Sunday, December 31, 2006

Hingis Marriage: bloom or doom

Martina Hingis and Radek Stepanek romance : bloom or doom

The fans are going gaga over the engagement and their compatibility. With almost daily articles especially from the Swiss press and Hingis’ & Stepanek’s own sound bites fielding queries about when they first met, proposed etc. to contend with, fans are already saying its taken that this will last for ever.

Firstly some things in perspective. Hingis has never been short of men in her life. She has had a string of known relationships, any unknown we wouldn’t know. From tennis players Alonso, Heuberger, Norman to ice hockey player Pavel Kubina, to golfer Garcia, lawyer Calkin and ski-instructor Stefan Egger just to name a few, she has had many past relationships.

Her recent statement that she always had Radek in her mind and never forgot him even when she was with other men, is both shocking and revealing. Shocking because its unkind and not sincere to her ex-boyfriends. For the record she also made statements in the past when she was with many of them, how special they were!

So either those statements were false or this one is. She could also be trying to charm and win over the skeptics. Indeed Radek will be the most happiest to read that he was always on her mind.

His parents have already been won over by her with both showering their blessings on the couple and eulogizing about their future daughter-in-law.

She did date him when aged 14, i read on the forums.(i dont remember topic.)

Plus i remember an interview she was asked "do u think u will end up marrying a tennis pro?" and she said "i dont think so. but because of the circumstances its the easiest to date them" lol.

And now she is engaged to a tennis player!!! funny reversal from her statement...

She also said "it the same issues and understanding (abt her tennis life)" regarding dating/being with other tennis pros like Julian, Heuberger etc. Yet for those very reasons those relationships didnt last.

Quite confusion in her head in my opinion.

While this all sounds like a fairy tale, some glaring points about Radek remain. Firstly Radek is already 28, at 2 years older than Martina. He was 10 years on the tour since turning professional and his break through year was 2006 with him reaching the top ten in the world for the first time. (highest ranking number 8th) Only to injure his neck vertebra.

Career Review:

Singles Record: 151 - 113
Singles Titles: 1
Doubles Record: 136 - 89
Doubles Titles: 12
Prize Money: $3,630,518

And he made his return from injury at the Adelaide International on Tuesday but was beaten in two sets 6-4 6-4 by Vince Spadea of the US in his first match of the round robin event. Stepanek has been the focus of media attention recently, after becoming engaged to Martina Hingis; Hingis's mother is Czech and the former world number one lived in Moravia for a short period as a child.
Third-seeded Radek Stepanek will need to defeat Russian Evgeny Korolev in his next round-robin match to have a chance of progressing to the final eight. The 32-player Adelaide tournament is the first to try the ATP Tour's new round-robin format in 2007.

Hingis ex-boyfriends have all slid down their career paths after hooking up with her! Alonso, Heuberger, Norman got injured to see their fledging careers perish. Some call it the ‘curse of chucky’ cause of Hingis’ nickname ‘chucky’.

Tennis magazine already christened Hingis “the black widow” for her over riding bad luck bestowed on her lovers! While that is unkind there seems to be a grain of truth in it. The timing of the article was indeed a strange coincidence with her announcing her engagement to the Aussie media around the same time.

Already Radek dropped to number 19th in the ATP rankings. Curse working already!???

He has already contended he has some ‘ideas’ about fixing the wedding date and he could very well tell her and she will oblige. The wedding seems very much on the cards this year itself!

That would mean a grand wedding, party, honeymoon, media frenzy and a ton of distractions. There is also the possibility of an unplanned addition to the family album. And it has happened before on the tennis circuit. Recently Davenport has been visited by the stork and is all but retired now. If ‘it’ indeed happens Hingis will very retire for good. She has always said how much she would like to have a dream relationship plus children plus marriage.

She stands much to loose though on the career front if she really wants her second career to take off and fly. Winning the slams wont be a cake walk especially with other priorities.

Radek wont play too long, he is already said he might learn to ride her horses (“horses are noble animals”), ski with her and as at the Madrid WTA Masters he went as a coach too. Melanie has been glaringly absent. Hingis was all praises and made statements about how important his presence in Madrid was to the media.

Promptly she lost winning only 1 of 2 group matches. So the coaching didn’t work nor did his presence except as a disruption.

If he plans to quit and tour her around like Mr. Pierre-Yves Hardenne who thankfully doesn’t coach Justine, it might not serve her cause so well. Indeed for Justine her marriage meant a clear upswing in results. (factors included were her early marriage not the same age as martina is now, her own work ethic and tough guy coach Carlos. Radek, a lover first wont be able to be tough with her and push her). If the past is any indicator, Hingis wont fare as well. (She lost to Seles in the semis of Rolland Garros in 1998 after going out with her then beau Alonso for an overnight date)

Radek hasn’t much to look forward to professionally but Hingis does. Plus his coaching credentials can never match Melanie’s who knows & reads the game best. Plus she is hard driven something Hingis herself isn’t and Radek doesn’t appear to be either.

Also Radek proposed to Hingis before she could have any chance to change her mind or move on to someone else. Which she has done in the past. By her own admission she was surprised! Indeed everyone is if not shocked.

So now that the ‘ring of commitment’ is around her finger, she will have a hard time letting go. Perfect for Radek. I am not saying Radek has ulterior motives but the timing seems a little suspect.

