Category Archives: This is Life

Sachin Tendulkar’s Maiden International TEST Century



Myself .

 By T.V. Antony Raj

I have played with him long enough to understand his approach, but I am amazed at the man’s zeal. He wants to be perfect always. His humility is amazing. I have seen Sachin carry drinks for the junior most, much to the embarrassment of the youngster. His discipline is infectious. For Mumbai nets, he comes in the Mumbai training gear. He would never don an India cap or T-shirt for a Mumbai match. He will also not allow anyone to carry his cricket coffin.”  Pravin Amre (Sachin Tendulkar’s coach at Mumbai)



Raj Singh Dungarpur a former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India introduced 16-year-old Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar to the world of cricket. The BCCI selection committee under the chairmanship of Dungarpur chose Sachin Tendulkar for the 1989 Indian tour of Pakistan

International Test debut

On his international Test debut in November 1989, Sachin Tendulkar was 16 years 205 days of age, the third youngest cricketer to make his first appearance in international cricket. Mushtaq Mohammad of Pakistan has the honour of being the first youngest person to play Test cricket at 15 years and 124 days; however, there exists some doubt about his exact age at his debut. The second youngest Test Player Aaqib Javed debuted at 16 years 189 days. Since then there have been two players who were younger than Sachin on the day of their cricket Test debut: Mohammad Sharif of Bangladesh (15 years 128 days), and Hasan Raza of Pakistan (14 years 227 days).

Sachin Tendulkar played his first Test match against Pakistan in Karachi. He made just 15 runs bowled out by Waqar Younis, who also made his debut in that match. Cricket critics commended Sachin for braving numerous blows to his body at the hands of the Pakistani pace attack in this series. In the final test in Sialkot, though hit on the nose by a bouncer, he declined medical assistance and continued to bat, with a bleeding nose. In that Test series, Sachin scored 215 runs in all at an average of 35.83.

In a 20 over exhibition game in Peshawar, Tendulkar scored 53 runs off 18 balls, including an over in which he scored 27 runs off Abdul Qadir. The then Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth later recalled this match as “one of the best innings I have seen.”

Maiden International TEST Century

On August 14, 1990, in his 9th international test appearance Sachin Tendulkar scored his maiden Test century vs. England at Old Trafford, Manchester. He was 119 not out in the second innings. This innings is particularly noteworthy as it helped India to clinch an honorable draw in the face of a certain defeat.

At that time, Kapil Dev held the record for the youngest Indian centurion.  On January 24, 1979 Kapil Dev scored 126* with four fours and one six in a drawn match against West Indies at Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, New Delhi.

When Sachin Tendulkar scored his maiden century in 1990, he was the second youngest to score a century in international Test cricket.

Mushtaq Mohammad of Pakistan set the first record as the youngest to score a century in his 6th Test with 101 runs against India in Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, New Delhi when he was just 17 years and 78 days old.

Mohammad Ashraful of Bangladesh bettered Mushtaq’s record that stood for over 40 years. Ashraful made his Test debut on 6 September 2001 against Sri Lanka. He  top-scored in each innings. Although Bangladesh slumped to an innings defeat, Ashraful scored 114, and in the process became the youngest player to score a Test century, beating Mushtaq Mohammad’s record and the second Bangladesh player to score a Test century on debut, the first since Aminul Islam Bulbul in 2000 during Bangladesh’s first Test.

This video show Sachin Tendulkar scoring his first century in International Test.

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Congrats, Sachin Hundredulkar…

Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

Yesterday, Friday March 16, 2012, playing in the 4th One Day International match of the Asia Cup 2012 against the hosts Bangladesh, Sachin Tendulkar scored a century thus becoming the only man in the history of the sport to score 100 centuries in international cricket. He took the single off Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh and finally achieved the elusive milestone.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh congratulated the Master Blaster saying, “I join the nation in congratulating Sachin Tendulkar on his making history – a hundred centuries… He has made India proud. Tendulkar’s long career has been a triumph of class, character and courage. Wish him many more innings and feats to continue inspiring the youth.”

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat also congratulated the iconic batsman achieving the feat.

“On behalf of every cricket fan around the globe, I congratulate Sachin on becoming the first person to score 100 centuries for his country. This is indeed a magnificent feat and not likely to be easily emulated,” said Lorgat.

“Fans have admired Sachin for more than 20 years and have recently waited with great expectation for his 100th international century. The number 100 is special for a batsman and to record 100 centuries for your country is a massive statement.”

Lorgat also said that Tendulkar was a marvel to cricket lovers around the world and a true role model.

“Like millions of others, I have personally followed his career ever since he first played for India as a gifted 16-year-old and now, more than two decades later, his passion and personal records, which include more than 33,000 runs at international level, is a modern-day wonder.

“He is a marvel to cricket lovers around the world and with an array of batting records, Sachin is a true role model who will undoubtedly hold a special place in cricket’s history,” he said. (PTI)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President N Srinivasan heaped praises on Sachin Tendulkar for becoming the first cricketer in the world to score 100 international centuries and said that 16th March 2012 would never be forgotten.

“Ever since he made his international début in November 1989, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has strode cricketing arenas the world over, like a colossus. He has broken old records and set new benchmarks. He has been an inspiration to billions, and an ornament to the sport,” said Srinivasan.

“16 March 2012 will never be forgotten by cricket-lovers. On behalf of the BCCI, I would like to congratulate Sachin Tendulkar for completing a century of international centuries,” he added. (PTI)

And bollywood? Of course it went crazy and started twitting.

“God’s special creation …Sachin Tendulkar!! India breathes normally..!! Sachin completes an incredible feat!! A hundered 100’s…Never done before, perhaps never after!!!” said Amithab Bachchan.  “A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep,” the megastar tweeted hinting at Sachin’s critics.

