Sunday, July 1, 2012

To Bridge That Divide..

The world is a beautiful place. It is a very lovely place to love in, to be present in, to explore, to see and to have fun! It is made of many wonders, many marvels and many beauties to visit and admire. It is the natural beauty and untouched freshness and energy that makes us alive, and pursue our goals an objectives each day, with newer and better enthusiasm. It is indeed a lovely world we have all around us!!

It is true that any place can be a paradise to live in if we want to make it. If we keep faithful towards nature, or the environment, our surroundings, our fellow people, our fellow known and unknown ones, any place can be a heaven to live in.

On the contrast, any place can be hell, a underground shadowed place where people only want to push other people down, an go upward, where no one cares about anyone else, where people don;t matter to others, where care and love towards others is not as equal and lovely as it is for something we wrong and funnily claim to be ours. it is will be a bad world we will live in, if this happens.

Life can be exactly what we chose it to be, it can a bed of flowers if we want there to be flowers for everyone around us, for everyone, and it can be a barren, dry land if we look only in our 'supposed ' belongings and not care for others.

Today, we are a booming period of invention and discovery. the time we are living in is a very blessed era, where constant innovation is happening all around us, newer ideas and tricks are being generated every second, happiness and joy are given and received ever moment even as we read this.

Every day, new and better technology makes our lives better and more convenient. We can easily do tasks like watching a match at the very time it is happening some 1200 kms away!! We can read what another person has said, or read, or written or seen from one corner of the world!! But that is old news!! 
These days, we can read signposts and notices written in a foreign language in a mater of seconds, without ever knowing the language only by pointing our smart phones to it (with the internet on) and see how it suddenly turns the foreign script into our known or preferred language and that after keeping the entire background and screen the same as it was. (Augmented Reality or AR Apps) 
We can point our smartphone cameras to any object, and in moments there will be huge mountain of information about it, it's features, it's past, present and future, etc. (Bar-code Readers, etc.)
 We are today on the barrage of development, of times when the world is going forward every day we see something wonderful and amazing happen mostly things that were impossible with yesterday's technology and resources. 

But How do you measure development? Is it when I have more money than I had 10 years back? Or by the luxuries and comforts available to the people relatively?

Yes, we have today come a long way, a really long way! But Have we really come all this way forward as we claim to be? We claim that we are now a better place and a better world to live in, but are we? We pride in living in lands where the economies grow at high rates, where the people who were till yesterday only thinking of doing something have managed to do them. 

But have we really come that far? Have we really progressed as much as we think we have, or as much as we suppose to?

As much as money we have made, have we been able to reduce the number of people who go to bed every night starving? As much as we have made our lives easier, have we reduced the burden of economically backward people who sleep each day without food in their stomachs? Have we, after having so much, even done anything to give them an assurance of a full meal for even a single day? 

Today, We live a country where all seems well. People are fattening with food and finance each day and  prosperity seems to be our esteemed guest for one too many times. 

There are People have so much that they don't know how to spend it, so much they don't even know what to do with it, on whose whims and fancies the majority of the other employees seem to be working. These people dictate the industries, spear-head the initiatives to throw parties and gatherings for any excuse, and above all who demand a lot and don't hold themselves accountable either to law & order or to the people.  

Yet, there are people also who still cannot ensure fulfilling their bare-minimum daily requirements, people who cannot be assured of getting basic minimum resources, those who cannot really use the little they have for the concern that it is the more and more that they need. They work very hard every day, labour day-in and day-out but still cannot make their situation better. 

IN all, Today there seems to be gap, or a divide in the people of our society. We seems to be a crak in our oneness and unity. On one hand, we have one set of people who are highly privileged and can have everything, anything they cherish or desire, and on the other hand we have people who don't have access to basic facilities like housing, clothes and health, food, clean water, education, and equality. Also there are people who have features of both, to some extents, and do suitably well for themselves. 

We are developing, growing but we seem to be doing so only for the first category of people, and to a lesser extent the third category. The ultra-savvy people who have access to everything in the world, are getting more and more power, are accumulating more and more for their innumerable wants, leave apart their needs. And yet we have people who cannot afford full basic meals a day, who cannot even cover their bodies at night during cold waves and take solace in the coolness of shade and air coolers in the hot summers.  the world  

Open the page 3 section of the daily newspaper you receive at your home daily. 
You will see that there is no dearth of people who party hard,who throw up bashes for each and every silly  reason, who celebrate for the entire night giving some hard-to-understand reason.

