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The Indian Premier League (IPL) has commenced with a flourish. Cricket has become the entertainment in this scary, dreary, and home-bound alternative that one is facing due to Covid-19. The cricketers, especially the Indian eager beavers, are making a mark. Like in earlier editions, lesser-known names are emerging.
The IPL brings to light the talent that India possesses in limited-overs cricket. It is a super-platform for an aspiring Indian player to come into the limelight. The standard of cricket being played in the IPL is of a much higher quality than in any other league in the world.
Several international players who have been extremely successful elsewhere are looking like average performers in the IPL.
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One is pleasantly surprised when one sees young Indian bowlers coping with the responsibility and pressure of bowling the crucial and final overs. The most expensive player in IPL history, Chris Morris being denied strike by young Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson on the last ball of the match was a good example of how young Indian players are making bold decisions and are willing to shoulder responsibility.
Samson refused to take a single and instead trusted himself to clear the boundary on the last ball of the match. Unfortunately, he failed to get the required runs and was caught on the boundary. The way Morris had faced the few deliveries earlier, did not inspire much confidence and so Samson taking the onus onto himself was understandable.
Similarly, bowling in the death and crucial overs by Harshal Patel, T. Natarajan, Chetan Sakariya, Avesh Khan, Rahul Chahar, Shahbaz Ahmed have shown the mental strength and nerves of steel that the new Indian cricketers possess. India’s international cricketers have also shown this tough characteristic in their last two series against Australia and England recently and to see the same attitude in domestic cricketers is quite remarkable.
The professional atmosphere that every franchise brings forth through highly recognized mentors, coaches, analysts, fitness trainers, and specific batting, bowling, and fielding experts is quite astonishing. The world’s best cricket-related support staff have converged on the IPL and are bringing their experience and thought processes into play. This has been fabulous for Indian cricket. All this augurs well in developing, creating awareness, and strategizing the players’ skills and approach.
However, the problems that arise are when things go awry and players have to do the basics, like using their natural cricketing instinct and intelligence. Cricket intelligence is what made the likes of Vinoo Mankad, Kapil Dev, Ian Botham, Garry Sobers and so many of the past cricketers including Sachin Tendulkar invigorating to watch. One wonders whether this excessive brainstorming and analyzing that a modern cricketer is subjected to is diminishing one’s natural thought process and approach.
The two matches that come to mind recently were those in which both Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad failed to chase achievable targets. Both the sides were on a comfortable stage, needing around a run, a ball with plenty of wickets in store. The pitch was certainly not a minefield; however, it was slow-paced like in many Indian venues. This was an ideal situation that required a batsman to play in the gaps which the limited-overs field restrictions offer in abundance. That could have helped them accumulate runs without taking many risks.
Instead, what one saw in the approach of the batsmen was the eagerness to hit the ball into the empty stands. This attitude prevails because analysts and researchers have shown that T20 victories are won by scoring more boundaries and not through subtle placements. Both the bowler and the batsman are trained to bowl and bat in a certain way as indicated to them by the wise men who sit in the bunker.
One can see the confusion that prevails in the thought process of not only the young but also the experienced cricketers — whether to follow their natural instincts or adhere to the drawn-up plan that has been carefully thought out. The natural fall-out is to listen to the coaches. Failing even while executing their plan and process would be acceptable, whereas, to do so on one’s whims and fancy could prove to be unacceptable.
This is precisely why both KKR and SRH lost in their chase. The game of cricket does require all the tools available to understand, utilize, analyze to develop a team’s strategy and a cricketer’s skills. But suffocating one’s natural approach is not sustainable in the long run. Indian players, who have lost form seem to run home to their local coaches and mentors, who have developed them, for help. This has been the case with many Indian cricketers. Not a single one of them has approached either his foreign IPL coach for help or advice.