And his son Abhishek Bachan tweeted, “How good is Sachin? he’s the best. period! stop analyzing him. stop being cynical. just celebrated him!”

The 82-year old Queen of Melody, Lata Mangeshkar, twitted: “A big congratulations to Sachin. He has once again created history with his superb innings.”

Actress Bipasha Basu tweeted:  “Saluting The Great Tendulkar for his 100th 100! We stropped our shoot to see it happen! Jubilant and Ecstatic.”

Action hero Akshay Kumar tweeted, “Salute to the man who never gave up in spite of all the criticisms. Finally he did it, Sachin creates history in world cricket! Congrats to Sachin Hundredkar.”

“Truly Superman!! Sachin Tendulkar India salutes you for your 100th 100,” tweeted Tollywood actor Rana Daggubati.

38-year-old cricket star, Sachin Tendulkar has scored 49 centuries in One Day International matches and 51 in international Tests.

Tendulkar scored his 99th international hundred more than a year ago on home soil. It took him more than one year to reach the milestone of scoring 100 centuries in international cricket.

His 49th ODI hundred in Dhaka brought up a unique century of centuries that no other player is close to achieving. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting is next best with 71 international centuries, and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis trails behind him with 59.

220px-Adidas_Sachin_100_Centuries_LogoIn the 1990s, Adidas signed world’s iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar of India and made shoes for him. Tendulkar still wears Adidas shoes while playing matches. Since 2008, Adidas has sponsored the cricket bat used by Sachin Tendulkar. It created a new bat, ‘Adidas MasterBlaster Elite’, personalized for him.

Students hold a huge poster of Sachin Tendulkar after the master blaster scored 100 centuries in international cricket. (Source :
Students hold a huge poster of Sachin Tendulkar after the master blaster scored 100 centuries in international cricket. (Source :


List of 51 Test cricket centuries
(Source: List of international cricket centuries by Sachin Tendulkar)

1 119* dagger  England 2 2 Old TraffordManchester Away 14 August 1990 Draw
2 148*  Australia 1 3 Sydney Cricket GroundSydney Away 6 January 1992 Draw
3 114  Australia 1 5 WACA GroundPerth Away 3 February 1992 Lost
4 111  South Africa 1 2 Wanderers StadiumJohannesburg Away 28 November 1992 Draw
5 165 dagger  England 1 2 M. A. Chidambaram StadiumChennai Home 12 February 1993 Won
6 104*  Sri Lanka 2 2 Sinhalese Sports Club GroundColombo Away 31 July 1993 Won
7 142  Sri Lanka 1 1 K. D. Singh Babu Stadium, Lucknow Home 19 January 1994 Won
8 179  West Indies 1 2 Vidarbha Cricket Association GroundNagpur Home 2 December 1994 Draw
9 122  England 2 1 EdgbastonBirmingham Away 8 June 1996 Lost
10 177  England 1 3 Trent BridgeNottingham Away 5 July 1996 Draw
11 169dagger  South Africa 1 2 Newlands Cricket GroundCape Town Away 4 January 1997 Lost
12 143dagger  Sri Lanka 1 1 R. Premadasa StadiumColombo Away 3 August 1997 Draw
13 139dagger  Sri Lanka 1 2 Sinhalese Sports Club GroundColombo Away 11 August 1997 Draw
14 148dagger  Sri Lanka 1 3 Wankhede StadiumMumbai Home 4 December 1997 Draw
15 155* dagger  Australia 2 1 M. A. Chidambaram StadiumChennai Home 9 March 1998 Won
16 177  Australia 1 3 M. Chinnaswamy StadiumBangalore Home 26 March 1998 Lost
17 113  New Zealand 2 2 Basin ReserveWellington Away 29 December 1998 Lost
18 136 dagger  Pakistan 2 1 M. A. Chidambaram StadiumChennai Home 31 January 1999 Lost
19 124*  Sri Lanka 2 2 Sinhalese Sports Club GroundColombo Away 28 February 1999 Draw
20 126*dagger  New Zealand 2 1 Punjab Cricket Association StadiumMohali Home 13 October 1999 Draw
21 217 dagger  New Zealand 1 3 Sardar Patel StadiumAhmedabad Home 30 October 1999 Draw
22 116 dagger  Australia 1 2 Melbourne Cricket GroundMelbourne Away 28 December 1999 Lost
23 122  Zimbabwe 1 1 Feroz Shah Kotla GroundNew Delhi Home 21 November 2000 Won
24 201*  Zimbabwe 1 2 Vidarbha Cricket Association GroundNagpur Home 26 November 2000 Draw
25 126  Australia 1 3 M. A. Chidambaram StadiumChennai Home 20 March 2001 Won
26 155  South Africa 1 1 Goodyear ParkBloemfontein Away 3 November 2001 Lost
27 103  England 1 2 Sardar Patel StadiumAhmedabad Home 13 December 2001 Draw
28 176  Zimbabwe 1 1 Vidarbha Cricket Association GroundNagpur Home 24 February 2002 Won
29 117  West Indies 1 2 Queen’s Park OvalPort of Spain Away 20 April 2002 Won
30 193  England 1 3 HeadingleyLeeds Away 23 August 2002 Won
31 176 dagger  West Indies 2 3 Eden GardensKolkata Home 3 November 2002 Draw
32 241* dagger  Australia 1 4 Sydney Cricket GroundSydney Away 4 January 2004 Draw
33 194*  Pakistan 1 1 Multan Cricket StadiumMultan Away 29 March 2004 Won
34 248*  Bangladesh 1 1 Bangabandhu National StadiumDhaka Away 12 December 2004 Won
35 109  Sri Lanka 1 2 Feroz Shah Kotla GroundNew Delhi Home 22 December 2005 Won
36 101  Bangladesh 1 1 Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin StadiumChittagong Away 19 May 2007 Draw
37 122*  Bangladesh 1 2 Sher-e-Bangla National StadiumMirpur Away 26 May 2007 Won
38 154*  Australia 1 2 Sydney Cricket GroundSydney Away 4 January 2008 Lost
39 153 dagger  Australia 1 4 Adelaide OvalAdelaide Away 25 January 2008 Draw
40 109  Australia 1 4 Vidarbha Cricket Association StadiumNagpur Home 6 November 2008 Won
41 103*  England 2 1 M. A. Chidambaram StadiumChennai Home 15 December 2008 Won
42 160 dagger  New Zealand 1 1 Seddon ParkHamilton Away 20 March 2009 Won
43 100*  Sri Lanka 2 1 Sardar Patel StadiumAhmedabad Home 20 November 2009 Draw
44 105* dagger  Bangladesh 1 1 Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury StadiumChittagong Away 18 January 2010 Won
45 143  Bangladesh 1 2 Sher-e-Bangla National StadiumMirpur Away 25 January 2010 Won
46 100  South Africa 2 1 Vidarbha Cricket Association StadiumNagpur Home 9 February 2010 Lost
47 106  South Africa 1 2 Eden GardensKolkata Home 15 February 2010 Won
48 203  Sri Lanka 1 2 Sinhalese Sports Club GroundColombo Away 28 July 2010 Draw
49 214 dagger  Australia 1 2 M. Chinnaswamy StadiumBangalore Home 11 October 2010 Won
50 111*  South Africa 2 1 SuperSport ParkCenturion Away 19 December 2010 Lost
51 146  South Africa 1 3 Newlands Cricket GroundCape Town Away 4 January 2011 Draw

