Thursday, September 8, 2011

The High's and Low's

Last few weeks have been very sad for a fan of the Indian cricket team. Team India has gone through one of its worst phases in more than a decade. A number of reasons could be attributed for this dismal show. Most prominent being the hectic schedule planned by the BCCI. BCCI has treated the cricketers like the 'Golden eggs laying Goose'. Everything has been done to kill the Goose.

Main driving force behind such planning is that BCCI is filled with industrialists, politicians, etc. in key positions. Though their organizational and management skills have helped promoting and acquiring required infrastructure for the game, they have put the cart before the horse by making cricket a pure business.

Dhoni, the captain cool has looked clueless while all his henchmen are getting injured. Most probably, the current tour of England has witnessed the biggest team India squad ever for a single tour. Life can really be hard sometimes.

All said and done, I think the Indian cricketers, fans and BCCI should look at this as a lesson. A new start with the premise that 'Resting on laurels is not the way forward'. We need to prioritise quality of cricket over the financial gains. If quality of cricket is compromised, we stand to lose in the long run.

Take a leaf of Stuart Broad's book. He was hammered for 6 6's in an over in the T20 WC of 2007. He has come a long way since. No matter where we stand we can always bounce back. Just that we need to be honest with ourself and be realistic but ambitious. We have the ability but that alone is not enough. Planning and efforts in the right direction are very important.

I am sure, not just the Team India but everybody will go through a slump. The slump is not "The End". We need to take a lessons from our yesterday and live to fight again tomorrow. A fighting/sportive spirit is a prerequisite to victory.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Eid Mubarak

The holy month of Ramadan has just finished and it has been a really good month. Especially since the work load at work place was fairly relaxed, I could give more time to reading the Quran with understanding. And I must say if you put your mind to it, it is not difficult at all. Another positive being I could get my life a bit more disciplined. However, some effort is needed to continue with the momentum.

Most important part is that, this is my first Eid with my daughter Zunaira. She has been such a big change in both Ruqu's and my life. It has been truly an amazing experience to witness and infant grow day by day. She is 4 months old now and a complete bundle of joy. Though she keeps us on our toes, she makes sure that the day is filled with extremely happy moments.

I had a good break from the monotony of work for the last 5 days and Feel extremely lazy to get started again. Still have to get started and maybe plan a vacation sometime next month with Zunu and Ruqu. Bye till then.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blessed month is here

We are already into the 1st week of Ramadan. The most interesting month in the muslim world. Interesting because of several reasons. Main reason being, we see the entire community go about the daily activities in unison. Most of the people fast and the spirituality goes a notch higher. Most who would not normally pray become regular with prayer. Especially the sight in the mosques at the night prayer is very refreshing. The taravih time is the best time of the day when each of one wants to stand in prayer, listen to the Quran al Kareem being recited and also seek forgiveness for our sins in unison. It indeed is the king of all months in the Islamic calendar.

Another aspect that makes this month one of its kind is the real tasty food available for Iftar's. Most of the food items that are forgotten for rest of the year make an entry during this month. Especially Haleem is a speciality dish especially in Hyderabad that makes ita culinary delight. It makes me think do we eat to fast or fast to eat?

I feel apart from the atmosphere one needs to understand spirit of this month more holistically. It is the month when the Quran al Kareem was revealed and one who believed was commanded to fast. It should be a month dedicated to practice self restraint. One should understand what hunger means and the pain of the less fortunate. It is a time when one should try to read/understand the Quran al Kareem. Understand the message it has for the humanity.

It is the time to introspect ourself, repent for our sins and reform for the better.
This is when most people donate maximum in charity. I think the charity should be directed towards those who genuinely need it and towards making our society a more equitable one.

Overall one should 'Sieze the moment' and make this month count with respect to our Akhirat. It is indeed a fact we cannot ignore.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Seize the moment

As cliche'd as it may sound, Last few months have been full of changes. But change is the only constant thing in life and it is a part of growing up. Also, I have longed like never before to get back to my student days and enjoy wthout any responsibilities. These are quite often thoughts that hover on your mind when you are not able to adapt to the present situation and want to get back to your comfort zone. But destiny more often than not takes you where it has to take you and it is upto the individual either to embrace it or to sulk about 'What could have been'.

This weekend was a very refreshing one. Especially after pretty hectic weeks and weekends recently. I decided to catch up with Srikanth/Nam over Zindagi na milegi dobara. Though I have not watched many movies in the last few months, it was a perfect break from the monotony. And what a movie it was especially looking at my hectic schedule of late. First of all, it was about something I've been looking forward to for quite sometime now. A 'Road Trip' through an unknown land. The movie recreated "Dil Chahta Hai" experience. An experience of relationship's and journey of life. A road trip is more often than not a metaphor for life. One goes through the journey, has various experiences., gets attached to various things and people and also has to detach. But the journey has to continue.

