Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Another Point of View.....

We Indians are an extraordinarily emotive lot. And not necessarily in just one way - we can slide from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other in no time at all. This clouds our logical side and fails to let us think of things objectively.

This is very well demonstrated in the collective public reaction to Team India's dimal ouster from the World Cup 2007. Agreed, it was a dismal performance and all the hopes of the Blue Billion riding on our team's shoulders crashed 100 feet below ground level. But it does not auger well to see the Press and TV channels flogging just the lone horse to death. In the name of "analyzing" India's exit from the World Cup, they have succeeded in whipping up a frenzy of allegations against the coach, the Indian captain and the key players; in driving public opinion to be so heavily biased against a few scapegoats that it is impossible to even expect a rational opinion on the matter.

Therefore, when in the midst of all this, I came across this letter written by a friend, Surya to CNN IBN, it was a pleasure to see that "missing link" in all the conversation floating around. Yes, this is Surya's personal opinion but at least he presents a logical argument to support his belief. This gem of a epistle may never see the light of day at CNN IBN, where Rajdeep Sardesai and his team are the original intended recepients which is why I thought of publishing it here on my blog so that at least some regular bloggers and readers might read it.

* Surya is the CEO of a Management Consultancy in Mumbai, with loads of prior experience in a host of organizations.

Below is the letter reproduced, as is:
"Rajdeep and team,
I know this is one of the billion opinions and I am not even sure you or anybody will bother to read this.
But, let me be part of a very small group that is pro-Greg Chappell. I do believe that Greg had it in him to make India a considerable cricketing force.
What does one expect of a coach? That he is a great player, a strong and aggressive winner, a hard worker, a sincere optimist and probably a few other relatively lesser, but important characteristics to add to that list. Can anybody in India ever accuse Greg of not trying hard enough? Ridiculous more, to even suggest that HE messed things up. WE did.
A little Bangladesh used Dave Whatmore well, because they simply followed him and supported him. The Lankans did the simple act of purely 'believing' in Tom Moody. And both of them were as accomplished, if not less, than a certain Bob Woolmer and poor Greg 'Lamb' Chappell. Only 'smarts' like India and Pakistan COACH coaches. Barring Kapil Dev, the Indian TV Channels are full of 'experts' whose knowledge of cricket, or achievements, are fractional, if not negligible, as compared to Chappell. Yet, they make nineteen to a dozen suggestions on what Greg should be doing at work each day. Giggle, chuckle!
Oh Great Indian Ex-Cricketing Experts on TV Channels, since when did the origin of a cricketer determine if he should have been a coach, you silly rattlers? Is it not cricketing ability that should determine who qualifies? Can't you accept a man who wears the Indian colours on field, sits beneath the Indian flag, works and dreams for the greatness of your country? Shameless! Ungrateful, of course! And some more unprintable adjectives to describe you all with!!!
Rajdeep & Co - Can you share this with Greg Chappell for me, and seemingly just a few like me, please?
'Greg, you are going to be judged by a country where no two men, out of a billion, can agree on the 25 best cricketers. The BCCI meeting you will attend will have members that have no clue what cricket it. Ha, ha, ha...Honestly, the country must see that meeting live on camera, like we do the Parliament meetings. I seriously want to see how Mr. Pawar, Mr. Shukla, Mr. Jaitley and gang will even settle on their seats to start a discussion on cricket with you. If you want to shut them up, all you need to ask is the ‘position’ between the 1st slip and the 3rd slip. They will huddle into a discussion and probably guess it as 'Cover'. They may slip a note to you to agree or lose your job. That's how we grew up in this country. You see, some of the BCCI guys run the country too.
'Greg, there are some captains of the 1970s, and some passengers of our accidental win of the 1983 world cup, who will censure you, even if they will never be counted in the top 5000 cricketers ever in the world, where you are, for sure, in the top 50. Go to Bermuda, Scotland, Canada, Netherlands or Ireland. You may gain lesser money-wise, perhaps, but respect and regard, you certainly will. They will obey and understand you too.
'Move on, Greg. We don't deserve you. You see, the two men who, allegedly, have no clue on cricket in this country are Rahul Dravid and you. Our ex-cricketers on TV are the ones who know best. And of course, the BCCI man that comes on TV.
'We Indians are a TEAM, do you know that, Greg? This is United India, where BOMBAY thinks of Sachin, BARODA of Pathan, RANCHI of Dhoni and the great BENGAL that only thinks of Sourav.
‘Don't waste your time here, Greg. You continue to be among the Cricket Greats, like Rahul would soon be acknowledged too.
'And yeah. We are a country that was never racist to humans. But you are a Coach, so we are absolved. You will remain a White man to some our darkest bunch of jokers who never achieved a thing for our country when they played.
'In ancient India, you would have been a 'Guru'. Modern India has no clue of ancient India, lesser clue on cricketing techniques. Good-bye Greg. Move to a better and a more grateful land.'
Rajdeep, we citizens rely on you to give a perspective. If we can't thank Greg and acknowledge his passionate contribution and efforts, the least we can do is to stop indulging in such diatribe.
This will not be read out on TV, I know. But I enjoyed writing it :)
This is Surya's point of view and am sure you would agree with me that he certainly makes a sound case. Comments are welcome but as usual nothing personal would be expected.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Age 4: Refusing to go out with my parents when they went to a friend's party / wedding, preferring instead to stay at home with my paternal grandmother. She sitting on the bed crocheting beautiful pieces that were later used to cover the telephone or as a table mat. Me sitting next to her in a make-believe airplane that was taking us to America. Me asking her if she would like to eat something on the flight - assuring her that she could get anything she liked, I only had to tell the "air-hostess". Hours spent enjoyably playing this way!

