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Archive for March 15, 2011

Let there be Cricket and only Cricket till April 2, 2011.


The season for cricket is on. The fever is catching on with more heat each day.
The eye catching colourful logo and the ‘De ghuma ke” theme song exudes pure desiness and makes one feel connected .
CWC 2011 is being played in our region. How I wish Pakistan had been a part of the hosting of the games. How I wish sports had risen above the politics of the region.

The excitement began with the announcement of a brilliant, bold and beautiful Afridi as the captain of Pakistan Team. Cheers of excitement went through all round the globe—the cricket keen guys and the Afridi keen gals ( ages no bar) got caught up into the grips of Afridi bonanza.
With just the group stage matches being played so far, there is cricket and just cricket spilled everywhere from living rooms to offices to public places to face book and twitter.

Gaddhafi and Raymond Davis have taken a sigh of relief and are resting in peace for some time.

The matches exude excitement till the last ball being bowled and the killing uncertainty of who will bag the match is beyond description in words . This is indeed what we call sports.
The impressive efforts by teams like Canada and Ireland makes the scenario all the more exciting.

The waning and waxing of adrenaline in the veins accompanied by the rants and raves exchanged with face book friends during the match is a new style of cricket watching, currently in fashion.

Long gone are the bitter memories of the trio caught in the spot fixing scandal. Lets hope no issues of any betting and spot fixing come up in the subsequent matches. It is a difficult proposition though, considering that the crucial matches will be played in the cities known to be the Mecca of betting .

Before even the first Ball was bowled Shayne Warne had tweeted ’…..a tie’ and then the aftermatch tweet, “…………, tie was tongue in cheek, but right.”
Some tongues did wag but there wasn’t much of ruckus over match fixing allegations. Thank God it was just a pun.

There has been quite a bit of pun in the matches gone by. Thanks to the repeated stumbling, tumbling and finally fumbling of our very dear Kamran Akmal to take a catch or make a timely stump may have costed Pakistan very dearly, but it did give the depressed Pakistani awam an excuse to laugh and exchange silly jokes at his cost.

Face book and tweets flooded with messages :

“Why do parents like Kamran Akmal ? Because he is sure to ‘drop’ their daughter back home.”

“Kamran Akmal’s favourite pickup line – can I drop you anywhere? “

“What do Kamran Akmal and Michael Jackson have in common? They both wear gloves for no apparent reason.”

The jokes go on…

Not just the winning matches or funny Kamran, we Pakistanis have been pretty pleased with India’s performance too.

The final tie with England was like a sigh of relief.  And the bursting of the India shining bubble by its defeat to New Zealand sent a tsunami of elation from Kalam to Karachi.

This world cup also is providing us a last opportunity to see some cricket legends play for the last time. Muralidharan and Sachin have announced to bid farewell to first class cricket after this. These Gods of Cricket–the best bowler and the best batsman , shall be missed for a long time. I wonder if there is any one in sight likely to replace them in the foreseeable future.

And yes, the repeated faltering by the Umpires in giving the right decisions and with contradicting decisions coming from the Third Umpire are also the ‘specific’ to this season.

The speculation of which eight teams will make into the quarterfinals isn’t all that difficult now. What remains now is the million dollar question as to who will lift the world cup. Fortunately, there does not seem to be a unilaterally favourite team this time. Some strong teams have had a neck to neck game till the last with the ‘taken for granted’ weak teams. There have been some upsets too .

There is a burning desire of the Pakistani cricket lovers to have the finals played between India and Pakistan in Mumbai under the very nose of Bal Thackrey and then come out winning the Cup.

Thankfully so far most of the matches have been taken in true spirits of the game. All the CWC 2011 has provided so far is excitement and wonderful game of cricket.
I can just hope that the true spirit of the game continues in the decisive matched too and with loads of prayers that the wonderful game of cricket does not get hijacked at the hands of either the shameless gambling or the ruthless extremism.

Let the game remain a game.
And let the best team lifts the World Cup.
How I wish that the best team is none but —

—————————————-

( Fill in the blank with the team you wish to win. For me it isn’t ONE but TWO teams that I cheer and ‘two’ cant lift the cup!)

