Sunday, December 21, 2008

Leadership at the helm and within

These days I was going through a lot of blogs by high profile professionals from various business segments. I came across this article by Greg Wittstock, in which he describes how a certain place, South Bend in Indiana, US went ahead in restoring its city's overburdened and ailing sewage and storm water system back to full functionality. One has to read the article to appreciate the method embraced by the residents.

An excerpt from the original article

Current estimates for the town of 150,000 to do just that come in at a whopping $200,000,000! Do the math. That’s just over $1,300 for each and every resident currently living there!

The way the residents took to this challenge and made it possible is very reminiscent of how Andhra Pradesh of India followed the same principle to improve living conditions and self sustainment.

That article was written in March 2008 and if I am not wrong, Andhra Pradesh used this method under the stewardship of the then State Chief Minister Mr. Chandra Babu Naidu, some 7 or 8 years ago. If my memory is not wrong the program was called Janmabhoomi program.

We always talk about how far ahead the West think and how we need to imbibe their trends to improve our standard of living and try reach their economic growth rate. But here, we find our Government, though State, beat them (the West) on executing a trend of self development by a margin of at least 7 years.

We had and have leaders who think ahead of times to make our society a better place to live in but we tend not to give a long standing helping hand to those who have long term visions and work towards achieving them. We don’t have that patience to see a slow growth. We want overnight success. We need quick results with least strain on our physical, psychological and financial abilities and look to the Government and Politicians to achieve them. Is it because we don’t have that strong desire and never diminishing focus to excel ignited for longer periods?

Hopefully, we have grown wiser by the year with changes in attitude and political intelligence to choose and elect the right leaders who can take the society in the right direction and develop a robust economy. State and Central elections are just round the corner. What best time would one get to prove their contribution to the country’s cause?

Corporate Culture reflected in married lives

This is a story of a Mr. X after 8 years of experience in his field

I am earning Rs 45K per month with my present organization. And my appraisal is due in 2 months time. I am anticipating a 20% raise. That should make it 54K per month. Hopefully, I can live the life I dream of with that hike. With the present salary I am struggling a little to meet ends the way I want. Things could be rosier with the hike in income.

Two months later.

Company decided to give him a 5% hike. It could be because of his not performing to the company expectations or the company revenue for that fiscal could only squeeze that rate keeping all the appraisals of employees in perspective. So he had to settle for a little above 47K per month till next appraisal. He was highly dissatisfied with the outcome.

His immediate reaction was to look for positive transition in his career. He started to look for openings in other companies where he could quote his satisfactory per month salary. Two months from his appraisal day he moved to another company that accepted to pay him 55K per month. He is very happy with his life after his income reached or even exceeded his requirement.

Sixteen months later.

I am earning close to Rs 58K per month with my present organization. And my appraisal is due in 2 months time. I am anticipating a 15% raise. That should make it around 67K per month. Hopefully, I can live the life I dream of with that hike. With the present salary I am struggling a little to meet ends the way I want. Things could be rosier with the hike in income.

Two months later.

Company once again decided to give him a 5% hike. Once again, it could be because of his not performing to the company expectations or the company revenue for that fiscal could only squeeze that rate keeping all the appraisals of employees in perspective. So once again he had to settle for a close 61K per month till next appraisal. And once again he was highly dissatisfied with the outcome.

Again, his immediate reaction was to look for positive transition in his career. He started to look for openings in other companies where he could quote his satisfactory per month salary. Two months from his appraisal day he moved to another company that accepted to pay him 70K per month. He is very happy with his life after his income reached or even exceeded his requirement.

And the same trend continued till he retired at the age of 58. The summary of his professional life is experience of 33 years in his field with 14 different organizations.

This approach of instant gratification, career growth and living in a comfort zone has become so innate that man has started looking for the same in all his endeavors. Even marriages are feeling the strains with this approach, I guess. The moment one of the partners find it hard to continue the relation, a hindrance to his/her career growth, one too many differences in opinions, they are not shying away from filing for a divorce and moving ahead in life with another partner.

Once we look into the statistics of number of divorce cases filed in the past ten years, we find it hard to digest. The rise in the number of divorces is staggering in the past 5 years and these days partners have started taking extreme measures, that of killing their spouse. I am not sure of how much the corporate culture has influenced this trend but the statistics do hint at this idea as the growth in the corporate and filing for divorce cultures do run very parallel.

I leave the number crunching to the hard workers who can gather the right statistics from the concerned departments for more authenticity leaving me with my thought process.

P.S: This is a supposition and is India-centric.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Money: Education Vs Job

When you are learning many subjects in school you pay lesser fees and as you start learning fewer subjects (specialization) as you move into colleges and universities your fee structure increases.

As you keep narrowing down your academic specialization you keep paying more to institutes providing courses till you reach a certain level of academic proficiency.

The more the specialization the more you pay in education and get paid in jobs. Right!!!

But when you join a company and turn a new leaf in life as a job-goer the situation gets reversed…

In view of the quantum of work involved, when you put lot of things into practice (multi-tasking) in corporates you are paid higher salaries and when the work profile is narrow with fewer tasks your salary is bound to dip.

The day you join a job, you are given narrowed work for which you will be paid some salary. When you start climbing the ladder of hierarchy you are needed to handle multiple tasks for which pay packages are higher.

Isn’t this an interesting paradox?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Media strips itself

I was blog-hopping when I came upon an article by Ram Gopal Varma. The post, named “The accusation…” was an interesting one and going further into the comments section was where I got intrigued. RGV, as he is known, was only describing his recent visit to TAJ Hotel in Mumbai during the aftermath of the terrorists attack. “How his visit stirred so much interest in the media and the various speculations from them and actually why he went there?” was what he focused on in that article.

The post inspired me to read few other posts of his. This made me peep into his personal way of description of things. Though the posts are a little on the ruffian side as far as language usage is concerned, it was straight from heart, it seemed. The elements of a typical story teller are also there. The accounts are lengthy, exhaustively covered and captivating.

Coming back to my original point, it seems as though media glare is far too hot on this guy. They seem to have set an eagle eye on this one guy waiting for him to give them one opportunity when they can dig his grave in black and white. May be, RGV’s ways are like that – attracting constant criticism. Whatever characters he portrays on celluloid, though, pure fictitious and need to be kept at that, few seem to relate them to real life characters and tend to take them personally.

The one that caught my eye was his previous post, where he has shared his next venture on “Media-men” and the reactions that he received for that article. This seemed to have angered a section of the fourth estate and that emotion was vented on his recent venturing into the TAJ Hotel and in the comments for his next article.

A couple of excerpts by somebody named “media”:
ramu,
words of wisdom for you. Basically power game rules everything. Only try to attack something which is weaker than you. The strength of the platform of media plus the stupidity of those watching it is well above your reach.
ramu,
those who take sword perish by it. You used some reddy to do film with nag. We used you to get rid of cm. In your films you use resemblance to real life incidents so that movie goers will speculate and watch like sarkar and thackrey. We did nothing more.

