Aug 31, 2013

I write for IBL #8 - It's Hotshots, the champions of inaugural IBL

To me, badminton used to be a different sport from that of cricket/tennis etc. The come backs and fight backs although used to be there but the number of such instances used to be less compared to the other sports named in the beginning. Today's IBL final has changed this opinion of mine to some extent, especially the last match which was won by Ajay fighting back from no where! Of course, another opinion of mine got stronger. And that's about what pressure at high level sport can do for you. Sai Dutt was pulling it away almost. The moment his opponent fought back, he lost his way, it seemed. Anyway, that's sport and sportsmen and sportswomen have to go through this. Meanwhile, I think even the audience have to go through at times!

Saina again thrashed Sindhu's game, who once again played invariably low standard game today, if I may say so! Well, long way to go for both the players. All the very best for the seasons to come. Markis Kido and Boe have hardly made a step wrong in the whole IBL and in the final, it was the Malaysian duo caught them on their wrong foots on crucial points. I must confess, I was so disappointed to see the AW pair struggling. Again, pressure ended the match on HH's side. I must say, well played Sreekanth. Markis Kido will continue to be one of my favorite players. Champions lose too! That's sport. 

Congratulations to Hyderabad Hotshots! Well played and much deserving win for the final day's play especially! 

Before I end this post, I'd like to do a special mention about the Hot Shots' iconic player, Saina Nehwal. She is the lady behind India's success streak in badminton in the recent years. Being an iconic player, having been playing amidst the crowd all supporting her, playing against the strong opponents, she has done a fantastic and inspiring job by winning all the seven matches of the tournament to be the only player unbeaten so far in IBL having played in all the ties of a team. All credit goes to her strong will and fighting spirit. Well done Saina, we all love you! Keep up the spirit. 

PS: Just one more post to go to end it for this season. I've been enjoying writing about the game which is the new pie of India's crush list! 

An art worth practicing... Take Home #252

Opinions are majorly built with one's own perceptions. Respect the opinionated to the point that they are open in expressing their thoughts for you.  Nevertheless, sensing the correctness of others' opinions is an art worth practicing. 

Aug 30, 2013

I write for IBL #7 - The countdown for the finale!

Besides being happy about IBL reaching its final stage, I'm exhilarated about the same two teams reaching the finals of the inaugural league, whom I picked as favorites for the final two couple of days back. It's all set for the final between the Awadhe Warriors and Hyderabad Hotshots at Mumbai. Now, it's just the countdown!

The one-sider semi final-I ...
The first semi final between HH and PP seemed to me as if it's the only one-sider tie of the whole league. Hotshots proved not just too hot but also too uplifted in spirits for the Pune Pistons. Ajay Jayram played one of the most memorable match amidst the encouraging home-crowd. As he was going through the game of his strong opponent, future for Indian badminton felt very exciting. Saina Nehwal once again proved too tough for Schenk to get through. What interested me the most was her never-die attitude and pressure handling capability. You play on your home soil, in front of your home crowd, amidst the shouts of your name by the audience, your opponent comes back from steep difference, and you still continue to captivate on your own concentration and game plan! That's not everyone's cup of tea. Saina did capitalized on her lead and came out with flying colors at the end to win the match and also the lead in the tie. Men's doubles appears as if  the PP would extend the tie to the fourth game but unfortunately not. Three match to love ensured the cancellation of the rest of the game including the much awaited one between Ashwini and Saina in the mixed doubles. It would have been interesting, definitely. 

Semi final-II, impressive one...
As the first semi final could not impress much, the second semi final between AW and MM entertained throughout. Lee won the first game to take Mumbai to a match lead. Such soon surrendering was not expected from Sai Dutt.  But soon India's latest teenage sensation, Sindhu, brought it down to one-one. Sindhu's confidence level and shot/placement selection was beautiful. She executed the game plan as easily as if she was drawing something on paper. Full control and deception were the key factors behind her win. Well, Tine Baun got hurt with hamstring but still, Sindhu's game convinced me to say that she could have done the same even if Tine was in her best of the best forms.  Sreekanth once again almost did it for his team but Ivanon played superbly to win it away. Mixed double choice of MM surprised me. Ivanon just played the singles and immediately he had to be back on court with his injured partner Tine Baun. It was Markis Kido and his sister's deception that won the match and eventually the tie for AW. It's very nice to see this brother-sister partnership on the court. 

