September middle,” said a newspaper article.

Butterflies are bioindicators, and the early migration means an early arrival of monsoon. With climate change altering weather phenomena across the world, tracking and studying seasonal butterfly migrations have assumed greater significance.  The butterflies originate from Western Ghats ranges, such as Kodagu, Wayanad, Nilgiris, Siruvani and Anamalai, and move toward the Eastern Ghats consisting Yercaud, Pachamalai, Kolli, and Kalvarayan hills during the first migration. And back, for the second migration.  Several research studies in Europe and North America have suggested a correlation between climate change and changes in population distribution of butterfly species. Butterfly behaviour is an indicator of the health of the ecosystem—some researchers have studied climate adaptations in butterflies to better understand the impact of climate change on ecosystems.

Interesting !  .. collated a few sources to stitch an article for posting couple of photos of butterfly  taken by me.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd July 2021.

the coach with raw emotions roasts the Captain infront of cameras !!

Can you say what brackets these Indian Cricketers together : - Keki Tarapore; Hemu Adhikari, GS Ramchand, Datta Gaekwad; Salim Durrani, Ashok Mankad, Bishan Bedi, Abbas Ali Baig, Madanlal,  Chandu Borde, Anshuman Gaekwad !!!

At Colombo on 20th night – Lankans were baffled by what they hit them .. they had set up a tight target of 276, removed Prithvi Shaw 13; Shikhar Dhawan 29; Ishan Kishan 1; Manish Pandey 37 & Hardik Pandya 0 – though Suryakumar Yadav 53 and Krunal Pandya 35  prospered for a brief while – Sri lanka had well and truly secured the match at 193/7 – 83 to be scored in 89 balls with only 3 tail enders left !  - they had only not accounted for the CSK bowling star Deepak Chahar. 

In Nov 2010,  77 years after its inauguration, it was mayhem at Jaipur. The name of  Deepak Lokandersingh Chahar was one everybody’s lips.  In his debut Ranji match at Sawai Man singh,  he walked into the record books and enabled a humiliating place for Hyderabad also.   Pankaj singh bowled 8 overs conceded 11 and took 2 but for once looked an ordinary performance as at the other end was Chahar who had figures of  7.3 – 2 - 10 – 8. In the second his figures read : 18-3-54-4.  In Nov 2019 against Bangladesh -    Deepak Chahar who  reportedly was rejected by  Greg Chappell, (when he  was director of the Rajasthan Cricket Association academy in 2008),  had dream figures of 3.2-0-7-6 – including a hat-trick.

BUT he would not even be mentioned as a bowling all-rounder, he is a bowler !  .. and thus came the pure anti-climax  - the only comparable innings Chahar had with bat  was his 20-ball 39 for the Chennai Super Kings against Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2018, when MS Dhoni promoted him to No.6.

Rahul Dravid’s stint as the Team India head coach during the ongoing Sri Lanka tour has been much celebrated. The former India skipper was earlier the coach of India’s U-19 World Cup-winning team and also the India A teams in the recent past. He has been credited with transforming the Indian youth cricket setup and nurturing a number of young talents, who have gone onto represent India at the international level.  Former India batsman Aakash Chopra talked about the possibility of Dravid taking over as head coach from Shastri.  

Chahar came in at 160 for 6 and saw it become 193 for 7, but his composure was that of a top-order batter.   In his match-winning stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chahar seamlessly switched to being the senior partner.   The scorching pace set by India's top order meant that Chahar had enough time, without needing to worry about big hits.  With 56 needed in eight overs, he took calculated risks, starting by thumping Lakshan Sandakan over long-off. This was Deepak Chahar after the second ODI against Sri Lanka. Batting at No.8, he had made his highest-ever score in senior cricket, and finished the match. The most remarkable thing about Chahar's innings was not the quantum of his score. It was not that he went from 2 off 18, to 23 off 45, to his eventual score of 69* off 82. It was not even that he willed a batting dream into reality. It was how he dealt with the 48th over of the chase, when Wanindu Hasaranga was brought back. Chahar faced the last four balls of the over, with 15 required from 16 balls, and didn't try to score off any of them. Perhaps only Dhoni could play with such a composure !

