Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tiger Pataudi: First Among India's Great Captains

Tiger Pataudi: First Among India's Great Captains - By AR Hemant

‘Tiger’, as Mansur Ali Khan Patuadi was often called, was the son of Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi, who had the distinction of playing Test cricket for England and India.

Born into royalty, Mansur Ali Khan was the ninth and final Nawab of Pataudi, a princely state which merged into India in 1947.

Cricket was in the family. Pataudi Senior made a hundred on Test debut for England before his playing days prematurely ended when he opposed his captain Douglas Jardine’s tactics in the 1932 Bodyline series. He later captained India before he passed away on his son’s 11th birthday in 1952.

It is said Pataudi Senior had asked bat-makers Gunn and Moore to manufacture a small-sized bat for his son, who was five at the time. Gunn and Moore didn't make bats for kids, but they agreed to make a special one for the boy who would be India's youngest Test captain at the age of 21.

India’s Finest Captain

Pataudi, an Oxford alumnus, went on to play 46 Tests for India, and was captain in 40. This makes him and Iftikhar the only father-and-son duo to captain India.

Pataudi in action for Oxford against Surrey, June 1961.

He is widely recognised as one of the finest tacticians of his time, a trait which helped bring spin bowling to the forefront of India’s gradual rise to the top. It was under him that India registered their first Test series win abroad, in New Zealand in 1968, by a 3-1 margin. India have never won three Tests in an away series since.

Pataudi realised spin was India’s strength and he built upon it. He’d often play three spinners in the side. This is best reflected in the fact that Bishan Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna and S Venkataraghavan all had better averages and strike-rates under Pataudi.

Attacking Style

Pataudi was an attacking batsman. After his schooling in Dehradun, he went to Winchester College, where he made over 2,000 runs in a season. It helped him that his coach George Cox was also an aggressive stroke-maker and encouraged Pataudi’s style of play.

At a time when keeping the ball along the ground was batsmen's mantra, Pataudi loved his lofted drives. His reflexes were sharp and his fielding quick-silver.

In 1960, he made 131 for Sussex against Cambridge at Lord’s. He was Oxford’s captain the next year, becoming the first Indian to receive the honour. This is the time he was involved in a car accident near Brighton beach and lost vision in his right eye.

Describing his post-accident style of play, Author Dean P. Hayes wrote: “As a result of the injury, he preferred a two-eyed stance. His backlift was therefore from the direction of third man, but the bat in the downward swing passed close to the right leg with elbows tucked in, thereby eliminating any chance of gap between bat and pad. In spite of two eyed stance, his off-side play remained a delight, because he quickly positioned himself for the strokes.”

Once asked by a journalist about how he played with one eye, Pataudi said, "I see two balls. I hit the one on the inside." Experts often wonder what he could have achieved as a batsman had he not been impaired.

Successful Debut & Captaincy

He later made his Test debut against England in the Delhi Test of December 1961. In his third Test of the same series, he made an attacking 103 to round off a series win.

Pataudi in 1961.

In 1962, midway through the West Indies tour, captain Nari Contractor was famously felled by a bouncer and never played Tests again. Pataudi, in just his fourth Test, became captain. It was a tough tour for him, and he failed to cross 50 in six innings, and India lost all five Tests.

After a brief slump in form, he hit the high notes again by making his highest Test score — 203 not out in Delhi — when England visited in 1964.

His finest innings is said to be the 75 he made in Brisbane in 1968, coming out to bat on a green-top with India 25-5. He had a hamstring injury which impeded his front-foot play and this innings is thus recalled as the one played with one eye and one leg.

Differences with the then chairman of selectors, Vijay Merchant, and India’s historic wins in the West Indies and England in 1971, brought Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy to the forefront. But following the ‘Summer of 42’ disaster in England in 1974, Wadekar was forced out, and Pataudi returned to lead the team again.

Pataudi played his last Test in 1975 — as captain — and made 9 and 9 against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium, a game India lost and surrendered a tightly-fought series 2-3.

