Sunday, November 15, 2009

What's a Giant fan to do in bye week?

  1. Clean up your room.
  2. Pray that Dallas , Philly and Atlanta lose today.
  3. Pray Eli Manning can break out of his mid-season funk.
  4. Pray someone other than Bill Sheridan starts calling plays on defense.
  5. Look forward fondly to the 2010 draft.
  6. Curse your luck that your punter is going to be 2 weeks older by the time your next game comes, which means the punts might not even end up at mid field.
  7. Pray Justin Tuck heals.
  8. As my boxing gym says "We are closed on sunday, so go to Church". Just kidding , go to whichever place of worship I don't care.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What a season for the Giants

If you follow Giants football, you are probably wondering about what happened to your previously solid looking team. Not that they can always be relied on, but the reports out of training camp and the Team's performance in the first 5 games meant that everyone assumed that the Giants were a contender for the Suerbowl and at the very least a shoo-in for the playoffs. Now 4 heartbreaking losses later and staring at an extremely tough schedule, no one really knows where the next win is going to come from.
There is plenty of blame to go around and most of it has been laid at the door step of an under-achieving defence and the new DC Bill Sheridan.
Surely you can't admit your QB is not a top 10 QB rigth after signing him to a huge year contract.
If you've watched the last 4 games you would have seen this pattern repeating itself.
The Giants offence comes out and has a series of 3 and outs, Feagles comes out to punt the ball to near mid field and the opposition proceed to merrily score after driving 50 yeards or less.
Want proof?
How is this for proof. The Giants defence is 1st overall in the NFL in yards conceded but 21st in terms of points. So its obvious that while the opposition is scoring , they are not racking up the yards, since Eli and Feagles are conspiring to the give the gift that keeps on giving, field possition.
So before you get on OC and Tuck, maybe apporition the blame to where it truly belongs.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

See Something Do Something.

Most days are like other days, some good some bad, but mostly indistinguishable from another. Don't believe me? Ask yourself what you did last week this day(without peeking at the appointment book). You get my point.
Today was not such a day.
The events that transpired were both disgusting and uplifting at the same time.
The last three days have been tough and stressful, I have been getting in early to work leaving late, and circling back to work after my 2-hour stint in the gym. Today I was exhausted, so exhausted that I didn't even think of heading back to work. Instead I left the gym at 9:45pm to head back home and hopefully to Sushi in a nearby restaurant I was craving(Yes we have sushi in Jackson Heigths, as strange as it may sound).
As I got my keys out to enter my building I saw what appeared to me a confrontation between a boy and girl.
The girls back was to me. And my first instinct was to think it was between 2 individuals who knew each other.
This happened barely 10 feet from me.
The girl was a petite Asian girl , the boy a South Asian teenager.
There was some shoving and suddenly the boy slapped the girl. Before I had time to process , he slapped her again.
At this point I walked towards him and basically put myself between the boy and the girl.
and asked him what was going on.
Some lady thought it best to drag the girl away from the situation. The guy also crossed the street and started walking away. At this point though shocked at what I had witnessed (and not prevented) and still unclear as to what really went down, I turned around and started to head back to my door. I was stopped by a Bangladeshi gent who was with his daughter who asked me why I let the guy get away.
I tried reasoning with him saying that I had just gotten there and I didn't really know what went down, so when the girl left I considered the matter closed. His daughter who was with him piped in saying that she wouldn't have stuck around if she was the one caught in the situation.
As we talked something happened that I wouldn't expect in a a 100 years.
The girl who was assaulted thus on a busy street came back.
She came back to find the guy. She was not the type to take shit like that. That to me was the most uplifting part about this experience(disgusting as the situation was).
I did what I thought was best and walked with her as she tried to locate the guy.
I tried to talk her into calling the police(I had left mine at home).
As we rounded a block I spotted him and made the same mistake that I make fun of at the movies. I pointed at him and told her "there he is". he spotted us and made a dash for it. he had a good lead on me, but luckily for me I had my running shoes and workout clothes on so I managed to gain some on him, sadly it was not enough. He got away. A Passerby pointed us to a building. When I entered the building I noticed that there were only 2 South Asian names on the buzzers. I also spotted that there was a way out the back.
By this time the girl had caught up and she finally called the police. The cops came took down statements. I was put down as a witness. I told them of the only 2 South Asian families on the buzzer. Clearly the kid either lived there or had been there before(to get out the back)
The police ignored the implication and definitely didn't go ringing any door bells.
I was asked to ride in an unmarked vehicle (which I did, so Now I can say I have been in the back of a police vehicle) to try and spot the guy in the neighborhood, like he'd actually be dumb enough to show up.
The one saving grace as I found out later was the store in front of which the assault took place had cameras. I called the cops to try and tell them that. But surprise surprise, I was told that they would call me if they heard anything.
As I got home, i tried asking around to see if anyone recognized the guy or his friends. One dude had the temerity to tell me "Why did that girl leave, in the first place?, Why did she not ask for help"
Also asked me "How is she related to you?"
Talk about blaming the victim.
What surprised be was the level of hostility reserved for the one guy who actually tried to do something about it.
Talk about no good deed going unpunished.
The hero in this piece is The Asian girl Erika.
How many girls you know would fight back after being eve-teased on the street(for those who are wondering what eve-teasing is, its euphemistically named - sexual harassment)
I guess its so rampant in south Asian societies that we actually have a name for it.
I feel compelled to ask myself the question, if this was not Jackson Heights but was the Bronx, if it was not some Bangladeshi teenager but a big African American dude, would I have done what I did? I'd like to think so. But Both you and I know better .
Finally if you've stuck it out this far, there is no mistaking the message. If you see Something do Something. True I would not like to get knifed over some guy playing grab-ass some girl on the street, but you have to do what you can do, and do it even if no one else will.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Racism and Australia

