Tuesday, October 25, 2016

anil thomas neelu vyas thomas

anil thomas visit down under

Saturday, August 27, 2016




Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sindhu meeting the PM
PV Sindhu has written in silver an unprecedented chapter in the history of Indian Sports. She is the youngest olympic champion and the 1st women silver medalist for India. But an anecdote before the Rio Journey will bring out the child in herself . It was the day when the Indian Rio contingent got a chance to meet the Prime Minister who took time out to do a first to shake hands with every member of the contingent , wishing them good luck and success. Prime Minister ensured that he met everyone for a photo op as well. individually. Ironically the first team to meet Prime Minister was the badminton team and the last in the line were were the wrestlers. Gopichand introduced the team and the PM walked ahead little realising that he will be forced to look back a few days later. Then the most coveted moment arrived..time to click with the Prime minister ....Ace bady player Saina Nehwal was conspicous by her absence. Sindhu was standing with Kidambi in line with two badminton racquets. Special protection group or the SPG had told the players that no sporting gears are allowed in the vicinity of the Prime minister . Table Tennis player Manika Batra left her racquet and walked up for the photo op. Click over in a few seconds. then came PV Sindhu's chance , She all of a sudden decided to gift one raquet to the Prime minister and take his autograph on the other. She was in two minds whether she would be allowed . I was standing as a quiet observor while the cameras were rolling was watching this moment very carefully and readying myself for the live. SPG again insisted but Sindhu's insistence was no less and almost childlike she walked upto PM Modi and asked for his autograph. Prime mInister quite deftly took out his black pen and did the honours and smile at me as i goaded her for the autograph by the Prime minister. Sindhu later on returned and thanked me. Chaos and pandemonium then followed as after this even hockey players wanted an autograph by the Prime Minister. The generous Prime minster obliged every player not only with an autograph but selfies as well. . After the click was over Sindhu enjoyed Dhokla and sandwiches when i walked upto her and inquired about her preparations for the Rio Olympics The young Hyderabadi oozed with confidence to say 'i will do something this time'. Never did I know then that it was the giant killing act that she along with gopichand had planned so meticulously to be unleashed in a month's time. Big guns of world badminton have fallen by the way. She won the opening game in the final and i thought it Marin could get some Carol tonight..but it was not to be as Sindhu settled for Silver. Sindhu walked back with her head held high. She slips on Marin Drive but the Queens necklace shines bright around her neck. The meeting and the autograph moment with the PM would surely be etched in my memory.

Friday, June 19, 2015

STATUTORY WARNING for INDIAN POLITICAL LEAGUE- Cricket as a sport has seen exponentially growth on and off the field in the last 28 years. Gone are the days in 1987 when DD telecast the world cup in the sub-continent. The main sponsor Reliance paid for the matches telecast on the public broadcaster. The Telecast rights business has now made Doordarshan needing the Apex court’s intervention to get India cricket matches live. They have used the "matches of national importance clause" to get any telecast partner to share their feed for India matches. Cricket’s metamorphosis in the telecast rights business was brought about by Jagmohan Dalmiya who knew the potential the game held. He was always a cautious Baniya in opening the doors for commercialisation. He kept it a cozy gentleman’s club. They rubbed shoulders with the best while running the game without the checks and balances from the government. The game of cricket was blossoming and the 75th Annual General meeting in Kolkata changed the dynamics of the game. The cricket board was divided into 2 camps. Jagmohan Dalmiya lost the battle in his own den to another shrewd politician Sharad Pawar. Though Jaggu Dada did not lose the elections personally as Ranbir Singh Mahendra the incumbent president lose the battle. The congress loyalist who switched sides before the elections left Jaggu Dada shocked as he was not prepared for a Brutus moment. The Congress loyalist paid a price as after switching sides did not get any BCCI member to second his case for the vice president’s post. This was after the Jaggu camp was beaten fair and square. Lalit Modi and IS Bindra brought the administrative expertise to help Sharad Pawar while another strong Maharashra strongman Shashank Manohar came with the legal acumen. The Beedi giant Praful Patel played the back room manager who saw Dalmiya’s fall in the elections. Dalmiya was out and the Sharad Pawar camp tried their best to pack the Kolkata Czar from the CAB elections in the following year. The police commissioner of Kolkata Prasun Mukherjee was a stiff challenge but Jaggu Dada withstood the pressure to win the election by a narrow margin. In the subsequent years to follow Jaggu left the chair and Prasun regained the chair without a challenge. However, there are no permanent enemies and friends in the sporting business. Meanwhile the private TV channel eyeing the telecast pie did not bag the rights and lost the race in the bidding process. The loss of the telecast rights was difficult to fathom and a parallel league ICL was formed. The mediocre success to the league and the need to get a BCCI operated league got the Pawar camp to work round the clock to offset the players rush for Lights-Camera-Cricket. The birth of the IPL and the change in the conflict of interest clause helped N Srinivasan get an IPL team Chennai even though he held the role of a treasurer in the BCCI. Unfortunately, the role models in politics were becoming extinct and politicians thrive of popularity. The game of cricket had a mass following and getting involved in an association also provides easy access to people. Sports helped to connect and this was the lifeline for every state politician to park themselves when they lost their place in the state and the centre. The success was just like instant noodles and the only contribution the politicians had to do with cricket was to think of appointing people to keep the masses happy while the agenda of self promotion was going places. Lalit Modi made the politicians understand how the IPL could help boast their business interests. The politicians got the cover the cozy business club needed to flourish by using the age old Chanakya formula of “saam, daam, dand and bhed”. The thought does brush every politician with the same brush but there were few who brought their expertise to help the game grow. SK Wankhede, NKP Salve and Madhavrao Scindia were few names that meant good for the game. They loved the game, respected the cricketers and used their acumen to help the game scale newer heights. The Cricketainment show of IPL and the success that followed showed Jagmohan Dalmiya running the cricketing business in BCCI and ICC as amateurish. However, the shrewd Baniya realised the dangers of the game’s popularity, glamour and financial clout very early. The Multimillion dollar WSG deal with Mark Mascherenas and the potential of the game was in black and white before Dalmiya. He took a cautious approach to keep the profile of the deals good to run the house without attracting the preying eyes of the politicians. The Czar from Collate wanted to sharks of the political world to stay away from rubbing shoulders with BCCI on a regular basis. The change in Kolkata in 2007 has left Jaggu fighting to save his own house and the success of the IPL saw the BCCI coffers overflow. Many politicians got the taste of getting involved with cricket. The sagging political careers of few politicians helped them use cricket to bask in the achievements of the sporting icons. Sports helped them or made them believe that it would help them be visible to their voters. A politician will give you free passes for the game and loads of other access to the international or an IPL game and that helped the “Quid-pro-quo” game. Some cricketers became politicians after tasting success on the field. Chetan Chauhan, Chetan Sharma, Ranjib Biswal and Anurag Thakur are cricketers turned politicians. They continue to work for the growth of the game but have enjoyed the many caps on their head. Politicians can contribute positively but they need to be cautious as their name can be misused by state associations to create camps. This is rampant in every state cricket association elections. The latest fall –out of an Indian Political League has seen many politicians burning their fingers. Who is right and wrong is not a call but it is high time there is a statutory warning for politicians who want to run cricket in India. “Politicians are highly injurious to cricket and should stay away from it.”

