Thursday, August 12, 2021

India in Olympics

Tokyo 2020 closing ceremony (Source:

One of the reasons I didn't blog for almost a month was the Olympics. I wasn't checking blogs either during that time. 

I was totally engrossed in the live telecast of so many events, both in which India was participating and those in which India wasn't.


Sony was the official broadcast partner for India, and they did a really good job. There were separate live feeds of almost all the events. There was a separate channel for events in which India was participating.

Every evening, I picked the events that I wanted to watch the next day and made sure I kept myself free, as far as possible. With so many events being telecast live simultaneously, I had to constantly toggle the channels!

The official Olympics website and app were also good with live updates of all the events. I used to keep a watch on that as well so I could switch when an event became interesting.

The only constraint was the timing. Japan is three and a half hours ahead of India. So on some days, it was a bit of a struggle to wake up early after a late night at work.


The only game in which India was good at in the Olympics was field hockey. India won its first Olympic medal in 1928 when its hockey team won the gold. It remained unbeaten winning six gold medals consecutively till 1956.

Then it was silver in 1960, gold in 1964, bronze in 1968 and 1972, nil in 1976 and gold in 1980. All in hockey. Then onwards India hasn't done well in the game.


India had to wait till 1996 when other sportspersons began making their presence felt and began picking up medals.


Leander Paes - bronze - tennis


Karnam Malleswari - bronze - weightlifting


Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore - silver - shooting

Abhinav Bindra. (Source: India Today)

Abhinav Bindra - gold - shooting

Vijendra Singh - bronze - boxing 

Sushil Kumar - bronze - wrestling


Vijay Kumar - silver - shooting

Sushil Kumar - silver - wrestling

Gagan Narang - bronze - shooting

Saina Nehwal - bronze - badminton

Mary Kom - bronze - boxing

Yogeshwar Dutt - bronze - wrestling


P V Sindhu - silver - badminton

Sakshi Malik - bronze - wrestling


Neeraj Chopra (Source: Sportstar)

This year was the best so far. Compared to all previous years, India competed in the most number of events (18), sent the most number athletes (70 men and 54 women), and got the most number of medals (7).

Neeraj Chopra - gold - javelin throw

Mirabai Chanu - silver - weightlifting

Lovlina Borgohain - bronze - boxing

P V Sindhu - bronze - badminton

Ravi Kumar Dahiya - silver - wrestling

Bajrang Punia - bronze - wrestling

Team - bronze - men's hockey 


Two events in which India lost the bronze medal match but won the hearts were one, in bronze in which young Aditi Ashok finished fourth after staying tied in 2nd place for almost three days; and two, the women's hockey team that fought so hard in the bronze medal match but lost to Britain.

Besides these two:

Vinesh Phogat lost in the wrestling quarterfinals

Mary Kom lost in boxing pre-quarterfinal

Deepika Kumari (world No.1 in women's recurve category) lost in the quarterfinals

Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary lost in shooting 2nd qualification stage


There are many reasons why India hasn't generally done well. 

One is the lack of good global-level infrastructure for athletes to train; two, lack of resources for them to go and stay abroad for long durations to train; and the third is the traditional attitude among Indian parents putting more emphasis on their children's studies rather than in sports.

All of these have been changing in the past decade or so, and that's getting reflected in India's performance on the global stage, not just in the Olympics, but more importantly, in many other world championship events.

And I am sure the best is yet to come.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

From Feedburner to

Pic source: Pixabay

Finally, I made the transition. This has been pending since April when Google announced that they were winding up Feedburner's email subscription service for publishers.

I searched the web for options, and there are quite a few of them. Finally I chose as the alternative to Feedburner. I was also encouraged by this post of my blog pal Liz who too opted for 

By the way, is spelt with the first letter 'f' in lower case and not capitals. has a simple user interface; and, there are links to good explainers for people like me who are transitioning to a new service to offer feed subscriptions to readers.

The first step in the transition process was to download the list of my email subscribers from Feedburner. Not quite unexpected, only 15 out of 370 email IDs looked genuine! The rest seemed to be bot-triggered spam.

The readers who had subscribed via Feedburner have now been moved to If I have missed anyone, please do re-subscribe to the feed via has a few additional features that I didn't find on Feedburner. One of them is that readers can set filters, like specific tags or keywords or even go by popularity to customise their experience. 

There are multiple ways in which the email subscriptions can be received, like single email, or multiple emails as and when new posts are published. There is an option to see these feeds on One can also get the feeds on Telegram by linking it to 

Apparently, more features like Chrome extension, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc are in the pipeline.

These are all available in the free plan. The paid option opens up a few more features like detailed analytics of subscriptions.

This is the link to follow my blog. Or you have the widget on top of the right panel on this page.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Le premier blog article en Français / First blog post in French

On April 14, last year, I said, "Maybe one day, there will be a blog post in French!" I thought I shouldn't delay that début any longer.

But before that, there was a problem. Though the English and French alphabets are the same, French has five types of accents. The pronunciation of a letter with and without an accent is different. 

The five are:

L'accent aigu (é)

L'accent grave (è)

L'accent circonflexe or "chapeau" (â)

La cédille (ç)

Le tréma (ë)

I needed French a keyboard or some method by which I could get these accents.

Windows 10 has an option to have keyboards of different languages. I enabled the one for French. 

But the problem with that was that the keys aren't the same. Like for example, where we have 'a', it's 'q'. So, if I type out femme on a French keyboard, it'll turn out to be: fe,,e.

I went to Youtube and searched how I could get French accents on Windows English keyboard. I found that there are so many methods one could do that. But the one I liked, the simplest one, was this.

This is the keyboard shortcut. 

é = Cntr ' e 

è = Cntr ` e

ê = Cntr Shift ^ 

ë = Cntr Shift ;

ç = Cntr ,

But it works only on MS Word; not on Blogger Draft or Notepad. 

So, here I go. Needless to say, I typed this out on MS Word and then pasted it here. The translation is below that:


Bonjour! Comment ça va?

Je m’appelle Pradeep, et j’habite á Bengaluru en Inde.

J’apprends le Français alors j’essaye – pour la premier fois – écrire un article sur mon blog en Français.

S’il y a des erreurs, pardon, s’il vous plaît.

Aujourd’hui, c’est le premier jour d’août.

C’est dimanche.

C’est un jour férié donc je ne dois pas aller au bureau.

Hello! How are you?

My name is Pradeep, and I live in Bengaluru in India.

I am learning French, so I am trying -- for the first time -- to write a blog post in French.

Please excuse me if there are errors.

Today is the first day of August.

It's Sunday.

It's a public holiday and I don't have to go to office.


I am sure to get some usages / prepositions wrong, which I guess will get better with more exposure to the language.