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Archive for March, 2007

On March 18th the world woke up to the shocking news of the death of Pakistan’s Cricket coach Bob Woolmer and in a short time the police and investigators seem to be looking into a case of murder in cold blood.

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I will not write here about my own imaginative story leading to his death since that you will learn enough from our cable channels (all of them have the same motto :Every news is Flash News and every report is an Exclusive report). What really concerned me was the emerging dark underbelly of the game, a game that is usually associated with Gentlemen. Why is the game under attack ? Why is the ICC keeping quiet? Whatever comes out the investigation, there is no denying the fact that the game has lost one of the finest coaches in recent times. Coaching a team from the sub-continent and that too if the team is Pakistan’s National team is a big challenge and Mr.Woolmer stood up to the challenge like a Rock. My heart goes out the family of Mr. Woolmer, their loss cannot be compensated. May his soul rest is peace.

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The world cup has been more of a nightmare that the Men in Blue would like to forget as soon as possible. It has been nearly a year since I gave up following the game closely. The reasons were simple : Except for cricket there was everything else in the game – mud-slinging, politics, infighting, group ism, betting, hate campaigns and everything that an average fan of the game would not like to see. Today I feel proud of the decision that i took one year ago. I did not stress myself this season with all the calculations, permutations, combinations and probabilities that would have to be worked out to see the blue brigade through to the Super 8. In a country where cricket is a religion and our cricketers are near Gods, the world cup is the ultimate in cricketing glory. Before the real line up could be drawn India is virtually out. For the last 12-16 hours several News Channels are running Flash News tickers saying “India virtually out of the World Cup”, on the contrary I was thinking “Was India ever there in the world cup ?”. This is the question many big-heads will now postmortem(in Mumbai).

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At the end of this near-ouster I feel justice has been done to the team that promised the heaven and couldn’t deliver even the earth. There are more questions than answers that remain :
1.What will now happen to the future of Indian cricket ?
2.Will Greg Chappell get an indefinite vacation to Australia ?
3.Will Dravid continue as captain of the fallen 11 ?
4.Will Ganguly’s persistence and good form see him back at the helm of affairs ?
5.Will a billion fans find another game that could bind them in harmony instead of cricket ? (I am afraid they don’t have much of a choice here either)

Let Mr.Pawar and his think tank find out the answers to these and other questions. In the end dear friends, cricket is after all only a game. Let us behave like good old fans and now look forward to the world cup of 2011.

Note: Any of you having strong feelings about this debacle :== please post comments.

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Recently I was attending a training session by a senior member of the management in my office. He was generally talking about the facts young managers should bear in mind when taking up newer and more complicated responsibilities. The talk drifted to what real success was and what it meant. He stated that success is a function of happiness and happiness means different things to different people.

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Several other discussions followed, some humorous about which I will speak at a later point. Ever since that time I have been closely observing people around me who I know pretty well trying to figure out their happiness quotient.

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Spanish classes are fun

As regular readers would know yours truly is making a valiant effort to learn a new language. The language being Spanish doesn’t make things easy either. But in the Spanish classes I understood one thing. Even difficult things can be a lot of fun. for example in our Spanish class since all of us are novice learners and not even equipped with beginner level grammar some of us make very funny sentences. Our instructor is brilliantly gifted to make the class dynamic and light so I think it is my responsibility to share some truly light moment’s with all of you. here are some of our constructions:

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Readers, I was here in the midst of my struggle for earning my daily bread. Life has started demanding more and I have decided to give it my best. A few lines of a favorite Bollywood number just cross my mind…

Zindagi …kaisi hai paheli hai,
Kabhi ye hasaaye …. kabhi ye rulaaye ….

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My top 5 Actresses

A couple of days ago was International Women’s Day, celebrated with much fanfare. Don’t ask me what I feel about this day, this blog entry is not about my feelings on Women’s Day. Celebrating this day was Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s wife on prime time TV describing the top 5 Bollywood actresses she thought demonstrated amazing girl power. On seeing that i just had a passing thought: who are the top 5 actresses I admire in Bollywood. I didn’t have to think much and here is my list of women with raw acting prowess from number 1 to number 5.

