February 28, 2006

Bush visit to India

Bush's visit to India and Pakistan to nurture SE Asia ties - Complete coverage from Rediff

What Bush wants in India

Bush Arrives in India Seeking Nuclear Deal

India asserts itself in nuke talks with US

Even as the Indian PM greets US Prez George Bush with roses, protestors vent their spleen through narrein-baazi
(sloganeering) and vitriolic articles
Bush in India: Just Not Welcome (Arundhati Roy protests Bush's visit) and
Why be wary of Bush? (DNA editorial).

While many are happy that New Delhi has sealed a "historic" nuclear deal with Washington (Read the joint statement released by Bush and Manmohan Singh), others are out on the streets, participating in protest marches
against Bush's India visit, while others are taking a cautionary -let's wait for the details before celebrating approach. Rediff and BBC talked to a few different protesters to get their viewpoints on the protests. Also, a BBC forum that readers voice their opinions on the visit.

India's complex love affair with US (The Christian Science Monitor)

Bush: U.S. shouldn't see India as threat

In pictures: Bush in India

Five star hotel rooms for Bush's sniffer dogs

Some light hearted tips for Bush to help him cope with India ;)

And an open letter from Laloo Prasad Yadav to Bush.. another hilarious spoof!

Howzat? President Bush learns from Pakistani cricketers

News Analysis: Bush gives India a hug, Pakistan a friendly pat
President George W. Bush leaves the region having declared India and Pakistan strategic partners.

News Analysis: Bush gambles with atomic rules

For Bush, more respect in India than at home.

February 26, 2006

India Booming

Read about the percolation of the booming economy to smaller towns of India...

India's smaller cities are booming

India's Small Cities Transforming Rapidly
'India's Boom Spreads to Smaller Cities' (NYT article referenced here)
Small cities account for 65% of PC sales

Great sign, IMO. This is critical for India as a whole to move ahead and not just the top-4/5 cities. Perhaps it was inevitable and a matter of time..but the first 10 years all we heard about was the progress in cities like Bangalore, Bbay, Chennai and to some extent Hydbad & Pune...now it is the time for Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Bhopal, Indore, and so on so forth...

If a general up-beat attitude about India's future was the overwhelming theme I felt around me (media, paper, talking to people) during my visit to India in 1998, this time, albeit a very short visit, I felt the focus has turned (aside from the short-term (irrational?) exuberance around the Sensex touching 10,000), to the booming small towns of India. Multinationals as well as local companies, fatigued with lack of infrastructure (and its not keeping pace with development in other areas) in the bigger metropolitan cities, are moving to small towns - not merely as a large market for their wares but also as a base for their operations. Attitude-wise, opportunity-wise, it is the time for the people in the traditionally deemed B-towns and C-towns, sotospeak.

Ofcourse, it is all relative... one cannot make the fallacy of comparing this with B-towns in the US. Compare it with what they had 10 years back..and imagine what it will be like for them 10 years from now. No 20-year period since independence saw such a change...it is like we were stuck in a rut and have now suddenly freed ourself..and for that..we should celebrate it as a great sign of progress...though moving around in Bombay or Pune and looking around with 'foreign' eyes, it is tough to see where there is progress, in a western world sense. The lack of infrastructure and the teeming millions who live in what can only be called as abject poverty is too striking to sometimes see through to see signs of progress.

Also, while in India, I saw (though didnt get to read) a
recent India Today issue (with Dhoni and some other celebs from smaller towns of India on its cover), which celebrated the small-town attitude and power...

Also read: India, the most optimistic nation
Consumer confidence: India leads the way, again

February 16, 2006

U-19 World Cup stunner

Nepal stun South Africa
Nepal v SA U-19 World Cup scorecard Bulletin Upsets

Had heard Nepal junior team is 'king' from no less an authority than Sunil Gavaskar...but this is amazing, albeit a 2-run squeaker...

More about the U-19 World Cup later... India's had quite a run...an impressive big 234 run victory in the semis...lets hope they win the finals now.