Yes, a cricketer does need all the inputs in becoming better but when it comes to fulfilling a task like chasing a target with simple cricket intelligence, M.S. Dhoni was a prime example. This he could do so because of his sharp cricketing brain and his ability to understand his game. This is why he was considered to be one of the best ‘finishers’.
The beauty was that his mind was a clear cricket computer not cluttered with preconceived ideas. Dhoni’s success was his natural cricket intellect which seems to be lacking in the initial matches that one has seen in the recent IPL matches. (IANS/SP)
GENEVA — The battle to stem climate change may be lost as new information indicates the Amazon rain forest is turning from a carbon sink – or area that absorbs CO2 – into a source of carbon dioxide, the World Meteorological Organization warns.
The latest edition of the WMO's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide once again broke all records last year.
The U.N. agency's report warns the concentrations of these greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere are driving climate change. It says carbon dioxide, the single most important greenhouse gas, accounts for approximately 66 percent of the warming effect on the climate.
The secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, Petteri Taalas, says about half of CO2 emissions remain in the atmosphere for centuries. He says the other half is taken up by oceans and land ecosystems.
He says it is not clear for how much longer forested areas, often referred to as the lungs of the Earth, will continue to act as effective carbon sinks.
"We have already seen some alarming indications that, for example, Amazonian rain forest ecosystem, which used to be a major sink of carbon, has become now a source of carbon, which is alarming," Taalas said. "And this is related to deforestation in the area and also changes in local climate because of this deforestation."
Oksana Tarasova, who heads the WMO's Atmospheric and Environment Research Division, says the WMO only now is revealing this new finding because it has taken nine years of observation to gather the measurement data set needed to understand the changes taking place. She says not all of the Amazon forests are turning from a carbon sink to a net producer of carbon.
"So, the Western part of the Amazonia still continues to work as a carbon sink at this point. But we do not know for how long that will continue this way," Tarasova said. "We are making the measurements there and keeping our track of what is happening there. … I would take the whole Amazonia as a whole that is seen that it is a sink, but its capacity is substantially reduced."
Meteorologists say climate change negotiators at an upcoming conference in Scotland must take concrete action and make concrete pledges to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
They say setting carbon-neutral targets will not work in stemming climate change. They also warn the world is heading toward a temperature rise of 2.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century. This, they say, is far more than the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Climate change, amazon rain forest, UN Agency Warns, World Meteorological Organization, greenhouse gas emissions.
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Receiving compliments is something that a majority of us enjoy. Compliments, after all, make us feel good about ourselves. Sometimes compliments intended to be flattering turn out to be a tremendous turn-off, and in some cases, they are insulting. 'Beauty with brains is one of those compliments. So, is 'beauty with brains' a compliment? Without further ado, I would confidently say- NO! It doesn't matter what your gender, colour, or identity is. The answer is clearly a no.
Beauty with a brain suggests that you can only have one of these qualities and that you are an 'exception' if you possess both. "Oh, Wow! You are a beauty with brains" is a phrase that women often hear. This statement is used when a female exhibits characteristics that indicate she is intelligent. People are taken aback if they see a wise and beautiful woman because women are stereotyped to be either beautiful or brainy. The concern with this is that it is naturally assumed that men are intelligent. Women, on the other hand, are supposed to have a natural beauty. If she isn't attractive according to the norms laid down by society, it is expected that she would at the very least be intelligent. When someone manages to be both, it is regarded as a significant accomplishment.
People are taken aback if they see a wise and beautiful woman because women are stereotyped to be either beautiful or brainy. | Photo by Unsplash
Women are being stereotyped into two attributes: being attractive and being intelligent, and they are being conditioned to think that these characteristics cannot exist together. When you tell someone that they are not beautiful, you are implicitly attempting to fit them into the so-called "beauty standards" that today's era is so preoccupied with maintaining. And that is a significant issue. We are not required to fit in; we should take the risk of being unusual.
Many movies, television series, and even advertisements depict the female lead as someone who is the attractive one, well-dressed, with a face full of makeup and lovely hair. On the other hand, the intelligent girl is usually the one with unkempt hair, strange fashion sense, and little to no makeup.
