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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Bearish thought ! - கரடி விடறது !!


To say Good morning with a  pic and thought !! 

In aesthetics, ethics, and politics, Aristotelian thought holds that poetry is an imitation of what is possible in real life; that tragedy, by imitation of a serious action cast in dramatic form, achieves purification  through fear and pity; that virtue is a middle between extremes; that human happiness consists primarily in intellectual activity and .. .. .. 

Rest of us – upon reading are simply thinking ! !! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

History of invasions and uprisings - did Great Britain ruled globe always !!

Almost the entire History read in School curriculum was British rulers and partly Mughals prior to them .. .. other glorious kingdoms did not get their meritorious due !  .. .. – the British East India Company that came to India as traders, slowly took over parcels of kingdom, becoming the rulers, and later transferring power to British Empire.  We read, and were forced to believe that United Kingdom was the most powerful and ruled over the entire globe unscathed and unchallenged.  It was portrayal that Britain as an island may be small and isolated, but one that is supremely tough. It had the power and had invaded, conquered other large countries !!

First let us realise, what was wrongly described as Sepoy Mutiny was not  the first or the only major uprising against the British invaders – there had been many, not all of them  well recognised by those tainted historians.   Here are some of them listed below :

The First Carnatic War (1746–1748) was the Indian theatre of the War of the Austrian Succession and the first of a series of Carnatic Wars in which the British and French East India Companies vied with each other on land for control of their respective trading posts at Madras, Pondicherry, and Cuddalore, while naval forces of France and Britain engaged each other off the coast. The war set the stage for the rapid growth of French hegemony in southern India under the command of French Governor-General Joseph François Dupleix in the Second Carnatic War.

Of the many rebellions, was the ‘Paika Rebellion’,  an armed rebellion against Company rule in India in 1817. The Paikas rose in rebellion under their leader BakshiJagabandhu and projecting Lord Jagannath as the symbol of Odia unity, the rebellion quickly spread across most of Odisha before being put down by the Company's forces.

The Barrackpore mutiny was a rising of native Indian sepoys against their British officers in Barrackpore in Nov 1824. The conflict arose when the British East India Company was fighting the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824–1826) under the leadership of the Governor-General of Bengal, William Amherst, 1st Earl Amherst. The mutiny had its roots in British insensitivity towards Indian cultural sentiments, combined with negligence and poor supply arrangements, which caused growing resentment amongst the sepoys of several regiments of the Bengal Native Infantry after a long march from Mathura to Barrackpore.

The Anglo-Manipur War was an armed conflict between the British Empire and the Kingdom of Manipur that occurred in 1891.

In 1942, Andaman & Nicobar islands were occupied by the Japanese.  Until 1938 the British government used them as a penal colony for Indian and African political prisoners, who were mainly put in the notorious Cellular Jail in Port Blair. 

Just to cite a few examples where Indian fought the British but could not succeed due to various extraneous reasons.

Normandy,  is a geographical and cultural region in Northwestern Europe, roughly coextensive with the historical Duchy of Normandy.Normandy comprises mainland Normandy (a part of France) and the Channel Islands.  Normandy's name comes from the settlement of the territory by Vikings (Northmen) starting in the 9th century, and confirmed by treaty in the 10th century between King Charles III of France and the Viking jarl Rollo. England was conquered and for  150 years following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Normandy and England were linked by having the same person reign as both Duke of Normandy and King of England.

The Norman Conquest was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army made up of thousands of Norman, Breton, Flemish, and French troops, all led by the Duke of Normandy, later styled William the Conqueror.

William's claim to the English throne derived from his familial relationship with the childless Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Confessor, who may have encouraged William's hopes for the throne. Edward died in 1066 and was succeeded by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson. The Norwegian king HaraldHardrada invaded northern England in Sept 1066 and was victorious at the Battle of Fulford on 20 September, but Godwinson's army defeated and killed Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September. Three days later on 28 September, William's invasion force of thousands of men and hundreds of ships landed at Pevensey in Sussex in southern England. 

Although William's main rivals were gone, he still faced rebellions over the following years and was not secure on the English throne until after 1072. The lands of the resisting English elite were confiscated; some of the elite fled into exile. To control his new kingdom, William granted lands to his followers and built castles commanding military strongpoints throughout the land. Following the conquest, many Anglo-Saxons, including groups of nobles, fled the country for Scotland, Ireland, or Scandinavia.Members of King Harold Godwinson's family sought refuge in Ireland and used their bases in that country for unsuccessful invasions of England. The largest single exodus occurred in the 1070s, when a group of Anglo-Saxons in a fleet of 235 ships sailed for the Byzantine Empire.The empire became a popular destination for many English nobles and soldiers, as the Byzantines were in need of mercenaries.The English became the predominant element in the elite Varangian Guard, until then a largely Scandinavian unit, from which the emperor's bodyguard was drawn.

