Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why Champions League can be Special!!

(This blog post is written by Vidhyashankar, working as a supply chain associate with Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. in San Jose, California. He is an alumnus of W.P. Carey School of Business in Arizona State University. A very good cricketer himself, Vidhyasankar talks about his views on IPL and Champions League.)

First time when I saw IPL T20, there was a mixed reaction. One side I saw the excitement of the new format of cricket. The passion, the love and the craze for cricket in the land of cricket lovers, Can’t ask for more!! Their favorite heroes are now called Icon player and needless to say when he walks in the stadium erupts. Other side there was one question that was raised. How do foreign players can play with the person whom they regarded as rivals? A Pakistani in an Indian team, Impossible!! That was the last thing a true Indian fan could have ever digested. Fortunately, the game became bigger and fans started to embrace others. Of course, least to say that’s the way India has always been in embracing anyone. It could be the worst enemy but for an Indian he is another human. That’s exactly what our culture, our traditions have always strived. Be it the Brits or the Islam kings anyone in welcome.
But, as we see, globalization has slowly changed the way we think and the way we live. In fact we did see questions rise “Are we losing being the true Indian?” Arranged marriages are slowly vanishing, the concept of family is slowly becoming smaller. The change is always there. Neither has cricket nor the cricket fans spared from these changes. Subramanian was praying for Sachin Tendulkar to get out. (Something that was considered the sin of the highest order). Rao abusing Bhajji "Monkey" for getting Andrew Symonds out.
Bangalore vs.  Chennai has become a place to add salt on the Cauvery issue. While, one side we are striving for unity and oneness among the nation the other side comes dangerous T20. Fortunately this danger took a quick a U turn. Don’t know whether this is going to long last. But in the form of “The Champions League T20” it helped from sentiments being too severe. Particularly, with an Indian team in finals (CSK), I could see Facebook status from Rao, Chatterjee, Kulkarni, Nair and of course Subramanian supporting CSK to win. Good to see India together atleast in a limited way. Had it been a CSK vs RCB finals the divide might have coexisted with unity "Saying its an all India Final". The purpose is being solved. CLT20 remained exciting for the whole nation as one and I think it could promote the game one step ahead at least in India!!
The purpose is being solved. However, a different school of thought would argue that whole point of a format such as IPL is to create a new market by dividing the fans. I am not really concerned about the big bucks at this point. Those big bucks are anyway there. If dividing was the whole idea then why did Makhaya Ntini & Boucher player for Warriors and not CSK and RCB respectively.
Whatever extent we go, definitely we take pride for playing for our own country. IPL might be exciting and fun. The fun to watch cricket by being drowned in the cocktail of patriotism and favoritism (for the team) cannot be matched. Probably, that’s how we have grown up watching cricket. CLT20 remained exciting for the whole nation as one and I think it could promote the game one step ahead at least in India!!

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Restricting Freedom – Good or Bad?

