The Resonance of Echoes

It has been quite sometime since I wrote anything and the reason for that was obviously my indolence and dearth of topics. I was intending to write about the movies I watched during this period or about India’s tour in South Africa or about the year 2017, but something pulled me back from penning those down. To my relief, one thing caught my attention in the last few days and now I would like to talk about that.

About two weeks back, I came to know that my classmate and friend Devadas is going to release his novel named ‘Echoes’. I was further awed by the fact that Echoes will be his second work, after ‘The Despised Souls’, his first novel which he had published in 2013 while studying in class XI. I have always admired writers and been an occasional bibliophile since the time I started reading. And coming to know the fact that someone so close to me was going to publish his work excited me.

Echoes was released by noted bureaucrat and lyricist Sri K. Jayakumar on 27th January. Renowned writer Prof G.N. Panikkar and Sri K.Kunhikrishnan were also present. I also went for the release with few friends and grabbed one of the first copies of the book. We were really happy for Devadas about whom the dignitaries spoke highly. I was thrilled and was waiting to start the book.

Novel has always been a format that attracted masses. The ability of the writer in conveying his messages to the world through his characters is always catchy and this is the very reason why novel is the most popular form among all literary works. From time immemorial,  novelists have taken readers to places where they never have been and have made them the kin of their characters. Their style, characterization, language and imagination have always inspired their readers and have in fact turned many such readers into writers. 

Coming to Echoes,this was his second novel as I mentioned earlier. The Despised Souls was published when he was studying in class XI. Loosely inspired from ‘A tale of two cities’ by Charles Dickens, it was a novel set in the backdrop of French revolution. Echoes also follows the same pattern and is set in Nuremberg and Moscow at the time of World War II. Realising the fact that someone from Kerala is saying tales of people living in Germany and Russia at the time of World War II is quite mind blowing. He has never been to those places and the timeline in which the novel is set is something we know only from stories and other historical facts and fiction. 

Echoes is a tale of few people mixed with love, friendship,revenge and redemption in the backdrop of WWII. As said in the novel, in the 1940s the world was a place where even the gods wouldn’t dare to visit. Such was the turmoil of the war, which resulted from the quest of one man to relieve his motherland of its past humiliation. The novel starts with the description of Adolf Hitler, then a young man who badly wanted his country Germany to win the World War I. Sadly that didn’t happen and he strongly aspired to relieve his country of that humiliation. He rose through many struggles and was even jailed once for a coup. Through this the writer conveys that Hitler was not a superhuman and was an ordinary man for whom the laws of physics and axioms were not applicable. After many years of hard work, Hitler becomes the Chancellor and Fuhrer of Germany and begins his quest for revenge. 

Then we are taken to the city of Nuremberg in Germany in 1944. The characters of the novel are revealed in the most simplest of manners. The main characters are Adam, Adele, Alice, Mr. Martin, Mr. Schulz, Anton, Mr. Stein, Natalya, Nastasya and Alexei. Adam and Adele are children of Mr. Martin. Adam was in love with Alice, a friend of Adele. Their marriage looks set to happen, but a secret past of their father forces Adam to deny the marriage. To avenge this Alice marries Anton in a hurry and moves to Moscow. Sometime later Alice returns to Nuremberg and seeks help from Adele to help her husband who was in some sort of danger. Anton haven’t been too nice with Alice and spent more time with other women. Adele and Adam decides to help Alice and moves to Moscow. The later part of the story is set in Moscow where Natalya, an acquaintance of Alice, helps her. Natalya along with her cousins helps Alice, Adele and Adam to trace Anton. Anton was under the house arrest of Nastasya, a woman who had the habit of punishing men who were not loyal to their wives. In the meanwhile Adele develops an emotional attachment with Alexei, a cousin of Natalya. All of them strive to rescue Anton from Nastasya and in a dramatic turn of events, many secrets are revealed which includes the secret which was used to blackmail Mr. Martin in not allowing Adam to marry Alice and also the relation between Mr. Martin and Nastasya. In the backdrop, the war is shown to end with the suicide of Hitler and his wife and the surrender of Germany to the Allied powers. After a few months, Mr. Martin, Adam, Alice and Nastasya moves back to Nuremberg. And after sometime Natalya and her cousins move to Nuremberg to stay near the others. The novel ends in a happy note with Adele excited to begin a new tale in life with Alexei.

I finished the book in about seven hours and that tells volumes about the craft of the writer, being the awfully slow reader that I am. The presentation of the whole plot has a unique charm and that reflects in the characterization,language and setting of the novel. The way in which the emotional attachment between the characters are portrayed is one thing that gathered my attention. Whatever are those emotions, be it love, friendship or revenge, it is presented in a unique manner that the reader is forced to feel through the characters. The blossoming love between Adele and Alexei is shown not through words, but through the small actions in between the scenes, which tells us that one day, Adele and Alexei will fall for each other. Also the unlucky love story of Adam and Alice and the way in which they behave to each other in the second half is said in a convincing manner.

Friendship between the characters is another thing that has too be appreciated. The fact that Alice seeks the help of Adele even after a sad past has to be noted. The bond between Mr.Martin and Mr. Schulz, Alice and Natalya are also praiseworthy. Revenge also has an important role throughout the story. Mr. Stein avenging the death of his sister against Mr. Martin through his son is one thing that can happen in any household. Mr. Martin taking revenge against all men who are not loyal to their wives is also a case of revenge. We can also interpret that as a sign of redemption of Mr. Martin, who was the reason behind the death of Evelyn, though not purposefully. He wants to rectify that mistake he did long back through Natasya and Anton becoming a victim of that is one of the best aspects in the story.

The turmoils of World War II on people and the brief bio of Hitler are described aptly and this tells us about the reading and research the writer has done in setting the narrative. There are some beautiful dialogues that stays within the reader, few being, “I will relieve this country of its humiliation” by Hitler, “Happiness is fake,just a mask so that no one would know the burning soul inside” by Alice to Mr.Schulz and the thoughts of Adam that “Alice seemed to him like an angel who was sent down to Earth for his happiness alone”. The line that “Power makes men do things; it may be good or ghastly”, resonates throughout the novel. The fact that the whole plot is divided into 36 chapters of three to five pages will surely increase the readability of the novel in the future. The title Echoes is symbolic of the results that WW2 had on the world as well as the characters. At first, the amplitude of echoes is high and later it subsides to beautiful silence as the ending of the novel implies.

