Sunday, December 06, 2009

Dhoni and his Men in Blue - World No.1 Test Cricket Team.....

Three cheers to our Indian Cricket Team.... Hip Hip Hurray.... We've become the Number 1 Test cricketing nation today after defeating the Sri Lankan team 2-0 in the test series in India....

Team India after becoming World No 1 Test team in Cricket

Lots of positives to take away from this series...
  • The batting of Indian top order - Gambhir, Sehwag, Dravid, Sachin, Laxman, Dhoni, Yuvraj and even Vijay in the last test.... all of them contributed..
  • The bowling improved after the first test match... with the changes brought in by Dhoni in the test match worked well with Sreesanth and Ojha playing well.... Zaheer and Harbhajan were very good in the last test match too... 
  •  According to Dhoni, even the fielding was better in this series... 
  • Also the coaching staffs - Gary Kirsten and Paddy Upton got a special mention from Sachin, Sehwag and Dhoni...
In short, this was one of those rare instances when the entire team was responsible for this success. We should never forget the contributions from Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly in building such a strong team too...

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    In Memory of the Mumbai 26/11 victims....

    One year since the 26/11 Mumbai  attacks... remembering the people who died during the attack and the courageous NSG commandos and Mumbai police who fought bravely to bring the situation under control....

    In memory of all the Mumbai 26/11 victims....

    To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die. ~ Thomas Campbell

    Saturday, September 26, 2009

    Festivals galore....

    Its been a couple of months till my last post.... work at office has been keeping me quite busy n haven't had a chance to come back n update about my CSC Ghana experiences as I had mentioned in my previous post.... I'll definitely come back with those updates on another day...

    Today, my wifey took me to my first Durga Puja Pandal... I have never been to one before n she wanted me to have the experience.... So, we went to a nearby Bengali Association's pandal, witnessed the pushpanjali and also had Bhog (food provided as offerings of God). It was a nice experience for me being a South Indian...

    The first week of this month, we also celebrated Onam at home... we went to an Aiyappa temple nearby and also made some special Kerala dishes.... I did some experimentation with Payasam and it turned out nice but was more like a halwa than a payasam ;) But, overall it was a gud thing that we managed to do.... We couldn't make any Pookalam this time but next year we'll try that too...

    Being a North-South couple, we have different cultures, traditions n also different festivals... so, my wifey n myself took a decision this year that we'll try to celebrate both our festivals as much as possible to continue our traditions...
    So, we've got plenty of festivals to celebrate :D

    Happy Dussehra to all you folks... and here is a picture of the Durga mata in the Pandal that we went today....

    Wednesday, July 01, 2009

    As they say.... The World is IBM’s Classroom

    I've been thinking of writing this post for quite sometime now... I need to document some of my experiences that I had over the past few months...

    Being an IBMer gives me a great sense of pride because of the kind of work that our company is involved. Many of you would have seen adverts of IBM showcasing the Smarter Planet strategy. While I would reserve my discussions about the Smarter Planet strategy to some other day, I want to write about another initiative that IBM started last year called IBM Corporate Service Corps, which is a corporate version of the Peace Corps.

    What is IBM Corporate Service Corps?

    IBM Corporate Service Corps (generally called as IBM CSC) program is part of the Global Citizen’s Portfolio initiative announced by CEO Sam Palmisano last year (2008), to develop leadership skills while addressing socio-economic challenges in emerging markets.

    The Corporate Service Corps initiative involves IBMers who can contribute valuable and much-needed skills, talent, and capabilities in emerging market countries and help make an impact in that country.

    Through this program, IBM aims to train a new generation of truly global leaders by exposing them to diverse cultures, policy environments and different societal expectations, because this is the 21st context for business.

    You can ask - What is the benefit for IBM to do such a program?

    The Corporate Service Corps provides a triple benefit. IBM gains leaders with a broader range of skills that can function in a global context. The individual participant gets a unique set of leadership opportunities and development experiences. And thirdly, the communities get IBM’s best problem solving skills.

    In plain simple terms, through Corporate Service Corps, IBM sends selected candidates in batches of 8-15 ppl (from various countries) to various growing economies and emerging markets like Ghana, Tanzania, Romania, Philippines, Vietnam, Brazil, China and such countries. This batch of selected members would be working in the country for a month with various NGOs or government organizations or any type of industries that require professional help. We primarily do business consulting services to these organizations and help them solve their issues and lead them to a path of growth. And all these are done free of cost.

