Cricket Aaj Kal

In cricket, if top two teams play a test series, what would one expect? Drawn matches? Closely fought matches? No…….You are not in line with the reality. It is two huge wins…by an innings in each case by each team. What does this tell us? Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties or the top teams in cricket are inconsistent or something else?

They say that best time to sin is when Sachin is playing as God will be busy watching Sachin. Sachin was again at his best in Kolkata, scoring 47th test century. Over the years, Sachin has grown to be an individual who offers much more than cricket – a level headed approach to life. His views on Mumbai, his team playing skills, support he offers to his captains (who are much more juniors to him) and his mentoring of new comers makes him dear to his fans and admirers. I wish Sachin many more fruitful years.

IPL, now it appears, is best played outside India. Look at these: Deccan Chargers had to change their home venue to Cuttack, Australian players are scared for life with even Shane Warne rethinking on his participation and Pakistani Players playing in India is a sensitive issue. Added to all these is the threat issued by some self styled terror commanders. There is also a possibility of boycott of IPL coverage by broadcasters (other than SetMax). With television coverage (and the revenues coming with it), it can be hosted anywhere, even in China.

Coming to think of it, why not in China? They have superb infrastructure in the form of Beijing Olympics venues, they can manage to get huge crowds and it is lot peaceful and hopefully, these sundry terrorists can’t reach China. Only threat is that the Chinese may catch the cricket fever and beat us in our own game in the near future, as Koreans did in Hockey.

Drawn test matches are also thrillers, sometimes. The recent S. Africa V/S England series played in South Africa in December 2009 and January 2010 provided two such matches, out of four test match series. On no less than two occasions (i.e., in the first test and again in the third test), Onions, the last man in for England, stood between a South African victory and a draw. In those thrilling end overs, it was worthwhile watching Onions save the day bringing tears in South African eyes!

Cricket is fast becoming a favourite target of the terrorists in the sub-continent. The attack on Srilankan cricketers and match officials in Lahore in March 2009 brought into tragic and dramatic focus a trend that began, ironically, in Sri Lanka in 1987 – when New Zealand abandoned their tour after a car bomb in Colombo killed 100 people. Nine years later, Australia and West Indies refused to play their World Cup games in Sri Lanka citing danger from the ongoing civil war. Subsequent series to be affected include New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan in 2002, Australia and West Indies’ tours of Pakistan the same year (eventually played at neutral venues), South Africa’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2006, which was truncated halfway, England’s of India in November 2008, when the ODI series was cut short by the attacks in Mumbai, and India’s proposed tour of Pakistan in 2009.

Final Year @NITK

This is a Guest Post by my son, Shreyas. He is almost about to finish his Engineering Degree from NITK Surathkal.

The other day, one of friends on my chat list asked me if I had completed my engineering and was looking for a job. What made him ask me this? I would be online 24×7  and that according to him, that was a sign of  ‘joblessness‘.

The answer to both questions is a NO. I am still in my final year of engineering (Information Technology, NITK Surathkal) and also have an offer on campus. The reason I am so hooked onto the internet is because final year of engineering life is very chilled out and the workload is very less. It is as though final year students reap the benefits of the toil they are made to undergone in the last 3 years.

Let me give you an idea of how joblesswe really are. We have a 3 day week *a 4 day weekend* and even on those 3 days, there are classes from 9 am till noon in the worst case. That means a lot of time on hand for ‘productive’ activities. Let me enumerate a few of them-

Before I begin, let me tell you that the final years in NITK have been put up in a newly constructed hostel block (its called the Mega Hostel Block- my room is on the 6th floor).

The good thing is that it is is a 6 storeyed block equipped with LCD TV Rooms, 2 lifts, spacious single rooms (whose walls haven’t yet seen graffiti) but on the downside of things, the hostel authorities haven’t yet laid out the internet cable wiring required to setup a local area network. In laymen terms, it means that we cannot play multiplayer games on the computer. What I am trying to say here is that final year NITK students have been forced to resort to alternate means of killing time other than computer gaming.  So here goes the list as promised-

    1. Carrom- Each wing of the Mega Block has atleast one carrom board (these are not provided by the hostel, students get these themselves). Carrom is a favourite pasttime, especially during power cuts. Sometimes resources are so strained that we have to use maida for the carrom powder.

    1. Cards- Another favourite timekiller, especially when more people are around is playing cards. Popular games are Literature, Rummy, 9, poker etc.
    2. Badminton- NITK has a very good indoor stadium with 4 courts. If I can find a shuttle and a partner, I prefer to play badminton rather than stay indoors.

    1. Cricket- NITK’s cricket ground is also popular. The team selections for the Mangalore T-20 team participating in the Karnataka Premier League were held here (A reality show concept was used for the shortlisting). Being final year students, we just bat and occasionally bowl. The fielding, the running between the wickets and filling water bottles after the game is taken care of by juniors you-know-who.
    2. Beach- NITK is one of the few colleges to have a beach as a part of the campus. When boredom strikes, the beach is the best place to go and build some sand castles or try out some sand art.

    1. Trips- Thanks to the 4 day weekends, I have been able to travel a lot (and I like to travel) and make a lot of trips with friends. Some of the places I have visited this year include Bekal Fort in Kerela, Gokarna, Murudeshwar, Sita Waterfalls and Jog Falls. Plans for Munnar and Goa have also been made.

  1. Treats and Fests- With this being the placement season, every now and then someone gets placed and has to give a treat. Other than this,  there are various cultural clubs in college that arrange events such as Musical Nights, DJ Nite, Dance shows etc..The famous Hindi playback singer, KK will be performing at our Cultural Fest, Incident this year.
  2. TV Series & Movies- When bored at odd times, I watch on my computer epsiodes of The Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Greek, Eli Stone, Prison Break, Lie To Me, Hustle or Hindi Movies to kill time.

So this way, NITK final years expend time judiciously. Of course, you will also find some students preparing for GRE, GATE, CAT, GMAT and placements, but that is a rare species. These are the best days of college life, and there are less than 100 days left until graduation :(

ps- This is my first stab on writing a blog post, and it is not possible for me to fit into my father’s shoes. Hope you could tolerate the effort.