The Finale...
After the first league match between Saina and Sindhu, many fans would have thought, why there was no second league match like IPL and only one league matc between two teams? The road to finale for HH and AW was not straight but as they are going to play it one last time in the IBL for the beautiful cup glittering in gold, there is a tough road ahead for both of them. HH have been stronger team and AW have a deserving side to them to reach the finals. 

So, that's all before the finale. One last thing to share, I'll support Awadhe Warriors tomorrow, not just for Sindhu but as well for Markis Kido. To me, warriors appear stronger as a team. Hotshots of course are fighters lead by their iconic player Saina, who is known for her stronger fight-backs. All in all, it will be an interesting tie, for one last time for this season of IBL. 

All the best, may the best play entertain us! 

Aug 27, 2013

I write for IBL #6 - All that helps you winning is your display of play

On the fine Sunday evening and the day 10 of the inaugural IBL, Krrish Delhi Smashers  thrashed Banga Beats to keep their hopes alive to reach the final four. The long wait to watch Jwala and Diju together on the court ended same day. And they had not thrashed the hoped of their team. They won and won it in style, I mean, the tense style to drag it to the decider game. Women's singles between these two teams was another nail biter. For the first time, I saw Carolina Marin getting to tense moments on the court, and that too to let the umpire show her an yellow card. Jindapon played her best. Her smile is addicting.

AW and PP played one of the tournament's best ties. Sindhu's performance was convincing enough and a much required not just for her team for herself as well. Schenk once again proved too competitive to be playing against. At her age, with her experience she was near to deceptive  for Sindhu. I always wanted to watch a 20-20 winning shots. In this particular match, not just me but every fan with similar wish could get to watch two back to back 20-20 winning shots and too by same player. Well done Sindhu and Schenk. Srikanth played a confident match against his Indian counterpart. Markis Kiddo, as I already mentioned, he is one of the reasons why I'm slightly towards AW for the title win. His two outings in the middle in the two doubles games have been the most important and helping ones for the warriors. AW won it and they are in the semis now.

HH playing in Hyderabad today amidst the home crowd. I must admit, out of all venues, Hyderabad crowd and especially the ones sitting in the audience today have been the most noisy. Literally could not hear anything what the umpire was saying! When Saina was on the court, needless to say, they were all in full spirits. Ying played it her best. In fact she fought for the match. Saina had to sweat it out till the end. What interested me more than the game was the coaches of Banga Beats. Knowing that they were already out of the tournament, the way they encouraged the teenager was inspiring and a lot to learn from that. Kashyap sat emotionless. Understandable. A lot was expected out of him not just by BB but by his fans as well. He tried his best and every time he lost, he lost for a better play if not better player. He will come back and has to. 

So, with the result of the Men's singles match itself, HH entered the semi finals topping the table. They will be back to play the semi finals tomorrow in front of the home crowd once again. Not just crowd's support, it seems they have a lot of other sources support as well. Anyway, all that helps you winning the matches is your display of play. 

All the best to all four teams to enter to the top two contest; AW, PP, HH and MM. Three more ties to go and we will have the winner's name inscribed onto the beautiful trophy. Wait for that day is on anyway. Before that, waiting to enjoy the two ties. 

Finally, I've reached a conclusion on whom to support for the title. Yes, its for AW and HH to be the final two. Let's see how it happens in next two days! 

Taking things sportively... Take Home #251

Taking things sportively and not easily does not just let you challenge back any circumstances, it allows you to be competitive under pressure as well. 

Winning move... Take Home #250

There can be a wide spectrum of reasons behind the complements or criticism you receive. Instead of losing time by trying to unravel the reasons, spending time on estimating the genuineness of what people tell you and hence to improvise yourself can prove to be a wise and winning move!

Special Prizes...!

Every prize we receive after winning a competition makes us happy. Some prizes stay special, not just because of the way we win but also because of the person from whom we receive. 

Aug 25, 2013

I write for IBL #5 - Play as if nothing to lose and go for a thrilling win!

It feels that the Indian Badminton League has just begun now and there is a team which has completed all its league stage matches already! This game of speed is also speeding up toward the semi final clashes of the league. If there can be any major upsets of the tournament they usually happen towards the end, as a loss here in a must win tie for team can mean an ouster. And for the other team, if it is already out of the semi final race, it's like an giant-killing opportunity to play to lose nothing. I hope we get to see such today between KDS and BB. KDS has nothing lose here and BB under pressure in front of the home crowd. It's 1 on 1 at the moment.

