Swine Flu In India – H1N1 Influenza Virus Symptoms In India

Swine Flu In India – H1N1 Influenza Virus Symptoms In India

Prevent spread of HIN1 virus in religious places: Govt India

Hyderabad, Aug 13 (PTI) The Andhra Pradesh government has stepped up vigil to prevent spread of swine flu in the pilgrimage places of Tirupati and Puttaparthi in the state.

Principal Secretary (Health) L V Subrahmanyam told reporters today that the government has issued instructions to the officials to check the spread of the virus at Tirupati and Puttaparthi, the abode of Sathya Sai Baba, where massive congregation of devotees take place.

Government hospitals in Tirupati have been equipped to admit patients, while efforts have also been initiated to prevent the spread of the virus at Puttaparthi, where large number of foreign devotees visit, he said.

PTI News Reference

Special ward at Puttaparthi hosptial for Swine Flu

Express News Service
First Published : 14 Aug 2009 03:40:00 AM IST

ANANTAPUR: The State Government has directed the district administration to take steps to prevent the spread of swine flu.

PUTTAPARTI: Meanwhile, a separate ward to treat people affected by swine flu has been set up in the superspeciality hospital in Puttaparti, it is reliably learnt. The hospital management has written to the district medical and health department requesting it grant permisssion for the special ward besides placing an indent for medicines.

Puttaparti is on a high alert as a large number of foreigners visit the Prasanti Nilayam for darshan of Sathya Sai Baba. An emergency meeting was conducted yesterday to discuss the steps to be taken in the event of detection of some positive cases.

Express Buzz Reference

Relevant Links:
CDC: H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu)
Information About Swine Influenza – Wikipedia
Swine Flu Symptoms, Treatment, Facts And Transmission
In India swine flu panic spreads faster than virus

Better Know Before Talking

Better Know Before Talking
S Gurumurthy
First Published : 07 Aug 2009 11:34:00 PM IST

‘We have in our country a long but uneven tradition of philanthropy’. Thus lamented Sonia Gandhi at the function in Delhi to give the Indira Gandhi Prize to the American philanthropist Bill Gates. That was on July 25. Two days later, the Wall Street Journal printed, unusually, her whole speech. On July 29, Paul Beckett, a WSJ columnist, taking his cue from Sonia, mocked Indian businessmen for not being even remotely close to matching Gates. He pontificated: “India’s rich, open your wallets”.

Beckett used corporate India to dent the image of India itself, courtesy Sonia. Had she not spoken the way she did, he would not have written the way he did. What Sonia did not know — therefore, Beckett, who borrowed from her, could not — is what differentiates India from the US. American corporates, which almost exhaust America, are co-extensive with it; they account for over 80 per cent of its GDP. Bill Clinton had nicknamed the US ‘America Inc’, namely, the US as the aggregate of its corporates.

US corporate endowments aggregated are highly visible, like their brands. This is to emphasise their nature; not undermine their worth. The US market cap is some 40 times the Indian. Corporate India is insignificant in contrast. Some 400 top private Indian companies account for under six per cent of India’s GDP. This includes all Sensex members.

Sonia is understandably unfamiliar with the practices of traditional India. Indian charity, widely practised at the lowest unit levels down to every home, is socio-religious, not secular, in construct. Traditional India has high charitable propensities and deep philanthropic impulses. Indian religions do not convert others; their charity is therefore less known. Here are some examples of charity where the religious power is manifest.

Look at the charity run by Bhagwan Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi. His work for the poor is unmatched; yet equally unknown. Here are just two illustrations of his work. Anantapur district in Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh was known for water scarcity and water salinity and high fluoride levels in drinking water. Moved by the suffering of the poor, Sathya Sai Baba decided to do what the government could not for 50 long years; provide potable drinking water to the whole of Anantapur — yes, for the whole district.

He declared in November 1995, “Today it is ‘Raatlaseema’ (rocky region); it must be transformed into ‘Ratnala Seema’ (land that glitters like diamond)”. It took just 18 months. The work involved laying some 2,000 kilometres — yes 2,000 km — of water pipeline; building 43 sumps of 1.5 lakh to 25 lakh litres capacity; constructing 18 balancing reservoirs of three to 10 lakh litres capacity — where? — on top of hillocks; erecting 270 overhead reservoirs holding 40,000 to three lakh litres; installing 1,500-plus concrete pre-cast cisterns of 2,500 litres capacity, each attached with four taps for people to draw water.

This is how the 9th Planning Commission document describes the initiative. The Sathya Sai charity ‘has set an unparalleled initiative of implementing on their own, without any state budgetary support, a massive water supply project with an expenditure of Rs 3,000 million to benefit 731 scarcity and fluoride/salinity affected villages and a few towns in Anantapur district in 18 months’. Sathya Sai Baba’s trusts repeated this feat in fluoride-affected Medak and Mehboobnagar districts. They provided water to some 4.5 lakh poor in 179 villages in Medak, and to some 3.5 lakh poor in 141 villages in the next. The drinking water projects in these districts covered more than 1,000 villages with some 20 lakh people.

