Saturday, January 31, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

Since last few weeks the cry of Je Suis Charlie has been reverberating in every nook and corner of the world, in fact it has become a slogan for masses extending solidarity towards the hapless, abused individuals worldwide. To many across the globe, Charlie Hebdo was an unknown entity, but not anymore. The carnage that happened at the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris and at the Kosher market was chilling and heart wrenching. The act of terror was condemnable and has no standing in a civilized society. The dastardly act of killing cannot be justified nor tolerated. After the extensive manhunt for the killers, the French police had the last laugh, but it was too late. To offer condolences to the deceased and their families, people from all over world thronged the streets holding candle light vigils. Placards proclaiming Je Suis Charlie, Nous Sommes Charlie spread all over. The somber mood and mixed feelings gripped France and the rest of the world. While the Paris tragedy was not enough, execution of the Japanese hostage by the ISIS added to the burgeoning mayhem. Je suis Haruna proclaimed a placard somewhere in Japan.

Paris Attack - Who's Next ?
Je Suis ??
Freedom & Responsibility

In the aftermath of the Paris tragedy many questions still remain unanswered. Why this happened? Who was at fault? Was it possible to avert the tragedy? Will there be an encore in the future? And many more. Carrying out candle vigils and silent marches won’t be enough to stop it from happening in future. We all need to ponder over it seriously to see it does not happen again. Freedom of Speech, Freedom of expressing our views and alike is the bone of contention here. Freedom to have our views voiced, expressed is our right and no one can take it away from us, but many a times this freedom crosses the line resulting in hurting sentiments of others, though this is very relative and changes with individual to individual. What is important to note, with freedom also comes duty, responsibility. One should not forget this; having said that, in no way the carnage in Paris can be justified. The act of terror was outright shameful and condemnable.
Paris Attack: Freedom of speech... Be careful
Think before you express
Think Think & Think

Freedom of speech does not mean one can insult, desecrate religion, places of worship etc. They maybe revered by others. What you perceive as trivial might be very important to others. What you consider trash might be worshiped by others. Here’s where the duty, responsibility aspect gains significance. Besides freedom, one must also take into account their freedom does not cause harm to others. One needs to tread this path very carefully. A very thin line separates what is correct and what is wrong, especially the topics of religion and god. Many people are very touchy about these subjects and can get hurt with slightest provocation. In some cultures usage of foul language and expletives is part of bonhomie, but the same might be considered unacceptable in other cultures, so one’s freedom of speech does not stand any ground here, when one deals with individuals of different cultures. It can lead to enmity and hurt sentiments. Nevertheless it does not mean the transgression should be punished by killing the person. That’s not done folks. Right to live and let live should be the motto. The Paris tragedy has once again brought to the light the repercussions of abused freedom of speech and the barbaric act of terror. Both the parties have a lot to think about, especially the life takers.

RIP Charlie Hebdo

Friday, January 16, 2015

Dhoni retires

Dhoni retires from test cricket, Dhoni retires from international cricket, Indian skipper Dhoni announces retirement from test cricket, and Captain Cool hangs his boots screamed media. It was breaking news, the kind, favored by the media. MSD or Mahi or Captain Cool as he is popularly known is indeed an enigma and his sudden premature retirement from test cricket vindicates it. His decision was as unpredictable as English weather, women folk or the stock market, but pragmatic. He was not getting any younger and the pressures of playing and leading the team in all formats was taking a toll on his health and performance alike. Captaining Indian cricket team is no ordinary job and can rob substantial years of your life. Dhoni wore this thorny tiara with aplomb for most of his career during which he reached the zenith, thanks to the 2 world championship India won. At the same time he hit the nadir when India lost 8 test matches on a trot in Australia and England under his captainship. In spite of these fluctuating fortunes, he never exploded nor imploded and was calm as a cucumber. He has never gone over the top and made controversial comments nor did he pay heed to critics during his bad phase. He was calmness personified, which in itself is an enigma for many. He rarely gets riled nor does he wear his emotions on his sleeve. That’s Dhoni for you.

Dhoni - Calmness Personified
Dhoni and CALM-SUTRA
Success Vs Failure 

His humble background, he was a TC with Indian railways before wearing the tag of one of the richest sportsman in India and worldwide. He attributes these humble beginnings which keep him firmly grounded. His soaring popularity and Midas touch is what baffles many a pundits and critics. His unconventional playing and leadership style has always been a topic of discussion and scrutiny, but that never bothered Dhoni. Self-belief, confidence and a good understanding of the game can be attributed to his success. Success and failure are the two sides of the same coin. Some of his out of box ideas and plans did wonders and brought glory, but the same, at times failed miserably bringing in lot of failure and criticism his way. His phlegmatic avatar which was at times hailed by all and sundry came to haunt him when India lost to Australia and England in the test matches. His performance as captain in overseas conditions is not something he would like to remember ever. This record is a blemish on his otherwise illustrious career. Since then, critics and former players have been baying for his blood and wanted him dethroned from the test captaincy. Many of them even commented saying he has gone past his usability as a test captain.

Virat Effect?

Emergence of young, dynamic captain in Virat Kohli was something which was playing on his mind and this resulted in he retiring from test cricket is what is being discussed in gossip columns galore. There are many other theories that are doing the rounds, but its legitimacy and truthfulness is / can be doubted. Going by his stature and hold on the cricketing affairs on and off the field, the theories hold very less credibility. So what was it that led him to take this shocking decision of not donning the whites anymore, when the series was still on down under? Going by Dhoni’s nature some say this is not surprising or shocking, he always wants to play it down without any pompous show off and self-importance. The genuineness of his action comes from the fact that he is just short of few runs to complete a landmark of 5000 test runs or for that matter 10 tests away from reaching the milestone of playing 100 tests. Looking at his age this was easily achievable.

Au Revoir

All said, something very decisive might have happened which compelled him to give away a career as test cricketer when he could have continued for next few years. His retirement has robbed him off the possibility of wiping out the ignominy of losing maximum tests overseas, or at-least reducing the loosing percentage by some margin. Nevertheless, he is still the most successful Indian captain in all formats of the game, an achievement which needs to be lauded. The game is a great leveler as they say, stupendous success to bitter failures, and he has experienced it in his career spanning 10 years. Henceforth, the calming effect on the cricketing field won’t be felt in the longer format of the game, a perfect foil to the fiery environs. Dhoni has left big shoes to fill, a void which would take years to nullify. Midas Singh Dhoni would be seriously missed.

Dhoni - The Midas Touch
Midas Touch

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