Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mountain polo (by moonlight)

Polo...origin in Central Asia....6th century BC....Persian national game in the 6th century AD......In 1935 UK administrator for Gilgit-Baltistan, A.H. Cobb ordered....make a huge polo ground in Shandur....named “Mas Junali”.....‘Mas’ is Moon and Junali is pologround, as Cobb was found of playing polo in moon night....
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Shandur, Gilgit and Baltistan. The nicest part of it all is the gorgeous night sky.


Beautiful place to play polo no doubt. But it also has a gorgeous lake to go with it. Why not advertise this as the coolest place in the world to play water polo? Just as nice as ice fishing in the Great Lakes.

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[ref. Wiki] Shandur invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament which since 1936 has been held annually in the first week of July between the local teams of Chitral and Ghizer. The tournament is held on Shandur Top, the highest polo ground in the world at 3,700 meters (the pass itself is at 3,800 meters). The festival also includes Folk music, dancing and a camping village is set up. The polo tournament is featured in the first episode of Himalaya with Michael Palin.
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Force-feeding: path to hell

.....“I have been living there for the past two months, and have faced nothing but insults"....
....."all the MPs from Maharashtra have been boxed into tiny rooms....even as 4 MPs from Uttar Pradesh have larger rooms. Is this not an insult?” 
......“We did not come with the intention of committing violence. But even on that day, the Resident Commissioner refused to meet us.....Is that not an insult?.....
......"No tod phod happened at all, but we have been provoked....Nobody was manhandled, but if you keep abusing, will someone not slap?"...............
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The moral of the story: you feel insulted, so you feel free to insult others.

We frequently interact with a muslim girl and her (muslim) boyfriend. The girl is fasting but the boy does not. (they also do not have any visible ID marks - hijab, skullcap). Being forgetful, we would often cry out "enough working, what shall we do for lunch?" She would always smilingly point at BF and tell us to go ahead and enjoy the biryani. We feel guilty and we apologize. But then we also have Hindu (ladies usually) who fast on particular days or have a restricted diet (vegetarian). While they assure us that it is OK for us to have non-veg food in their presence it feels rude and we try to avoid it.

This was most likely a genuine mistake made in the heat of the moment but the onus is (as always) on the perpetrators. Even if a Hindu had been fasting (Maharashtrians and many others fast one day a week from tradition) forcing a chapati down his throat would be a grave violation. 

Yes, we get that all sorts of people do not like non-violence as a policy (because it signifies weakness). In that case however one should be fully prepared to accept the consequences of violent actions which cause serious harm. Many times it happens that (powerful) people abuse and get away scot-free by sorting out the "mis-understanding". Justice must happen here, must happen in a visible way, and must happen in a timely manner. No excuses.
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A group of around 11 Shiv Sena MPs, apparently angry over not being served Maharashtrian food, allegedly forced a Muslim catering superviser who was fasting for Ramzan to eat a chapati at the new Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi last week.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Orwell in Burma-2

.....the shooting of the elephant.....The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing....legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed if its owner fails to control it...
....Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie...
....I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool......
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George Orwell has a fascinating account of how imperialism corrupts people, both the ruler and the ruled. It is a good thing to remember while we see imperialism coming back in a big way-  ranging from let us have some clean fun with elegant women (soft- Thailand) to let us stone women to death (harsh- Iraqi Caliphate).

Thoughts on Palesrael


7 for 74

"There are good bowlers, and there are poor bowlers. Then there's 500 feet of crap, and then there's Ishant Sharma"......
...."Behind every successful batsman there is a Kamran Akmal, but in front of them is Ishant Sharma".....


(Turkish Czar) Recep Tayyip Erdogan once noted that - “The minarets are our bayonets, the domes our helmets, the mosques our barracks and the faithful our army.” Of course he was too modest to say this but we suspect some of his followers/fans may have worship-fully cried out - "Erdogan is our Caliph."


India is not blessed with too much military or ideological prowess (thankfully) but there is one indestructible weapon: the short ball from Ishant Sharma. The missile when launched will not be intercepted by any agency, not even the Iron Dome. The only problem is when the missile mis-directs and destroys its own. 


Still when you wait 28 years to win a test match at the Lord's (and 3 years presently without an overseas test victory) you have to give the Ishant Sharma jokes a rest (temporarily).  The next test is at the Rose Bowl (Southampton) in 5 days. May the best side win!!!
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"LOL is Ishant Sharma's middle name."

Bangalore, 2007. India have made 626. Pakistan are 96 overs into their innings and every batsman has made a double-figure score. There have already been three hundreds and a double-hundred. A teen, more like a young boy, with more hair than any human needs and an extremely prominent Adam's apple, comes on to bowl.