Racism is a touchy topic, and rare is the country that has no issues with racism at all.
Australia and racism in Australia has recently hit the headlines in India, following the series of attacks on Indian students studying there.
Some of the attacks might be copy cat types and others might be opportunistic preying on a vulnerable section. But the undercurrent of racism in all this has been dismissed by the Australian police. This I find appalling. Its almost as if they are saying "What? Racist and us? You must be joking".
Well if you don't believe those Indian students were attacked because of the color of their skin or their accents, maybe we should check in with the Aborigine's about the Australian attitudes towards racism. Maybe Muralitharan the Sri Lankan spinner who has been given a horrendous time in Australia each time he plays there can testify.
My aim is not to malign all of Australia, but when racial prejudice results in Physical violence , it is probably time to examine attitudes to racism within the country.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Let Vick Play

Michael Vick former the Atlanta Quarterback, who has done jail-time for involvement a dog fighting operation, is now out, and knocking on the door for NFL reinstatement.
Its not entirely clear how long of a suspension he'll have to serve if he is allowed back or for that matter it isn't quite clear if he'll b allowed back. My hunch is economics will eventually get him a look-in.
What Michael Vick did was appalling and he has served time for that. There will be a lot of people who will want to see him banned completely. I am sure the level of passion n the anti-Vick side will be a lot higher than any fledgling pro-Vick side.
I couldn't care less if he ever played again.But there is an element of natural justice that would be violated if he weren't allowed to play. After all once a man has served his time, shouldn't e be rehabilitated in society? We extend that courtesy to people accused of crimes including murder.
So why deny Michael Vick the right to earn a living?
There are no guarantees, but chances are he can do a lot more good to society thought the value he generates on the field rather some other profession.
So in conclusion Let Vick Play.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Upon further review - General Elections 2009

  • Yes Conress and the UPA has won big, but I do not believe this is a ringing endorsement for their governments performance, its a case of the other guy doing worse(like the left in Kerala and W Bengal) or a convenient proxy undercutting the main opposition(like the PRP in Andhra and MNS in Maharashtra.
  • Hats of to Rahul Gandhi for putting in the effort he has in reviving the Congress organization. The proof is in the pudding and if they do end up winning 20 seats in UP, its hard not to give credit to Rahul Gandhi.
  • The BJP screwed the pooch in Rajasthan, it would be hard for them to recover the ground they lost in the last assembly election, and they never did.
  • I guess getting black money from Swiss bank accounts as a point on the manifesto is more philmy than evocative after all.
  • I think the Congress missed a trick by not projecting Rahul Gandhi as PM(don't be shocked if Manmohan Singh , quits midway due to health concerns). It would have made quite a contrast to the octogenarian Advani.
  • Cosying upto Kalyan Singh wasn't such a brilliant plan now was it , Mulayam?
  • Whatever happened to big bad Mayawati? I guess building massive parks and statues dedicated to yourself and Kanshi Ram , did'nt impress the electorate after all.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thougths on the early trends Indian General Elections 2009

