Vantage point

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Deserve Respect Too!

Since the last 4 days, I have seen ATS cops paid homage to, NSG commandos get applause, Taj employees get praised, and the victims/hostages get credited for bravery and character. Made me feel left out. No one appreciates me! :(

But thank you, Rajdeep, for showing me a way to claim some credit -

The situation was was changing by the hour, and if you look at the overall picture, our television channels did an excellent job. There was round-the-clock, coverage, like September 9/11.
Television channels are always criticised for their work, yet everybody wants to come on TV. For TV journalists, there was hardly any respite as long as the tragedy continued. Their commitment deserves respect. It takes a lot to cover a tragedy of this magnitude.
One of the survivors who came on CNN-IBN said that “while the television channels were on, we felt secure.

I deserve a lot of respect too! Although the situation was changing so rapidly, I was watching television round-the-clock for 62 hours. I didn't sleep at all. Do you know the kind of commitment and discipline that requires? I haven't stayed up all night like that even for exams or concerts.

And it isn't just continuous TV-watching without any respite that kept me up. My commitment and resources were tested in other ways too. Sitting here in the US, I don't get Indian news channels on cable. So I had to follow it all via streaming video. Do you know how much harder it is to "flip channels" when watching them on the internet? It isn't as easy as just clicking a button on the remote. I had to go to the URL field every time, and pick out a URL from the drop-down menu. And I had to keep doing this every half an hour or so if I wanted to switch channels. Do you have any idea how much commitment it takes?

Simultaneously, I was also reading emails from various groups I am part of, following twitter, keeping an eye on American news channels too (with the captions on). I also had to call a lot of people in Bombay to ask if they were safe. This unprecedented level of deft multi-tasking is not as easy as it seems.

Then of course, there's the emotional toll of it all. Coming to terms with people being affected personally, watching this whole drama unfold on the screen. It takes a lot to ceaselessly follow a tragedy of this magnitude.

So yes, both Rajdeep and I deserve a lot of respect and admiration!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cliches Passing the Baton

Three years ago, especially after the July 2005 deluge, the cliched line for all (including me) was "Spirit of Mumbai.... rocks!". Now, the talking points memo has been changed to "Spare us the usual talk of spirit of mumbai! Something needs to be done!!". Cliche baton passed. But action forthcoming? I think not!


Disbelief. Shock. Anger. Sorrow. Despair. Frustration. Accountability. Revenge. Reality. Futility......

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


ICL and IPL are not the only two ways for Indian bowlers to earn doubloons through professional sports. Atlhough, for the third option to open up, bowlers will have to turn into "pitchers". There's also MLB... Major League Baseball. Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, two 19-year-olds from small villages in India, have been signed up by the Pittsburgh Pirates! Don't know if this is big news in India yet (no mention on the Times of India website). But it is an interesting, if not bizarre bit of news. The two apparently did well in an Indian reality show called Million Dollar Arm (I'd never heard of this show! Which channel was it on?). So a manager took them to US to train and display for talent scouts. They apparently did well enough to land minor league contracts. And who knows, might even make it to the major league some day.

The first person to "break" the story of the duo in the US blogosphere was a baseball blog called Walkoff Walk in May. That post itself is funny for two reasons. First of all, it links to a story from The Hindu. Some American steeped in baseball reading a story from The Hindu five times is just hilarious. Secondly, the blogger is "positive it's a scam". How this news could conceivably construed to be any sort of a scam baffles me, unless of course we start getting emails from Nigerians asking for our help in repatriating Singh and Patel's income. Anyway, WoW's attitude grew more positive and the blog has been tracking the two across the country, even making one aware of the duo's very obviously non-ghostwritten and rather cute blog.

I have always wondered what the conversion rate would be for a cricket fast bowler's speed to his baseball pitching speed. Does the long run up and the overarm action impart more speed on the ball, than would a pivot-and-throw while standing at one spot? Considering that top speeds in both cricket and baseball are around the 90-100 mph range, my guess is, not really. But then, Patel and Singh's contracts should make Shoaib Akhtar's ears perk up. As it is, he is accused of chucking. Baseball is all chucking! Also, he is always in trouble due to misbehavior and insubordination. Baseball is all misbehavior and insubordination! So instead of being a 100 mph bowler with a dodgy action and a dodgier reputation, Shoaib should head to the US an become a 100 mph pitcher with a clean action and a...well.... still dodgy reputation.