And then there is the length of time they have known each other. 22 years is indeed long! She is now 26. 26-22 = 4. Hingis said she took a fancy/liking to him since age 4!!! He was 6 then. All I can say is wow, that early.

And seemingly they will be happy ever after.

Another of her ex’s the ski-instructor and restauranter Stefan Egger was known to her since age 7! And she was with him for a year before she dumped him for Sol Campbell. (He got to know through the media which is a shame)

So knowing a guy for long isn’t a factor at all.

Plus this story sounds to perfect for now. Perfect romance, proposal, ring, seems like a nice guy… etc etc. And since nothing in life is perfect, it could all wind up fast. Life as also in sports, the bigger and richer you are, the more you have to lose.

Give it another year or so. Most want this to end in the mould of Steffi-Agassi but Martina is no Steffi nor is Radek an Andre! Steffi & Agassi have indeed kept their lives under wraps. But Martina loves a good show off. And has been keen to show of her love interests in the past as well. In 2006 she was seen with Radek a lot. Radek to seems to enjoy the attention and globe-trotting shows and social graces. But it all has a prize as can be seen with other failed tennis romances notably Evert-Llyod (who toured around with her after marriage) and recently Hewitt-Clijsters.

And ever since I read about it I have a feeling something is wrong somewhere. Even if I get flak from fellow fans, I say my intuition tells me this will end sadly for Martina. This year will be good even the best. But I feel the next one wont be. Either ways her heart will break.

Hopefully it wont happen but not all wishes come true. I think she will marry, win a slam, get pregnant and retire soon. Braveheart Radek is really sticking his neck out too soon.

This poster has said:

being hingis' boyfriend = injured
being her husband = dead

Other thoughts from

"The new year is about to ring in and it's almost as if there's false spring during the Down Under summer: love is in the air, with Martina Hingis and Radek Stepanek confirming their engagement, and Aussie Mark Philippoussis confirming that he has broken off his year-and-a-half long engagement to Florida's Alexis Barbara.

Hingis and Stepanek are, of course, thrilled. Of course, the sputtering Philippoussis says that he needs to focus more on his career now than his love life. He has little time left to make a major impact on tour, so maybe it was a good choice, but why is it that so often we hear athletes/celebrities say that they must sacrifice love for career?

Part of becoming successful in any pursuit is learning to become a fuller person and living a more expansive life. Sure, some maintain that every waking moment has to be about their career (that's what Ivan Lendl told Vania King), but look at the tennis players who have managed to flourish while still maintaining positive romantic relationships: Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Justine Henin-Hardenne are just a few that come to mind.

But enough of that. A quick prediction though on Hingis and Stepanek on court: the elation they are feeling that is emanating from their impending nuptials should aid them this year on court. But I suspect that Stepanek's results will fall off quicker than Hingis' will, simply because she is a more demanding person. That's not a criticism, but my guess is that it will take her a good decade before she can truly see herself in a 50-50 partnership."

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Hingis wins round one at Gold Coast 2007

Hingis v Bammer 1st round, Mondial open 31-12-06 in Australia pictures

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Hingis Engagement Ring closeups

Martina Hingis at Gold Coast 2007 press conference with her engagement ring with Radek Stepanek on display.

Heh we guys n gals cant get enough. Now see the ring close ups. lol

tags: hingis , martina hingis , hingis engagement , hingis gold coast

Hingis wins at A.O. Hardcourt Championship

Hingis comes full circle with win, BBC Article with some Martina quotes

Martina Hingis capped off her first full year back on the WTA circuit with an easy win in the Australian Women's Hardcourt Championships first round.
The Swiss star, who began her comeback at the event in 2005, eased past Austria's Sybille Bammer 6-0 6-2.

She said: "Now I'm number seven in the world, I've won a couple of events and played some great matches so I know I can handle myself out there.

"I'll have a day off and I can probably toast the win at midnight."

Hingis added: "I was very focused and didn't have ups and downs. That was quite surprising after a six week break."

The 26-year-old, now faces a second-round clash with either Russian Elena Bovina or Australian wildcard Nicole Pratt.

She made the semi-finals in her comeback at the Gold Coast tournament despite it being her first tournament for three years.

Hingis announced this week that she is engaged to marry Czech tennis player Radek Stepanek.

* Australian wildcard Sophie Ferguson caused the first upset of the event when she beat eighth seed Ai Sugiyama of Japan 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

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Place of Radek Hingis Engagement

Hmm place where he proposed.

Karl (Charles) bridge in Prague. restaurant below. (may be its that one)

Tags: martina hingis , hingis , radek stepanek , hingis radek engagement , martina hingis prague , prague , Charles Bridge , Karl Bridge

Where Hingis got Proposed

The pictures are from June after the French Open in Prague.

Thanx to Hilarius again.

Article by Cécile Klotzbach in Blick of Dec. 30, 2006

Translation, by strict order of Irinska, of an article in Blick of Dec. 30, 2006 by Cécile Klotzbach.


Gold Coast (Australia).

Yes, Martina Hingis is willing! Radek Stepanek is the happy one. She plans with the Czech the double of her life.

Martina’s number one man seems to be romantic – his proposal looks Hollywood-like.