    Prior to departure, the selected IBM teams engage in three months of preparatory work to learn about their team members, local customs, culture, language, their project goals and the socioeconomic and political realities of their destination countries. After the in-country service, the team shares their experiences to their local communities and IBM teams.

    More than 5,000 IBM employees applied to the program and only 100 were selected for the first set of participants to be deployed to various countries during the second half of 2008. IBM selected another 100 for the 2009 spring batch and and has committed to enabling 600 to participate over the next three years. It is one one of the most competitive employee programs ever created by the company.

    Recently, Buisness Week magazine featured the IBM Corporate Services Corps program in its issue highlighting it as a Game Changing Ideas for Business
    Business Week Article

    More information about the program can be found on the IBM CSC website

    So, why am I writing about the IBM Corporate Service Corps program in my blog?

    I got the news of my selection to the IBM Corporate Service Corps program in November 2008 and joined 7 other IBMers from five countries around the world on a special assignment in Takoradi, Ghana as members of the IBM Corporate Services Corps program from February 20th to March 20th 2009.

    More about my experiences working in Ghana and interacting with the local people - in the next few posts.

    *The posts on this blog are my views and don't necessarily represent IBM’s positions, strategies or opinions...

    Friday, June 26, 2009

    RIP Michael Jackson...

    Michael Jackson - The man who gave many a hits for us to enjoy... the man who entertained the people with his amazing dances.... the man who gave us the amazing "Moon walk" move.... the man famously known as "King of Pop"..... is no more today... Its very difficult to accept...
    Even though his later part of the career was marred by lots of controversies n problems, the way he entertained the people will never be forgotten...
    Some of the songs which has special place in my heart are - Heal the World, Black or White, Beat It and lots more....

    Michael Jackson - You will be missed dearly!!!
    RIP Michael Jackson...May Your Soul Rest in Peace.....

    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    A letter to Dhoni...

    Dear Dhoni,

    I am writing this after our T20 World Cup exit in England. You might be knowing very well that we all had high hopes in our team being the favourites to retain the cup we won in South Africa. But, the way we performed in the tournament was far from what any Indian cricket fan would have imagined. Having said that, we are definitely not blaming you guys and loosing faith on you. You were instrumental in many of the successes that our Indian cricket team has got in the recent years right from the first T20 World cup victory to wins against almost all the cricketing nations in the world.

    But, the worrying factor for me as a fan is the way you are approaching the game nowadays. I know that you are trying to be more responsible being the captain and one of the senior most in the team. But, that doesn't mean you've to lose your power hitting ability and just try to hold on to one end. We would like to see more of the Dhoni-style sixers and your big hitting capabilities. I know that your responsibility as a captain makes you think twice to do all these, but I don't want you to become another Ganguly. I feel pity to see an amazingly gifted cricketer like Sourav Ganguly getting sidelined because of his loss of form after he got burdened with the Indian captaincy (though he got more wins for India than any other Indian captain). I don't want to see you, Dhoni, trying to do more things as a captain and losing your unique style of playing. We want India to do better in all forms of cricket and the key for that is not only your cool calm-headed captaincy but also your contribution with the bat. This I feel was an important reason for our loss in this T20 World cup.

    Dhoni, the pressures of 2 billion people wanting the Indian team to win always and watching you perform well all the time is always high. But, you are capable of doing that and even more. Forget about the T20 loss. Sometimes its good to have a reality check and work on our weaknesses.
    We have a lot of faith in you as the Indian captain and we would like to see you and our team perform well in every tournament that we play. I know you are working on your batting too and would be more than happy to see your unorthodox style of swashbuckling cricket.

    All the best for your forthcoming tournaments. We are and will always be with our team. Lets rock the world!!!

    -From an ardent fan of Indian cricket....

    Monday, June 08, 2009

    Hail King Federer!!!

    Wohooooo.... atlast Roger Federer wins the French Open in his fourth attempt.... Federer conquers Roland Garros :))))) beating the giant killer - Swede Robin Soderling 6-1 7-6(1) 6-4
    Am soooo happyyy.... What a way to complete a Career Slam and getting the cup from the hands of Andre Agassi (the previous person to achieve this feat of career slam). He also completed 14 Grandslam titles equalling Pete Sampras.... One title - two goals achieved....

    Federer getting then French Open Trophy from Agassi...

