Saturday, July 26, 2008

An Old Post

In July 2007, a series of bomb blasts had rocked Mumbai. That was referred as 7/11 in popular media. At, that time no one could have realised that cities as peaceful as Hyderabad, Bangalore and Jaipur and as low profile as Malegaon are next in line to witness similar kind of events. The latest case being of Ahmedabad.

I can recall the happenings since late 80s. The 1980s were the worst time for the beautiful state of Punjab as the sikh militancy reached its height and the situation was worse than 1947. Sikh Militancy, took an ugly turn specially after the massacre of thousands of sikhs in '84 riots post the assasination of the then PM, Indira Gandhi. Well, no one can say that the Punjab would have been completely free of tension had riots not happened. But, one would agree that the terrorism would not have reached its heights unless the militants could provoke the ordinary sikh, which they could when that ordinary sikh felt that he was foreign in his land after seeing his own relatives, family members getting slaughtered by those who felt this was the way to avenge their leader's death.

Similarly, muslims were targeted post the Godhra incident. This time, the effect was so bad that after partition Gujarat riots come next in terms of casualities. That was 2002 and ever since then there have been incidents of bomb blasts. I for sure think that if not the only reason, the massacre of ordinary muslims in Gujarat left many helpless, shelterless and even more hopeless. And, what happened in Gujarat in 2002, is definitely behind the recent bomb blasts. My friends said the recent blasts were due to anti India activities in Pak and Bangladesh. I think Pak has been sheltering anti Indian elements since a long time. The question to be asked is why there has been such an upsurge in bomb blasts since 2002?

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Hats Off to Indian Politicians

The recent nuclear deal has again shown the nudity of Indian politics. While, the left parties are principally right to the extent they were always against the deal. And, they are actually against the deal. It is the actions of BJP, which is surprising. Any kind of agreement with US, should be closer to the ideology of BJP as it was the party which started the process of India bending into super powers of world. While, I am in fact in favour of such kind of bending else without US support, countries like Japan and South Korea would have been nowhere.

What I am against is that BJP is in fact voting against the government. This makes it a naked combination of ill-willed politicians as they are opposing a deal just because they are in opposition. Tomorow, who knows if Manmohan Singh goes to Lahore, BJP will stage a dharna compeletely overlooking that it was Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee who started the process some 10 years back by being the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore.

This is in stark contrast to the west. When Bush decided to attack Afghansitan and Iraq, entire Congress be it Republican or Democrats supported him. As democrats knew that the voter would think that they are against the nation if they dont support Bush. While, it is difficult to say how Indian voter interprets BJP's action. In fact, those who vote in India dont do it on the basis of foreign policy. They still vote based on issues like hunger, poverty and education. This brings home the point that if Mr Jawahar Lal Nehru or Ms Indira Gandhi were to take a re-birth, they would definitely be successful politicians again as the issues remain the same.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fed up with Stock Market - Part 1

I am getting increasingky bored with any kind of talk about stock markets. Let me trace back my interest in stocks. I joined MBA course at T.A. Pai Management Institute in 2003 with the wish that I would specialise in marketing. Not that I knew what it is? But, I was unable to avoid making impressions without actually seeing things.

The first term made me realise that I have too little patience for understanding things and discussing which are not backed by some kind of numbers. This is also because I am a commerce student and by default commerce guys think in linear fashion. Second term made me realise that I can score better in Finance courses and have some kind of conceptual understanding.

At that time decision was made that I would be taking finance as speacialisation. Today, I find it very silly that every finance student wanted to become an equity analyst. If I think deep, there is no reason which I can site. Of course, none of us knew the career prospects of other areas of finance to discount them in favour of stock markets. I can say that it is just that everyone talks about stocks and it is the "in" thing.

Often, novices in the subject of equity listen to the so called experts with an awe and same desperation one would see his saviour when he is drowning. Somehow, an upper hand is given to any fucker who talks about stocks. There are other adviosry professionals. People do not look at lawyers which such kind of awe. Why stock markets experts are the priviliged few?

This clearly shows that to what extent fashion impact the society. A subject in fashion draws students of all kind. I would continue this in my next post.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Is Nadal the greatest player

Nadal is the new Wimbledon champion. Before Nadal started playing well, am talking about 2 years ago, many great players like John McEnroe said that Roger Federer is the best tennis player to walk on earth. In fact, whatever I had seen, even I thought that the world has not probably witnessed a player who can better Fedex.