I also wonder if baseball is popular in New Zealand. As it is, they have lost half their cricket team to the ICL. If the remaining frustrated kiwi cricketers start heading to America, the NZ Cricket Board could just shut shop and go vacation in the South Pacific.

Update: Some questionable humor from chats -

You know what would be really funny? If an Indian joined the Indians.

You know what would be funnier? If Shaun Pollock ends up quitting the Indians to join the Indians.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Ultimate Christmas Movie?

A couple of months to go for Christmas and the airwaves are already infested with two painful concepts - reruns of old "classic" christmas movies, and trailer of upcoming christmas movies. That always leaves me surlier than the Grinch. Here's how a conversation in the house recently went -

Wife: We should watch some Christmas movies over the next few weeks.
Me: God, I hate Christmas movies
Wife: No you don't! I like 'em! You like 'em!
Me: Uh, No! I don't!
Wife: Yes, you do!
Me: Name one Christmas movie I've liked
Wife: (thinking a while) Santa Clause!! With Tim Allen from Home Improvement!
Me: No! No! I did not like that movie!
Wife: Ok....
Me: Yeah.... I hate Christmas movies!
Wife: How about..... Love Actually?
Me: Ok.... I found Love Actually kinda..... nice...ish... but that's not a Christmas movie!
Wife: Of course it is!
Me: No, it isn't!!!
Wife: Yes, it is!!!
Me: How is it a Christmas movie????
Wife: Most of it takes place on Christmas eve...
Me: So if a movie takes place on Christmas eve.... it's a Christmas movie?
Wife: Of course!!
Me: So... lemme get this straight.... a movie... happens on Christmas eve.... you think it's a Christmas movie? And we can watch it again and again next month?
Wife: Sure! Why?
Me: Oh, then you know what the best Christmas movie of all time is?
Wife: What? Santa Clause? Elf?
Me: Noooooooo.... the movie I have in mind takes place entirely.... from beginning to end.... on Christmas eve!
Wife:(looking unfortunately optimistic) Which?
Me: Die Hard!!!!!
Wife: What??????????????
Me: Yeah! Die Hard! It's a Christmas movie! We can watch it over and over in December! What do you say?
Wife: #$%&@(*#&(^^@^!###$%$!!!
Me" Yippee-ki-yay MF-er!!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Most Hilarious Line Heard on TV this Week

Comes as it often does, from Michael Scott - That seems awfully mean.... but sometimes the ends justify the mean.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Detroit, Romney and IBM

Where was this Mitt Romney all of last year? That's real "straight talk". Perhaps wary of the fact that his father George Romney's failed 1968 Presidential nomination bid was marked by a shooting-from-the-hip style and actual "maverickiness" (he came out and opposed the Vietnam War), Mitt decided to go the opposite direction and came across as being too rehearsed, too cautious, and even fake. Good to see him say something right - let the big 3 automakers go bankrupt. After all "bankruptcy", at least Chapter 11, does not mean the companies shut down, sell of their plants and die. It just means they go into a mode of restructuring with a hope to survive. Many airlines in America are under Chapter 11, but we still fly on their planes and their employees still get paid.

To understand why Detroit must not be bailed out, it might be useful to look at the example of my former employer - IBM. In 1993, IBM was in as pathetic a shape as Detroit was, and for similar reasons - bad strategic decisions. Much like the big 3, IBM also posted historic losses.... in fact their loss of 8 billion was then the largest ever yearly loss in history. They never filed for Chapter 11, but came very close to doing so. If the government had simply stepped in and thrown some cash IBM's way "in the interests of protecting the American workers" and "saving a national symbol", it would have lived to see another day. But it would have continued on a doomed path paved by past blunders. And who knows, might have folded up within a decade.

What happened instead was how capitalism should play out, and often does if left alone by the government. The CEO had to go, and several top executives were fired. In came Lou Gerstner, and fundamentally changed the way IBM does business - moved it from a product focus to a services focus. Although everyone and their uncle, and especially the government, already involved in anti-trust cases against IBM, wanted the company to break up into smaller firms, Gerstner bucked the trend. He had the vision to see that despite the success of smaller and leaner young firms in Silicon Valley, blindly following their lead was not the answer. IBM's massive size and even massive-er scope was something that could serve as a source of competitive advantage if used rightly. So Gerstner came in, armed with hatchets, scalpels, scotch-tape and clay-dough and remade IBM set it on the right path, where it has stayed since, barring a few hiccups. It still employs hundreds of thousands of people and still makes money for its shareholders more often than not.