He also won the Arjuna Award on 1964 and Padma Shri in 1967.

After Cricket

Pataudi worked as an ICC match referee and sports columnist. In 1974-75 he was India's manager. He also dabbled in politics. Earlier this year, he parted ways with the Indian Premier League and sued the BCCI over non-payment of dues.

The only major controversy he courted was in 2005 when he was arrested for killing an endangered animal.

Pataudi, 70, breathed his last today at a New Delhi hospital after a prolonged infection of his lungs. He is survived by wife, former actress Sharmila Tagore, son Saif Ali Khan, and daughters Soha and Saba

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fw: [The Quran Foundation] Advice to Husbands

Subject:  Advice to Husbands

By getting married you are not just getting a wife, you are getting your whole world. From now until the rest of your days your wife will be your partner, your companion, and your best friend. She will share your moments, your days, and your years. She will share your joys and sorrows, your successes and failures, your dreams and your fears. When you are ill, she will take the best care of you; when you need help, she will do all she can for you; when you have a secret, she will keep it; when you need advice, she will give you the best advice. She will always be with you: when you wake up in the morning the first thing your eyes will see will be her; during the day, she will be with you, if for a moment she is not with you by her physical body, she will be thinking of you, praying for you with all her heart, mind, and soul; when you go to sleep at night, the last thing your eyes will see will be her; and when you are asleep you will still see her in your dreams. In short, she will be your whole world and you will be her whole world.

The best description that I personally have ever read describing the closeness of the spouses to each other is the Quranic verse which says: "they are your garments and you are their garments" Indeed, spouses are like garments to each other because they provide one another with the protection, the comfort, the cover, the support, and the adornment that garments provide to humans. Just imagine a journey in the winter of Alaska without garments! Our spouses provide us with the same level of comfort, protection, cover, and support in the journey of our lives on this earth as garments would do in the Alaska journey.

The relationship between the spouses is the most amazing of all human relations: the amount of love and affection, intimacy and closeness, mercy and compassion, peace and tranquility that fills the hearts of the spouses is simply inexplicable. The only rational explanation for these most amazing of all human feelings is that: it is an act of Allah Al Mighty. Only
Allah Al Mighty in His infinite power, boundless mercy, and great wisdom can create and ingrain these amazing feelings in the hearts of the spouses. In fact Allah Al Mighty is reminding those who search for His signs in the universe that these feelings in the hearts of the spouses are among the signs that should guide humans to His existence as He says in the Quran," And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquility with them and He has put love and mercy between your hearts: verily in that are signs for those who reflect"

But the human heart is not a static entity, it is very dynamic. Feelings can and do change with time. Love may wither and fade away. The marital bond might weaken if not properly cared for. Happiness in marriage cannot be taken for granted; continuous happiness requires constant giving from both sides. For the tree of marital love to remain alive and keep growing, the soil has to be sustained, maintained, and nurtured. Remember that our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) had found the time to go out to the desert and race with his wife Aisha. She outstripped him but later after she had gained some weight, he outstripped her.

The show of emotions is necessary to keep the marital bond away from rusting and disintegrating. Remember that you will be rewarded by
Allah Al Mighty for any emotions you show to your wife as the Prophet  (peace be upon him) said "one would be rewarded for anything that he does seeking the pleasure of Allah Al Mighty even the food that he puts in the mouth of his wife" Never underestimate the importance of seemingly little things as putting food in your wife's mouth, opening the car's door for her, etc.

Remember that the Prophet 
(peace be upon him) used to extend his knee to his wife to help her ride her camel...Try to always find some time for both of you to pray together. Strengthening the bond between you and Allah Al Mighty is the best guarantee that your own marital bond would always remain strong. Having peace with Allah Al Mighty will always result in having more peace at home. Remember that the Prophet  (peace be upon him) gave glad tidings for those couples who wake up at night to pray together. The Prophet (peace be upon him)even urged the spouse who rises up first to wake the other spouse up even by throwing cold water on his/her face.

