India at the Rio Olympics

India’s performance at the Olympics so far hasn’t been that great, not a single medal nearly halfway into the event. Not that we were expecting any, mind you.

The Chinese media reported the ills that plague the sports arena in India. Funny that the Chinese wrote about it rather than the Indian media ! But this was expected right ? So it’s not surprising that none in India took it seriously.

The Indian contingent went to the Olympics just to be there, not to compete (except a few). It was just one of those all expenses paid vacations for the players and officials alike. Rio, Brazil, how many of them would get a chance to visit this country located on the other side of the planet ?

Apart from cricket, does anyone take sports seriously in India ? We all want our kids to be professionals in high paying jobs like medicine, engineering, etc so who cares a heck for sports ? It’s taught in schools just so that a few run for medals at the yearly sports day function. How many of those kids are encouraged to pursue sports ? Hardly anyone these days. It’s not a regular paying profession after all, so who wants to waste time waking up early, exercising, attending regional, state and national meets ? You may win a few medals in between but then what ?

Government projects to encourage sports are an eyewash, money just washed down the drain. Building world class facilities and hiring foreign coaches is not a solution to produce sportsmen and sportswomen from a country of 1 billion.

Two athletes who have impressed me personally are gymnast Dipa Karmakar and Atanu Das in archery.

dipa karmarkar
atanu das
These are kids with a passion. Coming from small towns, these are the talents for the future who need to be nurtured and provided all the support. Surely, there are more youngsters out there who are talented but don’t have the proper resources to come forward.

It’s heartwarming to see some support from the private sector in encouraging these budding athletes. Imagine, today we have only one professional gymnast in a country of a billion ! Something’s seriously wrong. We need to rethink if we need to perform on the world stage. We maybe be a cricket crazy country but it’s not a global sport. Need to also excel in other sports, need to rethink strategy long term else we will keep on going for those exotic Olympic vacations as always !

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Vacation – time to relax

kerala,godsowncountry
It’s always a great feeling getting home on vacation after a full year slogging away in a foreign land. The sights and smells take you back to your childhood days when everything was so easy, so slow.

As we grew up we yearned for the pace, fast, breakneck speed… It all went on fine till we reached a stage when our bodies could take it no more. We had to slow down but after all the full speed, life would not allow us to do so.

new leaves, fresh leaves, new life
Vacations nowadays are no longer like long siestas and good food and sightseeing. How many of us can stay for a day or an hour or a few minutes without checking our office mail ? Social media updates are another matter as they need to be checked on a minute to minute basis.

Don’t we all need to rejuvenate ? Become fresh like the bunch of new leaves ? Its imperative that in our fast paced lives we need to take a break, slow down and then go back fresh.

Happy holidays and wish one and all the freshness of life.

Losing my religion

depression, depressed, lonely

Losing my religion – The classic hit by one of my favourite bands REM kind of sums up the way a lot of us feel nowadays. Where do you turn to in times of necessity, desperation, loneliness….the list is unending.

So do you try to smoke your problems away ? Or drink it down real hot ? Or try something suicidal such as driving like a maniac ?

Or do you try to find refuge in the Almighty ? 

Or confide in your family and friends ? 
Nowadays is there someone that you could really lean your shoulders on and take the burden off ?

Think again, every single individual is busy nowadays living his/her own life and sticking to the age old mantra “I, Me and Myself”.

These are times when we need to dig deep within and discover our inner strengths and gifts that help us achieve what we want in life. Always go by your instinct and do something that you always love.

Criticism is right round the corner but that shouldn’t stop you from achieving your goals. Over time you will begin loving yourself, respecting who you are and finally realizing your strengths and weaknesses. This is the beauty of life.

There are good days and bad days but every day cannot be good or bad throughout right ? Wait for your time…for Someone has planned out each second of your life, never get depressed, try to shrug off failures and always stay positive.

We need to find PEACE within. Only then can we spread positivity around. Only then can we be happy. Nobody can buy peace, it’s a commodity which each one of us needs to produce, embrace, spread…

Religions can be different but we all know that there is an Almighty aura looking down on us and that’s the reason why we look up every single day searching, praying, singing, meditating… 

Religion – it’s something that we can never lose, ever.

Mr. Tony Cozier – commentator personified

tony cozier
The much respected cricket commentator Mr. Tony Cozier from the West Indies is no more. He was the voice of West Indies cricket and was always a delight to hear, crisp and to the point. Cricket tours to the West Indies were much looked forward to – for the scenery, music and celebrations at the grounds and for some of us just to to listen to Tony’s commentary.

Cricket commentary is nowadays like any commercial business with every retired national or international cricketer making a beeline to be on the air. But none will have the flair and indepth knowledge as the commentators of yesteryears like Tony Greig and Tony Cozier.

Rest in peace Mr. Tony Cozier, cricket will miss you 🙏🏏

#Po Mone Modi

pomonemodi
PM Modi compared Kerala to Somalia during his visit to the state yesterday. This has raised a hue and cry across the state and outside and Malayalees feel let down by this statement made by our very own PM.

