Jan 26, 2008

Gilly Retires

One of the most important reasons for the Australian cricket team's phenomenal success has been this man. He was one player..who for a long time was the worlds best wicketkeeper and to top it all one of the real match turners coming at no 7, while batting. I am talking about test cricket here ofcourse. Gilchrist i feel was the element that really made the aussies invincible. Other teams had good bowlers, good batters, better captains, but none had a player of the worth of gilchrist's class coming at 7. A truly great player, and one of my favourite players of all times. Have fun in your retirement man..you deserve it

Jan 22, 2008

The Charm of "The Wonder Years" (TWY)

I really like the show.
What makes the show good?. As mentioned here

"What makes "The Wonder Years" so appealing is that many can identify with what was happening in Kevin's life. Not only could those who lived through the 60's and 70's relate to the historical events, but almost anyone who was a teenager can relate to Kevin's personal adventures. . Most of us ..... experience all these other pivotal stages on our trip through puberty and adolescence into adulthood. These times really are wonder years, the time when we learn how the world and it's people work. "

Mayur says it even more lucidly here
"So many years after the show ended when I saw Kevin Arnold's pic in one of my friends computer screen NOSTALGIA did HURT. I mean it brought back memories of the yesteryears. It was very easy to relate to everything that Kevin was going through although I was from another world in India. His love interest the cute Winnie Cooper made it all the more interesting. Loved his best friend, though he did look like a nerd. I specially remembered a scene when Kevin kissed Winnie in the beach. Saying this might sound like saying a lot but it is just the truth. Sometimes the show seemed to me more important the books that I studied in school. A tutorial. It will always be close to my heart and fondly remembered. I can assume its like this for many of us around the world"

Ofcourse, I also feel that TWY rings the Nostalgia bell so beautifully is the fact that, most of us remember our childhood as a bunch of incidents. But TWY reminds us, that each incident was part of a growing up process. The wonderful voice over by Daniel Stern brings the sentiment to the fore, that each incident made us learn something, feel something, regret something and aloowed us to feel bad, good, sorry or proud of oneself, but all in all those were the years that improved the quality of life itself.

Jan 20, 2008

The Perth Story

Two things about yesterdays victory really make me happy.

1. The 16 match winning streak ended by India - The Aussies press's gloat would have been too much. What makes it doubly sweet is the fact that, India has already done it once before. Also in the cricketing sense, I think Steve Waugh's team was much better than the current Aussie team. The opposing teams then also were of a slightly higher standard i feel.

2. I have always marvelled at the Aussies Bench strength - eg Slater retires- Hayden is there..Hussey, Clark, Kasprowicz etc etc..but in this test..Pathan and Sehwag came from the bench for India and Tait and Rogers from Australian bench..and look who did better.

P.S - Also, do check out my friends amusing take on the win yesterday

Jan 16, 2008

The Case for Social Security

I think the need for a social security problem in India cannot be overstated. A functioning social security system will ofcourse provide direct benefits to the people most in need of it as of now. But as i have often argued..A functional social security will also fulfill the following criteria

Movement away from Caste Based Largesse distribution to Need Based intervention - The slowing down of the identity politics - This is very indirect, but as the State moves from caste based bounty distribution to need based social security..I don't think the upside of identity based politics will be very high

"Abilty to Pay" becomes a non factor in PPP or Community based initiatives - Right now the 'ability to pay' factor means that much of the PPP initiatives can be argued against. A social security system will lessen the need for govt intervention in implementation and maintenance of facilities in the agri and other social sectors eg Irrigation Projects, Water supply etc.

Halt to mass migration to Urban areas - As the social security kicks in, People from the rural areas will be loath to live in sum urban hutments to get a livewlihood. And surely thats good for everyone. Frankly much of the desperation in the society that goes on with earning your livelihood will be removed, making everyone a lot more civilised.

As i mentioned earlier in the blog also, community participation and PPP initiatives is the most potent way in which we can improve the implementation mechanism for government schemes. The other way is ofcourse through use of Information technology. Technology here i think is just a prop to bring about change. Even just information dissemination will do, but that alone will not be allowed to happen. But all this in a separate post.

Disclaimer : Ofcourse the big assumption here is- How to effect a functional Social Security system and do we have adequate resources for the same. I am afraid we have unsatisfactory answers to both the questions. But the point of this post is, while there is need to point out the apparent lacunae in schemes like NREGS, a potent case for a Social Security system should also be made. Lat our governance system outgrow the subsistence mode.

Jan 13, 2008

Need Theory Stage 5

" You know, it’s kinda hard just to get along today
Our subject isn’t cool, but he fakes it anyway
He may not have a clue and he may not have style
But everything he lacks, well, he makes up in denial"

~ Offspring

P.S - Happy new year everyone..