Monday, October 28, 2019

Cricket:The Palm Tree Hitter-Polly Umrigar ; a man to Remember

The Palm tree hitter

Polly Umrigar is a Parsi cricket player from Mumbai. His full name was Pahlan Ratanji Umrigar, but he was fondly referred to as ‘Polly’. Before the grant of Independence, the Parsi community played a significant role in Indian cricket. Polly was a product from that era and initially played for the Parsis in the Pentangular. He started his career in 1944 at the age of 18 and played his last cricket game in 1968, spanning an era in Indian cricket.
Polly in England

When Polly appeared on the scene the duo of Vijay Hazare and Vijay Merchant were well entrenched in Indian cricket, yet he did make a significant impact. Umrigar, however, had a weakness against pace and this came to the fore on the 1952 tour of England. Umrigar totaled 43 runs in 7 innings. Worse he had a phobia against Fred Truman and took guard well outside the leg stump. This is hard to understand as Polly was a powerfully built man who towered over 6 ft. But it is to his credit that he scored heavily in the county matches with 3 double hundreds against Oxford, Kent, and Lancashire. No Indian player after that has been able to hit so many double hundreds in England.

He followed up by hitting two more double hundreds on the 1959 tour with the highest score of 252 not out. The 5 double hundreds that Umrigar hit in county cricket is an Indian record and no Indian batsman including Tendulkar or Gavaskar has been able to emulate this feat. On the 1959 tour, Polly made amends for his earlier failures with 118 at the Oval against Truman and Statham. His 252 not out remains the highest score by an Indian in England. A fact that is often overlooked is that despite his failures in the Test Matches, Polly was almost in the run to complete 1000 runs in May during the 1959 tour. Outside the English tours, Umrigar was more than a successful batsman.

He is also the first Indian to hit a double century in Test cricket when he hit 223 against New Zealand in 1956 at Hyderabad. Umrigar’s biggest success was against the West Indies. In two tours to the Caribbean islands, he endeared himself to the crowds there, with his penchant for hitting sixes and earned the nickname as ‘Palm Tree hitter.’ He reached his hundred in the Trinidad test match with a six of Sonny Ramadhin during the 1953 tour.
Polly in the West Indies
Polly scored heavily against the West Indies in 2 tours and hit 3 centuries. In the 1953 tour, he was able to shake off his stigma as bunny against pace men by hitting 560 runs in the series. He followed up by hitting over 400 runs on the 1962 tour with a magnificent 172 not out in the fourth test. Polly’s success in the West Indies is food for thought and one wonders why he failed in England. Perhaps it was a crisis of confidence. On the 1958-59 West Indies tour of India, Polly faced the superfast Gilchrist and Wes Hall with aplomb and averaged over 44 with 3 fifties.
Polly Against Other Nations

Polly was also a success against Pakistan, against whom he hit 5 centuries. On the 1954-55 tour of Pakistan Polly was the lone centurion from the Indian side with an innings of 108 in the third test. On the 1960-61 tour of India by Pakistan Polly batted regally and hit 3 centuries. He had scores of 115 at Kanpur, 117 at Madras and 117 at Delhi.
Overall Polly played 59 tests for India and averaged 42.22, which is about the same average as Mohinder Amarnath and GR Vishwanath. Thus one can gauge the standard of Polly Umrigar. In all Polly hit 12 test centuries. Polly also scored heavily in the Ranjit trophy where he hit 15 centuries. It is to his credit that he never missed a home outing for Bombay at any time he was in India. Polly was also a more than useful off-break bowler who helped Jasu Patel rout Australia at Kanpur with a spell of 4/27.
Polly had moderate success against Australia and in 6 outings against the Aussies, he could get only 1 fifty. In all Polly hit 3667 runs in test cricket and this remained a record till Sunil Gavaskar overtook him in the seventies. He 12 centuries remained a record for over 15 years till Sunil Gavaskar overtook him in the seventies.

What is Polly’s contribution to Indian cricket? In one word one can say ‘immense’. He played at a time when the game had little money in it and was not as professional as today. He was the mainstay of Indian batting for over a decade and deserves credit for it. Along with Vijay Manjereker, he formed the vanguard of Indian batting. Polly also led India in 8 test matches, but it was not a happy experience and finally, he resigned his captaincy during the 1958-59 tour of the West Indies at the onset of the 4th test at Madras.
Despite his failings as a captain, Polly did yeoman service to Indian cricket. The cricket board has also remembered Umrigar by naming the under 15 school cricket championship after his name. Polly died in 2006, leaving an enduring image of a genial and more than competent batsman.