PP v/s BB and AW v/s MM
Earlier this week end Anup Sridhar caused a major upset for the BB winning against Hu Yun. He played one of his finest matches so far. There after Pune Pistons showed no mercy to win the rest of the three matches of the tie. However, the win in the mixed doubles by BB was a consolation. 

The next day Awadhe Warriors stormed to a much needed victory against the tired-looking Mumbai Masters. Sindhu has come in to form at a right time. She won the match for her team and much needed confidence for herself. Tine Baun appeared restless on the court. Well, on the other side of the court Sindhu continued to dominate. Srikanth played surprisingly well against the world number one, Lee. That's what happens when you forget the rest and play as if nothing to lose. I wish everyone of us can live our lives as if there is nothing to lose! Tougher to do. Well done Srikanth. Markis Kido is my new favorite player. I didn't much see him in action earlier. IBL has made me love his game. The way he covers the court and the way he takes the whole responsibility of the court, of his partners, of the game has mesmerized me. He and his sister and mixed doubled partner Pia have done it just at the right time for their team, Awadhe Warriors, to keep them very much in the contest.

Commentary!!! a lot need to get improved!
One area where the IBL needs a much more improvement is it's commentary box! It must be about analyzing the game, players and along with that it must also be about keeping the personal choices apart, like supporting a specific player or team. I hope they will improve as earlier as possible. I must mention an example. Commentator praises the judgement of the player at the receiving end of the service for leaving the shuttle thinking that it's a wrong serve. The chair umpire gives it to the serving team as that's correct serve. Immediately commentator starts praising the player's serve that it's a superb one! All it needs is to take some time and speak out and not to say it for the sake of it. Well, its understandable that it's just the matter of time that the commentary box gets improve; as I'm writing about it here, it's my responsibility to be bring it out.

Watching the matches late night...
Another point that I would like to make is the timing of the matches. Take the case of today, now its already 11'o clock and we are just at the third game of the men's doubles match! Two more matches to go of the tie! Yes, we watch cricket even if it goes till late night or if it starts pretty earlier to the dawn. And that's because of the way the players, teams have made the audience helpless over the years by performing their best on the international stage and because they have made their audience feel proud of their teams. Watching them play has become a pleasure, an honor at times. Audience will watch the matches but it's the primary responsibility of the players to bring the audience to the matches and that can be done only by performing well in their respective sport. Badminton is cruising well in India at the moment. But it will at least take a couple of years from now to become an anytime-watcher sport, provided the heroics of the players continue at the international level. Hopefully, by the time of next league, either audience would stay back late to watch the matches or the IBL schedule gets modified. I hope and wish the former becomes true.

The difference... Take Home #249

The difference between living life until death and continuing to stay alive after death is the choices we make and the decisions we take. 

Proud of you girls!!!

One more reason to wait for the 2016 Olympics at the Rio. 

Congratulations to the Indian women archery team for winning the successive world cup gold in the recurve event. They arrowed-down the Olympic Champions, the team from Korea, in the final. Well fought. 

Deepika Kumari, Rimil Buriyuli and Bombayla Devi... Proud of you girls!!!

Aug 22, 2013

I write for IBL #4 - Well fought ones and way to go!

Little amount of controversies always make the game more interesting if not from the point of view of understanding the game, at least to see those controversial players in action. I'm not the exception too. I've just searched about Taufik Hidayat, the latest one to rebuke the IBL auction. He is correct to some extent. If some talented players are paid less just for the reason that they have either quite the game or they are towards the end of their career, something is definitely unjustified. Well, after all it's Indian Badminton League and no reason why Indian players must not get better amount. With its future seasons to come, I hope IBL will get in more international players as well as more Indian talents/youngsters. More teams, more matches and more entertainment shall get the audience to the stadiums. Nonetheless, this inaugural season of IBL has been enough successful so far. Way to go!

During the tie between MM and KDS, when I saw Sachin Tendulkar in the stands, I though if anyone from the audience would have thought, because of IBL they had got a chance to see Sachin. Well it's inspiring to the young players to have some of the legendary Indian players watch them play from stands, applaud along with the crowd as they hit smashes. Way to go again!