Two ways to look at it.

PM Modi has been travelling around the world every month and has lost track of how states in his country look like. Any state north of Gujarat looks like his favourite destination USA while any state south of Gujarat looks like Somalia ! Wish he would spend more time in India learning a bit about Indian geography and culture rather than jetset around the world.

Malayalis have themselves to blame for the current state of affairs. Both the times PM Modi visited the state in the last couple of months there were two big issues relating to Kerala grabbing headlines in the country – The temple fire in Kollam which killed more than a hundred people and more recently the guesome rape and murder of a law student. When a person comes with these two things burning at the back of his mind, he’s sure to lash out – no wonder the Somalia statement.

Turn on any Malayalam news channel nowadays and its the same crap doing the rounds day in and day out – Politics (Left, Right & Centre), Rapes and Alcohol ban. Feel like thrashing the guy/s who coined the slogan “God’s Own Country”. Its a shame how the state is projected at every damn travel fair but the true ground reality is so different. Probably just like Modi thought Kerala was similar to Somalia, the guy who coined the slogan must have thought Kerala = Heaven.

No point blaming the PM. Unless the mindset changes, Kerala will always be “God’s own Somalia” !

IAS ? So what ?

jagdish sonkar

Pictured is IAS officer Jagdish Sonkar visiting a hospital in Chhattisgarh. It speaks volumes of how much our bureaucrats respect the common man ! Is this the message that needs to be conveyed to the family he’s visiting ? Also notice the scared child looking at his shoe.

Gone are the days when IAS officials were humble and were looked upon. They were respected for the hard work they had put in to reach that post. Very few of today’s bureaucrats are sincere and work for the common man. More important are ways and means to fill their pockets.

Jagdish Sonkar may have issued an apology on Facebook to cover up the incident. But I’m sure he’s one among hundreds of such officials misusing their high posts to display their power and scare away people. Does anyone care about the downtrodden nowadays anyway ? 

Android devices at risk

android

Millions of devices running the Android operating system are at risk from hackers due to a security flaw in the Qualcomm chipset present in them. The chipset basically forms the heart of these devices.

Greater are the risks for devices which run the Jelly Bean, KitKat and Lollipop versions of Android. Even mobile antivirus programs are not able to detect these vulnerabilities. Call records and messages on these devices can be accessed by hackers by making use of these loopholes.

Updates to plug the security gaps in the Qualcomm chipsets were released by the company recently but it’s upto individual device manufacturers to pass these onto their customers.

#JusticeforJisha or Kangana Ranaut ?

justiceforjishaThe brutal rape and murder of Jisha, a law student in Kerala a couple of days ago has seen protests erupting all across Kerala. The killer/s are still at large and the authorities are still clueless on the gruesome murder. The media coverage has been quite substantial in Kerala as it is an issue which affects all of us in some way or the other. 

kangana ranaut
At the same time the national media has been rather muted on the incident and have been focussing all their energy on reporting a love/hate relationship in Bollywood going on between actors Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan !

Is this called news ? The news reporting standards in India have gone to the dumps. I’m sure if this rape/murder had happened in Delhi, this wouldn’t have  been the case. The Nirbhaya case a couple of years ago proves this point. Who cares a hoot for Kangana’s relationships or periods when they’re are people suffering in agony ?

I wish Barkha Dutt at NDTV and others at reputed news organizations devote more time to real women’s issues rather than to some actors love story gone wrong. People nowadays respect authentic reporting rather than cheap publicity stunts !

Red Flag

indianairforceindianairforce
The Indian Air Force is in Alaska ! Thousands of miles away from their home base in India. But they are there for a reason – Red Flag.

Organized by the United States Air Force, Red Flag is a high tech exercise in near realistic conditions and is attended only by invitation. Apart from IAF other participating air forces include from NATO and other friendly countries.

 This year the Red Flag exercise is being held in Alaska and all aircraft and crew are based at Eielson Air Force Base. The IAF contingent consists of 4 x SU-30MKI fighter/bombers, 4 x Jaguar deep penetration ground attack aircraft, 2 x IL-78 midair refuellers and 2 x Globemaster III strategic airlift aircraft. 

These aircraft will face off against USAF’s F-16, F-18 & F-22 aircraft. Exercises like Red Flag are crucial as they improve inter-operability with friendly forces and ensure that pilots can hone their skills in near realistic combat operations.

Best cure for Uric acid & gout – Diet

uric acid, gout
A colleague at work came up to me today and told me that he wasn’t keeping well due to extreme pain in the joints. A blood test had revealed high levels of Uric acid.

He was aware that I had gone through a similar experience a couple of years back and hence wanted to know how I felt nowadays. I had stopped my medication a long time ago and had stuck to a strict diet regimen, exercise and drinking lots of water. Very rarely do I have those joint pains.

I feel that it has a lot to do with diet and exercise which ultimately leads to weight loss. Uric acid is bad since it’s not only painful on the joints but also leads to kidney stones and other complications.

Found a good link on Uric acid and gout which I shared with my friend and hopefully he will be fine again soon.