List of 49 ODI centuries

1 110 dagger  Australia 2 1 84.61 R. Premadasa StadiumColombo Neutral 9 September 1994 Won
2 115 dagger  New Zealand 2 2 84.55 IPCL Sports Complex GroundVadodara Home 28 October 1994 Won
3 105  West Indies 2 1 78.35 Sawai Mansingh StadiumJaipur Home 11 November 1994 Won
4 112* dagger  Sri Lanka 2 2 104.67 Sharjah Cricket Association StadiumSharjah Neutral 9 April 1995 Won
5 127* dagger  Kenya 2 2 92.02 Barabati StadiumCuttack Home 18 February 1996 Won
6 137  Sri Lanka 2 1 100.00 Feroz Shah Kotla GroundNew Delhi Home 2 March 1996 Lost
7 100  Pakistan 2 1 90.09 Padang, Singapore Neutral 5 April 1996 Lost
8 118 dagger  Pakistan 2 1 84.28 Sharjah Cricket Association StadiumSharjah Neutral 15 April 1996 Won
9 110 dagger  Sri Lanka 2 1 79.71 R. Premadasa StadiumColombo Away 28 August 1996 Lost
10 114 dagger  South Africa 1 1 90.47 Wankhede StadiumMumbai Home 14 December 1996 Won
11 104 dagger  Zimbabwe 1 1 107.21 Willowmoore ParkBenoni Neutral 9 February 1997 Won
12 117 dagger  New Zealand 2 2 85.40 M. Chinnaswamy StadiumBangalore Home 14 May 1997 Won
13 100 dagger  Australia 2 2 112.35 Green Park StadiumKanpur Home 7 April 1998 Won
14 143 dagger  Australia 2 2 109.16 Sharjah Cricket Association StadiumSharjah Neutral 22 April 1998 Lost
15 134 dagger  Australia 2 2 102.29 Sharjah Cricket Association StadiumSharjah Neutral 24 April 1998 Won
16 100* dagger  Kenya 2 2 97.08 Eden GardensKolkata Home 31 May 1998 Won
17 128 dagger  Sri Lanka 2 1 97.70 R. Premadasa StadiumColombo Away 7 July 1998 Won
18 127* dagger  Zimbabwe 2 2 97.69 Queens Sports ClubBulawayo Away 26 September 1998 Won
19 141 dagger  Australia 2 1 110.15 Bangabandhu StadiumDhaka Neutral 28 October 1998 Won
20 118* dagger  Zimbabwe 2 2 105.35 Sharjah Cricket Association StadiumSharjah Neutral 8 November 1998 Won
21 124* dagger  Zimbabwe 2 2 134.78 Sharjah Cricket Association StadiumSharjah Neutral 13 November 1998 Won
22 140* dagger  Kenya 4 1 138.61 County GroundBristol Neutral 23 May 1999 Won
23 120 dagger  Sri Lanka 1 1 85.10 Sinhalese Sports Club GroundColombo Away 29 August 1999 Won
24 186* dagger  New Zealand 2 1 124.00 Lal Bahadur Shastri StadiumHyderabad Home 8 November 1999 Won
25 122 dagger  South Africa 2 2 88.40 IPCL Sports Complex GroundVadodara Home 17 March 2000 Won
26 101 dagger  Sri Lanka 2 1 72.14 Sharjah Cricket Association StadiumSharjah Neutral 20 October 2000 Lost
27 146  Zimbabwe 2 1 95.42 Barkatullah Khan StadiumJodhpur Home 8 December 2000 Lost
28 139 dagger  Australia 2 1 111.20 Nehru StadiumIndore Home 31 March 2001 Won
29 122* dagger  West Indies 2 2 93.12 Harare Sports ClubHarare Neutral 4 July 2001 Won
30 101  South Africa 2 1 78.29 New Wanderers StadiumJohannesburg Away 5 October 2001 Lost
31 146 dagger  Kenya 2 1 110.60 Boland ParkPaarl Neutral 24 October 2001 Won
32 105*  England 4 1 97.22 Riverside GroundChester-le-Street Away 4 July 2002 N/R
33 113 dagger  Sri Lanka 4 1 110.78 County GroundBristol Neutral 11 July 2002 Won
34 152 dagger  Namibia 2 1 100.66 City OvalPietermaritzburg Neutral 23 February 2003 Won
35 100 dagger  Australia 2 1 84.03 Roop Singh StadiumGwalior Home 26 October 2003 Won
36 102  New Zealand 2 1 112.08 Lal Bahadur Shastri StadiumHyderabad Home 15 November 2003 Won
37 141 dagger  Pakistan 2 2 104.44 Rawalpindi Cricket StadiumRawalpindi Away 16 March 2004 Lost
38 123  Pakistan 2 1 94.61 Sardar Patel StadiumAhmedabad Home 12 April 2005 Lost
39 100  Pakistan 2 1 88.49 Arbab Niaz StadiumPeshawar Away 6 February 2006 Lost
40 141* dagger  West Indies 2 1 95.27 Kinrara Academy OvalKuala Lumpur Neutral 14 September 2006 Lost
41 100* dagger  West Indies 4 1 131.57 IPCL Sports Complex GroundVadodara Home 31 January 2007 Won
42 117* dagger  Australia 1 2 97.5 Sydney Cricket GroundSydney Away 2 March 2008 Won
43 163* dagger  New Zealand 2 1 122.55 AMI StadiumChristchurch Away 8 March 2009 Won
44 138 dagger  Sri Lanka 1 1 103.76 R. Premadasa StadiumColombo Away 14 September 2009 Won
45 175 dagger  Australia 2 2 124.11 Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium,Hyderabad Home 5 November 2009 Lost
46 200* dagger  South Africa 2 1 136.05 Roop Singh StadiumGwalior Home 24 February 2010 Won
47 120  England 2 1 104.35 M. Chinnaswamy StadiumBangalore Home 27 February 2011 Tied
48 111  South Africa 2 1 109.90 VCA StadiumNagpur Home 12 March 2011 Lost
49 114  Bangladesh 2 1 77.55 Sher-e-Bangla National StadiumMirpur Away 16 March 2012 Lost