It is really a laudable effort from Devadas in presenting Echoes in a very interesting and convincing manner. To write two complete novels at 20 years of age is no mean achievement. It really needs a huge amount of hard work to present a story that is set in the 20th century and in a place too far away. K. Jayakumar Sir while releasing the book, said in a light way that, what is the reason for setting the novel in Europe that too in the 20th century, when you have lots of tales in Kerala to be written about. But as always, it is the writer who has to decide what he wants to write and fittingly, Devadas has presented his unconventional story in the best possible manner. 

Here is an interview of Devadas talking about Echoes and his inspirations and dreams.

 

So folks, here is a writer who deserves to be read. I am concluding by quoting the last line of the novel, “And thus there began a new tale which would be written, read and appreciated by time; which will always have something new and reasonable for all.“. Let these words resonate as Echoes throughout your life buddy.

AKASH

Advertisements

Conspiring Universe and Euphoria

When you think that something you wish is not going to happen and loses motivation, someone around you will have different plans in stock for you. Also watching something right in front of you and through a television have plethora of differences between them. To realize these facts, all I needed was a day with multiple change in fortunes and that beautiful day was November 7, 2017.

THE BACKSTORY

Almost 3 months back, the BCCI announced that India will be hosting New Zealand in a limited over series and Thiruvananthapuram will be the venue for the final match of the series. The Greenfield stadium at Karyavattom, which has gathered attention from all corners since its inception , was set to host the match. As one among the many passionate cricket fans in the city, I was overjoyed with the prospect of seeing your favourite players live in action and the long wait for the day began. When the online ticket sales commenced, people flocked in from all places and tickets sold out like hot cakes. I wasn’t even able to login to the site and hoped to get one through the Federal bank. After going to two branches and in spite of standing in the queue for quite sometime , I couldn’t get a ticket. I was really disappointed and cursed the stars. Still I continued the search for a ticket through the online platform and also asked many friends , but all my efforts went in vein and slowly realized that I may not be destined to watch the match. But few others had different plans.

CONSPIRING UNIVERSE

When you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” , said Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist. Though the quote appears to be tad too dramatic, at times it can be applied in the life of an individual. The quote took life and several factors conspired in helping me to get a ticket to watch the match.

Waking up yesterday, I was really sad that I would not be able to watch a match for which I have waited so eagerly for the past few months. In the morning, an acquaintance of mine called and enquired if I have a ticket for the match. I said no and he asked if I would like to have one. I replied positively and he promised me to arrange one. I was literally dancing in my mind and waited for his call. Around 11 am , he called and said that he dropped the idea because the tickets which originally costed 700 bucks went to around 3000 owing to the great demand outside. Disappointment for me again and I started cursing the stars once more. He called again at around 2 pm and said that he will get me a ticket. I started dancing in the mind again and went to the stadium around 3 pm. He arranged a ticket for me and even though it costed higher than the original amount , it didn’t matter to me. At that point of time, I would have probably been the happiest person in this world for sure. There I was , standing in the Greenfield stadium and waiting to see the stars in action.

GREENFIELD STADIUM & THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Thiruvananthapuram has hosted two international matches in the past. The first was an ODI match against Australia in 1984 , which was abandoned due to rain. The second was a match against the mighty West Indies in 1988, which India lost by 9 wickets. Both matches were played at the University stadium. After these matches, Thiruvananthapuram was isolated from the international cricket circuit for the next 29 years. Though Kochi successfully hosted more than 10 matches in this period, none came to the State’s capital. And to change this scenario, it required the emergence of a world class stadium in the form of Greenfield.

Greenfield International  Stadium, part of the Sports hub Trivandrum , is a multi purpose stadium which has got many specialities . It is India’s first DBOT(Design,build,operate and transfer) model outdoor stadium. It can be used for both cricket and football matches and can also host many indoor games. The stadium have a gymnasium and spa, a clubhouse with five star facilities, a tennis court, an Olympic size swimming pool, an open convention cum trade cum exhibition centre, retail outlets, food courts, club facilities and an open parking space for 2000 cars. The infrastructure facilities are top class and the 55000 capacity stadium was built at a cost of Rs.240 crores. All these factors contributed in Thiruvananthapuram being able to host an international match after nearly 30 years and also the first international T20 match in Kerala.

THE LONG WAIT

India won the first match at New Delhi and New Zealand the next at Rajkot and Thiruvananthapuram was set to host the decider. This made the expectations paramount and thousands rushed into the stadium hours before the start of the match. When I entered into the stadium at 03:30 pm, it was drizzling slightly and weather forecasts had predicted a rainy day. The pitch and the outfield was kept under covers all throughout the day , owing to the persisting rain in the city.

All the fans kept their fingers crossed and in spite of the rain, the atmosphere in the stadium was really awesome. More than 80% of the people were dressed in the jerseys of their favourite stars. Virats and Dhonis were seen maximum and a few number of Rohits and Hardiks were also there. Rain stopped at around 05:15 and ground staff started their work. Two super soppers were in action and all men were enthusiastically striving to make the match happen. The teams arrived at 05:30 and they were welcomed with loud cheers. When everything looked well, the rain gods showered again and covers were put again. Another long wait began on the stands. It was superb to see around 45000 people eagerly waiting for the match to happen.

There were loud ‘Dhoni…Dhoni’ and ‘Virat…Virat’ chants. But the best of all those were the ‘Sachin…Sachin’ chants that took many to the good old days when a 5’5” man inspired a generation and that gave me real goosebumps. Loud music was played in the stadium and the songs ranged from Shape of You to Jimikki kammal and most people danced to those. In the meanwhile , few Indian players including Virat Kohli played some football and fans welcomed it with loud cheers. Flashlights were dancing and Mexican waves were also in action. The match was scheduled to start at 07:00 pm. But rain persisted till 09 pm. The showers from heaven stopped then and ground staff again started their work. Covers were taken off and the match was set to start at 09:30. It was reduced to 8 overs a side. New Zealand won the toss and asked India to bat.

THE LIVE ACTION

Rohit Sharma and Shikar Dhawan walked in to bat. The towering Trent Boult with the ball and Rohit to face. Here I was , watching live action for the first time in my life and many in the crowd as well. India started slowly with just two boundaries in the first two overs. Then came Tim Southee and he scalped two wickets in two balls, Santner taking both catches and Indian openers walked back. Walking in was the poster boy of India these days , Virat Kohli. He set the tone for a good knock with a four and a six off Ish Sodhi , but was out in the same over trying for another six. Shreyas Iyer came and went in sudden and Manish Pandey and Hardik Pandya got some boundaries. Santner defied the laws of motion to cause the wicket of Pandey. When MS Dhoni came into bat , the crowd went to their maximum volume with ‘Dhoni…Dhoni’ chants. Sadly, he didn’t faced a ball and India set a target of 68 runs for New Zealand to chase.

