Monday, December 17, 2007

fir chhidee raat baat fulon kee

I have always felt that Khayyam's music sort of pinches my heart like no other music. Only some ilayaraja songs do that to me, but most of Khayyam's songs do it. Recently I have been continuosly listening to the song Phir Chiri Raat baat poolonki. I really like the flowers on the hair of women. To me it is not something that is symbol of some status. To me it is very etheral. I like smells of things and people and flowers.

I stay in a place where i can't get jasmine to be handed over to my wife. What a pity? Till then

फिर छिड़ी रात बात फूलों की
रात हैं या बरात फूलों की

फूल के हार, फूल के गजरे
शाम फूलों की, रात फूलों की

आप का साथ साथ फूलों का
आप की बात बात फूलों की

फूल खिलते रहेंगे दुनिया मी
रोज निकलेगी, बात फूलों की

नज़ारे मिलाती है, जाम मिलते है
मिल रही है, हयात फूलों की

ये महकती हुयी गजल मखदुम
जैसे सेहरा मी, रात फूलों की

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Roger Federer and discipline

Yesterday I saw one of the most over-hyped tennis match between John Isner and the player I admire the most, on par with Ivan Lendl, Roger Federer. This guy Isner comes with his 6'9" size and the only thing he does is serve. What irritated me the most is in his post match press conference he says, after the first set Federer lifted his game. Excuse me. I felt very insulted. Isner didn't even attempt a few shots yesterday, with a sense of arrogance, at least in my opinion, and after he got the first set in tie break he had the audacity to comment that Federer lifted his game.

The thing i admire the most about Roger is the kind of goals he seem to set during the course of the match. Imagine in the kind of situation that he was yesterday, he decided not to make any errors (unforced errors) and he precisely did that for the 2nd and 3rd set. I can write many posts on just his discipline. I was really pained to watch him play Rafa at French Open this year because he was making all kinds errors on his fore hand. Anyway, another of his amazing quality is his ability to move on.

I really want to meet him and sit down and talk to him.

I just love this guy and of course his tennis.

Anant Srinivasan

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Pleasure of finding things out

I happened to chance upon this classic Feynman documentary made by BBC in 1981. It is a five part program. I am providing link to each of them below.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Anant Srinivasan

Sachin Tendulkar

I think Sachin just played his last test innings at Lord's cricket ground. It is a sad thing that he might retire without having scored a century on this ground. Not that people who have scored a century here have all been greats. It is something that adds to your resume, so to speak.

I think he might also retire without ever having won a cricket world cup. I really feel sad for him.

At the same time, I feel that he should retire sooner. Today he should have stayed. Both the innings he was lbw. I didn't see the match, I wonder whether he tried playing across the line.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

ghuffa huffe

It was sometime in '83 or '84 during which period i was in 5th or 6th standard. The movie had been released in Apsara theater in Vellore. Ravi and Ram had seen the movie. Reji Paul had seen it twice (his father is a trained Karate expert). Santhu of course had seen the movie, as did so many others. In school I couldn't participate in any discussions of how great the training was and how we all could become defenders.

Finally appa let me and my brothers to go and watch the movie. There was a huge rush for the movie. And finally I too had seen it. I remember practicing the water carrying training, with out the knife, of course. It was really painful to keep the fingers bent at their tip like they do in these kung-fu movies. The sounds of 'ghuffa huffe' used to fill the house. It was supposedly practice.

This past weekend, I purchased my first DVD in life, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. Gordon Liu who plays San Ta in this movie was Pai Mei in Kill Bill. I learnt that QT is a big fan of Gordon Liu and he wanted him badly in the Kill Bill movies. I am a big fan of Quentin Tarantino.

I also came to know another link between myself and the 36th. One of producers Run Run Shaw, of the Shaw Brothers, sponsors a lecture series at Stony Brook University where I did my Ph.D.