US Marines Circulate Nude Photos of Fellow Women Soldiers

US Marines Circulated Nude Photos of Women Combatants

Sensational News

News has come in of American Marines, who have violated the code of honor of a soldier. In other words, it is an act prejudicial to good order and discipline. The Marines were members of a secret Facebook page where nude photographs of fellow women combatants were posted. This page on Facebook had a membership of over 30000. It also carried the rank, name, and unit, of the women combatants.

'Probably this group was functioning for a long time but the lid was blown only a few months back last year.
There is no doubt that there will always be an attraction between men and women, but as women serve in all theaters of the army, morale needed not to be lowered by photographing women combatants in the nude and circulating them to members, against their will and consent.

Different lines of thought

After the incident became known to the authorities, two lines of thought emerged. Some opined that it's a natural Instinct and they say "boys will be boys." However, the majority think that this is a grave transgression of discipline and a disservice to the women who have joined the #Armed Forces

The news of the women's photographs has now become public property and has been broadcast all over the world.

It does not show the Us Marines in a gòod light. The news that many Marines posted lewd comments on the photographs is cause for worry. One wonders how the women combatants will feel about reading them. Well in case they had been posted with their concurrence, it would have been another story but we know that women combatants were photographed surreptitiously and without their knowledge. This is a grave violation of human dignity.

Navy investigates

Congress is seized of the matter. The Navy's Criminal Investigative Service is carrying out an investigation, and the photographs have been taken down. A senior Democrat Adam Smith, on the House Armed Services Committee, is clear that the online behavior is “degrading, dangerous and completely unacceptable.”

Sexual harassment cases in the armed forces are nothing new and the preceding two years have seen thousands of cases in the US military. The cases have increased after Congress approved the induction of women in all areas of the armed forces, including combat duties

Cause for worry?

Face of the future

The Marine command is perturbed that such a large number of active troops took part in this episode. What will the corps do? It can't afford to send thousands of soldiers home. Its a question that has no answer. But discipline has to be kept and a few ringleaders were punished and dismissed or given a small jail term. This is a temporary solution, but what next?

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Demons in Hindu Philosophy

The Demons that Confront Man

The demon is a popular word and there is not a man or woman who would have heard about it. In Hinduism also demons are part of the religion. Concept of Demons in Hinduism is not as in the Christain religion. In Christianity the concept of the Demon is associated with Satan. In Hinduism the concept of Demon is antithesis of God. There is no presiding deity like Lucifer or Satan and mostly the demons are a leaderless lot.
Islam also has its fair share of demons that are known as ‘Jinn’s’. These are supernatural beings with evil powers. In Islam the leader of the “jinn’s” is Iblis or Satan.
Some of the Hindu demons are discussed below.


Many classify this deity as a god as well, because he has temples dedicated to him. However he is a Demon as he was created by Shiva the foremost Hindu deity to fight against Daksha. Virabhadra is a patron of occult practices and weird beliefs are associated with his name.


Andhaka was the third son of Shiva. Legend relates that Andhaka was created from a tear of the lord Shiva, but he angered the god as he lusted for Shiva’s consort Parvati. Shiva thus killed him


Kali is a goddess but she also represents the dark nature of life. She is in reality a form of the goddess Shakti (who was Shiva’s consort). She is an angry form of god but many do not recognize her as a demon.
Kali is a homonym (Kali: Goddess; Kali: a real demon), thus”Kali” represents the Kali Yuga the evil age that is now dawned on the world in that respect she is a Demon.

Koka and Vikoka

The Goddess Kali had twin sons named Koka and Vikola. These twins are considered demons as they represent wars and battles. They are present whenever war is fought and also instigate war and misery.


Vinayakas are a group of four troublesome demons who create obstacles. The group of four Vinayakas was merged into one deity named Vinayaka whom Rudra appointed as the “Leader of the Ganas”. Ancient Puranik literature refers to these demons.


This kind of demon resides in dead bodies. It is indestructible and he often confronts the living man


These Demons eat raw meats and Pishacha is a carnivorous demon. But the origin of this demon is shrouded in mystery and not much is known about it.


Bhuta is a kind of bad soul of a human being who dies by suicide or by execution. It is a demon who takes form after an unnatural death.


