Sunday, June 27, 2010


Numbers have fascinated humans for a long time. Probably the need for numbers arose when humans tried to keep a track of the repetitions in the activity. Maybe the tally mark was the first system of using them as a counting machinery in a systematic manner.

The most avowed hater of arithmetic or mathematics would still be indulging in some sort of a number game or so it seems. If anyone's eyebrows are raised by this do look around.The residence we live in, the office we occupy, the telephone we use for communication, the areas are identified by Postal Index Number or Code Numbers and so on are some examples.We have had numbers to identify ration cards, voter cards, criminals, convicts and undertrials,the ticket by which we would be entitled for travel, the seat or berth which is reserved, the milestones on the road, the various meters/ metres, the measures and weights,etc., the list could go on.

With the onset of technology we have now moved from numbering the various things to methods of numbering oneself. We have methods to numbers as employee identification numbers, voters identification number, Permanent Account Numbers, Tax Deductors Account Numbers, the Unique Identification Number - hopefully would be the crowining glory.

As we were deliberating on our growing penchant for numbers a colleague of mine gave me a shocker. Guess what? the Government would come with a move that no human can bear a name. The edict would read that all naming ceremonies would be rendered irrelevant. But hard core traditionalists do not lose heart, we will still have a numbering ceremony. So be ready for mathematical nick names such A cubed 32 or B squared 29.

Gen next was replaced by Gen Y. Now we look forward to a numbered generation.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


The sporting season spans the calendar year. Be it the frenzy of Formula 1 or the evolving styles of tennis interspersed with the various styles of cricket, a few matches of chess thrown in followed by golf,basketball,et al. The motto of sporting spirit is brought out once in four years in impeccable style by the Olympics, Winter Olympics, the Special olympics etc. The question is which could be termed the ruling deity of all games.

No two sports can be compared for their own intrinsic values. But it cannot be gainsaid that the season of French Open brings to fore the fragrance of tennis which moves to lawn tennis mode at the Queen's Club followed by the wet Wimbledon. The sheer tenacity of the warriors on the court brings the partisan viewer out of his most diplomatic stance of "the game is the ultimate winner" stance. The memories of the ace Vijay Amritraj who has made a record 41 consecutive annual visits to the shrine of tennis legends. Must make the most devoted Sabarimala devotee wriggle in anguish. Some of them find it difficult to make 18 consecutive visits to the famed shrine in Kerala. Similarly there are several other rites and rituals which demand consecutive annular visits which have to beat the obstacles of any natural eventualities.

Reading the memoirs of Vijay Amritraj one would have readily come to the conclusion that Tennis was the reigning deity of the games. But the denizens of the sub continent would have immediately rushed to the aid of their much revered game of cricket. Compare a Indo-Pak cricket match or the one of Aussies V England or the Kiwis, one could trust that the best of tennis stars cannot hold their forte against the frenzy of these games. The Anands, Karpovs and Kasparovs or the Woods and Schumachers would have to just bid goodbye to their fans in the cricket crazy lands for any kind of attention.

Yesterday was one of those days. India and Pakistan was to clash in a one dayer at Dambula in their battle for the Asia Cup. All the ingredients for a match of wits and skill were served on the plate. But imagine the relegation of this match to a mere filler between another game. The game that stole the show was one of riveting football. The twenty two men on the field, the two referees and the coaches with the music of the vuvuzelas ensured that one was just transported to the old world. The arms and feet were involuntarily moving to dribble past an imaginary adversary. The shots at the goals were breathtaking. As usual the minnows received the best wows. The Milla of Cameroon in the earlier editions came in the form of Gyan of the present edition. FIFA was undoubtedly the king of sports - at least if democracy was to be the form of rule.

There were some pathetic moments too such as the one of Green of England. This incident took me to the old days of sporting at school. The games period involved choice between hockey, football, basketball and volleyball. Football always had a shortage of volunteers in the form of goalkeepers. Yours truly was one willing soul as far as the best in the class chose me to be his team's goalkeeper. Our class had some of the best footballers or socceroos as you would wish to call them. Pradeep, Kamal and myself were an inseparable trio in opting for the goalkeeper and backs post. We would be rest assured that the ball came no where near us. If it did (by the folly of the best socceroos) what could the poor keeper do? Yes you guessed it right. The goal would land safely in the net. Therefore, my sympathies lie with each of the goal keepers. They say birds of the same feather stick together. Greene, if you do venture to read this piece, you will be rest assured that there was no mistake of yours or the Jambulani but it was only another quirk of sportsman spirit. Move over Pele. The new breed is here to take the world of football by storm.