Then, open the newspaper to the 'City' pages which report the daily and local happenings/events in your nearest area, locality or city. You will be shocked to see the various problems, issues, tensions of the another type of people. You will come across people who survive without even 2 pieces of proper clothing on them, you will come across children who cry out their starting years, across kids who fall into carelessly uncovered manholes and bore wells, and the bureaucrats make hardly any action or effort in the situation.  

Or ou may even go to any Shopping complex, mall or any supermarket, and you will be surprised to see how many, and how well-off people are present there, shopping and joy-riding in huge numbers. And this number of people doesn't look like it will come down any time soon. Now, visit any low-lying or an economically-not-so-well-off area in your locality, and you will be even more surprised to see how many, and astonishingly people are living in inhuman conditions without any proper means of comfort, and how bad their condition actually is. If you are a traveller, you will across such sections and types of people even more, and even more frequently everywhere and all this amidst all the claims of  'The Great Indian Development'!!

You one can read in the newspapers, on the internet, in various online portals & magazines about people party wildly in various nightclubs, lounges and bars all throughout the night. A huge number of people will always be present when an event for the super-rich happens, a large number will turn up when when any special priviledges and luxuries are available. They will be present in social gatherings, functions, events, everywhere.

These days, people cannot live without air-conditioning. A moment without an air-conditioner feels like a day in a fireball, as hot as any sun or fire. We cannot live without electricity, cannot miss watching our favourite television programmes, cannot vision life without surfing the internet, and it doen't complete our day without chatting with friends.

 Yet, there are people today who live without air-conditioning for the entire day, for 7 days a week, for 30 days a month and for 12 months a year. We cam't sleep without the AC on, but these people, everyday sleep under nothing but the shelter of the night sky, in the temperatures copying those in deserts, or hot furnaces. These people work the entire day long, without any assurance of a piece of meal in the night.

Even today,after 65 years of independance the number of people below the poverty line remains the same as it were 10-15 years ago. The number of people who belonged to the depressed classes a generation or two back, remain under the same ceiling. 

Every day we read about things that impress us, that forward direction we are going in, but the same day you ignore the facts that people still die without proper shelters to live in, without adequate clothes to shield them during winters, adequate resources to keep them cool under summers, and without adequate meals to fill their stomachs every night. 

And unfortunately, this number doesn't seem to be coming down anytime soon, all credit to the planning and implementation of various schemes launched by the Govt.

There used to be social stigma in the society in the earlier times. There were divisions in the people- there were always 'special' people who were more privileged than all others and had the best of all worlds, and there were people who were depressed in all the areas and categories. 
There were people who had evrything they not could not even want, and they were people who could not even dream of ever getting even a basic and equal share of it, let alone get it in real. 
This stigma lasted for a lot of time and seems to be taking up by others, thus the times of people of different occupations, beliefs and backgrounds formed their own separate groups and clusters. 

In today's economy, apart from the higher and the depressed classes, the middle class is also growing. 
They now have more money than before. They can now go to a mall more regularly, buy the most blinking  and sparkling brands in the market, can more frequently visit the most trendy outlets, and hang out in the most favourite places. They are today, eating more and more and make all their work and daily exercise, even lesser. Also, they are getting more things done in the red-tapes and bureaucracy, now that they have more money. They have truly developed.

Another sad state of the fact is that even after we proclaim ourselves to be developing, the crime rates among the "top cities" also have't come down. This doesn't include only just the cruel and cold-blooded activities by mad-men but the very own crimes and mal-practises we commit ourselves and against our very own people. The female foetuses we kill, the female infants we murder, the discrimination we commit against a person of a lower economic strata or background, the lovers we get maimed for only loving as per their own wishes, this list of crimes goes on and on. The middle class today can spend much more, and thus ensure that all industries run in good shape, the businesses run in good shape, the economies run in good shape, and the more wealth is generated for all. 

There were economic backward people generations ages back, and there are such economically and socially backward people even today. They faced the social stigma when the nation was under foreign rule, they face the stigma even today, 65 years after we proclaim ourselves to be 'free'. In those times, there were crimes, depression an backwardness, and even now there are crimes, depression and backwardness. 

Yes, the world is very wonderful to live in today but this is a truth as much as it is a lie.  

There are a lot of problems going on, a lot of mis-deeds we are facing. But we really can defeat them, win over them, if we chose to work together and eliminate these wrongs going on in our societies.

Is it really a truth that the same economy, or the nation that only 12-16 months back looked poised to take over the mantle of the developed economies in the world, is today struggling to meet it's quartertly economic targets? 

 If we really progressed as much as we thought we had, shouldn't it have cushioned the impact of this unforeseen economic turmoil? Have we really progressed that far?