William I (1028 - 1087), usually known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman king of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087.  In 1066, following the death of Edward the Confessor, William invaded England, leading an army of Normans to victory over the Anglo-Saxon forces of Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings, and suppressed subsequent English revolts in what has become known as the Norman Conquest. William was the son of the unmarried Duke Robert I of Normandy and his mistress Herleva. His illegitimate status and his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, as did the anarchy which plagued the first years of his rule. During his childhood and adolescence, members of the Norman aristocracy battled each other, both for control of the child duke, and for their own ends. In 1047, William was able to quash a rebellion and begin to establish his authority over the duchy, a process that was not complete until about 1060. His marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders.

The so called fortress of Great Britain was invaded and attacked   at least 70 times. This according to some historians, does not include the hundreds of small invasions on the south west coast, or Wales, that plagued many a small town.  Enemies arriving from Africa, America and - perhaps unsurprisingly - France have all landed on Britain's shores and attempted to invade, with varying degrees of success.Everyone knows about the Norman conquest of England in 1066 and Germany's occupation of Guernsey during World War II.

History is always interesting and teaches many a lessons.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Sept. 2022.

Italy elects a new leader - Giorgia Meloni

She is no beauty contestant .. a politician, in fact one set to become a leader of a Country !!

Nestled in Europe, Venice is a stunning oddity. It is a city built atop around 120 islands, crisscrossed by 177 canals, and is best explored – when on foot at least – via the use of its 391 bridges. It is a watery maze of a city, full of tiny footpaths and tucked away squares, hidden museums and secluded, centuries-old churches. Read that  all is not well in "La Serenissima". Indeed, if drastic measures are not taken, the city's days could be numbered !!  is that a hyperbole?  Venice is at very real risk of being consumed by the sea. In worst-case scenario, the city could disappear beneath the waves by as early as 2100. Meanwhile, many of its building are sinking or being damaged by the wakes of boats. It is also routinely overwhelmed by tourists, while its local population is in a state of continual decline. 

Moving away from this -  the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the threat to  democracy and economic chaos all  seen in the West as emanating from far-off capitals — Moscow, Beijing, Tehran. But now lot seem to be happening at Europe too - soon after the election in Sweden that saw an anti-immigration party making gains, water is flowing under the bridge in Italy too. Observers are wondering if Europe is seeing a new far-right wave.   For the first time since World War II, Europe’s third-largest economy will have a far-right government. The coalition led by Giorgia Meloni — soon to be Italy’s first woman prime minister — commands a majority in both houses of the legislature.

Giorgia Meloni is an Italian politician and journalist. A member of the Chamber of Deputies in Italy since 2006, she has led the Brothers of Italy (FdI) political party since 2014, and has been the president of the European Conservatives and Reformists Party since 2020. In the 2006 Italian general election, she was elected to the Chamber of Deputies as a member of the National Alliance (AN), where she became its youngest ever vice-president.    In 2008, she was appointed Minister of Youth in the Berlusconi IV Cabinet, a position she held until Nov  2011, when the prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi was forced to resign as the prime minister amid a financial crisis and public protests.  In August 2008, she invited Italian athletes to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in disagreement with the Chinese policy implemented towards Tibet; this statement was criticized by Berlusconi, as well as the foreign affairs minister Franco Frattini

Brothers of Italy (Italian: Fratelli d'Italia, FdI) is a right-wing populist and national-conservative political party in Italy led by Giorgia Meloni, a member of the Chamber of Deputies and former minister of youth in the Berlusconi IV Cabinet.  Brothers of Italy emerged from a right-wing split within Silvio Berlusconi's party, The People of Freedom (PdL), in December 2012.  The bulk of the party leadership (including Meloni), as well as the symbol of the movement (the tricolour flame),  comes from the National Alliance (AN, 1995–2009) party, which had merged into PdL in 2009. FdI's main ideological trends are conservatism, nationalism, nativism, Euroscepticism, and opposition to immigration.  

The 2022 Italian general election was a snap election held in Italy on 25 September 2022. After the fall of the Draghi government in July 2022, which led to a parliamentary impasse, President Sergio Mattarella dissolved the parliament on 21 July, and called for new elections. Regional elections in Sicily were held on the same day. The results of the general election show that  the centre-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni's Brothers of Italy  winning an absolute majority of seats in the Italian Parliament.

In a record-low voter turnout, Meloni's party became the largest in Parliament with 26% of the vote, making her likely to become Prime Minister of Italy, as per the pre-election agreement among the centre-right coalition parties.  The newly elected legislature will be seated on 13 October; the new prime minister, likely Meloni, will take office at some point after. As a result of the 2020 Italian constitutional referendum, the size of Parliament was reduced to 400 members of the Chamber of Deputies and 200 members of the Senate of the Republic to be elected, down from 630 and 315, respectively. In addition, the minimum voting age for the Senate was the same as for the Chamber (18 years old and no longer 25), which marked the first time the two houses had identical electorates.