It wasn’t a huge target, but the pitch was bowler-friendly and that ignited the hopes of an Indian win during the innings break. When Colin Munro hoisted Bhuvi for a six, the entire stadium went into full silence and was sensing danger. But to the delight of all, Bhuvi got Guptill bowled in the last ball of the over with a beautiful knuckle ball.

Then came the moment of the match for me. Bumrah bowled to Munro and the ball was in the air. Rohit Sharma, who was at mid-on misjudged the trajectory and started his run quite late and towards his back. He dived to his full and grabbed the ball superbly. Watching that live right in front of me is something that I will cherish for a long time.

Chahal bowled brilliantly and two wickets gone in the over of Kuldeep Yadav. There were some occasional boundaries and Hardik Pandya and Dhoni combined to produce a brilliant run out. Seeing that lighting work by MSD live was a perfect treat for all Dhoni fans. Bumrah bowled a good penultimate over and Hardik Pandya bowled the last over safely. And yes , India won by 6 runs in the end.

During the post match presentation, all were welcomed with great cheers and fittingly, all those who spoke praised the crowd and the ground staff. Thiruvananthapuram has successfully hosted an international match after 30 years. Greenfield was simply magnificent  and it is sure it will host many more matches in the coming years.

TAKE-ONS

Being someone who followed cricket since childhood, it was my dream to see live action and to all the surprise it happened quite unexpectedly, that too in my home. It was one hell of an experience. 45000 strangers, all turned into one family for few hours. In the perfect state of happiness, cheering for their heroes. Watching the ground staff doing their best was something to learn from and they are actually the ‘Men of the match’. I realized what perfect bliss is, when Rohit took that stunner, when MSD did the lightning wood work, when Bhuvi got Guptill out and many more moments as well. Not being able to see a six from Rohit and Dhoni batting are the only unfulfilled wishes. One major wish in my bucket list is done hence.

EUPHORIA

What November 7,2017 has taught me, is that, never lose your hope. If you really want something to happen, then as Paulo Coelho says, everyone around will do their bit in making that possible for you. The Universe will conspire and take you into a world of Euphoria. The best is yet to come for sure.

AKASH

5 years of Ayalum Njanum Thammil , a Souvenir in Malayalam Cinema

2012 was a milestone year for Malayalam cinema. Most of the box office hits were critically acclaimed too and sparked off a new era of independent film-making that could also be commercially successful. Ustad Hotel, Thattathin Marayathu, Diamond Necklace, 22 Female Kottayam, Ordinary, Spirit, My Boss, Ozhimuri etc. all brought laurels to their respective makers and took Malayalam cinema to a whole new level. And of all these movies of 2012, if you ask someone which was the best one of the year,  almost all will be having the same answer…’Ayalum Njanum Thammil‘. 

Ayalum Njanum Thammil (ANT from here onwards throughout the article) was meant to be a good movie right from the moment it was announced. Two reasons contributed to these high expectations.The first one being the fact that Lal Jose was having a great year with Diamond Necklace still fresh in people’s mind. Also he was teaming up with Prithviraj after a gap of 6 years. The last time this combo worked , they gave us the irreplaceable Classmates in 2006 and as a matter of fact the expectations where sky high. And when it was released , ANT did meet those sky high expectations.

ANT was all about Ravi Tharakan , how he transforms himself from an immature aimless medical student to a devoted morally appealing doctor and how he faces tough situations in life under the influence of his senior doctor. The various situations in his life are portrayed beautifully. Right from the opening sequence to the rolling out of the end credits, ANT had something in it that could hold the viewers to their seats.

The movie opens up with Dr.Tharakan going ahead with the surgery of a girl without the consent of her parents. The surgery fails and Tharakan has to flee for his life and in this process the film takes you through various scenes where the past of Tharakan is revealed. The important people in his life are shown and the movie navigates between the past and the present throughout. The short but crisp college scenes shows how carefree Tharakan was and his love affair with Sainu (Samvritha Sunil) is also shown. How he manages to earn the degree and his two year internship at a rural hospital in Idukki forms the next part. Here he learns new lessons from Dr.Samuel (Prathap Pothen) and Sainu is married to another man against her wishes by her parents. How he escapes from that shock and how one incident changes his all approach towards life forms the core of the plot. With an unexpected but appealing twist , Tharakan is acquitted of the girl’s death and he goes back to the hospital that made him the doctor he is today. 

ANT had many beautiful sequences that is surely among the best in Malayalam in the past decade. For the Malayali audience who had seen heroes emerging in slowmotion with scintillating bgms for years, here came the protagonist out of the dark, tired,sleepy and workaholic.. The initial confrontation of Prithviraj with Kalabhavan Mani, the scene where he is asked to treat a patient on his first day of duty , the ragging scene in the college etc. are all brilliant in the first half. ANT takes itself to a very different level in the second half. The scene in which Prithviraj denies to treat Kalabhavan Mani’s daughter , the interrogation scene where Prathap Pothen saves Prithviraj are all pure gems. But for many , the favourite shot of ANT will be the one where Prithviraj breaks up in front of the girl whom he denied to treat for sure. 

 

 Technically , ANT was top notch on most aspects. The script of Bobby-Sanjay was intense and gave us a vivid picture of the medical profession. The fact that the hospital in Munnar is named ‘Redemption‘ hospital, showing the redemption Ravi Tharakan goes through in the film, showcases their intense thinking. They gave some beautiful dialogues throughout the film, few being , “As a doctor, its not the treatment or the medicines you prescribe that matters, its the decisions you make” and” in this profession , even a small mistake is a big crime” and “this is the place where Dr.Ravi Tharkan was born”. With works like ANT, Traffic, Mumbai Police, How Old Are You and Nirnayakam behind them , we can look forward to more iconic scripts from the brothers in the future.