One thing I learnt is, not matter how busy life gets one has to have sometime to sit back and reflect about the priorities in life. One might work like a maniac but works to live and not lives to work. Those little moments with friends and family are so much more important than the rat race we are all a part of. It is never too late to start doing something you enjoy. In my case, I just love to swim. I look forward to scubadive/deep sea dive and experience some other adventures as well. There is so much to life but our worries keep us from going for it. Not always there is an opportunity for everything. But whenever an opportunity comes by, one has to "Seize the moment" and make the most of it.

The movie was a big motivating factor this weekend. Srikanth, Nam and I decided to start running next morning. And boy it was quite a run. We managed to run two full rounds around Lalbagh(about 4-5 kms). We plan to run a marathon sometime soon. I really hope to keep the momentum going after next month(Ramazan). Perhaps, Srikanth will have his shot at the marathon sooner than me. I hope he manages to do it.

I think instead of cribbing over the missed opportunities, it is better to snatch everything that comes by. Life always gives us an inch. It is upto us if we make it a mile or let it slip by. This post reflects my thoughts right now. I would love to translate it to action. Will definitely post when it translates to action.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

An interesting beginning

Last few weeks have brought some really important changes in my life. Most important one among them is arrival of my little Zunaira. She was born on 3rd May 2011 in Hyderabad. She has truly made life more interesting and my family complete. She is still in Hyderabad with Ruqu and I long to go see her at the first opportunity.

Being a father is definitely a life changing experience. Though many of my friends have not taken the leap yet, I think the joy of having your little bundle of joy beats any thrill and the responsibilities that come along are really worth it.

On the work front, it has been end of one project and my manager wants me involved in another project 50-50. I am really scared of these 50-50 allocations as they are not really 50-50 but rather 100-100 ending up extracting 200% of your time. This is not something I wanted especially with Zuni's arrival. Still I think I will give it a best shot as I really need to learn time managenent and balancing between priorities. I hope this is an opportunity for me to learn how to manage limited availability or resources(especially time) in the most efficient way.

Another new beginning has been with swimming. I have started and stopped my regular swimming a million times. This time hopefully it is permanently a part of my life even when Ruqu and Zuni are back from Hyderabad. Hope not to mention swimming in my blog again.

Overall life has been interesting. Zuni's arrival has definitely brought many changes. Along with the joy her arrival has brought, I wish and pray for God almighty for mercy and blessings. Ameen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

World Cup and beyond

First of all congradulations to team India for winning the World Cup. One generation has grown up since we the world champions last. It has been long since we lifted the cup last and it has been a special moment. Especially at a time when there have been so much more going wrong in this world, world cup victory has been a rare moment when the entire country celebrated together.

Though out then tournament I have had my reservations about the format of the tournament. I felt that this tournament did not reward consistency as much as the previous editions. I believe this tournament was about rising to the ocassion especially in the knock out stage. Though one might feel a team like New Zealand, who had a complete whitewash in the sub-continent prior to the World cup was an unlikely semi-finalist. I think this format tested how one handles pressure.

Though skills help you win most games, it is temprament that helps you become champions. South Africa demonstrated, no matter how consistent you are you have to rise to the ocassion to be world champions. And what a pity, they have not won a single knock out game in the world cup inspite of being one of the top 3 talented sides in each of the world cup they have figured in since 1992.

I feel both the format and the venues gave India the best chance of becoming the world champions yet again. And the most important part of this tournament was the elimination of Australia in the Quarter Final stage. Yes team India tamed the big bully and heralded end of an era. Though I feel team India had an ordinary preliminary stage in terms of performance. The preliminary stage gave India the best preparation for the big games. Team India got the best possible opponents in the knock out stage to prove its worth as the world champion. It does take some performance to beat Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in a row.

Now that we have won the World Cup, I hope the success story of India as a country does not end here. I hope the players stay focussed and work hard to achieve greater goals in years to come. The cricket fans take this as a motivating factor to play sports and learn how to be competetive and sportive at the same time. I would ideally like our culture to evolve into a sporting culture where every person plays sports and that in turn builds his/her overall personality. I hope the cricket board does not kill the goose that has hitherto laid golden eggs by keeping them busy through the year. Also I hope we look at a sport as a sport that helps bring people closer. Let us not politicise it. The moment we make sport a devisive factor, the whole purpose of sport is defeated.

