It happened today that while browsing through different TV Channels I landed up on Star Cricket that was showing highlights of the age old ICC Knockout Semi-Finals between India and South Africa (2000/01). Ah! Few minutes into the match and a rhapsodic feeling from with said 'Yeh hai Asli Cricket'. Suddenly a boring, hot and sunny Sunday afternoon became as lively as ever. A walk down the memory lane of how we were so crazy about Cricket, collecting Center Fresh cricket trump cards, maintaining a diary with names of cricketers in alphabetical order to help us fare better in the Cricket Antakshri in breaks in between classes (I remember A se Andrew Hudson). Brilliance!
It was the fag end of the Indian Innings when I started watching and a 20 something year old boy next door resembling Yuvraj Singh was smashing the ball all around the park. Utter innocence on his face, boy it was some sight watching him smash the Great Great Allan Donald who in that match gave 34 runs in his spell of 10 overs that too with 12 off the 3 boundaries that Yuvraj hit in his last over. Allan Donald, the speed machine of his time, it took me hours to imitate his bowling style, especially the jump before he released the ball, turned half a kilometer away from the stumps while in the air :)
On the crease with our Number 12 Yuvraj Singh was one of the greatest (of course after Sachin Tendulkar), our Dada who scored 141 runs off 142 balls in this match. With thin, natural, unstyled moustache Dada seemed in great touch. Later in the match, while India was balling, I even saw Lumble sporting similar moustache. Chehre pe massomiyat jhalakti thi
Then it was that one delivery when Yuvraj tried to clear the park off Kallis and ended up being caught by another Great Legend, Jonty Rhodes. A player jiske haath mein ball khud aakar gir jati hai, the man who never missed stumps! Asli Cricket?
Guess what happened when Yuvi left? The not so slim, India's then Jonty Rhodes, the person who smacked Zimbabwe in one of the matches I can see blurred images of, Robin Singh came on the crease. That peculiar posture, the way he held the bat, memories :) He was out the first ball, run out, in a mix up with Dada (something which wasn't new, I mean like quite a few times in the match, I could rightly predict what is going to happen next, ganguly being involved in a run out wasn't new).
This was still ok, but eyes went wide open and needed to be rubbed twice when I saw Vinod Kambli on the crease. Out first ball to give way to Vijay Dahiya and slowly other names who had guest appearances in the Indian Cricket Team started coming to my mind. India ended up scoring 295 and soon the South African innings started. I was smiling from ear to ear to see now-our-coach, Gary Kirsten walking down the field followed by few of his brilliant well-timed, zero-power shots for 4s. Another chotta sa masoom ladka, Zaheer Khan then bowled a superb yorker to get rid of Andrew Hall. This reminded me of what was commonly said about him then, 6 ki 6 yorker daal sakta hai yeh, kamaal hai, express bullet ki tarha jaati iski gend
I then witnessed the greatest ever Sachin on the field with number 99 on his back. Those were the days. Kal bhi aaj bhi, Sachin the cricketer and Bucknor the umpire. Along with Bucknor was the Sandeep Patil resembling Peter Willey. All this while I was waiting for Prasad to get that one edge and the umpire's finger to go up so that Prasad can then run down the pitch with the index finger of his left hand up in the air, but that didn't quite happen, though he did bowl that famous 'leg cutter'. I missed Srinath, Cullinan and Cronje :(
Cricket I think has become much more competitive now as compared to then. When it came to fielding it was common to see Cover stretching out his hand pointing towards the extra cover, asking him to go after the ball, the fielder running along the boundary in an effort to stop the ball coming towards the boundary, failing, because he wouldn't dive, just run. All this could be seen, along with the famous rectangular view on the top-left of the screen, showing what the batsmen are upto. Asli Cricket :)
Past experiences do create stereotypes in your mind, which are proven to be correct as in the case of Agarkar being thrashed by the powerful greatness, The Maritzburg Mamba, Lance Klusener who hit the ball so hard that it travelled to the boundary line 100 times faster than Shoaib Akhtar could perhaps ever ball. And when this ball hit the Pepsi board at the boundary, the bang sound was enough to tell you that Klusener hit that one. Talking about stereotypes, it wasn't only the case with Agarkar, but also when I saw Dada standing on the slip, with Kumble balling. I somwhow, knew he would miss if there was a catch and he did! Not once but twice, consecutively. But her was quick (thoda quick) in moving himself out and getting Dravid there. Finally, India won this match but eventually lost to New Zealand in the finals.
Kya din the, kya Cricket tha, 50 over, mahaan player, mahaan batting, woh kalaiyon ka upyog, woh cricket text book se seedha utha ke rakha hua Dravid ka Cover Drive, Long on Long off ko cheerta hua Sachin ka chauka, Bharat ke opening GendBaazo ki description mein likha hua "Right Arm Medium", woh Pavillion End se aate huey Javagal Srinath.
Wahi to tha Asli Cricket!
As you might (or might not) be aware, am at home these days, since I have been posted in Gurgaon for my internship. One good thing that has happened as a result of this, though 'normal' is a better term to use here than 'good', nonetheless, the 'good' thing is that I have a 'normal' weekend off, which means Saturday and Sunday, which is quite different from my B-School Life where I get a Thursday off.
The point why I brought this up here is that on weekends, I spend a lot of time on reading the newspaper, my favorite, Hindustan Times. I browse through the main paper, the City edition and any other supplements to find and read anything that catches even the slightest of my attention and captures the minutest of interests. This is something I haven't been able to do for long now, as far as I remember I have done this only at home, during my tiny vacations. Even now I don't get to read the newspaper for so long on weekdays, but the newspaper becomes one good reason of why I enjoy a weekend (sounds boring, but true).
So, what I have noticed is that 'largely' there is no such news item that I would be reading, that is new to me. I mean to say, I have already read that or am aware of the happening beforehand. It had happened to such an extent today morning that for once I checked if I was reading yesterday's newspaper! So, how is it happening? The answer I think is The Internet. Though I don't follow any RSS Feed, nor do I have any feed reader, nor do I use FastFlip or Google News but still random browsing gets me all that info. Ok, on and off I  try and be regular on Twitter and I get CNN-IBN's IM Alerts on GTalk but am aware that people do a lot more. I have seen my friends having tens of feeds which they religiously follow, then there is reddit and other such similar sites. Still! With the bare minimum that I do (which am aware most people don't do even that), the newspaper now appears to be stale!
A good thing has happened because of it (yes GOOD thing) and that is that I have started reading editorials. Though, you might say even that is available online but the fact is that I 'enjoy' reading newspapers and its obviously a plus if I read something fresh. I know for a fact that I would not go and read a column by Karan Thapar or Vir Sanghvi online on a usual day. But since that is the only fresh thing available in the newspaper, I read it.
What is common in movies and have been witnessed at the signals by almost all of us - A guy running with newspapers in his hand shouting 'Aaj ki Taaza Khabar, Aaj ki Taaza Khabar' - will it become extinct (or has it already)? With the advancements in technology, Internet has been the biggest of all. Is it killing an industry altogether? There is barely anything Taaza in the Aaj ka Akhbaar because all has been spilled out either as 'Breaking News' on News Channels (which show more than news, relevant, irrelevant and still call it Breaking News) or for a slightly tech-savvy junta, available in abundance on The Internet
So, where are we heading? Already newspapers have put up their E-Paper version which has not attracted me one bit, except in case of searching their archives when need be. We are moving. Slowly, steadily towards a digital world. So, will the printing machine ever stop? Well, who knows, years down the lines we might have guys running on the signals, again, shouting  'Aaj ki Taaza Khabar, Aaj ki Taaza Khabar' maybe this time with Kindles in their hands :) But seriously, can the PRINT ever end?
Though I seriously don't want to think of an answer to this at this point in time because I already feel disturbed when I think of an answer to a small question - What if Sachin Tendulkar retires? Though, thinking about it even for a minute makes me feel terrible, clueless, disheartened and at times make my eyes moist (ya, seriously!) but still about the newspapers it was a passing thought which I discussed with my father earlier today so thought of putting it up here as well.
Any thoughts?
One rainfall clogged the roads so badly that a huge stretch of traffic came to a standstill, so much so that it took me 5 hours to reach from Delhi to Gurgaon which otherwise on a busy day takes around 90 minutes. As time passed, I could sense anger all around me. I noticed a few things, which I had been noticing for years not which is why the title. So what are we?

