Author: Guruprasad L

Today, a soul-wrenching experience hit me. A classmate, a silent and a non-violent one, took a seminar on a very vague topic and subject. He couldn’t even spell common words correctly and all he did in the name of seminar was to read from the book-very poor at it, which was not a problem as Sir was not present in the class and there was a stopgap sir.Neither do I degrade that poor chap, nor blame him. All that I could do was to regret his condition and lament about our education system of which he is a very routine product. 🙁

Our education system emphasises more on marks and knowledge is of zero value. As a result everyone including the teachers, students, their parents and tuition centres become mark-crazy and kill the capacity in a student to learn.

That a 2nd year student in a very reputed institution and highly-valued course can’t even spell a few basic words or read a few sentences continuously and properly is a shame to everyone of us.

He may have got into the college and the course due to his marks earned by rote memory or by the evil reservation. I’m not against reservation but the purpose it is being used these days is evil. It neither helps the students benefiting out of it, nor the other meritorious students who are victims of reservation.

The purpose of reservation is to empower educationally backward people, but even after gaining out of reservation, they make zilch progress. The better idea would have been to raise the educational standards of such people instead of pampering them with reservation and making sure they never learn or rise in their lives. 🙁 .

The political parties have gone overboard with reservation and are over-killing the vote-earning cow. The reservation in Tamil Nadu has exceeded the Constitutional/Supreme Court’s limit of 50%. They’re even contemplating on Religion-based reservation which is unsecular and unIndian.People of many castes want their castes to be included in the Backward classes and even fight and indulge in violence with people of other castes which disturbs the harmony of India.

When will this injustice end? Even God may not know. But it is a pity that such people who benefit from reservation suffer more, failing miserably in the higher levels of education and life. I pray to the Al(l)mighty!

“Early to bed and early to rise” is an oft-quoted virtue but very difficult to follow in the hectic paced life of today. Having a sufficient daily sleep is very essential for everyone to be sane and fresh as well. Sleeping and waking up at odd hours affects the body’s biological clock and as a result you still fall into sleep during odd times-most often in the classroom, when the lecturer’s words seem to be a lullaby.

I used to have atleast the “Early to bed” virtue, but now being a hostel resident and with the hectic life I lead, I’ve shamelessly lost the good habit.

Getting up early in the morning gives more benefits than sleeping beyond the alarm ringing in vain. The day and the activities to be done can be planned and implemented leisurely rather than indulging in bad habits like skipping bath as a result of getting up late. 🙁

Getting up early without adequate sleep can lead to sleepiness in the daytime, so its very essential to have a good sleep which i’m in dire need of daily. Getting up late leads to shortage of time, hurry and unwanted stress which my body and mind cannot afford. It also often makes me irregular!!??!!!(As if I’m regular otherwise!). 🙂 . So “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” is not only a virtue to be read, it is to be preached and followed. I hope to be healthy, wealthy and wise! 🙂

Today we celebrated Software Freedom Day in our college. We had a talk on FOSS and GNU/Linux by Mr.Praveen Krishnamoorthy, a FOSS enthusiast and a distinguished alumnus of our college. There was also a demonstration on the installation of Ubuntu Linux by Mahesh of 3rd year and the features of Ubuntu were demonstrated by Mr.Subramani, another alumnus, who along with Mr.Senthil, answered the queries of the audience. We had a T-Shirt designed for this year’s FStival and almost all of the guys involved, wore it.

Then a lot of students from schools in Madurai and the students from the other department visited the halls in the CSE department where there were demo stalls on various GNU/Linux tools. I, alongwith Venkatachalam and Raju, hosted a stall on LaTeX, a powerful typesetting language. It was fun demoing stalls to the visitors. The other stalls were GIMP by J.Aravind, Krishnakumar, Content Management System by K.Manikandan, Vi by S.Anugraha and co., Blender by Deepika and co., Emacs by M.P.Aravinth and co., and so on. The demo stalls were open for about 2 1/2 hours and then we closed them. My only regret was that I couldn’t visit other stalls.I visited the Blender stall i the midst of an explantion and it was very attractive to me as I was already very much interested in 3d animation and 3Ds max.Even when Blessings came to near my stall, it was about to be closed and I was explaining seriously to seniors visiting my stall and when I was done with it, Blessings was nowhere to be found there.

When I went to the Microprocessor Lab, Blessings and co., had closed their stall and were leaving. All the other stalls i visited thereafter were closed and I was a bit disappointed as I had thought that the stalls would’ve been open till evening.

Then we brought back all the computers to the PP lab and connected them. Then we had a photo session with Senthil anna, Bala anna and Ravishankar anna shooting pics with their camera. Then we walked our way out of the college, as a group with a lot of cheerful talking. Today has been an unforgettable day in my life.