This DVD is going to be one of my prized possessions.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Listless Federer

It was really sad watching Federer play against Nadal today at the French Open. Today's match resembled the matches between Venus Williams and Serena Williams. I felt that the fans deserved a match at the least.

Imagine more than two-thirds of Federer's unforced error were fore-hand errors. That sort of sums up his game today. He rarely lobbed the ball. You can't keep Nadal on the baseline. Atleast not in his living room, Phillippe Chatrier, that is.

To be fair to Federer, Nadal really didn't win the match today. It was given to him on a platter by Roger. As a fan of Roger it was really sad to watch him play this way.

Anant Srinivasan

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

One-day Cricket: Part 1

Recently I made a comment on a post on Australian success at the World Cup by Amit Varma in his India Uncut blog about how much I dislike the way they have changed the way the game is played. It is definetly not sour grapes. One thing I really like about Aussies is their grit. They play as a team, as any team game should be played. Last I heard that cricket is a team game. But I still can't watch the bluedgeoning work carried out by their batsmen or for that matter by Greame Smith or Jaques Kallis. Setting this aspect aside, which is very much subjective, I decided to look deeper into the statistics.

The recent debacle of Indian cricket team at the ICC Cricket Worldcup(WC) prompted me to dig deep into the performance of the team over the years and I have been trying to put together my analysis, if you can call it one. This is Part 1 of this exercise.

First, I would like to acknowledge the enormous amount of data available at Cricinfo websites' statsguru feature, from where I got all the data for this analysis presented below. While trying to analyze the record for India, I thought it would be good to have comparative data of two other teams, one of which has shown consistency and the other that has shown amazing improvement, for which I chose Australia and Sri Lanka, respectively. All of this is also confined to only one-day cricket.

Even though Cricket WC is the ultimate prize, finally it is one tournament. In the following analysis, I have only concentrated on non-WC matches in the period between world cups. For example, in the charts below 1983 means the matches played between the day after the finals of the 1979 WC and the day before 1983 WC, both days included.

First a general chart, for the teams (here I have included only 8 teams) between 2003 WC and 2007 WC. From this chart, it is not a surprise that the four teams that went to semi-final stage, were well on course over these 4 years.

Chart 1: Winning % for all matches played between March 24, 2003 and March 12, 2007

Let us begin with the 3 teams mentioned above. Let see the change in winning % for these 3 teams from pre-1975 WC. Actually there is no data for SL prior to 1979 as they played only in WC in those days. Post 83 is the period during which India has shown improvement, which is largely stagnant ever since, except 96 when it went to 60%. I still believe that was the best shot India had in all these post 83 years to win the cup again. Over the years, India has always hovered around the 50% winning % whereas Australia and SL have shown continuous improvement. There are dips in Australian performance too, especially during the period of pre-1979-1987, when lot of issue were affecting australian cricket. Packer series, the retirement of Chappell, Lillee, Marsh and the rebuilding of the team under Alan Border were the important ones. SL has really grown a lot since the pre-1996 WC season. Look at the chart below.

Chart 2: Win % during the intervening periods between world cups.

Now let me jump ahead for co-relations. One of the constant theme coming out of Indian cricket team selectors is that we want to play 7 batsmen and 4 bowlers. The reason being that the famed(?) can get any score. Over the years India has completeley ignored the bowling department. I don't even want to get into fielding. I wanted to see whether there is any co-relation between the win% and the R/6b parameter of cricinfo. R/6b is basically runs scored every 6 balls, run rate. The bowling counter part is C/6b, which is runs conceded per over. I plotted win % as a function of both these parameters and i don't see any co-relation. See for yourself in charts 3 and 4.

Chart 3: Win % over all years versus R/6b

Chart 4: Win % over all years versus C/6b.

On the contrary, when I plotted the difference between R/6b and C/6b, there is a very strong co-relation with win%. If this difference is close to 0, no matter which team, the win % is close to 50%. You lose every other match. Notice that for Australia and SL, the increase in this difference has lead to increased win %. It would be illustrative to do this for other teams as well. What this means is, you score as well as you can and you should also bundle out the opposition also. Actually this is more exemplified in the chart between win% and the difference between batting average and bowling average, which also takes into account the wicket lost/taken.

