Monday, May 25, 2009

The 2009 IPL Champions....

Sunday evening. The Deccan Chargers scripted what can possibly described as a 'work of art'. And walked away with the IPL trophy. The World was amazed, and couldn't help admire.

While I sat and debated, for the nth time - whether 20-20 was the way to go, or if the traditional test matches and ODIs were the 'true' form of cricket, I sat and watched the game.

And I was immediately reminded of India's moment of glory - at Lords - 1983. When team India lifted the Prudential Cup. And were declared World Champions.

And I saw similarities. India, in the 1983 tournament were the underdogs, much as the Deccan Chargers at the beginning of the 2009 IPL.

But India came around from behind. Slowly, but surely and steadily. So did the DCs. And India excelled when it mattered, just as the DCs did.

1983 was also a fine example of a captain leading by example. Kapil Dev came in to bat against Zimbabwe, when the team was on a near collapse at a dismal 50 odd runs for the loss of 5 wickets (?). And he took over control of the situation. As if it was a matter of life and death. And then came a brilliant knock from the bat, of and unbeaten 175. India won the match and went on to the semi finals. Which was impossible, till the captain came in, and made the difference.

I thought about Kapil, when I saw Adam Gilchrist bat on Saturday. What a similarity. Adam, batting against Delhi- easily the best team in the IPL thus far. But he had made a firm resolve. And he believed in himself and his team when no one else did. Proving to the World that at that level and standard of the game, cricketing talent alone matters little. For there is hardly any difference between one player and the other. What matters is the grit, the determination and the resolve to make the difference when it matters the most. A single minded focus to achieve the goal against all odds.

And when I saw Adam bat, I was reminded of Kapil. Both captains. Both made a difference in what could have easily ended in their team's exit from the tournament.

And then the grand finale. A brilliant display of teamwork. The DCs emerging out of a crisis, when their captain went out for a duck. Massive and valuable batting contributions by Gibbs and Symonds.
And then the two consecutive wickets by Symonds which changed the game just when Bangalore was set to take the match. The brilliant catch by Harmeet Singh. Everyone played a role.
It reminded me of Krishnamachari Srikant, Yashpal Sharma at the batting crease in 1983. Taking on the mighty West Indians who had never before conceded the Championship - till 1983. And the brilliant bowling attack by - Madan Lal, Mohinder Amarnath and Roger Binnyand even an 'unheard of' Balvinder Singh Sandhu.
It was all about team play 26 years ago. And it was all about team work yesterday.
And the belief - that against all odds - they can do it.
They did - and how !

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Lesson of life

In the hosptial room next to the one where my mother is admitted, was a small child - a boy of not more than 4 years, who was ill.
Yesterday in the morning, his condition worsened and he became critical. There was an alarm raised. In no time, all doctors, nurses and other paramedic staff rushed to his room to lend a hand. There was confusion. The parents realized that they are facing impending doom, were both crying in desperation.
However, in a short while, the situation turned around. Thanks to the doctors and nurses who kept their cool, and worked in a focussed manner, to avert the crisis.
Since I was in the adjoining room, I couldn't help walk across and sneak a peek. There was only one nurse keeping vigil. The parents had calmed down. All seemed to be well now.
Today I saw the boy. And the sight delighted me. For he was not only well, he was actually on his feet, and was dancing and prancing around the corridor of the ward. The smile on his little face won my heart. His right hand was bandaged and there were tell tale signs of innumerable pricks for drips and injections. He had dutifully worn the hospital dress meant for patients.The shirt nicely tucked into his long pyjamas which were folded many times aroung the ankles to fit his little legs.
A short while later, he turned away escorted by his father, and dancing into his room, to rest for the afternoon.
Looking at the child, I realized he had actually taught me a lesson. A simple principle in life. And that is, to forget pain and trouble, be happy and enjoy life. Something that most adults would not follow.
I decided that this child certainly needed to be given a ''prezzy" from me. So there are chocolates waiting to be given to him, the next time I spot him.

Friday, May 01, 2009

King and his puppy

Once upon a time, not long ago, there lived a young boy who was very very spoilt. His name was King. Easy access to a lot of money made him think he was actually a king. The fact that he was very, very  wealthy made him arrogant. And to make matters worse, he was all alone. He had no parents who could check his behavior and tell him to mend his ways and be a little humble.

The story goes that one day, this spoilt young man decided to get himself a puppy. The best that was available. He knew that all he had to do was pay for it, and this wasn't a problem at all !
So he got himself the best puppy that money could find.

Once King had this puppy, he started treating it in a very strange manner. One day he would love it and the next day he would be very cruel. Sometimes he would over feed the puppy to the point that it got sick, and at other times, he would make it starve and that too made the puppy sick. He would either make the puppy walk and walk and run and run, to the point that it would almost collapse out of fatigue. At other times the puppy would just lie in the house for hours - in fact days, without any exercise.

Close to King's home lived an old man - an expert dog trainer, who would observe everyday, how King would treat the animal. And one day, when he couldn't resist, he advised King that this wasn't the way to look after an animal. Especially a pet. But we know that King was very very arrogant. Instead of taking the old man's advice he snubbed him outright. He told the old man that he had paid a lot of money to buy the dog. And if the old man had a problem, he should buy his own, and do whatever he wanted with it. The old man obviously shocked, withdrew.

One day there was a dog show in the area where Kind lived. King believed that since his dog was a very expensive dog, he would win the dog show competition outright, without any problem.
King was so arrogant that he went around the neighbourhood boasting to all and sundry, how his dog would win the show hands down. The neighbours listened. So did the wise old dog trainer. But they all kept mum.

Then came the dog show day. There were many competitions in different categories. To his shock and horror, King realized that whatever competition his puppy entered in, he came last.
The reason was simple. King had never trained his puppy. Only confused him with his erratic behavior and attitude towards the dog. And mostly ill treated him instead of loving him.

At the end of the competition, King's pup came last. King was very angry. So angry that he decided to just walk out from the show. Leaving his puppy behind. People called out to him "Hey King ! Take your dog with you. He's yours !" And King answered. "No this dog is a loser. He can't be mine. I don't want him anymore"

The poor dog, now abandoned, was completely shocked and dejected. He was now also orphaned.
He roamed the streets of the town for days, like a mongrel, hunting on his own for whatever little food he could lay his hands on. He would brave the rain, the cold and the heat. And other dogs would attack him and he would get wounded and battered. Then  he could take it no more.
Hunger, disease and more than that his broken heart all took their toll...... 

And one cold rainy morning, King's puppy died.