Age 5: My first ever friend - my next-door neighbour's granddaughter, one year younger than me. Playing kiddie games with her throughout the summer vacation and being very sad when the hols ended.

Age 6: Being petrified of playing with colours on Holi! Pressure building up inside of me one whole week in advance of Rang Panchami, evidenced by me rushing home from school, peering at roof tops with eagle eyes for the water-balloon throwing "monsters". Getting all teary eyed when my younger brother used to threaten to throw colour on me and complaining to my parents about it. Being on my toes all through the actual day of Rang Panchami ready to rush into the bathroom and lock myself in lest my friends decide to invade my home looking for me!! This continued right till when I was 14 years old.

Age 7: Staying awake alongwith my mom waiting for my dad to get back home from work; my parents are my strengths, my mom for all the unconditional love she has heaped on us, without ever complaining about the rigours we subjected her to and my dad for adoring us all throughout, and providing us with everything we ever wished for, many times depriving himself as well.

Age 8: Going to a neighbour's house and being fascinated with the complete set of the hard-bound "Hardy Boys" series. Borrowing those books one at a time and surprising my neighbour with the speed with which I'd finish one and return to take another. Visiting my my maternal grandparents in Mangalore; the thrill that I felt when I saw the huge house surrounded by so many different kinds of trees (coconut, papaya, mango, guava etc.), the fun that we had with my uncles and cousins; visiting so many other relatives and realizing what a big family we were a part of!

Age 9: Taking part in a drawing and painting competition with more than 200 kids taking part; going there escorted by my mama. Insisting on staying back after finishing my sketch and telling my skeptical mama that I would win a prize. And actually winning the second prize there!

Age 11: Feeling devastated about moving house, we moved from Khar to Borivli, then a impossible distance away as seen by my preteen eyes. Crying my heart out at being separated from my much loved school, all my dearest friends and a general feeling of sorrow of losing something really important to me.

Age 13: My first ever crush developed at the tuition classes I used to attend during my 8th class. Blushing in her presence without ever actually speaking a single word all the time. Being teased mercilessly by my friends then even though I had never even said anything about her to them.

Age 16: Walking to junior college on the first day with a group of 16 friends, and still feeling scared about being ragged!

Age 18: Making friends at graduate college that were to remain so life-long wherever they may be. Falling for someone for the first time ever and not ever having the courage to come out with it; though it was so evident to everyone else. :)

Ages 19 & 20: Bunking classes, hanging out in the college campus instead having discussions / debates on almost all the topics under the Sun with the wisdom of a Socrates. Having fights among friends that seemed so important then and seem so trivial now.

Age 21: Graduating with promises of being friends forever; getting into B-school! Yipee!!! Once again making new friends, friends that to this day give me reason to be thankful.

Age 22: Losing my paternal grandmother, she left a void in my life, never to be filled again and that remains to this day. Crying like a baby that time and developing a fever from that.

Ages 23 & 24: Getting my first job!!! Working late nights with the joy that only comes from earning your salary for the first time ever! Losing myself in it and still being happy. Knowing that the one I'd fallen for had found someone special and breaking my heart over it. And still managing to feel happy for her.