Here are some quick thoughts based on the leads information currently available.
  • Congress is holding its own in Andhra Pradesh, looks like the Chiranjeevi factor bit the TDP in the ass more than the Congress.
  • Congress leads big in Kerala . the Vijayan vs Achutanandan ugliness is hurting the Left big time.
  • Rasjasthan looks like its swinging for the Congress. I'd like to think it was the Gujjar agitation.
  • The UPA seems to be holding its own in Tamil Nadu, which means the Vijakanth factor took a big chunk of anti-DMK votes.
  • Looks like the exit polls were not too off the mark this time.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Born Again Virgin

India the world's largest democracy(yes a democracy's size is actually measured by the number of people eligible to vote) is reaching the end of its 5-phase election that spanned 6 weeks.
The principal coalitions doing battle are the "secular" UPA and the "communal" NDA.
There are possibly another dozen regional parties that represent various caste groupings.
So why the unusual title?
The Congress party the principal constituent of the UPA has taken upon itself the Divine right and duty to issue "secular" or "communal" certificates to all and sundry. The absurdity of such classification is , that groups who have been allies of the BJP(the "communal" party which is the principal opposition party) in the past , are courted just us vigorously as any other party.
So the if you are with the Congress you are secular and you are communal if you are against it.
Its the absurdity of concept of a born again virgin. If you've lost your "secular" virginity to the BJP, going back to the congress can give it right back.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

India no threat says Zardari

I get a bitter sweet feeling on hearing that one line. Actually more bitter than sweet. After the carnage in Mumbai, one would hope that the Pakistani establishment would at least consider the possibility that India would not hesitate in taking military action if the culprits of 26/11 were not brought to book. But the Pakistani establishment has quite smartly recognized the Indian establishment's reluctance (some might call pusillanimity) in striking at Pakistan.
So why is it sweet? India ever since its indepence has had to reassure a hysterical Pakistan, that India was no threat to its existence. Pakistan on the other hand has evolved in the manner it has, as a response to the percieved threat from India.
The Military which has ruled Pakistan for the majority of the time since Partition, has acquired its power an pelf by shouting from the rooftops, that it was the only institution that stood between Pakistan that beacon of hope for the Islamic world and the Kafir Indian's who threatened the nations very existence.
Hardline Islamic groups were encouraged to be used as a weapon against India.
If Pakistan is on the verge of being a basket case , its because of the Military and the Mullahs, who in turn achieved their power by labelling India as the bogeyman.
And its only now that finally wisdom dawns on the Pakistani's that India is not a threat.
Ironic would'nt you say? And somewhat sweet.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Break Me , Shake Me Take Me

So went the lyrics of a Savage Garden song that I liked(I took some liberties with the arrangement).
Seems kind of appropriate to the Rihanna Chris Brown drama.
Why does it matter? For more than a couple of reasons.
Rihanna is a gorgeous and talented young woman who has the world at her feet(an overstatement , but you get the point).
She definitely isn't with Chris Brown for his money, since she has enough of her own presumably.
Yet after a highly publicised horrific beating at the hands of Chris Brown,t there are reports of them making up, and getting married.
Picture a young woman of modest means in a relationship which though passionate, is marred by domestic violence. What would she think of this situation?
Let me give it a shot .. "If a woman of Rihanna's stature could forgive a indiscretion such as Chris Brown's , what chance do I have?"
What's the young woman's partner thinking?
"Hey if Chris Brown, can do that to a woman like Rihanna, then I can too"
A little overly dramatic, but its not entirely inconcievable.
There is also the matter of a little something I read in the Tipping Point.
The story in question involved suicides in a tiny polynesian nation(the name I cannot recall).
Researchers found a high incidence of suicide amongst the young, over stuff that would be considered relatively minor.
A little more digging unreathed a local celeb(maybe a royal) who had committed suicide oer matters of the heart. Overnight something with negative connotations(suicide) had gone to being cool.
This arguably lead to a spike in the suicide rate.
This example was used in the book to make a point about how ideas achieve traction and finally explode.
If we do have a spike in cases of domestic violence, wonder we will think to link it back to Rihanna and Chris Brown.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Gandhi's effects