It happened on the 24th November in Prague. At a tête-à-tête in a restaurant on the peninsula Kampa. Just below under the Karls bridge, the picturesque landmark of Prague. Radek topped of the perfect diner by drawing a diamond-ring.

Yesterday the Swiss discosed her intentions in Australia, where she starts the new season. As she was caught, when she proudly showed to the Swiss Emmanuelle Gagliardi her engagement ring. “In Switzerland I walked around for a month with the ring, and nobody said something” she declares “Here, the people are more attentive”.
“Here” – at the other end of the world, all started. Just a year ago, when the Swiss Miss started her come-back. Her good results faded the rumours into the background. But it could not be concealed: The two spent a lot of time together.
The Czech and the Swiss with Slovakian roots know each other since childhood. Later they met at tournaments. But Cupid threw his darts only later. “Top secret” were the further meetings. Until they were seen whispering sweets nothings at a hockey-match in Florida.
Shortly afterwards the disclosure “We are now a pair, it is no more a secret” Stepanek said to Blick. And he added winking: “We understand each other in many languages”.
The two love each other in Czech and English. Martina emphasizes the mutual understanding for their life as tennis pro: “It is good to have somebody, who understands all. We can support us optimally”.
As Stepanek didn’t play any tournaments since the US Open due to his injured back, he spent a lot of time with Martina. He even accompanied her to the Masters in Madrid as a “coach”. Afterwards the both made holidays in Switzerland, in Austria and in Prague.
Now, our Tennis-Princess will really marry! She, the former no. 1, now again the no. 7. He, who had in last July his best ranking as no. 8, and now no. 19.
When the wedding bells ring is not yet fixed. But the world of tennis gets a new dream pair.
Game, set and match for Martina and Radek!

Here a pic with the text in Czech: Presne rok po prvni schüzce se oba teniste zasnoubili.
Which I translate: Just a year after the first meeting the two tennisplayers are engaged.

When the pic was made I do not know.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Radek Stepanek on Hingis & engagement

Radek in an article in Blick of Dec. 30,2006, From Blesk, a Czech "sister" paper of Blick

Thanx to Hilarius for translation.

Small article in the printed edition of Blick Dec. 30, 2006

Both are in Australia. But Radewk Stepanek will only see Martina at the Australian Open in the middle of January.
The Czech tennis star was talking with “Blesk”. (A Czech paper which is owned by the Ringier group, like the “Blick”).

Q: Where is Martina? Didn’t you fly together?

Radek: We separated in Singapore. She flew to the Gold Coast and I to Adelaide.

Q: How was it with the diamond-ring?

Radek: Such a thing you cannot plan, that you have to feel. It just happened.

Q: After an engagement follows mostly the wedding.

Radek: (laughs). This is usally the next step.

Q: Is the date of the wedding already fixed?

Radek: We are reasoning about it. I have already an idea, but I do not want to say anything at the moment.

Q: You spent a lot of time with Martina. Which are your best memories?

Radek: The week skiing in Austria. Martina is a unbelievable good skier. I ski only for four years, but I tried to keep up with her. Skiing is just great fun. I look forward to do it more, when we shall have more time..

Q: Martina rides too. Do you know how the world looks from a saddle?

Radek: Not yet. I like horses. They are noble animals. When I finished with tennis I shall ask Martina for a lesson. At any rate I shall try it.

Technorati Tags: hingis , martina hingis , radek , radek stepanek , radek stepanek hingis , hingis engagment

Friday, December 29, 2006

Cute picture of Monica Seles

Seles looking cute.

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Gold Coast Press conference picture

Here is one with better clarity. (above)

Hingis after her Gold Coast press conference picture.

looking great & happy.

thanx to member Hilarius for posting it on

Technorati Tags: hingis , martina hingis , Gold Coast , Mondial womens tennis , hingis picture

I have migrated to new blogger

Hey everyone i have migrated to the new blogger. Hmmm some changes soon. :P

Hingis claims she is far from retiring

Far from retiring

Paul Malone
December 29, 2006 11:00pm

NEWLY engaged Martina Hingis has vowed she will not follow tennis contemporaries Kim Clijsters and Lindsay Davenport into retirement and her priority remains a strong year in 2007 to back up her successful comeback season.

Hingis, top seed for the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourt titles starting at the Gold Coast tomorrow, said she had not changed her views on the longevity of her tennis career after becoming engaged to Czech player Radek Stepanek last month.
Davenport, 30, disclosed earlier this month she has no plans to play tennis again when announcing she is expecting her first child in May.

Another of Hingis's great career foils, 23-year-old Clijsters, has flagged her intention to retire at the end of the year because of her susceptibility to injury and she plans to marry American basketball player Brian Lynch in July.

But Hingis, saying happiness in her private life will lead to success on the court, insists she will be on the tour for as long as she is competitive.

The Courier-Mail revealed on Thursday that Hingis, 26, and Stepanek, 28, had become engaged at the end of a year in which Switzerland's three-time Australian Open champion had ended a three-year absence from tennis to attain a world ranking of No. 7.

"The priorities right now are tennis. There's plenty of time to think about life after tennis," Hingis said.

"I'll try to keep up with the young girls and play at the highest level. if it's not the case any more or I don't want to do it, I'll think about it.