We are not alone in this war, neither are we the only country to have faced this problem. 
We aren't the only nation to witness this false perception of growth and 'supposed' development. 

This was prominent in all major economies of the world in their own formative years of progress and growth. Yes, the United Kingdom (fromerly known as The Great Britain) faced this problem a problem a lot. There were social divisions and cracks in the unity of their unions and groups. There were the same issues in the developing United States of the 1900s-1940s era, when they had to witness the great depression along with racial discrimination, high crime rates, gender disparity, and many more problems, when there were great social divides within the people. It was also prevalent during the same time in various countries like France, Germany, and many other World-War countries, whether in the form of racial discrimination, Ethnic discrimination against Jews, or disparities between feudal land-lords and cashless, landless peasants. 

But the legend of growth and development of all these countries has only been the fact that they have been able to overcome these problems with focussed efforts and continued, unending hard-work and labour. They were dealing with the same problems, they were down and injured  as well, but they came up with trong willpower and effort and were able to solve these problems to the maximum possible effects.   

Back closer to the countries and economies of Asia, the greatest example of such inclusive growth in a country is is China- the land of the Dragon. 

China was also one of the most under-developed economies during the 1900s and 1950s but they had the courage and spirit to fight these social mal-practises and evils and defeat them. China launched various initiatives and actions to bridge the existing and large divide between the rich (generally the landlords) and the poor (generally the farmers). But how did they achieve this?
China had plans, launched in the second half of the 20th century and were aimed at improving the well-being and living of the PEOPLE and especially those of the poor. What China did is really commendable and remarkable, given the fact that they have the largest population in the world now (the largest growing population in the world then). China turned their greatest weakness into their greatest weapon, by investing largely in these people. They invested in the PEOPLE, in the general public and put little investment in blinking and sparkling money-wasting projects. They did not focus on building world-record bridges, or building higher and taller skyscrapers, or by investing highly in highly advanced technology, but they simply invested in their people- their biggest asset, and trying for their development, happiness and equality. Even though the manner in which they did it it might not be feasible or favourable to all (Communism and Socialism), but what they did was truly remarkable and impressive. And today, China is the fastest growing economy of the world, and already the third-largest one (beating Germany 2 years back), behind Japan and United States. They will also soon be the most powerful world authority, and that at a time when most of the  leading world economies are struggling to maintain their positive growth rates. (China is recording nearly double-digit growth every year!!).

In India, however we are investing in the ares and sectors that may not be too profitable or beneficial. Like China, India's strength is the big population that it has. (Already the middle class is growing more!!) If an investment has to be made for the long term, it has to be in the people, their comfort and well-being. And by people I do not mean the upper elite class of the society, but rather in the economically weaker and backward ones. The rich can easily do themselves good even without govt. intervention but the depressed ones require immediate aid and assistance. If we are to really progress, we don't have to invest in the rich people and then show our increase in the national per-capita income (which will be an average of incomes of all three sections of people) but rather, we have help the lower strata of people who require and need our assistance much more.

Recently, a very prominent govt. minister launched a scheme/plan  to provide all students across all strata and types of people of the country with a computing device,complete with the latest bling and features, with high hopes that it will make them better, help them in many ways by enabling them to read and access thousands of articles and writings and information on the internet, and use various other applications. He invested heavily in technology he did not give the students what they required, but what would actually be required by a few of the well-off sections of the students.
He failed to address the fact that many people who he planned to transform from the depressed to the ultra-modern tech-savvy youths were not priveleged to have a regular  electricity connection to operate the electronic computing device and they don't have the required knowledge of operating the internet, the device and the web. They also didn't have the required finance to fund an internet connection in order to open the internet, let alone try to access it.
You simply can't give a man a sword and expect him to become an excellent marksman all by himself, can you. Rather he should have invested in education, in making all children more aware and informed about the technologies, their uses, their methods, etc. He should have invested more in plain-old traditional text-books which clear the concepts, rather than providing a distraction of online games, etc. He should develop the people, rather than give them a shiny new piece of computer which will never help them without prior an adequate knowledge. This is the same as, "Give a man a fish and he will not retire hungry that night, but teach a man how to fish and he will never sleep hungry for the rest of his life."

So, If China can, why not India? Isn't China the most populous state in the world, and despite that they have reached this stage, then we surely can do it as well!!

We are in a very critical stage of development right now. The world economy is nearing slowdown, the production growth is stagnant, the domestic sector is hesitant to any measures, the general opinion and outlook isn't very bright.

