An undeniable elegance coupled with once in a while revelation of enchanting playfulness, and an exceptional inclination toward timing, have always been the brand of Sachin Tendulkar, the cricketer.
The hurriedly arranged Test series India vs West Indies was mostly for Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar to bid farewell from cricket.
Yesterday, November 16, 2013, was a memorable Saturday for Sachin.
India won the second Test match against the West Indies by an innings and 126 runs for the second straight time, and the series 2-0. But that win was reduced to a mere footnote by an emotionally charged farewell speech by Sachin Tendulkar that stirred a rapt live audience in the fully packed Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, and TV viewers around the world.
The speech revealed to the world a Sachin Tendulkar, the speaker.
At 11:47, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the ‘God’ of cricket, was finally saying goodbye to cricket and his fans with glistening tears on his face, after entertaining the world with his 24 years of phenomenal cricket.
This speech uncovered the remarkable person that Sachin was, underneath the universally recognized cricketer. He moved his audience and his adoring, ardent, die-hard fans to tears, and made them fall in love with him once again.
Sachin Tendulkar, the “Master Blaster” made his Test debut against Pakistan on November 15, 1989. Yesterday, he ended his cricket career with a total of 34,357 runs in international cricket and 15,921 runs in Tests. Ricky Ponting, the now retired former Australia captain scored 13378, and Jacques Kallis, the highest placed active player is now on 13,140 runs. In all likelihood, these figures of Sachin will never be beaten.
He was the greatest ambassador of the sport of cricket and has touched the lives of all cricket lovers around the globe.
Sachin Tendulkar has been the single colossal to inspire Indian cricket over three generations. He was the perfect ambassador of the sport of cricket, and has touched the lives of all cricket lovers around the globe.
This Saturday is doubly memorable because an official announcement was made by a release from the Prime Minister’s Office that Sachin Tendulkar will be conferred with Bharat Ratna.
According to a report, Sachin said: “I dedicate this to my mother.”
Sachin Tendulkar is the seventh person from Maharashtra to be conferred the Bharat Ratna after Dhondo Karve, Pandurang Kane, Vinoba Bhave, BR Ambedkar, Lata Mangeshkar and Bhimsen Joshi.
Today, the curtains came down for 40-year-old Sachin Tendulkar’s remarkable cricket career. Sachin gave a heart-warming speech to thank his family, teammates, coaches, friends and fans saying it was unbelievable that his life between “22 yards in the last 24 years” has at last come to an end.
Here is Sachin Tendulkar’s Farewell Speech:
All my friends, settle down. Let me talk, I’ll get more and more emotional.
My life, between 22 yards for 24 years, it is hard to believe that wonderful journey has come to an end. But, I would like to take this opportunity to thank people who played an important role in my life also, for the first time in my life I am carrying this list, to remember all the names in case I forget someone. I hope you understand. It’s getting a little bit difficult to talk, but I will manage.
The most important person in my life, and I have missed him a lot since 1999 when he passed away, my father. Without his guidance, I don’t think I would have been standing here in front of you. He gave me freedom at the age of eleven and told me that “Chase your dreams, but make sure you don’t find short cuts. The path might be difficult, but don’t give up,” and I have simply followed his instructions. Above all, he told me to be a nice human being, which I’ll continue to do so and I’ll try my best. Every time I have done something special whenever I showed my bat, it was for my father.
My mother, I don’t know how she dealt with such a naughty child like me. I was not easy to manage. She must be extremely patient. For a mother, the most important thing is that her child remains safe and healthy and fit. That was what she was most bothered and worried about. She took care of me for the last 24 years that I have played for India, but even before that she started praying for me the day I started playing cricket. She just prayed and prayed and prayed and I think her prayers and blessings have given me the strength to go out and perform, so a big thank you to my mother for all the sacrifices.
In my school days, for four years, I stayed with my uncle and my aunt because my school was quite far from my home, and they treated me like their son. My aunt, after having had a hard day’s play, I would be half asleep, and she would be feeding me food so I could go again and play again tomorrow. I can’t forget these moments. I am like their son, and I am glad that it has continued to be the same way.
My eldest brother, Nitin, and his family, have always encouraged me. My eldest brother doesn’t like to talk much, but the one thing he always told me is that whatever you do, I know you will always give it 100%, and that I have full confidence and faith in you. His encouragement meant a lot to me.
My sister, Savita, and her family, was no different. The first cricket bat of my life was presented to me by my sister. It was a Kashmir willow bat. But that is where the journey began. She is one of those many who still continue to fast when I bat. So, thank you very much.
Ajit, my brother, now what do I talk about him? I don’t know. We have lived this dream together. He was the one who sacrificed his career for my cricket. He spotted the spark in me. And it all started from the age of 11 when he took me Archrekar sir, my coach. From there on my life changed.
You will find this hard to believe that even last night he called to discuss my dismissal, knowing that there was a remote chance of batting again, but just the habit which we have developed, the rapport we have developed, since my birth. It has continued and it will continue. Maybe even when I’m not playing cricket we will still be discussing techniques. Various things we agree upon, my technique, and so many technical things which I didn’t agree with him, we have had arguments and disagreements, but in the end when I look back at all these things if that hadn’t happened in my life, I would have been a lesser cricketer.