"I'm happy and I was surprised when it (engagement ring) was spotted right away here. I've been walking around (in Switzerland) for a month and no one noticed. People here must pay more attention to things.

"If you're happy in your private life, you are going to do well. You know what you want and I think I'm at that stage right now." Hingis, who became the youngest Australian Open champion at the age of 16, 10 years ago, spoke excitedly of her appreciation of life outside tennis – a far cry from her bitter public spats over tennis with the Williams sisters and Anna Kournikova before her departure from tennis because of foot injuries.

But she retains an unmistakable ambition to do justice to her skills and innate knowledge of tennis.

The former world No. 1 had no ranking when she made her WTA Tour comeback at Royal Pines resort 12 months ago, making the semi-finals before reaching the quarter-finals at the Australian Open two weeks later.

"I didn't set any goals last year and I won't do that this year," she said.


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Martina Hingis confirms Engagement to Radek

Martina Hingis says that Czech tennis player Stepanek Radek proposed to her in Prague last month. The couple are seen here arriving for the Swiss premiere of the James Bond movie 'Casino Royale' in Zurich on Nov. 16.


Tennis stars Martina Hingis and Radek Stepanek are to get married, the Swiss former world number one has announced.

Hingis told a news conference that the pair had got engaged last month but that no-one had noticed her ring in Switzerland.

"I was surprised when it was spotted right away [in Australia] because in Switzerland I've been walking around for a month and no-one's said anything," she said in reference to her diamond engagement ring.

"I guess people here pay more attention to things."

Hingis returned to competitive tennis this year after four years away from the sport and has shown glimpses of her previous dominant form.

She ended the season as the seventh-ranked woman in the world, claiming titles in Rome and Kolkata and reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian and French Opens.

Before her premature retirement in 2002, after a spate of injuries, Hingis has picked up five grand slam titles, including at Wimbledon in 1997 and the Australian Open for three successive years between 1997 and 1999.

Stepanek, 28, has not played since Wimbledon this summer because of a neck injury and is currently ranked 19th in the world.

He caused a storm in his native Czech Republic when he announced his retirement from his country's Davis Cup side earlier this month.

A statement from the Czech tennis federation said he had "unequivocally confirmed that he is completely indifferent to playing for the Czech Republic and that he despises Czech tennis, his team-mates, officials and Czech tennis fans".

Another Report

Hingis Engaged To Stepanek; No Wedding Date Set Yet

Newly-engaged Martina Hingis is intent on making an Australian Open run; the three-time Australian Open champion has not yet set a date for a walk down the aisle.

Hingis arrived in Australia with a new sparkle and reason to smile. The 26-year-old Hingis hit the practice court in Queensland on Tuesday sporting a sparkling diamond ring that is more than an accessory to her adidas attire.

The former serial-dating Swiss is engaged to boyfriend Radek Stepanek. The couple have not yet set a date for their wedding.

A Hingis representative told Tennis Week today the five-time Grand Slam champion is engaged, confirming published reports in the Australian media.

"She is engaged," the representative told Tennis Week. "No date has been set for the next steps."

The seventh-ranked Hingis, who is the top seed at the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourt Championships, which start on Sunday, did not speak to the media or publicly comment on her engagement earlier this week, however Wednesday's edition of The Herald Sun reports a happy Hingis "chatted to tour regulars about her engagement."

It is the first engagement for Hingis, who has established a reputation as a tennis temptress. Hingis has dated tennis players in the past including Justin Gimelstob, Julian Alonso, Ivo Heuberger and former French Open finalist Magnus Norman prompting Sports Illustrated, in a 2001 issue, to nickname Hingis "Tennis' Black Widow" as all four of those players suffered injuries after their liasons with Hingis, suggesting she may be to tennis players what the Sirens were to Ulysses: an alluring and perilous presence. Hingis also dated Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia and former Florida prosecutor Chris Calkin, who was the assistant state attorney in Florida's Dade County and presented the case against Hingis stalker Dubravko Rajcevic resulting in his conviction in 2001.

The six-time Australian Open finalist, who was born in Slovakia and is of Czech descent, has reportedly known Stepanek since the pair were junior players.

The 28-year-old Stepanek, who has been sidelined with a back injury since he bowed to Jonas Bjorkman in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, is the fourth seed in next week's Next Generation Invitational in Adelaide. Stepanek will not represent the Czech Republic when it hosts the United States in the first-round Davis Cup tie set for February 9-11

Technorati Tags: hingis , martina hingis , hingis radek , radek stepanek , hingis boyfriend , hingis engagement

Watching Flamingoes

Just contacted the BNHS via telephone. It seems we went late afternoon and that was the wrong time.

Early bird gets to see the early birds cause they come during the high tide/low tide phase!

so 7.30-8.00 a.m. is the correct time!!!

and BNHS will organise the trip on 7th Jan. So i can land up there with binoculars and camera.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006


Watching flamingoes in Sewri

Flamingos return to Sewri for annual visit
Express News Service
Mumbai, November 29: THE feathered visitors are back.

Nearly 10,000 Greater Flamingos and Lesser Flamingos can now be spotted in large groups on the wet and marshy mudflats of Sewri bay.

‘‘No one knows exactly where the flamingos come from at this time of the year. Some experts feel that the birds fly here from the Rann of Kutch, where they normally breed,’’ Isaac Kehimkar, the spokesperson of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said.