Then, he saw the poor in Chennai struggling for water. Sai Baba declared on January 19, 2002, “Today I have made a new resolve. Madras is suffering from acute shortage of drinking water. The rich can buy water. What will the poor do? I have decided to work towards bringing drinking water to Madras, no matter how difficult and how costly the task”. His central trust took up the construction of a 63-km stretch of the 150 km canal in the Telugu Ganga scheme, left incomplete for want of funds, thus denying water to Chennai. Thanks to Baba, Krishna water reached Chennai, irrigating some three lakh hectares of agricultural land on the way. These projects cost over Rs 600 crore.

The Sathya Sai trusts in Puttaparthi and Bengaluru run world-class speciality hospitals. They have performed some 24,000 cardiac surgeries, 34,000 cardiac cathertisations, 7,000 neuro surgeries, 40,000 eye surgeries, and 600 orthopaedic surgeries and treated millions more — all free. What is absent in these two hospitals is a billing department. The bill for these services might exceed Rs 1,000 crore. Sathya Sai Baba’s trusts also run free educational institutions, cultural centres and music colleges. Secular India generously released a stamp to note the charity in Anantapur. Compare it with the Indira Gandhi award to Gates and the encomiums at the cost of India.

Take another religious charity, the Ramakrishna Mission. It runs 197 hospitals and its health-related work serves 85 lakh people annually, including 25 lakh in rural areas; 1,186 educational institutions serve 3.4 lakh students including 1.24 lakh in rural areas.

Take the Swaminarayan movement. Its 14 hospitals serve over six lakh patients annually; it runs 10 schools, eight colleges, 14 hostels; it has built 55 schools in disaster-hit areas; it aids 20 schools financially; gives 5000 scholarships annually. In Punjab, not a single man, woman or child would have gone hungry in the last three centuries, thanks to the langar in Gurudwaras feeding millions every day. Jains run huge charities all over the country. So do religious Muslims and Christians. Even the freedom movement was sustained by philanthropy. Lala Lajpat Rai gave all his properties to the movement; Chittaranjan Das and many others went bankrupt funding the movement. They never expected any Indira Gandhi Award. That is real philanthropy.

Traditional Indian business communities allocate a fixed share of their turnover for charity. The mahamai, an informal charity tax among the Nadars in Tamil Nadu has funded hundreds of the community’s educational institutions. The Nagarathars in Tamil Nadu too, through their mahamai, run huge charities. The Marwaris and others do so through the dharmada. Even today this informal system prevails in non-corporate business in India. So charity is by the community as a whole, not by individuals. But corporate India is unfortunately neither Indian nor American.

This is India, about which Sonia is singularly ignorant even after 40 years of domicile. When she said India has an uneven tradition of philanthropy it only exposed her ignorance, besides exporting it to the WSJ. The result? The WSJ is preaching to Indians about charity; the Indian media reports this nonsense without challenging it.

QED: To talk about Indian traditions, she first needs to know about them.

Express Buzz Reference

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 2

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 2

‘I’m fortunate to celebrate birthday with Sai Baba’
11 Jul 2009, 0121 hrs IST, Pradeep Vijayakar, TNN

MUMBAI: For those who know Sunil Gavaskar, it didn’t come as a surprise that he celebrated his 60th birthday at Sathya Sai Baba‘s ashram at Puttaparthi on Friday. He hasn’t spoken much about Sathya Sai Baba in public but, last year, when he was conferred the honorary doctorate by DY Patil University, he declared: “All this is because of Baba. I know he is around all the time.”

A Gavaskar confidante explained that the Little Master revered Baba because he got inspiration from him to do the right things and keep away from the wrong things, to anticipate the grey areas and steer clear of them, meet the right people and go in the right direction.

A news report from Puttaparti quoted Gavaskar saying, “I am extremely fortunate and happy that I celebrated by birthday here at Puttaparthi at Baba’s Ashram.”

Gavaskar also said he missed his fans on the occasion and thanked all of them for their greetings and good wishes. “What attracted me to Puttaparti today was the presence of Baba and his teachings of peace and love,” he added.

Gavaskar once wrote:

“Since the day my mother got the vision of Bhagavan, my family has been a Sai devotee. Like any middle class family, we too believe in God. We have a small Mandir where idols of various Hindu gods are kept and prayers are offered daily. However, in 1970, things changed suddenly. My mother was in the kitchen and there she saw a vision of Swami on the wall.”

Gavaskar related an incident about the Vibhuti (sacred ash).

“We were in Australia and in one of the tour matches, I slipped and tore a thigh muscle. The local state team’s physiotherapist examined me and announced that it would take about three weeks of therapy and one more week of training before I would be able to play again.

With the first Test due to start in just over a week’s time, this was a huge blow. As soon as this news reached my family, they sent me packets of Swami’s Vibhuti. These arrived just three days before the D-day. Despite regular physiotherapy, the improvement had been marginal. However, after I started applying Vibhuti, there was marked improvement. On the morning of the match, as I stepped onto the ground for my fitness test, I realised that the stiffness was gone. I went on to play the Test.”