If there had been a government bailout for IBM in 1993, they would have had to dance to the government's tunes. And I doubt if any politicians or political appointees would have been able to engineer the turn-around that Gerstner, assisted by able lieutenants like Palmisano (his eventual successor), was able to. IBM's resurgence would have made Schumpeter happy. That is what Detroit needs to do.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Republican Civil War Starts!

In an episode of 30Rock, Alec Baldwin's character asks Dennis Duffy, the sleazy ex-boyfriend of Tina Fey's character, what his politics are. He replies without batting an eyelid "social conservative, fiscal liberal". This is supposed to be funny, because a lot of "independents" (such as me) describe themselves as "social liberal, fiscal conservative", but the reverse seems almost absurd.

Meet Mike Huckabee. In what is surely the first salvo in the struggle for the Republican's Party leadership, Huckabee has written a tell-all book in which he attacks anyone and everyone, apart from Chuck Norris. Romney is attacked, as is Thompson and even the evangelicals aren't spared. He also has some unkind words to say about libertarians. He considers them worse than liberals and the biggest threat to the Republican Party TIME reports -

In a chapter titled "Faux-Cons: Worse than Liberalism," Huckabee identifies what he calls the "real threat" to the Republican Party: "libertarianism masked as conservatism." He is not so much concerned with the libertarian candidate Ron Paul's Republican supporters as he is with a strain of mainstream fiscal-conservative thought that demands ideological purity, seeing any tax increase as apostasy and leaving little room for government-driven solutions to people's problems. "I don't take issue with what they believe, but the smugness with which they believe it," writes Huckabee, who raised some taxes as governor and cut deals with his state's Democratic legislature. "Faux-Cons aren't interested in spirited or thoughtful debate, because such an endeavor requires accountability for the logical conclusion of their argument." Among his targets is the Club for Growth, a group that tarred Huckabee as insufficiently conservative in the primaries and ran television ads with funding from one of Huckabee's longtime Arkansas political foes, Jackson T. Stephens Jr.

This is amusing. Forget the concerns that the Republican party might move further to the social right as a result of their resounding loss. If Huckabee has his way, he will move them to the social right and fiscal left! He is also one of three guys who proudly raised his hand when asked at a Republican debate "who does not believe in evolution?". And if that does not make his resume impressive enough, he has also recently started hosting a show on Fox. What a man!

Maybe 30Rock should consider a story arc in which Dennis Duffy becomes a Republican politician.

Pune Police... keeping you and your pigs safe!

Gotta love Pune. Check this out.

A 48-km chase for four hours and firing of 10 rounds by the police, breaking of barricades as well as running over police vehicles, and pigs being hurled at the police vehicles preceded the arrest of two suspects who allegedly stole pigs from a piggery at Sutardara.
During the chase, the suspects threw stones and the stolen pigs at the police vehicle. Meanwhile, several police vehicles joined the chase.
Sandip Mane, a relative of Jadhav, who was driving the car which was chasing the thieves, said: "At first the thieves pelted stones at my car, damaging its windscreen. Later, they hurled pigs towards us at Chandni Chowk, near Warje octroi post and on Sinhagad road. All the pigs died as they came under the wheels of the police vehicles. They even hit my car twice."

If you think this was funny, read the marathi report. This portion just killed me -

पोलिस टेंपोचा पाठलाग करीत असताना चोरट्यांनी टेंपोतून दगडांचा पोलिसांवर मारा केला. दगड संपल्यावर त्यांनी पोलिसांना डुकरे फेकून मारली. त्यात तीन डुकरे वाहनांखाली सापडून मरण पावली.

So any pig farmers out there wondering where they should set up their next piggery, Pune is the place.

Link via chat from Satyen Kale from Tanvee Kale, forwarded via chat by Satyen Kale.

