Wednesday, June 30, 2010

German Goal Keeper

Has anyone watched the soccer game Germany vs. England?

This is what happened in that game.

On the 38th minute, England’s Frank Lampard’s lob bounced over the German goal line and appeared to give England a clear goal.

What did the German goal keeper Manuel Neuer do? He grabbed the ball and swiftly kicked it upfield as England’s disbelieving players rounded upon the Referee Jorge Larrionda and begged him to reconsider his decision.

Referee Larrionda decided it was not a goal.

After the match was over, German goal keeper Neuer said:

“After the game I was in doping control and saw it on the television. And yes, of course it was over and should have been a goal for England. It was lucky for us and unlucky for them.

Neuer insisted, though, that the Lampard no-goal made no difference to the eventual outcome Sunday, 4-1, claiming Germany would have won the match in any case.

Neuer is wrong. A goal on them would have devastated them mentally and the outcome would have been different.

We got lucky? That is all? No remorse?

Now it is time to quote from one of my previous posts written long time ago.

Wimbledon. The year 1960. Semi Final Match. India’s Ramanathan Krishnan vs. Australia’s Neale Fraser. A shot from Fraser was called “out” in favor of Krishnan. Krishnan interceded and told the umpire that it was “in”. Krishnan, instead of gaining a point lost a point. Eventually that call was instrumental in Krishnan losing the match to Fraser. First ever Indian going to the Wimbledon finals was denied.

Next week, a Tamil weekly, Kalki, put the picture of Krishnan on the cover and put a caption from (Lord Krishna) Bhagvat Gita: "Paritranaya Sadhunaam vinashaya cha dushkritamDharma sansthapnarthaya sambhavami yugay yugay" (Whenever there is downfall of Dharma (righteousness), I incarnate to re-establish the Dharma.)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Not So Funny

Queen Elizabeth II of England visited the All England Club, for the first time since 1977, on Thursday, June 25, to watch a Wimbledon tennis match. She was introduced to some tennis players, past and present. She was introduced to Martina Navratilova. Martina was asked by the Queen if she played at Wimbledon often. Ever humble Martina politely answered yes. Martina has won 9 Wimbledon Championship in her career. Obviously the queen does not follow tennis.

I thought that question to Martina was very funny. Again it is not funny. Here is why:

These kinds of meetings do not happen by chance. Believe me. I have been there. When a queen or king or president or prime minister of a country meets a group of sportsmen (or anyone), their aides would have prepped the VIPs who they are going to meet and shake hands and their accomplishments. The sportsmen would also have been informed in advance that the VIP will shake hands with him/her and there will be an exchange of pleasantries. At such a high level of dignitaries, everything is pre-arranged and nothing is spontaneous. It may look spontaneous to us watching on television.

Have you seen American Presidents get out of their bullet proof limousine and shake hands with the public in a crowd? Do you think it is spontaneous? The Secret Service Agents who guard the life of the U.S. President will never allow that to happen. It is all pre-arranged.

In this incident, the person who arranged the Queen to go to the Wimbledon tennis match failed. I would fire that person immediately. Now my imagination goes wild:

Indian President Pratibha Patil asking Sachin Tendulkar if he plays cricket regularly.

President Barack Obama asking Muhammad Ali if he ever taken boxing lessons.

Again, President Barack Obama asking Michael Phelps (winner of 14 Olympic gold medals in swimming) whether he knows how to swim.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva asking Pele if he ever played soccer.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking Wayne Gretsky (the greatest ice hockey player ever born) if he has ever seen ice.

I think Patil, Obama, da Silva, and Harper are not that stupid. Nor their aides.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Graduation Ceremony

We happened to go to a graduation ceremony recently. No this is not a university or college graduation. This is not even a high school graduation. This is a graduation ceremony for the kids passing their kindergarten and going to first grade.

The auditorium was filled to capacity. The students came in procession to the accompaniment of music and took their seats on the stage. The program started with the usual “Flag Salute”. All the people present in the auditorium loudly said the following:

“I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

(Foreign nationals and atheists are exempted from saying the Pledge of Allegiance.)

