Tuesday, February 23, 2010

IPL in the North-East

Team for the North East in IPL-4 - what a novel idea Mr. Anil Athale has suggested. Yes, why not a team, for example, Guwahati Gladiators?

True that there are some logistic constraints, but I do not think it is difficult.

Oh no! Just after I wrote this, I came across the news that Mr. Modi wants to limit the number of teams to 10 – He should get away with one of Ahmedabad or other tier-II cities and go to Guwahati.

In case, rediff site is blocked in your company, here are some points from http://cricket.rediff.com/report/2010/feb/22/colonel-anil-athale-include-north-east-indian-premier-league-ipl.htm -

Dear Mr Lalit Modi ,
I am a great admirer of you and the way you have put the Indian Premier League on the top rung of world sporting events. The carping critics, and there are many, are shocked that cricketers are being offered huge monetary incentives or are 'bought' and 'sold'. We Indians are hypocrites when it comes to money matters. Laxmi is the most favoured deity in all households and yet we claim to not want her.

I spent good month in the north-eastern states last year, meeting a cross section of people. The dominant impression was that the people of the north-east are yearning to join the national mainstream. Any one who has travelled to those parts of our country will testify to the fact that the people of north-east are some of the friendliest.
Insurgency is long over there and in many respects, Kohima or Aizwal are far more peaceful and safer than Delhi , Hyderabad or Pune. To illustrate the sea change in the area, one instance sticks in mind. Captain Neikezhakuo Kenguriise, who hailed from Kohima in Nagaland, was awarded Mahavir Chakra during the Kargil border conflict. Captain Neikezhakuo led his platoon to Tololing ridgeline overlooking an important army formation, ejected Pakistani regulars and re-captured the ridgeline in a five-day-long battle. But he lost his life in mortar shelling on June 18, 1999. When his last rites took place in Kohima, virtually the entire town turned up. Many newspapers commented that more people turned up for his funeral than even for the last journey of the legendary Naga leader Z A Phizo.
Unfortunately such is the ignorance of mainstream media and rest of the country that these landmark events are seldom noted or reported. You, Mr Modi have the chance to correct this. Why can't the north-east have a team in IPL-4? Why can't we have some IPL matches played at Kohima, Imphal, Aizwal, Dibrugarh and Tezpur besides Guwahati. All these places are connected by air and I am sure the state governments will be more than willing to build stadia. The media exposure that the IPL will give to these beautiful places and people will boost tourism, economy and promote national integration.
Currently many businessmen pay hefty sums to insurgents in the noth-east. Surely they can spare some of it to sponsor a cricket team! Also some time ago the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the International Cricket Council talked of spreading cricket to China.
Then why not to our own north-east? Given the sterling sportspersons that these areas have produced I am sure the next Sachin Tendulkar could well be from Manipur!
As to the so called insurgency in the north-east, a ruling party politician had once confided to me that the north-east states themselves make sure that there is some insurgency is kept on otherwise as he said, "Delhi will forget that the north-east ever exits!" Sad but true.
Mr Modi, here is your chance to make a lasting contribution to nation building that would be remembered by posterity.

I know it is a daunting task to plan for this at short notice, but if you could do the miracle of shifting the IPL -2 to South Africa last year at short notice, surely you can do this!
Yours sincerely
Anil Athale
Colonel Anil Athale (retired) is Chhatrapati Shivaji Fellow studying internal security.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Save Telugu

This topic has been long pending in my mind, but the specialty of today, Feb 21, reminded me that it would be the right time. Today is International Mother Language Day

The other day, while I was in a call, my mother asked me, “Disappoint ayyava?” - though I was a bit disappointed, I was rather surprised with the question. Definitely, my mother and father are the last ones from whom I hear Telgish - bring back the question,how much Telugu the current conversational Telugu contains.

On the other hand, every Telugu bloggeri is trying to invent Telugu alternative words or make exact Telugu translation to replace some latest terms to revive their mother tongue – bloggari (blogger), antherjalamu (internet), jalamu(net), salegudu (web), nesarlu (thanks), tapaa (blog post) – to name a few. Even, there are many online forums where these mother language lovers fight over what should be the perfect Telugu term for an internet generation word.

But, I think the safeguard/revival of the language should be taken priority over trying to add new words to the dictionary. I have no reservations using the terms blogger and internet, just like train and calculator than their respective innovations, Dhumasakatam and Ganana yantram. New words from not only English, but also any language can be invited into Telugu in the same way as some Telugu words have made to English, Hindi, Tamil and others.

The terms Marchaavaa? vs Change chesava?, Rasaavaa? vs Write chesava?, Pilichava vs Call chesava, Pampinchava vs Send chesava, Veltunnava vs Goingaa, Vastunnava vs Comingaa, Raava? vs Not comingaaa - it is disappointing to say this, but the second terms are widely used compared to the former ones. And, the worst thing is, people make a mockery of someone who says Adi marchaava? instead of You changed thattaah?.

Sadly, this situation (not the mockery part) is not only in Telugu, but for every Indian language. As far as I know the Tamizh are exceptions to some extent, however the effect is slowly reaching their lands – I have been hearing Try panninga, Change panninga often these days(not sure panninga is exact word).

So, I request everyone – when you speak in your mother language, try to speak completely in your language. No I late ho gaya and nenu today send chesta, please!

Please try to do your part to ensure Telugu (or your language) does not join Boro and Boa sooner or later.

Excerpt from the above THE HINDU link (http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article100977.ece):

Two unique languages disappear with death of last speakers -
When Boro died on Strait Island last November, Boa lost a friend. The world lost a language.
Last week, Boa also died. Another language died with her.
The death of these last surviving speakers of two Great Andamanese languages, Khora and Bo, has resulted in the extermination of their unique tribes on the islands.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Guntur Bomb

I come from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India. Apart from education and rowdies, this place is very famous for hot cuisine - Guntur chilli, Guntur gongura, Guntur avakai – those names are enough to ooze saliva in mouth.

Guntur mirchi bajji with green chilli chutney – it will top the world's hottest food menu. And, the hottest mirchi bajjis in the Guntur city are made at our street – Donka Road.

On casual browsing, when I stumbled across a post on Guntur Mirchi in a national magazine, The Outlook, it brought back some memories.

When I was 6 or 7, my uncle (father's younger brother) took us to the Bajji bandi for the first time to return the favors my brother and I did to him at our shop.

From that day, mirchi bajji has become part of my life – it is our favorite pastime. Bajji party is the standard treats for every occasion. I have friends who take the bajjis daily.

The important fact is that I have never heard of stomach ulcers and gastric complaints from any localite I know.

I miss the Guntur Donka Road mirchi bajji badly :-(

Some excerpts from the Outlook article (source:http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?233612) -

You wonder what Guntur would be like without its chillies.

Guntur's chilli trade is second only to Mexico's in the world; a bad season shakes the city to its very hub.

This, though, is but a momentary lapse, as Srinivas Rao will tell you. This Gunturian has been wheeling his cart to Donka Road Crossing punctually at 7 every evening for the last 22 years, dishing out over 5,000 plump, green chillies a day dipped in besan and deep-fried in a kadai the size of a small lotus pond to his enthusiastic clientele. His business, Rao informs us in between skimming the chillies out of the blubbering oil, is booming as never before. No, Guntur can't do without its mirch masala.

Are you still wondering about the title, Guntur Bomb – it is the common name for our own Guntur mirchi bajji. Brahmanandam makes a reference to Guntur Bomb in Chiranjeevi's Chudalani Vundi movie.