Age 26: Watching my dad talk about his son to his friends and hear the note of pride in his voice as well as see the glow on his face. Feeling a tug at my heartstrings and promising myself to give him more opportunity to feel that way!

Age 27: Realizing what S meant to me and acting on it quickly, before the opportunity was lost! Being gratified to know that S felt the same way too!

Age 28: Getting married to S, the happiest day of my life! Though the actual ceremony did drag on for long! The honeymoon that followed, one of the most idyllic times ever! How she is so different from me and yet we manage to complement each other; how she completes me and makes my life better in all aspects.

Age 29: My younger brother B, developing into a mature professional (is it really him?????)who'd already made a name for himself in his organization, with the promise that he was in for an extremely bright future! This kind of, completed the picture.

I don't know why I've listed all these down.... but I know reading through these does leave me with a hint of nostalgia for lost, long ago times, places and people as well as joy and happiness for all the things that I've gained at the same time.

Am sure every person has a list of such formative memories that make up their individual signature and also builds up the collage that is called life. How often do we stop and think about them? How much do they matter to us today? No, am not asking questions to anyone here. Just wondering - for that is all one can do.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I am Sad & Horrified....

....after reading this post on MumbaiGirl's blog. I came upon it accidentally but it has really shaken me up.

It is not a great statistic to have - almost every girl / woman has had at least one experience of molestation or forced sexual assault in her lifetime till date and this may be even as less as 7 years. Even the guys have not been spared though the frequency may be lesser than with women.

All of a sudden, I feel extremely lucky to have had such a un-tainted childhood. But at the same time, it makes me wonder what we are coming to when people would have to think about their childhood and consider themselves lucky to have had a normal one, something which so taken for granted.

Just thinking about those scores of men and few women who perpetrate such atrocities make me sick; what kind of mindset would these excuses for humans carry about? Do they even have any logic to explain why they act this way?

The worst part is that in most cases, they get away scotfree and are at still at large maybe lurking around for newer victims. And to top it all, people actually are derisive towards the victims if facts are out in the open, as if its all their fault that they were so abused!

Am really feeling sad!!! To think so many of the wonderful girls / ladies I have known over the years might have had to go through this...to say nothing of all the others who I don't even know! :-(

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

To See or To Not See!

This one stems from a discussion with a female colleague. We had gone for a birthday treat today - for lunch at a nice small joint close to my workplace. A lot of office goers frequent the place along with a smattering of collegians. So one could say that the "crowd" is "good".

While we were just about finished with eating, my colleague D piped in with this question: "Why do all guys, whether they are single, committed, married or for that matter even widowed, ogle at pretty girls / ladies? Rather why do they have to do that?"

My take on the matter is that yes, mostly all guys do that. Yes, even the most decent "Can-take-home-to-meet-my-parents-and-later-marry" kinds do it. It would be stupid to presume that a attractive woman passing in front of a guy's nose would not be appreciated.

But this is exactly where the branching of views starts. This is where the word "ogle" takes on a different meaning altogether for the select few guys. These are those for whom "ogle" means "lech" - where even a completely dressed woman could get the feeling of being undressed by these staring eyes. These are the guys whose eyes taken on a glazed expression and the tongue lolls out salivating when a woman is in sighting distance. Note I did not say pretty, beautiful or attractive woman, for these guys any woman might have the same effect. Such men need to be kicked in a place where it hurts the most!

But such men are few in number thankfully. The rest would look at a attractive woman with the same eye that they would look at a gleaming BMW or Ferrari whizzing by them. They would have an appreciative look that says "Wow!!! She is gorgeous!!!" And believe me, the woman would not feel threatened by them - if at all they do take notice of the glances. Females are not called the "fairer sex" without reason. They do have the power to captivate when they know how to.

To get back, most guys would look once, maybe twice and then move on. Thats it!! Harmless appreciation.

And as far as I know, the same happens with girls as well. They too do appreciate "good-looking" guys when they see one. Yet again, its harmless appreciation! Yes, I agree the girls are not as vocal or free in their expression as us guys but the intensity of the appreciation is just the same.
And being a girl or a guy (all the different kinds listed in my colleague's question) does not make a difference in such a situation. Its all the same but for the few animals who move about disguised as humans. I guess what matters most is that the appreciation should remain just that and not cross the limits of decency maybe leading to stalking, eve-teasing or any such thing.

This post was just me voicing my thoughts aloud and is completely open to a healthy discussion. Everyone is welcome to post their opinions and in fact I'd like to know what you think about this topic. No personal attacks or rants please. Thank you.