The match that interested me the most in the last couple of days is the mixed doubled between MM and KDS. Seeing the two top ranked world class singles players play against the skillful doubles players from India. Lee and Tina made goof pair on court. Prajaktha Sawant from KDS, is interesting me more and more from match to match. Her placement smashes look beautiful as well as her smile. The way Ashwini and Nielsen put back the fight, even after their team's close to sweep out show, was a great learning for any aspiring young players. One must not leave any chances knowingly. Put back the fight. Either you will win or you will learn to be stubborn, which is very important to become a champion. 

Saina Nehwal has been impressive throughout this season of IBL. She came back from a game-love to win the match against Schenk, who was even more impressive and inspiring. At her age against the competition she was playing amidst the Indian crowd, she put on a tremendous display of will power to win the points. Hats off to her. One more reason to like Schenk, who is already one of my favorite players. 

Jayaram fought surprisingly well against Lee. Though he has lost, this performance of him will undoubtedly bring up his confidence in the days to come. Hyderabad Hotshots are looking one of the strong teams of all. I was waiting for the MM vs HH tie and HH came out victorious. 

Sindhu's today's performance would have definitely made her confident before the crucial Saturday's tie of her team with the Mumbai Masters. But she is still not up to the mark in this IBL yet. One giant-killing win and I'm sure she will be back. Let's hope for the best. Awadhe Warriors have made it their day today by crashing through the Krrish Delhi Smashers. Congratulation for their first win of the season. Carolina Marin, especially with her smile, did well against Sindhu in the last game just by putting the pressure on the teenager. Wish to see her again in action tomorrow against Schenk. Mixed doubled used to excite me the most but these days it's Women's singles! Why not again I say, way to go!

Aug 21, 2013

To accomplish tasks... Take Home #248

Not just interest, hard work and dedication, to accomplish tasks successfully, a little amount of diplomacy, calculative risk taking, and fearless assertiveness are necessary as well. Developing these qualities is nothing difficult compared to facing the failure.

Aug 18, 2013

I write for IBL #3 - Experience matters, inexperienced learns!

Crowd Mania...
First and foremost, the crowd has been awesome so far. Encouraging. Enjoying. Electrifying. Out of all the badminton tournaments I've watched so far, IBL is the one having a lot of noise from the audience lounge. Be the noise is for any reason or for any side, most of the times it gives you energy to play faster. With that speed, It's up to the player if he or she reaches the win or loss. As I watch the match alone here, the same noise becomes my best companion. I thank the audience for the same.

The decider point...
As I write this line, it's another 20-20 point play between Kashyap from Banga beats and Srikanth from Awadhe Warriors in a men's singles match. Shot from Kashyap and the shuttle goes out of the court after a good rally. Umpire says that's out and Srikanth wins the first game of the match. That's the real excitement of this format of the tournament. In the normal format, when you are at match point, you can win the match or your opponent can pull it longer. But you will have your own chance to get back to the game. But with this format, when you are at match point you can either win or lose the game or match. I really hope none of the 11-11 point winners will disturb the sleep of the player on losing side. Unimaginable pain it would be if at all that happens when your team badly needs the win!

HH vs AW, MM vs BB and KDS vs HH
Hyderabad hotshots won it over the Awadhe warriors. The encouragement that Jayaram from HH and  Srikanth from AW got by their respective teams and Icon players was amazing to look at. When a player like Saina sits behind you and shouts your name with full of her voice to encourage you, leave about the result of the match you will give your best and that's what needed. 

Ivanov from Mumbai masters caused the first upset of the tournament for Kashyap from BB. For BB it was not that all, Ying beat Tine Baun in the women's singles. Another 2-2 tie ended with MM's win. Mixed doubles match is proved to be the decided for many matches so far. So the same with Delhi smashers too. Diju and Prajaktha won it for their team in another decider. An easy match for Saina from HH. She is the lady booming with all confidence at this point of time. And after her win against Sindhu she is looking even happier. Understandable too! KDS have not played Jwala. I like this girl's fire, her confidence and her body language. She is a killer both with her game and straight-talk. She must keep it up. For KDS, it was a much needed win.