.. ..and this post after so many words is about ‘composure and emotions’ !  .. .. Emotions no doubt are an inextricable feature of human experience, behaviour, and interaction. Emotions are, the glue that can bind people together and, equally, drive them apart.  .. .. but can one allow emotions to go over board.

Sure you have matched football matches – camera would often zoom on the lone man standing on the sides, walking, speaking, shouting, emotive, making all sorts of gestures – he would gesticulate, castigate, and do whatever ! – but the game is always played by those in the middle.  Thus far, much coaching inquiry has been dominated, either overtly or implicitly, by a cognitive perspective.  Football coaches wear their emotions on their sleeves and are far more expressive.  Emotions and how they are dealt with have a great impact on the performance of coaches and therefore also the team as a whole. Emotional processes in coaches are cyclic and can become stronger in a crisis.  

Back home, the mercurial MS Dhoni had perfected the art of hiding emotions and remaining stoic without ever showing his desperation – after the Colombo match, many felt that his influence on handling the chase had certainly influenced Deepak Chahar who nonchalantly took India to an unexpected win.

On the other side was - Sri Lankan head coach Mickey Arthur – who was all smiles as the Indian top-order was dismissed for cheap and names like Pandya and Ishan Kishan fell sooner than expected. However, when Chahar started to swing for the ropes, even the commentators couldn’t help but notice the frowns returning to his forehead. By the time the match was over, Arthur could be seen walking around the dressing room !   After a stretch of losses, Sri Lanka had an ODI victory in their grasp, but let it slip. For a team low on confidence, it had to have been devastating.

Batter Charith Asalanka, who had top-scored for Sri Lanka with 65, described what it was like to see the opposition's eighth-wicket partnership take the game away. "We're all emotional - the team and coaches are all emotional," he said. "We're a young team. We haven't won much recently, and we're trying to do our best to play together for our country. Everyone tried hard and took it to the final over, but unfortunately we couldn't win."

Mickey Arthur was trending on social media after India took a 2-0 series lead, with fans mocking the Sri Lankan head coach for his animated reactions during the game. Arthur was visibly frustrated with how the game panned out in the final 10 overs of India’s chase and he was seen cursing, and venting his frustration at the local official.

John Michael Arthur  is a South African Australian cricket coach and former cricketer, who played in South African domestic cricket from 1986 to 2001. He was also the coach of the Pakistan Cricket Team from 2016 to 2019. He is the current head coach of the Sri Lanka national cricket team.  He had earlier coached the famed Aussies from 2010 until his sacking in June 2013, and replaced by Darren Lehman. In Dec 2019, a much costlier  Mickey replaced  interim coach Rumesh Ratnayake as Head coach of Lanka.

In the match, clearly  Arthur was not impressed as he and captain Dasun Shanaka were involved in a heated exchange after the match, a video of which went viral. The fact that the interaction between the coach and the captain took place on the ground and not inside the dressing room did not go down well with former Sri Lanka all-rounder Russell Arnold, who is part of the commentary panel. Taking objection to it, Arnold pointed out the same to Arthur.  "That conversation between Coach and captain should not have happened on the field but in the dressing room," tweeted Arnold.

Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur later tried damage control by stating that he had not  berated skipper Dasun Shanaka in front of cameras.   The video did show him exchanging heated words and further appeared to indicate that Shanaka should go with him off the field but the captain did not budge while Arthur walked away, in a video widely shared on social media. "It was actually a very good debate, no need to make mischief out of it," Arthur said on Twitter responding to match commentator Russel Arnold's comment that the exchange should have been held in the dressing room.

Interesting ! .. .. and for once, India has opportunity of trying out newer faces like – Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana,  Krishnappa Gowtham, Varun Chakravarthy, Chetan Sakariya !  - not one – but all of them !

In case, you still remember the list at the top – it is Indian Cricketers, who later became Coaches for the Indian team .. .. not the full list though.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd July 2021.