Interesting ! and would Italy and Sweden show the other European Nations a similar way  ?

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
28th Sept. 2022.



Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Beetles ~ ‘Batocera rufomaculata’

How many trees are there around your house ? – and what do you see in them ??  .. . .. .. what I could zoom into see left me wonder-struck ! are you in a position to observe something in the 2nd photo of the tree ?  - உங்கள் வீட்டருகே மரங்கள் உள்ளனவா ?  - இதோ இங்கே ஒரு அரச மரம் ! பச்சைப்பசேலென அடர்ந்த இலைகளை உடையது !  .. .. இன்று காலை மரத்தை கேமரா கண்களுடன் நோக்கியபோது !! 

The 1986 K Balachander film starring Kamal was a musical hit .. .. Kamal donned dual role of which one was Chaplin Chellappa and he rode a Beetle ! The Volkswagen Beetle—officially the Volkswagen Type 1, informally in German der Käfer (meaning "beetle"), in parts of the English-speaking world the Bug,  and known by many other nicknames in other languages—is a two-door, rear-engine economy car, intended for five occupants  that was manufactured and marketed by German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. 

No post on automobile but on insects !  .. .. Beetles are insects that form the order Coleoptera, in the superorder Endopterygota. Their front pair of wings are hardened into wing-cases, elytra, distinguishing them from most other insects. The Coleoptera, with about 400,000 described species, is the largest of all orders, constituting almost 40% of described insects and 25% of all known animal life-forms; new species are discovered frequently, with estimates suggesting that there are between 0.9 to 2.1 million total species. Found in almost every habitat except the sea and the polar regions, they interact with their ecosystems in several ways: beetles often feed on plants and fungi, break down animal and plant debris, and eat other invertebrates. Some species are serious agricultural pests  that damage crops. 

Beetles typically have a particularly hard exoskeleton including the elytra, though some such as the rove beetles have very short elytra while blister beetles have softer elytra. The general anatomy of a beetle is quite uniform and typical of insects, although there are several examples of novelty, such as adaptations in water beetles which trap air bubbles under the elytra for use while diving. Beetles are endopterygotes, which means that they undergo complete metamorphosis, with a series of conspicuous and relatively abrupt changes in body structure between hatching and becoming adult after a relatively immobile pupal stage. 

Beetles are prominent in human culture, from the sacred scarabs of ancient Egypt to beetlewing art and use as pets or fighting insects for entertainment and gambling. Many beetle groups are brightly and attractively coloured making them objects of collection and decorative displays. Over 300 species are used as food, mostly as larvae; species widely consumed include mealworms and rhinoceros beetle larvae. However, the major impact of beetles on human life is as agricultural, forestry, and horticultural pests.   

A web search indicated that the one featured here is ‘Batocera rufomaculata’ -  a species of beetle in the family Cerambycidae. It was described by Charles De Geer in 1775. It is known from China, Israel, India, Jordan, Lebanon, Laos, Mauritius, Malaysia, Madagascar, Myanmar, Puerto Rico, Pakistan, Réunion, Syria, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Barbados, Bangladesh and the Virgin Islands. It feeds off of Ficus carica, Carica papaya, Mangifera indica, and Shorea robusta.  

Some photos of the tree and close-up view of the beetle are seen here.  Before concluding - The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the most influential band of all time and were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music's recognition as an art form.  Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock 'n' roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways; the band later explored music styles ranging from ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock.   

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Friday, September 23, 2022

Nagpur T20I - 8 overs aside match !!

After the drubbing at Mohali, India today play Australia again in a T20I at Nagpur today .. .. the match has been delayed by a wet outfield. .. .. match is about to start – India has chosen to field ! 

After more than a couple of inspections, Umpire Nitin Menon is quoted as saying that there has been lot of improvement .. ..  . "Although the conditions are not perfect, they are safe to play. And we have an eight-overs-a-side contest. The toss will take place at 9.15pm. The first ball will be bowled at 9.30pm. A bowler can bowl a maximum of two overs. The powerplay will also be of two overs. 

What would you call a 8 overs aside match ?  less than 100 balls in all – is it played for the spectators or ..  is that an overkill ?? 

There have been innovations and when a Test between England and Australia could not be played, in Jan 1971 was born a limited Overs International match – that really changed the fate of Cricket and more than  4,000 ODIs have been  played by 28 teams thus far. The frequency of matches has steadily increased.  In February 2022, against the West Indies, India played their 1,000th ODI match, becoming the first team to play one thousand matches in this format. 

