Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sachin, The Master

Sachin Tendulkar's name has appeared more than once in my humble blog.

I feel it is our fortune we are contemperories of greats such as Sachin. With his recent knocks, culminating in yesterday's 200, he has gone up a few notches as one of the greatest of the sport. ( It does not matter, 'one of ' or 'the' greatest !) It is all matter of perceptions. But, he is a genius who has given more to cricket, than what he has got, though he got 'a lot'! That is one of the signs of true greatness.

His very presence at the crease and how he goes about is truly inspiring. At crease, ' he is at work'. The dedication, commitment, attitude, etc he exhibits is worth-emulating in our professional life.

He has caught the imagination of the nation for his value-system and character. He, perhaps, personifies Indian ethos and values. Knowingly or unknowingly, we are proud of him for that too. This has become more relevant after the 'fall' of Tiger Woods from the pedestal.

Once, standing in lunch-queue with my senior colleague...he asked why I was limping. 'I had suffered a knee injury while playing table-tennis !! :) ' He said, at least you got it playing, look at Sachin. He has got a ( shoulder) injury ' while not playing'. That was the disappointment of a big fan of Sachin, who could not think of Indian cricket without the genius. Even at home, my family thinks it is unlike me for my idolizing the genius.

He dedicated the knock to all his fans in India ( next time he should add, Indians abroad too, like yours truly...).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Safari @ Kenya

Started uploading Kenya Photographs... animals in their natural habitat, healthy and happy, was a wonderful sight. But we started the trip at animal 'orphanage' (!) at Nairobi. Hence, starting off with some of the snaps taken there... More to follow, original :)

Animal Orphanage, Nairobi

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

3 Idiots

Amir Khan is an actor who has given us some great movies..
  • Taare Zameen par, would have helped many a parent to be more sensitive 
  • Dil Chahta hai, prompted me to re-connect with some of my good, old friends
  • Rang De Basanti, made many urban youth to be more aware of  common issues around us
  • Lagaan... etc.
So, I waited for the initial response of his (now, not so) new film, 3 Idiots. I was confident he would ensure quality, as he has done in the recent past ( did not like his Gajini, personally though). The feedback from friends was 'must watch'! Got to watch last week...

Though the movie was 'inspired by' one of Chetan Bhagat's books( my favourite among all by him), I felt the controversy could have been avoided.
It does take a comic look at the hostel life, our parental pressure to become an engineer/doc and of course, on learning by rote in our educational system. ( CBSE's recent decision to do away with board exam is in the right direction, finally....)Most of us have different memories about all these three aspects.

I was fortunate to be in hostels, in 9th & 10th and then for the management degree. I rate both these stages of  my life as two most important milestones in my personal life... For what I am today, I owe a lot to these two stages of life. (More about it, later for 'autobiography'!) So, only very pleasant memories of hostel life.( No ragging experince either, thank God)

Career: All of us, who belong to the middle class category, would have felt similar experiences. My mom wanted me to become a teacher - as respectable, decent income and lots of vacations. Dad wanted me to follow his footsteps to fauji ( army) initially. I was not in favour of army, as I wanted 'freedom' and  better 'earning potential' ( wanted to reach financial stability, unlike many faujis). Then, he wanted me to become ....yes.... an engineer ! I did not get very high grade in engineering entrance and I would do only computer science or electronics, nothing else. So, I dumped that stream and hit Commerce and became a banker.... I never had the engineering bend-of-mind, though I was good at Maths & Physics. Fortunately, parents supported my crazy career ideas ( for 1980's). Not many parents were/are in that league, for sure... Kudos to Amir for bringing out this important aspect of our lives...

And, Freedom & financial stability, is very relative... 'everything is in mind'! I feel we should encourage our children to pursue a career of their interest and passion and be best in that field.Then they will not 'work', it becomes fun...

Learning by rote is perhaps one of the fundamental flaws of our educational system. Lot of my friends feel otherwise, and are in favour of all the thrust on memorising and pressurizing children in their school days. Though I don't blindly support the western model, we need to modify our educational system to enable our children realise their potential. I was at the receiving end as I was very bad in memorising, hence such strong views.