* Remained not out
dagger Player of the match
double-dagger Captained the Indian cricket team
Test The number of the Test match played in that series
Pos. Position in the batting order
Inn. The innings of the match
S.R. Strike rate during the innings
H/A/N Venue was at home (India), away or neutral
Lost The match was lost by India
Won The match was won by India
Drawn The match was drawn


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I took a sad goodbye today


You have written an eloquent eulogy for your grandfather. I too am a grandfather – 70 years old now. So, I pray to God that my grandchildren too should write about me like you have written about yours.

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I had to take a sad goodbye today. I woke up to the message that my grandad was dead. It wasn’t coming like a big suprise, he was 90 years old, had not eat, just been sleeping the last days. But still, it’s impossible to prepare for a loss of a person who means a lot to you.  He was soo funny, nice, caring and wise. He had always a comment ready, and he kept his humor until the last days. But he was tired, and the body was not with him anymore. He spent his last year or two at a nursinghome, were he was very good taken care of.

It’s very sad and empty now, but in a natural way. There are a few things everyone have to go through, to be born, and to die. It is the circle of life. I read this a few months ago…

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Spring Forward to DST


Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

Yesterday at 1:30 pm I received a phone call from my elder daughter Sujatha who lives in Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli, India. I asked her “Is it an emergency call? Isn’t it midnight over there? Shouldn’t you be sleeping?”

She laughed and said, “Appa, it’s only eleven o’clock in the night, not midnight.”

Then it dawned on me. I remembered my daughter-in-law, Ligia, telling my wife that morning something about daylight saving time coming into force in the Eastern Time Zone (EST) where Elkridge, MD is.

In India we don’t have this phenomenon called Daylight Saving Time (DST) since in most part of the country we have almost equal amount of daytime and night-time the whole year round.

Daylight-saving time, or DST, is the period of the year when clocks are moved one hour ahead. This has the effect of creating more sunlit hours in the evening during months when the weather is the warmest. The clocks are advanced ahead by one hour at the beginning of DST, and are moved  back one hour (“spring forward, fall back”) to return to standard time (ST).

The  transition from ST to DST has the effect of moving one hour of daylight from the morning to the evening; and the transition from DST to ST effectively moves one hour of daylight from the evening to the morning.

Yesterday, Sunday, March 11 at 2 a.m., the Eastern Time Zone officially switched from standard time to DST, giving us a later sunrise and sunset. DST will now be in effect for 238 days, or about 65% of the year. DST will end at 2 a.m. on November 4, 2012.

So, from yesterday, the time difference between New Delhi, India and Washington DC, USA is -9:30 hours instead of -10:30 hours.

New Delhi is 9:30 hours ahead of Washington DC. That means when it is 8:00 a.m. in Elkridge, Maryland, USA, it is 5:30 pm in Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli, India.

Why does anyone bother with daylight saving time in the first place?

Benjamin Franklin, the 18th century icon, is widely credited with coming up with the concept of daylight saving time in one of his satiric essays. He suggested a later sunset to decrease the use of fuel for artificial lights.

In an effort to conserve fuel, war-torn Germany, during World War I, was the first country in the world to introduce Daylight Saving Time (DST). Germany began observing DST on May 1, 1916. As the war progressed, most countries in Europe followed suite.

United States introduced the Standard Time Act on March 19, 1918 that established standard time zones and set summer Daylight Saving Time  to begin on March 31, 1918. Though the idea of DST was beneficial to the country, it was unpopular on many fronts and US Congress abolished DST after the war. DST then became a local option and observed in some states.