In the Hindu mythology, there are many demons. Again sometimes the dividing line between demon and god in Hinduism is very thin like the goddess kali. In addition Hinduism also mentions rakshasas and asuras who are also demons.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Islam Solves Man's Latent Urge for Another Woman

Islamic Solution for Adultery in Society

Man is by nature not a one-woman man and adultery is common in West and other societies. Islam has a solution, one may agree or not.

Islamic solution of adultery of man

Adultery is as old as the history of man. Over the centuries, adultery is one trait that has survived and will perhaps never go away. It is safe to say that though polygamy has become outdated in most of the world, adultery still thrives. If one has gone through everyday life in non-Muslim countries, one can see that sex dominates and as a corollary, adultery reigns supreme. This cannot be denied. The non-Muslim nations have not been able to control this trait of man, which is propelled by the inherent nature of man.

Islam has its own solution for adultery. This is the reason that adultery is severely punished in Islam. The punishment for sex outside marriage is death by stoning. Islam has however its own solution for adultery. It allows a man to have up to 4 wives. Divorce for the man is also simplified and a man can divorce a wife easily and marry again, so as to remain within the ambit of 4 wives. This arrangement sanctioned by Muslim scriptures works fine. I agree it is unfair to the woman, but then one can't get everything in life.

However, there is a catch in this, as the laws are weighted in favor of man. Perhaps it is a recognition that man by nature is polygamous. Islam has recognized this peculiar trait of a man's makeup. Many will not agree with this, but almost 30% of the world is following Islam. One may not necessarily agree with the Islamic solution, but this is a fact of life and one cannot ignore it. In Islamic nations, there is very little sex advertisement, yet most men are satisfied. It does give variety to the man and takes care of his latent urges.

Naming Ceremony of a Child in Sikhism

Naming Ceremony of a New Born among Sikhs

Sikhism is a distinct religion. it has a system of selecting a name for a newborn child and this ceremony is followed by all Sikhs all over the world

A Unique Ceremony among Sikhs

A Sikh is one who believes in Guru Nanak (1469-1539). He believes that there is one god and it has no shape or form. He is a person who follows no other god or any person who claims lineage from god. He will eschew idol worship or have the face of his women covered with a veil. He will believe that the ten gurus are apostles of God and the Guru Granth is the embodiment of the teachings of the Gurus.The naming of a child in Sikhism is an important ritual

The First Step after Birth
In a Sikh’s household, as soon as the mother after the birth of the child becomes capable of moving about and taking a bath the next step is to be executed. No time period is specified and it could anything from 10 to 40 days or longer. The important thing is that the mother and child must be fit to go to the Gurudwara for the naming ceremony. The family and the relations then should go to a Gurudwara with Karhah Parshad (sacred Pudding). Generally, people give this task of preparing the sacred pudding to the Gurudwara.

When the Karhah Parshad is being prepared the hymns “Parmeshar dita bana”(The almighty God has granted support)( sorathM5) or “Satguru sache dia bhej” ( True lord has sent a gift)( Asa M5) are recited. These stanzas express joy and love at the birth of a new member of the Sikh religion and the little child is welcomed into the world.

The Hukam or Command
This is a very important step as the Head Granthi or priest will open the Granth Sahib at any random page and note the first alphabet that appears on the page. The holy command is then taken and the bay’s name has to begin with the first letter of the alphabet that has appeared on the page opened by the Granthi.

The Granthi will announce the letter and the parents can choose any name beginning with that alphabet. All boy's names must end with ‘Singh’ and girls' names with ‘kaur’. There is no embargo on any name, so long as it commences with the letter that has emerged from the Guru Granth. The name has to be accepted and the Granthi will announce the name of the boy or girl as the case may be.

The head priest or Granthi will now read to the congregation and all who have come to the Gurudwara the short version of 6 stanzas from the Anand Sahib and the Ardas ( thanksgiving prayer) will be recited. The Head Granthi will cross the sacred pudding with the kirpan (dagger) and as a mark of joy, the Karhah Parshad will be distributed to all present.

Last Step.
Once the name is accepted the Granthi or head priest will announce the name to the gathering. Care must be taken in this naming ceremony not to bring in any ritual from any other religion. The naming ceremony of a newborn in Sikhism is a simple ceremony. The essence is to name the girl or boy in the presence of the Granth Sahib and also associate the Granth with the name