I was shocked to see what the undercurrent of those comments conveyed. RGV, as a movie director, definitely has a moral and social responsibility towards the large segment of people whom he can reach through his larger than life canvas. But he is not bound by any. He is his own master and ends are of no consequence to him as far as social justification is concerned. But Media???

They are the backbone to any country and reflect society’s social and cultural attitudes. They are bound to citizens both morally and socially at least by a marginal degree. If these comments show anything, its vengeance, taking society for granted, placing self ahead of anything else and nothing more. What is the media coming to and where it is driving us all and for what? My imagination is taking me into the darkest of waters as answers.

I just hope I am absolutely wrong in my reading.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

When Cricket meets Chess

Guess what happens when a Viswanathan Anand walks the greens of a cricket ground and actually puts his brains into the strategy-mind games? May be, that’s what happened to Australia in this edition of Border-Gavaskar Trophy, India annihilating them 2-0 in the four test series.

The third day of the fourth test gave it all away for Australia. When they were served with a completely unexpected strategy, an 8-1 field on the off side tightening the run leak, men from Oz were caught short of imagination. They were caught unaware on the wrong foot. They could not come up with any overpowering plan that would tilt the game in their favor. Instead they cried over it by claiming that Indian tactics were negative. There is something called defence and offence and none should forget that.

Having a good defence is not the same as negative tactics. There is either a defensive stroke or an offensive and a defensive tactic or an offensive. Though there are instances when people called the art of Ashley Giles, of bowling left arm over into the rough, as negative. But the same set of people fail to see the same effect when Shane Warne, the world’s greatest leg spinner ever, bowls around the stumps into the rough and picks a load full of wickets. Is this not double-headed? Or is it that Giles hails from England and Warne from Australia? I would rather call Giles and Warne as defensive more than anything else.

The removal of the tag of invincibles, the dethroning from the world’s best cricket team pedestal, two humiliating test defeats; as the sorry state piles on, it might be getting difficult for the Aussies to handle as they find themselves in unfamiliar waters. It would do a world of good if Australia imbibes humility, which the Indian team has in abundance with Mahendra Singh Dhoni leading from the front.

The days of brains with brawn have come to the fore with Dhoni at the helm of Indian cricket. By the way, is it luck or something else that India won both the matches under Dhoni? Whatever the answer is it promises to be a great season awaiting the Indian cricket fans with a bunch of International matches round the corner and the domestic Ranji season in full flow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Progress

We, humans, never tend to stop at anything. We excel over or outdo things that are already done. Making the present look like a novice, a mere nonsense seems to be the prime motive of progress.

We create technology and keep upgrading it by the second. We call this progress. Technology, today, is growing at a pace not even one millionth, if not lesser, of the whole world population could keep up with. By the time one is upgraded to a certain level, one is alarmed at how much there is still to catch up. There is no end to this “catch me if you can” game between present and future.

Another sort of Progress

Consider the water filling into an empty bucket as progress. What would it be called after the bucket fills up - Catastrophe?

A parallel

We create architectural brilliances; a great building, one more and one more, we keep coming up with out-of-the-ordinary thinking and want to share it with the rest of the world. We keep occupying land to showcase these talents wherever and whenever necessary, with utter disregard to nature, either by blasting hills, mountains, or even converting cultivable land, to come up with architectural beauties.

We cannot hold ourselves back from doing this till we won’t have any land remaining to build upon, I guess. It won’t be surprising to see a demand from people to create land somewhere else suspended in the universe. And humankind will love to book their plots on that piece of land at whatever fancy price just to make them unique and different from the rest who don’t own such tracts!!!

“Are we already not listening to news like booking honeymoon trips in space?”

A possible solution?

In order to answer the land loss, we might as well replace a few buildings that are not in line with the others around it. But once again, is this not the same as mocking the once present in today’s future. This is a vicious circle and today’s way of order we cannot escape from.

My stand

Progress is discovering all that is available in a given territory and it remains progress till the territory is completely exhausted. Hopefully, we humans understand this thin line and conform ourselves within these boundaries.

I would love to imagine a world content with whatever it has and live in harmony. I only foresee the need of maintaining everything that is in place already and the generating food for the population, as the only two things that will take the time of the inhabitants. That sounds pretty simple if mankind comes to that. Isn’t it? But it will not and will not. And that is definitive. I (Is it “we”) can only hope its not so.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The present fresher

The global financial crisis is evident on all aspects of running business in the corporate sector. I know a friend of mine who was recruited by Satyam through a campus recruitment initiative, a year ago. Today, he finds himself in a quandary trying to figure out what made the company back out on admitting him into the organization.

Each time he gets in touch with the HR of the company, he gets a standard response that he needs to wait for some more time.

His mind was a questionnaire.

Is it that Satyam previously followed the profit generating tactics of filling the benches without work and adding these names into the payroll rolls of outsourced assignments that pay more?
And recruited him in a similar drive but suddenly finds itself unable to accommodate him because of the global financial crisis and the monetary results on outsourced assignments doesn’t reflect the same numbers as before?
Is the company just trying to reduce costs by stalling new recruits for the time being till economic times get over the tough times?
But being a giant, Satyam could very well shield itself from the economic slowdown through applied strategies like compensation solutions and work towards improving the productivity. And this could help many new applicants to kick-start their careers though in crisis, which is all the more beneficial as it might prepare the new ones for any situation. Then why did Satyam not do it?

With all these puzzles to be jumbled he settled in with a job in a call center for the time being till he gets THE call from his employer. When I know of such a person, its anybodies guess what the actual number of people going through such a phase in career could be.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A walk in the night

With the weather pleasant and after a good session of tennis I just felt like walking back home. The straight route was on the busy main road of the town. So I took a winding and longer but quiet road to make my on-road time as pleasant as possible. The time was 7:30 pm, when I came to a narrow alley onto which one of the town schools premises ends. I was just wondering at the unearthly hour when I found a conglomeration of students of all heights and ages in the school ground. And of all the wildest things I could imagine, they started singing a prayer in unison.

God Bless Mummy
God Bless Daddy
Help me always
To keep them happy

This struck a chord or two in my imaginative juices. One was the good old days when I used to join in the chorus of my class mates before starting classes in the morning and the other, the present relevance of this particular prayer in our day-to-day life.

The first two lines stand good whichever times of age or era one could speak of, as they are mere wishes without any human intervention. The next two lines are the ones that bothered me. They embody the efforts that the progeny should make and take to keep the happiness of their families intact.