What I admire about Amir Khan is his passion for work. His passion can be seen & felt even by even a movie-goer. His ad campaigns ( titan, tata sky, paanch ke barabar coke ad, etc) were different. His 'athithi devo bhava'/Incredible India! campaigns are very timely and relevant. Was glad to hear he is a voracious reader and almost a fitness freak. Of course he is a fellow blogger, and all comparisons end there :)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Personal Thoughts

As I looked at my ( this) humble blog... on the left side appeared a nice quote... Peace is its own reward...Mohandas Gandhi ( wonder, why can't they use simple Gandhiji!)
Indeed, Peace is what everyone wants, at all times. But, we would not be part of creating peace, but 'pieces'! We don't step back and look at... if we are adding to peace or reducing... Either way, we affect the people around ourselves and also ourselves.
A hectic day @ work ! Most parts of the world, including the sole superpower, is reeling under the burden of mounting unemployment. So, to be gracefully employed, is by itself Grace ! To be able to think 'valuable' ( though would like to think indispensable!) is still better.
Intuition works... as I hit the sack late last night, I knew today will be tough. To prepare, opted to read few lines from a spiritual book on get a peaceful sleep :)
The day got off to a tough start, and held momentum till late eve. By the time I few big hurdles, it was 4 pm. Too late for a quick lunch. When busy, you don't feel hungry either.
Another ton by Sachin does not raise the it was not a match-winning knock... and too busy to track!
But, at end of day, when hunger catches up, I wonder... how millions see through days, without a full meal in a day... how will children go through a hungry day?... If only God had ensured NO Hunger as part of his wonderful creation....

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Incredible India

India perhaps hit a less incredible, low today...thanks to our political leadership, our elected representatives and some of our icons :
  • Rahul Gandhi has claimed his trip to Mumbai a huge success. Surely he has won some brownie points. But travelling by train was not 'so cool'... even to the youth of Mumbai, whom he was trying to win over. ( He might have been inspired by a similar gesture of the Queen of England recently. But she was grace personified). The silent majority was unhappy with Shiv Sena's direct/indirect threat. But Rahul has not handled the issue well either. By downplaying the martyrdom of some local, popular cops, he has distanced not only the quintessential marathi manus, but also the average mumbaikar. Both resident & non-resident, son-of-the soil & migrants. While they will not accept Shiv Sena's stand, they will not be fooled by Rahul's immature response, more than words, his action. While Rahul or Shiv Sena may claim they won the battle, the hard-working, average mumbaikar is losing his battle, day after day.... with no hope of the political leadership making a difference to his quality of life. 
  • Another youth icon, SRK, has not done any better. When he got the 'canvas' ( all the news-hungry channels), he used it well, by saying his daughter asked him if they may have to move out of India! Yet again, he disappointed his fans, many of who are educated and will not be swayed by his handling of the situation. It was a disgrace we did not pick up any of the T20 champs. But, as the owner of a franchise, even KKR did not pick up any. Then why the crocodile tears and all this tamasha... The average cricket lover and movie-goer feels cheated. 
  • Jairam Ramesh is one of the most respected politicians. But the way he lost his cool to a passionate member of the audience, was poor leadership. 
  • The way Pranabda handled an instigating Modi ( CM of 5 cr Gujarathis, as NDTV's puppet show would add !), showed our political leadership in poor light. 
  • To top it all, No.1 cricket team ( among just 10 test playing nations, Bangladesh included), got off to a good start and failed to sustain momentum, in Nagpur, Maharashtra!
All this happening when common man is suffering the price rise. The threat from across the border took a new twist... the world is suffering, not only from economic slowdown, but also from the impact of climate change....people from all over the world are extending a helping hand to the Haitians to get back on their feet... But, our politicians are busy politicking...with some good help from others. INCREDIBLE !!! 

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

world around

We are living in interesting times.... as Chinese proverb says...

First it was the greatest golfer ever, falling from the pedestal. Now there are others in a hurry to do same, footballer, cricketer, etc.

Another Numero Uno to disappoint ( and also add risk to human life) is Toyota. Yesterday, as I got into my friend's Toyota FJ Cruiser, he mentioned, 'don't mind, break is not great !' I thought, he was only making a current joke ! But then when I saw him struggling to stop his car, I realised it was afterall not a joke ! We associated Toyota with quality and performance. But the mass recall exercise will make a big dent on their impeccable reputation.

CNN reported yesterday Apple;s comps have a minor color problem too!

To top it all, last evening, the no. 1 pizza brand delivered after almost 100 minutes ! The red hot indicator was 'pure white'. Cold pizza, delayed delivery meant a spoilt apetite. They may not have lost one of their customers, my son. But defenitely lost me... my resolution to eat healthy just got a big boost !