Then all three kindergarten teachers read a few lines on “Everything I ever needed to know I learned in Kindergarten”.

Then graduation ceremony for students of Ms. Brown. Each student came to the mike and said his/her name. Ms. Brown gave the graduation certificate and hugged the student. When the student said his/her name the relatives and friends in the audience gave a loud applause.

Then came the graduation ceremony for students of Miss. Hill.

Finally, the graduation ceremony for students of Mrs. Lundy.

In between the students sang three songs.

After the graduation ceremony, there were lot of cookies, candies, cakes and punch for all the students, teachers, parents and other guests.

One of the parents, sitting in the auditorium, was Ms. Shanice Wilson. She is a famous pop singer in USA. Her son was graduating from kindergarten this year. People smiled at her. She smiled back. Couple of guests took her picture. But no one bothered her.

In USA, there is usually graduation ceremony at the end of pre-school, kindergarten, sixth grade, and high school (12th grade). Some schools use graduation caps and gowns. Some don’t. The kindergarten graduation ceremony we attended did not use caps and gowns.

We enjoyed the occasion very much.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Expensive "Stuff"

If you are extremely rich, money is no object. You can buy anything at any price. Don’t we all want to have a life like that! At least some of us want. Until that day comes to us, we can read this post and get ready. Here is a list:

Most Expensive Television:

PrestigeHD Supreme Rose Edition by Stuart Hughes
Price: $2.3 million Made with 18 carat gold with 72 diamonds.

Most Expensive Hotel Room:

Royal Penthouse Suite, Hotel President Wilson in Geneva
Price: $65,000 per night. This suite has 18,083 square feet. 10 rooms and 7 bathrooms.

Most Expensive Cell Phone:

iPhone 3GS Supreme Rose by Stuart Hughes
Price: $2.97 million. It has 18-carat rose gold with hundreds of diamonds, including a single-cut, 7.1-carat diamond for the main navigation button.

Most Expensive Car:

1954-55 Mercedes-Benz W196
Price: $24 million. This car won a Grand Prix race in 1954 and 1955. (A friend of mine goes “ga ga” over used BMWs. This friend should go for this car.)

Most Expensive House:

Price: $1 billion. Owned by Mukesh Ambani in Mumbai. 27 floors. 6 floors for parking 168 cars. This house is maintained by 600 people. Some say this house costs $2 billion.

Most Expensive Yacht:

Price: £1.2 billion. 560 foot long. 2 helipads. 11 guest cabins. 2 swimming pools.

Enjoy Life. Be Happy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


When I read this news item, I could not believe my eyes. Here is the news item. What do you think?

We all know that in Saudi Arabia men and women cannot mingle. There are strict Islamic laws banning a meeting between a man and a woman who are not related. But there are many circumstances when women come into contact with unrelated men.

In order to tackle this problem, the Saudis have issued a fatwa forcing these women to breastfeed these men so that they are considered “relatives” and not lovers. The real problem is not this. The real problem is how do these men get the milk.

According to the Gulf News, Sheikh Al Obeikan, an adviser to the royal court stated, “the man should take the milk, but not directly from the breast of the woman. He should drink it and then becomes a relative of the family, a fact that allows him to come in contact with the woman”. The woman has to pump her breast milk in a glass and give it to the man. Not very palatable, I think.

Not all agree with this solution. A prominent sheikh, Abi Ishaq Al Huwaini, argues that men should drink the milk directly from the source. With strict laws in that county on these matters, how this can be possible?

In 2009, a 75 year old woman was thrown in jail for six months and given 40 lashes after the religious police found out that 2 men, not her relatives, were in her house. In fact, they were delivery boys delivering breads. One of the boys told the court that this old lady breast-fed him when he was infant and therefore he was allowed to be there. But the judge decided that it could not be proved that he was her “breast milk son”. They were given 6 months in jail and 60 lashes.