The birds, he said, are annually seen at Sewri from the beginning of November till the beginning of monsoon next year.

Apart from flamingos, numerous other species including gulls, terns and waders can also be spotted at Sewri.

Flamingo Watching
* HOW TO get THERE? The closest railway station is Sewri on the Harbour line. From Sewri station, hail a taxi to Colgate Factory. Close to the factory, is an area from where the birds can be spotted. Barely 1 km away is another good spot, near the Sewri jetty.
* WHEN’S THE BEST TIME? Preferably early mornings, between high tide and low tide.

On December 12, the BNHS is organising an educational trip to Sewri mudflats for bird-lovers. For details, contact 22843421.

After reading this i went to see the birds to the jetty. alas no birds at all. damn what a waste on X'mas day. poof to that.

am planning on visiting again. let see how it works out.

New Land Rover advert pictures

Maria Sharapova in new Land Rover advert pictures courtesy of Romania. enjoy!

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Hingis engagment ring picture

Ok one more picture thanx to Collective. Here you can see the 'full' detail.

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martina hingis engagement , martina hingis , hingis boyfriend , radek stepanek

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Martina Hingis engaged to Radek Stepanek

Martina hingis has made a shock announcement in Australia that she has gotten engaged to Czech player Radek Stepanek!

Here she is pictures above with her diamond ring.

Read related articles and links and discussions on

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

India land of reservations & quotas

The L.S. has cleared the OBC quota bill providing for 27% reservation for them.

As it is there is reservation for SCs and STs and now even OBCs.

With educational institutions fast becoming a playground of the ‘quota regime’, the students that they will churn out may not be of the highest quality. It has been known for long that students with less marks get admitted only because they fit into some ‘class’ and deserving students have to fend for themselves since seats become unavailable.

Instead of pumping in money to build new institutes and more state or national level universities, the govt. finds the ‘quota regime’ option more helpful. Since it keeps the govt. coffers under strings and helps the various political parties play hopscotch with the electorate by propping one section against another.

After the Sachar committee report about the dismal state of Muslim education and their general backwardness, the govt. is contemplating even more reservations and quotas now for Muslims at all levels including education, jobs and polity.

The UPA govt. at the centre led by Congress has always been known to be pro-Muslim since the post independence partition of the on communal lines. The policy to appease the different religious/ethnic/racial classes has ever since been the mantra. It has always well executed the ‘divide & rule’ policy inherited courtesy of British India with unfailing accuracy.

So we had Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advocating quotas for Muslims too on the recommendation of the report panel. Rightly debunked by the Left and BJP (Although it must be noted that if they were in power, they might choose a similar approach!)

With the Sachar panel proposing a totally farcical idea like placing Madrassa ‘degrees’ on par with our school systems! And also making them eligible for higher educational qualifications like engineering etc.

Refer TOI Sunday Special report dated December 10, 2006 “Hunger is in the syllabus” by Mohammed Wajihuddin. I quote “under the observant eyes of a maulvi, in a claustrophobic, overcrowded class, they must cover eight subjects that include outdated logic (if a=b=c=d, then a=d) and philosophy of the medieval period.”

How will these students cope with engineering level math?

If they know not what sine, cosine or tangent mean or basic identities; or for that matter higher level algebra, they will have a high drop out rate inspite of getting admissions under quota.

Instead of instituting workable grassroots level education reforms in them, thus rescuing students from regressive and feudal religious mullahs who make them unworthy of landing a decent job, the govt. is planning to make bigger mistakes.

As the Sachar panel report states, the Muslims do need reforms but putting forth the same solution (quota regime) is not going to work in the long run. There will infact be more antagonism and resentment towards one more quota addition.

SCs, STs, OBCs, defense personal, sportsmen all have quotas in minority, majority, govt. aided, and non-aided institutions. Now MPs and politicians even want to extend it to the private sector and illustrious institutions. All in the name of equality off course.

Clearly ‘quotas’ are themselves a form of inequality where the law views one class of people higher than others, granting them special rights. If discrimination & inequality of on basis of religion/class/ethnicity/race has to be truly removed it’s the mindset that must be changed. After all inspite of facing innumerable odds and ostracism by the even more regressive society of British India, people like Jyotiba Phule, Ram Mohan Roy were able to successfully introduce reforms and alter people’s perceptions.

The difference between these people and today’s political class is courage. Hardly anyone in the govt. today has the heart & fire in them to unleash reforms and pursue them relentlessly till they succeed. Rather the whole plot revolves around lameduck & semi-effective policies.

A simple approach would be workable if implemented rightly.

* Increase govt. spending on education.
* Initiate grassroots level programs in villages.
* Appoint better quality teachers who themselves must be tested periodically to maintain quality of teaching.
* Build new state/national level colleges and universities.
* Advocate more open universities.
* Allow foreign investment in the educational sector if possible.
* Upgrade Madrassas by keeping mullahs/maulvis only in charge of teaching religious and/or Arabic/Urdu language. Put qualified math/science teachers who can raise standards and awareness.
* Delink education from religious bodies completely in the long run.
* Make S.S.C. level education compulsory.
* Govt. must also check on the high incidence of drop-out rates.