Lal Jose teamed up with his favourite Vidyasagar in both Spanish Masala and Diamond Necklace , his other releases of the year and all of a sudden he turned to veteran Ouseppachan for ANT. And that did wonders to the film. He gave one of the finest soundtracks of 2012. ‘Azhalinte Azhangalil’ has since been a favourite of all broken hearts. Nikhil Mathew, its voice is remembered only due to this song and to an extent ‘Enadhuyire’ from the Tamil movie Bheema. ‘Janvariyil’ has all ingredients for a campus song and ‘Thulli Manjinullil’ is like an anthem for the film. All major scenes have this song flowing slowly behind it.

Jomon.T.John‘s cinematography is fitting. He was able to capture Munnar with all its greenery and the dank hospital sequences also deserves a mention. The running time of 133 minutes was just perfect and kudos to Ranjan Abraham for that. Prathap Pothen made a brilliant comeback through ANT and 22 Female Kottayam in 2012. His combination scenes with Prithviraj are the best in the film. The whole casting was good and it should be noted that Surabhi Lakshmi who played the mother of the deceased child, walked away with the National award four years later in 2017.

Lal Jose has always been one of the best directors to come out at the turn of the century. One of the few directors you could bank upon for the film to be commercially and critically successful. He gave Malayalam many of its all time great ones like Meesa Madhavan, Classmates, Arabikkatha, Achanurangatha Veedu, Diamond Necklace and ANT is by far his best till date. How well he transformed the script and the way he used Prithviraj and the whole cast shows his prowess. And due to this very reason he got his first State award for the Best Director that year. It is a pity that the director who gave us such gems is the same one who made films like Pullipulikalum Aattinkuttiyum and Velipadinte Pusthakam in the next years.

At last to the main man of the film. Prithviraj did full justice to Dr.Ravi Tharakan. The three scenes where he breaks down, one when he reaches the registrar office after Sainu left and the one where he comes back after the interrogation and gives back the cheque to his father and the one where he meets Kalabhavan Mani’s daughter at the school just showed how brilliant the actor he is and it was no surprise that he walked away with his second State award for the Best Actor that year.His career can be divided into , one before ANT and one after ANT. Before this film, he was just concentrating on masala entertainers baring a very few. But after ANT, his script selection rose to a whole new level and that was the reason why he gave us some beautiful characters. Antony Moses of Mumbai Police, Sam Alex of Memories, JC.Daniel of Celluloid, Moideen of Ennu Ninte Moideen, Havildar Hareendran Nair of Picket 43 and Shantanu of Anarkali were all results of one Dr.Ravi Tharakan. And for this very reason Ravi Tharakan will remain the best ever character of Prithviraj till date. He has started his 100th film at 35 years and it is quite sure that he will be the major face of Malayalam Cinema in the coming years.

Malayalam cinema has always been among the best in India and it is a factor of pride for Malayalis that the whole country looks upto Kerala for intense scripts, brilliant acting and direction. It is here that films like ANT matters. Lal Jose,Prithviraj and Bobby-Sanjay had given Malayalam one of the best films of all time. Aspiring writers,film makers and actors will surely extract inspiration from Ayalum Njanum Thammil and watch this again and again to ignite themselves. That’s for sure after all.

AKASH

PS: The featured image in this post is taken from the Facebook page of Ayalum Njanum Thammil.

Malayalam Medias-Exasperating Farrago of Distortions, Misrepresentations & Outright lies

Few months back one tweet made by Shashi Tharoor went really viral. He used a combination of words which the Indians were not much familiar with , to refer to some allegations made against him by a celebrity media person and his channel. In Tharoor’s words ,”Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies being broadcast by an unprincipled showman masquerading as a journalist”. Once the tweet was posted, the whole social media started discussing what it really meant. This was meant for someone who according to Tharoor, in simple words is a showman with no principles who is disguising himself as a journalist and is broadcasting an irritating mixture of outright lies, misinterpretations and incorrect representation of truth. Though Tharoor said this with just one man in mind , at present it applies to a wider context – the  Malayalam Medias.

Malayalam medias are absolutely mind blogging. Yeah , I mean it. They know how to convert each and every tidbits into sensational news items. For the past one month, the whole print and electronic medias have been flooded with just one news-the involvement of actor Dileep in the abduction of another actress referred famously by the medias as ‘പ്രമുഖനടി / ഇര’ . Yes, the whole of Kerala is eagerly waiting to know what really happened , but the medias seem to have a serious liking for this issue. They are getting stories and evidences which even the investigating police officers aren’t aware of. Most of the current happenings in Kerala is being linked to this issue. All the news hours, discussions and debates are linked around Dileep and his past and present activities. They seem to be really curious about the actor and are using their creativity skills to the best. When the whole of Kerala is having one of the worst ever fever outbreaks , these medias are not giving much attention to it and are rather interested in knowing about some other much sought after things. What Dileep ate for breakfast,lunch and dinner? In which cell he is in the jail? Are mosquitoes disturbing him in his sleep? Why he didn’t watch the film ‘The Great Father’ in Jail? What pooja did the prime accused Pulsar Suni’s family perform? Some even went to the creativity limit by saying that Brazil and Barcelona footballer Neymar is supporting Dileep. And many other things like these. And the people reading and watching these will be in a dilemma thinking who has gone mad , whether we ourselves or the entire Malayalam medias? For sound mind children of the God’s own country the answer for this question will always be the latter.

Medias or Press are often referred to as the Fourth Estate. The fourth estate refers to the watchdog role of the press, one that is important in a functioning democracy. Describing journalists and the news outlets for which they work as members of the fourth estate is an acknowledgment of their influence and status among the greatest powers of a nation, as the author William Safire once wrote. Medias have always been the voice of the common man in India since time immemorial. They are so influential in the political system of the country, that they use the Freedom of the press to the best. Medias have been one of the prime reasons behind most of the laws, judicial announcements and policies of the Government in the past and still is a voice of the commoners. But in this 21st century things have changed drastically. Whether the modern medias are using the concept of Freedom of the Press and Journalistic Objectivity in the right sense is a matter for debate.

Kerala has always been one of the better developed states in the country. This state has achieved improvements in material conditions of living, reflected in indicators of social development, comparable to those of many developed countries. Achievements such as low levels of infant mortality and population growth, and high levels of literacy and life expectancy in Kerala have been a role model for many other states. We are one of the few states where political awareness among the common people including children is quite high. If you look at the history of Kerala , it shows a trend of an alternating elected Right wing and Left wing government, which resulted in an increase in public welfare activities, much to the benefit of the common man. Taking into account all these factors , famous anthropologist Bill McKibben once said ,”Though Kerala is mostly a land of paddy-covered plains, statistically Kerala stands out as the Mount Everest of social development; there’s truly no place like it”. And we Keralites are always proud of this fact. But in this socially developed God’s own Country , the media activities taking place over the past few years is a matter of serious concern.