Times Of India Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th birthday amid pouring tributes

New Delhi, July 10 (IANS) Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Manohar Gavaskar turned 60 Friday and spent the day at the Satya Sai Baba ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.
The little master was accompanied by his family members, including brother-in-law Gundappa Viswanath with whom he has shared many Indian innings.

Gavaskar burst onto the international scene in the away series against West Indies in 1971, aggregating 774 runs in four Tests. That saw the beginning of a sparkling career as he went on to become the first player to cross the milestone of 10,000 runs in Test cricket.

Indian media Friday was full of glowing tributes paid to Gavaskar by his contemporaries, some of the greats of the game who played alongside him.

Gavaskar’s huge contribution to the game and especially to Indian cricket was acknowledged by both his colleagues and the current crop of players.

Sachin Tendulkar, who idolized Gavaskar in his growing up days, led in paying the tributes, calling Sunny an “institution” in himself and one who fired the imagination of cricketers not only of his generation but later too.

Tendulkar, who broke Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test centuries, said he was privileged to have shared some great moments with the legend and has learnt many aspects of the game from him in every step of his career.

Former India skipper Ajit Wadekar, who led India to a historic victory against the West Indies in Gavavaskar’s debut series in 1971, recalled how the opener had shown gumption and played a stellar role in the tour.

“Sunny was made of legendary stuff. He is India’s greatest batsman,” Wadekar said.

Gavaskar’s contemporary and another great of the game, Clive Lloyd, too, said the 1971 series heralded the arrival of a star.

“I saw all those runs from a very close quarters. The talent aspect highlighted my first impressions of him. I admired his concentration skills and the ease with which he played,” Llyod said.

“He had so much time to play the ball and that is always a sign of a great player. He made a lot of runs against us and we knew for sure that here is a star for the future.”

Thirteen of Gavaskar’s centuries came against the West Indies’ fearsome pace attack. The audacity the little master showed in facing the fire from the West Indian quickies without a protective headgear made him one of the most admired opening batsman.

“Thirteen hundreds against the West Indies is no mean feat. It was always a challenge to play against him because of his sheer skills,” said Lloyd.

It was against West Indies in the 1983-84 series at home that Gavaskar surpassed Sir Donald Bradman’s record of 29 Test centuries.

Another West Indies great, Rohan Kanhai, said: “I still remember his first tour in the West Indies. He played brilliantly and went on to become one of the greatest Test batsmen.”

Former England captain David Gower said: “You could see the pride in the way he represented India all those years earning the respect of all those who came up against him. He remains one of the shrewdest judges of the game of cricket.”

Gavaskar, the perfect copy-book executioner, scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests in a career spanning 16 years.

He was part of the 1983 World Cup winning squad and later led India to victory in the World Championship in Australia.

Thai Indian Reference

Legends wish Sunny happy birthday

India’s various cricketing icons wish Sunil Gavaskar on his 60th birthday and share some unforgettable memories.

As one of India’s favourite son, ‘Little Master’ Sunil Gavaskar, turns a milestone today, his former colleagues wish him all the best.

Gundappa Rangnath Viswanath:
We are all celebrating his birthday at Puttaparthi, seeking the blessings of Saibaba. All the family members have gathered here. I personally wish Sunny a very happy birthday. I wish Sunny, who scored many tons in cricket, a complete a century in his real life. He is a true legend. I think the whole life will not be enough to discuss his exploits.

I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to play alongside him. We played top level cricket together for over a decade and a half. It was pure joy to watch Sunny handle the finest of the fast bowlers. I don’t remember if there was any bowler who could really trouble him. He was a truly gifted cricketer.

It is very difficult to single out a particular innings of the great man. But if I were to mention two of his special knocks, I think it would be the hundred he made in Manchester on a grassy wicket and his 221 at Oval when India came nine runs short of making history.

The greatest aspect of Sunny is that even after 22 years of hanging up his boots he continues to be the role model he was. He is the true blue icon. He is highly respected everywhere for the simple reason that he has been a disciplined person all through his life.

Ajit Wadekar:
There was a time when people feared facing the West Indies pace battery. And that was the time when Sunil shattered the myth. His extraordinary batting skills as an opener, who could unnerve the fastest of the lot, Sunil scored most of his centuries against the West Indies. It is not ironical that with 13 centuries against the West Indians he puts to shade the six tons scored by English opener Len Hutton.

I remember, as the captain of the historic squad, we all were praying in the dressing room that Sunil should not score a century on debut.

That was because Indian batsmen were caught in the Test debut jinx till Gundappa Vishwanath came along.

Shivlal Yadav:
It was an honour to play along side a living legend. I remember an innings in Adelaide when I partnered him as a tail-ender and helped India avoid a defeat.

When I look back, I feel it was my good luck that I played with the finest of the cricketers in Sunny and Vishy.

I never had the opportunity to bowl to Sunil Gavaskar, one of my childhood heroes, in big matches. But I remember I bowled to him in some exhibition matches. I think he was the most difficult batsman to get out.