Friday, November 22, 2013

10 years of DD NEWS VIDEO

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Lambi Judaai Reshma the voice of many eternal songs ‘Dama Dum Mast Kalender’ and ‘Lambi Judaai’ was a treat to listen and my association was rather by accident but it was a memorable one. As a sports correspondent I was in Pakistan covering the India Pakistan cricket series with a game in Lahore over which India lose and with four games left we headed for Rawalpindi. I got a call from my office which asked me to return to Lahore to cover the resumption of the bus service from Lahore to the Wagah Border. The call from Delhi was a tiring one as I had to head back to Lahore. I reached the bus stand in Lahore city in the wee hours of the morning. I wanted to cover the event and head back to Pindi which is a good three hours drive from Lahore. I was trying to get some visuals and a good story so that I could finish the task and head back to cricket which I was meant to cover. The bus stand had few cameras from Pakistan TV channels and I happened to be the lone Indian TV journalist from India. Reshma was the noted name from Pakistan suddenly descended like manna from the sky and she rendered some hit numbers for the TV journalists who recorded her views and her songs with great interest. Since being the only TV journalist from India I walked up to her and introduced myself and she sang those songs all over again and asked me if these songs would run on the national broadcaster in India. I assured her that people in India love her and she said that she wanted to visit India and Ajmer Sharif more than anyone else. I called up office and told them that the job was done but I was given orders to now board the bus and head towards Wagah Border with the people in the bus. Reshma the Sitara-i-Imtiaz reeled out hit numbers from films and ghazals. Some of her songs she sang "Dama Dam Mast Kalandar", "Hai O Rabba nahion lagda dil mera", "Sun charkhe di mithi mithi cook mahiya meinu yaad aunda", "Wey main chori chori", "Ankhiyan no rehen de ankhyan de kol kol" and "Lambi Judai". She kept all of us engrossed in the 35 minute journey to the border and sang the song “Lambi Judai” thrice. Remembering her origins to the sandy lands in India, she said: "People in India showered me with a lot of admiration. In Pakistan, people have given me respect. But in India also, they listen to me with lot of love. It does not matter to them that I am a Pakistani singer." She during the journey asked me more about Bikaner city and her dream to visit Rajasthan and the Taj Mahal. As we reached the Wagah Border and as people got off the bus to get the passports stamped she had tears in her eyes as she walked into India. She had returned to the place of her birth and wanted to talk to the Pakistan Government to talk to their counterparts in India to hold a musical on the Wagah border involving stars from both sides of the fence. She walked slowly into India. I still remember the sight when she carefully put her right foot first as she crossed the border and signed off that it will bring good luck to the Indo-Pak relations. As a parting shot said "the borders do not matter to me...because, an artiste belongs to all". I was left back while she walked into India. The feeling was tearful as being an Indian I was on the other side of the fence and was warned by the officials that I cannot enter my own country. Headed back and continued to visit four more venues in Pakistan and headed back home happy as India won the one day series 4-1. As news of her demise broke in India, I was in office as India pocketed another bi-lateral one day series against Australia. I felt Reshma’s lose was immense. She had left a mark in my life during my short meeting with her thoughts and actions. She is not with us, but her voice will always be with us. I will always remember Reshma, the flower of desert, symbol of love, music and peace!”. We miss you Reshma, and I thank the golden opportunity I got to meet this music maestro who belonged to the world.

Friday, November 09, 2012