The most beautiful thing happened to me in 1991 when I met my wife Anjali. Those were special years and it has continued and will always continue that way. I know Anjali, being a doctor; there was a wonderful career in front of her. When we decided to have a family, Anjali took the initiative to step back and said you continue with your cricket and I will take the responsibility of the family.
Without that, I don’t think I would have been able to play cricket freely and without any stress. Thanks for bearing with all my fuss, all my frustrations, and all sorts of rubbish that I have spoken. I normally do.Thanks for bearing with me and always staying by my side through the ups and downs. You are the best partnership I have had in my life.
Then, the two precious diamonds of my life, Sara and Arjun. They have already grown up. You know, my daughter is 16 and my son is 14. Time has flown by. I wanted to spend so much time with them on special occasions like their birthdays, their annual days, sports day, going on holidays, whatever. I have missed out on all those things. Thanks for your understanding. Both of you have been so, so special to me you cannot imagine. I promise you for 14 and 16 years I have not spent enough time with both of you, but the next 16 years or even beyond that, everything is for you.
My in-laws, Anand Mehta and Annabelle, both have been so, so supportive, loving, caring. I discuss various things in life, generally with them, and have taken their advice. You know, it’s so important to have a strong family who is always with you and guiding you. Before you start clapping, the most important thing they did was allowing me to marry Anjali, so thank you very much.
In the last 24 years that I have played for India I have made new friends, and before that I have had friends from my childhood. They have all had a terrific contribution. As and when I have called them to come and bowl to me at the nets, they have left their work aside to come and help me. Be it joining me on holidays and having discussions on cricket, or whenever I was a little stressed and wanting to find a solution so I can perform better. All those moments my friends were with me. Even for when I was injured, I would wake up in the morning because I couldn’t sleep and thought that my career was over because of injuries, that is when my friends have woken up at 3 o’clock in the morning to drive with me and make me believe that my career was not over. Life would be incomplete without all those friends. Thanks for being there for me.
My cricket career started when I was 11. The turning point of my career was when my brother took me to Archrekar sir. I was extremely delighted to see him up in the stands. Normally he sits in front of the television and he watches all the games that I play. When I was 11, 12, those were the days when I used to hop back on his scooter and play a couple of practice matches a day. The first half the innings I would be batting at Shivaji Park, the second half, at some other match in Azad Maidan. Sir would take me all over Mumbai to make sure I got match practice.
On a lighter note, in the last 29 years, sir has never ever said well played to me because he thought I would get complacent and I would stop working hard. Maybe he can push his luck and wish me now, well done on my career, because there is no more matches, sir, in my life. I will be witnessing cricket, and cricket will always stay in my heart, but you have had an immense contribution in my life, so thank you very much.
My cricket for Mumbai started right here on this ground, the Mumbai Cricket Association, which is so dear to me. I remember landing from New Zealand at four o’clock in the morning, and turning up for a game at eight o’clock here, just because I wanted to be a part of Mumbai cricket, and not that somebody forced me or the Mumbai Cricket Association pressurized me to be here. But that was for the love of Mumbai cricket, and thank you very much. The president is here so thank you very much, along with your team, for taking care of me and looking after my cricket.
The dream was obviously to play for India, and that is where my association with BCCI started. BCCI was fantastic, right from my debut believing in my ability, selecting me into the squad at the age of 16 was a big step. So, thanks to all the selectors for having faith in me and the BCCI for giving me the freedom to express myself out in the middle. Things would have been different if you had not been behind me, and I really appreciate your support, especially when I was injured, you were right with me and making sure that all the treatments were taken care of, and that I got fit and fine and playing back for India.
The journey has been special. Last 24 years, I have played with many senior cricketers, and even before that there were many senior cricketers whom I watched on television. They inspired me to play cricket, and to play in the right way. Thanks to all those senior cricketers, and unfortunately I have not been able to play with them, but I have high regards for all their achievements and all their contributions.
We see it on the mega-screen, Rahul, Laxman, Sourav, and Anil, is not here, and my team-mates right here in front me. You are like my family away from home. I have had some wonderful times with you. It is going to be difficult, not to be part of the dressing room, sharing those special moments. All the coaches for their guidance, it has been special for me. I know when MS Dhoni presented me the 200th Test match catch one day one morning. I had a brief message for the team. I would like to repeat that. I just feel that all of us are so, so fortunate and proud to be part of the Indian cricket team, serving the nation.
Knowing all of you guys, I know you will continue to serve the nation in the right spirit and right values. I believe we have been the lucky ones to be chosen by the Almighty to serve this wonderful sport. Each generation gets this opportunity nearly to take care of this sport and serve it to the best of our ability. I have full faith in you that you will to continue to serve the nation in the right spirit to the best of your ability, and bring all the laurels to the country. All the very best.
I would be failing in my duties if I didn’t thank all the doctors, the physios, the trainers, who have put this difficult body together to go back on the field and be able to play. The amount of injuries that I have had in my career, I don’t know how you have managed to keep me fit, but without your special efforts, it would never have happened. The doctors have met me at weird hours. I mean I have called them from Mumbai to Chennai, Mumbai to Delhi, I mean wherever. They have just taken the next flight and left their work and families to be with me, which has allowed me to play. So a big thank you to all three of you for keeping me in good shape.
My dear friend, late Mark Mascarenhas, my first manager, we unfortunately, we lost him in a car accident in 2001. But he was such a well-wisher of cricket, my cricket, especially Indian cricket. He was so passionate. He understood what it takes to represent a nation and gave me all the space to go out and express myself, and never pressurized me to do this ad or promotion or whatever the sponsors demanded. He took care of that and today I miss him, so thank you Mark for all your contribution.