The fact that I did some research on the recent increase in the number and trends in old age homes and orphanages for my own reasons immediately put this line of thought into perspective. The growth in the exodus of people seeking job opportunities to places across the globe directly impacts the lives of the parents of the job goer. It is not unusual that we see a steep rise in the number of old age homes and watch movies like Baghban when parents are tagged as unwanted, a burden on the social lives an obligation in our daily lives.

A sudden doubt stopped my thoughts delving deeper. Do any of these students actually know what they mean by this prayer or are they just going through the motions the way they got used to the present education system? I was in no mood to get the answer for that question as I knew that I wouldn’t, even if I wanted to at that moment. So I just went ahead homebound. And more than anything else, the reason of enjoying the quietness tugged me along and leave the thought-chugging at that.

P.S: There are so many other reasons that affect the lives of many a family but the bottom-line of a good chunk of children neglecting their parents' care remains a blatant fact.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sachin, the Sachin

It is only with blood and sweat that we get contentment. We seek the blood of those who fail one day and drench in the showers of the sweat of the same proclaiming their success as ours, the next. Pulling down people with one hand whenever possible and taking shelter under their success is not new to this cricket-mad country.

If there is anyone who withstood all this, time and again, for eighteen years of his career, it is Sachin. (The last one year saw vultures seeking even his blood). Today, this landmark of being the highest run getter in the history of test cricket is a moment parallel to a nation’s flag being hoisted. It is no mean achievement. All one can do is stand with veneration and bow to this small man with all humility.

Whether the record remains forever or overtaken as years go by is immaterial. Let us all cherish this moment and wish the Indian team all the luck to come out on top in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar test series against Australia.

P.S: I personally am at a loss of finding adjectives that describe him. Sachin cannot be anything other than Sachin himself.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Indian Sporting Culture reflected in movies

I was watching a small clipping of Chak De India on TV that prompted me to think about movies related to sport made in India. In a span of 20 years, I can recall only Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Iqbal, Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, Awwal Number and … and … Damn!! How can I forget Lagaan!!!… and I am still thinking to find a few more. Leaving Awwal Number, coz I don’t know much of it, all the other movies were received pretty well by the viewers and all of them did a pretty good job at the box office. So, there is no harm done to any segment linked to these movies, commercially, as well.

When Chak De India hit the screen, everybody started chanting its title whenever India played cricket matches. Incidentally, India winning the T20 world cup added spice to the movie’s success.

Lagaan, so far, is the only movie from India to figure in the last five Oscar nominations in the best foreign film category, as everybody would know. Though, its not absolutely sport centric, the usage of sport in the scheme of things makes the movie fall in this category (my opinion). I don’t have to write much on this movie for obvious reasons.

Iqbal showcased a completely new dimension of sport on screen. Its fresh treatment and the subject made it work well with the audience and critics alike.

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar is a movie that stands on its own. It has all the ingredients that a successful commercial movie has and still catered to the sporting senses. All these movies provided a momentum to unite, in the general public, towards heroic deeds in the true spirit of mankind, which is what sport is all about.

Why is it that Indian filmmakers are apprehensive on making more movies on sport? Is it because of the lack of a sporting culture in us or is it the acceptance of the movie sans romance is highly impossible or is it something else?

Why can’t we take a leaf out of Hollywood where movies are frequently made on sports, either based on real life incidents or fictitious? Teams watch these movies as preparation to an upcoming tournament, giving them the added pep to perform to their best ability.

We have very good storytellers in the industry and the crop is growing by the day. With the present crop not deterring from experimenting, I feel that this could be a good time to think of making movies with sport-centric subjects that could inspire people in general and sportsmen in particular.

For us to see more Bindras, Nehwals, Sushils and Jitenders; we should start contributing for them on all spheres that can be counted as influential.

When we are ready to do something for our sportsmen as our contribution, may be then and only then might we have a reason to crib on the poor performance of our sportsman. Till then, be a part of the event or go apart from the event without raising voice against the sport or sportsmen. I don’t see much choice there.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A puzzling insight

There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
- Douglas Adams


Well… this theory has puzzled me for quite some time. I definitely understand its implications and its possibilities in all probability. But the thing that puzzles me is HOW does the process feel like?

I tried a lot of ways to understand that, even to the extent of asking everyone around me of that question… :-) Suddenly, the process of asking questions itself has provided me with a provocative insight into the system of solving.

An analogy.

We are taking an exam of answering questions on a topic. We find that the moment we answer a given question, we are posed with another question in its place. And the moment we solve this new one, we are given one more question in its place and so on. The process is never ending. Will there be an end?

Amidst all this, if the invigilator asks this question, “Have you finished the exam?” Imagine our plight!!! Pretty awful! Isn’t it? There is no way that one can FINISH such exams at any given point of time as the questions coming are never ending.

A parallel.

Consider any crime as a question posed to the police to crack.

The police would never know when they would be given a question to solve. But when they do get one, they will be running against time to solve it in all probability at the earliest. By the time they succeed in solving and announcing the subject from which the question has come, they are forced to focus on one more question but from some other subject. This process continues till mankind remains on the face of earth. And no one is sure of how many subjects exist in this syllabus. All the more reason for further and higher complications!!!

When such is the situation, imagine the plight of the police force when the media asks them, “have you come to the end of the trail, when are you planning to reveal the subjects, why are we (you) allowing such questions to be posed at all and blah … blah… blah?”

Which question to answer and how to answer that question? Kindly guide me…

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

RARE View Mirrors?

Is it a misconception or an accidental similarity with the word “rear” that a predominant section of vehicle riders do not understand the significance of a rear view mirror of an automobile and has merely become a “rare” view mirror?

In general, it is mandatory for any rider to be able to gauge the traffic behind him so that he can veer the vehicle this way or that without causing much trouble to other vehicles. But today, it has become mandatory to remove the rear view mirrors of two wheelers in order to take the vehicle from under gated railway lines. And the four wheelers open them only on highways to protect from breaking them in the heavy city traffics.

All in all these mirrors have become appendages more than useful utilities for safer travel. We see more often than not, youngsters using these mirrors (the remaining lot) for their cosmetic purposes. God knows when people realize their traffic sense!!!

Moreover, it has become a common practice for riders to turn their heads for a signal rather than using blinkers or hand signals. This led to at least eight accidents for which I stand witness, and three of them fatal. I am talking about only a single man’s experience here. Who knows the real number of accidents actually occurring just because of this one reason – lack of traffic sense?

The licensing authority (Road Transport Authority) should carefully look into this aspect if they want to control the atrocious driving habits of the so-called citizens. Here, in a few places, we only need to drive in a designed “EIGHT” road to pass the test. And I personally know a few guys who clear this even without driving. The cities definitely have a better track to clear, but is this sufficient to understand the driver’s driving ability in traffic? I seriously doubt this.

Why can’t we take a leaf out of the US licensing authorities where every applicant for license goes through stringent driving rigors to pass the test?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rock on Farhan

My recent movie watch “Rock On” was as it had to be as tagged with Farhan Akhtar; creative and unique.