 At such times, what we need is a stable and inclusive long term economic development plan which helps us in the long run. And any such plan has to be in the most important and necessary areas of the nation, investing in the actual jewels of the country-it's people. Only when the people are stable, well-off and rightly placed, that anything else can truly grow or develop.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hope and Wisdom

The world is an unexplored place, an unseen, un-experienced place for most of us. We have seen, read and heard many things, understood many facts, accepted many truths, but due to many physical, personal, social limitations and constraints we haven't been able to see them or verify them for ourselves.

I haven't seen how deep Marina Trench in the Pacific Ocean is, I haven't seen Viruses or Cells that are factually the most basic elements that make up living matter, I haven't experienced the height of Mount Everest, nor have I seen the largest man-made structure in the world- The Great Wall of China. And when I think of doing these myself, I feel a certain rush. I feel a certain desire, a desire to go out & achieve it, to experience it, feel it, see it and do it for myself. Of course it has all been done before and is verified & tested by various scientists and researchers numerous times, but what good is a fact if you can't prove it (by "you", I mean people like you & me, who haven't done it ourselves but are aware and known to the facts). Of course, we still believe they are true, proven but it is the certain feeling of doing it for yourself that makes it really worth doing..

But keeping to what I want to express through this piece of text, let me put focus on the very first line starting the post- "The world is an un-explored territory."

And indeed it is. There are many things which we haven't seen, but not just those things that we haven't seen, but there are many things which we know to be true but things which we don't anticipate, don't prepare each other for. And it's not just limited to various things outside our control, but it is very true for things and creatures to know about and in understanding whom we have made significant and complementary progress. 

There are many things that happen, many actions taken by our known ones or by the people or individuals who we think we understand, that baffle us, that make us doubtful and lead to many scenarios that we don't generally prepare ourselves for. People do things you never think they would do, things that you never think they could do. But in this way life teaches you in something, something worth learning. Whenever such things happen, It gives you a lesson; you have to learn and understand it and use it to be wiser in the new tomorrow.

Some of such people who have surprised me and many others, are the Major Tennis Stalwarts of India- Mahesh Bhupati, Rohan Bopanna, Leander Paes. They are mentioned in that order because of the timings of their actions in that order. 

Firstly, Mahesh Bhupati surprised (rather, perplexed and startled) the nation by announcing that he would not pair up with Leander Paes, India's highest ranked professional Tennis Player in Men's Doubles and his usual men's doubles partner, for this year's London Olympics. Paes & Bhupati  have been India's most successful pair in the Doubles category of Men's Tennis and have been very successful in all the events they have participated in throughout. Together, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupati  have won 26 titles together, including 3 Grand Slams. Their Career record is 303-103, and they share the longest winning streak in Doubles in the Davis Cup, that of 23 consecutive matches. Also, they have been known to be very close friends and partners, even though their friendship has seen it's bad times in the past. 

The decision came at a time when the All India Tennis Association (AITA) was announcing the teams to be sent to the London Olympics. Refusing to the AITA's decision, Bhupati openly declared his feelings towards playing with Leander Paes, and refused to be teamed up with him for the Olympics, and in the forseeable future. He chose Rohan Bopanna, to be his partner. 

This was a very selfish decision by Bhupati, beacuse by this decison, he was putting his own ego in front of his country. He was choosing not to play with Leander due to his own personal problems, and denying the country it's chance of bagging a Medal in the London Olympics. 

Later, Rohan Bopanna supported Bhupati and agreed to partner only him, for the event, escalating the problem further

However, any problem rises only when there is a failure of the parties involved to work out a compromise, and it can only happen when both or all the parties involved are adamant on their own stands. 

A few days later, Leander Paes broke his silence and hit out at Mahesh Bhupati & Rohan Bopanna by saying that there should be an adequate punishment for players who refuse to comply with the decisions of the highest authority of the Sport (here AITA) and stating that it would be unfair if the AITA gave in to their demands. He also said that it was wrong that due to the dirty politics of the two players, his dream of  performing well in the Olympics would be put on stake (since he would be paired with a much lower ranked player in the event). Above all, he threatened to pull out from the Olympics Team if such unfair and unjust treatment was meted out. 

In my opinion, It is really sad to see India's Medal hopes being put at stake by the icons of Indian Tennis by putting their egos in front and not thinking about the country above themselves. Both Bhupati & Bopanna are really unprofessional and immature not to think of their country first, and being adamant on their decision to dictate terms to the AITA and the entire nation. Leander Paes also, is wrong to threaten to withdraw from the Olympics if his choice of a partner is not met. This is due to his ego, that refuses to accept being paired with a lower-ranked player for the Olympics. This is really wrong. He should remember that he was once a rookie himself, and if he would not have been trained and taught in the proper way, he would not have been able to do what he has today. 