Update: As any story of this magnitude is wont to do, it has generated some profound thought on chat. Some excerpts from a chat with Kunal -

4:40 PM me: i love the fact that the sakal report mentions exactly how many pigs died because of being hurled
teen dukrey!
and that too a respectful "maran paavli", not "meli"
Kunal: martyrs, all
we should erect statues at all three places
4:41 PM in bavdhan, there actually is a statue of this guy who died after drunkenly driving his bike into a bus
4:42 PM me: amazing!
Kunal: and now the whole area is called kailashvasi tanaji patil nagar
in his honour
5 minutes
4:48 PM me: maybe they should call it dukkarwadi now
Kunal: sadly, that name is already taken
4:49 PM i find it appropriate though, that this chase went on through dukkar khind
4:53 PM me: maybe call it... patit paavan dukkarwadi
to specify the martyrdom
4:54 PM Kunal: hutatma dukkar chowk for chandani chowk

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Open Letter to Chennai Super Kings

See update at the end

N. Srinivasan
K. Srikkanth
K. Wessels
M.S. Dhoni,
Chennai Super Kings

Dear Sirs,

It has come to my attention that one of your employees has referred to India quite condescendingly as a "third world country". This deeply offends me as an Indian.

India, as you know, is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and is the 4th largest economy in terms of GDP (PPP). We have also placed a placed a spaceship in the lunar orbit. India's undeniably prime position in the world has also been attested to by one of the foremost thinkers of the modern and postmodern era - Mr. Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times.

In light of all these achievements, I consider it a national insult that one of your employees would refer to India in such a derogatory manner. He has hurt our national pride, and his statement has jeopardised public order in our country. I hence humbly demand that you terminate the employment of the said employee with immediate effect. If my demands are not met, I will be forced to file a court case against you for aiding and abetting someone who attacked our nation's exalted greatness.

I hope to see a press releasing announcing the employee's termination in tomorrow's newspapers.

Yours Sincerely
Gaurav J. Sabnis

Update: You'd think that labelling Tom Friedman as one of the foremost thinkers of the "modern and postmodern era" would tip people off that this letter isn't what it might seem. But apparently not. I don't know whether to take it as a compliment or an insult, that a lot of folks took this letter seriously. Either I am not very good at writing satire, or am a little too good at it. I replied to all the emails I got, clarifying that I was far from serious. But this update is being prompted by the Chennai Super Kings Fan Site blog taking this post seriously. So for the record, the above letter is as flippant as can get.

Ganguly, not the Dingo

From here.

Certainly the retirement of Sourav Ganguly will increase over rates in certain contests. The Indian batsman is notorious for time wasting and would drive Shane Warne insane by never being ready or pulling away.

Given how keen the Australians are to blame everything on Ganguly, maybe A Cry in the Dark should be remade with Meryl Streep claiming that it was Sourav Ganguly, and not a dingo, that ate her baby.

Shiok 2.0

The best restaurant in Bangalore is the one run by my friend Madhu Menon - Shiok, far-eastern cuisine. Shiok has now relocated, and is back with a bang. I always thought that the bar I saw in the old Shiok was the most painstakingly compiled and well stocked bar in the country. Well, for those who want to admire the bar, and have the bartender concoct exotic cocktails, there is now a new cocktail lounge too - Moss.

The new Shiok and Moss, from whatever pictures I have seen, have the most exquisite interiors. Take a look at some pictures here, and while you are there, note down the new plans, check out the new address, the phone number, and call up the phone number at once to make reservations!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

On the Sonal Shah Controversy

Over the last couple of days, a weird news story has erupted. Sonal Shah, part of the Obama transition has been at the receiving end of a smear campaign suggesting that she has ties to hindu fundamentalists. Those smears have been amply rebutted here, here, here and here.

What I found interesting was the piece by Vijay Prashad that started this whole controversy. The whole piece is very nudge-nudge-wink-wink in nature, with insinuations galore. And the best sample of the way the article is, is this -

Shah, a product of the University of Chicago, shined her corporate shoes at Anderson(sic) Consulting (who was Enron’s accountant)....

Notice the Enron tidbit casually thrown in? As if the writer didn't want to leave any guilt-by-association based uncovered. Yes, she worked at Anderson Andersen Consulting.... and they were the accountants for... gassssssp..... Enron Vader! Booooooo!

But wait, it gets better! Enron's accountants were Arthur Anderson Andersen. Not Anderson Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture). The two companies have been separate since the late 80s or so. And in fact, they completely broke off all ties a couple of years before the Enron scandal broke. So either Mr. Prashad is not aware that the two firms are different, which makes it an even shabbier piece of writing than first assumed to be. Or, he is aware of it, knows Anderson Andersen Consulting had nothing to do with the Enron scandal, and threw it in for good measure anyway to pile up the smear plate as high as he could.

Towards a Cricketing Oligopoly?