These days , our medias always tends to go behind one prime news at a time. What drives the production of news content today versus what used to drive it has changed. Journalists are more interested in a profit model than a public welfare model now a days. They are more interested in reporting stories that shoots up their ratings. And many people who are absolutely innocent are forced into these news cyclones to get more coverage and ratings. At present , the Malayalam medias are happily going after the Dileep issue. An year back at the same time one news rocked the entire Kerala, the Solar case and Saritha was a name which was as popular as Mammootty and Mohanlal in those days. As they are going after Dileep now , they were after Saritha then. What she said , where she went , how many Cds she had , how many politicians where connected to her etc. where the hot topics then. When the period of the UDF government ended, that issue had gone under covers and no one really cared about it after that. Same has been the case with the Bar bribery case involving K.M.Mani , the Sunanda Pushkar case, the SNC- Lavalin case and all. Medias seem to have forgotten all those issues now. Many rape cases like the Jisha case, the Sowmya case and the suicide of Jishnu Pranoy have also vanished under covers. The journalistic hooliganism in Kerala has reached such a bad extent that a new channel for it’s launch framed a fake ‘phone-sex’ saga that led to the resignation of Transport Minister  A.K.Saseendran , forcing him into a honey-trap.

What really is the objective of most of the medias in Kerala is something that even the journalists aren’t sure off. They are going behind one tide at a time , grabbing everything possible about it to feed the public , making cooked up stories that even the Police and the Judiciary are misguided due to those. After some time , they get a new tide and starts racing behind it forgetting the old one. We have about a dozen news channels now and they are in competition among themselves to get more ratings. The race between them are so worse that most often they frame their own stories and have absolutely no shame in bluffing about that. The 9 pm discussions in most of the channels reminds us of a war taking place between the speakers and the anchor acting as a saint. There is a scene in the movie ‘Oru Indian Pranayakadha’ , where Innocent rightly explains about these channel discussions to Fahadh Fasil. This is the present situation in Kerala right now. Speakers who know nothing about the topic coming and making the viewers a fool.

 

Though our channels have gone mad, we the people must be always thoughtful about what to watch and what to omit. We must refrain from showing these discussions to our children , that it may shape a wrong idea about the news for them. And still if you can’t resist watching Malyalam news, then there is the grand old Doordarshan channel, the only one being honest to the concept of freedom of the press and Journalistic objectivity in Kerala. Whatever is our views and opinions , these channels will always travel ahead of time in finding new Dileeps, Sarithas,Manis etc. in the future for sure.

Kerala is a state which has produced many eminent journalists like V.K.Madhavankutty, Thomas Jacob, K.M.Roy, Sunnykutty Abraham, Sashi Kumar, K.M.Cheriyan, T.N.Gopakumar, Chelangatt Gopalakrishnan, T.Venugopalan etc. It is a pity that in a state like Kerala , Journalism with no fairness and full of partisanship is happening in this modern age. The present state of journalism in Kerala is obviously what Shashi Tharoor referred to ,”Exasperating farrago of distortions, misrepresentations & outright lies”. Let’s hope that in the coming years this terrible condition will be changed by an emerging crop of journalists who will always be obliged to fair journalism , something that is very essential for the development of the God’s Own Country. Or else we will have to forget this sweet description given to our Kerala.

AKASH

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

This world is full of people who go with the tide , who follows the normal system and live their life according to that. There is a common system followed in India. Kids go to schools , mugs up all the wanted and unwanted things and gets admission to a college. The mugging up thing continues there as well and they emerge out as graduates. Some people go for higher education and some others start working for several firms. After few years they marries, settle down thinking that doing their part in increasing the profit of a multinational company or being the pet of their boss is all that they were made for and they live out their life. Not many have the guts to think out of the box , do something innovative and change the life of others. Only a few people choose the road not taken and try to influence the life of other fellow humans. Here I am looking at the inspiring tales of some Indians who chose to go against the tide and made India proud.

1. Anand Kumar and Super 30

Super-30-classes

The story of Anand Kumar is something that all Indians must know about. A man born and brought up in Patna, Bihar. He wasn’t rich and studied in a Hindi medium school where he found his deep interest in Mathematics. He had secured a place at the Cambridge University but because of his financial condition, he could not take admission. To support the family, his mother had started selling papads and he used to assist her in the evenings. Just to read foreign journals, he used to travel to Varanasi on Fridays and study in the Central Library, BHU and return to Patna on Monday mornings. He started his own institute, the Ramanujan School of Mathematics in 1992. In three years, the crowd of students grew from two students to 500. 

It is said that in 2002 , a poor student who wanted to take coaching for IIT-JEE came to him but had no money to pay. That was the life changing moment for him. It was then the idea for Super 30 came to him. Every year, his institute, the Ramanujan School of Mathematics conducts a test to select top 30 students from economically backward sections. He tutors them, and provides study materials and lodging for a year, everything for free. His mother cooks for the students and his brother take care of the management.

During this 15 year period from 2002 to 2017 , 391 students out of 450 have made it to the IITs. Anand Kumar has no financial support for Super 30 from any government as well as private agencies, and manages on the tuition fee he earns from the Ramanujan Institute. He doesn’t accept donations for the programme because he always want to sustain Super 30 through his own efforts. His team creates the fund by organizing evening classes for school students in Patna. In 2009, Discovery Channel had featured a programme on Super 30. The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine has also written about Anand Kumar. He has also been invited to talk at IIM Ahmedabad, University of British Columbia, Tokyo University, Stanford University and several IITs. It is also said that he had helped Amitabh Bachchan in preparing for his role in the critically acclaimed movie Aarakshan. A bollywood film is in the making about Super 30 with Hrithik Roshan as Anand Kumar. 

Anand Kumar could have been a successful mathematician and could have made his life more prosperous , but he chose to impart his knowledge to poor kids and made them qualify and get through one of the toughest exams in the world. Changing the lives of more than 400 students is no small achievement and Anand Kumar deserves much credit for this.

The TED Talk by Anand Kumar is one that will inspire many.

