Thursday, November 27, 2008

Fuck the terrorists

I have, for at least 19 years now, been an atheist. Untenable assumptions and stories about some invisible gods in the face of lack of evidence and in the face of the problem of infinite regress of the putative designer, just didn't fly, even to my 9-year old brain. Anyone who has debated and discussed religion with me will know of the sheer contempt with which I view religious conservative kooks who want to legislate morality for all of us. I have been critical, in general, of all religion: Hinduism, with no central authority to target for its ills, and for all its bells and whistles which is conducive to spawning jerkasses like Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba and that fuckface Aniruddha Bapu. Conservative Christianity, which takes the travails of Lot's wife at Sodom a little too seriously for my liking and seeks to impose their biblical morality on everyone else. Conservative Hinduism and conservative Christianity have their issues, open for debate and argument. At this point, however, I will draw the line and separate myself from a number of my fellow atheists. It is rather fashionable among atheists to draw an equivalence of extreme elements of Christianity and Hinduism and others with the extreme elements of Islam and others. That's a bit like drawing an equivalence of the harmful effects of a common cold with those of cancer. Islamic extremism is a special case, simply because it does not lend itself to debate and argument as the extreme idealogies of the other religions. The pernicious effects of Islamic terrorism are slowly but surely going to lead to a terminally internecine war between the idealogy of freedom and life, and the merchants of death. Call me a cynic, but to my mind, it is no longer an if, but a when. And till such time that happens, we must be prepared to temporarily suspend or circumscribe civil liberties. We must be prepared, if necessary, to impose Draconian laws to make sure more innocent lives are not lost. And we must be prepared to fuck the terrorists. In the ass. With a red hot iron poker.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The sheikh of tweak

 In this post I am going to go the way of all the garrulous cricket commentators who irritate me no end with their verbal diarrhoea. I am going to use every platitude, every cliche in the book. Because, try as I might, I don't think I'll ever be fluent enough in the language to describe who to my mind, is the greatest cricketer to have walked the planet. And he's just announced his retirement, leaving cricket much the poorer for it.
Shane Warne, The sheikh of tweak. The blond bamboozler. Hollywood. A genius on the field. A tharki (the Hindi word sounds better than the English one) little bastard off it. He was all of that and more. I've said it before and I'll say it again: In all the 21 years that I have been watching the game, I have not seen anyone who is more capable of making a difference in a test match. If I can stick my neck out, and say another sacrligeous thing; I don't think anyone in the history of the game, ever, has been more capable of deciding a test match, Bradman and Sobers included.
But obviously, this great man, this genius, has been about more than statistics and wins and losses. He has been about the big, looping, drifting, dipping, ripping leg breaks that are so orgasmic to watch. He has been about the flipper, the zooter, the slider and the toppie, which when used as variations with his sharply turning leg breaks, have spelt the death knell for so many batters over the last decade and a half. And about talking up each of those deliveries so that even when he lost the ability to control half of them in the latter half of his career, he still beat the batter in the mind. And he was about the wonderful, intelligent sledge, although Tubby Taylor claims that he was more about the four lettered word followed by some incoherent nonsense. The only flaws I can think of are a) The sparingly used googly, which he rarely bowled, because, in his own words, good batsmen could pick it up and b) An over reliance, sometimes, on trying to bowl the batsman out behind his legs or at slip or short-leg. To those who might wonder why I think he should be faulted for that when he has 700 test wickets, 
the answer is simple: His record in India would have been infinitely better had he mastered the art of enticing batsmen to go over the top or through cover a la Subhash Gupte.
Having said that however, he did revive classical leg-spin, post Qadir. Is he the greatest spinner ever? Yes; I am sure of that. The Indians who bitch about his record against India being poor, and about Murali being the better bowler, can go stuff it. Murali's record against India is comparable.
Warney's action is infinitely cleaner, and he is far better to watch.
I wish he would play on longer, as long as he physically can, but I can understand his desire to quit. Just as well Australia lost the last Ashes, else he would have retired then apparently. Kinda makes me wish Australia had lost these Ashes too. Well, whatever! Warney, you will be missed.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Had enough yet, Fletch?

Today was both exhilirating and disappointing. Exhilirating on account of the greatest champion cricket has ever produced. Disappointing because it's almost decisively turned a test series one would have thought over the previous four days to have the makings of a classic, into a one-horse race. The remainder of the Ashes are bound to be just an academic exercise now.

Before I lay into Fletch and his bitch Gilo, something on the Aussies. Frankly, there's no way they should have won this game. But they did, and to my mind, the only person who can take credit for this is that great genius of our times, Shane Warne. Yesterday, all the elements of what makes him a great bowler were on display; guile, craft, control, turn, drift, loop, bounce and most importantly, his self belief. Warney, take a bow!! Having said that, the Poms had no business crawling to 30 runs off 28 overs in the first session. It seemed to be a hark back to the dark days of the 90s when English cricket was so haunted by its own negativity. Which brings me to my next topic, Fletch and his bitch.

Any which way you look at it, Fletch has outlived his utility to English cricket. He is negative and pig headed. I really cannot think of any other way that the extremely ordinary and mediocre Ashley Giles would be allowed to play as many test matches as he has done. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind that if England are to do something great with its talented bunch of players; and they ARE talented, Freddie, KP, Strauss, Harmison, Hoggard, and Vaughan when he returns; Fletch must go.