Remember watching India England ODI played for 15 scheduled overs ! – and then in 28 Feb 1992, down under India played a WC match that lasted just 2 balls.  Ajay Jadeja debuted in that match played   in the city of Mackay, known as 'Sugar Capital'.  Sri Lanka won the toss and invited India to bat first. No runs were scored off  the first ball of the match.  Krishnamachari Srikkanth took a run on the second ball – then rain came pouring down, ensuring cancellation of the match.  Not many would remember that Srikkanth’s opening partner was the great Kapil Dev who walked to open an innings.    

That was not to be the shortest matches – on record there are 5 matches abandoned without a ball being bowled – West Indies being involved in 3 of them   .. read that it is a decision of ICC from June 2004 that -   "all future Test and ODI matches that are abandoned without a ball being bowled shall be included in the records provided the toss has taken place." !! strange !! 

The shortest ODI with result happens to be a match of 104 balls  played at Kirtipur in Feb 2020, Nepal bowled United States of America in 12 overs for 35 runs and scored the required runs in 5.2 overs !!  

Interesting !  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
23.9.2022 @ 9.15 pm.


Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Cranes flying ! and ... white finger nails !!

Life has changed in fast lane !  - perhaps modern day kids do not play as much – simple and silly games, beliefs too have changed !! 

A couple of decades ago, when one spotted a Crane (Kokku) – kids (especially girl children) would rub their fingernails – கொக்கே! கொக்கே!  பூ போடு !! -  asking heavenly for white patch on nail, considering it to be a beauty !! 

Having rubbed many a times, many of us found that nails looked very ordinary .. .. years later learnt that a patchy white nail is not good to have as it could mean a low   red blood cell count.  Pale White nails could be  indicative of any or a combination of the conditions including anemia, overuse of nail polish, weak nails, and some other diseases. 

Moving away, one need not go to exotic places to see flowers – just now saw these 3 flying over Triplicane !! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

T20I loss at Mohali hurts

At times, it makes one very sad to be an Indian fan – close to 2000 T20I have been played – it was T20 no.1788 at Mohali today – India has rich experience. 

Aaron Finch chose to bowl first.  KL Rahul made 55 off 35; Suryakumar Yadav 46 off 25 .. .. and Hardik Pandya dazzled with unbeaten 71 off mere 30 with 5 sixers  setting a target of 209 .. .. .. ..and  

Indian bowlers ensured a defeat.  Australia ramped up home – opened with  Cameron Green -  not part of their T20 World Cup squad  .. .. Axar Patel dished out exceptional performance 4-0-17-3. 

BUT Harshal Patel was totally off-colour 4-0-49-0; Yuzvendra Chahal again bowling badly 3.2-0-42-1 .. .. and in recent times, 3rd time in a row Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled very badly without any semblance of control 4-0-52-0. 

Called star bowlers – unable to defend 209 in 20 !!  - and if you are to take out Axar – could not defend 192 in 16 overs !!  

You don’t require a calculator or coach to decide who and all needs to be axed !! – it is a no brainer !!!! 

Sad fan 20.9.2022 

Monday, September 19, 2022

benne alankara

Remember that ODI at Bulawayo in Feb 1997 – a rain shortened match – Sachin Tendulkar opening with Vikram Rathour and bowling attack opened by Venkatesh Prasad with another of his Karnataka mate, nay – not Javgal Srinath.  Other than this two, there was Sunil Joshi and Anil Kumble too !! . Zimbabwe won that match by 8 wickets (with 73 balls remaining) (revised target)


Visitors to the city of Bangalore would find peace in this area - Basavanagudi located in South Bangalore, along the borders of Jayanagar. The name "Basavanagudi" refers to the Bull Temple, which contains a monolith statue of the Nandi Bull. The word Basava in Kannada means bull, and gudi means temple (photos of the Big bull in a later post). Basavanagudi is one of the oldest and poshest areas of Bangalore -  less than 5 km  from Bangalore City Railway Station and close to 40 km from   Kempegowda airport.


Ask Steven is an interesting  feature in ESPN Cricinfo – and recently there was a Q : Which Australian captain's first name is the same as the town in which he was born?    This is not to be confused with the initials where many of us have our ancestral place name – for eg – Javgal being a place in Karnataka as in Javgal Srinath.  

Steve Ans :  The obvious one is Sydney Gregory, who was born in 1870 in Sydney - indeed he was born on the site of what is now the Sydney Cricket Ground, as his father was a groundsman there. Syd made a record eight Ashes tours of England, and was captain in 1912, when he played the last of his 58 Tests.   However, the  question says "town" rather than "city", so I suspect you're actually after another answer. It's another New South Welshman: Warren Bardsley, who played his early Tests alongside Gregory and had a similarly long career that stretched to 1926, when he was 43. He captained in two Tests in England that year, standing in for the injured Herbie Collins. Bardsley was born in Warren, a small town in central NSW about 75 miles from Dubbo (Glenn McGrath's birthplace).   There was a near-miss with Australia's Bodyline captain Bill Woodfull: his middle name was Maldon, the town in Victoria in which he was born, where the sports ground is now named after him. 