With IPL starting within a week of the World Cup, I feel the players have not got enough time to bask in the glory. Though I feel the show must go on. It should not keep running to the point where we get bored because of excess. And talking about IPL, I feel like most others confused about who to support. The auctions have jumbled the regional heroes of all teams into so many different teams. Thats for another day. For now lets bask in glory of the World Cup just gone by.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A lively weekend and its aftermath

Last weekend was an eventful one. On saturday, I booked my 1st car. After months of indecisiveness, I finally decided to go ahead and book a Hyundai i10. For now, it looks like the best car cnsidering my usage and other factors. Last few months I have been thinking about so many cars but just not able to take a decision. Now that I have decided, I am happy with it and looking forward to having it with me next week.

Sunday was a day packed with cricket. There were two great matches in the world cup(to watch) and a couple of great matches played as well. In the world cup, it was England/South Africa and India/Ireland games played in Chennai and Bengaluru respectively.

The encounter in Chennai made the world cup even more interesting since Englishmen managed to defend a paltry total of 171 runs against the tournament favourites South Africa. It was a great fightback especially after losing to Ireland. The encounter in Bengaluru was a rather expected result where the men in blue beat the Irish pretty easily. However, the win was not as easy as it should have been. Indians were pretty much cautious after the tie against Englishmen and Irish were upbeat after beating the Englishmen. But you don't expect Ireland to win everyday. Now, it looks as if the world cup is getting interesting especially the group involving India.

That was about the cricket world cup. On sunday there was a cricket tournament organized in my company. It was an intra-account tournament. The account that I belong to(CITI-CLRS) has atleast 120 people and 4 teams were made out of these 120 guys. SAS/WINS, Legal, SPIDER and Trade Surveilance. It was a knock-out tournament. It was 2 Semi-finals followed by the finals that took place at ITPL grounds. I played for the SAS/WINS team.

The 1st game was between us and Trade surveilance. Lokesh,our captain won the toss and chose to bat 1st. It was a 12 over game where we managed to score 89 runs. Personally I was satisfied to carry my bat through the innings as an opener. Though Im not sure how mch I scored, it was just such a satisfaction to play cricket after so many days. Though we were the underdogs in the game, we managed to defend the 89 runs we scored. The credit goes to the spinners in my team they just turned it around when it mattered.

The 2nd game was between Legal and SPIDER. SPIDER-men batted 1st and scored 89 runs. Their star was Ramesh and Manju. After the 1st match we pretty much knew it was a challenging score and SPIDER-men did a great job to defend it.

Now, we played the SPIDER-men in the final, where SPIDER-men managed 81 batting 1st. They scored atleast 60 out of their 81 runs in their 5 middle overs. One of them bowled by me. I was pretty satisfied the way I bowled to begin with, but was hammered in my 3rd over. Perhaps trying to hard cost me dear. Manju was their star again. In response we managed to stay in the game till last ball and lost the game by 1 run.

Though it was the fun that counted, losing the final still feels like a job half done. But to take positives out of the weekend, I feel we did a great job to keep the tempo in-spite of the heat and physical strain. Though most of us had played after years.

It is already Wednesday, Still the pains in my body remind me of the fun I had on sunday. It is so satisfying having stayed at the crease for 17 overs and bowled 6 overs almost at 100% effort. A win would have made the pain sweeter, but it is participation that counts. I truly hope, we have more such lively weekends where we play and remind ourselves that there is still some time for us to grow old.

Though the aftermath is painful, This pain is much better than the continuous stress one associates with  the software world.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who's cup will it be?

The world cup has begun and the Indian team could not expect a better start. Lovely knocks by Virat and Veeru. The men in blue proved that they do not take anybody lightly. Complacence cost them the cup last time. This time hopefully it will be different. Sreesanth had a bad game but he will have his moment if he learns from his mistakes. All he needs is to control his aggression rather than let his aggression control him. Having said that, I still feel India is better off with two spinners in the home conditions. Lets see what approach they take as the competition progresses.

Who is the best team? In my opinion apart from destiny, there are two factors that decide the winner. One being class and the other is the temperament. A classy team may win most of the group matches and qualify for the knock-out stage. But it is the temperament that will help a team to handle tricky situations it might face in the knock-out stage.

Though the first round might not be as decisive, performance in the first round will definitely decide who one meets in the quarter finals. Since the top team from each group meets the 4th team from the other group, it is fair enough to say that even if a team did not have a great start it can bounce back, and what a bounce back it will be by beating the top team of another group. In the end it is about the team that handles the pressure best. In particular, the team with the ability to win 3 in a row is the champion. Though one bad day might spoil the party for any of the teams, it is rising to the occasion that will decide the winner.

Aussies have proved through the last decade, that they fight back hardest when they are pushed against the wall. They have not been challenged enough in the last decade. They have a mountain to climb. History proves, that they are not one's to be taken lightly.
Indian team has always shown class, but somewhere it has not measured up to the temperament. Dhoni's leadership however promises to change this fact.

