Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic: The ultimate tennis rivalry

Normally, at this time of the year, I would have written a preview of the French Open 2021. However with Rafa Nadal, a 13 time French Open winner and overall 20 Grand Slam winner (and counting) commandingly in the fray, I will dispense with the preview and rather focus on the greatest ever tennis rivalry of all time, the rivalry between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Let me confess, I want a final between these two, and may the better player on the day win. Let us have a comprehensive look at all aspects of their…

JE SUIS CHARLIE: Now & Forever

“I was Charlie Hebdo” in 2015 when two jihadi brothers shot and killed their Editor, his bodyguard, four cartoonists, two columnists, a copy editor, a caretaker, a guest and a cop at their office for ‘having dared’ to publish the cartoons of the Prophet. Another lady cop and four Jews had also succumbed in a related hostage crisis. “I was Charlie Hebdo” in 2020 when Samuel Patty was cruelly beheaded for showing the abovementioned cartoons to his students, and the Muslim street had protested against the magazine,…

Dr. Krishna Ella – The Ignored, the Ridiculed & the Hated Covaxin Manufacturer

Prakash Raj might someday play him in a film. Then we shall take cognizance of this great man’s name which is Dr. Krishna Ella. This son of Tamil Nadu is the founder, MD and Chairman of Bharat Biotech, and is the force behind Covaxin. This country of ungrateful wretches, freeloading leeches, noisy naysayers and compulsive backbiters, led by their inept, populist, shameless leaders has a large pantheon where there is space for idols of all kinds of petty politicians, small-time actors, puny cricketers,…

THINK BEFORE YOU HELP: The Ethical Dilemma Behind Re-allocation of Medical Resources

Allocation of medical resources during an emergency should solely be on the basis of triaging. Only doctors can decide who has priority. In the current situation, politicians have completely taken over hospital admissions and undeserving people are occupying ICU and oxygen beds. Sonu Sood is probably doing what he doing from his heart and if he is doing it for the poor and deserving, one should not have any issues. But the real culprits are politicians and persons in the government with influence. Sonu Sood has…

Djokovic’s primer for the French Open

Rafa Nadal has won as many as 11 Monte Carlo Masters 1000 tournaments. An incredible record. He has of course an even more impressive record of as many as 13 French Open titles. The legend will be aiming for his 12th Monte Carlo championships and 14th French Open in 2021, and certainly, though he has "dropped" to World Number 3, he will be the overwhelming favorite at both. As the stage is set for the 2021 Monte Carlo Masters, let us preview the current year's tournament, have a look at the draw and how it looks for…

Of Gaurs and other animals

The locale was deep in the dense forests of Kabini, about five hours drive from the busy IT hub of India, Bengaluru. Five individuals from different walks of life. The driver is a local expert, or so he would like us to believe. A relatively newly married couple, who, surprisingly, were not very sure about the duration of their alliance. We have seen our daily dose of tigers, leopards, deer, and similar residents of the forest on a sunny, albeit pleasant afternoon. Being a novice in such expeditions, I am reasonably…

The rise of Jannik Sinner: This young boy has what it takes

Innichen, in Italy, called the Pearl of the Dolomites, is one of the most popular skiing destinations. The most famous resident of Innichen is a young teen named Jannik Sinner who was brought up in Italy's largely German-speaking province, South Tyrol. Sinner, at age 8, won a national level skiing championship but from age 13 concentrated solely on tennis. His coach since then is Ricardo Piatti, who also played a role in shaping the careers of Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova as a part-time coach, and has been…

The Familiar Meander

By Samahit Bal Reading has always been a significant part of my life. Writing too, albeit destiny’s harshness in not offering enough bandwidth for writing. However, wrote this piece in sweeping meanders of 1996 while driving with my sinuous loops from Delhi to Bhubaneswar. Pragativadi was kind enough to print this out then. Twenty-five summers have whistled past since then, altering the landscape and the protagonists as well. Some unknown thrill intrigued me to inject some new thoughts and re-present the experience…

Of Fairy Tales and the Brisbane Breach

Fairies don’t live in bio-bubbles, zombies do.  Fighters get sent to hospitals for sewing and mending, not fairies. Fairies don’t get hit frequently by leather balls while playing with their mates, like Indian batsmen did. Fairies have it easy- their hamstrings don’t get pulled, backs don’t become stiff, wrists don’t get sprained, fingers don’t get squished, arms don’t break; perhaps their hearts do, but it is not the same. The pain is much less, not quite enough to get one ruled out of a test match that he so…

Cricket in New India: An Absconder for the Captain & His Loyal Dog as the Coach

Eleven players get selected to play in a cricket match. One of them leads the side. The order of these two statements is never reversed. A captain is not given a commission to raise a standing army. There are no stand-in captains, only captains. The former is just a management ploy which utilises feudal practices to keep some favourite’s chair cosy and warm. “He has been with us, despite not being here.” There are no non-playing captains in cricket either. One might invoke his legacy, which we shall also discuss,…
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