His talent was there for everyone to see right from his directorial debut movie “Dil Chahta Hai”. As a son to a celebrity in the industry, he might have had the advantage of easier transition into filmdom. But when assessed, he needs to stand on his own to survive, which he did with flair. His remarkable achievement with “DCH” was to set a standard in movie making. The treatment was unique and the story, a perfect mix for the cultured and the present generation viewer.

He followed it with “Lakshya”. I don’t remember any movie, which romanticizes Army graduation, practices and operations to such extent. Even this movie tries to direct the youth of this generation to live the dreams and achieve them with conviction.

The last one under his directorial belt was “Don”, retold in his own way as a tribute to the yesteryear blockbuster. This movie shows the canny side of Farhan, where he was able to give a whole new treatment to the original movie, showcasing the growing intellectual capacities of the present day generation. Its as though to say that, “when somebody calls himself don, he must be, in all spheres”.

When we thought that we know him as a director with conviction sticking to his guns, he shows a whole new dimension in his repertoire – his acting and singing skills. Honestly, I was caught off-guard while watching this movie “Rock On”. For me, Farhan’s effort was a revelation as an actor and the lead singer of “Magik”, the Rock Band in the movie.
I wont be surprised if he gets a filmfare nomination for this movie either in the Best Actor or Best Actor in a Supporting Role category. And he might, in all probability, walk away with the Best debutant award. On the lighter side, he could even figure in the best singer’s nomination.

He truly represents the present generation in all his films and it would augur well for the youth to take a cue from his convictions. What’s in store from this talented personality in the future, we need to wait and see than trying to predict as it seems “Farhan ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin… naamumkin hain”.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rosy future for the Indian Athlete

Abhinav Bindra, by claiming the medallion, has provided the much-needed breakthrough for all the Indians to emulate. This edition of Olympics, in Beijing, not only brought its first ever individual Gold to India but also has thrown other names, who can go the distance in the years to come, Saina Nehwal and the pugilists being the prominent ones. Saina and Akhil could have ended up on the podium if they could have squeezed through one more match i.e., their quarterfinal encounters. So close… yet so far for them, though their efforts are worth in gold!!!

The young and fast improving Saina Nehwal, aggressive pugilists Akhil, Joginder and Vijender, long distance runner Preeja Sreedharan, heptathlete Pramila Ganapathy, rower Bajranglal Thakar, shooters Narang, Rathore, Mansher and Manav Singh, wrestler Yogeshwar and Sushil Kumar, and tennis contender Sania Mirza; all have it in them to swell the country’s medal tally. Furthermore, having age on their side except a couple augurs well for the country, as they gain in experience to perform better when they participate next in the quadrennial event, Olympics, in 2012. There is talent in abundance in this vastly populated country. It is the executive planning schedule by the concerned officials that could make the all the more a worthy difference.

With Bindra showing the way, the Government and the Indian Olympic Committee should now start investing to organize an Olympic programme (with or without corporate support), as Bindra rightly hinted, to prepare the athletes to compete at the best level. It would be great if the IOC can identify some eight to ten athletes, to start with (a step in the right direction), and provide them with the required infrastructure, exposure and training. The following results should lead to further plans.

The IOC should exhibit a more important vision, of bringing more laurels to the country rather than basking in this one time glory, to organize such programmes. They should work towards addressing the needs of the athletes, things like ammunition shortage for the shooters, stints with renowned International athletes and trainers for a period of time, and such. At least they would have done their bit towards the improvement of the sport in the country, if they fulfill this requirement. Its time India diversifies from its cricket obsession and wake up to the realities of International sport.

Being an Indian alone would never contribute to the country’s growth; everybody should do his/her two bits worth so that four years down the line we can reap better results in the Olympic medal tally. Lets hope/work for the best.

Abhinav Bindra, a jewel in the crown

Achieving something a billion people had been hoping for a century is no mean thing. And it takes a lion heart and an ice head to withstand the pressures that mount when you represent the country and its hopes. That’s exactly what the apple of the whole country’s eye, Abhinav Bindra has weathered and achieved; an individual gold medal in the ongoing Beijing Olympics 2008, the highest sporting achievement ever by an Indian.

The Himalayan Mountains were there for centuries. Though various attempts were made to scale the peak, no human ever reached its summit till Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. From then on, we know that the frequency of visits to the summit is on the rise. It’s the first successful attempt that inspires and paves the way for others to tread on and emulate the feat time and again.

Similar is the Indian Olympics story. Though commendable and worthy of high praise, previous feats by Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Karnam Malleswari, Leander Paes and KP Jadhav, in the context of Olympics glory, they missed the golden medallion by a whisker or two. The thirst, the quest for an individual Gold in an Olympics was quenched with this year’s edition as Abhinav Bindra stood atop the summit to claim his coveted gold medallion. The moment of seeing the Indian Flag and the Anthem being hoisted and played ahead of any other country’s flag or anthem is worth experiencing time and again, for an Indian.

Future never looked rosier for the Indian athletes, as Bindra has cracked the enigma to open the floodgates. Hopefully, this will inspire generations to come by instilling the much needed self belief in the rest to bring home the glory with its tagged pride to such heights that we, as Indians, could proudly say that INDIA IS A SPORTING SUPER POWER AS WELL in the years to come.

If Hillary and Norgay are legends then Bindra is no less. They climbed to fame and he shot to fame. Long live the glory!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Indians, as citizens, for Olympics

Raj asked, “How is Bharat preparing for his tenth standard final examinations?”

Seema, with a thumbs-up sign responded, “Doing pretty well.”

“As his mother you always support him, which made him what he is today. Useless and good for nothing is what I sum him up to be. Last year he got only 543 out of 600 marks in his final exam and I doubt his ability even this year. The state rank holder gets a score of more than 570 and this fellow, when he cannot even get 550 in his ninth standard, how can we expect a better score from him in the tenth finals?” he lamented being his usual self.

“I know he will fail to deliver, once again, to our expectations”, he concluded with a dismissive air.

Bharat was just behind the curtain, listening to this discussion between his parents. He felt a sting of anguish as he was paying close attention to his father’s curt statements. He knew that he is trying his level best to improve his overall abilities in each and every aspect of his academics and still he is unable to match his parents’ expectations. This bothered him.

Then something, which shouldn’t have, has happened. Bharat recollected all his examination performances of his previous four years. In his sixth he got 486, then improved it to 512 in his seventh, got 529 in his eighth and in his last exam in his ninth standard he got 543 and stood second in the class. Each time, it was his mother who stood by him to some extent and he never received any consolation from his father. This weighed heavily on him and finally, he broke.

He lost all interest in improving his performance, as he understood that no betterment would improve his rating in his father’s eyes. He started neglecting his studies, became careless in his outlook towards every aspect of life.