My current management team, WSG, for repeating what Mark has done, because when I signed the contract I exactly told them what I want from them, and what it
requires to representing me. They have understood that and respected that. So, thank you very much WSG.
Someone who has worked closely with me for 14 years is my manager, Vinod Naidu. He is more like my family and all the sacrifices, spending time away from his family for my work, has been special, so big thank you to your family as well for giving up so much time for my work with Vinod.
In my school days, when I performed well, the media backed me a lot. They continue to do that till this morning. Thank you so much to all the media for supporting me and appreciating my performances. It surely had a positive effect on me. Thank you so much to all the photographers as well for those wonderful captured moments that will stay with me for the rest of my life. So, to all the photographers a big thank.
I know my speech is getting a bit too long, but this is the last thing I want to say. I want to thank all the people here who have flown in from various parts of the world, and have supported me endlessly, whether I scored a zero or a 100-plus, whatever. Your support was so dear to me and meant a lot to me. Whatever you done for me, I know I have met so many guys who have fasted for me, prayed for me, done so much for me. Without all that that life wouldn’t have been like this for me. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and also say that time has flown by rather quickly, but the memories that you have left with me will always be with me forever and ever, especially “Sachin, Sachin” that will reverberate in my ears till I stop breathing.
Thank you very much. If I have missed out on saying something, I hope you understand.
‘I hate you Sachin, you are making millions cry, don’t go,‘ stated a placard at the ground.
As a 16-year-old cricketer Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar made headlines on November 15, 1989, for being the third youngest Test debutante by playing against Pakistan. On October 10, 2013, the 40 year-old cricketer known to his ardent fans as “God of Cricket” announced his retirement ending a blazing 24-year career.
The 200th and last Test Match for Sachin Tendulkar began yesterday, November 14, 2013, at his home ground, Wankhade Stadium, Mumbai.
Before the start of the Second Test between India and West Indies, Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) honoured Sachin Tendulkar by presenting him with a trophy.
India’s skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni tossed a specially crafted gold coin with Sachin’s image on one side and the MCA’s logo on the other as West Indies skipper Darren Sammy called. Dhoni won the toss and opted to bowl first disappointing Sachin’s fans.
Sachin received the gold toss coin as a memento as he plays his 200th and last Test match of his 24 years career. Select dignitaries will receive 1000 replicas of the coin at the stadium.
After the toss, the Union Law Minister Kapil Sibal released the commemorative postage stamps to pay tribute to the prodigious cricketer. Union Minister Sharad Pawar, Rajeev Shukla and Milind Murli Deora also joined in releasing the postage stamp honouring Tendulkar. After Mother Teresa, the 40-year old legend is the second person to have a postage stamp released after him, when still alive.
Great cricket stalwarts of yesteryear such as Clive Lloyd, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarksr, Ravi Shashtri, Wasim Akram greeted Sachin Tendulkar, walked on to the field with the rest of the Indian team to field against the West Indies.
Union ministers Kabil Sibal, Sharad Pawar, Milind Murli Deora, Rahul Gandhi, actors Aamir Khan, Hrithik Roshan, and many other VIPs, were seen at the stadium yesterday and today along with the ever-roaring die-hard fans including Sachin’s mother, his daughter Sara and son Arjun.
The West Indies were bowled out for 182 in their first innings. Pragyan Ojha took a five-wicket haul.
At the third session of day’s play, Darren Sammy opened the bowling for the visitors, and Murali Vijay took the strike.
At 13.2 overs, when the score was 77, Shikhar Dhawan was caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul to Shane Shillingford bowling after scoring 33 runs. Cheteshwar Pujara walked into bat. Four balls later Murali Vijay fell to Shillingford for 43.
At the fall of the second Indian wicket the loud cheer from the live audience at Wankhade Stadium and Sachin’s fans around the globe glued to the TVs in their homes and offices, invariably welcomed Sachin. Coming on to bat as number 4 has been Sachin’s cherished batting position.
In 1948, while playing in his last Test innings at the Oval, Sir Don Bradman’s eyes became moist and he failed to spot Eric Hollies’ googly. He got out for a duck. Luckily, Sachin Tendulkar has escaped from that type of predicament for at the end of the first day’s play Sachin had scored 38 runs from 73 balls.
Cheteshwar Pujara scored 34 runs from 49 balls. At the end of the first day’s play India after facing 34 overs had scored 157 runs for the loss of two wickets. In the Indian dressing room Bhuvneshwar Kumar padded up as the nightwatchman removed his gear.
Here are some of the tweets from cricketers all around the world who paid their tribute to Sachin:
Alan Wilkins tweets: This is a Test Match like no other! Let Sachin enjoy it as much as he can…this is a celebration of the greatest Cricket Career of all time.
Ian Bell tweets: The atmosphere in Mumbai right now must be immense!! #ThankYouSachin #LittleMaster
Joe Root tweets: Sachin made his debut for India before I was born. Then played in my test debut #ThankYouSachin
Mahela Jayawardena tweets: @sachin_rt Great opponent, fantastic memories..no better role model. Enjoy ur last game!