A private individual claiming to be a disciple of Gandhiji's teachings has plans to auction some of his personal effects. This has been taken as a slight by some.
The Government of India has pledged to do what it can to prevent an auction.
The latest news of this front indicates that the would be seller has placed some stiff conditions including spending more on the poor and less on weapons.
On the face of it , this is in line with Gandhiji's teachings , and seems noble indeed.
But look a little deeper and it would appear that this is nothing but a money grab. The seller wants his payday but also wants the moral high ground. He should know that the fates of a billion people cannot be decided by his word. India is no bannana rebuplic.
Some have criticised the rich Indians(many of whom are worth billions) who haven't publicly come out and said that they would'nt allow these effects to get to the auction stage.
I wonder what Gandhji would consider more important, spending money on the betterment of his people or buying his effects so that they can be placed in a shrine.
I think we all know the awnser.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Jai Ho

Not the most original title in these Slumdog crazed times I agree , but hey it's probably increased this post's ranking on google some , so I'll take that.
I was just telling someone how I had nothing to say about Slumdog since I had not seen the movie. To be honest I don't expect to be blown away, since I have seen a 100 bollywood movies and its not a unique experience for me as it would be for a western audience(that by the way is the same logic I used not to see Bombay dream's). And unlike some others I also do not see it as my patriotic duty to "support" Slumdog Millionaire(like it really needed my support anyway).
Coming to the point of this post. I am not quite sure I have heard Jai Ho earlier, but I did today.
It was in a spinning class. Maybe it was the unexpectedness of it, I felt the blood rush to my face. And it kept me pumping well beyond my capacity.
So I guess inspite of my protestations to the contrary, I do feel good about Slumdog Millionaire achieveing the success it has.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Do you have a first aid kit handy?

So go the lyrics of a song I have heard in the gym repeatedly, it has a catcy tune and I believe its called "Damaged".
There were also such pearls as "Can you patch up a wall for me?" "Are you patient and understanding?" .
I also had the great misfortune of watching the video while on the step mill. And it was a bunch of really dolled up women in extremely skimpy outfits(so whats new right?)
Now the lyrics of the song seem to place certain demands on the man , including such inanities as patch up a wall. All he can expect in return(since the lyrics don't specify) is a dolled up skimpily clad hottie. A deal I must admit most would go for in a heart beat, despite the uneveness of the trade.
I thought of writing this bloag a while back and never got around to it. But now with Chris Brown smacking up Rihanna , it seems like the dolled up hotties knew what they were talking about when they list having a first aid kit handy as man selection criteria.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The idiocy of the IPL

The IPL is the Indian awnser to the NFL. Where the world of cricket collides with the world of glamor accompanied by a flood of money.
The NFL draft which any fan looks forward to is sought to be mimiced by the IPL auction.
So while top prospects of the NFl are drafted or picked, cricketers are auctioned like heads of cattle bought by the highest bidder.
Ignoring the distasteful terminolgy for a second, lets focus on some specifics.
The IPL which is the brain child of the US educated Lalit Modi, is the favorite son of the BCCI which for all practical purposes has a monoply on world cricket.
But like all good monarchies you have to keep the your Nobles happy. So it is with the IPL and BCCI.
The boards of England , Australia and South Africa must be kept happy since they are the ones that matter.
At this point it might be useful to introduce the concept of the reserve price. Each player comes into the auction with a reserve price(now I am not sure how that reserve price is decided)
ie. the lowest bid has to be for that amount.
The thing that took me by suprise was that stars from weaker teams such as Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafe Mortaza from Banagladesh who have performed against the best of opposition for years attracted a reserve price of $75K and $50K.
While such unknowns or atleast unproven performers like Samit Patel and Owais Shah of England attract reserve prices of $100K and $150K .
I would juxtapose their career statistics but You can always look that up.
My point is this display of disregard for bangladesh and bangladeshi cricket and fawning of England's cricketers is apalling. If this isn't brown on brown racism I am not sure what is.