Does this ring any bell?

Sure, it does. Every athlete from India should be feeling the same way as Bharat here. More than ever, this is the time when all Indian athletes need the good wishes and encouragement from its countrymen to do well in their respective fields in the Beijing Olympics. This is the time when every medal receives worldwide recognition and every athlete on the podium brings a moment of pride to the country as a whole.

Let us pray and hope for the best for our country, India.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Upstaged?


Now, the inevitable is out. Nadal has upstaged Federer to the top spot in International Tennis. One of the most formidable forces ever has been dethroned. By August 18th the rankings will change and the new Emperor will be crowned officially.

Recently, after his loss to big serving Karlovic in Cincinnati, Federer said, “I don’t care if Nadal or somebody else takes the No.1 spot. I just am focusing on Olympics in Beijing and the US Open, later this year. And then I will sit to analyze where my game is?”

Does this mean that Federer will not show any resilience in taking back his throne? This is the big question.

What, after his analysis of his game? Will he just play some select tournaments to collect at least 3 grand slams to become the highest collector of grand slam trophies? Will he try even harder to win the French Open, the one missing link in his career so far? Will he become what he was till the last yearend, winning everywhere and enchanting the crowds with his grace and unimaginable talent? OR will he start a new rivalry with Nadal, dethroning him from his Numero Uno position at the earliest chance he gets?

It will always be a sight for divinity to see him in full flow on a tennis court and none would really wish him to bid adieu to the game as Borg has predicted Federer might do after his defeat at Wimbledon this year. And I am no different from any of the normal human beings who would love to experience divinity.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The end of an era in Indian cricket?

The famous trio are found wanting in an away test match, in Sri Lanka, a rare phenomenon for the past 15 years. Rahul, Sachin and Sourav, all failed together. Let us not attribute their collective failure to either Mendis or Muralitharan or even Vaas.

Rahul and Sourav clearly looked short of match practice. Their attempts to feel for the ball brought their downfall. Quality time in the middle should do them a world of good, if they want to keep the barking dogs at bay. They would know this more than anybody and its almost panic button time if they don’t get their act together. This pair might share a unique record of making their debut and their last appearance in test matches together, if things don’t brighten up for them personally.
Sachin, an enigma these days, is not his self for quite some time. He paints a bleak picture of his past, which doesn’t augur well for the team, especially in the given circumstances. The team is down 1-0 in the ongoing series and this match is crucial to square the series and push to win the series in the third, later. Being a big match player, he would hate to miss out a good contribution off his bat in the second Innings of this test, if need arises.

Their game is very much intact. It is just that they need to call upon it at the right time. Playing at the highest level for so many years takes a heavy toll on the mind more than body, which very few could handle. And they did and will continue doing it as only they can. The storm is just round the corner, Rahul-the purist, Sachin-the genius, Sourav-the God’s touch, should take us into an exhilarating delight we are used to, all these years.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The central figure

Come Sunday, history is going to be rewritten on Wimbledon center court. History beckons both Federer and Nadal. One might break the record, long held by Borg, of 5 consecutive Wimbledon championships and one might equal the record, once again, long held by Borg, of winning French Open and Wimbledon titles in the same year. Whichever way the championship ends, Borg is the central figure who shares the limelight along with the winner.

Any match between Federer and Nadal is sure to tap high voltage tennis, matching the expectations of the crowd. And this match on Sunday on the Wimbledon center court will have all the ingredients that mark any fierce contest. Roger, without dropping a set so far in the tournament looks good for a straight sixth and Rafael, playing like never before on his worst surface has lost only one set in the second round against Gulbis. The equations are pretty even.

Federer has won twice against Nadal in the previous years here on his best surface and Nadal is riding high with exceptional ability on the court and defeating Federer consistently, almost everywhere else in recent times, other than on grass. Considering a lot of factors, both stand an even chance of getting their hands around the coveted trophy.

It all boils down to one fact; who will handle the pressure better on that particular day. Though, as an after thought, Federer has a better chance of reigning supreme again here at Wimbledon, his second home. Fingers crossed, we need to see the fact unfold itself on Sunday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sister-in-law

The umbilical touch is missing
The delicate nurturing of a mother is absent
The blood-link is nonexistent
Till the alien, in a moment transforms.

The transition is smooth and severe
But is definite, naked and unbound
For people to see who have the vision
Yes, that’s sister-in-law, next only to a mother.

The affinity is absolute and singular.

The tie unseen, the bond unspoken
Taken to a new level by the likes
Of epic giants such as legendary Lakshmana
Through unflinching devotion towards Sita

We, mere mortals neither belong
Nor come close to that noble category.
But, can atleast fall in line towards

Glorifying the tie and carry it forward.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Federer (Weatherer?)


Will there be an end to the supreme dominance of the man from mars on this planet? A question frequenting everyone’s imagination. No one dared to answer it in negation till the last year-end.

Come 2008, a new script is bared to all. So far it has been an unlike Federer year. A never imagined string of defeats, a draught of titles, accredited to mononucleosis and personal indifferent form, saw him become human. Figuring in the Australian Open semi final and the French Open Final along with the Hamburg Finals are the Oases to his deserted calendar so far. And the recent defeat against Nadal in the French Open is so battering (by a huge margin) that he figured in one of the worst defeats record ever. Round the corner, Wimbledon might just be the tournament that can bring the ‘Champion’ to his original self.

Nadal, on the other hand, has been in the form of his life in the recently concluded French Open and he looks to carry it forward into the Wimbledon and pose a threat to Federer in his own lair. Even though the surface doesn’t suit his style, Nadal has improved as an all round player, by leaps and bounds, which might push Federer out of his comfort zone. The super human strength he possesses is his best weapon against any form of Tennis and it would take a very special effort from anybody to beat Nadal, as Tsonga has shown in the Australian Open. Nadal will definitely push his limits further to have his hands around the coveted Wimbledon trophy.


Can Federer stand this rivalry is what we need to wait and see. The fact that he has reached the semis and Finals of the two Grand slams this year, even with below par performances, speaks volumes of his tennis ability (which was never in doubt). The psychological beating in the French Open Finals might have a bearing in their encounters for some time to come and he would do good to forget it at the earliest. All in all, Wimbledon seems to have a surprise package, even though, personally, I would root for Federer.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The broom and the room

One of the rooms in a house, the dining room, started complaining on the negligence of the broom while it is being swept. The dining room said, “Oh! No, not again. It has been the same since eternity. Neither the broom nor the broom holder ever change their sweeping pattern”, to the other rooms. The big brother, the main hall, wasn’t sure of what the whining is all about and hence enquired, “Hey! Brother. What is it that makes you sad and complain on the broom’s pattern? It carries on its duty of cleaning us all brothers equally. And it does so every day, mechanically, as well”.