Always try your best to be be good to your wife by words and by deeds. Talk to her, smile to her, seek her advice, ask for her opinion, spend quality time with her and always remember that the Prophet 
(peace be upon him) said "the best of you are those who are best to their wives" Finally, it is common that spouses vow to love and honor their spouses until death do them part. I do believe that this vow is good or even great, but not enough! It is not enough that you love your wife. You have to love what she loves as well. Her family, her loved ones must also become your loved ones. Don't be like my colleague who was unhappy about his wife's parents coming to visit for a few weeks. He candidly said to her "I don't like your parents" Naturally she angrily looked at him straight in the eye and said "I don't like yours either"... Also, it is not enough that you love her until death do you part. Love should never end and we do believe there is life after death where those who did righteousness in this world will be joined by their spouses and offspring. The best example in this regard is the Prophet (peace be upon him) whose love to Khadija his wife of 25 years extended to include all those she loved and continued even after her death. It was many years after her death and he never forgot her and whenever a goat was slaughtered in his house he would send parts of it to Khadija's friends and whenever he felt that the visitor on the door might be Khadija's sister Hala, he would pray saying "O Allah let it be Hala"

*Jazakum Allah Khair*
*The Qur'an Foundation.*

Wednesday, September 7, 2011



V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

Chennai leather market was somewhat slow in operations during the month of August 2011 due to seasonal holidays at home and annual holidays abroad but prices continue to be unchanged.

Almost all exporters of leather and shoes are interested in tanned as well as wet blue goat skins at unchanged prices. In fact there is demand for all varieties of leather – goat, sheep, cow hides, buffalo hides, etc. Their prices are also ruling high in all leather centres like Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Dindigul and Trichy as demand continues for leathers from all quarters.

There are reports of tanners selling their good quality tanned goat skins 3/5 and 4/7 sq.ft. Run, Suede and A Lining grades at around Rs.65, 55 and 35 per sq.ft. respectively and 4/7 All Suede at around Rs.50/- per sq.ft. There is also demand for lower grades like Rejection which is sold at around Rs.25/- per sq.ft.

Generally speaking raw goat skins are sold at more than Rs.150/- per piece in different centres in the country and for some better quality and selection raw skins prices are much higher.


Overseas customers have requirements for goat upper and lining leathers, sheep suede and cabretta leathers, cow upper and lining leathers etc. at the prevailing prices. However due to annual holidays export business was “patchy” during the last month but exporters offered at unchanged or slightly increased prices as indications given below:

1. Quotations of goat upper, suede and lining leathers

Material Size/sq.ft. Substance Selection Price US$ per sq. ft. C&F

Goat upper leather 3/5 and 4/7 0.6/0.8 mm ABC/D/E 2.50/1.75/1.55

Goat suede leather 3/5 and 4/7 0.6/0.8 mm ABC/D/E 2.00/1.60/1.50

Goat lining leather 4/7 0.5/0.7 mm TR-1/2/3 combined 1.30

2. Quotations of sheep leathers

Material Size/sq.ft. Substance Selection Price US$ per sq.ft. C&F

Sheep suede/cabretta leather 4/7 0.6/0.8 mm ABC/D/E 2.50/2.00/1.50

Sheep Suede/cabretta leather 6/9 0.8/1.00 mm ABC/D/E 2.75/2.25/1.75

Sheep lining leather 3/5 and 4/7 0.5/0.7 mm TR-1/2/3 1.50

Almost all shoe manufacturers are doing well having orders from different sources but they are finding it difficult to cover their raw skins requirements as their availability is limited and demand is more in the raw centres throughout the country. Even imports of raw hides and skins are costly and unworkable to exporters here. The present situation is something unseen before in the leather market. There are also reports of delay in shipment by some exporters due to difficulties in procuring raw materials.

(Indian Leather, September 2011)