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Friggatriskaidekaphobia

Do you know what does the term friggatriskaidekaphobia means?

If you are tech savvy, your first reaction would certainly to google it.  Spend no energy, it is the title of my article and I owe you an explanation. It stands for “the fear of Friday the 13th”.

The year 2012 is one of the rare occurrences, where the date 13 coincides with Friday, thrice in the year.  This year we had a triple-treat of Friday the 13th: January 13, April 13 and July 13. And yesterday was the third and final Friday the 13th for the year.

Friday the 13th is dreaded by people across the world and so the reason psychologists coined a tongue twister of a name for the phobia of Friday the 13th – Friggatriskaidekaphobia (Frigga being the name of the Norse Goddess for whom “Friday” is named and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen).

Interestingly if these psychologists are to be believed there are over 60 million people across the globe who suffers from this phobia. Symptoms usually range from retreating into their shell and avoiding human contact on this day. These are the people who do more research and say that the freaky thing about 2012 triple treat, is that the dates fall exactly 13 weeks apart. And that hasn’t happened since 1984.

In many cultures Friday is an inauspicious day and 13 an inauspicious number. This makes Friday the 13th a double whammy combination for the doomsayers. So superstition rules the roost when Friday the 13th, comes calling.

There were times when computer systems across the globe were on high alert from virus attack and hackers. Virus attacks and malwares were unleashed by hackers on the Friday the 13th.  These fears are still alive with System Administrators across the globe. Even countries in Europe see reduced vehicular traffic on this day as most people take the day off from work and stay indoors paralised by the fear of doom. Browses world over including Wall Street has brisk business with stock brokers and investors shying away from doing business on this day.

Even as some chose to believe in the legend others laugh it off. And while I fancy the word “friggatriskaidekaphobia”, for me strangely, the day Friday the 13th is like any other day. Maybe a very lucky day 😉

Photo Courtesy: GoogleImages

The Wall

For nearly 16 years, starting from the time when his exploits across the 22 yard pitch as a teenager announced to the world that he was a cricket exponent of remarkable ability Rahul Sharad Dravid has repeatedly proved his worth.

Whenever the Indian Cricket Team found itself on a sticky wicket, he put his hand up. Whether it was opening the innings in the twilight of his career in England last year or slipping on the wicketkeeper’s gloves so that one more batsman could be accommodated for the 2003 World Cup, Dravid was “The Wall of Indian Cricket”.

He truly was the Wall of all seasons.  He was a player who showed nerves in the decisive games for India and a player who always put the team first.  Dravid holds multiple cricketing records and the numbers reveal the magnificence of his innings.

  • Rahul Dravid is only the second player, after Sachin Tendulkar, to reach 13,000 runs in Test cricket, with 36 hundreds and an average of 52.31.
  • On 14 February 2007, he became the sixth player overall and the third Indian (after Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly), to score 10,000 runs in ODI cricket in cricketing history.
  • He is the first and only batsman to score a century in all ten Test Cricket playing nations.
  • Dravid currently holds the world record for the most number of catches in Test cricket with more than 200 catches.
  • Dravid has also been involved in more than 80 century partnerships with 18 different partners and has been involved in 19 century partnerships with Sachin Tendulkar – a world record.

But it has been one of the oddities that Dravid’s finest hours were persistently overshadowed by another event.

Rahul made his debut in 1996 in the Second Test against England at the Lord’s along with Sourav Ganguly, when Sanjay Manjrekar got injured after the first Test match. Dravid made a luminous 96 but was upstaged by Sourav’s century (Sourav’s 131 still remains the highest by any batsman on his debut at the Lord’s). And in 2001 during that staggering fight back against the Australians at Eden Gardens, his majestic 180 always stood in comparison with the epic 281 scored by VVS Laxman.

As cricket crazy India celebrated our cricketing maestros, it looked like the quiet man of Indian cricket Rahul Dravid always got less than his due. But a careful analysis of the Lords innings and the Eden Garden innings will reveal why Rahul Dravid is called ‘the Wall’ by his team mates. In both these Test matches Rahul provided the momentum for both Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman to capitalize on enroute to their epic milestone.  And the master of the measured aesthetic, never complained and keeping the interest of team in mind, silently scripted many a sporting victories for Team India.

On 14 December 2011, he became the first non-Australian cricketer to address at the Bradman Memorial lecture in Canberra.  It was here he revealed his genius through a precious well thought out blueprint: drawn from a beautiful mind in a beautiful game.

His farewell to cricket was also a stroke in his own terms. On 9 March 2012, announced his retirement from international and first class cricket. Dravid made the announcement with the BCCI president, N Srinivasan and former captain and friend Anil Kumble at a press conference in Bangalore. And it was much like the man himself, unassuming and yet taking full cognisance of the big cricket picture. In his own words, “I felt it was the right time for me to move on, for a next generation of cricketers to play and make a new history.” No soaring metaphor, no grand flourish.

Although Dravid’s retirement has been on the cards, it had been expected that he would be given a farewell match as was done in the cases of fellow greats Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly. But with no Test match scheduled until September, it must go down as yet another instance of the quiet man of Indian cricket getting less than his due.

But many regard Rahul Dravid as one of the greatest Test batsmen in the history of the game. And for cricket enthusiasts he will remain “THE WALL”

Photo Courtesy: santabanta.com

WHY THIS KOLAVERI DIdi

We Indian are known for our sense of humour and are comfortable to tickle our funny bone at another’s expense, but some folks, especially the political class, seem to be fairly thin-skinned when the joke’s on them.

When Ambikesh Mahapatra, a professor in the chemistry department of the Jadavpur University, forwarded what he may have regarded as a harmless cartoon to his neighbour Subrata Sengupta, the West Bengal authorities, didn’t dissolve into a fit of giggles.

The cartoon (above), shows the Chief Minister and the Union Railway Minister exchanging dialogues from a popular Bengali film by Satyajit Ray which alluded to the replacement of Dinesh Trivedi by Mukul Roy as Railway Minister.

The militant Trinammol Congress workers, who at one time used to lecture the Marxists about the space for dissent in a democratic set up, visited the the offending emailer and conveyed their vigorous opinion about his humour. Then, the state’s machinary chose to visit again with full might and arrested both the professor and his neighbour.

According to the TC workers who attacked the professor it’s all part of a Maoist-Marxist conspiracy to besmirch the reputation of the new revolutionary CM Ms Mamata Banerjee. Watching all these drama unfold I have only one thing to say “Apni Boro Roshik Lok Toh” (Akka Bengali for “Have Some Sense Of Humour”)

And in order not to offend anybody’s sentiment giving the English translation of the Title “Why This Kolaveri Di(di)” – Why This Murderous Rage, Sister 😉