 

 

 

2. Roman Saini and Unacademy

roman saini

The case of Roman Saini is another curious one. Born and brought up in Jaipur , he got admission to the All India Institute for Medical Sciences , New Delhi at the age of 16. He went on to become a Junior resident doctor at AIIMS and in 2013, at the age of 22, he cleared the Civil Services Examination in his first attempt by securing an All India Rank of 18 and became one of the youngest IAS officers in India.After training he was enrolled as the Assistant Collector in Jabalpur district in Madhya Pradesh. Saini resigned from his post in 2015 and with three of his friends , started Unacademy , an online education platform which provides free learning opportunity to the students of all streams and particularly to the aspirants who are preparing for the competitive exams.

He was inspired in the venture by co-founder Gaurav Munjal, who approached Saini with the idea when he was in the second year of the MBBS programme at AIIMS. Munjal, astonishingly for a product of the online age, has stepped down as CEO of his Bengaluru start-up, and put the proceeds from the sale of his company at the disposal of Unacademy.

He uploads lectures on his Unacademy platform on YouTube for those aspiring to become doctors, civil servants, computer programmers, even experts in foreign languages. Ten followers have cleared the civil services exams and more than 1.1 crore have viewed the videos, while Unacademy has more than 4,00,000 Facebook likes. The Youtube channel has more than 2000 videos and 7,39,000 subscribers.

“My focus is on making quality education accessible,” says Saini, “and I think the offline mode is not the way to achieve it.” He reckons that there is a massive need for technological intervention due to lack of infrastructure and human resources to meet the demand of millions. “That is why I decided to pursue full time the concept of Unacademy,” he reasons. “I have a lot of respect for the civil services, but I think education is what will drive the nation and that is why I finally decided to work in this sector” , Saini says.

Roman Saini could have gone on to be a successful doctor or could have had a bright future in administration and a crack at the top bureaucrat’s post in three decades’ time. But he chose to help students get past the various academic hurdles that stand in the way of youthful ambitions. Many more will surely benefit from Unacademy in the coming years and Roman Saini will surely shape the careers of several youths.

Roman Saini gives an insight into cracking tough exams here in his TED Talk.

 

3. Gloria Benny and Make a Difference (MAD)

gb

Gloria Benny was raised in Dammam, Saudi Arabia and has a Bachelors degree in Commerce and was doing advertising operations for Google India in Hyderabad for five years before she left it to start an NGO called Make a Difference (MAD) with her friends. Make A Difference (MAD) is a non-profit organisation, working to ensure better outcomes for children in orphanages and shelters across India. Make a Difference works with nearly 5000 children in 77 shelter homes across 23 cities in India, delivering impact through a Fellow-managed volunteering model of 4000 young leaders.  Make A Difference is also the only non-profitable organisation to rank in India’s Top 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015 by the Great Place to Work Institute.

“Being exposed to children living in shelter homes was the turning point. It was evident that many shelter homes were struggling to run effectively due to lack of resources, lack of information and systems; and as a result many children who lived in such homes had a slim chance of achieving positive adult outcomes. The social injustice meted out to such children and the belief that if more people dedicated time and effort to finding a solution to this problem, we had an actual shot at solving it; made it an obvious path for me,” says Gloria. “MAD worked out because of a bunch of volunteers who went against all odds to teach and empower the underprivileged kids. Sujith Varkey, Aditya Surneni, Mekha and I started out with nothing — not even a well-crafted plan. I guess it was purely our persistence that paid off. While the whole idea was indeed an eye opener as it helped us realise what taking a few hours off to help someone could do,” adds Gloria.

“Hailing from a middle-class family, where financial stability and certainty trumped most other needs, this move did not go down well. I must admit I wasn’t without doubt either. However uncertain I was, I knew with certainty that I was passionate about making a dent in the problem of vulnerable children, and I could see myself work at it for the rest of my life. Nothing else could. Hence, I took the plunge.”, she says. Ever since then, Gloria, along with the rest of the team, has been able to deepen MAD’s work in a big way. They learnt that systems are integral to growth, an element that Gloria feels that many NGOs seem to miss. “Establishing a clear process became a huge part of what we did and that helped us expand even further.” Today, MAD has established itself in 23 cities across the country with a strong volunteer base. They continue to make a positive impact on children across the nation by enabling institutions and empowering the child through all the resources they possess. They currently have over 3000 volunteer teachers involved in making a difference. “I think that’s been our biggest achievement. We’ve been able to mobilise so many people into playing a role in helping these children and that’s what really counts.” she says.

After her stint at MAD, Benny has now started her second organisation, Guardians of Dreams, to improve the way childcare practices are carried out across shelter homes. “The truth is I did not intend to do anything different at an early age. I only wanted to be dedicated to whatever I took up. It was an early experience of interacting with children in shelter homes that made me realise what it was I wanted to dedicate my time and effort to. I love working with children but for the longest time I didn’t see it as a profession, I would pursue. Starting up my second organisation at 30 has been a privilege. Even the bad days have only brought me closer to what I’ve always wanted. You have the wisdom of doing many of these things while running your first organisation, at the same time, you’re young enough to still take risks and put out ambitious plans. The response has been great. The development sector is evolving quickly and with many renowned people entering the space, it’s becoming more innovative and ambitious. It’s an exciting time to be starting up again,” .

With what they have done over the years, Gloria Benny and her team has set a positive benchmark which is extraordinary and one which will urge many more to take that path in the future.

In her TED talk, Gloria explains about the problems faced by under privileged children in India and her beautiful solution for that.

 

 

4. Sanjay Mucharla and Project Khel

sanjay mucharla

A Stats, Maths and Computer Science major, Sanjay started working at Google as an analyst until Facebook lapped him up in their Hyderabad office. Soon after, Sanjay moved to the USA to work at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California, as a Marketing Analyst. He almost had a perfect life. He was working for the world’s best company , was living in one of the world’s best cities and was earning highly. But Sanjay wasn’t satisfied with all these and had other plans.

Sanjay wanted to work on something that was more meaningful to him, and also at the same time had a direct impact on the society. He had a passion for sports from childhood and he wanted to use that passion for a good cause. “I regularly played volleyball and hockey in school, and also represented the Hyderabad team in Under 19 tournaments. I was in no way the best player, or the best athlete in the teams that I was a part of, but sports have a very special place in my heart. Sports has been the best teacher I’ve ever met. I’ve learnt some of the best life lessons from sports about attitude, team work, and leadership which will stick with me for life”, he says. He came across ProjectKHEL, an NGO that was using sports, games, and other interactive methods to transform the lives of children.  Without a second thought, Sanjay bid his coveted job at Facebook goodbye and moved back to India and to Lucknow to join the ProjectKHEL team. ProjectKHEL uses play and interactive methods to transform adolescents into positive agents of change within their communities. One of the main programmes at ProjectKHEL that Sanjay is actively involved is called ‘Made in Maidan’ where sports are used as a medium to impart life skills education to underprivileged children.