1. Consultants - We are specialist on identifying a cause (rather creating a cause) after the problem is already there and thereby, have our opinions on what could have avoided it. For instance, a car changed lane in the traffic-block today and angry people all around for quick to react - "Yeh, yeh iske aur iske jaiso ki wajah se jaam lagta hai. Yahi hai kaaran". 
I remember a couple of years back, when I was in a train and I asked an elderly person in front of me if he would get down at the next station and he replied, "Tumhe badi jaldi hai, lo aa jao, tum jaiso ki wajah se DESH aagey nahi bad raha". Ok! How to react now?
Moving on, the biggest obsession, Cricket is a hot favourite of all consultants. You will hear things like those follow often in a India-XYZ match
- Cover drive leni chahiye thee... dekh raha hai waha fielder hai fir bhi andho ki tarha utha di
- Toss jeet ke batting leni chahiye thee, inhe pata nahi hai yeh chase nahi kar sakte?
- Batting end pe throw karta CLEAR out tha, lekin inhe dikhe tab na
- Isko kisne liya hai team mein? Woh ABC ko bahar bitha rakha hai, use ghumaane le gaye the?
- Poori fielding legside ki laga rakhi hai aur ball offside pe daal raha hai, paagal, third man tak nahi hai jee, chauka nahi jayega to kya wicket milega?
- Inhe pichle match ke baad hi dekhna chahiye tha ki ABC ko pehle bheje batting pe, ab nahi bante jee run, Khatam hai!