“You think so? That’s pretty selfish on your part” retorted the dining room.

The cleverest of all, the study room, stepped in to give a clear picture to the confused hall. “Dear Big brother, we all know that the broom follows the same pattern of its duty everyday. It starts with you, then covers the bedrooms and myself before dealing with the kitchen and the prayer hall and eventually rounds it off with the dining room (leaving the exteriors). And that’s his problem.”

“Is that a problem? I don’t see any” confirmed the big brother with due ignorance.

“Can’t you see the problem? You see that everyday he neglects me as I am the last one he cleans and he never understands my place in the house. I take care of all the feeding part which holds the key to those humans working properly and efficiently. And still I am the last guy the broom takes care of?” lamented the dining room.

This made a desirable impact on the listeners and everybody started to realize this negligence on their brother as unjust but secretly they were happy as they were not the last standing ones.

Reading the minds of his brothers, the Prayer hall, the wise one, who had been a silent listener till then intervened. “Sorry to interrupt, but with your permission I would like to say something here” he said.

Everybody knew that the wise one is always reasonable and logical in its approach. Even though they appreciated his wisdom, they were apprehensive of his comment on the present topic as it might irk one or the other as one of them had to stand last in the cleaning row. And nobody wished that. But democracy, being the system practiced, the wise one was allowed to comment.

“For anything to be cleaned, the process has to start somewhere. Broom, being the lone tool to do the cleaning, cannot start everywhere. As it has to start at one place it has chosen to start with our big brother. And we all know that the dust bin* is never close by to any of the bedrooms or the study room. So, the broom starts collecting all the dust from each of them and piles it up near the bin which is closest to the dining room. Again, following the same process, the broom collects the unwanted and the dust from the kitchen and myself and adds to the pile already in place in the dining room. Finally, it covers the dining room before clearing the whole rubbish into the dust bin. The whole process is designed around the convenience of doing it the best and most efficient way. It is always preferable to slowly move the rubbish towards the dust bin, the ultimate destination of cleaning, than doing it any other way. Hence the pattern of the broom always keeps the dining room as the last one in queue. This is not partiality or negligence as you guys are imagining. It is pure common sense and nothing else that decides this pattern. The broom’s ultimate aim is to keep the whole house spick and span which it does meticulously and each room is treated equally.”

Listening to this, even the self-centered dining room conceded to the validity of his wise brother’s inference. All of them happily accepted the pattern of the broom from then on and the house remained in harmony besides being spick and span.

Can we draw a parallel to this story and the way things work in any political system? Shouldn’t the citizens realize the enormous onus rested on the Government, be it state or central, and start cooperating to the system than raising fingers at the things still not done? I mean, if the Government is ideally working towards the growth of the society as a whole.

If one single house with just 5-6 rooms can cause a complication, just imagine the intricacies of handling a mandal or a district, leave alone a state or a country?

*Consider that the house has only one dust bin.

Note: The patterns in real houses may differ. Treat this just as a satire.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A small pat on the back

The release of the movie Bommarillu was a quite a silent affair but the movie did immensely well at all the centers. The secret behind its success was its story and the narrative style. Commendable performances from the cast is an additional ingredient that made the movie a wholesome entertainer underlined by a message.

Coming from the same set of film makers, the movie “Parugu” might have generated some expectations in the audience. The protagonist Allu Arjun, one more member from the Chiranjeevi family, has a partisan following as known for obvious reasons. Still, the movie release was pretty silent much akin to Bommarillu.

After much deliberation I went to the movie without any expectations. Though the movie cannot be placed on the same pedestal as Bommarillu, it cannot be brushed aside either. The storyline is a decent one (histrionics and extreme action scenes are commonplace these days). Except for Prakash Raj, a stand out (his usual self) the rest of the cast didn’t really require to showcase their acting prowess.

While the film makers’ first movie dealt with a Father-Son relationship, here they dealt with a Father-Daughter relationship. Interestingly, though, the daughter didn’t have any one-on-ones with the father as Siddhartha did with Prakash Raj in Bommarillu. The subjective introduction to the father is generated through the decision taken by his elder daughter and the chance overhearing of conversation between his younger daughter and her assistant. Pretty niftily done, I should say.

It’s a good watch for all the youngsters out there to understand the psyche of a relationship, a dwindling practice these days. Hopefully, the contrivance of the movie reaches the target audience as the movie is devoid of unnecessary complications. The director certainly deserves a small pat on the back for his attempt.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Oomph factor

The stage is set for everybody to take a break from their monotonous lives and peep into the slam-glam show. The IPL matches certainly are maintaining their promised standards, except the one in Eden Gardens (but the match was exciting), of providing wholesome entertainment. People have taken to this T20 concept like bees to honey and the frenzy is gonna pitch higher.

Adding spice to the on-field contests is the ever-enthusiastic cheer leaders, imported from Australia just for this tournament. IPL has certainly induced an additional oomph factor. People are so used to the regular glam shows that these new faces doing their item numbers (alas! that’s our comparison) in the open for everybody to see, have brought in a fresh breeze across the stadia.

“If not for cricket, lets at least get a glance of those skimpy dressed cheer leaders” is what people have come to say. I am not sure how these guys manage their body temperature with this extra heat generated this summer. No matter what; the IPL is a winner, considering it as a commercial venture.

We all know that cricket and films rule the lion’s share of Indian’s focus. It ‘will’, if not ‘has’ already taken cricket to a new level of viewership. A whole new segment of spectators is tapped, thanks to the culturally diversified teams. The cricketers’ slam and the filmdom’s glam in IPL are bound to break barriers as it reaches places one wouldn’t even imagine. Who knows how many countries might participate in the coming World Cup? IPL, certainly, is the OOMPH FACTOR for global cricket.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Transparency……. Just a thought

The recent inflation in food articles, edible oils and the like shifted my thought process towards hoarding, a very prevalent custom in our system since ages. Why does so much stock end up being hoarded where it does? Is it due to the negligence of the concerned people or the greed among the sellers to earn a quick buck even at the cost of hunger-struck poor who are unable to find a decent meal per day? Can it be solved through a track of the stock, once shifted into the retail or Government approved distributing houses?

The farmer, once disposes his stock into the market is relieved that he has delivered his grain. I believe that this is where the problem actually starts. Once delivered, the stock has a great chance to be lost forever as there is none to track the distribution of stocks among various sellers. There is no transparency in the process of the stock changing hands. None is sure of whether the whole has reached its righteous destination i.e., the household consumer.

Is it possible to exercise transparency? Can the stock be monitored till it reaches the consumer?

