Thursday, March 06, 2003


Ok Australians face Sri Lanka tomorrow at the Super-Sixes. I am sure despite all the smiles on their faces, there will be a lot of bad blood in the air between the teams. All because of one man's elbow. I mean if it wasn't for Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling arm, I am sure both Aussies and Lankans would have got along just fine.

Remember the number of no-balls Murali "threw" in 95-96 and then in 98-99? I think he crossed some thirty odd in just one over. Since bowling law requires the arm to be straight when the ball is released, Murali was called for scrutiny. This issue has been going on for long and "expert" doctors said that Murali's wrist and arm are "bent" and they cannot straighten out. Hence Murali was not at fault!!

Personally I think if someone is not capable of bowling as per rules then he shouldn't bowl at all - regardless of physical deformity. Let him do whatever else he wants. If it wasn't for 'chucking' the ball, Murali would not have been so successful spinner, would he? Prem Panicker also made a similar point about Shoaib chucking the ball in the recent game against India. I feel its high time the cricket boards came down heavily on this issue.

Bishen Bedi sums it up best: "If Murali doesn't chuck, then show me how to bowl. I have nothing against him personally but it's grossly unfair to the game...Perhaps he would have made a good javelin thrower."

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

The saga of my life continues...

On October 1st 2000, on a crisp autumn afternoon, I landed for the first time in London. On that day there was anxiety and hope. Anxiety because I was in an alien land, pursuing a costly course in a prestigious institution backed by a huge debt. Hopeful because I had the confidence that one day I would come out of it stronger and better.

Few months into my studies, I was offered a very good job in one of the top investment banks in Europe. Needless to say I took it without a second thought for I was thirsty to gain the ‘London’ experience on how the stock markets worked. Months passed into years. Daily 12-hour work shifts drilled a lot of things into my head that I had not known before. What I had learnt in theory was tried and tested in the real world.

When I took up my job I had told myself – London is only to gain the rich experience. The real test for me will be India, when I go back to my home country and prove myself worthy. And the time to be tested has come.

I am returning to India for good - no I didn’t lose my job. In fact I said adieu to my company last week. I had to keep it under wraps because I still had to speak to quite a few in the management before they actually let me go. I need to stay another couple of weeks until all the sensitive information that I know is actually gone into the market. And so, on 19th of March 2003, exactly 930 days after my first step in London, I return back to “my” country. The country, that flows through me. :-)

I am excited. I know I have a lot to prove in life going forward. Many challenges and obstacles to face; victory and triumphs to savour. I guess I am ready. I have thrown in the gauntlet and now there is no turning back. I hope I have all the courage and determination to achieve the goal that I have set for myself. :-)

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

What is ToK?

Hmm.. have any of you people wondered why I changed the name of my blog from "Maltesh's Avatars" to "Theory of Knowledge"? Well ToK was actually a subject that I studied when I was in Kodai school. It was not a graded subject but it was just one of those options that I could take to get my required amount of credits. I never have regretted the decision of taking that course :-)

What was ToK all about? It was just a discussion class where most of the times we were segregated into boys vs girls. Girls outnumbered us in that class and it wasn't easy to always win arguments with them. I mean there is an old saying "ask two girls and you will get three opinions..." and so you can imagine how difficult it was for us to argue and win with them lot yapping away ;-)

What kind of issues did we discuss? Most of the times they were current affairs but sometimes more serious issues like, abortion, living with HIV people, arranged vs love marriages, secularism (or the lack of it) in India, and the list goes on. Sometimes we would debate on famous quotes like Voltaire's "common sense is not so common" or Nietzsche's "without music life would be a mistake" kind of stuff.

These debates would spread over several classes. During the first few takes we would debate using our general knowledge but as classes progressed we would go to our library (Kodai school has the biggest school library in India) and do our research for stronger arguments.

That is why I chose to name my blog as "Theory of Knowledge". A place where people can feel free to debate, post their comments, correct me if I am wrong and help me gain more knowledge. Hopefully as time passes I am able to convert that knowledge into wisdom :-)

Monday, March 03, 2003

How many dead Iraqi’s – II

The author of this article (via Shanti), Fred A Kaplan, goes on to state that two of the widely circulated reports make erroneous assumptions when they attempt to calculate the number of people who will die in the upcoming war. In fact he terms it as GIGO – garbage in, garbage out.

His chief argument is that America this time is out to oust Saddam and not take out the critical installations such as power, water, railways, other transportation systems, bridges etc. The reason: because USA is genuinely interested in rebuilding Iraq and hence it makes no sense to take them out.

Let me see, what is the cost of the war? Guesstimates put it anywhere between $100b to $200b. What is the cost of putting up power plants, railways stations, water treatment plants, few bridges etc? At most: $10b. Less than 10% of what the war would cost. And if you don’t take out these vital installations in the beginning, its going to cost of war that much further. Read about any (and I mean any) war strategy, the first thing the attacking nation will do is to take out the vital installations. This is to restrict the movement of the enemy, weaken their rations and make them overall incapacitated.

Down below is a satellite photo of Baghdad. Notice how densely populated it is. The river plays a big role in the daily life of the city’s residents. Any contamination (either by Saddam or USA) can literally destroy the city. Saddam’s official residence and command centers are 4,5,6 located at the right side of the photo where the river turns south. All other round dots are the vital installations, which Fred says will not be touched by USA.

Satellite Images of Central Baghdad
Replacing images with just link - to speed up blog loading time.

Now that you have seen the aerial view of the city, here is another link that analyses the destructive capacity of a “daisy cutter” bomb. They had dropped 11 of these in the first Gulf war. You calculate what will be the effect of using such a bomb on a place like Baghdad. Even if they don’t drop it this time round, a search on Google will reveal that a simple 1,000lb bomb cruise missile will spread shrapnel up to 500 ft upon impact and America has already announced that intends to launch a couple of thousand of them during the first few days of war.

All this is GIGO in your eyes, isn’t it Mr Kaplan?


Sunday, March 02, 2003

Couple more reasons why I love US of A

The first one is the abyssmal level Amercia stoops to in order to always win. The Observer reveals the dirty tricks that America is up to in order to win the vote on Iraq war at the UN. Basically US is trying to increase surveilance which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of UN delegates. So what is new in Americas' behavior? Well practically nothing. I wonder why people ask me the reasons as to why I don’t write anything good about America. You can read the memo here.

On to the second reason why I love America. This story “Tintin goes to Hollywood”, states that Steven Spielberg has got the exclusive rights to convert as many Tintin books into movies. Hurrah! I mean I am a really great fan of Tintin and I have the entire collection, and have also watched most of his cartoons. What irks me is that Spielberg is thinking of giving Tintin a sex change! To top that he wants to cast Jean Claude Van-Damme for the role of Tintin, Richard Gere for the role of Captain Haddock and Courtney Love as Bianca Castafiore.

So this is where I am confused. He wants Tintin to have sex change and wants Van Damme to play the role. Does Spielberg have doubt that Van Damme is a man? Or does he think Tintin is a lady? Hyuk hyuk, now you know why I loveee America. ;-) It would also help if Spielberg realised that Tintin was a 'boy' reporter and not some martial arts muscle machine.

Rubbing it in...

A few seconds after India whipped Pakistan...

*ring ring* *ring ring*

Her: Hello
Me: Hi... hey it was a great game uh...
Her: *silence*
Me: Oh! sorry.. Lila... I was actually trying to call someone else yaar. I was calling all my Indian friends and congratulating our win against Pakistan.
Her: ass****
Me: Ahaha ha ha.
Her: *click* (puts the phone down).

Lila is a great friend of mine from Pakistan :-)
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