    Being a big fan of Federer, I always backed him to win this one even though his form was indifferent this whole year... and credit to Soderling for being the giant killer this year beating lots of seeded players including Nadal. It would have been a fitting final if Federer had beaten Nadal, but what the heck... he has achieved what he wanted the most... so, am fine whatever way it is... :)
    Yesterday, I was so tensed to even watch the whole match... n started watching only half way into the third set when I knew that he would win it... I was doubly happy to see Andre Agassi giving the cup (my all time fav sports person)

    On another note, am happy to see India starting its T20 World Cup campaign with a good victory over Bangladesh. Hoping that we do well in each n every match... All the best to our "Men in Blue" for their mission...

    And in the F1 front, am amazed with the success that the new team Brawn has got... Jenson Button has been one of the veterans in the F1 racing circles and he wasn't getting his due till this year in the form of this new Brawn GP team. He has now won all the races this year except one. Am sad to see the Ferraris not doing well... not even near their best... but hoping they'll stage a comeback at sometime this year (no hopes to catch up with the Brawn GP though).

    With all the sporting actions this year, am getting little time to write anything else other than sports in my blog :P
    lets see.. probably next time... :)

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    Deccan Chargers - The new IPL Champions...

    Deccan Chargers it is!!! The newly crowned IPL champions of 2009 in South Africa.

    Deccan Chargers - The IPL 2 Champions...

    Deccan Chargers vs Bangalore Royal Challengers finals was one that was least predicted at the start of the IPL 2 season. But, these two teams which got the last two spots in the first IPL charged their way to the finals this time and the DC team has gone one more step ahead to win it, all thanks to some awesome leadership and batting by Gilchrist.

    Am very much happy for Gilchrist who has been one of my favourite cricketers of all times.... but due credit should be given to Anil Kumble who inspired the Bangalore RC team to perform exceedingly well and taken them to the finals. Hats off to both Gilly and Jumbo....

    Watching the closing ceremony, I felt how successful the IPL this year has become... Lalit Modi has become a global phenom of sorts for making it possible this year inspite of all the problems he had scheduling it in India.
    Also, Thanks to the Rainbow nation - South Africa - for hosting our event there in such a grand manner and that too in such a short notice of less than 4 weeks. I came to know alot about South Africa only recently thro' a lovely friend - Carolyn from Johannesburg... And, I am impressed with what I saw (even though it is only thro' television) during the IPL tournament. Thank you Carolyn & Thank you SA!!! Hope to be there someday :)

    Friday, May 22, 2009

    Time for IPL semifinals...

    Yaaaaaayyyy!!!! I'm happy that three of my favourite teams are in the semis... atleast my second set of predictions were right :)
    I'm sure one would be in the finals.... cos Chennai Super Kings n Bangalore Royal Challengers are playing each other tomorrow...
    I hope Deccan Chargers win today against the Delhi Daredevils, though the Delhi team is a much better team....
    I'm hoping to see a CSK vs DC finals... and hope that CSK wins the finals too... lets see how it turns out...

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    the race gets hotter for the semifinal spots in IPL..

    So then... am back again with more analysis & predictions for this year's IPL in South Africa.

    Midway thro' the IPL, my predictions were coming true with all the predicted teams in the top four. But, the last few matches have been really close and this time the IPL is getting more n more interesting as the race gets hotter for the semifinal spots...

    Only Delhi's qualification to semis (as predicted) is assured.... and 5 teams have the possiblity of taking the remaining 3 spots.... that raises the level of competition to a great extent... I am sad that the Mumbai Indians are out..

    I would like to see Chennai Super Kings, Bangalore Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers to take the remaining three spots.... but the no.of permutations n combinations is still high....

    Ok, so... what did I enjoy in this year's IPL.... why is this IPL so much overrated...
    Some of the things that I enjoyed watching were..

    1) Gilchrist's batting.... the way he bludgeons opponent's bowling.. I've always been a big fan of Gilchrist.. of both his batting n his personality..
    2) "Slinga" Malinga's bowling.... the slinging yorkers taking the stumps for a longgg walk...
    3) Hayden's batting.... I've always hated to see Hayden come down the track n hit the Indian bowlers. But seeing him in IPL this time in my favourite team CSK, it made me enjoy alot.
    4) Watching Sachin and Jayasurya walking together as openers for the Mumbai Indians... but alas they failed to click leading to the team's failure.
    5) Warne's captaincy... this chap is such a great captain n the Rajasthan Royals completely owe their success to him...
    6) Hitting by our own bunch of youngsters - Raina, Rohit Sharma, Yousuf Pathan - These guys have shown why India won the T20 world cup two years ago.
    7) Enjoyed Sreesanth being hit left n right by all the players :) He is definitely overrated as Hayden rightly said. He should first learn to respect people and begin to be sensible on the field.
    8) And ofcourse last but not the least - Dhoni's calm n composed captaincy, batting and all that he does in the screen (even off the screen in those great ads that he comes in). We completely love this guy for all that he did in such a short span.