Matthew Hayden tweets: @bhogleharsha @alanwilkins22 Sachin…..Sachin #Legend please pass on my respects during your commentary in Honour to Tendulkar #whataplayer
Michael Vaughan tweets: 38 no… #Sachin. #God. Alarm clock will be set…..
Russel Arnold tweets: Good luck to Sachin today…. Hope he dishes out a treat for his mother!!! #IndvsWI
Shane Warne tweets: @warne888 #Sachin was the best batsmen I’ve seen. @brianlara second and outstanding too. These 2 were so much better than everybody else….
Stuart Broad tweets: Remarkable achievement by a legend of the sport we love. #200 #ThankYouSachin
Tweets from Indian cricketers:
Dinesh Karthik tweets: Wishing Sachin paji a grt test match,will be watching it only for the legend #ThankYouSachin
Rohit Sharma tweets: I can never retire from Sachin. #SRTFOREVER
Suresh Raina tweets: No matter how many times u say it, still feels less. The greatest ever. The Legend. Wonderful to say #SalaamSachin
Today, morning, a very relaxed and calm Sachin Tendulkar walked on to the field with Cheteshwar Pujara. The play started with Pujara facing Best.
Tendulkar hit a four off Best’s last ball in the 39th over (38.5) to reach his 68th Test fifty. It was also, his 10th against West Indies. Pujara reached his 4th Test fifty getting one run off a ball from for Gabriel.
Last ball of the 48th over (47.5) off the relatively new bowler Narsingh Deonarine proved fatal for Sachin Tendulkar.
“Deonarine to Tendulkar, out Caught by Sammy!! No, no, no, Tendulkar, no, no, no. How many times have we seen a relatively new bowler get his wicket. It is that man Sammy again taking another blinder. I tell you what, it was not an easy catch at all. Flatter delivery outside off stump, Tendulkar looks to cut late and gets a thick outside edge, the ball flies quickly off, and Sammy leans back and takes a wonderful catch. The entire ground is stunned. He gets a standing ovation as some are in tears. Wife Anjali cannot believe that he’s been dismissed and so can I. He was batting so beautifully, unfortunately, the treat has come to an end. Thank you Master for all that you’ve done. “
Tendulkar c Sammy b Deonarine 74(118) [4s-12] and Virat Kohli, right handed bat, came to the crease.
With his 68th half-century, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (born April 24, 1973) may well be concluding his long and spectacular cricketing career.
I wish all children in India “A Happy Children’s Day!”
In 1925, The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland, proclaimed June 1 as International Children’s Day and then established universally in 1954. Now, many countries around the world, celebrate Children’s Day, but on different days each year.
Universal Children’s Day
A major global variant of Children’s Day is the Universal Children’s Day celebrated on November 20 every year.
The United Nations General Assembly recommended this day in 1954 to urge all its member countries to institute a day, with the aim to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children, and to initiate action to help and promote the welfare of children globally as outlined in the Charter.
Today, November 14, India celebrates Children’s Day. On this day, India remembers and honours the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The children of India fondly called him “Chacha Nehru” (Hindi: चाचा नेहरू)) or Uncle Nehru.
Nehru consistently emphasized the importance of showering love and affection on children. He saw in them the future of India.
On Children’s Day, the Kids in India engage themselves in the fun and frolic. Various educational, cultural, social, institutions organize functions and conduct competitions for children all over the country. The State and the Central governments organize film festivals in many parts of the country to showcase Children’s films.
In many schools, the children themselves arrange the cultural activities on this day. Teachers also get involved; in many schools, they sing and dance for their students.
Every year, India Post issues special stamps of paintings by children and First Day Covers for commemorating Children’s Day in India. Here are the commemorative stamps issued from year 2006 to 2012. Please note that these images of the postage stamps are not to scale.
The people in India, belonging to culturally diverse and fervent societies celebrate various holidays and festivals. The different states and regions in India have their own local festivals depending on prevailing religious and linguistic demographics.
Deepavali (also known as Diwali, Dīvali, Dīpāwali, Dipabali, etc.,), is one of the most sacred festivals of the Hindus.
Deepavali is a “festival of lights,” symbolizing the victory of righteousness over spiritual darkness. All over the world, the Hindus celebrate Deepavali jubilantly with their families in their homes, performing traditional spiritual activities. In India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia, people belonging to other religions as well join the Hindus in the celebrations.
Goddess Lakshmi is the most significant deity during Deepavali Puja. Several other gods and goddesses are also worshipped. Various religious rituals are followed during the five-day festivities.
Deepavali is celebrated as a five-day festivity that starts on Dhanteras, celebrated on the thirteenth lunar day of Krishna paksha (dark fortnight) of Ashwin and ends on Bhau-Beej, celebrated on the second lunar day of Shukla paksha of the Hindu calendar month Kartik. However, in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, the Deepavali festivity begins one day earlier on Govatsa Dwadashi, and is a six-day festivity.
The month of Ashvin begins with the Sun’s exit from Virgo in the solar religious calendar. In the Sanskrit language ‘Ashvin’ means light. It is the seventh month of the lunisolar Hindu calendar.
In many cultures, people use the lunisolar calendar where the date indicates both the moon phase and the time of the solar year.
In the Tamil sidereal solar calendar, used by Tamils all over the world, Ashvin is known as Aipassi (ஐப்பசி). In the Bengali sidereal solar calendar, officially used by the Bengali people in West Bengal and Bangladesh, it is the sixth month and is called Ashbin (আশ্বিন).