When World War II began,on February 9, 1942 President Franklin Roosevelt implemented year-round DST, called “War Time”. It lasted till the last Sunday in September 1945. From the following year, many states and localities in US adopted summer DST.Today, most of the United States and its territories observe DST. However, DST is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the state of Arizona.

“There’s a Navajo saying about it,” said Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s State Historian, “That only the U.S. government could believe that when you chop the top off a blanket and sew it on the bottom, you have a longer blanket.”

Some tribes, including the Hopi and, locally, the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe, don’t spring forward in Arizona, but others like the Navajo Indian Reservation, does observe DST. This creates time zone pockets within time zone pockets, causing headaches for travelers in northeastern Arizona.

“Depending on where you’re coming from, you could change your watch, drive a few miles, change it again, drive a few miles and change it again,” said Trimble.

Women in Western Art – A Video by Philip Scott Johnson


Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

Philip Scott Johnson used Abrosoft Fantamorph to create this enthralling video.  He uploaded the video on to YouTube on April 22, 2007 under the pseudonym . It was nominated  for 2007 YouTube Awards in the “Creative” category.

DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 25JAN08 - Yo-Yo Ma, Cellist...

The background music being played is “Bach’s Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007” performed by the French Americancellist, virtuoso, and orchestral composer Yo-Yo Ma.

I hope you like this video as much as I do.

If you are a curious cat like me, then visit Ms. Boni’s site to find the complete list of artists and paintings used in this video by  Philip Scott Johnson.

Women In Art from Philip Scott Johnson on Vimeo

Remembering Sirimavo – The Modern World’s First Female Head of Government


Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

Today, March 8, 2012 (Thursday) is the 101st International Women’s Day.

Currently, there are 17 countries with women as head of government, head of state, or both, which according to Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women has more than doubled since 2005.

The honour of being the modern world’s first female head of government goes to the late Sri Lankan politician Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike. She served as Prime Minister of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, three times, 1960–65, 1970–77 and 1994–2000.

Mrs. Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike (Sinhala: සිරිමාවෝ රත්වත්තේ ඩයස් බන්ඩාරනායක, Tamil: சிறிமாவோ ரத்வத்தே டயஸ் பண்டாரநாயக்க) was born on April 17, 1916 as Sirimavo Ratwatte to Barnes Ratwatte Dissawe and Rosalind Mahawelatenne Kumarihamy of Mahawelatenne Walauwa, Balangoda. She was the eldest of six, with four brothers and one sister.

Mrs. Bandaranaike was educated at St Bridget’s Convent, Colombo, run by Roman Catholic nuns. She was a devout Buddhist. In 1940 she married Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike. They had three children, Chandrika, Sunethra and Anura.

Her husband Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, a member of the State council and son of Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, the Maha Mudaliyar (chief native interpreter and advisor to the Governor of Ceylon), was elected as Prime Minister of Ceylon in 1956. His election marked a significant change in Ceylon’s political history. In 1959, a Buddhist monk assassinated him while in office.

After the death of  Mr. S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike, there was much confusion in the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), founded by him, and it was on the verge of collapsing. At the request of senior party members, Mrs Bandaranaike took over the presidency of SLFP. Though she was an untried leader, she quickly established herself as a formidable politician in her own right, and was the long-time undisputed leader of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. She remained leader of the party for the next forty years.

Known to her fellow Sri Lankans as “Mrs. B,” she could skillfully use popular emotion to boost her support, frequently bursting into tears as she pledged to continue her assassinated husband’s vaguely socialist policies. Hence her opponents and critics dubbed her as “the weeping widow”.

In 1960, M. P. de Zoysa (Jnr) stepped down from his seat in the Senate (appointed upper house of Parliament) paving the way for Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike to be appointed as a member of the Senate from the SLFP.

As a bereaved wife and mother of three, Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike led her party to win the July 1960 elections on the pledge to continue her husband’s policies, notably the Sinhala Only Act, and to proceed with repatriation of the estate Tamils to India. On July 21, 1960, she took the oath as prime minister of Sri Lanka, thus becoming the first female prime minister in the modern world.

But within a year of her historic 1960 election victory, she was inundated by a prolonged ‘civil disobedience campaign’ by the minority Tamil population, outraged by her action in replacing English with Sinhala as the official national language and her order to conduct all government business in Sinhala, the language of the majority Sinhalese. The Sri Lankan Tamils considered this a highly discriminatory act and an attempt to deny Tamils access to all official posts and the law. This led to an increase in Tamil militancy which escalated under succeeding administrations. With no other solution in sight, she declared a state of emergency.

Further problems arose when the government took over foreign businesses, particularly petroleum companies. This move irked the United States and Britain, and aid to Sri Lanka was stopped. So, Mrs. Bandaranaike moved towards China and the Soviet Union and championed a policy of nonalignment.

At home, she crushed an attempted military coup also known as the Colonels coup by Christian officers in 1962.

In 1964, Mrs. Bandaranaike entered into a historic coalition with the Marxist Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP).

In December 1964, Mrs. Bandaranaike and her cabinet were defeated by a no-confidence vote when some of her MPs deserted the party over the nationalization of Lakehouse Newspapers. The SLFP coalition was defeated in the 1965 elections, ending her first term as Prime Minister.

In 1970, she became prime minister of Ceylon once again, after an electoral landslide victory by United Front, her left-wing coalition coalition consisting SLFP, LSSP, and the Communists. She developed strong personal ties with China and the then Indian prime minister, Indira Gandhi.

But after just 16 months in power, the government was almost toppled by the  April 1971 JVP Insurrection of left-wing youths led by the Sinhalese Sri Lankan People’s Liberation Front, or Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a movement started in the late 1960s by Rohana Wijeweera, the son of a businessman.