India's 2-0 win over Australia has set tongues wagging about Australia's decline. There were similar murmurs after the 2005 Ashes defeat, but the Aussies bounced back and shut everyone out for the next 2 years. While these murmurs might be exaggerated, there is an element of truth in them.

There is no doubt that the 1999-2007 era of comprehensive Australian dominance is probably behind us. Too much has been made of Waugh and Ponting's captaincy as well as the Aussies' relentless "professionalism" in that era. As important as they were, the real clinchers in ensuring that decade long invincibility was the co-existence of not one or two, but three once-in-a-century geniuses - Shane Warne, Glenn Mcgrath and Adam Gilchrist. Warne and Mcgrath were all-surface superstars who, supported by able bowlers like Lee and Gillespie, could run through teams anywhere on most days. When you have three geniuses like that, it is more than likely that at least one (if not two) of them will fire during a series. With them in the side, supported b a decent cast, even the their bus driver could probably have captained and got similar results. Remember, that even in the famous 2005 Ashes, Australia lost in two matches that Mcgrath missed because of a freak injury. In fact the only series Australia lost when all three were in the team, was the 2001 series in India. And that too went right down to the wire, and was lost only thanks to once-in-a-lifetime performances by Laxman and Harbhajan.

There was also another relatively un-heralded factor contributing to the Aussie dominance - consistent and successful openers in the form of Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden. More often than not, they clicked, making the life of their middle order easier. Ever since Langer retired, and age caught up with Hayden, Australia just hasn't had good opening partnerships with the same frequency any more. It is also probably not just a coincidence that a dip in Ponting's bradman-esque performance has occurred after the decline in opening fortunes. The sooner he comes to the crease and the newer the ball is, the less likely he is to make big scores all the time.

But the Australian team now, although weaker than before, is still pretty good. I expect them to go back to a phase like they had in the mid-to-late 1990s. When they were clearly one of the top two teams in the world, and in terms of winning percentages, were still #1. They just weren't invincible and were bound to lose the occasional test match here, and the odd series there, when the opposition stepped up.

To see the full extent of how small or big Australia's decline really is, we should wait until the spring of 2009. They have two back-to-back series against South Africa, first at home and then away. For probably the first time since 1970, South Africa have a pace attack that is clearly superior to Australia's. There is no Shane Warne, who was SA's biggest undoing most of the times. And although Australia holds an edge in the batting department, the gulf is not as wide as it was in the early 2000s. Here's my outcome look-up chart

Australia wins both - Aussie dominance continues
SA win both - SA dominance begins!
Australia wins at home, South Africa at home - Cricketing Oligopoly, like the 90s

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Farewell Dada

It is somewhat ironic and yet fitting that India's best captain so far bowed out gracefully in a series, and specifically a test match, in which the contender to his throne is making his mark as a captain and a batsman. It is also tragicomic, yet somehow appropriate that Ganguly's test career, which began with an against-the-odds century, and was periodically resuscitated by more against-the-odds centuries, ended with an innings in which he missed a well-deserved hundred, and another which was a first-ball duck. And finally, it is poignant yet perfect that Ganguly ended his career on a high note in the very city that featured the nadir of his cricketing days against the same opposition - sitting out in a fit of pique (or cowardice) after encountering a greentop in 2004. It will be a cherry on the top if tomorrow, India bowls out Australia, and comprehensively regains with a win that had a significant contribution by Ganguly, the Border-Gavaskar trophy that was surrendered at this very venue by Ganguly

Being a Ganguly fan has been the closest I have come to experiencing what it must feel like to be a religious person. I have often wondered how religious people keep their faith in the face of overwhelming evidence about the imperfections of their gods. Ganguly's feet were as clay-ful as can get. And yet, I found it difficult to leave the fold and walk away.

Today, as I saw him walk away from the crease for the last time, I realized that the idea of a Ganguly-less Indian team still hasn't fully sunk in for me yet. No more gushing at his exquisite threading of the offside. No more crossing my fingers that when the inevitable short deliveries come, he doesn't lob one down the throat of square leg. No more gleeful anticipation when a spinner comes on that Ganguly will sashay down the track and deposit him on the stadium roof. No more crossing my fingers and toes when he gets a start, that he reaches three figures and adds to his underachieving tally of hundreds. And finally, no more protracted debates with other cricket fans defending his place in the team as well as his legacy.