Paes, Bhupati & Bopanna need to accept the AITA's decision in the best interests of the nation and play with all their commitment and effort to ensure that India gets a medal in this category of the Games. It is very wrong for the players, who have been able to reach these heights only because of the love & support of the nation and it's people to let them down, they should put their best foot forward in the best interests of the nation and give in their bet to win a medal for the country and make everyone proud. 

Another important event that has caught the attention of all is the impertinent refusal of the BCCI to allow DRS (Decison Review Sysem) to be implemented in all the series that are played between various teams in the sport of cricket. 

While the BCCI has been stubborn in it's refusal to allow the implementation of the DRS, many other nations have given support to it and the ICC has many times put the forward the proposal to allow it's usage in many international tournaments and series. 

The stand of the Indian Board on DRS is really baffling. They continue to say that the use of DRS should not be made since it's not foolproof. But going by that logic, they should also not have various cameras during the match present to allow better decisions such as Run-outs and catches since there have been instances where the video or sound images have been ineffective and inconclusive to prove a decison. Many other reforms and advancements that are used today would not be present in the world of cricket if the BCCI's logic had it's way. 

What the BCCI needs to understand is also that any technological advancement or development is not error-free especially in the initial stages, but it is only due to subsequent and continuous testing and experimentation that we obtain a better product and help develop the sport better. 

It is true that the BCCI enjoys a financial clout in the ICC, with the majority of revenue of the international body being supplied by the Indian Association. But that is no fair way or right reason for it to exercise it's power for getting things done according to it's own selfish interests and objectives. It is wrong of the BCCI to arm-twist the ICC into get it's proposals done. Yes, It is no hidden fact that the BCCI holds a lot of influence in the ICC due to it's monetary power, and this has also been the bane of many other  countries who have felt disadvantaged due to the many unfair practises of the Indian Cricket Board. 

The BCCI must remember the times of the CA (Cricket Australia)- ECB (England Cricket Board) domination and how wrong it felt to have them all powerful and influential in the ICC, and heed to their lessons in the past.

 Any sport can only progress when the members co-operate and harmonically work together to ensure that fair treatment is given to all, and fair objectives of all member countries are met.  

Now, These days, The biggest football tournament of two years is going on. The UEFA Euro 2012, being hosted by Poland and Ukraine.With a tournament so big and so highly reputed, there are many special situations that are bound to happen. Whether they are about a team losing earlier than expected or a dark horse arising above all to suddenly take the stage, you can find all types of stories and happenings in the world of sports and football. This Euro also has it's own share of such news, which are being discussed universally by all football enthusiasts.

 There have been many instances worth chatting about but I feel the most prominent one is that of team England and their performance in this year's event. Also, their subsequent elimination from the tournament in the quarter-finals. 

The England team started off their campaign with a Hard-fought draw against France. They went on to win their encounters against Ukraine and Sweden. However, it wasn't the results of Team England that came into focus, but their style of play.

 Teams like Spain, France & Italy, had noticed that England were playing very defensively throughout the tournament. Before the arrival of Wayne Rooney (vs Sweden) after his 2-match suspension, England had only Danny Welback as a goal-scoring opportunity in the front. There was also substitute Theo Walcott and the inspirational captain Steven Gerrard, but apart from that there was no other striker or attacking player in the field. England were not passing enough, not obtaining any possessions and were only fixed on one single department. England seemed to be playing with a defensive approach, trying to frustrate opponents in all their attempts and then hoping to score something in their own counter-attack. 

Many said that with their manager changed just two months back, quite close to the start of the tournament (Roy Hodgson) they were little prepared for some major strategic transformation than their usual style of play. That could have been an excuse, but it seemed to be something else when England mid-fielder Scott Parker (EPL club Tottenham Hotspurs) went ahead and said that it did not matter if the England Team were playing ordinary or Ugly Football, as long as they kept beating opponents and winning. Sure they had been lucky at times (John Terry kicked the ball out of the goal when the ball had crossed the line vs. Ukraine or the goals that was given off-sides vs. Sweden) they were winning and that only mattered. That statement from the England Mid-fielder showed that the defensive Approach of England was not just a backup plan but a full-pronged strategy charted for success for the team in the Tournament. He even went on quote the name of the Team from where this approach has been inspired- Chelsea. But while Chelsea rode on pure luck and unbeatable chance to somehow get the Champions League Trophy this season, England could do no such thing. After all, till when could this faulty and incomplete strategy work? 