“I couldn’t have been happier with where I am right now, working on things I’m passionate about. Personally, although this job is more exhausting than my corporate job, the kind of satisfaction I have been getting is immeasurable. I go to bed with a sense of pride about the work I have done, and also wake up the next morning with double the enthusiasm to do more!”, Sanjay says.

The story of Sanjay inspires us to live for our passion and find ways to transform our passion into something which will be useful for the society.

5. Aravinda, Ravi and Swades

swades1

Swades released in 2004 starring Shah Rukh Khan and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker has achieved a cult status in India. Swades is inspired by the story of Aravinda Pillalamarri and Ravi Kuchimanchi, the NRI couple who returned to India to change the lives of others.

Ravi Kuchimanchi was an IIT graduate and was working in the US. He was deeply interested in grassroots development in India. He founded the AID (Association for Indian Development) back in 1991 while working for his PhD in Physics at the University of Maryland, USA. AID is a secular charity organisation based in the United States that works towards promoting “sustainable, equitable and just development”. Over the years, AID, with the work they have carried out in India, has won a number of accolades including the ‘Global Impact Award’ by Times of India. Currently, AID has more than 36 chapters with over a 1000 volunteers spread across the globe. 

Aravinda Pillalamari was brought up in the U.S, and has been working with AID since 1995. It is reported that it was at AID that Ravi and Aravinda met, and started working together towards a better India. She has been working on a number of projects with the organisation since, including advocating a model of participatory development where social justice was looked at as the heart of any developmental work. Upon the completion of her Master’s degree in South Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Ravi and Arvinda moved to India to work full-time on several AID projects.

The couple came to India in 1998. They went to Bilgaon in Maharashtra. Bilgaon is a remote town in Maharashtra located on Udai, a tributary of river Narmada. Scattered across a four kilometre radius, it is a little town with 180 tribal families. For 55 years after Independence, Bilgaon had not seen electricity. What Aravinda and Ravi did notice was a 9-metre high waterfall of sorts which could very well have been utilised to generate electricity. The Bilgaon Project started in May 2002. It took some time, but eventually, by January 2003, they had done it. Thanks to a tiny 15KW generator, The Bilgaon Project provided electricity to each and every home in the village. They were also successful in building an ‘ashramshala’, a boarding school that provided shelter and necessary education to approximately 300-odd children from Bilgaon and surrounding villages.  It was absolutely outstanding to be able to create a sustainable form of energy for a generation of people who didn’t even know what electricity was.

They didn’t stop with Bilgaon and continued their work in other fields. In one such initiative, they popularized a traditional method of keeping food warm by using hayboxes. It is called the ‘Easy Cooker’ which is made and sold in South Indian villages specifically. Ravi and Aravinda have also been actively participating in the field of sustainable agriculture and organic farming, which they say is a cheaper option for peasants. In another initiative, they started a Kitchen Garden Programme for land less families in 50 Indian villages. The AID encouraged these families to use the space around their houses to grow vegetables.

The tale of Aravinda and Ravi is one for all couples to draw inspiration from. They had no interests in their personal benefits and rather wanted to cause positive changes in the society through their work. India really need more such couples.

 

robert frost

All these stories just say one thing , that if you are ready to deviate from the common way of life, have something in you to influence the life of others and are passionate enough , then this world is wide open for you. You will be examples and role models for many to follow. Your ideas will change the careers of many people and will inspire many to follow their passion. We need people who dares to go against the tide for the betterment of others. India really need many more Anand Kumars, Roman Sainis, Gloria Bennys, Sanjay Mucharlas and Swades couples. Let’s hope that we will have a plenty in the future.

Akash

Guppy- A Worthy late watch

guppy

Few days back the Kerala state film awards were announced. I was going through it and found that the award for the best child actor was for some Chetan Jayalal for the film Guppy. That’s when I recollected that Guppy was one among the 2016 films that I had on my bucket list. I had heard many friends talking highly about it, that the film deserved a better audience and box office and hence decided to give it a shot yesterday.

Frankly enough, this film mesmerized me. A film so simple in its plot and making. A tale about ‘Guppy’, a poor boy who fights against destiny. His life revolves around his mother who is paralyzed. He has a few friends and several other well wishers who helps him a lot to make ends meet. He makes a living by cultivating and selling guppy fishes, which are a good counter for mosquitoes. His only dream is to get his mother an automatic wheel-chair. He works in a shop,paints part-time and does other small chores for getting money to fulfill his dream. He is the leader of a gang and is loved by all people in the village. Life goes smoothly for him until things take an unexpected turn with the arrival of Tejus Varkey, an engineer to build a railway crossing bridge there. Small feuds starts taking place between Guppy and the engineer and soon turn out to be the major plot of the film. Also a railway gate keeper develops enmity over Tejus, which is revealed only in the final minutes of the film. How he fights against Guppy through different situations forms the second half of the film. Finally all the rivalries are resolved and it seems out to be a happy ending. But just when Guppy’s dream of an automatic wheel chair for his mother was going to happen, she dies. Guppy becomes an orphan and it is also revealed that Tejus has a tragic family background and he too is an orphan. In the final shot of the film, Tejus is seen riding over the Himalayas, with Guppy for company.

This is a film which scores heavily on many aspects. Casting of the film has been absolutely brilliant. Chetan Jayalal who plays Guppy has just lived on the screen. He melts us down with his innocent portrayal of guppy. He delivers all the emotional scenes superbly. He has all the naughtiness of a boy, loves his mother very much and is a simple village boy who struggles to make ends meet. The one scene in which he is seen disappointed after his fish tank was destroyed by Tejus is just out of words and that is probably the best shot of the film. Chetan also bagged the State award for the best child artiste for the film. He has many a miles to go ahead, surely.

Tovino Thomas made Tejus Varkey a memorable character. He was amazing for a role which was well above his age. He made all the feuds between him and Guppy interesting. With Guppy, Ennu Ninte Moideen and Oru Mexican Aparatha he is really proving that he is among the ones to watch out in the coming years. All the supporting cast also did honesty to the roles given to them. Sreenivasan , in a prominent role after quite some time is flawless as ever. The scene between Tovino and him in the final half is sure to remain in the minds of viewers for quite a long time. Rohini, Alancier Lopez, Sudheer Karamana were also good. Also Poojappura Ravi was seen in the screen after many years.