    You might have seen all these in any regular international matches but you might not have enjoyed most of these cos the foreign players do it against India. But now seeing them in our local team that we support for, it brings a great sense of excitement now.
    Thats what IPL has done... and definitely for me IPL is not overrated and deserves the international attention that it has got now.

    One thing I didn't like in this year's IPL is - Yuvraj's arrogance and attitude - The way he comes n talks during the presentation ceremony is completely not acceptable. He is so casual n talks as if he is at a cool party... He is an amazing player definitely... but he should be committed and sensible off the field too.. didn't like the way he carried off himself off the field. Sangakkara or Jayawardene should have been the captain of the Kings IX Punjab... I like the SL players alot cos they are always committed and carry themselves very well off the field too.. Yuvraj should learn a thing or two from his fellow team members....

    The race gets hotter for this year's IPL semifinal spots... hoping for some more close games.....

    Saturday, April 25, 2009

    My predictions for IPL 2

    Indian Premier League second season is going on currently in South Africa. I believe Modi has done a great job in shifting it to South Africa, even though many of us do feel that it would have been better if it was conducted in India.

    So, whos gonna win the IPL 2???? Wanna make some guesses n predictions???

    Here are some of my predictions for the IPL 2 T20 cricket....

    Seeing the first few matches that got over, my prediction for the semifinal spots are:

    Prediction for IPL 2 Semifinals:
    1. Delhi Daredevils - With Sehwag and Gambhir in their ranks plus great set of foreign players like deVillers, Vettori, McGrath, Collingwood, Warner.. what else do u need??
    2. Mumbai Indians - The sheer presence of Sachin Tendulkar definitely makes this team one of the favourites...
    3. Deccan Chargers - I've always loved watching Gilchrist bat.. he is one of my all time fav... and this time the Deccan chargers have their batteries fully charged...
    4. Chennai Super Kings - Dhoni & Hayden their main trumpcards...

    Prediction for IPL 2 Finals:
    1. Delhi Daredevils
    2. Deccan Chargers/Mumbai Indians

    IPL 2 Winner Prediction:

    DELHI DAREDEVILS - Somehow, this time I feel they've got what it needs to be a champion team. I'll re-evaluate all these once more mid-way thro' the IPL 2 season... lets see how it changes...

    Having said these, I'm supporting for the following teams in that order:

    1. Chennai Super Kings
    2. Bangalore Royal Challengers (I know their chances seem to be quite slim but still am living in Bangalore.. part of the local support here)
    3. Deccan Chargers (this one for Gilchrist)
    4. Mumbai Indians (this one for Sachin)

    Rajasthan Royals is another team I like alot just for the fact that Shane Warne is too gud with his leadership qualities and also he is encouraging lot of local talent. But still this time without Shane Watson and Sohail Tanvir, they've lost a bit of edge. Lets see how they fare this year.
    Kolkata Knight Riders - I wouldn't support for them jus for the sheer fact that what they are doing with Ganguly is not gud. I don't think McCullum is a better captain than Ganguly. Shah Rukh might be the King of Bollywood.. but he is certainly not making gud decisions with the team. He did a very gud job of using Ganguly for all his advertisements n promotions and then atlast chucked him out of the captaincy in the eleventh hour. I didn't like that.

    Whats your opinion? Which team has got the edge to win the IPL 2 in South Africa this year???

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    am back :)

    It feels like ages since I've updated my blog.. I jus checked the date of my last post n its indeed a long time... more than 2yrs...
    And what a couple of years it has been for me...
    Lots happened in these two years... which I'm sure most of them who were in touch with me know about.. so, don't want to go on listing those things..
    But I definitely want to write about some of the experiences I've had in those two years gap and also some of my thoughts....

    Anyways, here I'm back again... will definitely try harder this time to keep up my promise of maintaining my blog properly :)