The Twenty20 World Cup match between India and Pakistan was a spinechiller. Right from the first few overs where Mohammad Asif rocked the Indian batting lineup with extraordinary swing and seam bowling, Robin Uthappa’s cool and clinical hitting, Irfan Pathan’s cameo and Dhoni’s composed innings, it had all the unique flavours of an India-Pakistan cricket match.

Pakistan had to achieve the target in about 15 overs to knockout India, who had shared their first match with Scotland, who lost to Pakistan earlier, due to rain. If they took more than 15 overs, India would be through to the Super8 round alongwith Pakistan.

But a target of 142 is moderate in Twenty20 game and that too against a Pakistani side with a great batting depth and many fearsome hitters like Shahid Afridi. The Pakistani start was cautious and steady. There was never a doubt that, if they batted the full 20 overs, they’d win. A couple of wickets put a brake on the scoring rate and Irfan Pathan,making his comeback, bowled dream over-a wicket maiden,a rarity in Twenty20 cricket. There was a run-out in the first ball of the over due to mixup and excellent fielding by none other than Yuvraj Singh. A couple of balls later, Pakistan received a huge jolt when Younis Khan chopped an Irfan Pathan inswinger onto the stumps. The hostel theatre, where I was watching the match was erupting into joyous shouting and I enjoyed being a part of it. A short while back, there was total silence and a grim mood in the theatre, when India lost too many wickets too cheaply. There were cheers only when Uthappa, Dhoni and Pathan hit glorious shots. Now with Pakistan wickets falling, there was everything to shout out in joy. When it became clear that Pakistan could notwin in 15 overs, India could not be knocked out and everyone was happy that India had made it to the Super8 avoiding a repeat of this year’s World Cup in the West Indies. But still there was a match and pride to be won. India had never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup match.

The required run-rate was mounting steeply and “Boom Boom” Shahid Afridi arrived at the crease with about 50 runs required in 30 balls. Harbhajan Singh, who has had nightmares against Afridi, bowled two excellent overs without conceding boundaries. To add to the drama, Ajit Agarkar dropped a skier from Afridi off his own bowling. There was a feeling that he could’ve dropped the match. But Harbhajan snared Afridi in the next over and I was rooting for an Indian victory as the asking rate was more than two runs per ball.

But, to add to the heat, Ajit Agarkar bowled a “characteristic” over giving away 17 priceless runs and Pakistani batsmen made the most of it. Misbah-ul-Haq, a fresher in the Pakistani team benefited out of Agarkar’s generosity. 12 runs were required off the last over to be bowled by Sreesanth. First three balls read 4,1,1. 5 runs of 3 balls and it was anybody’s game. India had to block out the chances of conceding a boundary, as a boundary would be GAME OVER. But Misbah-ul-Haq squeezed out a boundary and the scores were tied. Just 1 run was required off 2 balls and a Pakistani victory was certain. After long consultations with his captain Dhoni and a few field changes, Sreesanth bowled a short ball angling across the righthander and no runs were scored. One ball to go, but still Pakistan’s victory was almost certain. But India and Sreesanth had other ideas. All the fielders were brought inside the 30yard circle to save a single. Sreesanth bowled a similar angling short ball and Misbah-ul-Haq hit it in the direction of the cover and set off for a single. Robin Uthappa picked up the ball, threw it to Sreesanth who dislodged the bails with Misbah-ul-Haq short of his crease and the match was tied. Indian players were overjoyed and everyone watching the match in the theatre.

There was to be a bowl-out to decide the winner. The bowl-out was Twenty20 cricket’s equivalent of a penalty shootout. India had nominated Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan and Sreesanth for the shootout, while Pakistan’s nominees were Asif, Gul, Afridi, Sohail Tanveer. Sehwag, Harbhajan and Uthappa hit the bull’s eye for India while Arafat, Gul and Afridi all missed and it was an Indian victory.

What was remarkable was the way India fought back after being reduced to tatters by Asif and when the match seemed lost when Misbah-ul-Haq hit his second boundary off the last over. Their fielding was excellent and their body language was equally good. Pakistan too fought back very well when the chips were down and almost won the match before India spoiled their party.

This match was an excellent advertisement for the much-debated Twenty20 with wildly swinging fortunes and an equal contest between bat and ball, which happens very rarely in Twenty20 cricket. I was privileged to watch such a match and enjoyed every bit of it. Three cheers for Indian cricket team for showing immense mental strength and holding their nerves to win a great match of Twenty20. Good luck to India and Pakistan for their Super8 matches.