Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Vijender - The New Prince...

The latest cutie\hottie on the block is India's boxer Vijender Kumar. Now that's a real success story. The guy is the son of a humble bus conductor who comes from a village of boxers in Haryana.The dapper six footer , as media reports describe him, is pure star material - from attitude (sticking his tongue out at lensmen), to focus and determination, this 22- year -old has it made. From modelling to movies won't be that hard a leap, and I'm pretty certain there will be dozens of talent touts\scouts chasing the winner now. If anyone can challenge Dhoni's supremacy in the endorsement stakes, it's this guy.
However lets hope he never relent his boxing career as this fella has a long way to go in winning medals for our country...


1.Whenever you find the key to success, someone changes the lock.
2.To Err is human, but to forgive is not a COMPANY policy.
3.The road to success??.. Is always under construction.
4.Alcohol doesn't solve any problems, but if you think again, neither does Milk.
5.In order to get a Loan, you first need to prove that you have ability to repay back.
6.All the desirable things in life are either illegal, expensive or fattening.
7.Since Light travels faster than Sound, people appear brighter before you hear
8.Everyone has a scheme of getting rich?.. Which never works.
9.If at first you don't succeed?. Destroy all evidence that you ever tried.
10.You can never determine which side of the bread to butter. If it falls down, it will always land on the buttered side.
11.Anything dropped on the floor will roll over to the most inaccessible corner.
12. 42.7% of all statistics is made on the spot.
13.As soon as you mention something?? If it is good, it is taken?. If it is bad, it happens.
14.He who has the gold, makes the rules ---- Murphy's golden rule.
15.If you come early, the bus is late. If you come late?? The bus is still late.
16.Once you have bought something, you will find the same item being sold somewhere else at a cheaper rate.
17.When in a queue, the other line always moves faster and the person in front of you will always have the most complex of transactions.
18.If you have paper, you don't have a pen. If you have a pen, you don't have paper. If you have both, no one calls.
19.Especially for engg. Students : If you have bunked the class, the professor has taken attendance.
20.You will pick up maximum wrong numbers when on roaming.
21.The door bell or your mobile will always ring when you are in the bathroom.
22.After a long wait for bus no.20, two 20 number buses will always pull in together and the bus which you get in will be crowded than the other.
23.If your exam is tomorrow, there will be a power cut tonight.
24.Irrespective of the direction of the wind, the smoke from the cigarette will always tend to go to the non-smoker
25.Before borrowing money from a friend, decide whether you need more.
26.There are three sides to every argument: your side, my side and the right side.
27.An expert is someone who takes a subject you understand and makes it sound confusing.
28.Many things can be preserved in alcohol. Dignity is not one of them.
29.Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.
30.When you're right, no one remembers. When you're wrong, no one forgets.
31.Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
32.Well done is better than well said .
33.Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make them when nobody is looking.
34.Where there is a WILL, there is a WAY, Where there is MONEY, there are many WAYS.
35.Where there is MONEY, there are many FRIENDS and RELATIVES.
36.Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.

Billion Indians, but where are all their medals ??

Billion Indians, but where are all their medals? - Hamish McDonald Asia-Pacific Editor
THERE is something truly Olympian in the disdain that the country with the world's second-biggest population has shown for its lack of Olympic Games success.
China has gone to ridiculous excess in hosting the current Games, combining the fanaticism of a Maoist "rectification" drive with East German-style incubation of athletes in its drive to be top medal winner.
But what of the other emerging Asian giant, India, which has 1 billion people to select from. It has dazzling cricketers with the eye of Sachin Tendulkar; thousands of village wrestlers; shooters expert at shikar (hunting); and horsemen who can skewer a tent-peg at full gallop.
Yet it usually manages to bring home only one medal per Olympic Games. Consistently, India throws out the modelling by economists at PricewaterhouseCoopers that postulates a link between population size and economic growth.
Only twice has India won two medals. First was in Paris in 1900, but that was by an English sahib named Norman Pritchard who received silver in the 200-metre dash and 200-metre hurdles. The second was in Helsinki in 1952 when wrestler Khashaba Jadav won a bronze, in addition to the routine gold for field hockey.
The run of hockey wins, which reaped all of India's gold medals until now, came to an end 28 years ago. This week, shooter Abhinav Bindra became his country's first individual Olympic gold medallist, winning the 10-metre air rifle event.
India, almost alone in the world, seems to apply the notion that sport is all about participation, not winning - the Kiplingesque adage that it doesn't matter if you win or lose, but how you play the game - and all that. Behind the sportsmanship, however is some grinding of teeth.
Rajeev Srinivasan wrote on the website: "I am always embarrassed by India's wretched showing in the Olympics, which is a metaphor for the two things that haunt India: lack of a strategic intent, and lack of leadership. It is not that Indians are physically weak or incapable of competing at Olympic levels: in many sports at the junior level, Indians do very well indeed. The failure is in developing that early promise …
"One failure is in identifying an overarching goal: that of being the best in the world. This is an implicit assumption made by Americans: that America is the best of the best. Similarly, China has historically viewed itself as the Middle Kingdom and the centre of civilisation, deeming all others to be barbarians. But Indians have been content to be second-best, the sporting losers. We apparently do not believe we can win."
Shashi Tharoor, the novelist and former United Nations official, puts it even more starkly. "Every Indian who follows the Olympics has cringed scanning the daily list of medal winners, eyes travelling down past dozens of nations big and small before alighting on a solitary Indian bronze in tennis or wrestling," he wrote in his syndicated column this month.
"Worse yet, we have all known the shame of waiting day after day for India to appear on the list at all, as countries a hundredth our size record gold upon gold and Indian athletes are barely mentioned among the also-rans."
The excuses are many. Most of India's people live in villages, with poor nutrition and many illnesses and sports facilities are few. Only the wealthy, who traditionally supplied the cricketers and sportsmen such as Karni Singh, the Maharaja of Bikener who won a shooting bronze at Tokyo in 1964, had time and money for serious training.
The sporting bureaucracies are a byword for cronyism and freeloading, with the politics of the Board of Control for Cricket in India almost as intense as those for the national government.
Tharoor doesn't think failure is encoded in the Indian DNA. "Indian genes in a developing country did not prevent Vijay Singh emerging from Fiji to rival Tiger Woods as the best golfer in the world," he wrote.
"The newly globalised India can no longer content itself with mediocrity in this global competition. For a land with world-class computer scientists, mathematicians, biotech researchers, filmmakers and novelists, sporting excellence is the last unconquered frontier. But 2008 won't be the year in which that frontier is breached."
When it happens, something sort of noble will be lost.

