World Cup 2019 Jamboree! The Human Side!

I was not going to include the cricketing aspect in this blog, but India’s unexpected loss in the semi-final needs to be mentioned.

Jaya and I should have been in England by now like we travelled to Melbourne in 2015 for the world cup Cricket final. But that was not to be for reasons beyond control! But I am not writing about the game. I am writing about various things that happen on the side which I came to know more because of the social media! Yes, social media is great if you use it with discretion! The commercial side, of course, has been taken over by Indian Companies! Bira, MRF, Booking.com to name a few!

One thing is for sure; the game has been taken over by Asians! India, Pakistan, Bangala Desh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Though only India is in semi-finals. We Indians love festivals and watching a cricket match in the stadiums has been converted into a celebration.

There has been a tradition of drinking Beer while watching the matches in other countries. So, who is the official sponsor of the Beer sold this year? Bira is an Indian company; only their Beer can be sold inside the stadiums! There is an aside to this. The deal between the company and ICC was such that the price of Beer to Customers would have been steep. ICC/ECB jointly subsidised the sale by British Pounds five hundred thousand. Just imagine how much Beer must be sold during the matches.  Then, of course, you have Kabab Stalls, Biryani and Samosa stalls in large numbers to cater to the Asian spectators. (They are all referred to as Desis!) The tickets for the matches where desi teams are taking part are bought mainly by desis; we see some locals also watching the games. Believe me, these matches are held right in the interior of England, but the number of desis present in the stadiums was unbelievable.

There has been a tradition, in England, of a group called Barmy Army. It is a group of Britishers who travel all over the world to cheer the British teams in Football and Cricket matches. On the same lines, a group is created by Indians called, what else, Bharat Army. For Bharat wasis, one more festival gets added to their repertoire! So how do they celebrate? They came together and met the ICC. They discussed with ICC a deal. Two packages of four matches each. All ticket sales were online. So the deal was they would get to buy 11000 tickets. They would be given a slightly higher priority than the general public in the buying pyramid. The ICC made a deal that international travel, local travel from city to city and hotel stay will be handled by Bharat army. The ticket buyers have to become a member of the Bharat Army group. They are required to use at least one of the three facilities offered. Bharat Army has hired five buses on a captive basis to travel inter-city. No doubt that cricket has been taken over by Asian spectators.  One person from Ahemdabad asked his 25 family members to join the army. They all applied for tickets and were allotted one ticket. Only our friend wanted to see the matches! Indian Juggad?

In the review before the semi-final, English cricketer Graeme Swan was asked about the atmosphere near the Old Trafford Stadium. He said, “I have already seen two New Zealand supporters and about 25000 Indian supporters. I also understand that there are about five thousand Indian supporters who did not get the tickets for the match. They are going to spin around the stadium in their cars, honking loudly, to support their team.”

Human3Human2

Charulata Patel story is the fairy tale story of this world cup. Eighty-seven years young Charulata was born and brought up in Kenya and moved to England. There is a saying that Indians will move out of India, but you cannot move India out of the Indians. Charulata had ancestors from India and must have visited India a few times, but she never lived there. But the way she and her family were supporting India in India’s match against Sri Lanka. It was a sight to behold! She came to the ground on a wheelchair, and her enthusiasm must have been infectious. She was blowing a home-made trumpet and clapping every good event. At the end of the match, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma had the magnanimity to go and meet her and talk to her. Virat showed a nice gesture and gave her two tickets each for the semi-final and the finals. That India lost in the semi-final is an unfortunate part.

Human1

In the image above, Jadeja is gesturing to Manjrekar after completing whirlwind 50!

Social media creates some unusual situations. Sanjay Manjrekar commented that he is not comfortable with having bits and pieces player like Jadeja in the team, on Twitter. Jadeja did not like it at all and replied to him, “I have played double the number of matches that you have played, and I am still playing in the team. Respect people.” The next day Manjrekar predicted that Jadeja would be in the playing eleven. Ex English captain Michael Vaughn pulled his leg saying how come bits and pieces man is in your team. In the match, Jadeja bowled, fielded and batted very well! Vaughn pulled his leg again asking Manjrekar, “Hey the bits and pieces player can bat, bowl and field well! What say you!” Manjrekar blocked Vaughn on the Twitter! Manjrekar next day praised Jadeja but with an emoji! The emoji indicated that it was not wholehearted praise!

How did people and newspapers react to India’s unexpected defeat? In most cases, the reaction was sensible and supporting the Indian team. Most people accepted the fact that after playing very well all through the tournament, yesterday was not Indian teams day. There have to be exceptions to this. ABP asked Harsha Bhogale whether he can take part in a program “Who was responsible for the defeat?” He advised them ” Please don’t do such a program.” But the worst of the lot was Marathi newspaper, Sakal.

http://product.sakaalmedia.com/portal/SM.aspx?ID=142726

It was in poor taste. They printed photos of Rohit, Rahul, Kohli, Pandya, Pant and Dhoni.