And what if you complain of a headache?
- Crocin le lo jee ek, 15 minute mein tana-tan
- Disprin hai? Saradon? Ya haldi wala doodh peelo
- Chawal mat khana, garam doodh ke saath crocin lelo aur ek combiflam bhi le lena nahi to badan dard karega

So many doctors !
Coming back to today's traffic jam, many people were cribbing about traffic police not being there. Remember we are the same people who complain when we see them all around when we are travelling on a bike without a helmet!
Everyone was suggesting one or the other route as well as he was dead sure that that route has ZERO TRAFFIC!

2. Future Predictors - We can predict future as we always do and have been doing. For instance, one person was sure today that it will rain till 5PM and yet another was very sure that irrespective of till when it rains traffic situation like this will prevail till next 3 days.
Whenever some incident occurs, it is not hard to find someone who would have claimed otherwise in recent past.

- Lo baithe raho jaam mein, maine kaha tha peeche se hi left le lete, khaali tha waha
- Lo ek aur wicket, maine kaha tha ise mat lo team mein
- Haarna hi tha, maine to kaha tha baating leni chahiye thee toss jeet ke
- Aur mat maano kehna, haldi wala doodh piya hota to abhi khel kood rahe hote, baithe raho ab beemar shareer liye

Worst of all or rather most surprising of all is when people UNRELATED to an incident will say - Kya kaha tha maine? Hai ke nai? - Even when that person himself is not sure of what has happened and how, but will not think twice before claiming a certain thing.

3. Experienced - Everyone seems to have ample amount of experience in every thing! This gives them a lot of confidence as well.