Manjul Bhargava - Youngest Prof At US Varsity

MUMBAI: It doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that you have a professional hiker by your side.

But when the gentleman you walk with - along the unending stretches at IIT Bombay, Powai - tells you that he arrives at the best solutions to complex mathematical theories while hiking, it makes you pause and wonder.

At 33, Manjul Bhargava is a whiz at maths, music and hiking. And he’s the youngest professor at Princeton University, US. When most people are still learning to navigate the rough and tumble of the workplace, Bhargava had hotfooted it to where he is now.

He did his PhD in number theory at Princeton - he cracked a 200-year-old problem - under his mentor, Andrew Viles. And was named professor at the tender age of 28. “It was weird. I started teaching when I was an undergraduate. And when I went into it full time, I was suddenly flooded with offers from different colleges for various posts.”

Why Princeton? “They had the best offer,” he grins.

But - er - math? A subject that intimidates so many of us mere mortals? To become a reasearcher in that subject, teach it, win prizes and be in love with it is, well, no less than a feat. “Maths is fun. It is a creative process. I always knew I had an inclination for maths. So going into research in the subject was natural for me.”

He believes in the huge potential for the subject in India, and will be teaching at IIT Powai and TIFR in Mumbai for about a month each year.

Bhargava is in India in connection with a string theory conference at TIFR. He also gave a lecture at IIT-B and is working on starting a music programme here. He is an adjunct professor at Princeton and IIT-B, and tries to visit once or twice a year.

“Maths is all about creativity. It’s an art... There is something about Indians that makes them good at maths. It’s either cultural or genetic.” Genetic, maybe. But cultural? “For generations, we have produced great mathematicians. Maybe it’s because of that,” he believes. And, of course, the obsessive importance attached to engineering in the country. “When you’re good at maths, you are immediately pushed towards engineering for economic reasons. Because for a long time, engineers were the ones who grabbed the good jobs.”

However, he feels, things are changing now in favour of pure sciences. “There are a lot more research jobs available. With so many institutes starting up, all the new IITs, they are going to need a lot more faculty.”

But most students dread the M word. That is one exam they will gladly pass up the chance to write. “That is true,” he says. “Sadly, in India, we tend to teach maths according to a structure. Students learn formulae by rote. Teachers should teach maths just like other subjects. Explain a theory, ask students to try and find answers and then guide them in the right direction,” he says.

Another problem, he points out, is that if you are good at any of the sciences, you are expected to choose engineering. “But that’s not the way it works. Someone who excels in maths need not be that good at chemistry or physics. Everyone has a knack for some subject. He or she should be encouraged to concentrate on that subject.”

The levels of teaching the subject here are way ahead of those in the US, he says. “As a child, I used to come down to India for months together. I used to look at textbooks here and wonder. Because the level of maths taught here is way above what their American contemporaries learn at that age.”

Bhargava counts number theory and tabla sessions among his passions. Just like the problems he solves on hikes. He seems pretty much at home walking these roads and talking about his life. Does he do it often? “Oh yes, I do. There are times when I am stuck on a theory and all I need is a long walk in the woods to arrive at a solution. I even take my students on hikes sometimes to explain or work out a theory.”

Maths is, of course, in his blood. His mother too is a mathematics professor. But his horizons have always been broader. “I always knew I was inclined towards maths. At graduation, I took a lot of classes. Even though my core subject was maths, I took credits in Sanksrit, paleontology and economics. Then I started taking classes during my undergrad years and things just kind of fell into place,” he says.

Would he consider moving to India, to share his love for maths? And where would he pitch tent? The answer’s simple. “Mumbai, definitely. It’s where maths and music come together for me,” he says.