Tomorrow's newspapers will be full of recollections of some of Ganguly's most famous achievements - his Brisbane hundred, his consecutive centuries on debut, his lone double century against Pakistan, his Sahara Cup triumph, and his countless ODI hundreds. But there have been other lesser applauded innings of his that I will also cherish. His assured and fluent 48 while chasing 200 in the 4th innings against Pakistan at Delhi last year, even as Tendulkar was battling imaginary demons in the pitch at the other end. His gutsy half-century in the Sreesanth-owned Johannesburg test His unbeaten 98 at Kandy to level the series in 2001. And undoubtedly his most unheralded innings - a counter-attacking 48 while following on in Kolkata in 2001, prior to the historic Laxman-Dravid partnership.

Ganguly's career can be looked at in two ways - that of a gifted cricketer who never quite fully delivered on his full potential as a batsman. Or that of a deeply flawed cricketer who hung in and achieved more than he should have thanks to his self-belief. Whichever way you look at it, one thing is for sure - it was a career that brought rivetting drama to all and guilty pleasure to some.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Really loyal readers of this blog may remember how watching PTV after India beat Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup, was a source of unbridled joy for me. I am deriving similar joy today by listening to talk radio hacks like Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh throw a hissy fit over Obama's win. Hilarious!

The Mandatory US Election Post

If I were to sum up last night's election results in one hyphenated word, it would be - anti-climax. And the good king of anti-climax. The kind of anti-climax I felt in the Mohali test when the Australians just folded.

I was sitting in front of the TV, having completed all my scheduled research work for the week, almost sure that it would be a tight race. All the polls indicated a landslide, but some things are just too hard to believe. So here's what I expected would happen - Virginia and Indiana would close at 7 pm, and would be running very tight (too close to call), as would early results from Florida. That happened. Then an hour later, Pennsylvania would close and be called "too close to call" as well. That's when the first anti-climactic spasm hit. Pennsylvania closed, and most networks immediately called it for Obama. Almost immediately. Before a single actual vote was being reported. That indicated overwhelmingly strong exit-polls results in Obama's favor. So strong, that the networks did not think that they would end up with eggs on their faces like in the previous 2 races. So strong that even Fox News called it for Obama. And as the results started trickling in, Pennsylvania did seem to be going strongly for Obama, with double digit leads. Kerry had won PA by just 2.5%. Obama won it by a handsome 11% in the end.

So I thought.... OK... Virginia, Indiana, Florida and North Carolina seem to be very close. At least Obama has held on to PA, the one Kerry state McCain had his eyes on. It seems like it will be a close election again. Obama will hold on to all Kerry states, and then win Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado to close the deal. Or would he? What if he lost them all narrowly and ended up at Kerry's tally? We'll know by around midnight, I thought.

Then at about 9:15, the second and decisive spasm of anti-climax hit. Fox News.... yes... Fox F-ing News, called Ohio for Obama. Ohio? For Obama? This early? And Fox News? This led to much self-pinching. Pretty soon ABC followed suit. Then MSNBC, and finally the most cautious caller CNN. By 9:35 pm, everyone had called Ohio for Obama. And it hit me. This is over. If he has won Ohio, and he wins all Kerry states, which he looks sure to, now that PA is in the bag..... finished!

All that remained was the formality of voting closing on the west coast at 11 pm EST. I immediately dazzled a few desi US-politics novices by predicting that at 11 pm, everyone would announce that Obama is President. And sure enough, they did. Obama then took Virginia, Florida, and later Indiana too. And of course, the southwestern states. When I went to bed, he was even leading in Montana, though by morning McCain had bagged it.

Not just a win. But a massive win!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

11 PM EST November 4th 2008


Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Bambaiyya Summary

A bambaiyya summary of the England team getting all excited and caught up in the Stanford circus in the hopes of winning twenty million - Khaya piya kuch nahi, aur glass toda baara aana.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

What bugs me about Allen Stanford

I don't care if he is bouncing around pregnant WAGS and play-acting in a way that would make Branson look austere. What gets my goat is the frequent refrain that the Stanford Series is somehow a major effort to crack the US market.

Let us leave aside the question whether the US market can be cracked in the first place. But if he really were serious about it, why would Stanford be so dumb as to time the big 20 million dollar game on a saturday evening in late fall? A late fall saturday evening, when most sports channels and networks, and their million of viewers will be squarely focused on the college football games? Furthermore, a saturday evening that, when it was first scheduled, would have fallen just 2 days after Game 7 of the baseball world series?

This is by no means a serious attempt to break into the US market. And if it is, then I am surprised that Stanford ever made a buck in his life.