Getting back home – in Bengaluru, Dodda Ganesha Temple is a famous temple, in Basavanagudi south Bangalore area.   At Dodda Ganesha Temple one can have darshan  of the biggest idols of Lord Ganesha in Karnataka. The legend of Doda Ganesha name is ‘Dodda’ in the Kannada language meaning big, relating to ‘Big Ganesha’. The huge Ganesha of this popular temple is 18 ft tall in height and 16 ft wide. The Dodda Ganesha Temple is also known as Shakthi Ganapathi and Satya Ganapathi.  It is believed that the idol of Dodda Ganesha Temple at Basavanagudi is growing on its right side.


The famous Dodda Ganesha Temple is housed on the boulder hill where the bull temple sits on the boundaries of Bugle Rock Park at Bull Temple Road in Basavanagudi, Bangalore. This Ganesha   being  a monolith of proportions 18 feet high and 16 feet wide, is a great boon giver. History has it that  Bangalore’s founder Kempegowda chanced on one among a heap of large boulders that had on it impressions that looked like the figure of Ganesha. He ordered his sculptors to carve an idol from this.  This Ganesha is anointed with benne (butter) – is generally  covered in cream paint with golden lace and buttons on it. The butter coat decoration involves around 100 kg butter smeared on the idol is the most popular one.   This Ganesha has different decorations most famous of them being butter coating (Benne Alankara)  - over 100 Kgs of butter (Benne)   


The Cricketer mentioned at the start is : Dodda Ganesh, a right-arm medium-fast bowler, very successful in domestic cricket bolstering the attack that had Javgal Srinath,  Venkatesh Prasad, Anil Kumble and Sunil Joshi. In his only ODI, against Zimbabwe in 1996-97, he captured a wicket and conceded 20 runs in five overs. He played four Test matches (in South Africa and West Indies) and took five wickets  in all.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Sept. 2022 

Kerala lottery ! Gamblers' fallacy - Rakkayi Kovil and more !!

One may not remember much about ‘Rakkayi Koyil’ cinema  directed by Manivasagam in 1993 starring Selva and Kasthuri !!

Joy and JaniMeraNaam – does anyone remember themIn mid 1970s -  chiclets, a type of candys hit the market.  Two of those brands were ‘Joy’ and ‘Janimeranaam’- costing 5 paise each.  The sales roared not because they were so good to eat, more because of the captivating sales pitch  – everytime, one opened the cover, there was a no. printed – one has to collect them in serial [of three eg., 3,4 &5] and some nos. individually were given pre-set prizes of notebooks, pens and the like.

Most of us are attracted to some form of gambling – in the neighbourhood small shop [nairkadai !], numbers concealed in a random manner, would be hung on a cardboard scheme.  You pay 5 or 10 paise, pull out one and depending on the number, you might get prizes ranging from a Rupee to Ten rupees and some items like spoon – hung in an eye-catching manner on the cardboard itself.  There were rankling doubts on whether anyone ever won that at all – those cardboards would change frequently showing that so many have tried their luck on it.

There was a time when you would find so many shops and agents selling lottery tickets, especially in important bus stops.  There were so many lottery schemes run by various State Govts, especially from North Eastern States.  While these lotteries offered Crore and more – there also existed ‘single no. lotteries’ – where people would scratch to see the number printed – some were so addicted that they would stand before the shop, keep scratching till they lose their month’s salary.  In 2003, the then Ms JayalalithaaGovt banned sale of all lotteries, including online, within the territory of the state. It was a measure of great relief for many !

Horse racing, like all sport and entertainment, relies on social approval - what is often referred to as social licence - to thrive and prosper. The casual sports fan, the once-a-year punter, and the regular whose life merged with horses and their history  will turn up on the big race days.  At Guindy race course,  there would whiff in the air, crowds – so many, trying to hit a jackpot.  Remember seeing a Muthuraman film, where he would embezzle [take out Rs.10000/-] office cash on a Saturday thinking that he would play horse race, earn big  and put back money on Monday – but would end up losing the money and losing life !  ~ had heard of an employee, receiving PF loan for daughter marriage, withdrawing cash, fly to Bangalore, book a star hotel, lose the total money – much to bewilderment of his family !!  ~ there have been many sob stories of punters.   This is no post on race-goer and the plight of their family ! – to hit a jackpot may not be simply by chance, it could well be a rocket-science or great Mathematic algorithm !  .. .. ever heard of Gambler’s fallacy !