There was no warning of the uprising, and Sri Lanka’s small army was caught off guard, since Mrs. Bandaranaike had disbanded the government’s intelligence service, suspecting that it was loyal to the opposition United National Party (UNP).

Although the insurgents were young, poorly armed and inadequately trained, they succeeded in seizing and holding major areas in southern and central provinces of the island before they were defeated by government forces. Thanks to Mrs. Bandaranaike’s skillful foreign policy, the government was saved by military aid from both India and Pakistan.

This unsuccessful rebellion by Sinhalese Marxist youth claimed more than 15,000 lives. Their attempt to seize power created a major crisis for the government and forced a fundamental reassessment of the nation’s security needs.

During those tough political years, Mrs. Bandaranaike turned herself into a formidable leader. “She was the only man in her cabinet”, one of her officials commented during the height of the insurgency.

In 1971, she declared the country a republic, and changed the name of the island nation from Ceylon to Sri Lanka.

She also nationalised some companies in the plantation sector and restricted some imports.

By 1975 her government gradually became very unpopular. Under the Soulbury constitution, election should have been held in 1975, but she used a clause of the 1972 constitution to delay elections until 1977.

But in 1976, despite high international standing, Mrs Bandaranaike’s popularity at home declined with a faltering economy and allegations of corruption; and she lost much of the support given to her by the left parties, thus paving the way to a crushing election defeat in 1977, winning only 8 pathetic seats and she managed to win her own seat.

The 1980s were her dark years. Sri Lankan parliament expelled her in 1980, accusing her of misusing power for the 1975-77 delay in elections, and banned her from holding any office for seven years.  She became a political outcast, rejected by her own people who had once idolized her.

Her civic rights were restored in 1986, and she narrowly lost the election for the new, more powerful post of president in 1988.

In 1994, the SLFP-led coalition called the People’s Alliance (PA) won the general elections. Mrs. Bandaranaike’s daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga first become prime minister and then became president of Sri Lanka the same year in November 1994.

Chandrika Kumaratunga then appointed her mother Mrs. Bandaranaike, as prime minister for the third time. As the constitution had changed since her last tenure as prime minister Mrs. Bandaranaike was now subordinate to her daughter, the President.

Political observers said that Mrs. Bandaranaike and her daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga did not have a good rapport, and that her daughter wanted her mother to leave the office to make way for a younger person.

Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike remained in office till a few months before her death, but had little real power. She reluctantly gave up the reins of power on 10 August 2000. Exasperated she said, “I believe it is time for me to quietly withdraw from the humdrum of busy political life, to a more tranquil and quiet environment”

Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike died on Election Day, October 10, 2000, after having cast her vote for the last time. She was 84.

“May Madam Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Sri Lanka’s charismatic matriarch, attain Eternal Bliss.” – Mahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka, in a  tribute on her 88th Birth Anniversary commemoration  (April 17, 2004).

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Skimmers can skin you …

My nephew Dilip Vazirani living in Colombo, Sri Lanka, alerted me through an email to be aware of ATM skimmers installed in ATM booths. He says,

I received this mail from a friend in India. I do not know if this is being done here. Nevertheless, be alert – if its not here (wherever in the world you are) already, it could well arrive soon.

Best to all.

So, I surfed the net and oh my my … lots of information on ATM scamming and skimmers. I am writing this for people who are duds like me living in a cocoon.

Nowadays, the crooks are getting wiser and wiser. They can steal our credit or debit card information without our knowledge by card skimming that has become increasingly common in the past few years. In essence skimmers – the electronic equipment and those who plant them are indeed a serious security threat to users of credit or debit cards at ATMs, gas pumps, credit card readers, etc.

ATM Skimming is an illegal activity that involves the installaltion of a device, usually undetectable by ATM users. The skimmer secretly records bank account data when a customer inserts an ATM card into the machine. Criminals can then encode the stolen data onto a blank card and use it to ransack the customer’s bank account.

Credit card skimmers are devices that crooks place over the actual card readers on an ATM or credit card terminal. The skimmers look like real card readers and their appearance range from mediocre to sophisticated equipment that are indistinguishable from an actual ATM equipment. When customers insert their ATM card into the phony reader, their account info is swiped and stored on an attached cell phone or laptop or sent wirelessly to the crooks lurking nearby.

There are variety of equipment used for skimming:

  • Phony card reader that swipe the account info.
  • False keypad placed over the actual keypad to harvest the PIN numbers being typed.
  • Hard-to-detect pinhole cameras mounted overlooking  the keypad to peep and convey images of the personal information. that’s being entered such as PIN number.
Fig 1: SKIMMING Equipment (phony card reader) being installed on top of the existing atm bank card slot

FIG 2: The skimmer (PHONY CARD READER) as it appears installed over the normal ATM bank card slot.

FIG 3: The PIN reading camera being installed on the ATM is housed in an innocent looking leaflet holder.

FIG 4: The installed camera in the leaflet holder captures PINs by looking down on the keypad

The following are from the article “Taking a Trip to the ATM? Beware of ‘Skimmers’ ” posted by the FBI on their website.

How to Avoid being Skimmed

  • Inspect the ATM, gas pump, or credit card reader before using it…be suspicious if you see anything loose, crooked, or damaged, or if you notice scratches or adhesive/tape residue.
  • When entering your PIN, block the keypad with your other hand to prevent possible hidden cameras from recording your number.
  • If possible, use an ATM at an inside location (less access for criminals to install skimmers).
  • Be careful of ATM s in tourist areas…they are a popular target of skimmers.
  •  If your card isn’t returned after the transaction or after hitting “cancel,” immediately contact the financial institution that issued the card.