The Five/Six Days of Deepavali
Deepavali celebrations is a five-day festivity spread over from Dhanteras to Bhau-Beej. In some places like Maharashtra and Gujarat the celebrations begin with Govatsa Dwadashi. All the days except Deepavali are named according to their designation in the Hindu calendar. The days are:
Govatsa Dwadashi or Vasu Baras (27 Ashvin or 12 Krishna Paksha Ashvin):
In Sanskrit, Go means cow and vatsa means calf, Dwadashi or Baras means the 12th day. On this day the cow and calf are worshiped.
According to Hindu mythology, Prithu was a king, from whom the earth received her name Prithvi. The epic Mahabharata and the Hindu text Vishnu Purana describe him as a part Avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu.
Prithu was the son of King Vena, a tyrant. Due to the lawless rule of Vena, an appalling famine engulfed the earth making it barren. King Prithu went after Prithvi, the earth goddess, who fled from him transforming herself into a cow. After being caught, Prithvi agreed to yield her milk as the world’s grain and vegetation that brought prosperity to the world once again.
Dhanatrayodashi or Dhanteras or Dhanwantari Trayodashi (28 Ashvin or 13 Krishna Paksha Ashvin):
In Sanskrit, Dhana means wealth and Trayodashi means 13th day. This day falls on the 13th day of the second half of the lunar month Ashvin, and usually eighteen days after Dussehra.
According to Hindu mythology, Dhanvantari is an Avatar of Vishnu. He appears in the Vedas and Puranas as the physician of the gods devas, and is the god of Ayurvedic medicine. He is depicted as Vishnu with four hands, holding medical herbs in one hand and a pot containing rejuvenating nectar called amrita in another.
In the myth of the Samudra or Sagar manthan (Churning of the Ocean of Milk), Dhanavantari emerged bearing the pot of nectar after the Devas (demi gods) and Asssuras (demons) churned the ‘Ocean of Milk’ using the Mount Mandarachala, also known as Mount Meru, as the churning rod and Vasuki, the king of serpents, as the rope.
The Hindus pray to Lord Dhanvantari seeking his blessings for good health for themselves and others, especially on Dhanteras, his Jayanti (Birth Anniversary), along with Goddess Lakshmi, the provider of prosperity and well-being.
Lord Kubera, the God of assets and wealth is also worshiped on this day by the Hindus. Dhanteras is very significant among business communities since it is customary to buy precious metals on this day.
Naraka Chaturdashi (29 Ashvin or 14 Krishna Paksha Ashvin):
Chaturdashi is the 14th day (Tithi) of the waxing phase or waning phase of the moon.
This day signifies the victory of good over evil and light over darkness, because on this day the demon Narakasura was killed by Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu. . This day is also known as Kali Chaudas, Roop Chaudas or Choti Diwali.
In one source in Hindu mythology, Narakasura is the asura son of the earth goddess Bhūmī-Devī (Earth) and Lord Vishnu in his Varaha (boar) Avatar. In other sources, he is said to the son of the asura Hiranyaksha. It was foretold that he would be destroyed by a later incarnation of Vishnu. So, his mother, the earth, sought a boon from her consort Vishnu for a long life for her son, and that he should be all powerful. Vishnu out of love for Bhūmī-Devī granted these boons.
Narakasura, knowing himself to be unrivalled in prowess became evil, and subdued all the kingdoms on earth and brought them under his control. Next, he set his eyes on Swargaloka (the heavens), the abode of the devas. Unable to withstand the powers of Narakasura, the mighty Indra, the lord of the devas, fled from Swargaloka. Narakasura became the overlord of both the heavens and earth. Intoxicated by power, he stole the earrings of Aditi, the heavenly mother goddess, and usurped some of her territory, while also kidnapping 16,000 women.
The devas, led by Indra appealed to Vishnu, asking him to deliver them from Narakasura. Vishnu promised them that he would help them when he would be incarnated as Krishna.
Narakasura was allowed to enjoy a long reign because of the boon granted by Vishnu.
When Vishnu incarnated as Krishna, he married Satyabhama, an Avatar of Bhūmī-Devī. Aditi, being a relative of Krishna’s wife approached her for help. On learning about Narakasura’s ill treatment of women and his behaviour with Aditi, Satyabhama was enraged. Shr approached Lord Krishna for permission to wage a war against Narakasura.
As promised to the Devas and Aditi, Vishnu in his Krishna avatar, riding his mount Garuda with wife Satyabhama, attacked the great fortress of Narakasura. The battle was fierce. Narakasura unleashed all his army on Krishna. However, Krishna slew them all. He also killed Mura, Narakasura’s general. Thus, Krishna is called ‘Murāri ‘(the enemy of Mura).
The desperate Narakasura launched his great weapon, sataghini, a thunderbolt, and then his trident on Krishna, but these weapons did not harm Krishna. Eventually, Krishna beheaded Narakasura with his Sudarshana Chakra, a spinning, disk-like super weapon with 108 serrated edges.
Before dying, Narakasura requested a boon that his death anniversary should be celebrated by all people on earth. This day is celebrated as ‘Naraka Chaturdashi’.
In southern India, this is the actual day of festivities.