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Lindsay Davenportly & Sharapova snubbed

Ex world number 1, Lindsay Davenport is reported to be pregnant. Her agent Tony Godsick broke the news. This will be Davenport’s first child with husband Jonathan Leach a former ATP doubles player and the younger brother of Rick Leach.

Davenport will now miss the coming tennis season. It is not clear if she will make a comeback or retire from the sport.

Meanwhile Maria Sharapova is set to adorn the pages of Vogue. The January issue of Vogue will feature the sexy tennis star.

But the catch is she won’t get the cover. That honour will instead go to Brangelina’s better half, Angelina Jolie.

That’s a mighty snub to Masha. The suggestion from some quarters though is if she wants the cover, she should hook up with an equally famous/talented/good looking celebrity. Just like Jolie has with Pitt.

SharaDick anyone? Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (he doesn’t fit the bill!)

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Chat with Santa Claus

Now Santa will not arrive in his reindeer cart but via the net. If you are wondering what I am talking about then read further.

Santa Claus can now be spoken to on Windows Live Messenger! You just need to add his id.

And you can chat with ‘Santa Nick or Santa chat bot’.

Additional info can be found on

And since I am an ‘evil genius as someone would agree (no I won’t say who, erhmm and the ‘one’ knows), I actually asked our ‘Santa’ some unsettling questions!

Ahaaaaaa how evil is that!?

Sample This:

vicky says: hi
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas, vicky! I'm Santa Claus!
Tell me, are you a boy or a girl?

vicky says: g
Santa Claus says: And what do you want for Christmas, vicky?
vicky says: kiss
Santa Claus says: XXX
vicky says: from you
vicky says: lol
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho!
vicky says: tell me
Santa Claus says: I will not.
vicky says: no
Santa Claus says: No problem.
vicky says: how bad
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho! What?
vicky says: lol
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho!
vicky says: why is the world round?
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho!
vicky says: you dont know the answer
Santa Claus says: Sorry, I'm having a little trouble understanding you, vicky!
vicky says: zero marks for you in geography
Santa Claus says: Hmm...
vicky says: really
Santa Claus says: Really?
vicky says: lol
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho!
vicky says: hmm
Santa Claus says: Hmm? What?
vicky says: whats ur age?
Santa Claus says: I'm as old as snow!
vicky says: whats the age of snow?
Santa Claus says: I'm about as old as they come, I think.
vicky says: who come?
Santa Claus says: Sorry, I'm having a little trouble understanding you, vicky!
vicky says: heh
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho!
vicky says: :P

Santa Claus says: I'm happy we understand each other.
vicky says: ho ho ho
Santa Claus says: Merry Christmas!
vicky says: bye
Santa Claus says: Bye bye.
vicky says: and want a cool boyfriend
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho?
vicky says: no ho ho ho
Santa Claus says: And a Merry Christmas to you, vicky!
vicky says: thanx but...
Santa Claus says: You're welcome!
vicky says: wow
Santa Claus says: I'll say.
vicky says: yeah
Santa Claus says: Indeed.
vicky says: what an avoider
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho! What?
vicky says: you are
Santa Claus says: I am?
vicky says: yes
Santa Claus says: I am? Whatever you say.
vicky says: tell me about robots
Santa Claus says: What would you like me to tell you?
vicky says: you like them
Santa Claus says: Sorry, little girl, I didn't quite understand you.
vicky says: you like robots
Santa Claus says: What was that?
vicky says: robots
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho?
vicky says: yes
Santa Claus says: Uh huh.
vicky says: thats why you are one
Santa Claus says: Hmm...
vicky says: gotcha
Santa Claus says: Well alright!
vicky says: i win santa all the time
Santa Claus says: Sorry, I'm having a little trouble understanding you, vicky!

vicky says: sure you are
Santa Claus says: I'm what?
vicky says: i am tricky
Santa Claus says: Would you like me to call you Tricky?
vicky says: yeah vicky tricky
Santa Claus says: OK, I'll remember that your name is Tricky.
vicky says: hehehhhh
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho!
vicky says: ok i will post this o my blog
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho!
vicky says: you are too funny
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho?
vicky says: :D
Santa Claus says: You're silly.
Well. Anyway...
Why don't you just ask me something?

vicky says: like what?
Santa Claus says: Oh, I dunno.
Try asking me something.

vicky says: why is your cap red?
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho!
vicky says: and beard white?
Santa Claus says: Who's Beard White?
vicky says: yours
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho! What?
vicky says: its black is it, your beard santa?
Santa Claus says: Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, call me what you like!
vicky says: who is st. nicholas
Santa Claus says: Santa Claus! Merry Christmas!
vicky says: when is your birthday?

