Friday, May 3, 2013

Where have the Celebrations gone?


This is in reference to cricket, especially the IPL these days.

There are 9 - 10 teams in each edition of the IPL and most of them 2 - 3 players who are generally a part of the top 16 players in the Indian team. So, naturally, they have spent a lot of time with each other on the field even before the IPL, only, as part of the same team. It is common to see these people forming a huddle and celebrating a wicket while on the field.

A typical wicket is celebrated with smiles, high fives. The Indian captain once said that the team generally discusses strategies during the team huddle after a wicket. Well, whatever be the case, there was always a huddle, a lot of smiles and a lot of high fives. Even before the huddle, the teams used to simply be overjoyed at taking a wicket.

But where has that gone in the IPL teams? To be fair, each team even comprises of upto 4 international players. So, the huddle culture is probably not a part of the game.

A wicket or a boundary/six is a common occurrence in the game of cricket. Lesser in the test, more in the ODIs and most in the T20 formats. To compare, we could say, a wicket in a Test match is like a goal in football - rare and a wicket in a T20 is like a 3 - pointer in a game of basketball - not too frequent, but definitely not rare.

Where has the joy gone? You only see them abusing, taunting and mocking each other when they get a wicket. Hot blooded youngsters like Kohli and Gambhir do not understand the game any more.

One cannot say "win or lose, it's just a game" anymore. But nevertheless, all of them get paid well whether they win or lose and are a part of the National team, whether they win or lose in the IPL. We don't see too many taunts and abuses when a team scores a goal in the EPL. But this has become very common place in the IPL these days.

If you look at the "fairplay award" in IPL (psst.. are Kohli and Gambhir aware of such a thing?) , the teams that are on top are those led by Rahul Dravid and M.S. Dhoni. And the teams at the bottom are those led by Gambhir and Kohli. (from an archive on another blog) You can see how the team rankings simply reflect the tenor of the men leading them.

MSD is currently the captain of the Indian team. And the other players like Sachin, Dravid etc are about to leave all formats soon. The Indian team will be left to players like Kohli and Gambhir. What will happen to our Indian national team when these players represent us abroad. What if they pick up fights with other teams and don't bother to play fair. At least, the Australian team of the early 2000s were accused of "sledging". This will sound a very decent term compared to what the Indian team of the late 2010s will be accused of.

- Srinivasan C

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Review - Nuts! - SouthWest Airlines Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success

Nuts; Not just what Southwest Airlines serve to the passengers on their aircraft, but also how the management and their practices appear to the public.

The book talks about the unconventional methods of people and situation management undertaken at Southwest Airlines. The courage to go beyond convention stems from the courage and attitude of the co-founders Herb Kelleher, Rollin King, Gary C. Kelly. The book also talks about the struggles faced by the company even before the first flight took off from the ground and how the employees who started off with the company seem to have that attitude of struggle literally built into them.

The book starts with how the airlines is hugely successful to date and also talks about a good number of situations that exhibit the nature of the airlines. It then goes on to talk about the various fields (management, opportunity seeking/ building, customer service, employee practices etc) in which the airlines has abandoned or literally, shunned convention and achieved tremendous success.

Once you read this, you can understand where airlines like Indigo get their inspiration from. (on a separate not, as far as Indigo is concerned, they are doing a pretty good job to have taken this idea and Indian-ised it. Hope they have read this book as well and will prevent the mistakes that other copy-cats did).

Well. The book has a lot of advice for use by managers and professionals at the end of every chapter. But even if you don't read it for the advice, you could read it just to see how much fun it working for the company must be. And to see to what extent convention can be (and has been) challenged

The book was written by Kevin & Jackie Freiberg with a foreword by Tom Peters.

-Srinivasan C

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Book Review – “Indlish – The Book for Every English-Speaking Indian”

Ever thought twice before saying/writing/typing something? Sure, you have. But have you thought four or five or maybe ten times before doing the same? This book makes you do that.
I have always been proud of my English and my command over the language compared to my peers. Having stayed in different parts of India, I am well aware of how English spoken in an area reflects the structure and grammar of the local language of that region. This book goes one (a few, actually) step further and examines how Indians have learnt and (ab/mis)used English from the British times and how it was further perpetrated by us in different forms. It talks about Officialese,commercialese and journalese, the three main ways through which English changed hands (or lips) from the Britons to the Indians before Independence.
In the beginning, It does talk about some common mistakes that Indians make. Well, anyone who has read books since childhood can spot this. But the book goes on to give some more examples of misuse/abuse of the language by Indians speaking different tongues. At the end of it, you realise that the average Indian does not speak English at all, but speaks Indlish indeed. Ok. Even the above average Indian speaks Indlish, not English.
If you are an Indian and if you ever thought your english was better than your peers, read the book to know how wrong you’ve been all these years
The book is authored by Jyoti Sanyal (worked for 30 years with “The Statesman” and Dean of Asian College of Journalism, Bangalore, India in 1997), Edited by Martin Cutts(Author of the Oxford Guide to Plain English) and illustrated by Sarbajit Sen.

- Srinivasan C