Frankly, two years ago, I would have laughed hard in the face of someone who dared suggest that there could be a cricketer who annoyed me more than Darren 'Boof' Lehmann did. But now there is; Ashley Giles. And like it was in Lehmann's case, a little celebration will be in order when Giles is sacked.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Ashes to Ashes Dust to Dust, Lee-KP help me remove blog rust..

So I'm back blogging after ages. Been extremely busy with my professional life, and have finally had some decent things happening to me. Anyway, I surprised even myself by my reluctance to put out a post even after the Ashes had started. It took a classic duel between Lee and KP on the 4th day of the game to shake me out of my stupor, but here I am.

First things first. My prediction? I haven't had the epiphany I did last time around where I predicted that England would win the Ashes, but common sense seems to suggest 2-1 to the Aussies. England without Simon Jones are a bit weak on the bowling front. Hoggy and Jimmy Anderson, both competent bowlers under English conditions, are always going to struggle down under, to the point of being ineffectual. It is going to have to be Freddie who's going to have to toil manfully, and I'd hate to see him pick up another injury or be reduced to a stock bowler. He bowled quite beautifully in the first innings and the workload probably reflected in his lethargic batting in first innings and in the cavalier attitude in the second. Giles is bloody useless, and frankly, he's got no business playing test cricket, when they have a young, more skilled and eager Monty Panesar. But what the heck, if Fletch wants it that way, he gets it that way. Finally, the one bowler who can make it or break it for England: Steve Harmison. He's going to be crucial.He's got the height, pace and bounce to trouble all the Australian batsmen, most of them a bit long in the tooth. You wouldn't think it looking at his appalling performance in the first test, but he needs to pick up his game quickly to a) Give England a realistic chance of taking 20 Oz wickets and b) Take someof the load of Freddie. Now on to the batting: Pathetic as they were in the first innings, England have already showed in the second that they have it in them to make a competetion of these Ashes. Let's leave out Strauss, who's become some sort of a happy hooker and will soon become a modern day Andrew Hilditch if he doesn't learn soon. Let's also leave out Bell, who for his first innings fifty, is still going to remain Warnie's bunny. Cook's decent, but he's got a long way to go. Collingwood was superb, leaning into his shots and playing those backfoot punches straight down the ground in a manner that would have made Sachin proud. But the one batsman, who's close to genius, and will destroy the Oz attack on his day, is KP. His batting yesterday, especially against Lee and Warnie, was fascinating to watch. Hooking, pulling and driving in style, he also wasn't shy of letting Warnie know what he thinks of him. I hope to see much more of him in the series. Now, if Freddie can get his batting together, he along with Collingwood and KP will define England's batting for the remainder of the Ashes.

Well, what about the Aussies then? Hard to fault a side which scores 602, bundles out the opposition for 157 and bats purposefully in the second essay to set, in even time, a target of 648. A couple of headaches though: Phil Jacques pushing Haydos for a place in the side, and Watson edging out one of Martyn or Clarke. That's a real heartache for me, really, considering how much I enjoy watching both of them bat. But no denying that with this geriatric Australian attack, they could use a genuine fifth bowler, and Watson might prove invaluable. Mcgrath, at 36, still bowled like God in the first innings (the one that got Cook? Superb!), but Ponting no longer has the confidence to enforce a follow-on given that his bowlers are on the wrong side of 30. Watson's presence could change that however, and it will be interesting to watch. Lastly, the great Adam Gilchrist: Voldemort himself. He's been a disappointment of late, and I really hope he goes back soon to his devastating self. It would be a pity if the world's already seen the last of Gilchrist, the scourge of bowling the world over. Plus, his keeping yesterday was shoddy.

Keeping my fingers crossed! I will update this blog regularly now, well, at least as frequently as the test matches are played:-)

Monday, November 06, 2006

More commie bashing.....

Hmm. So those CPI (M) commie jokers want India to intervene in favor of getting Saddam's death sentence rescinded. As Patrix put so well, would they still have had a problem had the sentence been handed out by their 'impartial' and 'fair' China and not come at the end of a trial 'rigged' by the oh-so-capitalist Americans, their hatred for whom they never tire of professing?

Seriously, I have had it with Indian communists. I wish I could turn back the clock and just make communism not exist.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

You thought cockroaches were the creatures I hated the most..

..but you're wrong. How can cockroaches get such an exalted status when communists exist? Came across this article as I was perusing one of my favorite blogs. Immense anger arises. Wish Bayer made something for their kind.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Azza ki Saza

It is after a really long time that I am writing a post on cricket. My hand pretty much forced by the mad happenings off the cricket field. So the BCCI, as an act of defiance aainst the ICC, is speculating overturning the ban that was imposed on Azhar after the match fixing scandal broke out. The reasons given are:

a) He has served his term so he should be given a chance to live as an honorable citizen in the cricket world again. Wrong! What he did was tantamount to murdering the hopes and interest of thousands of cricket lovers across the country, and if a murder deserves a life sentence at the very least, so does this.

b) Not overturning the ban denies him the right to earn livelihood. Yeah right!

c) Probably the worst reason I've heard though, was the fact that others have wronged as much, but gotten away with it. Seriously? That's your reason? So just because others were not man enough to do the right thing gives you the right to shirk your responsibilities?

There are, to my mind, no two answers. Azza's batting was magic, god-like even. But his days of contributing in any form to Indian cricket are and should stay over.

When hunger strikes...

Make yourself some Tandoori chicken:-)

Like I did on Sunday. Bloody good it was too. The gulab jamuns, Arpan made. They were pretty good too.