Thank God, I got the chance to play with him and bowl to him.

— As told to Sudeer Mahavaadi

ESPN Star Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th birthday in Puttaparthi

Mumbai (PTI): Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar on Friday celebrated his 60th birthday by paying a visit to Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.

Gavaskar was accompanied by his entire family and Gundappa Viswanath, his brother-in-law, on the visit.

The first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket, Gavaskar had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks.

Playing with his bat very close to his pads, Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman’s 29 centuries in Tests, an achievement which acquire more significance as it came in the era of tearaway West Indian bowlers.

He and Viswanath were the backbone of the Indian batting line-up when the batsmen were not protected with modern-day protective equipment like helmet and there was also no restriction on number of bumpers that could be bowled in an over.

The Hindu Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th b’day in Puttaparthi

Mumbai: Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar today celebrated his 60th birthday by paying a visit to Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.

Gavaskar was accompanied by his entire family and Gundappa Viswanath, his brother-in-law, on the visit.

The first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket, Gavaskar had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks.

Playing with his bat very close to his pads, Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman’s 29 centuries in Tests, an achievement which acquire more significance as it came in the era of tearaway West Indian bowlers.

Indopia Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th b’day in Puttaparthi

Mumbai, July 10: Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar celebrated his 60th birthday by paying a visit to Satya Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore.

Gavaskar was accompanied by his entire family and Gundappa Viswanath, his brother-in-law, on the visit.

The first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket, Gavaskar had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks.

Playing with his bat very close to his pads, Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman`s 29 centuries in Tests, an achievement which acquire more significance as it came in the era of tearaway West Indian bowlers.

He and Viswanath were the backbone of the Indian batting line-up when the batsmen were not protected with modern-day protective equipment like helmet and there was also no restriction on number of bumpers that could be bowled in an over.

Bureau Report

ZeeNews Reference

Turning 60 no worry for Gavaskar
10 Jul 2009, 0022 hrs IST
Pradeep Vijayakar, TNN

MUMBAI: Sunil Gavaskar isn’t a blogger. So the world won’t know his thoughts on becoming a sexagenarian today. But The Times of India got lucky to
get his thoughts on reaching yet another milestone. Of course, it isn’t one that Gavaskar will care much for, knowing his penchant for hundreds. The kind of ton Prof DB Deodhar hit in life, always beckons.

So will it get difficult for Sunny Gavaskar to maintain the three Ds — discipline, determination, dedication — virtues which brought him massive success on the field and off it too, in life after 60?

Said Gavaskar, who will spend his birthday seeking the blessings of Sathya Sai Baba with his entire family at Puttaparthi, on birthday eve, “These things have been a part and parcel of my life. So it won’t be difficult. I have applied these virtues to every aspect of my life, not just cricket.”

Now that he has reached 60, Gavaskar’s adversaries won’t be Wes Hall, John Snow, Andy Roberts or Dennis Lillee, but aches and pains, the battle of the bulge, fading sight and hair loss. How does he fancy facing them? “The battle of the bulge will be the most formidable. When I don’t do my regular things like playing badminton and some drills when I am in Mumbai, I tend to put on weight, especially abroad, where the discipline in my food habits, goes for a toss.”

When Gavaskar quit cricket, he weighed 74. Today he weighs 78. “My weight fluctuates between 77 and 79. It got to 80-plus on one tour.”

As far as eyesight goes, Gavaskar used to pride himself on having 2020 vision. That was when he got them tested in Dubai. Time has caught up. “I am using reading glasses for the last two years.” The secret of Gavaskar’s good eyesight was he never read anything in a moving vehicle.

Sir Don Bradman, the Gavaskar of an earlier era, had an interesting tale on this eyesight business. When he read about praise from critics that the secret of his greatness was that he saw the ball early, Sir Don decided to check it out and tests revealed his eye reflexes were indeed slower than normal!

Turning sixty-plus means a walking stick beckons sooner rather than later. Does that worry Gavaskar? “I used a walking stick as a style statement on the tour of Australia in 1981. But I batted like an old man in that series and chucked the stick away!” said the legend, who had a trademark swagger, swaying from side to side.”

So how have his emotions evolved from being the highest run-getter to being a grand-father? “It’s over 20 years since I gave up an active sporting career. My energies have been focussed on life off the field. It has been thoroughly enjoyable and terrific.”

The latter is one word is The Little Master uses as regularly as the flick off his toes. He said his constant travel meant less time to spend with the family. “But when I am in town, I spend every evening with my grand-daughter Rhea, who is now four years old.”

Any grandpa stories — ones that he’s heard and ones he relates to? Gavaskar ducked that one just like he would do against a Lillee bouncer. He had had a hectic Wednesday while chairing the BCCI’s technical committee meeting and the mind was beginning to turn blank.

He couldn’t even remember the incident which gave his parents an inkling of his amazing concentration which was instrumental in making him a legend. The story goes that it was mom Meenal’s task to narrate not one, but two stories every night to the young Gavaskar. But often she got so tired after the day’s chores that narrating the second tale became quite a task. It so happened that she introduced Arjuna in the mythological tale, Ramayana, only to be pulled up by Sunny about what a merry mix-up she was making.