- Bauji, saalo se dekhte aa rahe hain maan lo baat
- Mujhe pata hai na!
- Umar beet gayi ABC karte/dekhte, lo yeh mujhe bata rahe hain... ha ha ha ha
- Humse zyada jaante ho kya iske baare mein?
- Arrey bhaisaab, kab se yahi kaam hai hamara, dekh lena jo keh raha hoon waise hi hoga

4. We Bet - We are ready to place a bet on almost everything!

Lagi shart?
- Bolo kya haaroge?
- Lag gayi ek-ek Pepsi ki
- Shart laga, fir baat kar
- Lagata hai bol?

And what will be the bet on? Petty things like next ball will be hit for a boundary, an argument on a "fact", and any random thing you can think off.

Thats we, including me and probably you (in fact yes, even you). Those 5 hours in traffic could have annoyed me as well, but I was sitting smiling to hear a lot and recall all that I have mentioned above, not to forget the dirty looks I got when they saw that smile on my face :)
Aam is a Hindi Word which means the fruit Mango or as it is widely used, 'Common'. I wonder why then is it the benchmark for comparison by companies that make all sorts of products, primarily the FMCG market.

Without taking big-big names here, I would like to draw your attentions to any one of the majority of advertisements in the FMCG sector. They do have a comparison of their product against the benchmark - 'Aam'.

Aam Sabun
Aam Conditioner
Aam Shampoo
Aam Detergent
Aam Toothpaste
Aam Fairness Cream
Aam Namak

'Aam' seems to be a very big company (FMCG at least). Every other player has one of these lines in their ads - Aam Toothpaste se 10 guna behtar, Aam fairness cream ke muqable 100 gunna zyada asardar.

Not sure about quality of products of 'AAM' company as every company's product is better than it's but the point here is that its used as a benchmark and is widely used. So, its because of AAM products that other biggies thrive for improvement.

This company exists in Biomedical Sciences as well because I remember seeing a company saying 'Yeh hai AAM zindagi aur yeh hai ****** zindagi'. Deals with LIFE !

If there doesn't exist a company with this name, then why not register one and earn royalty :)

Arrey, if there can exist Apple, Mango why not AAM.

PS: Just a random post, written in good humor, arose out of a small discussion with @desh over lunch.
Just posted on admark about how new-age communications are finding more and more innovative ways to try and catch consumer's attention by a mere what used to be "static" billboard!

The title of this post is provoking me to write this post in Hindi, but considering readability becomes quite big an issue, I'll refrain. Continuing where I left last, first about Twitter, I tried Spaz, Snitter, Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop in recent past and found Spaz to be the best of the lot, so uninstalled others.

And as informed previously about my internship in Gurgaon, I am back here in Delhi, my hometown. Today, I went around to Gurgaon, just to get acquainted with the location of the office and the route. Bit tiring, but hope that I will get used to it, or rather I have to get used to it!

Wondering, if anyone would read my blog at all, if I continue writing what I did and stuff like the last post and this one?

Anyways, coming back to the title, Delhi is as I have experienced, the best city in India (based on the very limited number of places I have actually stayed in). Why is it best and all, just not get into it. If you agree, then I don't need to explain and if you don't then there is no point arguing because I wouldn't agree :)
So, about the next two months, life will change a bit. How?

  1. Waking up early morning is compulsory as I can't expect a 85% attendance rule here (which by the way was in itself pretty high considering my college days @ DA-IICT)
  2. Bed to office is way too distant than the classroom in college, literally abolishing the scope of waking up 10 mins before the scheduled time, quick-dry-clean drive and rushing to the desired place.
  3. My body has to tune itself to work on a Thursday (weekly off at SPJIMR)
  4. Weekends for me will have the same meaning as for the mango people!
  5. Probably, I will sleep early, so a change in the body clock as well. 
So, those were the top 5 changes. Besides Delhi feels special, because I have a lot of friends and old contacts here or from here (even if they are elsewhere).
Ok, so now am sleepy. This post to an extent appears to be a formality to update it. So-be-it :)
I am cool with it!
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