The gambler's fallacy can be illustrated by considering the repeated toss of a fair coin. The outcomes in different tosses are statistically independent and the probability of getting heads on a single toss is 1/2 (one in two). The probability of getting two heads in two tosses is 1/4 (one in four) and the probability of getting three heads in three tosses is 1/8 (one in eight). The gambler's fallacy, also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy or the fallacy of the maturity of chances, is the erroneous belief that if a particular event occurs more frequently than normal during the past it is less likely to happen in the future (or vice versa), when it has otherwise been established that the probability of such events does not depend on what has happened in the past.

Read in Indian Express that in Kerala, an auto-rickshaw driver, who was planning to go to Malaysia to work as a chef, won the Rs 25 crore Onam bumper lottery in Kerala, just a day after his application for a loan of Rs 3 lakh was approved.  The man named Anoop, hailing from Sreevaraham bought the winning ticket -- TJ 750605 –only a day earlier.  He reportedly told media that it was not his first choice.   He did not like the first ticket he chose, so he opted for a different one which turned out to be a winner, he said.Regarding the loan and his Malaysia trip, an ecstatic Anoop said, "The bank called today regarding the loan and I said I don't need it anymore. I will not be going to Malaysia either."

He has been buying lottery tickets for the last 22 years and has won amounts ranging from a few hundreds to a maximum of Rs 5,000 in the past."I was not expecting to win and therefore, I was not watching the lottery results on TV. However, when I checked my phone, I saw that I had won. I could not believe it and showed it to my wife. She confirmed that it was the winning number," he said."But I was still tensed, so I called a lady I know who sells lottery tickets and sent her a picture of my ticket. She confirmed that it was the winning number," Anoop said.

After taxes are deducted, Anoop would probably take home around Rs 15 crore.On being asked what he intends to do with the windfall, he said his first priority is to build a house for his family and clear the accumulated debts he owes.Besides that, Anoop said he would help out his relatives, do some charity work and start something in the hotel field in Kerala."I will again buy lottery tickets," Anoop said as reporters jostled each other to get a few words from him.

Incidentally, last year's Onam bumper lottery, for Rs 12 crore, was also won by an auto-rickshaw driver. Jayapalan P R,  fromMaradu near Kochi.  This year's second prize of Rs 5 crore will go to the owner of the ticket -- TG 270912. In addition to that, 10 others have won a prize of Rs 1 crore each.


In the single digit lottery - the ticket numbers must end from 0 – 9 and thus 10 wickets could well have to end  – 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. But as one would have experienced and going by the theory of Gambler’s fallacy – if you had bought say 5 tickets and the ending nos. had been 3,5,8,8,0 and if the winning no. were to be 4 – even if you are to buy 100 tickets more,  still you may not  get that ticket ending 4. For every new ticket  - be it your 1st buy or 231st buy – the probability still starts afresh and would give you the option of anything between 0 – 9.   Have seen mounds of paper left over by the gamblers searching for that elusive win – losing all their money and ending up disappointment. 

The film  mentioned at  the start - ‘RakkayiKoyil’ had Goundamani & Senthil,  as hair dressers.  Mid-work, Goundamani gets to know winning 15 lakhs in lottery, immediately would start behaving differently,  prattle about buying everything from the road, house, river !!  - would throw away things wildly .. .. .. in the melee would realise that the price winning lottery was kept safe by his wife in this toolkit, which Senthil had forcefully thrown into the river, the moment they heard of winning lottery. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Sept. 2022. 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Wishing our Hon'ble PM on his Birthday and .. .. .. 'Project Cheetah'

 17th Sept 2022 – a day to cherish – Nation is heartily celebrating the 72nd  birthday of our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji.  .. .. among the many interesting occurrences, is landing of big cats getting reintroduced after 70 years !!


Hon’ble  PM, in his speech, mentioned that the environment, nature, birds, and animals are not just about security and sustainability, but it's the basis of sensibility and spirituality. He added that India is giving a strong message to the world that ecology and economy are not conflicting fields in this modern era.  PM specifically mentioned  that cheetahs were declared extinct from India in 1952,  no efforts were made for decades to bring them back. Today, in the period of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the country has started getting them back with new energy, he added.


Lion, Tiger, Leopard, Jaguar, Panther, Cheetah !!  .. ..  "big cats" refers to those animals of the genus Panthera, where a genus is a group or category of organisms of similar characteristics that can contain one or more species.

•        The Panthera genus contains the main roaring cat types, also known as "the big four" — tigers, lions, jaguars, and leopards.

•        The general cat family is the genus Felidae and contains more animals, often referred to as big cats, including pumas, cheetahs, and lynx.


The great news is Eight African cheetahs – five females and three males – have arrived in India traversing 10 hour long journey from Namibia and were released by our Hon’ble Prime Minister as part of Project Cheetah.   The animals were carefully  transported in wooden crates in a Boeing 747 freighter aircraft from the Namibian capital of Windhoek to Gwalior, in Madhya Pradesh. The Terra Avia Boeing 747 aircraft, which sports the “Siberian Tiger” theme livery, can carry 80 tonnes of cargo. For the Friday evening flight its only payload was the cheetahs and the accompanying passengers. 