Papa Manohar said his son’s memory and recall had their genesis in the bedtime stories.

Celebs are famous for their indulgences and crave for gizmos. Gavaskar’s most famous indulgence has been glucose biscuits and he can never have enough of them. Will that continue now that he is 60? “My delayed medicals are due. They will give me an idea.”

Gavaskar and his badminton buddy, the late Gautam Thakkar, would take their medicals together every year. It was an unfailing annual ritual in May. Gautam’s tests were delayed the last time around. Else, the cancer that claimed him, may have been detected.

As for gadgets, Gavaskar said, “Some of these are very basic. But I don’t use cellphones, except when I am abroad.”

When in Sri Lanka, in 1995, one had told him of a computer where words appeared on the monitor when you spoke into it. One told him it would make his task as a columnist easier. Gavaskar left that one alone outside the off-stump. Famous for penning his thoughts on a single sheet for his column, Gavaskar does use the laptop these days.

When you age, your temper tends to get the better of you. So who bears the brunt of his anger these days? Wife Pammi or son Rohan? “The reflection in the mirror,” said the birthday `boy’.

One age hazard that Gavaskar won’t have to worry about is being snubbed for giving unsolicited advice. Gavaskar doesn’t proffer any, unless asked.

Also, he doesn’t chase dreams any more. He just enjoys living a ‘normal’ life. ‘Normal’ for him is living out of a suitcase. From Puttaparthi, he flies to England for the ICC History Conference. A tour of Europe follows and also the US.”

Turning 60 won’t change his hectic lifestyle. Because Sunny Gavaskar won’t behave like a 60-year-old.

IndiaToday Reference

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 1

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar Celebrates 60th Birthday At Sathya Sai Baba Ashram – News 1

Gavaskar celebrates a quiet 60th b’day
Press Trust Of India
Posted on Jul 11, 2009 at 00:26

Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh): Away from the hustle-bustle of city life, Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar on Friday celebrated his 60th birthday in a sober fashion by visiting the Ashram of Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi here.

Accompanied by wife Marshniel, son Rohan and his brother-in-law Gundappa Viswanath, Gavaskar reached Puttaparthi from Bangalore this morning and attended the Bhajan in the serene ashram of Sathya Sai Baba.

“I am delighted to be here. There could not have been a better way to celebrate my 60th birthday then being present here and getting Baba’s darshan and blessings. This is ultimate for me and I feel very fortunate to be here,” Gavaskar said.

The former Indian skipper had a distinguished career adorned with many landmarks and Gavaskar said he doesn’t regret anything in life.

“I Won’t say I regret. May be, I could have handled certain things better in life. In certain matches, if I had kept my cool and had been temperamentally good, it could have been a different thing altogether,” said Gavaskar, who was the first batsman ever to reach 10,000 runs in the history of cricket.

Gavaskar was the epitome of copybook batting as he scored 10,122 runs from 125 Tests with a then record of 34 Test tons in an international career spanning 16 years.

The diminutive cricketer-turned-columnist and commentator was also the first batsman to surpass Sir Donald Bradman’s 29 centuries in Tests.

One of the greatest opening batsmen of all time, Gavaskar was concentration personified, who defence was almost unbreachable, making him the most prized scalp of his time.

He played a stellar role with Dilip Sardesai and Eknath Solkar to help India to a historic series victory in the Caribbean under the leadership of Ajit Wadekar.

The Mumbai icon, who lived by the virtue of discipline and professionalism, also showed his prowess in the one-day format, although it was not considered his forte.

He was the part of 1983 World Cup winning squad and also shone in the 1987 World Cup match against New Zealand.

Controversies also had their own share in Gavaskar’s career.

His first visit to England in 1971 saw him collide with rival fast bowler John Snow on the pitch while taking a run and the Indian opener was sent sprawling as a result.

Four years later, he scored an inexplicable 36 not out in 60 overs in the first World Cup, against England, and was reprimanded for it by the Cricket Board following an adverse report by team manager GS Ramchand.

Gavaskar also showed his hot-headed streak when he very nearly made India the first country to forfeit a Test match in 1981, the dubious distinction later attained by arch-rivals Pakistan.

Cricket Next Reference

Gavaskar celebrates b’day at SaiBaba’s abode
11 Jul 2009, 0016 hrs IST, TNN

ANANTAPUR: Cricket maestro and former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar celebrated his 60th birthday at Prasanthi Nilayam in Puttaparthi in Anantapur
district on Friday. About 20 family members, including his son Rohan Gavaskar, arrived in Puttaparthi late on Thursday night to celebrate the birthday fete.

Gavaskar, an avowed devotee of godman Sri Satya Sai Baba, said he came to celebrate the birthday with Baba’s love, affection and blessings. “Though I have options to celebrate the day in various locations, I arrived here only to seek the blessings of Baba,” Gavaskar said.