Their captions were stupid, to say the least. Since we all know how our team has performed in world cup 2019, you may draw your own conclusions.

Rohit: Hitman-Flopman

Rahul: Finally no show

Virat: Virat  (Major) Failure

Pandya: False Diamond

Pant: Irresponsible

Dhoni: Failed in doing the Impossible

Kartik: Wasted Chances

For any cricket tournament, India is a significant market as Indians are absolutely fanatic about Cricket. Star Sports has the feed in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bangla, Marathi for the Indian market, besides English. The unfortunate side effect of major Indian support is that in the second semi-final between England and Australia, there are many empty seats at Birmingham. This is because initially it was expected that India will play the semi-final in Birmingham and many places were booked by Indians. They, for obvious reasons, have not turned up today!

As I write this, England was cruising to a comfortable victory against Australia! (They have won) So finally, the champion will be a team who has never won the world cup before! Your prediction for the final? Mine is England!

 

 

 

 

Its 150!

150

In cricket parlance, I have become a bit of Rohit Sharma. My century of blogs was completed on 13th August 2017, after about 3 ½ years of serious blogging. Before that, I used to just dabble in blogging. Today, 6th December, I am hitting next half century in about 3 ½ months! How did the scoring rate increase? It is mainly due to support from all of you! You have been praising, criticizing, pulling my legs. (Vijay Saheta is the puller in chief!) Sudhakar Sonavane has been giving his critical analysis and finding new meaning from what I write (sometimes I did not realize that there is such a deep meaning involved) He has analyzed what I have been writing with brief comments which themselves were Gems! Jaya and Priya always gave quick comments; Jaya said after one blog “Pramod, looks like you are boasting in this blog”! Priya once told me, “Baba, today’s blog is not as fluid as your usual writings!” This immediately made me think and fine tune! Anil Malik is another friend, a prolific blogger himself, responds quickly and almost always he is the first one to do so.

 These are the names of only some of the people who interact with me about the blogs but number of people who track my blogs is increasing day by day. They keep on sending their comments all the time. It appears that my blogs will get about 10000 hits in the year 2017. Thank you so much all of you! आप सभी का बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद!  With increase in frequency of my writing, I find that people find it difficult to keep track of my blogs.  I have now created a word document where I store the blog name with its link. I try to share this document with all every ten to fifteen days. But friends, you please store the link for the word document in a safe place. The document is saved in the cloud, on Microsoft One Drive. Any time you open the word document, latest updated blog links will be automatically available to you.

During my first century of blogs, I used to struggle to find right words, right thoughts and finesse! With practice, I think it has become a little easier for me to write the blogs, to choose subject but I still need the same time to fine tune in the end. Finesse, is never easy as the bridge players will tell you! I try my best, reasonable number of times I succeed, sometimes I am not so sure.

What subject people like is a mystery to me. I had a written a blog about Para normal behavior; it appears that it is all time favorite of people with 1500 plus hits! It was a good blog, but I never expected it to become all time hit! This was an experience  which I have seen from very close quarters, and it happened to someone in the family! Before this event, I had mainly read about it and seen it in public.

There is a lot of formal history written about blogging, there are definitions and there is information about blogging evolution and its different stages. But for me, blogging is putting on piece of paper what comes to my mind. Since I do not do it for commercial purpose, there is no business angle involved and there are no deadlines. My favourite subject is humans, their behaviour, their reactions! So much is happening all around the world, if I am able to capture tiniest of the part as a subject for my blog, I am happy. Best of the subjects come out of watching young kids. They are open, they are blunt, they are true, and they are innocent. They are closest to the nature during this phase. As we grow, we try and assimilate with the society. We “mature” and lose the abilities to be open, blunt and true! We always say or write things that are politically correct! This is the phase where we become cunning, we lie, and we hide our emotions. So many complications in life arise because of the new traits that we acquire! After watching situations, I am always asking How? Why? Who? Sometimes I get the answers but at times I don’t get them! This little brain storming for me is my blog.

Of course, sometimes I write about some technical things, but I try to write the same in non-technical language. When I write my blog on such subjects, I get opportunity to research, analyze and study the subject in detail. Sometimes I get the opportunity to gaze into future, e g I wrote a blog about Electric Vehicles which gave me ample opportunity to study the subject. Sometimes I just share my personal experiences. When I wrote about my cancer treatment the idea behind sharing the experience was the hope that it will help somebody to try and remain positive, take quick decisions about treatments. Sometimes, I am in the musing mode, sometimes I am very uneasy at apathy shown by people. I am always positive and gung ho about India and Indians in general; but sometimes they drive me crazy when I write Why? Why? Why? It is sheer frustration.

It has been a great journey with all of you my friends and let me thank all of you again from bottom of my heart with a humble request, “Please, please write to me, criticize me, flog me, pull my legs!” But don’t be silent about what I write! I come to know that you “read” my blogs; this is thanks to the technology used by WordPress which gives me statistics of clicks! This is a request is to all of you so that I improve further in my writings!

thank-you