On this day, the Hindus, all over the world, wake up before dawn, have a fragrant oil bath and dress in new clothes. In Tamilnadu, after the bath, a home-made medicine known as “Deepavali Lehiyam” is consumed, which is supposed to aid to overcome digestive problems that may ensue due to feasting that occurs later in the day. They light small lamps around their homes and draw elaborate kolams or rangolis in front of their houses. They perform a special pooja with offerings to Krishna or Vishnu, for liberating the world from the demon Narakasura on this day. The Hindus believe that bathing before sunrise, when the stars are still visible in the sky, is equal to taking a bath in the holy river Ganges. After the pooja, the devotees burst firecrackers heralding the defeat of the demon. As a day of rejoicing, housewives prepare elaborate breakfasts and lunches and meet with family and friends.
Lakshmi Puja (30 Ashvin or 15 Krishna Paksha Ashvin):
Amavasya, the new moon day, is the most significant day among the five days Deepavali festivities and the ceremonies followed on that day are known as Lakshmi Puja, Lakshmi-Ganesh Puja and Deepavali Puja. The Hindus worship Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, and Ganesh, the God of auspicious beginnings also known as the banisher of obstacles.
Deeyas (little clay pots) are lit in the homes and streets to welcome prosperity and well-being.
On this day, ink bottle, pens and new account books are worshipped. Ink bottle and pen, are sanctified by worshipping Goddess Maha Kali. New account books are sanctified by worshipping Goddess Saraswati.
Govardhan Pooja and Bali Pratipada (1 Kartika or 1 Shukla Paksha Kartika):
In North India, this day is celebrated as Govardhan pooja, also called Annakoot.
According to Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna taught people to worship Govardhan, the supreme controller of nature, a manifestation of himself and to stop worshiping Lord Indra, the Lord of Swargaloga and also the god of Rains. Indra was furious and directed his wrath on the people by raining on them. Krishna lifted the Govardhana hill to save his kinsmen and cattle from rain and floods.
For Annakoot, large quantities of food are decorated symbolising the Govardhan hill lifted by Krishna.
In the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, the Govardhan pooja is performed with great zeal and enthusiasm.
In Haryana Govardhan Puja forms an important part of the celebrations of Diwali. There is a tradition of building hillocks with cow dung, to symbolize the Govardhan hill. After making such hillocks, devotees worship them after decorating them with flowers. They move in a circle round the cow dung hillocks and offer prayers to Lord Govardhan.
In Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, this day is celebrated as Bali-Pratipada or Bali Padyami. The day commemorates the victory of Vishnu, in his dwarf form Vamana, over the demon-king Bali.
In Maharashtra, it is called Padava or Nava Diwas (new day). Men present gifts to their wives on this day. In Gujarat, it is celebrated as the first day of the Vikram Samvat calendar.
Yama Dwitiya or Bhau-Beej (2 Kartika or 2 Shukla Paksha Kartika):
On this day, siblings meet to express love and affection for each other. Brothers visit their sisters’ place on this day and usually have a meal there, and also give gifts to their sisters.
This tradition is based on a story when Yama, lord of Death, visited his sister Yami (the river Yamuna). Yami welcomed Yama with an Aarti and they had a feast together. Yama gave a gift to Yami while leaving as a token of his appreciation. So, the day is also called ‘Yama Dwitiya’.
Bandi Chhor Divas (Diwali), the Sikh celebration of the sixth Nanak Guru Har Gobind’s return from detention in the Gwalior Fort, coincides with Diwali. This coincidence has resulted in celebrating the day among many Sikhs and Hindus.
Many Buddhists in India celebrated the anniversary of Emperor Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism around the time of Diwali.
Jains celebrate the anniversary of Mahavira’s (or Lord Mahavir) attainment of nirvana on October 15, 527 BC. Many Jains celebrate the Festival of Lights in his honor.
The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is observed annually on August 23rd. The Day commemorates the uprising that took place on August 22-23, 1791, when slaves in Saint Domingue, today Haiti, launched an insurrection which ultimately led to the Haitian revolution.
Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General, in a message to mark the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition said: ““We must teach the names of the heroes of this story, because they are the heroes of all humankind.”
This year is particularly important with many key anniversaries, including:
220 years since France’s General Emancipation decree liberated all slaves in present-day Haiti;
180 years since the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 ended slavery in Canada, the British West Indies and the Cape of Good Hope;
170 years ago, the Indian Slavery Act of 1843 was signed.
Slavery was also abolished 165 years ago in France; 160 years ago in Argentina; 150 years ago in the Dutch colonies; and 125 years ago in Brazil.
Year 2013 is also the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States, which declared on January 1, 1863: all persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.
The Dutch Slave trade in Coromandel coast, India
Many would be surprised to know that the Dutch were precursors of slave trade in India.
Pulicat (Pazhaverkadu) is a historic seashore town in Thiruvallur District, of Tamil Nadu, India. It is about 60 km north of Chennai and 3 km from Elavur, on the barrier island of Sriharikota, which separates Pulicat Lake from the Bay of Bengal.
In 1502, the Portuguese established a trading post in Pulicat with the help of the Vijayanagar rulers. They built a fort there and held this fort until their defeat by the Dutch in 1609.
By 1612, the Dutch established themselves in Pulicat to the north. Till 1690 Pulicat remained the capital of Dutch Coromandel.
The slave trade is one of the oldest trades in the world. Slaves and textiles were the most profitable merchandise exported by the Dutch at Pulicat to their Indian Ocean trade headquarters at Batavia (Jakarta), in exchange for spices such as mace and nutmeg.