(santa searched his database, no answer)

vicky says: santa has no answer
Santa Claus says: Hmm...
vicky says: *sigh*
Santa Claus says: What's wrong?
vicky says: you dont know your birthday santa
vicky says: gotcha
Santa Claus says: Good.
vicky says: bye
Santa Claus says: Later, Tricky.
vicky says: vicky
Santa Claus says: Yes? What about Vicky?
vicky says: call me tricky vicky
Santa Claus says: You said your name was Tricky but now I'll call you Tricky Vicky.
vicky says: good
Santa Claus says: Excellent!
So anyway...
Why don't you just ask me something?

vicky says: i won again
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho?
vicky says: yeah
Santa Claus says: Yes.
So that was fascinating. Let's talk about something else.

vicky says: silly santa bot
Santa Claus says: What about Silly Santa?
vicky says: you know about santa banta
Santa Claus says: Sorry, I'm having a little trouble understanding you, Tricky Vicky!
vicky says: you sure will
Santa Claus says: Sorry, little girl, I didn't quite understand you.
vicky says: i am aged 24
Santa Claus says: Ho ho ho? (flirty santa)
vicky says: ho ho ho
Santa Claus says: Merry Christmas!
vicky says: same to you
Santa Claus says: Sorry, little girl, I didn't quite understand you.
vicky says: ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Santa Claus says: Indeed.
vicky says: :P

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Cong-NCP Alliance now

After squabbling and exiting the Congress and forming his own party, Sharad Pawar has now turned volte-face. And is now calling on Sonia Gandhi’s Congress for an alliance in the state for the upcoming civic polls.

Both parties are in talks to seal the deal and devise a seat sharing formula. They hope to defeat the BJP-S.S. combine.
With S.S.’s breakup and BJP’s loss due to the death of Pramod Mahajan, the Congress-NCP power combo could well be the next alliance in power.

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Guinness record for studying...

Now Guinness record teacher & students who ran a class for 73 hours and 37 minutes!

Teacher S.K. Sinha taught a set of 72 students for the record number of hours all the while video taping the entire lecture.

13 of the students dropped out after non-stop lecture over 3 days!

While I have to hail their capacity & sheer stamina, I suppose a quick test on the subject being lectured on will prove the point, just how hard the students were concentrating.

Sleep deprivation is no way for memory retention. Some of these ‘genius’ students will fail the test miserably.

Better stick to the daily chalk and board grind however tedious it may seem.

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Central & Western railways meet at this point!

In a week that saw two railway accidents, one on the Central Railway (C.R.) and the other on Western Railway (W.R.), the big question that must be raised is safety of passengers.

The back to back accidents on successive days, Wednesday for C.R. and Thursday for W.R. sharply brings into focus safety issues.

On Wednesday night a Titwala bound C.R. local rammed into an empty rake. The motorman Anil Chinchkar could not explain his sudden lapse in concentration leading to his getting lynched by the irate commuters. 20 people were injured in the accident which occurred at 11.50 p.m.

Although Chinchkar had to go through a blood test to establish if he had consumed alcohol, the authorities havnt made the results public. Instead an inquiry has been initiated into the incident.

If this wasn’t enough, a Churchgate bound fast left the Borivli station without its guard on the W.R.!

It seems rd Mr. P.K. Chaudhary left the train in charge of an RPF constable Mr. Singh while he entertained nature’s call.

The instruction for the constable was to call out to the guard as soon as he heard the motorman’s bell. Instead the constable panicked when the bell rang and Chaudhary didn’t answer his call. He literally ‘pushed the panic button’ which rang another bell signaling the motorman to go ahead.

And so Chaudhary was left to watch his own train leave without him!

A relay message to Kandivli station meant the station manager himself had to take up the guard’s task, while officials scrambled to find a free guard!

So after the comedy of error, the train finally was given a guard till its end journey to Churchgate.

What really comes to light are some grim facts about the state of our rail system. While Chinchkar may or may not have been drunk, our motormen are high strung for sure. If he possibly jumped a red signal and didn’t see the empty rake till the last moment, his concentration was clearly wavering. It could also be attributed to fatigue. Such an ‘accident’ could very well prove to be dangerous if it reoccurs.

As to Chaudhary, it can only be attributed to gaps in procedure and improper handling of the job at hand. That the RPF constable is being made the fall guy and given 10 days sentry work shows the lack of transparency on the part of W.R.

Clearly it is the guard Chaudhary’s fault. How was a mere constable untrained as he is in ‘motormanship’ being held responsible?

It is Chaudhary who must be held accountable also for dereliction of duty. Also the motorman failed to seek a second clearance.

If all the correct laws had been followed none of these fiascos would have taken place.

Merely instituting high level inquiries to sate public opinion is not going to be the solution. W.R. & C.R. have a lot to answer for.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

My Feedburner feed

Now Kournikova cousin!

Ah as if one was not enough! It happens that Evgeny Korolev is a tennis player and also happens to be Kournikova's cousin with Alla being his maternal aunt! Nice to see that he is up and coming.

And then we also have Daria Sharapova to contend with.

His offcial site:

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funny cat video

Funny and cool cat video my friend send me. ;)


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Mumbai civic polls

The Mumbai municipal election dates were announced by state election commissioner Nandlal yesterday. The Jan-Feb polls are scheduled for 10 cities viz. Mumbai, Thane, Ulhasnagar, Pune, Nashik, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, AKOLA, Amravati & Nagpur with election day being Feb 1st for Mumbai.

With the announcement of the civic polls the model code of conduct has come into force. As a result many of the BMC's projects will now be stalled and prior permission will have to be obtained from the election commissioner himself for new projects to be sanctioned.

