Monday, September 24, 2007

On a Winning Note: While we celebrate . . .

It's cricket all over. The dream has come true. A team totally devoid of stardom is bringing home the Cup of Joy, Pride and Victory! 3 Cheers to Indian cricket.
While you may read all the positive stories in other sites, I feel pressed to express a not-so-pleasant angle to the rhetoric around the heroic episode of Dhoni's men.
Before we get there, this week has seen the young constable steal all limelight and be crowned the Indian Idol! Congrats Prashant, your humble background and your rise to stardom will inspire millions. And, India celebrates.
But hey, what's this all about? To a novice with no exposure to the Indian media, mention of "Indian Idol" and the question would pop up, "Indian Idol? How many lives has he changed? What's his story? Is it one of sacrifice? Has he revolutionised Indian governance? Has he arranged a pound of bread every day to the starving millions?"
One would have to respond, sheepishly, "Well, he sings"!
Does our Indian Idol do anything more than that, by any chance? Why is this hype then? Why would a country go crazy over someone because he has been able to imitate a few classics and item numbers? Where's the value? What's the point?
It was shocking when Ravi Shastri announced that the ICC has awarded a million dollars for the Indian team and "A crore of Rupees" for Yuvraj Singh, because he had hit, ahem, six sixes!
I was left wondering what one could do to the needy in a country like India with a few crores of Rupees! I was perplexed why half the number of voters in Indian Idol never care what governance, or the lack of it, is causing to the fibre of the country!
It's good to find a young team emerging out of nowhere; may be they think they deserve the prize money; and perhaps Yuvraj created a sensation which would go down in History as a golden episode in the first ever Twenty-twenty World Cup.
But I fail to see any coherent argument that would justify squandering crores of rupees on 15 people merely because they scraped through the final, because of one mis-hit by the Pakistani batsman.
Dear ICC organisers, my fellow country-men, are you in your senses?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Management Lessons for Life – from a Twenty-Twenty Cricket Match.

It’s amazing how valuable a Management Guru a cricket match can be! It drives home cases that may actually be over-looked in a B-School. I would suggest last night’s India-Pakistan Match be recorded and analysed for insights into life and management. A sample analysis is presented here.

1. Settle down before you wield your willow.

Or, you would get caught by the bowler, as was Gautam Gambhir. Even if it was a 20 over match with no time to spare, leaving odd balls out to study the turf always pays off before you train your guns for the big blows.

2. Be flashy and stylish, but never forget the old school basics.

You could be as fast and furious as Virender Sehwag would like to be, but if you leave a mile’s gap between the bat and your pad and forget to move your feet an inch, you end up slashing the leather ball through the thick edges of your own bat and dragging it on to your stumps.

3. You don’t always have to be extra-ordinary; just being consistently good pays off in style.

Pakistan’s Mohd. Asif knew this only too well. His steady pace, impeccable line and length and intelligent variations took the sting out of the Indian batting line and had them wishing his spell was over before he zapped a couple of more wickets, exposing the Indian tail by the 8th over of the match!

4. Despite yourself, do just what the situation dictates.

That was precisely what Robin Uthappa and Mahender Singh Dhoni did when they tried to anchor the wobbling ship being rocked by the Pakistani waves. Remember, tides are never always too high to tide over; just wait till you find your kind of wave.

5. In any situation, use your brain.

Harbhajan Singh forgot to apply this simple principle of life. To play off a couple of dot balls towards the end of a twenty-over match and to steal a single and the strike at the last ball of the over, with a king-hitter like Dhoni at the other end of the pitch underlines a lack of application of the thinking apparatus. And to try to hoist the ball out of the packed stadium and not trying to restore strike with another single to the man-in-form (and getting out and wasting another ball in the process) is a violation of the principle in bold, red and big font.

6. Believe in yourself, play your part and get lost for your team, if needed.

Irfan Pathan had mastered this rule. Two sixes in a row after a brief study of the conditions and back to the pavilion immediately after that made a lot of sense. You either perform or create space for others to work.

7. Kill complacence before it kills you!

The worst ball ever bowled in the history of cricket was the one by Harbhajan singh immediately after Shahid Afridi was dismissed. It was a slow, sweet, flighted half-volley with no scope to swing or turn at all, that could have been the best gift to offer to any batsman, with “SIX” written all over the ball. The relief in pressure after Afridi departed was understandable, but to have absolutely no force and to look weak, meak and tamed down would enliven even the flagging eleventh batsman in the opponent’s team. And that ball flagged off the fight-back that resulted in the assault the next over from Agarkar.

8. The environment is always unpredictable; the match is never lost till won – and is never won till it is actually won!

India had almost snatched defeat successfully from the jaws of victory. From a virtually unassailable position, they had forced themselves into a desperate situation. However, the team took its time in the losing final over, built up pressure with time and field changes and finally succeeded in running the scrambling batsman out through the well-executed run-out. You just have to keep your cool in a losing match to end it on a winning note.

9. Talk less, stick to the basics and emerge victorious. Your action can always do the talking for you.

The Pakistani opener Salman Butt was shooting his mouth out at the interview, while the match was still on, as if his team had already paid for its victory and was awaiting its home delivery. And then came the tie like thunder; and all that the teams had to do was to hit stumps with no one to block them.

What followed was a simple display of the ability to bowl straight by India; and to the horror of the opponents, three bowlers missed hitting the stumps in a row, one after the other missing the mark by a good foot or more! The rest is history.

10. The Bottom-line:
Decisions and events in life are as good as strategies in management; and all it takes is a clear sight, strong head over shoulders and a positive attitude to do the job as demanded by the situation. You get carried away and the whole world would come to know that you get the opponent batsmen bowled only by chance.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Judgement Pronounced: TATA VSNL Scam

That link is for those who may have tripped upon this blog by chance for the first time. And we have been moving forward from there at the moment.
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Bangalore has declared that TATA needs to compensate a complainant for "Deficiency of Service". The order was issued on 13th August 2007 (Complaint Number 1381/2007). TATA is to provide compensation to the complainant within 4 weeks from the date of its communication.
That is the first step. And naturally, Clearway is not happy with the judgement. A nation-wide silent scam that has been on for years, and just one party being compensated? What of the remaining thousands who have fallen and who still keep falling victims to the audacious bid to swindle?
What is needed is an awareness - and an initiative - and the will to last till the very end. There is such an initiative on at an on-line community at Orkut. Join the march for Justice at If you have suffered from TATA's Broadband scam and have been looking out for options, you may approach a Consumer Court near you and lodge a complaint yourself - and you may quote this case at Bangalore: 1381/2007 filed on 30 June 2007.
Too bad that TATA has taken so much time and space at Clearway; I would rather get done with this issue fast and concentrate on more productive stuff. Clearway doesnt like dwelling on dirty stuff for too long, you see?