While our generation has been the target of insulting and sexist slurs that have caused us to question our abilities on several occasions, let us work together to reverse the trend. Let us educate each other that beauty and intelligence can coexist and that we are all beautiful in our way and don't need to fit in the so-called standards set by our draconian society.
Keywords: women mental health, beauty, brains, men, intelligence society
Malgudi, a small fictional town in South India has been part of the childhood of most Indians. It is an old, shabby, and peaceful town that is unruffled by politics. The stories set in this small town ring the sense of belongingness in the hearts of its readers. The familiar feeling that feels like home resonates with their soul. And teaches important life lessons to the readers through simple tales. Malgudi Days is one of the books that every Indian child should read. The book is a compilation of 32 short stories that paint a beautiful picture of small-town in India around the '60s and '70s
R. K. Narayan, one of the most well-known and popular writers within India and outside India is the creator of this town and the occurrences of this town. The stories follow the characters Swami and his friends through their everyday lives. Be it the story of fake astrologers who scam and loot the people by his cleverness, or the story of a blind beggar and his dog where the money blinded the man with greed; each story has a lesson to learn, morals and values hidden in it. As the stories are simple, easy to understand yet heart-touching it makes it easy for the kids to connect with each character and imagine the story as if the reader themselves were the protagonist of the story. In simple words, we can say that R.K. Narayan simply told stories of ordinary people trying to live their simple lives in a changing world.
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As written during the Indian Independence movements and finally published in 1943. The stories in the Malgudi days beautifully encapsulated the transitioning milieu of the British era to post-Independence India. Each of the stories portrays a facet of life in Malgudi and simultaneously a life in an Indian town. R.K. Narayan was one of the first writers who pioneered Indian writings in the English language and the book was later republished outside India in 1982 by Penguin Classics. Thus, the book enjoyed a worldwide audience. The New York Times even described the virtue of the book as "everyone in the book seems to have a capacity for responding to the quality of his particular hour. It's an art we need to study and revive."
The beautiful storytelling of the book was assisted by beautiful illustrations allowing the children to let their imagination teleport them to the world of Malgudi. All the illustrations in the book were illustrated by the world-renowned cartoonist, R.K. Laxman who is also R.K. Narayan's younger brother. The illustrations complimented the scenes from the stories and excited the children, keeping them engaged in reading the book for hours.
The illustrations complimented the scenes from the stories.Pixabay
The short stories from Malgudi Days were later adapted into a television adaptation in 1986. This show was directed by actor and director Shankar Nag. It was filmed both in Hindi and English, containing 54 episodes and the first 13 episodes respectively. Later the series was revived for additional 15 episodes. The show featured several popular celebrities from the Kannada film industry of those days – Girish Karnad, Vishnuvardhan, Ananth Nag, Arundhati Nag and Vaishali Kasaravalli, to name a few. The series was premiered on the Doordarshan channel and became the window into the town Malgudi for many. The show did not only excel in its storyline the TV adaptation elevated the storytelling as the show was technically very sound and stood out in its fantastic detailing in terms of locations and sets. With the cinematography being creative The Malgudi days- TV series once again warmed the hearts of both young ones and adults.
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Malgudi- our childhood home
Malgudi days hold a special place in the hearts of whoever has read the book as a child. With the detailed descriptions of the town and stories one almost gets a feeling that they've visited the place themselves. The characters, Swami and his friends feel like they were all readers' childhood friends. The surreal feeling of being home in the world of Malgudi. The world of Malgudi is intimate, warm, lifelike, and engaging. The setting is modern, and the life portrayed in these stories is contemporary. Still, there is an old-time air about It. R K Narayan once described Malgudi as "Malgudi is where we all belong, and where we wish we lived."
Keywords: Malgudi days, Malgudi, R K Narayan, R K Laxman, storytelling, our childhood home Malgudi