The South Africans have time and again chocked when it really matters. Their class is there for the taking but their temperament is what will be tested. Same holds good with the Englishmen, they might win all 6 group matches, but might be found wanting in the knockout stage.

Sri Lankans have proved to be big match players in spite of shortage in terms of class(barring few exceptions).

Pakistanis' have also proved to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and also the vice-versa with consistency. They are the least reliable of all teams though one of the most talented.

I feel among Indians, Aussies, Pro-teas, Englishmen, Lankan's and Paki's the team that rises to the occasion will lift the cup. As a cricket fan I hope, may the best team win. As an Indian, I hope the best team is India.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Here comes another World Cup

Even before I realise, four years have passed and another world cup is round the corner. It feels like yesterday that the Indian team threw away their chances against Bangladesh and the Paki's lost to Ireland. Bob Woolmer died. At a venue where one wanted to witness an India-Pak clash, one had to be content with a Ireland-Bangladesh ODI.

Four years have passed in a flash and lots has changed. Aussies are no longer the invincible unit that they have been for more than a decade now. England are no mere pushovers. They are the reigning T20 champions. Kiwi's were beaten in 10 consecutive ODI's in the subcontinent. The Paki's have been in middle of all controversies. In particular, the spot-fixing. Even they are not able to choose their captain. Exception to the long list of changes is the little master Sachin Tendulkar. He graduated from the little baby of the Indian cricket team in the 1992 edition to the kaku(uncle) of most players in the 2011 edition. His passion has been the same for this many years and it is the best opportunity for him to be a part of the world cup winning team.

This world cup does promise to be a tournament filled with surprises. As far as I am concerned, the format is not the perfect one. First of all, both the groups have 4 top teams and 4 minnows. It is highly likely that the 4 top teams will make it to the quarter finals. After that, anybody who can win 3 in a row will lift the cup. The previous editions of the world cup(outside the subcontinent) valued consistency. Atleast the 1999/2003 editions where the super6's gave chance to the teams with a poor start to comeback. At the same time, those editions were helped the consistent teams qualify for the semi-finals. 2007 was a big drag with the super 8s.

Though there is a grey area in the system, it gives a dark horse a chance to turn the tables. All the sub-continent teams that won the world cup did so as dark horses. I truly hope it is a tournament filled with surprises and a tournament where some great cricket is played and where a new world order is set.

Will the aussies rise from ashes (ashes debacle)like they did last time after a 3-0 whitewash by the kiwis in 2007? Will the men in blue live upto their favourites tag? Will the Englishmen take their ashes form into the WC? Will the Proteas lift their tag of chokers? Will their be another surprise? Not easy to tell. All I can hope for is a well faught world cup and may the best team win. Hopefully it is the men in blue. Whatsay?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Getting started...

A new decade has started and there changes everywhere. First of all the IPL is in for a revamp. Not many cricketers are playing for their native cities. It is extremely difficult to pick whome to support. Though I got used to support the RCB, now I find the crux of Bengaluru cricketers spread all across. Change is something most of us detest but eventually get used to.

Talking about change, I am looking forward to some big changes in my life. No... I am not in a hurry to change my job. Just want to change the way I organise myself. I think there are a number of aspects where I need to change. First of all, I need to improve the way I organise myself at work. The workoholic phase I had last year has made me someone who either works like a donkey or sleeps like a log. This needs to change. Though I have added many new activities to my daily schedule, I need to be more consistent about some of things I do.

First of all I need to make sure I work for 8 hours in office and those 8 hours are high intensity work. I need to switch from everything when at work. See to it that I prioritise tasks better and focus of the quality of deliverables. I am soon gonna take up responsibility of leading a team and I need to look beyond just developing the code.

Next, I need to learn how to switch off from work the minute I step out. I need to focus of my off work activities. Especially swim more regularly. Since I have started practicing with the HCL corporate cricket team, I need to practice regularly and try hard to play the game I love for the love of it. And not to mention plan my holidays better and visit some interesting places.

On the family front, I need to be able to give more time to family and friends. Last year or so has been extremely busy and more than anything else, I have not really planned my days well. Need to get my social life back on track.

Have so much to do. How to get going? First step to get going is making a start. Since last few months I have found that my day starts late and time management is not something I can boast about. The best days in my life have began from fajr(dawn prayers). I just want my day to actually begin at dawn and start my day reading something positive and with some physical activity. Soon after which it is easier to get in the groove to work.

I am not someone who ever made a resolution let alone adhere to it. However, I think it is time I have a new outlook for this decade. I believe I can if I get started...