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Fractions used by Ancient Tamils


Myself .

By T. V. Antony Raj

In our conversations, we, Tamils, use words denoting fractions very frequently without batting an eyelid.

A Tamil goldsmith will assure his client, “இம்மி அளவேனும் குறையாது (immi alavaenum kurayathu) meaning “not a fraction less”. Here, the word இம்மி (immi) is the Tamil word for the fraction 1/2150400 ≈ 4.6502976190476190476190476190476e-07.



The word “aNu“, meaning “Atom”, is used very frequently by the Tamils to denote very minute portions or particles. In ayurvedic and sidda medicines the naattu vaithiyar (the country doctor) might give instructions to his assistant to add “அணு அளவு பாதரசம்” (aNu alavu padharasam) meaning “an atom sized mercury”. Here the word அணு (aNu) is the Tamil word for the fraction 1/165580800 ≈ 6.0393475572047000618429189857761e-09.

Now, I wonder why the ancient Tamils had such names for these particular fractions. The smallest fraction to be named being தேர்த்துகள் (thaertthugal) which is

1/2323824530227200000000  ≈ 4.3032508995084501477534881372607e-22

I am not able to fathom the underlying reason for the ancient Tamils to use such minute fractions and name them too. I read somewhere that the only place where such minute fractions are used nowadays is in NASA but I am not sure.



Here is the list that I gathered of fractions used by the ancient Tamils:

1 – ஒன்று – onRu
3/4 = 0.75 – முக்கால் – mukkaal
1/2= 0.5 – அரை – arai
1/4 = 0.25 – கால் – kaal
1/5 = 0.2 – நாலுமா – naalumaa
3/16 = 0.1875 – மும்மாகாணி – mummaakaani
3/20 = 0.15 – மும்மா – mummaa
1/8 = 0.125 – அரைக்கால் – araikkaal
1/10 = 0.1 – இருமா – irumaa
1/16 = 0.0625 – மாகாணி (வீசம்) – maakaaNi (veesam)
1/20 = 0.05 – ஒருமா – orumaa
3/64 = 0.046875 – முக்கால்வீசம் – mukkaal veesam
3/80 = 0.0375 – முக்காணி – mukkaaNi
1/32 = 0.03125 – அரைவீசம் – araiveesam
1/40 = 0.025 – அரைமா – araimaa
1/64 = 0.015625 – கால் வீசம் – kaal veesam
1/80 = 0.0125 – காணி – kaaNi
3/320 = 0.009375 – அரைக்காணி முந்திரி – araikkaaNi munthiri
1/160 = 0.00625 – அரைக்காணி – araikkaaNi
1/320 = 0.003125 – முந்திரி – munthiri
3/1280 = 0.00234375 – கீழ் முக்கால் – keel mukkal
1/640 = 0.0015625 – கீழரை – keelArai
1/1280 = 7.8125e-04 – கீழ் கால் – keel kaal
1/1600 = 0.000625 – கீழ் நாலுமா – keel nalumaa
3/5120 ≈ 5.85938e-04 – கீழ் மூன்று வீசம் – keel moondru veesam
3/6400 = 4.6875e-04 – கீழ் மும்மா – keel mummaa
1/2500 = 0.0004 – கீழ் அரைக்கால் – keel araikkaal
1/3200 = 3.12500e-04 – கீழ் இருமா – keel irumaa
1/5120 ≈ 1.95313e-04 – கீழ் வீசம் – keel veesam
1/6400 = 1.56250e-04 – கீழொருமா – keelorumaa
1/102400 ≈ 9.76563e-06 – கீழ்முந்திரி – keezh munthiri
1/2150400 ≈ 4.65030e-07 – இம்மி – immi
1/23654400 ≈ 4.22754e-08 – மும்மி – mummi
1/165580800 ≈ 6.03935e-09 – அணு – aNu
1/1490227200 ≈ 6.71039e-10 – குணம் – kuNam
1/7451136000 ≈ 1.34208e-10 – பந்தம் – pantham
1/44706816000 ≈ 2.23680e-11 – பாகம் – paagam
1/312947712000 ≈ 3.19542e-12 – விந்தம் – vintham
1/5320111104000 ≈ 1.87966e-13 – நாகவிந்தம் – naagavintham
1/74481555456000 ≈ 1.34261e-14 – சிந்தை – sinthai
1/1489631109120000 ≈ 6.71307e-16 – கதிர்முனை – kathirmunai
1/59585244364800000 ≈ 1.67827e-17 – குரல்வளைப்படி – kuralvaLaippidi
1/3575114661888000000 ≈ 2.79711e-19 -வெள்ளம் – veLLam
1/357511466188800000000 ≈ 2.79711e-21 – நுண்மணல் – nuNNmaNal
1/2323824530227200000000 ≈ 4.30325e-22 – தேர்த்துகள் – thaertthugal



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Eradicator of Polio – Dr. Jonas Salk



By T.V. Antony Raj


Polio Egyptian Stele
Polio Egyptian Stele


The effects of polio have been known since ancient times. Egyptian paintings and carvings depict afflicted people with withered limbs, and children walking with canes to support. The photo on the right is that of an Egyptian 18th Dynasty (1403–1365 BC) stele thought to represent a polio victim.

At the turn of the twentieth century, small, localized paralytic polio epidemics began to appear in the United States and Europe. During the first half of the twentieth century, polio epidemic outbreaks reached pandemic proportions in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Prior to the 20th century, polio infections, in most cases afflicted children six months to four years of age. It was rarely seen in infants before six months of age. Around 1950’s the peak age incidence of polio in the United States shifted from infants to children aged five to nine years; and almost one-third of the cases reported were in persons over 15 years of age. Hence, the rate of paralysis and death due to polio infection also increased during this time. In 1952, the United States, saw the worst outbreak of the polio epidemic in the nation’s history. Around 58,000 cases were reported that year out of which more than three thousand died, mostly children, and more than twenty thousand were afflicted with mild to disabling paralysis of the limbs.