Cheetah is a marvel ~ the fastest land animal.  Its  slender, long-legged body is built for speed. Cheetahs are tan in color with black spots all over their bodies. They can also be distinguished from other big cats by their smaller size, spotted coats, small heads and ears and distinctive "tear stripes" that stretch from the corner of the eye to the side of the nose. They eat mainly gazelles, wildebeest calves, impalas and smaller hoofed animals. When cheetahs are running, they use their tails to help them steer and turn in the direction they want to go, like the rudder of a boat. 

In 1900, there were over 100,000 cheetahs across their historic range. Today, an estimated 9,000 to 12,000 cheetahs remain in the wild in Africa. One would be surprised to know that they were found throughout India right from the southern part of the Nation.  Found mostly in open and partially open savannah, cheetahs rely on tall grasses for camouflage when hunting.  Surprised to read that they cannot roar !! – typically they are loners.


Their lifespan in the wild is reportedly 10-12 years only.  As it is happening to many, the sleek, speedy cheetah is rapidly heading towards extinction according to a new study into declining numbers.  They are in trouble mainly because they range far beyond protected areas and are coming increasingly into conflict with humans. According to a study, more than half the world's surviving cheetahs live in one population that ranges across six countries in southern Africa. Cheetahs in Asia have been essentially wiped out. A group estimated to number fewer than 50 individuals clings on in Iran.   

 It is stated that till last century, the Asiatic cheetah was quite common and roamed all the way from Israel, the Arabian Peninsula to Iran, Afghanistan and India. In India, they ranged as far south as the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. The Asiatic cheetah, also known as the "hunting leopard" in India was kept by kings and princes to hunt gazelle; the Moghul emperor Akbar kept them for hunting gazelle and blackbucks.  .. .. blackbucks have been hunted for long !! is also the message. 

Cheetah, the world's fastest land animal which was declared extinct in India in 1952, is now  to be re-introduced    at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.  The country's last spotted cheetah died in Chhattisgarh in 1947 and it was declared extinct in the country in 1952. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) some years back prepared a cheetah re-introduction project. The Supreme Court had earlier given its approval to introduce African cheetahs to a suitable habitat in India on an experimental basis.   

The basic aim of the Project Cheetah is to revitalise and diversify India's wildlife and its habitat. The government said that 'Project Cheetah' is world’s first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project.  In January 2020, the Supreme Court approved reintroduction of African cheetah to a suitable habitat in India. This was made possible almost 10 years after the plan was envisaged by the then environment minister Jairam Ramesh under the UPA-2 government. At that time, the apex court had put the project on hold, reported Hindustan Times. 

Kuno, located in the Chambal region, is spread over an area of over 750 sq km and has a conducive environment for the cheetah, it is stated.  The protected area, comprising a considerable population of four-horned antelopes, chinkara, nilgai, wild boar, spotted deer and sambar, has a good prey base for the cheetahs !  

Miles away, decades ago, there reportedly was organized Cheetah racing in Romford, in UK.   It is alleged that during the late 1930s, cheetah racing took place at a number of venues.  Cheetahs are solitary hunters and expend a phenomenal level of physical exertion when catching their prey, usually necessitating that they lie down and recuperate afterwards. They will only chase prey where there is a high likelihood of securing their next meal, readily giving up if there is strong competition – they lack the will and doggedness necessary for competitive racing.    

In its 'Cheetah Mitra' initiative, the government roped in volunteers to raise awareness about the Cheetah Project and provide information about the animal so as to protect nearby residents and prevent untoward incidents. One of the notable personalities who has been made a 'Cheetah Mitra' is former dacoit Ramesh Sikarwar.   Sikarwar surrendered in 1984 but his clout in the region has remained. "I will give my life but won’t let anything happen to the cheetahs," he told Aaj Tak in an interview. "I am grateful that I have been made Cheetah Mitra." 


In Tamil comedy film ‘Kalakalappu’, directed by Sundar C ~ Santhanam will show a portrait of a man attacking a Cheetah with sickle. Vimal would remark having seen it elsewhere… Santhanam retorts saying that it was his grandfather attacking the tiger – the photo which they later gave to matchbox manufacturer….. to Vimal’s remark that it does not sound believable – Santhanam would say that his grandfather told him that food would be provided only if he believes and would ask Vimal whether he would like to dine or not  !!!  Wimco Limited is a reputed manufacturer and exporter of Cardboard matches, Veneer Matches, Safety Matches, Match Box, Wax Matches and the more… you would know them better by this single product ‘Cheetah fight matchboxes’….. 