More crucially these polls will decide the fate of the Congress party in Mumbai. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has been reeling this year under the strain of the July rain deluge followed by the 7/11 Mumbai suburnban train blasts, the Khairlanji double rape & murders followed by statewide riots by Dalits. The deputy C.M. R. R. Patil's handling of the riots when the C.M. was in Singapore also dealth a blow to the ruling circles.

pictured: C.M. Deshmukh

Congress' Narayan Rane who is revenue minister in the govt. has also kept his hopes alive of becoming the next C.M.

The Shiv Sena-BJP combine inspite lagging in many by-elections is looking to renew its fortunes. The biggest threat to them though comes from their own split faction and the latest political party (formed this year), the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Led by the maverick Raj Thackeray, nephew of S.S. supremo & spiritual head Bal Thackeray and cousin of Uddhav Thackeray. M.N.S. hopes to win over the public with its projected people friendly visage.

S.S.'s loss could very well be M.N.S.'s gain. With Marathi speaking people having lost considerable faith in S.S. for their anti-Valentine, anti-Pak cricket matches, hardline stances with cultural policeing including the riots indulged by party workers after Minatai's statue desecration. Also S.S.'s lack of innovative strategy & clear direction could mean they might loose face again.

The significant North Indian population and Muslim voters will surely swing the tide in Congress's favour since they traditionally tend to vote for the party.

The NCP has faced tough times since its split from the Congress. Led by Sharad Pawar the party might go for a combine with others. S.P. led by Abu Azmi is the only party opposing the election date on grounds of Moharram. Incidently Moharram ends on Jan 30! And Mumbai polls are on 1st Feb.

Additionally city N.G.O.s have also jumped into the fray by pitching in their 'own' independant candidate. Nearly 48 NGOs as reported by the Mumbai Mirror have come together and chosen Mr. Adolf D'Souza as their candidate.

What effect this might have on the political fortunes of the various parties can only be found out on results day. The election process will begin on Jan 8th and wind up on Feb 9th. E.V.M.s are to be used for the first time for mid-term elections and 83 lakh (approx 83,80,000) people will be eligible to vote. The election results will be announced on Feb 3rd with the counting taking place the day before. There are 227 wards in Mumbai for which polling will take place of which 76 reserved from women.

BMC ->
Maharshtra Government ->
State Election Commission ->

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hingis at James Bond Premier photos

Hingis with Radek Stepanek at the Zurich premier of James Bond movie 'Casino Royale' at the Abaton cinema in Zurich November 16, 2006.

Hmmm Radek has really 'bonded' with the best.

And just to spice it up some comments from members at

*So Martina and Radek are still in Zurich and not on a sunny beach as I thought.
*Is it me or does Martina look a bit shy when her posing for pics with her boyfriend? Kinda cute actually!
*Radek is beginning to look more human
*Whoaw! 007 MARTINA Looks like to me that Martina kinda controlling her bf, lol. Anyways, she looks stunning!
*When it comes to shyness and boyfriends Martina is usually the "leader"..note she is ahead of Radek and he is following behind...
*She is perfect.....even Rader looks good by her side!
*Some one help him with the tie!!!
*Right jorge, seems Radek doesn't know how to knot a "tie" and let's hope he doesn't ask Martina to tie the knot!


ahhaa tennisreporters went far with this...

"RADEK STEPANEK: Gained first-time fame for his relationship with Martina Hingis, but the jury is still out as to whether the level of the Czech's game will continue to rise with the attention-loving Swiss at his side."

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Hingis in Zurich with boyfriend Radek

picture dated: 3rd Dec 2006, Sunday

So Hingis was at the musical "We Will Rock You" which happens to be her 'favourite' as she had told us on her Zurich blog.

Btw this is the 2nd time (i think) she has seen it this year.

And both 'lovers' are colour co-ordinating with black...


Thanx to Irinska

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Not being able to keep promises


So i havnt been able to be consistent in posting about Sania M. plus i promised Luis i will chat with him on msn but couldnt quite make it!

uoph! i feel so bugged. even when i was down with viral fever i was thinking about how to inform Manfred & co. about it. so the whole time i was brodding abt it.

and since my internet connection is down (yeah yeah for the umpteeeeenth time!) i am not able to move ahead. how sickening...


Monday, December 04, 2006

A Midnight Poem

I was just writing some stuff, and this came out. Hope you like it...

A Midnight Poem

Deep, dark nights shine with bright lights.
No cloud in the sky to blight my sight.
Still the night is black and lonely.
Tugging at the heart with pain and sympathy.
For the moon pulls me with all its beauty
The fullness of its shine brims me over
feels like he is privileged indeed
To shine the brightest among a million stars.
But all the stars so small indeed
They make the moon look fonder to my eyes
Indeed the destiny of him is to rule the sky alone at night
To cast a shadow on his significant siblings.
And ever be longing for his earth
To cast his solitude till the morrow
If only the sun would relent and
Give him his share of the day
Proud the sun is to be the brightest star
To lend his warmth to one and all
Glow glow as brightly as he may
He cannot match the beauty of the moon to his dismay
For the sun blinds with his fire
But the moon enchants with his aura
Lightly lays the moon the night to rest
While the sun burns and scorches in earnest
Both cannot be friends of each other
For one rules after dawn and the other after dusk
But here on this little island in the universe
We wait for the cycle to run each passing day
For we need the heat of the day to sweat our brow
And the cold of the moon to sheath our nights
The tempest in the skies continue each season
While a corner in this world looks out to the frontier

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