If this is on one hand, on the other we have films spoiling eatables in its background settings. When people are facing steep price rise in vegetables and fruit (is it due to scarcity?) we find our favorite heroes squashing all kinds of eatables in his run to glory. Half of the action scenes in films are shot in market places (bazaars) and super markets. Song sequences find thousands of oranges rolling on roads, grapes hanging by thousands around the set and so on (Ringing bells about one, Mr. Raghavendra Rao, the Tollywood director?). Nobody cares a damn about this and instead we hear claps and whistles in appreciation.

Can’t we pass an order prohibiting the film makers from shooting (if there is destruction) at such places? Sure we could if the right button is pressed at the right place.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Rammed Brains - Jammed Buses

The other day, I had encountered a thought provoking incident, when I was coming home to Guntur from Secunderabad. The bus started near the place where I live and collected passengers on its way, to facilitate people living afar, before leaving the city. One of its stop was the MG Bus Station. And here, the bus got stuck in an All-Bus traffic jam for two hours; I repeat IN the station.

The situation was pathetic. After nearly an hour and a quarter, I lost my patience in the bus. Having seen little improvement in the easing of the traffic flow, I got down the bus to see if any of the RTC (Road Transport Corporation) management was trying to solve the problem on hand. I was annoyed at what I had seen. There were 12 guards assigned to handle the issue and all of them were happy staying together and doing the same thing as the other (willingly whistling and swinging their batons at each and every bus driver), rather than distributing into groups; some to try and stop further rotting and some to focus and clear the principle factor.

If that was the case with those gentlemen, the bus drivers were no better either. They should have been the primary people to shoulder the responsibility of clearing the mess. To my utter disbelief, I saw a number of buses trying to squeeze through even this air tight gridlock causing further suffocation. The frequent loud honking just added spice to the already tested nerves of one and all.

Simultaneously, there was never an announcement from the department asking their other drivers, waiting to take off from their platforms, not to move till the traffic gets cleared. Instead, I heard the voice calling for the passengers to board their respective buses as they were ready to start their journeys, which was humanly impossible given that situation. All in all, the moment was highly depressing.

When I had convinced two of the guards on the importance of monitoring even in the other parts, then they started attending to it and slowly things started going in the right direction. Only God knows, if it was due to the general passing of time that the situation got into a rhythm and solved on its own or the right steps at the right places that the demanding moment was overcome. I was more than relieved to be on the move again and onto the Highway.

When I look back, I could only reflect on the difference in the approaches of public and private sectors. How I wish the RTC officials coming up with some telling measures to keep the common man in his comfort zone rather than testing him/her, time and again!!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Power of "Jalsa"

A partisan crowd might have got their money’s worth from the newly released movie “Jalsa”. All the rest are not really happy with what they are served in the movie. The hype before the release, excellent music numbers, the wizard in Trivikram Srinivas and Pawan Kalyan; all factors failed to make an impact. All hope of a blockbuster fizzled away with the movie’s release. Even the reviews are not encouraging. But the fact that its from Trivikram strongly prompted me to watch the movie.

I must say that I am highly impressed at how Trivikram tried to drive home a very powerful tool i.e., “Visualization”, intertwined into the plot that boosts a political campaign in favor of the actor, Pawan’s brother, the one and only megastar Chiranjeevi (Chiru). There never is a doubt on the popularity that Chiru commands from the people. But with this movie, Chiru’s political campaign has also reached deep into the corners of the jungles which otherwise he wouldn’t have. The messages are loud and clear in relation with the Maoists or Naxalites. The frequent dialogues as politicians and media by Pawan rounded off the political influence in the movie.

The subject, as a movie, conveyed a very strong tool to the common man, “The art of visualization”, practicing which a man could always be comfortable in any situation in his field of interest. The penultimate fight at the temple introduced this to the viewer and carried to the next level in the last fight. The hero clearly knew how to tackle the situation in the fights and hence was very comfortable during the fights [as he has already gone through it in his mind (visualization at the temple fight)]. He has already developed a plan even before the fight has actually started which makes it that much easier to achieve the desired result in the climax fight. This is the vision of the protagonist.

The climax reflects the imagination or negative vision* of the antagonist. The hero pledges to create fear in the antagonist. And fear is an imagination of the self which the hero actually targeted and achieved. Losing a leg and hand during the fight are imaginations that created fear. I think you can all relate to what I am telling here. I hope the message gets across to the audience as the ace writer/director wants it to. Kudos to Trivikram Srinivas in trying to show something new. I knew that he wouldn’t let himself down more than anybody.

Note: I strongly recommend people out there to put this art of visualization into practice to appreciate its utility and effectiveness.
*Vision could be both positive and negative. It depends on how the user uses it.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Why Youngsters in cricket

mmmm….. this would be a very debatable topic. Nevertheless I put forth my own theory on why India is strongly looking towards “new blood”. For a very long time Indian middle order is filled with four of the greatest cricketers that the country has produced. Sachin, Rahul, Sourav and Laxman (The Famed Four). OOOh! You name them and you can see the confidence being built, if you are an Indian supporter. Their batting prowess is above any critical analysis from a layman like me. They stand way apart from a lot of batsmen from their generation on the International scene. But when it comes to fielding, I don’t have to say much about Sourav and VVS, and I would call both Sachin and Rahul as only safe, if not anything else.

In the present scenario, fielding takes the primary department which brings in a difference between 2 teams. All teams will have almost the same batting and bowling abilities. It all boils down to how best a team could field on any given day.

You don’t see any of the ‘Famed Four’ diving hard to stop runs, (may be sometimes they do while attempting a catch?) or bringing out a brilliant run out as people of the same age in other teams like Ponting or even Jayasuriya do. And people like Sehwag also add to our woes in fielding. The entry of a couple of lithe and agile cricketers some time back into the Indian team has transformed the whole outlook towards Indian cricket. Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh. They brought in a fresh flavor to the normal fielding standards people are so used to (and even forgot that there could be more) from the Indians. People have realized that courses in matches can be turned on their heads through brilliances in fielding when batting fails.

This influx of the so called Youth in Kaif and Yuvraj brought in the need for better all round fielders in the side. This prompted the selectors to slowly look into youngsters who can also don the roles of the “famed four” successfully in the Indian team. And definitely, looking at the present Team India, selectors seem to be going in the right direction.

Note: If the “Famed Four” were to be brilliant fielders as well, I assure you all, that this stage of looking for youngsters wouldn’t have come.

Spare a thought (Continuation)

...

It is accepted that the domestic players who are roped in to the IPL teams have to be exceptional or the best of the lot from those respective Ranji state teams. And as a rule, the Organizers have given berths to 2 players each from the U-22 and U-19s. This, they claim as providing a platform for the young-lot to play along with International stalwarts of the game. Right? When each team figures 8, 9 or 10 International players, where is the possibility of the domestic players playing in the final eleven? Even if some play, how many players will get the opportunity to play matches? We will have to wait and watch till the matches actually start to get the right answers.