During a holiday trip to Gir – in an open truck for nearly 2 hours – we could not spot a single wild animal – leave alone sighting majestic Asiatic Lions ! .. .. may be one sights Cheetah in India !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th Sept 2022.



Thursday, September 15, 2022

Robin Uthappa calls it a day !!

He was a flamboyant Cricketer, robust  build, can field well – can keep, will score runs at fast pace .. .. .. and remembered for a ball, which was not delivered to any batsman, but got him a Wicket !! (though officially he never got a wicket in International Cricket !)


Robin Uthappa, one among the integral members  of MS Dhoni led  2007 World T20 winning Indian team, once revealed that he battled clinical depression and suicidal thoughts for nearly two years during his career, a phase when cricket was perhaps the only thing that kept him from "jumping off a balcony". The big-hitting top-order batsman, represented India in 46 ODIs and 13 T20 Internationals, was picked by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 3 crore in 2020  IPL; this year CSK picked him up at the base price of Rs.2 crore.   

In a well-worded statement – Uthappa announced that he is retiring from all types of Cricket .. his statement reads :  It has been my greatest honour to represent my country and my state, Karnataka. However, all good things must come to an end, and with a grateful heart, I have decided to retire from all forms of Indian cricket.  

He has had his moments of up and downs – for example in 2014,  he mustered only 96 in 5 innings , at an average of 19.40 and a strike rate of 108.98 in the first leg at UAE as KKR did rather badly.... back in homeland Uthappa was on a roll scoring  392 runs in the India, when no other batsmen managed to score even 300 runs. In April this year, after Ruturaj scoring 17; Mooen was out for 3 – it was 36/2 in 6.4 then 201/3 in 18.5 – in between Shivam Dube massacred and on 94 could get only a single off the last ball scoring 95 off 46 with 8 sixers, while Robin Uthappa excelled making 88 off 50 with 9 sixers ! – it was another day for CSK fan.    

Cricket fans would ever remember that Group D match in -  ICC World Twenty20 at Durban, played on Sep 14 2007  !  ~ if not for the date or otherwise, for the result and more so, for the manner perhaps !! – Super Over and Dhoni’s ingenuity in asking Harbhajan, Sehwag and Uthappa to bowl and standing close to the stumps did the trick beating Pak 3-0.   The wily Dhoni nominated not the regulars but -  Sehwag, Uthappa, Sreesanth, Pathan and Harbhajan. For Pak it was to be -  Gul, Tanvir, Arafat, Afridi and Asif.  First Sehwag ran in bowled and hit the stump accurately………… for Pak Yasir Arafat bowled a full toss and missed the Off stump by a big margin.  Harbhajan ran fast – disturbed the stumps and celebrated as if, he had befooled a great batsman … Umar Gul came off a shortened run up and missed the stumps…………. 3rd was Robin Uthappa,  we have you seen him bowl earlier ? ….. he was clean, took his cap off and celebrated…. Afridi fired down one on the leg side, missing the stumps by a huge margin …………… and it was India …  

In Cricket and in life, retirement does come and now Robin Uthappa has retired from all forms of international and Indian cricket. Uthappa has obtained a no-objection Certificate (NOC) from Kerala, the last state he played for in domestic cricket, and will be free to take up assignments in overseas T20 leagues and "charting a new phase in my life".  

Uthappa, a member of India's 2004 Under-19 World Cup team, made his international debut in 2006 and played 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is, and was part of the team that lifted the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa. He also won several domestic titles with Karnataka and won the IPL twice: with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014 and with Chennai Super Kings in 2021.  

Uthappa, now 36, started his domestic career in 2002-03 with Karnataka and ended it with Kerala in the truncated 2020-21 season. He also represented Saurashtra during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. He has scored  9446 runs with 22 centuries  in 1st class;  he played all 15 seasons of the IPL and represented as many as six teams in the tournament: Super Kings, Knight Riders, Mumbai Indians, Pune Warriors India, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals. He amassed 4952 runs in 205 IPL games, striking at 130.35 and averaging 27.51.  

Back in 2014-15, Uthappa had a great Ranji run finishing as the national event's top run-getter.  Uthappa won the IPL twice - in 2014 (with Kolkata Knight Riders) and 2021 (with Chennai Super Kings). In 2014, Uthappa became only the second Indian to win the Orange Cap for tournament highest run-scorer, after Sachin Tendulkar (2010).  His father Venu Uthappa was a former Hockey umpire.    

In ODIs he debuted against England on Apr 15,2006 and scored a flashy 86 ! .. .. in his debut T20 match against Scotland in 2007 WC, he did not get to bat and then in the match against Pak top scored with a 50 before bowling that straight delivery hitting the wicket. 

Wishing him a peaceful retirement, remembering his exploits as thousands of fans recall his innings and feel bad about his calling a day (and that includes my son too!)


With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Sept. 2022