Chart 5. Win % versus the deficit R/6b - C/6b

Chart 6. Win % versus the deficit Bat. Ave- Bow. Ave

What do these charts tell about the composition of the team? Let us look at that at a later post.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lost Opportunity

I admit that I am nobody to ask Sachin Tendulkar to quit, but he lost an opportunity to quit today, April 24th, on his birthday. I seriously thought he would, but he didn't. In my opinion even Anil Kumble's retirement was long overdue. More than all these things, what really bothers me is the missed player(s) who has been giving out his place for Ajit Agarkar in all three past world cups and countless other matches.

I am doing an extensive analysis of the Indian cricket team's record. I am doing it as a fan. Cricket is the only sport of which I was a rabid fan of, even though I never played cricket. All I wanted to be was a cricket commentator, hoping that it would give a pass to watch the match and get paid too. Now with the absence of any Indian umpire in the elite panel, i am seriously considering umpiring. As Venkatraghavan put it, what better place to watch cricket than from bowler's end or square leg.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A wonderful Blog

Reading blogs is like having a conversation with your friends. Anyone who has stayed in hostels knows very well how to waste time. Just drop into somebody's room around 11.30 PM. During these conversations, literally everything under the sky and sometimes beyond, are discussed. I have had conversations with my friends that have gone well into the morning. Once myself and Magesh were talking through the night when we were at Kanpur. Suddenly we realised that the tube light in my room wasn't making any impact. How could it, for the light outside was brighter. We decided to have breakfast and go to bed. As you have these conversations, lots of things are brought back into your memories and they stay. As John Keating would say, in Dead Poets Society " God's were created, women swooned", the conversation covered all ages.

Some blogs do provide that kind of sense of feeling. More often than not, I have observed that I tend to like blogs that talk about things or events that happened when I was growing up. To dismiss it as feeding to your nostalgia feeling is very unfair, atleast in my opinion. Ever since Tilotamma stopped blogging, this is something I sorely miss. She could make me travel to a different time or different place, that is my own. When she writes about Omar Mukhthar, all I remember is Alankar Theater and line "50 crore movie magnum" or for that matter, when I enter Trader's Joe "Namma trader's joela kettu paaru".

This past sunday, I was searching for Rajan Bala, erstwhile cricket correspondent for Indian Express. I ended up in this wonderful blog, The Talkative Man Speaks. I would really like to meet this person and have long conversations with him.

There are some things that he writes are straight of any body's life. For example, in the Carl Lewis story he writes

It was a summer evening in '84 that I was seated outside the house with Appa. Rajaram reading the AIR news announced that Carl Lewis had won the 100m in 9.99 seconds. Appa snapped his fingers ten times and remarked that Lewis would have finished the race within that time frame.

In the same carl lewis, while responding to one of the comments about Atlanta, he uses the song "Vizhiyile malarndadhu, uyirile kalandadhu" so aptly, it goes so well with that response and context.

When I knew about Tilotamma's blog, I completed the archives the same day. I did the same thing when i first came to know of Ramesh Mahadevan. Now I am going through the archives of TTM.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Names, First and Last

This past week I was part of a conference call with one of the vendors who supply us with instruments that go onto our equipments. At the end of the call, he wanted to take the participants first name and last name, so that he can send out an email of an information that we requested.

This affable gentleman, knowing only half of my firstname, Narasi, said to another participant with whom he was talking at that time, "Narasi has a very difficult last name" at which point at started spelling out my name.


to which he quipped

"And do you pronounce that as SMITH, as in JOHN SMITH" to which we all had wonderful laugh, after which he said "I am sorry Narasi".

Sunday, February 18, 2007

February 14, 2003 and Beyond

Natural Light. ISO: 1600, Shutter Speed: 1/1000 , Aperture: f/3.5
Canon Rebel-XT