But, till then, to me, the IPL serves more as entertainment provided to the cricket-starved nation than a grooming platform for the domestic cricketers. True, they are getting the exposure to play (bat and bowl) against the famed guys in the nets (practice sessions), but how far will this be useful. The experience from a match is far greater to the experience in practice. So, if the organizer’s priority is providing entertainment, they could have opted for the best possible players (age-no-bar) who suit to this T20 format. This brings out an even better contest as the weak links, if at all they have, are minimized.

Why should the organizers have an ordinance to have compulsory U-22 and U-19 players? If they fit the bill, they obviously walk in. Let them mingle with the team players and take whatever they could from the practice and interactive sessions, rather than have them in the squad. I have my own reservations against the “youngsters” mantra. How many youngsters do we find in the Australian team? With the exception of Pup (M. Clarke), we find hardly any. Isn’t the team doing well? I can’t hear many voices negating this. Then why is it that India is calling for “new blood”, in the recent past? I think I have my own theory for this but you will have to wait till my next post.J

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Makings of a good team

For the benefit of readers, I am just re-posting all the pieces as a whole.
One fine evening I went to a Hindi movie “Chak De India” – a movie focusing on Women’s Hockey (Indian National Game). The movie highlights the TEAM – Together Each Achieves More – concept. The movie could have covered a lot of other areas as the story had a great scope. Anyway, that’s my personal opinion.

While watching the movie, a thought has captured my attention and that is what I am trying to share with you here. “Any team is born but all great teams are definitely made.”

What I mean by this?

A gathering of the required number of players could be counted as a team. But a team that can withstand any situation and deliver the goods at any cost can only be made, nurtured, guided by a dedicated coach or a captain who understands the nuances and the finer points of the game to the core. Along with this he should have a sensible approach towards man management and treat individual players as they like them to be treated.

The initial stage (the lead)

Through a defined selection process, a team will be selected. This team could be of any level, be it school, college, university, city, state or the country. The panel, how good or stupid it is, will definitely follow some parameters in finalizing a squad that will participate in the tournament for which the team is selected. This is where the general misconception starts. The selectors’ job, in a way, ends here (how the selectors have to approach the selection process will be discussed later). It is here that either the coach or the captain steps in (depending on the status of the team – as a few teams might not have a coach) to take the team and bind it into one unit.

Each player will have some strength that helps him make the team. This strength is what is most vital for the team as well and it is up to the coach or the captain to identify and use it to the fullest to optimize the efficiency of the performance of the team as a whole. ***for ease of use, coach or captain will be mentioned as ‘The man’ from now on***

The team should be revolving around the man for better results as following a singular path will generate better results. Sometimes it is always best to leave the decisions to one person (as long as everyone believes him, it should not be a problem).
The second stage (horses for courses)

As the team is already picked, ‘The man’ in due course of the conditioning or practice camp before the tournament should assess the strengths of each individual to such a level that; given any situation in a match, he should have a clear plan of when a given player will deliver his best. Different players for different situations….

Each player has a unique pattern to psyche himself to be in ‘The Zone’, a place where a player is ought to be, to perform at his best. ‘The man’ has to understand these patterns to define the roles to his members. It is this understanding that generally differentiates the best and the ordinary.

A wrong move at the right time or the right move for a wrong reason doesn’t give the desired results. ‘The man’ is the one who makes the moves and hence it becomes very important for him to ‘be in the game’ all the time. Any opportune moment shouldn’t be let to go through. As a predator on the prowl, players got to seize (Killer instinct) every opportunity they come across. To achieve this ‘instinct’, it takes lot of commitment and dedication from ‘the man’ and each player.

Final stage (Reading)

“The man” should focus equally on all spheres of the game that count in deciding the outcome of the game and not only on the happenings of the game. ‘Opponents’ weaknesses, his team’s possibilities, strategies, to name a few are some points he should definitely work on. And the moment he feels that he found a leak he should make it count through his moves.
On a given day he might find his key players, not in their elements. He should accept this, as everybody is human and instead of being a hard taskmaster he should distribute the workload among the others. This shouldering of additional responsibility is one of the key ingredients that take the team further as a sense of brotherhood grows. All this depends on how ‘the man’ handles his team.

Spare a thought

People are ga-gaing and already planning their schedules to witness atleast one IPL match at the venue. As the match will last only three hours, the visit rounds off more like recreation, close to a movie. A worthwhile time spent, one must say. And there’s plenty to talk about, once the viewer steps out of the stadium, the sheer impact of the man of the match or pieces of brilliance from the famed International stars. You name it, you can start a hearty discussion. But that’s as far as the fun-spreading is concerned.

Similarly, people are stumped at the whopping monetary figures that are being thrown into the league on the players. Oh! What a life? Each player is a multi-millionaire in no time. Even the selected lucky domestic cricketers are said to be benefitting from the league. Two players from U-22 and U-19 each from domestic cricket are also included in all the teams. True, even the budding youngsters are given an even platform. There’s never a doubt about all these facts. But amidst all this, do spare a thought to the players who are hanging between 26 and 30 yrs, who might have blossomed or started late.

To be continued….

Makings of a great team (Conclusion)

Continuing from my previous post…

Each player has a unique pattern to psyche himself to be in ‘The Zone’, a place where a player is ought to be, to perform at his best. ‘The man’ has to understand these patterns to define the roles to his members. It is this understanding that generally differentiates the best and the ordinary.

A wrong move at the right time or the right move for a wrong reason doesn’t give the desired results. ‘The man’ is the one who makes the moves and hence it becomes very important for him to ‘be in the game’ all the time. Any opportune moment shouldn’t be let to go through. As a predator on the prowl, players got to seize (Killer instinct) every opportunity they come across. To achieve this ‘instinct’, it takes lot of commitment and dedication from ‘the man’ and each player.

Final stage (Reading)

“The man” should focus equally on all spheres of the game that count in deciding the outcome of the game and not only on the happenings of the game. ‘Opponents’ weaknesses, his team’s possibilities, strategies, to name a few are some points he should definitely work on. And the moment he feels that he found a leak he should make it count through his moves.
On a given day he might find his key players, not in their elements. He should accept this, as everybody is human and instead of being a hard taskmaster he should distribute the workload among the others. This shouldering of additional responsibility is one of the key ingredients that take the team further as a sense of brotherhood grows. All this depends on how ‘the man’ handles his team.

Note: There is much to tell but the time I take for each post has forced me to complete this topic prematurely.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A short poem

Wishes from deep within
thoughts churning through
reminding each time
a promise that’s true

How I wished to walk
the sands of quiet beaches
step in step; clasped hands
and half folded pants

Oh! those moments
One too many to express
For reasons known best
swept aside, put to rest

Wishes from deep within
thoughts churning through
reminding each time
a promise that’s true.


............. I would be glad if anybody can suggest a title for this poem.............. till then.,, bye.