Sadly for them, The English team had to learn this lesson the hard way, when they were knocked out in their own game by Italy, who themselves are masters of defense. It is hard to see that such talented players, of the quality of Steven Gerrad, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welback that have never won a major tournament for their country so far but it will not happen unless England get their act together and play with a better plan and objective in the coming tournaments of FIFA World Cup 2014, Brazil and the next Euro.

Another instance of an unfortunate or wrong event happened in India when Mahi, a 4-year old girl lost her life after she fell into an open borewell in Manesar, Haryana. 

The Haryana Govt. initially shocked all by stating that there was nothing new in Mahi's death and that such instances happened everywhere. However, after the huge media outcry and public pressure, they were coaxed to act. The little girl, who fell into the open borewell repotedly either while playing or while looking for water joined some other known children who have given up their lives due to the negligence and inaction of the bureaucrats. The borewell, which was nearly 70 feet deep was uncovered and unprotected against such happenings. 

After the 85-hour ordeal when she was pulled up by the rescuers, Mahi had already died. A twitter user summed up the feelings of one and all by saying that, "It is not that sad that Mahi, another kid in India has lost her life due to bureaucratic shamelesness, but it is very sad that she might not be the last one.."   

It is very sad to hear to some of the news but it is also important to note that there is always a lesson in all these happenings. Tennis ego clashes teach us humility, and being devoted to make the nation proud, BCCI stand-off teaches us not to be a bully when we are in power but being fair and equal to all, England's one-sided approach shows that no mission is ever complete without a proper plan and the unfortunate event of Mahi's event teached us to be careful always, and that a little carelessness can sometimes prove lethal.

It is for us to learn these lessons, and understand them to ensure that such events and incidents do not happen again. After all, a great man has said, "Making a mistake is human, learning from it is wisdom and repeating it is stupidity."

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Summer Sports Blast!!

I love Sports!!

That first line says a lot...  I'm not just any ordinary fan of sports, but a wild, massive and die-hard fan of many players and teams competing against each other in many great tournaments for the ultimate prize, in their battle for victory, glory and respect. The winner sees all, and the others only fancy another chance.

And for any sports fan like me, it is really the ultimate pleasurable activity to sit back and absorb themselves in the fast, passionate, thrilling and entertaining life of sports. For a avid fan, boundaries don't matter, time isn't a constraint and resources comes together to offer a complete package of total bliss and contentment.

This summer is expected to be the best for all the sports enthusiasts and game followers. The summer season can be conveniently stated as the months between April and October (at least in this part of the globe). It features a hoard of events from all genres of sports and games, including the club and international fixtures. While there are some which are a regular and happen every year, there are those that comes once every 4 years also that are happening this summer. Considering the fact that they include events and sports tournaments of global following an importance (Olympics & Euros), their is bound to be lot of interest in these sports. There is thus bound to be a lot of trips and visits in these countries where the events are being hosted and the rest of the people are going to be glued to the television sets for a long time.

You can like a variety of sports, different types of sports. There can be international sports, club events, teams games or individual matches, professional championships and racing series, and many others. No matter which of them captures your fantasy, you can easily enjoy yourself this summer by following them on your boxes & screens (TVs, PCs & Mobiles).

Many events in the sporting arena are annual in nature, they happen once every year. While this helps in keeping the audience occupied, the interest can and following can vary a lot since it isn't possible for players and teams to keep up the same level of performance year after year in each and every tournament. Football Tournaments like the English Premier League or Formula One Racing Championships produce varied and different results nearly every time (of course, there being some exceptions).
This year, there are expected to be many sporting games and events. Some of my favourite ones are:-

Starting from April 7, the world's biggest cricketing carnival begins in India with the Fifth season of the hugely popular Indian Premier League (April 7- May 27). Relying on the sports plus entertainment format, the tournament is a successful place to perform for many unknown players. Active participation of players from all around the world means that most o the cricketing fans in most of the nations don't afford to give it a miss.  

There are also some tournaments that happen during late April & Early May like the Final Matches of all the Football Leagues in Europe and the Champions League. The fact that there have been competitive games and unputdownable results, fans are surely in for a great time! 

Moving a little further in the timeline, we come across The French Open (May 22-June 10). Even though, the interest in such a tournament might be limited to tennis fans, people are well-aware of the legends and rivalries of great players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, etc. these players are on the verge of many milestones, and each success ensures their names in the list of tennis greats in the world. 

