Three cheers for Mayawati

The Indian media and the so called intellectuals have been criticizing Mayawati over the various parks that she is getting constructed. I regularly get to see the one coming up in Noida and had been fortunate enough to see a colossus coming up in Lucknow. Intelligentsia regularly points to the thousands of crores of public money going down the drain. But is it really the case? Or is it once again a case of upper class English speakers vs a poor “%$%^& woman. (Censored so that I do not get caught in SC/ST act)

Consider the number of people getting employed in this noble venture. After all these poor artisans should do something for their living. Its another thing that they could have been building schools or hospitals as well but then this is like a practice match for them. One day they shall be playing real game. Also consider the number of people employed in the security of these sheets of bronze and stones and marbles. Its another thing that they could have been providing security against the rampant goondaism prevalent in most of the cities in U.P. particularly in Noida and Lucknow.

Just think about the birds. They now have a better place (a particular bronze statue) to drop their missiles. Poor Rahul Bose’s car can be spared. (Remember Jhankar Beats). And think about all those new employment opportunities of cleaning that bird poop.

Three cheers for our great leader. Hip Hip Hurray

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NIC and its love for IE

I am no HTML expert. Hell, I can barely recall two or three HTML tags so I don’t exactly know the complexity of setting up a website. But I do know that users cannot be tied into one platform unless they have no choice what so ever. (AutoCAD anyone). And when it comes to browsers people are very specific. Like I use to be a big fan of Opera until I ran into FireFox and its amazing array of add ons and extensions. Its a tad disappointing to still run into web Sites that specifically ask for IE only. Trying to see them from a Linux Box is practically a hopeless situation.

In this regard, web sites set up by the National Informatics Center, New Delhi are the biggest culprit. For example see the fine print here, here, here and here. Mind you, this find print does affect the overall working of these sites and these are just some random samples. And these are not exactly earth shattering web sites as well. Why can’t our government body come up with effective browser neutral web sites? Is it because they get most of the work done by interns?

Pirated Linux!

A few days back I had visited my parent’s home at Lucknow. My father had Fedora core 3 running on his box and I thought I should now upgrade that. After all, the packages for this particular release are no longer available at the official fedora web site as well. Even though I swear by Ubuntu, I could not arrange its DVD in time but I did manage to grab a copy of Fedora 10 DVD. Unfortunately, the system did not boot from it.

So I visited the Naaz Market, the local IT hub to get a fresh copy . BTW you can get pirated versions of almost all software there. So I asked one vendor if he has any flavour of Linux especially Fedora. He proudly said yes, version Redhat 9.0. That is so stone age (circa 2002). I moved to next shop. Same question from me. The shopkeeper almost whispered another question into my ears. ” Do you want Pirated or Original Fedora CDs”? I was flabbergasted. With a twinkle in my eye I said, I wanted pirated ones.  Still the DVD was costing Rs 200. So I refused.

I finally bought the April copy of PC Quest and installed Debian Lenny that came along with it. Free and Original.

Army’s loss is Royal Challengers’ gain.

I am a die hard Dravid and Kumble fan and hence by extension RCB fan as well.  And for me, Dhoni is good but slightly overrated. So I am pretty excited that RCB defeated CSK in the semifinals yesterday. So now its an eclectic mix of youngsters and old war horses who would be plying their trade in the finals today.

After the last year’s debacle, Royal Challengers was probably the most criticized team followed closely by Deccan Chargers. At least Deccan had chosen so called “correct” people for a T20 team. RCB had inducted “Test” players so the naysayers said. But if you look closely, the core of RCB is still the same. May be its Kumble’s  magic or may be as Ray Jennigs said they got tired of losing. Whatever it is, it is an amazing turn around.

And this is good for the game. Now probably everybody would understand that greats would always be great, in all forms of the game. The way Gilly smashed Delhi bowlers was soul stirring. I bet there was no one who did not wish that Gilly should have prolonged his international career.

Oh by he way, the young tyro Manish Pandey was born in Nainital. His father is in the army and he himself had thought about joining the army if his cricketing career does not take off. Well after two back to back MOM awards, Army would have to wait.

Worst show on Indian television.

There might be more trivial and cheap shows on air but fortunately I have not seen them. However, I have been fortunate enough to see another trashy show MTV Splitsvilla. I will admit I have a bias against the new generation from Delhi and Chandigarh but then they always do something to prove my point. First it was this brigade, especially Palak, on MTV Roadies season 6 and now most of the contestants on this show are also from Delhi and Punjab. What is it that attracts trash (shows on MTV) and trash (you know what) is unfathomable.

The show teaches everybody to back bite, bitch, use foul language, do everything that would otherwise be termed as shocking.  I am quite surprised that such a show is on air and getting sufficient TRPs as well.

Worst part  is that people who have been dumped get to write their own blog.  And then they attract a lot of comments. The language used in blog as well as in comments is horrendous. I am surprised MTV has not been sued for libel or for obscenity. If that is the type of language used by youngsters then I am happy that I am getting old

Life is strange.

The oldest player in the side is now leading Royal Challengers Bangalore.  Cynics would say that this anyways is a test side. In old news Rahul Dravid became the first Icon player to complete 500 runs in IPL.

In some more older news Akash Chopra, KKR discard is now a member of the expert panel on Sony. So far he has stuck to cricket and not resorted to any salesmanship. He is also dignified enough to talk nicely about his (ex)team.

Why I follow IPL on cricinfo

After promising all and sundry that I would not watch IPL, I reneged. After all, Rahul Dravid and others of my generation are performing so well. For some, the sun has already set on their international cricket, for some its the last rays of their golden dusk. But they have proved that when it comes to excellence, only skills count and not the age.

However, the telecast on Sony sucks big time.Enduring Mandira, Arun Lal and Samir Kochar requires a lot of patience. And perhaps Chang should stick to hosting Indian Idol. Imagine he asked Ross Taylor, “Are you happy that you are not playing in this game”. Grimace.

And then it is such a shame to see legendary cricketers and television presenters turning into desperate salesmen. I am sure that day is not far when a wicketkeeper would be pepping up the bowler by saying , “Aayega aayega ek city moment of success aayega”, instead of the usual “ek wicket aayega is over mein” or the spectators would not be asking for 6 but rather a DLF maximum. Such crass commercialization.

That is why I have the television on mute and for experts comments, I am tuning into Cricinfo.

PS : I do hope that Sehwag would give Glen Mcgrath a chance soon.

Update: I read this on cricinfo regarding the commentary.