This clearly shows how clueless men are. All these arguments between government officials, mullahs, and the sheiks and no one bother to ask a woman if it is logical. It is also logistically impossible to implement. First of all, in order to breast feed you have to have just had a baby to do that. And, some women are not capable of producing breast milk. Also, many women do not want to share this sacred moment between a mother and child with a random grown man.

The thought of a huge hairy face at a woman’s breast is grotesque.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Award

I have been presented with this Cherry on Top award by Insignia. Thank you very much Insignia and it is an honor to receive an award from you.

There is a ground rule for accepting this award. I have to say 3 good things about me.

Usually when describing about themselves, people are critical …..unless they are in an interview situation. Most of us think saying good things about us are considered as self-praise. Still, since this post calls for saying 3 good things about me, here they are:

1. We have been living in the United States for a long time and still converse only in Tamil at home.

2. I will give anything, including my own life, for those people who I love and who are dear and near to me. I consider their happiness is my happiness. Every day I pray God for their health and happiness. As the Tamil saying goes, even if they need Tiger’s milk I will get it for them. Incidentally, they are the same people I engage in petty arguments and fights.

3. Whenever I help someone (like a sick person unable to afford a doctor or operation), only me and my wife will know about it. Sometimes, even the patient will not know who helped.

Now, I would like to present this award to the following:





Please accept this award. Thanks.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Once again an Indian-American won the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest and took the Championship Trophy and $40,000 in cash and prizes. She is Anamika Veeramani, a 14 year old girl from Ohio State. In the finals, she spelled the word “stromuhr” correctly. The meaning: It is a tool that measures the speed of blood through artery.

Congratulations to Anamika. Well done. Her parents Alagaiya and Malar immigrated from Chennai, India.

Incidentally, this year’s runner up also is an Indian-American, Shantanu Srivatsa, a 13 year old from North Dakota. Shantanu could not spell the word “ochidore” correctly. (I have no idea what “ochidore” means.) Congratulations to Shantanu also for winning the second prize.

Anamika became the third consecutive Indian-American spelling bee champion. In 2009, the winner was Kavya Shivshankar. The winner in 2008 was Sameer Mishra.

This is the 83rd annual spelling bee contest. Indian-Americans took the trophy in the last eight out of twelve years.

1999 - Nupur Lala

2000 – George Abraham Thampy

2002 – Pratyush Buddiga

2003 – Sai Gunturi

2005 – Anurag Kashyap

2008 – Sameer Mishra

2009 – Kavya Shivshankar

2010 – Anamika Veeramani

When asked by the reporters, Anamika’s father, Alagaiya Veeramani said he had no clue why Indian-Americans seem to do so well at the competition. He guessed it has something to do with hard-work ethic.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Munchausen Syndrome?

"I learned a very important lesson that night. People believe whatever they read. Something magical happens once it’s put down on paper. They figure no one would have gone through the trouble if it wasn't the truth.”
Eugene Morris Jerome in the Neil Simon movie, Biloxi Blues

It amazes me quite a lot how people believe, without question, what they read. Taking advantage of this, some writers write sensational journalism. Some others have the chutzpah to write anything in order to get attention, sympathy, and pity. Recently I came across one like this.

Here is this writer. He is a real jerk and a joker. He recently put up a "stunt" for getting sympathy from his readers and behaved like an idiot. In a particular post, he wrote that this was his last post and he is quitting blogging. And, the innocent readers believed that and pleaded with him not to quit. Next week he said “gotcha”. He said he wanted to lighten up, could not find anything to write, and therefore performed this stunt. Looks like a guy who writes his own obituary, publishes it, and reads it for the fun of it.

We don’t know what kind of other stunts he is capable of performing to gain sympathy and pity from others.

And then, there are a few people suffer from Munchausen Syndrome. Munchausen syndrome is a disorder wherein those affected would do anything to draw attention or sympathy. These people tend to seek sympathy to feel cared for, and understood. They use their writing as an attention seeking device. They are desperate. I feel sorry for those few.