The Eurozone Crisis has been the talking point of the entire summer. However, one place where members of all European Nations meet to cheer for each other is at a Football Event! It is the year that we get to see the European nations slug it out in the Football Field with UEFA Euro Championships 2012 (6 June to 1 July) being carried out in Ukraine-Poland. All nations are hungry for their teams to bring some joy by winning the European cup, and uplift the mood caused because of the depression faced by the European Economies. It is also a very competitive tournament, and fans are sure to have the bets time of their lives watching and cheering their teams.

The Championships- Wimbledon (25 June- 8 July) are sure to mention in the calender of every individual-sports' fan. With top quality players slugging it out on the grass courts of the All England Tennis & Croquet association, London is a treat for everyone to watch. With the ultimate prize in the game on stake, every challenger and every admirer is sure to stick to this one.

The mega event of sports is also happening this year. The Olympics Games (July 25 to Aug 12) will be held in London and all nations are excitedly waiting for the tournament to start, and all athletes are aiming for nothing less than a Gold, the most prestigious prize in the history of all Sports.    

The US Open, happens somewhere in September every year and is the last of all four Grand Slams to happen in Tennis every year. Doubtlessly, all players look to make amends for any issues of the past, and all champions look to end the year on a high, in this highly vigorous and fast tournament held annually in New York, US. 

The world of Formula One is a fantasical for all of us. Fast cars, beautiful girls, drivers driving at the top-most speeds without any restrictions sounds straight out of any action movie. We simply cannot stop being happy about the fact that F1 has finally come to India and a race on the Buddha International Circuit (BIC) is a part of the F1 calender. The Indian GP is held in the opening week of October every year and it is a thrill for all of us, and with 2 Indian Drivers (Karun Chandhok and Narain Kartikeyan) and an Indian Team participating in the events, there is no lack of cheering by us to be done.

Any calender is incomplete without any event in the field of cricket. With nearly one-sixth of the entire world following the game (including Entire India with a population of 1.2 billion, other 10 Test Playing Nations and other Associate Nations), cricket is a huge attraction to any sports fan. Falling this year are the ultimate international competitions in the most exciting version of the sport- The ICC World T20 Championships (Sept 18- Oct 7) being hosted by Sri Lanka. All the sub-continent teams including India & Pakistan (both former World T20 Champions) and Home team Sri Lanka are keen to make the most of their known conditions and the other sides such as England (T20 World Champions 2010) & Australia will look to better their records in the shortest formats of the game.

There are many other great events happening in the world. The Nokia Champions League T20, Cricketing Series, the Football Leagues, London ATP Tour Finals, etc are all part of an exciting sports festival for the entire year. However, what makes a year or a season special is heavy competition, huge support and grand scales of the tournaments. With many events happening that happen only after a long time or those that are really exciting and hugely followed in this part of the world taking place this year, it for sure is gonna be a lot of fun!

So for now, rush and go watch your favourite sports tournaments without missing a moment. Simply sit back, relax and enjoy them happening for such great events rarely ever happen so close to each other.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Bourne Appraisal!

The best experiences in life, can be different and differently originating for different people. It can be through making music for some, through dancing for a few, via diving (Scuba-diving) for further more, and many more things for other people. There can be times when one wonders if that's the most wonderful thing one does, or the most pleasing time that one spends throughout one's days. (People remember and say adventure sports was by biggest experience, or deep-sea diving was my most memorable activity..)
While people have different pleasures, passions & leisure activities they also spend a considerable part of their times, and opportunities in doing them. Musicians compose, artists paint, drivers race, etc

I, on these lines love reading.
Whether it is the day or the night, summer or the winter, blissful or desolate, or any other mood or situation, I find absolute pleasure in reading. It is the most joyous time of my day (or night) when I open up a book to read on what's happening with the characters, or and what is going to turn up next. It is the most superb feeling/experience to discover the true plot of a novel or a book as you reach it's most important phase of the plot- the core of the story.

One such book collection I read and appreciated was- The Bourne Series by Robert Ludlum.

The Bourne Series is based on a man, who is suffering from amnesia. He finds himself washed on a shore, full of bullets, and suffering deep arsenic wounds. Trying to decipher the riddle regarding his identity, finding out who he is, he undertakes a dangerous journey across different locations and cities located all across Europe and America. Revealing such facts would only be easier for our guy, if it weren't for the International Police, and a highly Reputed and Renowned-Worldwide Assassin chasing him..

The Bourne Series is a collection of 3 books- The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne
Ultimatum, respectively.