The full credit of the film goes to director Johnpaul George. Despite Guppy being his debut work, after seeing it none will think that it was done by a debutant. Such was the excellence with which he presented the story, a plot which is very simple in first look, but has got much deeper notions. The beautiful shores, the fishes all around, the innocent people of the place are all depicted nicely. One interesting take I saw in the film was the final shot of the film. Tovino is seen riding in his bike in the Himalayas. All the viewers would be curious to know what had happened to Guppy. And in the final shot , Guppy is shown sitting behind Tovino in the bike. The power of that scene is well above our words. Full credits to Johnpaul for that.

All the scenes, be it the shores, the fishes, the people or the mountains, all seems extremely beautiful, thanks to the superb camera of Girish Gangadharan. He is one to watch out with Angamaly Diaries his latest work, getting famed for its climax scene taken in one shot.

Music buffs will remember the name Vishnu Vijay from this film onwards for sure. His background score for the film was epic which also got him the state award for the best bgm. All the tunes seems perfect for the scenes. Also the soundtrack was well received by the audience with ‘Thaniye’ becoming a favourite for many, with its soothing transition from low to high pitch. Sooraj Santhosh got the state award for the best male playback singer for Thaniye.

Guppy deserved to be a blockbuster, but that didn’t happen probably due to less promotions.The Dvd of the film was well received. This is one film which none should miss, a story new in its theme and presentation and which is sure to remain within the viewers for many years. Truly Guppy is a souvenir in Malayalam cinema.

India@500-How Cricket transformed to a National obsession!

srt

                       History beckons when Virat Kohli and his men steps out to face New Zealand in Kanpur this 22nd.India will be playing it’s 500th test match.A journey of 84 years through many moments enough to inspire any budding cricketers.Cricket has really transformed from being just a leisure sport to a national obsession, something which can unite the entire country. 

When the British men went from India in 1947, one thing which they left here was Cricket, something they had introduced years before as a leisure sport.If we take a look at India’s cricket history, its filled with many iconic achievements starting from 1932 to 2016.India announced its arrival in international cricket in 1932 against England. C.K.Nayudu was our captain then.Initial years were full of defeats to countries like England,Australia,South Africa and West Indies.Slowly the trend started changing and by the 1950s India was a formidable opponent in home conditions.Our first test victory came in 1952 at Madras beating England.Main players of those times included CK Nayudu, Lala Amarnath,our first centurion in tests, Vinoo Mankad, one who has batted at all positions from 1 to 11,Vijay Manjrekar,Bapu Nadkarni,Chandu Borde and many others.

The 1960s marked a new era in Indian cricket with many great players emerging.India started solving out the jinx of away conditions and were a formidable opponents in away conditions.In 1968 we won our first away test against New Zealand, under the leadership of the charismatic Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi. That victory was a revelation and started creating a belief that we were not minnows in away conditions.India’s first away series win came in 1971 against the formidable West Indies of fiery pacemen and brilliant batsmen.That series saw the emergence of a legend in the making, Sunil Gavaskar. That series victory was followed by success in England and Australia.Many great players represented India then.Great captains in Pataudi,Ajit Wadekar, the famous spin quartet of Bedi,Chandrasekhar,Venketaraghavan and E.Prasanna, brilliant batsmen like Gavaskar,Gundappa Vishwanath and many others.

                    ODIs emerged in 1975 and that made matches more exciting and aggresisve. That reflected onto test cricket as well.India won the world cup in 1983 under Kapil Dev against all odds against the mighty West Indies.That was a huge surprise for the whole cricketing world.That 19836 team had stalwarts like Kapil Dev,Sunil Gavaskar,Sandeep Patil,Mohinder Amarnath,Madan Lal,Dilip Vengsarkar,Ravi Shastri etc.The 1983 win announced to the world that India are a formidable force in all forms of cricket.The tied test match against Australia in 1986 was also a milestone in India’s test history.

Indian cricket history can be divided into two-before and after the arrival of Sachin Tendulkar. The maestro from Mumbai made his debut in 1989 against Pakistan.And since then there was no looking back for Indian cricket.Players started emerging from small cities and we had so many series victories in home as well as away conditions.The 1990s marked a generation change with a new bunch of players in Sachin Tendulkar,Anil Kumble in 1990,Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly in 1996 and VVS Laxman.India started creating and rewriting new records in tests and one dayers. Anil Kumble scripted history by becoming the second player to take 10 wickets in an innings against Pakistan in 1999 at New Delhi.

                    India saw its best ever series in 2001.Australia came to India and what we saw afterwards was history being created.From the position of losing a match at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Laxman and Dravid batted the whole fourth day to save the match and eventually India won the match thanks to the heroics of a 20 year old Harbhajan Singh, that included a first ever hatric by an Indian bowler.That match rewrote many record and remains India’s best ever test match.

Virender Sehwag’s two triple tons and Irfan Pathan’s first over hatric against Pakistan are also some milestones in India’s test history.Under the leadership of Saurav Ganguly,Anil Kumble and MS Dhoni,India has won test matches in all countries.Some great victories include the 2008 Perth win over Australia after the monkeygate scandal,first ever test win in South Africa thanks to S.Sreeshanth. In the process India also climbed to number one in the test rankings.The years from 2008 to 2013 saw the retirement of the fab five-Ganguly,Kumble,Dravid,Laxman and Sachin in the chronological order.That caused a slump in India’s performances causing whitewashes in England and Australia.

The current Indian test team is in its initial stage under the leadership of Virat Kohli,another legend in the making.This team has the potential to be world winners with many talented players like Virat,Ajinkya Rahane,Rohit Sharma,R Ashwin,Mohammed Shami and many others.Lets hope that this young team will be able to script new records and histories like how their seniors had done before.

mi          Pic Courtesy-Mumbai Indians

Cricket is really an emotion for 1.3 billion Indians.One thing which could bring the whole country under one roof.Parents now ask their children to take cricket as a profession, thanks to the success of T20s and IPL. Cricket will surely undergo many transformations in the coming years like the pink ball day-night test matches.Whatever happens, test cricket will always remain the prime and best form of cricket.And let’s hope that the coming years will see Indian cricket at its very best,something which had inspired many people and is sure to inspire many more in the future.