Between 1621 and 1665, the Dutch deployed 131 slave ships from Pulicat, to transport 38,441 Indians captured on the Coromandel coast, and sold as slaves to the Dutch plantations in Batavia and to work as domestic helps for the Dutch masters. Those in the age group of 8 to 20 were preferred as slaves for export.
To learn more about the slave trade on the Coromondel coast, I recommend you to read a very informative article titled “Baggage that weighs heavily on the mind” written by P. J. Sanjeeva Raj and published in The Hindu.
On July 23, 1995, two independent observers Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp in the United States discovered the comet Hale-Bopp. This comet formally designated C/1995 O1 was perhaps the most widely observed comet of the 20th century, the third largest comet in the last 500 years, and one of the brightest seen for many decades. It was visible to the naked eye for a record 18 months. The previous record holder, the Great Comet of 1811, officially designated C/1811 F1, was visible to the naked eye for around 260 days.
Astronomer Alan Hale was born in 1958 in Tachikawa, Japan, when his father was serving in the United States Air Force. Four months later his father got transferred to Holloman Air Force Base outside Alamogordo, New Mexico. Hale served in the United States Navy from 1976 to 1983. In 1980, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. Next, he joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and worked as an engineering contractor for the Deep Space Network until 1986. As a contractor, he worked in several projects involving spacecraft, including Voyager 2. After Voyager’s encounter with Uranus, he left JPL. He attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. In 1992, he earned his Ph.D. in astronomy.
Hale had spent hundreds of hours searching for comets without success. On July 23, 1995, while tracking known comets from his driveway in New Mexico he chanced on the comet co-named after him just after midnight. The comet with an apparent magnitude of 10.5 was near the globular cluster M70 in the constellation of Sagittarius. He checked and confirmed that there was no other deep-sky object near M70. Next, he consulted a directory of known comets and established that none of them was in that area of the sky he had observed. He then found the object moving relative to the background stars.
As a trained astronomer who had seen about 200 comets, Hale to register his finding sent an email to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the clearing house for astronomical discoveries operating under the auspices of Commission 6 of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). A few hours later his effort was rewarded. His new comet was officially designated C/1995 O1. His name would also be attached.
But Alan Hale was not the only observer that night.
That very night, about 400 miles (644 kilometers) away, Thomas Bopp was observing star clusters and galaxies through telescopes with friends in the desert outside Phoenix, Arizona.
Amateur astronomer Thomas J. Bopp was born in 1949 in Denver, Colorado. Later he relocated with his family to Youngstown, Ohio, where he graduated from Chaney High School in 1967. He attended Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio, and has lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1980. He is a Life member of the Mahoning Valley Astronomical Society (MVAS).
Bopp was a manager at a construction materials factory. He did not own a telescope. He too noticed some fuzzy object near M70 in the constellation of Sagittarius and pointed it out to his friend Jim Steven who owned the 70 inches telescope of Dubsoniano design he was using.
Bopp had never come across a comet. Jim looked at Bopp and said, “Tom, I think you have a comet.”
He knew he had to contact the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams in Cambridge, but he did not have the address with him. So, he drove back home to get it.
In the wee hours he managed to send a Western Union telegram to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams in Cambridge where its arrival was greeted with bemusement. Brian Marsden, the leading voice on a committee that has the last say laughed. “Nobody sends telegrams anymore,” he commented. “I mean, by the time that telegram got here, Alan Hale had already e-mailed us three times with updated coördinates.”
However, the following morning, the comet was confirmed as a new entity and designated as C/1995 O1. The discovery was announced in International Astronomical Union circular 6187.
Sometimes weird things happened with when major comets appeared. According to a report, 39 members of a California cult claimed they were departing on a spaceship that was trailing comet Hale-Bopp and ate their last meal before ritually committing mass suicide. For Thomas Bopp, the comet portended a loss. As comet Hale-Bopp reached its most spectacular point in the sky, his brother and sister-in-law who had been out photographing the comet were killed in a late night car crash. “This has been the best week of my life. And, the worst,” he lamented.
A near-earth object labeled Asteroid 1998 QE2, is now hurtling towards earth.
The asteroid about 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) or nine Queen Elizabeth 2 ship-lengths in size in length has the physical mass to potentially knockout life on Earth. However, we are safe as it is just flying by.
On May 31, 2013, at 20:59 UTC (1:59 p.m. Pacific / 4:59 p.m. Eastern) this asteroid will pass within 3.6 million miles (5.8 million km) of Earth – about 15 times the distance to the Moon. While this may seem a great distance for the layman, in astronomical terms it is a mere stone’s throw away. This is the closest approach the asteroid will make to Earth for at least the next two centuries.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Near Earth Asteroid Research (LINEAR) program near Socorro, New Mexico, discovered this asteroid on August 19, 1998. It is officially known as Asteroid 1998 QE2. It is not named in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, or after that 12-decked, transatlantic-crossing flagship for the Cunard Line. The name was assigned by the NASA-supported Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. This institute assigns each newly discovered asteroid a provisional designation starting with the year of first detection, along with an alphanumeric code showing the half-month it was discovered, and the sequence within that half-month.
Though this asteroid is not of much interest to those astronomers and scientists on the lookout for hazardous asteroids, it is of interest to those who dabble in radar astronomy and have a 230-foot (70-meter) or larger radar telescopes at their disposal.