Student: Sir, time is 10 pm now. We are supposed to be in the hostel by 9.30 PM. Warden may not allow us into the Mens hostel
Me: I can give you a letter. Show it to the warden and the watchmen. Still if they have a doubt ask them to give me a call
This was a conversation I had with three of my Masters students a couple of weeks back. We had to finish a presentation for the next day and by the time students made the draft of it, it was already 9.30 PM. We only had that night to correct it. So I asked them to come to my office so that we can work on it. From the time they came to the time they left they were so tensed that I lost count of the number of times they were looking into their watch. Seeing that the productivity of their work was decreasing due to this I even told them that in the worst case you guys can stay with me in my house. These three students left around midnight and since they had my letter, were allowed to get into the hostel without any problem.
When they left I felt really bad for them. Here are three guys, 22 or 23 years old getting all tensed thinking if the warden will allow them in. I am told that there are a lot of colleges that impose such strict rules curbing the freedom of students. May be my mind is too “Westernized”. I am always of the belief that in the long run such restrictions will backfire on the same people who try to impose them. The kids of this millennium will find novel ways to beat the restriction for sure.
Like to share couple more examples – we had a function in our house one Sunday afternoon from 1.00 PM to 3.00 PM. We invited few students including some girls. My flat is just opposite to the school and all you need to do is to cross the main road from the school. The girls who attended the function told us that they had to sign at 5 different places to get permission to go out from 1.00 PM to 3.00 PM before they could come there. Imagine this – on a holiday to just go out of the campus for 2 hours from 1.00 PM to 3.00 PM you need to take signatures from five different places! For me it is tough to comprehend.
What I saw last weekend was ultimate. There was a professional show in the campus that started at 8.00 PM and ended around morning 1.00 AM in the school ground. When I went to the stadium I saw a barricade over 7-feet tall that divided the stadium into two. Initially I did not understand the reason for that barricade. Later I realized that it was a physical barrier to separate the boys and girls attending the pro-show. Now I did my undergraduate degree in engineering fifteen years back in a pre-internet, pre-cell phone, pre-laptop era and we also used to have such shows that start at night and goes till early morning. The boys and girls use to sit differently but I have never seen such barricades anywhere then.
Now the question – are such restrictions good or bad? My view is that you impose more rules on these teenage kids, at least a minority of them will find novel ways to beat these rules and results may be catastrophic. Instead of having all these restrictions why can’t the students be educated by parents and teachers to use their freedom wisely? Won’t that be good for the kids in the long run? Of course this is my take on this subject. Would like to know the views of others on this subject.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mission 2020 and CASH Kerala – Will it Save Kerala Cricket?

Kerala cricket is going through an abysmal time. Yes, Kerala now has an IPL team but the performance of the team in national level needs tons of improvement. It has been a long time since Kerala played in the Elite group of Ranji Trophy national championship; other than an eccentric cricketer in the form of Sreesanth no one is ever close to getting selected to the Indian team in future.
To give new life to Kerala cricket team, Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) is coming up with two plans – the first one Mission 2020 and the second one CASH – Kerala. The main highlights of the mission 2020 projects are the following
  • Designing programs that will help Kerala qualify to play in the Elite group
  • More players from Kerala in the national team
  • Development of an international stadium with state of the art facilities
  • Well developed talent search and development program 
CASH (Cricket @ ScHool) is a more ambitious program. It envisages the construction of cricket academies and sports hostel for kids aged between 12 to 14 years of age. Two such academies already started functioning in Eranakulam and Trivandrum. In the first batch of 56 boys aged 12-14 years were selected by former state players from length and breadth of Kerala and given coaching for 3 years. All their expenses – educational, lodging and coaching will be taken care by KCA. Great initiative indeed!
Only time can tell if all these initiatives will revive Kerala Cricket along with the new IPL team. Here is a video that throws light into the Mission 2020 and CASH Kerala program of KCA.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mohanlal and Priyadarshan Duo – What a Team!


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I cannot count the number of times I have watched these movies – the movies directed by Priyadarshan where Mohanlal is the hero. I watch these movies with the same vigor and enthusiasm as if I am watching it for the first time. Here is a collection of ten movies I like to watch again and again. I am sure if you watch Malayalam movies you may have watched all these movies multiple times like me. 
Kilukkam
 
Chitram
Mazha Peyunnu Madalam Kottunnu
 
Boeing Boeing

 
Aram+Aram = Kinnaram
 
Thalavattam
 
Thenmavin Kombathu
 
Pochakoru Mukuthi 
 
Vellanakalude Nadu
Vandanam
Here is what Priyadarshan has to say about his buddy Mohanlal
With Priyadarshan getting busier in Bollywood, we don’t get to see the duo in action for a long time now. Waiting eagerly to see the next Mohanlal-Priyadarshan movie - Arabiyum Ottakavum P Madhavan Nairum to see that midas touch again.
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