I started watching tennis from 1993. I have seen game of Jim Courier, Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi. I have no qualms in accepting that Fed has anyday better game than all these greats. I have never seen even Sampras being so immaculate with his returns. Sampras had a serve and volley game and he always wanted to finish the game as fast as possible by going on net. Agassi has uncomparable returns but his serve was like worse than female players.

Becker was called boom-boom becker because of his high and fast serves. But, this kind of game suited only wimbledon. Moreover, none of these greats had any chance on french clay. Sampras's best performance on clay was quaretr finals. Becker's performance on clay must have been even worse. Moreover, Becker's record at US Open is also average.

Contrasting to all these players, Federer reached the finals of French Open twice. He has won wimbledon 5 times. So, the remaining 6 grand slams are Aus Open and US open. This clearly shows that this man has game irrespective of the nature of the court. Moreover, he has great mental control which can be seen by going to and typing "Best Shot Federer". This was when he returned a volley which came like a bullet from Roddick with such an ease that Roddick would have lost the match out of sheer disbelief of Roger's talent.

Moreover, Fed's classy one handed backhand is his greatest strength which was absent in any other players, I talked about.

However, Nadal started improving himself and he has beaten Fed thrice at French Open. Last year Wimbledon, Nadal could also have won the match. And, this year he has won it and dominated the match. This clearly shows that Nadal has a huge edge over Federer on clay court and even on grass, he can beat Federer.

This leads to a logical conclusion that Nadal is the greatest player of all time. But, somehow, no one is saying this. Even, I do not want to accept this. One reason could be that Nadal has still now shown his game on US hard court. But, he reached this year's Australian Open Final. This all shows that Nadal sure is the greatest player at least of last 2 decades since I started watching tennis.

But, still I am unable to accept. Seems these titles are difficult to garner for any player. As people take into consideration the aura, the personality of the player too. Hard for Nadal!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Federer Vs Nadal - An Epic Wimbledon Final

It was 2008 Wimbledon final between top seed Roger Federer and number 2 Rafael Nadal. Federer was gunning for his sixth consecutive title at green grass of Wimbledon. Nadal was gunning for his first title at Wimbledon as he is known to be only a clay court specialist.

In 2007 final, Nadal had tried everything in his book to stop Federer, but could not succeed. This time, Nadal started with an upper hand as he made it very clear that if Federer has to win, his serve has to be more acurate than it has ever been. Federer was not that good with his first serve, which costed him first two sets.

In fact, in second set, Federer was 4-1 up and trying hard to break Nadal's serve. I told Avis why Fed is trying too hard, even if he holds his serve games, he would win the set. Avis replied "you should not give any chances to a player like Rafa".

His prophetic words came out to be true as Rafa broke Federer's serve twice to take lead of 5-4 in second set. With balls in our mouth (me, Eric, Avis & Santa), as we were praying the "King" (if Lawn Tennis ever had one, it has to be Federer) to win second set. But, in hindsight, I can say that since we were praying, it reflects that Nadal had completely outclassed the five time champion in first two sets.

The third set started with both the players holding their serve games. It was 5-4 and rain intervened. We wished but all in vain. Chox left and he had reached Andheri that the match started. I must say if I was in Chox's place that would have been first time, I would have loathed that I am away from TV. The last time, when I used to miss DD serials while coming back from coaching classes in school.

The match resumed and I could not see it as I was coming back from Santa's place but friends informed that King won the third set 7-6 and takes on the match to fourth set.

The fourth set was replica of its predecessor as neither player could break the opponent's serve, The tie-break and Nadal is ahead 5-2, two points away from Championship, commits a double fault and 5-3. Federer makes it 5-4 and then goes on to win the fourth set. The score card says Nadal to Fed 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7.

In the fifth set, Fed was playing better than prior 4 sets and it seemed he would win. The set went on to 7-7. Then what happened, I would say the turning point for Nadal. Nadal broke Fed's serve and now he was serving for the Cup. Nadal was 40-30 up and he came on the net, Fed played a low backhand passing shot. Only, Fed could play it and he showed what mental strenght he had in a match in which it was clearly visible that Nadal had an answer to all Federer's shots.

Thus how the golden cup landed in the hands of 22 year old spaniard Rafael Nadal