Radar astronomer Lance Benner, the principal investigator for the Goldstone radar observations from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California said: “Asteroid 1998 QE2 will be an outstanding radar imaging target at Goldstone and Arecibo and we expect to obtain a series of high-resolution images that could reveal a wealth of surface features … Whenever an asteroid approaches this closely, it provides an important scientific opportunity to study it in detail to understand its size, shape, rotation, surface features, and what they can tell us about its origin. We will also use new radar measurements of the asteroid’s distance and velocity to improve our calculation of its orbit and compute its motion farther into the future than we could otherwise.”
Asteroids come in various sizes and shapes: dog bones, bowling pins, spheroids, diamonds, muffins, potatoes, etc. Between May 30 and June 9, radar astronomers using NASA’s 230-foot-wide (70 meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, and the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, are planning an extensive campaign of observations. The two telescopes with complementary imaging capabilities will enable astronomers to study 1998 QE2 and what it looks like during its brief flyby.
“But of that day and hour no one knows,
neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son,
but the Father alone.”
The accepted definition of a millennium, a period of 1,000 years, did not originate from nature or from any practical calendar.
Unlike the primary cycles of days, lunations and years, it does not correspond to any factual astronomical cycles, or the practical needs of humanity, but to social factors, the peculiarities of Christianity. In fact, the issue of the millennium reflects a Christian-centric view.
Outside the Christian world the year 2000 will actually be the year 5760 according to the Jewish calendar, 5119 in the current Maya great cycle, 5100 years elapsed in Kali Yuga according to the Hindus, 2544 according to Buddhism and 1420 according to the Moslem calendar.
The arbitrary construction of the millennium is the domain of eschatology – a part of theology, physics, philosophy, and futurology concerned with the final events of history, the ultimate destiny of humanity – commonly called the “end of the world” or “end time”.
During the period of the great Roman empire, Jesus and his initial followers fully expected the fulfilment of the apocalypse and the inception of the millennium in their lifetime. It was no Utopian dream relegated to some future unspecified time at the time of Roman oppression, social turmoil and ideological uncertainty.
Millennial thinking is deeply embedded in the apocalyptic writings of the Bible. In traditional Christianity, “the millennium” means the future reign of Jesus lasting one thousand years, following a last battle between Christ and Satan. Satan loses, and is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and Jesus wins, overseeing a Last Judgement of all the dead. Modern traditions of Christian eschatology use the term “Rapture” in two senses; as a general synonym for the final resurrection, and in the view of pre-tribulationists, where a group of people would be left behind on earth after the events mentioned in Matthew about “The Coming of the Son of Man”:
Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a trumpet blast, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)
During Paul’s ministry in Thessalonica along with Silvanus and Timothy, a doubt arose among the Thessalonians about the fate of those Christians who would die before the return of Christ. Would they miss the glorious events of Christ’s second coming and the resurrection? Paul assuaged their fears. He assured them that God would save those who had already died, as well as those still living with these words:
We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, console one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
After the crucifixion of Jesus, and even now, countless groups and people have compared the events of their time to Bible prophecies, and concluded that Jesus would
be returning soon. Some even set a date for the Rapture and led their followers into the deserts, to the mountains, and into the wilderness, to await the phenomenon.
Though the consummation of the second coming and the expected biblical millennium failed to materialise over the generations, and even after every one of those predictions turned out wrong, steadfast Christians still make modern-day predictions that Jesus will be returning soon and postpone the date of the expected apocalypse they ardently believe in.
However, most mainstream Bible scholars, do not think current world affairs evidence the imminent return of Christ. Even so, we still do come across Christian groups who believe in the Rapture as the centerpiece of the second coming of Jesus – a glorious, dramatic event with Jesus appearing and literally taking the believers physically along with him up into the sky.
In recent years, the Rapture and the second coming of Christ have spawned a lucrative industry. Besides the many books written on this subject, there are thousands of self-styled television evangelists with websites, radio stations, lecture series, audio recordings, videotapes and other Paraphernalia. Many of these accouterments feature imaginative and vivid embellishments of the Bible prophecies, and usually classified properly as fiction, and not as Bible prophecy.
Among these Christians, there are several theories about the timing of the Rapture. Thus the apocalyptic millennium has transformed itself into a calendrical measurement.
On Wednesday, April 24, 2013, the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory building in Savar 15 miles (24 Km) to the northwest of Dhaka city, the capital of Bangladesh, collapsed with hundreds of garment workers employed in factories that supplied high-street shops in the west, trapped inside.
Before the fatal accident, workers had repeatedly complained that the building was cracking open, but the management simply ignored their complaints. Sol Rana, the owner of the building was arrested.
On Friday morning (May 10), officials said about 2,500 people were injured in the accident and 2,437 people were rescued. A total of 1,021 bodies have been recovered
from the debris and almost 650 identified so far and handed over to the families of the deceased. Many people are still missing.
A few hours after officials had announced the death toll as 1021, the recovery teams who had long given up any hope of finding any more survivors were shocked to hear at 15:15 local time (10:15 GMT), the voice of a woman calling for help from the debris of the second floor of the Rana Plaza. Immediately rescue workers were ordered to stop clearing the site.
The Bangladesh army has confirmed the news, naming the rescued woman as Reshma. The woman was taken to hospital and did not seem to have any significant injuries.