February 10, 2006

SL-Aus VB Finals

wow...SL scraped into finals after winning the must-win final game against RSA earlier this week.and now this - an upset win over Australia in the first of the best of 3 finals!!

SL batting fired on all cylinders (58 in 5.1 overs from Dilshan and Chamara Kapugedera towards the end) and then Aussie batting really ran into trouble with 5 run outs for Aus, 4 of them by Dilshan....SL had Aussies in trouble early on at 3 for 64 in the 15th over with" the dismissal of Adam Gilchrist for 26 silenced the home fans, but the run-outs of Ponting without facing a ball and Martyn for 1 shocked them." Martyn has been in great form... even in-form Hussey made only 16 today before...yes..you guessed it right..getting run out!!....Though the other man in decent form in ODIs, Katich and "Clarke produced a last-ditch 80 from 83 balls that made the score look respectable, Australia had been trying to catch up since giving up 88 runs in the final ten overs of the first innings."

If the run-outs were not an indication of the Aussies panicing ("Ponting and Katich ended up at the same end, Martyn was so far out from the direct hit he didn't bother sprinting or sliding his bat, Katich was sent back by Michael Clarke, and Hussey suffered in another mix-up. No decision was close."), the defeat definitely will put them under great pressure for sure as they run the risk of losing a VB series at home after so many years....last time they lost even 1 match in these 3-match finals series was in 9 years!!

"I didn't think we did too much wrong with the ball until the last five and then we had brain snaps with the batting," Ponting said. "We had five run-outs and a stumping with a few serious communication mix-ups and it cost us."

haha...will be amazing if Aussies lose...and that too to a beleagured SL, which got thumped 6-1 by India..though somehow they had lost the energy and spark in that series but seemed to have regained it with a couple of players atleast recently. SL has to just win 1 of the 2 matches left....seems plausible Ponting is going to face a lot of criticism in Aussie media if they lose this one....

Note: All quoted sentences are from the 2 linked Cricinfo articles.

February 3, 2006

India-Pakistan Test Series Wrapup

India's frailties exposed by pace, says Dileep Premachandran in his series review of the recently concluded India-Pakistan test series.

While this is true and was perhaps hidden in the first two tests because of batsmen friendly pitches that rendered Pakistan's pace attack impotent, it is not merely pace but the moving ball that exposed the Indian frailties. The paceman Shoib Akhtar perhaps rattled the batsmen to some extent, including Tendulkar, but the wicket takers were Mohammad Asif and Abdul Razzaq, with 7 each in the final test!

I agree, however, for the most part with Cricinfo's usual series end ranking of each team's players on a scale of 10...
India marks out of ten - Few crumbs of comfort
Pakistan marks out of ten - Unity and depth

Rediff's Report Card for the Indian team.

Sunil Gavaskar lashes out at the Indian batsmen for a spineless performance in the third Test against Pakistan.It was never going to be easy to survive for almost two days but what was utterly disappointing was that India could not even bat out the day and lost well before closing time on the fourth day itself. For far too long, there have been the so-called experts who have been talking about how attacking batting is the only way to win. That may be true, but there has to be the ability to be able to lower a few gears and bat to save a game that can’t be won and so live to fight another day by surviving.

Pakistani cricketers continue their
inane comments about the visiting side... with Miandad now talking nonsense about how Shewag was 'frightened', ...amazing how failures in 2 innings makes them forget the thousands of runs he has scored against them recently!! And

Indian team has feet of clay, says SS Ramaswamy as he analyzes the series and the 3rd test
A Hindustan Times article opines that a 'lack of killler instinct was the reason for the loss.
Srinath thinks the Rahul-Greg duo has gone too far in experimenting in Tests too.

'A shameful capitulation- Whispers of ‘sharp differences’ between 2 influential members of touring party', writes LK Sahi.

February 1, 2006

Not one more refugee death, by Emmy Pérez

And just like that, my #NPM2018 celebrations end with  a poem  today by Emmy Pérez. Not one more refugee death by Emmy Pérez A r...