Gavaskar also said that he had achieved several goals in the field of cricket only because of Baba’s blessings. “I am lucky to celebrate my birthday in Prasanthi Nilayam,” he said.

Times Of India Reference

Gavaskar celebrates 60th birthday in Puttaparthi

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar celebrated his 60th birthday on Friday in solemn fashion at Puttaparthi, the abode of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

Accompanied by wife Marshniel, son Rohan and former brother-in-law, India batsman Gundappa Viswanath, Gavaskar reached Puttaparthi Ashram from Bangalore and met with Sai Baba in the morning.

Baba blessed Gavaskar, the first cricketer to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket, and expressed his good wishes.

“I am extremely fortunate and happy that I celebrated by birthday here at Puttaparthi at Baba’s Ashram,” Gavaskar said after meeting Sai Baba.

Known to be a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, Gavaskar said he missed his fans on the occasion and thanked all of them for their greetings and good wishes.

“What attracted me to Puttaparthi today was the presence of Baba and his teachings of peace and love,” he added.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad

Rediff Reference

Netting fishes or runs, he’s game
Madhav Mantri
July 10, 2009

Sunil Manohar Gavaskar celebrates his 60th birthday today at the Sathya Sai Baba Ashram in Puttaparthi with his parents. In this tribute, his ‘nanamama’ former India wicketkeeper-batsman Madhav Mantri, talks about his legendary nephew.

I am 88 and in the twilight of my life. But July 10, 1949 is a date I will remember till my death. It not only marked the day Sunil was born, but also ushered in a world of happiness for all of us.

That he became a famous cricketer is another story altogether, but things could have been different. Sunil stayed in the maternity home with his mother for some days after his birth. His kaka (Narayan Masurkar) from Rajkot had come to see the baby. A day before he left, he paid a second visit to the hospital. He looked at the baby and suddenly asked my sister if she was sure it was her son.

Masurkar had earlier spotted a mark on one of Sunil’s ears and this time around, it was gone. An alarm was raised and after hours, Sunil was found asleep in the lap of a fisherwoman in one corner of the hospital. The babies had been swapped by mistake. Much later, when I asked Sunil about the incident, he laughed: “What would have happened Nanamama… I would have gone to the sea and netted 10,000 fishes. I had to create a record.”

Those growing years
As a kid, Sunil was very fond of table tennis. During his stay at his Grant Road house, he would go to Proctor YMCA everyday. He was very athletic and enjoyed the sport. It was only after he joined St Xavier’s school that he began taking cricket seriously. He was in the junior team and that triggered his passion for the game. Moreover, his father was an active club cricketer and my sister would often play with him.

One Sunday, I was preparing to leave for a game when Sunil walked into my room. He was fascinated by the caps in my kitbag and very excitedly, asked: “Nanamama, can you give me one?” I replied: “I have won all these. They are not to be gifted.”

Two years later, I found Sunil eagerly waiting for me in the verandah one day. His school team had won the Giles Shield. “Our school has presented us with a sweater and a cap,” he said. Sunil should have gone home to celebrate, but he waited to show me his cap. It was just the beginning of a long journey.

Books and beyond
Sunil is an avid reader and be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, he invariably has a book in one hand and eats with the other. Right from an early age, he read all types of books, including cricket books and autobiographies. But reading books alone didn’t gift him an impeccable technique. Whenever he found himself out of form (as an India player), he would come to Dadar Union club and practice for hours. I clearly remember he would call Mumbai pacer VS Patil and ask him to bowl at him in the nets. That boosted his confidence.

Sometimes, when he struggled against any particular bowler, he would walk down and ask his partner at the non-striker’s end about his mistakes. So the other batsman had to be attentive. That’s how Sunil perfected his technique — by sheer hard work, dedication and relentless practice.

A perfectionist
When the Alvin Kallicharran-led West Indies came to India in 1978-79, Sunil played one of the gutsiest innings of his life. It had rained in Bombay the previous day and West Indies put India in at the Wankhede (in the first Test between December 1 and 6). Sunil opened with Chetan Chauhan. Sylvester Clarke was unleashed, but the Windies quickie failed to remove Sunil before the latter scripted a magnificent double century on the second day.

The next morning, when I went to the dressing room to congratulate him, Sunil showed me a piece of paper. It was a letter from Vijay Merchant, who was commentating. He was so impressed by Sunil’s innings that he wrote a letter that night to be delivered to Sunil the next morning.

Merchant’s one principle was that he never invaded the dressing room. He was against disturbing any player during a match. But I insisted that it was a special occasion and that he should congratulate Sunil personally. When he met Sunil at the end of the day, the first thing Sunil asked was: “Vijay bhai did you watch my entire innings?” We both were taken by surprise. Sunil continued: “Tell me, when I was on 197, Norbert Phillip bowled a bouncer and I hooked it to the fine leg boundary. What was wrong with my shot?”

None of us expected such a question. While we celebrated his double, he was brooding over that one miscued shot, though it took him to the 200-run mark.