Michael Phelps - Olympic Hero,Pothead

Recently the man who won 8 golds (more than the gold medal tally of all but 9 countries) in a single Olympics was caught in the eye of a mini-storm when he a photo of him smoking pot .
And suddenly the man is losing endorsements and copping suspensions.
So in a country where pot smoking is culturally front and center, where shows like that 70's Show ruled the air waves not too long back, we recline in horror when a 23 year old who has achieved more at that young age than most of us would in a few lifetimes, is caught in film smoking a bong at what was doubtless a private gathering.
Sure he has benefitted from being in the public eye, so should'nt he be ready for the consequences?
In my opinion its silly to hold our heros to moral standards that most of us cannot apply to ourselves. Phelps did not make a name for himself preaching about how marijuana was bad for you. He made his name training tirelessly and delivering on the biggest stage there is.
I have not done the research required to comment on the smoking of pot itself. But I can safely say there are a lot of people out there who have smoked pot and have no qualms doing it. And they lead rewarding and successful lives.
So America get of our moral high horse and give the Kid a little space to breathe.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

People invested with Madoff did not have a CFA did they?

Quoting from one of the many voluminous books that one has to go through to appear for the CFA exams:
The investor needs to be intimately familiar with the investment process of the manager's organization(where manager means fund manager which is what Madoff was).. Futher .. Before selecting a manager the plan sponsor needs to spend time asking questions of several key people in the organization.
Clearly the funds and rich individuals who invested with Madoff , missed this para.
As the saying goes "A fool and his money will be soon parted".
I know this might sound like kicking a guy when he is down, but when you are dealing with the kind of money these people were, surely they should have asked more questions.
On a slightly unrelated note, I read an article of how a wealthy Jewish community in Chicago was devastated by the Madoff scandal.
It brought to mind certain thoughts I have had in the past.
For some reason we tend to trust somebody solely on the basis that they belong to the same community. I guess its human top an extent, to be a little suspicious of the unknown.
But it is quite illogical to base our trust on which community someone belongs to.
Scoundrels comes in all shapes sizes , colors , speak many different tongues and worship many different Gods.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Give Obama some space

The one side-effect of the euphoria created by Obama's election is that expectations have been raised sky high. In the campaign, Obama promised to right many wrongs, and not unjustifiably, a lot of people expect him to deliver on those promises.
Nobody undertakes the mother of all repair jobs without serious intent and we can expect Obama to do his darndest. But to expect one man to do it all is naive at best.
What Obama achieves should not be judged on a day to day basis, rather the evaluation period has to be the leght of his full term in office.

Friday, January 16, 2009

When will the British realise that the Sun has set on the British empire?

In an article published today in Britain’s The Guardian newspaper, Miliband wrote that during his visit to South Asia, he would be arguing that the “best antidote to the terrorist threat in the long term is cooperation”. “Although I understand the current difficulties, resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms, and allow Pakistani authorities to focus more effectively on tackling the threat on their western borders,” he wrote. ---Indian Express
That, David Milband had the temerity to offer such prepoterous advice(given the background of the terror attacks in Mumbai, should come as no suprise. After all the British do beleive that different standards apply to them and their masters The United States.
Mr Milband if you start going down the path of "denying extremists of their main calls to arms"
You might have to start with telling the US to withdraw from Iraq, and Afganistan and abandon its bases in Saudi Arabia.
Oh yeah don't forget to mention that the Americans and the rest of the western world should probably not support Israel, since not a lot of extremists like that.
And last but not the least, the western world should probably take up Islam en masse, since the extremists do aim at world domination, why allow them that clarion call? Why not lay down our arms and prostrate ourselves.
Try selling that to western audience Mr Milband.
What did you say? No can do?
Well then don't try forcing that drivel down Indian throats.
Sure you ruled us for 200 or so years, and we have'nt gotten over it completely,
but we do count for more in todays world than you. So as the Brits say bugger off mate.