Learning Another Lesson through Japan


I woke up in the morning of Friday (March 11, 2011) to be greeted with the devastating news. The pictures of the fifth largest earth quake and tsunami in Japan were all over the media. Houses swept like match boxes, cars and trucks floating like cardboard. Life and property was reduced to a rubble. University, schools, homes whatever came in the way of the angry waves, were engulfed. The two and a half ruthless minutes, as if, lasted forever.

And then news that “ Japan asks for international help from the international community.”
This is a country which was the most prepared for tsunamis owing to its location on the fault lines and has been bearing innumerable jolts of earthquakes and tsunamis, off and on.

More disturbing are the daily news since Friday of one reactor or the other bursting and causing spillage of radiations to the outside world.

Japan is a country that had been through the worst calamity that world can fathom—of nuclear bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
After the incident, Japan had decided to stay away from nuclear or conventional weapons. It’s post war constitution forbid it to have offensive military forces and the three Non Nuclear Principles which asked for no production, possession or introduction of nuclear weapons. The constitution also vowed to have ‘ land, sea and air forces as well as other war potential will never to be maintained”.

Although Japan is said to be just a ‘screw drivers’ turn” away from developing a nuclear bomb, but it chose to harness the immense power of nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes.

Probably through Japan, the world learned a practical lesson 65 years ago that aggression and war leaves a country with an army of cripples and an army of mourners.

If the other nations failed to follow it is another matter. But Japan did.

Is it not tragic that today a technological giant that was known for its technological might and an advocate against war and nuclear weapons is now at war with the nature and again battling to save yet another generation of Japanese from the over dose of radiations.

The gushing waves took just a couple of minutes to wash away our delusions that technological advancement had made the mankind a master of this world.

Ironically tsunami itself is a Japanese word derived from two words meaning ‘harbour’ and ‘wave’.

Yes Mother Earth has shown its fury once again. But is it just a rage or is there a reason for her to be so furious?

I am no expert to judge the real answer, but my learning from the various debates on climate change makes me wonder if we human are the real culprits?

Climatologists and the vocal advocates of climate change, have been at logger heads with those who consider that climate change is a hype.

The scientists speculate that “Quakes, volcanic eruptions, giant landslides and tsunamis may become more frequent as global warming changes the earth’s crust,”

In a scientific conference on Climate change held in London in September 2009, Professor Bill McGuire of University College London had remarked : “Climate change doesn’t just affect the atmosphere and the oceans but the earth’s crust as well. The whole earth is an interactive system. In the political community people are almost completely unaware of any geological aspects to climate change.”
They fear that there is strong evidence piling up on the hypothesis that ‘the world could be in for shocks at a vast scale’.

Al Gore a vocal advocate of climate change and a Nobel Laureates has remarked:
“Global warming is by far the most serious manifestation of the collision—and Mother Nature is making the evidence ever more obvious.”

He also claims :
“The debate is over! There’s no longer any debate in the scientific community about this ( climate change). But the political systems around the world have held this at arm’s length because it’s an inconvenient truth.”

And the irony of all ironies is that now it is this natural disaster which is turning into another nuclear disaster for Japan. With the fourth nuclear reactor now reported to have had a blast barely an hour ago. There is dangerously high level of radiations in the surrounding area and feared to reach Tokyo in next 10 hours.

I wonder if after the massive earth quakes in Kashmir, then Haiti, the two recent tsunamis and the ever increasing hurricanes the world over, and the accompanying nuclear radiation spillage, if we need more evidence from the scientific community that it is us the mankind, which has abused the Mother Earth so much that it is turning out its fury back on us.

Although it is time to grieve for the victims and the sufferers of this devastating natural and nuclear calamity, it is also an occasion to reflect on why is the Mother Earth not only turning it’s fury back on us but also more often and with more severity than ever before.

Probably once we come out of this ‘shock’, the world will again realize that Japan again teaches us yet another lesson—this time lesson of “the consequences of  abusing the Mother Earth for our greed”.

Sadly enough, the whole world abuses her but this time  Japan has to bear it. If this ‘environmental abuse’ goes unabated, only the Mother Earth knows who’s next to face her fury?


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