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29 September 2007

What a paradox!!

" I am looking forward to two things during this India - Australia Cricket series," my friend Raj informed me.
" What are they?" I asked. Statements like these are similar to the off spinners Muralitharan. They demand the only possible response, which is the above question.
"One India should lose the series against Australia and two, Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguli should score a lot of runs" he responded earnestly.
While I nodded my head in understanding his strong feelings mentioned above, the full import of these statements stuck me only some time later.
And these were eye opening......
To understand the full meaning of Raj's strong feelings mentioned above, one has to know a little bit about Raj. You see, Raj is a software engineer. He entered the software industry some time in the late 90s and as the industry grew so did he. He was lucky to have entered the IT industry in India during the first golden phase of the industry which started in 1995-96. This was when Infosys was listed on the Indian Stock Exchange and was beginning to provide the kind of phenomenal returns which made it a darling stock of the stock market. The generation of Raj where the 'golden boys' of the IT industry and were rewarded copiously with ESOPs and other benefits and were soon touted as 'Gen Next'. The kind of generation which was to undo all the wrong of the past and take the country to its glorious future. These guys were the demi gods of that period and they looked at their previous generation as the spoilers who have handed over to them a rotten country which they felt they had to turn around.
No doubt they did a good job of that.....
Sceptics will point out that if it were not for the effort of Manmohan singh and Narasimha Rao, they would not have got the kind of opportunity that they got ten years later. Sceptics would have also pointed out that the much touted growth of IT industry was also significantly aided by the weakening rupee, which fell by almost 70% during the period....
Of course these were the voices of sceptics. They are always present to throw cold water on real achievements. Raj's generation was the 'Next' generation. They were different. There was a swagger in their approach. The 32 year old HR manager who counceled them against being arrogant was the 'old daddy'. They were the guys who could resign from a company because the food served on Fridays tasted like barley water (and will have 5 HR managers waiting with offer letters). They were the real kings. They powered the growth of the country....
News papers like Economic Times and Times of India went overboard in projecting the 'Gen Next'. The business class ranging from realty to automobile companies to banks created products tailored to this generation. Smart writers authored books on what makes this generation tick. Management institutes created special programs for HR Managers how to 'handle' this new generation. This generation began to be called as 'Gen Y' and were made to feel special.
That was the time of the troika of Indian cricket was at their best. There was phenomenal performance from the likes of Dravid, Ganguli and Tendulkar and these guys represented the empowering spirit of the 'Gen Y'. These guys were taking Indian Cricket to greater heights and 'Gen Y' was taking Indian economy to the next level.
The 'Gen Y' of the early 2000s is now more mellowed. The software Industry, while it is growing at a decent clip is not providing the kind of benefits that it used to provide earlier. ESOPs have to be bought at market price. The phenomenal returns of the past has dwindled.
The 'Gen Y' has been significantly jolted by India's early exit from the world cup and India's unexpected victory in the Twenty Twenty world championship. Most of these guys are in their early thirties and after India's phenomenal victory in the twenty twenty world cup has been feeling the pinch.
The new 'Gen next', which are the early twenty somethings are demanding that these 'senior' guys move out. This new generation, personified by Sreeshant is more aggressive and are beginning to obliquely blame the 'seniors' (?) for the mess of Indian Cricket. For them Yuvaraj is the king, Sachin is the oldie. And by the same logic, our heroes of 2000, most of whom are in their late 20s and early thirties are beginning to feel old and outdated.
Frankly, I think the newspaper Times of India is the biggest let down for this generation. The same news paper which projected them as heroes only a few years back (and cashed in on their shoulders by printing tons and tons of job advertisements, to the extent that some of them think that the name of the paper is 'Ascent' and 'Times of India' is a news supplement) has mercilessly brought them down from the pedestal and replaced them with the 'New Generation', the 'Twenty twenty' Generation or the DSY (Dhoni, Yuvraj, Sreeshanth) generation which wears their aggression on their sleeves.
For this generation, The ongoing series with Australia is fraught with a lot of consequences. If India wins under Dhoni and the seniors do not perform, they will be permenantly moved to the 'Previous' generation. If India wins and seniors play well, some balance will be restored to the debate and their generation could hold their head high along with the 'DSY' generation.
The best outcome for them is for India to lose while the senior pros perform creditably. All these hype and hooplah and the nonsense about 'New Generation' will extinguish and these guys could hold their head high as a 'Pampered' generation for some more time...
Folks, if you see a passionate supporter of Sachin during this series, you are probably looking at the representative of a generation whose existence itself is at stake....Sachin, you share significantly more responsibility than you possibly think....

