Dear BCCI,

A letter from an anguished cricket fan, seeing the state of affairs of the game and the callous attitude of the governing body…

For the sake of the future of the game in this country beyond Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, please ensure that you take a leaf out of Cricket Australia is forcing them to take off, towards other aspects of the game. When they could get rid of Ricky Ponting – arguably the greatest ever after Tendulkar and Lara, despite him scoring two centuries inclusive of a double in the recently concluded test series, you could man up to do this as well. Make no mistake when I say this – Sachin is god as far as I am concerned, but the time has come to look beyond him, to the rest of the guys in the team.
And its not that our subjects have been performing exceedingly well as well. So it should be making your job a lot more easier. The time has come to put off your selfish materialistic mindset about the game and work on motivating the average Indian to take a lot of pride from the wonderful game. As of now, I don’t see myself watching the game anymore after Tendulkar is done and dusted and I hold you completely responsible for my decision. The main reason being that you have never thought of looking beyond the “fab four” when it came to marketing the game into the billions. Maybe it was due to the fact that they could single handedly drive the country into euphoria. But then, what needs to be realized is my views on watching the game post the Tendulkar era are echoed by millions of fans the world over. And if you don’t step up to act on this aspect, as an ardent fan of the beautiful game I am afraid to say the future of Indian cricket looks very very bleak.
And I do not understand the reasons for your haughtiness and arrogance when it came to the abiding by the Woolf Report, your constant opposition to the ways in which ICC affairs are conducted and your persistent opposition to DRS. And it doesn’t end there. Your refusal to set up an inquiry into the double whitewash and your constant bragging about winning the world cup at home turf as a compensation for the shame caused in England and Australia is shocking, to say the least. It tells me how much you care for the future of the game. And when Sahara bailed out of the mess, you went the extra mile in ensuring they got back on track. This at a time when, you had wasted no time in driving the Kochi Tuskers out of the IPL in the name of some financial irregularities. And we all know it was the money more than your concerns of a long term alliance that made you hold their asses for cover.
Sadly, the plot keeps getting thicker and thicker. I wish there was a government legislation which could force you to clip your wings and come under public scrutiny. It is the case with countries like Sri Lanka and South Africa and they seem to be showing results when more able administrators have stepped in. That said, I do hold you completely responsible for taking the game to this level, take no credit away from you. But I also hold you responsible for bringing anguish, frustration and a sense of grief into the average joe out there, who is afraid the good times are slowly getting over.
Yours Sincerely,
An-ardent-cricket-fan-who-is-afraid-for-the-future-of-the-game
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People, Listen Up

According to the Hindu, Valentine’s day is not necessarily spent with the person you love, but often with the thing, you can’t live without. And once it is upon the print media, it becomes more so of a diktat for the masses.   Apparently, men have broken up relationships citing their attachment with the dog, which certainly measured up to be more than that with the girlfriend. And many women obsess over their bags and shoes (Oh yeah!! tell me about it…)……….
Ask me and it serves right to all of us. And when I look around myself, the Europeans seem to obsess over these little things to an astronomical level. I wouldn’t want to spend one whole day of my life with this woman I know for the past 3-4 months, just because she is good in bed (which is a requirement for people to spend time with the opposite sex). I know of my friends who have made elaborate plans to make sure their partners make up for them at the bedside, which is ridiculous. This being said, I am sure that if I am to ever find the love of my life, I wouldn’t have to reserve all my love for her to a certain date in a year and spend it with her. I would make an effort to spend every possible minute with this person than having to be selective about it. So the whole idea of spending February 14th solely with the person you love somehow loses the plot. So all those single people like me, who are ruing over their inability to paint the town red with the person you love, take a break people.

Demystifying Porto

Porto (Oporto in Portuguese) is the second largest city of Portugal. Highly recommended by the Portuguese to pay a visit, I finally had the opportunity to explore the town. Quite a stark contrast from the capital city Lisbon, which is more of an international city , Porto is home to the old school Portuguese heritage. On a first glance, it gave me an impression of an abandoned city with old buildings, mostly damaged and uninhabited. And that was a very disturbing fact to digest. It seemed like people had deserted the city and gone towards Lisbon or other areas of the Iberian Peninsula or Continental Europe.
Old fashioned in all respects, Porto gives the impression of a city which simply refuses to bow down to change. And the same is evident even on the people of Oporto, who are proud of what their forefathers have achieved. They thrive on the Portuguese legacy, its wineries, the heritage buildings and the related aspects, thus not bowing down to the change of the outside world. This aspect would certainly be of interest to an art history graduate, but not for someone like me. Nevertheless a mysterious old school beauty which had turned into a ghost town for reasons quite obvious to us. I was disappointed, so to say. Here are a few snaps taken:
The tram – only three lines are functioning right now
Rua Alvares Cabral – we stayed here, amongst the abandoned buildings
An abandoned church building right in the heart of the town
Ponta Luiz – the bridge, on the UNESCO World Heritage site of Oporto
Rio Duoro , the river and the city of Porto on the background.

I will be adding the whole list of photographs periodically onto the “Photography” section of this blog.