1. Smita Patil (Mirch Masala)
2. Nargis Dutt (Mother India)
3. Madhuri Dixit (Hum Aapke Hain Kaun)
4. Rani Mukherjee (Black)
5. Vidya Balan (Parineeta)

Note: While the others in the list above have already proven themselves time and again, Vidya Balan finds place in my list because of my strong belief that she will make a solid mark in Bollywood in the days to come.

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Seven years ago when I reached Bangalore to start my career with Siemens, little did I imagine that I would make this place my home. At first it was amusing to see a new people with new cultures, new emotional attachments, new conflicts and new ways to celebrate. Slowly my feelings too dissolved in the serenity and peace of this wonderful city. But over the years things have changed , more for the worst. Traffic has become uncontrollable while road sense has disappeared into thin air, Pollution is unbearable and at peak hours it nearly chokes, Fossils of road remind me of the good old days when I used to zoom on my bike with the wind kissing my forehead(now I crawl in my car and the ride is as bumpy as a camel ride in the desert), Real Estate prices have increased at the speed of thought and now Hosur (in adjoining Tamil Nadu) beckons property buyers.bangalore_traffic.jpg

This city which takes every one in its stride and gives everyone an opportunity to grow and to dream. Patiently it suffers under the weight of huge apartments and tall sky scrapers. It must be crying out for help but who cares. Let us hope that the tax rich Government of this state does a wee bit more to give the city the care and commitment it so much deserves.

Note: picture acknowledgment Deccan Herald.

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Who is God and Where is He ?

It was the spring of 2004. I was saying goodbye to friends in office on the eve of my mini vacation to Kerala where I was planning to join my wife who was about to deliver our son. Since I was planning to be away for 2 weeks I decided to take my car ( a 3 month old Indigo sedan). Since the journey would be ~800kms I requested my dad to join me so that we could share the drive effort. He was obliging as always. I took some cash for the hospital expenses and also a small gift for my wife and we started on our trip at around 4 in the morning. (click more to read further)

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An interesting confession that I wanted to make ever since I have passed out of school. Guyz… I never was interested in going to school. Being an Average Joe at school was never really fantastic either to me , or to my teachers and least to my parents. Naturally you would think what is the reason behind not liking school. The school was very good, the teachers were good also, the other students in my class were excellent, the problem it turned out was only with me. In the age where Science and Mathematics dominated the academic interests of parents, teachers and students I was a poet.(By poet I mean that I liked only the softer touchy subjects like English Literature, History etc.) . I clearly remember the days when I used to struggle to understand what really simultaneous equations and probability meant. What good was Pythagoras’ theorem and why do i have to study irrational numbers and surds. I used to look awestruck at my friends when they confronted me with nearly 100% marks in maths and science. They claimed that Maths and Science were the easiest, while I could vouch that maths and science (particularly physics and chemistry were yuk subjects).

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My poor performance at these subjects killed my enthusiasm and the after effects of poor performance(testifying at home, being scorned at by teachers) destroyed whatever interest was remaining. Once when I got just pass marks in Maths the principal made a special contribution to my report card by writing, “Suresh, have you become allergic to Maths?”. I had no answer to that question but I said in my mind, “When did I like Maths ?” My love for Literature and History also became a point of concern for my father who wanted me to excel in the subjects I hated and not in these. Somehow the days passed, I was average in Maths, Chemistry & Physics and very good at Literature, History and Biology. I used to pray everyday to God, to end my ordeal at school , that I get out of school as soon as possible and get going in some other direction.

God was kind to me. In 1993 I passed out of school with above average credentials. I left for my hometown with a bunch of raw dreams and new aspirations. But Maths and Science did not spare me. I can pat myself on the back today for scoring 100% in Maths and 97% in Science in college and there after equally well in my undergraduate class.

So to all of you parents out there, if you have kids that hate maths and science please be kind to them, they need your kindness.

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