28 September 2007

Good News, Bad News

Here are two 'Good News, Bad News' jokes

Joke 1:
These two guys are very close friend and share the passion for cricket. The decide that if any one of them were to die, he will come in the other's dream and inform him if they do play cricket in heaven.
Well, one of them died and after a few days he came in his friends dream.
"I have good news and bad news. Which one you want to hear first?" he asks his friend.
"I want to hear the good news first" Informed his friend.
"The good news is that we do play cricket in heaven"
"What is the bad news?"
"You are the opening bowler in tomorrow's match"

Joke 2:
"I have got good news and bad news for you." Informs the doctor
"What is the bad news?" Asks the patient.
"The bad news is that we amputated the wrong leg"
"And what could be the good news?"
"Our tests show that your other leg is absolutely fine and do not require amputation"

26 September 2007

Random thoughts on India's victory in TT WC

Well, finally we have won a cricket world cup. What a climax!! I am not sure if in the middle of all the euphoria there are a few things we might have missed. For example,

Did you note that.....

.....Sreeshanth and Misbah were involved in the last wicket to fall in both the matches between India and Pakistan? In the first Misbah was run out by Sreeshanth and in the final.....well watch News Channels
......Only match that India lost was while chasing. We batted first in all the matches that India won. Were we lucky?
......Only major teams to have beaten Australia were India and Pakistan. Other than Zimbabwe, of course (Stupid me. How can I forget Zimbabwe?)
......Gujarat government's delay in announcing rewards for Pathan brothers. Probably worried that it might be rejected. (Read the NDTV Article here) .
......How we are almost writing off Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguli. It is almost as if they are not important any more.
.....How Shoib Malik apologized to the 'Muslims across the globe' for Pakistan's failure in the finals. (Of course, I know you have noticed it. It is all over the papers and TV channels).
.....Only two maiden overs bowled in the entire world cup by the Indian Players and both were bowled by Sreeshanth

24 September 2007

Word Play: How English Newspapers 'modify' what you say?

Talking to a journalist of an English Newspaper in vernacular is always a risk. You won't know how he can tweak what you say and come up with a totally different meaning altogether.
Take the case of Dhoni, for example. When asked what he thinks of the fact that India has not won a one day match in Jo'burg, he replied in hindi, "Zyada sochke koi faida nahin".
The literal translation is "There is no point in thinking too much". Put it that way, we get the impression that this is a crass captain who plays without thinking.
However the correct translation is "There is no point in thinking too much and unnecessarily worrying". This is the response of a well balanced mind which refuses to worry (not to think!!).
Read here to see what the journo of ET made of this comment in Hindi by Dhoni.

21 September 2007

Exciting times to be an Indian...

These are heady times to be an Indian. As against 20 years earlier where hindi films portrayed the idea of 'might is right', the new set of movie makers create heroes who work hard to achieve success. Lage Raho...., Chak De India, Iqbal etc are examples of these genre of movies. A study conducted in UK in the early 1900s suggested that 15 years prior to a nation becoming an economic gaint, motivational literature started being published. What this means is that there was a lead time of 15 years from the time the motivational literature started appearing in the media and the country becoming an economic powerhouse!!!
This being an era of information technology and all that, we could cut down that to 5 years. Still it means that with motivational literature making their presense felt like never before, we are looking at India being a global economic powerhouse in the next 5 to 10 years!!. We can only imagine what this could mean to the next generation of this country who are raring to conquer the world....
Looking at what is happening in the Twenty 20 world cup, I think the next gen has arrived faster than we could have imagined. Suddenly it has become clear that the Tendulkers and the Rahul Dravids have become the earlier generation (I hate to say this..). Move over Ponting, Gilchrist, Hayden et al, move over Kiwis, move over Muralis and the Vaases and the Jayawardhanes of the world, the sub continent has arrived.
This team is doubtlessly going to be a world beating side (unless they decide to defeat themselves). In Dhoni, I think we have found an ideal captain - self effacing, simple and who likes his bat to do the talking. He seems to be able to instantly bond with the team unlike the Dravids and the Gangulis who kept a distance between the team and themselves..
Hope he do not change and become 'sophisticated'
This article in NDTV restates my point.

13 September 2007

How should you play a game?

I had played a TT match in our office and lost. I thought I will share with my son Aditya the lessons that I learned from the loss.
"Before starting the game itself, I thought that I will lose the game. Thoughts are very powerful and they guide our actions. Since I had already decided that I was going to lose, I played to lose the game" I told him, very pleased with myself having imparted this wisdom.
"Do you know why you lost?" he asked me.
"Because I had decided that I will lose?" I was little bit surprised at his question.
"You lost because you were very focusing on thinking about losing while your opponent was focusing on playing the game."
Now I am not sure who delivered the wisdom.

06 September 2007

When I was your age.....

A young man and an old man are playing golf. On the course, they come across a 40 meters tall tree.

The young man hit the ball very high, but the ball failed to cross the tree. Watching this, the old man commented 'When I was your age, I was able to easily hit over that tree'.

The thought of an old man easily clearing the tree spurred on the young man further. He again hit the ball with all his might, the ball went up and up and hit the tree one meter below the top and fell back.

'Of course', continued the old man, 'when I was your age, the tree was only a meter tall'.