Dr. Jonas Salk
Dr. Jonas Salk


In early 1950s, this scourge brought fear into the hearts of everyone, especially the parents of young and teenage children, as it was very well publicized with extensive media coverage of any scientific advancement that might lead to a cure. Thus, the scientists and researchers working on polio became some of the most famous of the century.

This burden of fear was lifted forever when an American dedicated researcher and virologist, Dr. Jonas Salk made the “impossible possible” by developing a vaccine to fight polio. Dr. Salk became world-famous overnight, but his discovery was the result of many years of painstaking research.

Jonas Edward Salk was born on October 28, 1914 in New York City to parents from Ashkenazi Jewish Russian immigrant families. Although his parents themselves did not have much formal education, they were determined to see their children study and succeed.

Salk had an immense passion for science. It was because of this that he finally chose medicine over law as his career goal. During his years at the New York University School of Medicine he stood out from his peers, according to Bookchin, “not just because of his continued academic prowess—he was Alpha Omega Alpha, the Phi Beta Kappa Society of medical education—but because he had decided he did not want to practice medicine.”

After obtaining his M.D. degree at the New York University School of Medicine in 1939, he worked as a staff physician at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Later, he joined  the University of Michigan as a research fellow. There,  at the behest of the U.S. Army, he developed a vaccine for influenza. In 1947, he joined the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as director of the Virus Research Laboratory.

Jonas Edward Salk (Photo courtesy of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies)


While developing the influenza vaccine, he had observed that protection could be established using noninfectious, inactivated (killed) viruses. So, in Pittsburgh Salk developed the techniques that would lead to his polio vaccine. Vaccines against smallpox and rabies were induced by infecting by a living virus, but Salk thought otherwise – he conceived the idea that protective immunity could be induced, without infection by a living virus.

Basil O’Connor, president of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, showed interest in Salk’s research. His organization decided to fund Salk’s research to develop a killed virus vaccine against paralytic poliomyelitis.

The vaccines developed by Sak’s team were tested first by injecting monkeys and then on patients who already had polio. Next, in order to test the vaccine on people who had not had polio, Salk injected himself, then his wife, his three sons, his laboratory staff, and volunteers. All of them developed anti-polio antibodies without encountering any bad reactions to the vaccine.

Finally, national testing of the polio vaccine began in 1954. One million children, ages six to nine, who became known as the ‘Polio Pioneers’ were injected: half of them were given the vaccine, while the other half received a placebo.


On April 12, 1955, Dr. Thomas Francis, Jr., of the University of Michigan, the monitor of the test results declared that vaccine to be safe and effective. When news of the vaccine’s success was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a “miracle worker”, and the day almost became a national holiday.

The average number of polio cases in the US was more than 45,000 in the two years before the vaccine was made widely available. In 1962, that number had dropped to 910.

Dr. Jonas Salk never patented the vaccine, nor did he earn any money from his discovery. He preferred to see it distributed as widely as possible. When the late television personality Ed Murrow asked him, “Who owns this patent?”, Salk replied, “No one. Could you patent the sun?”

This great humanitarian researcher died in June 23, 1995.



By 1988, polio had disappeared from the US, UK, Australia and much of Europe and South America, but remained prevalent in more than 125 countries. The same year, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to eradicate the disease completely by the year 2000. 



The WHO Americas region was certified polio free in 1994, with the last wild case recorded in the Western Pacific region (which includes China) in 1997. A further landmark came in 2002 when the WHO certified the European region polio-free.



In 2012, Polio remains officially endemic in four countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and India. Despite so much progress, polio remains a risk with virus from Pakistan re-infecting China in 2011, which had been polio-free for more than a decade.  India is on the verge of being removed from the list having not had a case since January 2011.

Klok beats the clock


Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

If you are asked to perform 10 illusions within a span of 5 minutes can you take on the challenge? The handsome Dutch illusionist Hans Klok beat the clock by performing his fastest illusions in 5 minutes – faster than he ever did.

Dutch illusionist and actor Johannes Franciscus Catharinus “Hans” Klok was born in Purmerend, Netherlands on 22 February 1969. He began his career in magic as a teenager. By the time he was sixteen he had won awards in several international competitions. At the age 23, he was part of a touring show along with famous Dutch comedian André van Duin.

His debut in USA was in 1994, when he performed for the first time on the Las Vegas Strip, as part of NBC’s “The World’s Greatest Magic.” This was broadcast live from Caesars Palace to an audience of over 60 million people.

He then toured Europe and China for 10 years and appeared in Las Vegas once more.

During the opening ceremony of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, he enthralled around 500 million football fans in 152 countries, by making the 18-carat gold World Trophy appear out of thin air in a glass cage.

In 2012 he broke his own world record for the most illusions done in 5 minutes on the BBC show, “The Magicians.”

Hans Klok has also acted in films and TV:

2002 – Le plus grand cabaret du monde (TV series) in Episode dated 14 December 2002.

2003 – De D van dag (short drama – 22 mins)

2004 – Sinterklaas en het geheim van de Robijn (adventure, family film 115 mins) in whcih Hans Klok appeared as Bisschop van Zwitserland.

2007 – The 2007 World Magic Awards (family, fantasy TV movie 120 mins). Roger Moore appears as himself at the host of the show. The Hans Klok and Pamela Anderson team was fun to watch as well as the other performers.

2009 – De Dik Voormekaar show (comedy TV series). In Episode #1.10, Meneer De Bok hopes Klok will make his wife disappear.

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