Boycott or Gavaskar?
During the 1977-78 series against Australia, Sunil scored three centuries. The Australian media went gaga over him and dubbed him the most successful opener of his era. But Ian Chappell begged to differ. In an interview he said that Sunil was good but England opener Geoff Boycott was better. Reacting to Chappell’s comments, Don Bradman hit back saying that Chappell had forgotten both Gavaskar and Boycott were technically sound batsmen, but what elevated Sunil was his ability to score runs quickly as opposed to Boycott’s over-cautious approach.

Best wishes from Miandad
It was 1987 and Sunil was playing his last Test in Bangalore against Pakistan. The Chinnaswamy pitch was crumbling and the ball was turning viciously. But Sunil was steadfast and played a superb knock of 96 in the second innings before being dubiously given out. At the end of the match, Javed Miandad came to congratulate Sunil. The Pakistan batsman, Sunil later told me, said: “We abused you so much, tried to distract you, but you were not bothered. It was a great knock mate.” Sunil replied: “Though you won the match, I passed the test. And you are not getting a second chance.” That was Sunil for you.

Hindustan Times Reference

Karnataka CM visits Puttaparthi

Karnataka CM visits Puttaparthi

Chief Minister Yeddyurappa With Sai Baba

Chief Minister Yeddyurappa With Sai Baba

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa seeking the blessings of Sri Satya Saibaba at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district on Monday.

Express News Service
First Published : 02 Jun 2009 03:40:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 02 Jun 2009 10:10:28 AM IST

ANANTAPUR: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa had darshan of Sri Satya Saibaba at Prashanti Nilayam in Puttaparthi today.

He was accompanied by Karnataka Minister Katta Subramanyam Naidu. After having darshan of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, Yeddyurappa returned to Bangalore by a special helicopter.

Local legislator Palle Raghunatha Reddy gave a sendoff to the Karnataka Chief Minister at the airport.

Expresss Buzz Reference

Mystery Of The Missing Yogi

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

Mystery Of The Missing Yogi

Read up on Giri Naidu’s (12th standard student in Prashanthi Nilayam shcool) experience as published in Sanathana Sarathi, March 1985.

A few days remained for the Navaratri festival to begin at Prasanthi Nilayam. I was at Madras, having no hopes of witnessing the grand celebrations at Parthi.

One night Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba appeared in my dream. The next night too He appeared in my dream and repeated His order, “Leave for Parthi immediately.” I dreamt that I pleaded with Him, “Oh Baba! How to come to You when I am caught in the coils of never ending troubles.” Bhagawan replied, “Nonsense! Come immediately.” I was worried how I could leave for Parthi when my mother and sister were critically ill, and I not much better than they. The day passed while I was in a dilemma.

On the third night again my Lord appeared in my dream but not as Sai Baba, but as Sai Shiva, for He looked at poor me with angry eyes and lashed and thrashed me verbally for not obeying His divine command, and once again He summoned me to Parthi, without regard to my tearful pleadings.

I woke up in the morning dazed. I was unable to make up my mind. But the thought of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba again coming in my dream made me tremble. I dared not keep my head on the pillow, fearing I would fall asleep and He might again appear in my dream and give me another sound verbal thrashing. Somehow I decided to leave for Parthi that very night.

That day Madras seemed to have incurred the wrath of Indra for it rained incessantly. With the help of our sympathetic neighbour, my ailing mother, sister and myself boarded the night bus for Anantapur. We were to reach Anantapur at dawn. We spent the night miserably but waiting for the glorious day to dawn. As the bus sped by, tearing through the dark night I pined to see the golden rays of the sun. My childish emotions overpowered me, for I accused the sun of being lazy and a late riser. It was not too long when my angry accusation turned into prayers too. I prayed to the sun to rise fast at least for my sake. But the sun took his own sweet time, and the day dawned.

The bus was nearing Anantapur when it came to a halt with a sudden jolt. There was a bridge which it had to cross. It was heavily flooded. All around was a scene of destruction. The bus took an hour to cross the flooded bridge, with great difficulty. After we had crossed the bridge, to our great delight we found a bus going to Puttaparthi trying to cross the bridge. Our bus conductor advised us three to quickly get down and board the bus leaving for Parthi, without our going to the Anantapur bus stand. We hurriedly brought our luggage down and boarded the Puttaparthi bus. The latter’s conductor was very hostile. He rudely said, “There is no place, so get off the bus.” When I tried to request him, he took our luggage and threw it out of the bus, and forced us to get down. To our great dismay we found that the Anantapur bus was nowhere in sight and the deserted look all around made me shiver in fright. To my great surprise, as soon as we got down from the bus bound for Parthi, the bus could not move as its engine refused to start. Half of its chassis was in the water and half on dry land. It could neither proceed forward nor go back. It refused to move an inch.

My mother and sister seated themselves on the luggage and were on the verge of collapse. I stood beside the raging river and viewed the angry waters, while mother sat lost in prayer or despair, I do not know. Broken logs of timber rolled and came dashing against the bridge. The corpse of a goat was caught in the swift current of the swirling waters. The dark sky above seemed to be determined on a downpour to drench us, The grim situation cast a gloomy spell on me. I cursed myself for being responsible for the watery grave I had chosen, as I felt our end not far.