  The Bourne Identity demonstrates the struggle of our central character, known to the world as as Jason Bourne, to find his identity, and uncover his past (to know) as to why the International police and all major international intelligence Agencies across Europe & America are chasing him, and alongwith that the reason as to why the World's Most Reputed Poltical Assassin is also hunting him down. Along the path to this discovery, Bourne finds Ms. Marie St. Jacques, a Canadian Economist (hailing from France) working for the External Affairs of the Canadian Govt. as his only confidante and helper. Together, they undertake the long, dangerous & uncertain journey of the Identity of Jason Bourne, and uncovering his reality and him being a name and it's history, so dreaded in the international world.

The Bourne Supremacy starts a few years after it's predecessor, The Bourne Identity. The Bourne Supremacy involves the story of the international intelligence professional- Jason Bourne, after he has laid low for a while, avoiding combat & other altercations in an effort to lead a quiet and peaceful life with his wife, Mrs. Marie Webb in the a University in United States. The story starts off revealing the fact that another international hire, by the name of Jason Bourne has taken our character's place, and is killing political & elite leaders in the Middle-East & China. Pushed to the scene of violence and danger once again, Jason Bourne is forced to fight for his identity, for his innocence, for all his cherished achievements and most importantly, for the woman he love the most, in his life.

The third installment- The Bourne Ultimatum, (story) picks up nearly a decade after the issue of the previous title. It stars Jason Bourne, now officially retired from the work and post of combat & counter-assassination from the Govt. and is living peacefully in his house, spending his pleasure days with his wife & family (2 kids) in ease. However, things suddenly take change for the worse, when Jason's most dreaded and renowned enemy resurfaces, and in a last ditch-attempt to re-take his title, wants to eliminate the man who took away most of his reputation and pride on an international level. So, Bourne must not only find him, (and protect his family), but end the story of his most celebrated and hated rival and enemy, once and for all.

By reading this, and not having any other knowledge about the above-mentioned topics will make you think as to why these have been mentioned here. They could have been easily mentioned in a place meant to review books or encourage forumns about the book. So, What is so important or special about these books to find a discussion about them here?

Then again, as they say, never judge a book or a person (by it's cover) or too soon..

 The highlight, of reading or going through this book did not lie in the story and actions of this extraordinary man only, but also in the beautiful portrayal of the characters of Jason Bourne and Marie St. Jacques. Known to the world as the most dangerous professional and warrior around, Jason Bourne is always found in the middle of all problems that happen everywhere. Unaware of the situation and the reasons of his fight or escaping, Jason must manage to outdo every intelligence & security personnel and eliminating international criminals and assassins to protect his most cherished causes. Without any prior information or sources, Jason relies only on his instinct, the instinct of a man trained to kill, to do the right things always, even in the toughest of situations. He does only what he knows how to do, and knows he can still do it. Every such moment or incident of  violence or a fight could be his last, yet Jason doesn't and can't care about himself, but only for the cause he fights, only for the girl he loves, and only for the rules he will always keep, no matter what. He only thinks of the innocent, of the people who deserve more from him, and the acts he has to undertake to ensure there is justice and fairness in this world.

 Marie (Jason's Wife) plays a very important part in the story too. Without her, Jason would probably not have wanted to live in the world itself. She is the reason for his unending inspiration to uphold the right things, to fight for the right causes, to ensure justice to all at all times. In moments of despair she is his only hope, in times of disappointment, she is his only encouragement, and in days of frustration, she is his only support. Marie is to David what a kid is to a teacher, full  of energy and complete, but without a cause or direction to go ahead in. She supports him, helps him, aids him, completes him and loves him.

Jason Bourne, is a man trained & licensed to kill, but one who chooses the right path, no matter what because he believes in upholding the righteous always, protecting the innocent at all times and helping the aggrieved as possible. He kills, but does so for a cause, for a reason, for a motive, and for the right activity, that he knows, must happen.

When you think that something is impossible, just open the Jason Bourne Series, and you'll be astonished to fin out and know what all a man can actually do, if he believes in himself, if he is willing to sacrifice everything in this world for his cause, and if he is willing to go all the way, without any issues!

If you want to read the Jason Bourne Novels, buy the Bourne Series by Robert Ludlum.
Also note that after Robert Ludlum's death, his close friend Eric Van Lustvader continued the practie of intoducing Jason Bourne to the word in his new adventures. These books are- The Bourne Legacy, The Bourne Betrayal, The Bourne Saction, The Bourne Deception, The Bourne Objective, The Bourne Dominion & The Bourne Imperative respectively. Since I haven't read about these books, so I cannot express my views on them.