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.