Something said within me that the Lord is my host and why should I give myself away to despair and frustration. No sooner had this thought occurred in my mind than I felt the pressure of a hand on my back. I whirled round and saw, “a white long robed yogi with a white beard and matted hair” smiling at me. He had a tender voice and spoke softly. His eyes twinkled and his face shone with splendour. I stood bewitched while he spoke, “Son! You seem to be troubled. Tell me, it may be that I could help you.” Hearing him speak such kind words, I was very much delighted. I told him of the soup that we were in. He gave me a reassuring smile and said, “Is that all! O. K. How many persons are you?” I replied, “There are three of us.” Then I saw him dig his hand into the side pocket of his robe and take out three pink tickets. The smiling yogi said, “I don’t need them, you can take them.” Now with tickets in our hands we boarded the bus that still stood there. As I was boarding the bus, I again felt a pat on my back. I looked behind and saw. It was the smiling yogi. He then uttered these mysterious words, “You go to Puttaparthi and `I’ shall meet you there.” And he hurriedly walked away.

We climbed the bus. The bus conductor gave us a threatening look before he could speak out a word, I showed him the tickets that the yogi gave me, The conductor was shocked and he questioned me, “From where did you get them.” I told him about the yogi. He got down from the bus to look for the yogi. The yogi could be found nowhere. He seemed to have melted into the thin air of the deserted region. The conductor climbed into the bus. He looked shaken. He timidly got three seats vacated and offered them to us. As soon as we took our seats, the engine that had refused to start for two hours miraculously started all of a sudden, and the bus moved towards its destination.

The happy passengers shouted with joy and the air was rent with shouts of JAI SAI RAM!


When Tulsi Bloomed At Sai Baba’s Lotus Feet

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

When Tulsi Bloomed At Sai Baba’s Lotus Feet

When my servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close: I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me. (The Quran II : 186)

Karim Sab, (67) shriveled and taciturn, sits every evening on the cuddapah black-stone bench in front of his dormitory. His posture denotes uncertainty, even loneliness, like an autumn-leaf about to be wind-blown; and he waits there till the sunlight turns yellow and makes dull the hills around him. The mid-November mist fills the somnolent air in Anantapur with a chilled invisibility.

As an inmate of the Home for the Aged in this Andhra town, Karim Sab’s life is uneventful. Nothing remarkable has come his way except that he has been a classmate of the one whom he calls “Sathya” — and whom the world now knows as Sathya Sai Baba.

Karim Sab informs this author that he has known BABA in the primary school, six decades ago. Delight ripples over his tired features as he recalls those happy days. His simple faith in Allah rules out questions about the ways of divinity. Calling these experiences as “jewels in the heart” he feels grateful and is content for the chance he has had.

“Even as children,” he tells the visitor, “we were certain that Baba was not like all of us, though He moved and played with us. Hazrat Mohammad Sahib must have been like this. And Lord Jesus Christ—Hazrat Ibraheem.”

When shown the photo of Baba he grows reminiscent: “As a child He was tiny for His age—yes, the same generous mouth and those large black eyes too were there. They sparkled like pools at sunset. Once we were free — it was a drill period — and Baba led us to play in the open space in front of the school building. We refused, of course.”

“Why?” enquires the visitor.

“The ground was hard with sharp stones and gravel. We were poor, no shoes for us. We said so, but He wouldn’t listen. ‘Come’ He insisted, ‘See, see, I can run.’ He started running over the crushed earth as if it was velvet. We hesitated looking suspiciously. And ah! wonder of wonders! Before our wide eyes it changed. Wherever His feet touched, a Tulsi plant sprang up immediately, just like that.”

Karim Sab stops, breathing heavily as if he has been reliving the moment. He mused:

“Yes, we looked on, as He ran lightly on the ground patch by patch, it turned to glowing green. The whole place was covered with Tulsi that sent a faint welcome smell! No, not the plant, but a low dense bushy type of growth. We ran to this carpet, rolled on it, stamped and wallowed till we were exhausted, and then we lay there, flat on our backs, panting for breath. The fresh aroma rose and covered us too, soothing like the touch of a warm blanket. Through its haziness we saw Him stand above us, hands folded behind, an unspeakable tenderness playing on lips.”

Karim Sab suddenly stops, overwhelmed by the intensity of his recollections. When questioned further he admits that he recalls that incredible event often. Now that the world has forgotten him, each evening he comes, sits on this bench and waits. Sometimes the newly sprouted Tulsi’s smell rises with the mists of the evening and enfolds him as an assurance, fervid yet cordial. “How often it happens?” comes the skeptical question. He is reluctant. Not everything can be demanded by an intruder. Yet he remains polite. “Yes …. not very often,” he says softly, “but yes Tulsi comes from nowhere and fills the whole air.”

—Prof. Zeba Bashiruddin (extracted from Sanathana Sarathi Nov 1992)