Schenk, Ashwini and the women's doubles' ouster!
Juliane Schenk from Pune Pistons vs Tine Baun from Mumbai Masters was another equal header. Schenk has been one my favorite players in the world circuit. She is the lady with a lot of sportive spirit as much as I read her. She won the match against Baun in a three-gamer. Ashwini Ponnappa and Nielsen have done it again for their team in straight games. Ashwini's body smashes are my all time favorite ones by any doubles woman player. I'm still clueless why women doubles has been taken out of IBL. I'm completely against this decision. Whatever may be the reasons, I'm in no mood to get convinced at all! Women's doubles has seen a lot of historic contributions from India as well as from the world. Not sure why this was not part of IBL. It should have been!

BB vs AW, upset for Sindhu!
That's it for Srikanth for the day and for the Awadhe warriors as well. Kashyap has won it in style. The commentator kept on saying, that's called experience and it was very much convincing too. Your opponent may be racing ahead, but you never show the sign of upset and you always go for it. That's what shown by Kashyap who was deep under pressure after the first game loss. Srikanth played one of his best matches. A little more experience will improve his body language I guess. That as well reminds me another upsetter of the day, the loss of P.V. Sindhu. She is talented for her age. But she needs to improve a lot and lot when it comes to coming back to life in a losing match. Again, her body language today as well went completely down so was her game! Nothing to worry, she will learn it. Experience will make her learn everything provided she keeps up her learning mode wide open. 

One observation I'd like to share here. What I saw in Saina and Kashyap during their earlier days was that they never used to give it up. They used to put back every fight till the end. It was their personal trait I guess. For Sindhu, now she has to learn it or rather improve it. How much she will succeed in developing the same will rule her career. At the international level all you need is the will power and mental strength to win crucial ties. May be, the attention that the eighteen year old is getting these days must be taking its toll. It will settle down. May that day come so soon. 

IBL is going well, as expected. I hope it will turn pleasingly surprising to everyone involved. Success of this tournament is important for the Indian Badminton as well as for the world's. The best competition will emerge! 

Indian Sports Awards'2013 and the story around!!!

It's sports time these days. And a feast for me. Usain Bolt's thundering performances have been inspiring the world. His second gold from the World Athletic Championships, Moscow, 2013, in 200 m men's final with the clock hitting 19.66 sec has reiterated that it's 'Bolt'. Well done! I'm eager to know the outcome of today's 4x100  m men's relay finals, the one that interests me the most out of all the track and field events. I've recently watched an you tube video showcasing the Jamaicans' relay run to win an Olympic final with a world record at London-2012. My goodness! They ran as if they were made to run. Simply superb focus and stamina. Let's see if history repeats today as well. All the very best to the team 'Bolt'. 

On the other side it's the Indian sports awards that have made me to go for an eventual awe, in a saddened  way. Sports men/women do every practice to win a medal, they shed every drop of sweat to make history, they give their best on an international stage, and they give away their best likes as well to stay focused. Every hype go around after the win. Country celebrates. News channels cash every penny. Social networking sites go crazy. Days pass on. Here comes the award selection time for the exceptional contributions in sports for the year. And the fantasy game starts. Some of the best performers get the awards without any hassle, provided the sports they play are from the list of best watching ones across the nation. The remaining best performers , at times, have to wait either for another round of awards time or in few cases for years to get their name written against the award. And I'm not one of those who takes it as 'this is India and it happens'. Hence I'm expressing my views here. 

Having been the first Indian shooter to be ranked on the top spot in the ISSF world rankings and for successfully defending the world cup title, Ranjan Sodhi is undoubtedly the best contender for this year's Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. But it's been almost three years that the Indian woman discus thrower Krishna Poonia won the Commonwealth games gold medal in the track and field events, the first Indian woman to achieve so and the only person to win so for India after the great Milkha Singh won it back in 1958 games. She has also stood seventh in the Olympics'2012 final. She has not yet been recognized for her efforts and wins. India has been awaiting the first Olympic individual medal in the track and field events and Girisha Hosanagara has won a silver medal at the Paralympic games 2012. Whoever agrees or disagrees, Paralympic games as well are the biggest platform for the physically challenged athletes. It's important to recognize and encourage their will and wishes, rather most important. Every other sports person who has won a medal at the Olympics has been recognized enough so far other than Girisha, who won a silver medal in the men's high jump event. 

Though there is a committee with prominent members in it to decide the award winners, it is not convincing enough when someone says that the it was one person who reached the meeting late turned everything around towards the end. If one person's views could be shown as a reason, one person should have been the committee and no one else was required. What for others were there? Was not that the job of all others to convince the whole committee with the reasons behind their choices? Making the award decision so political not just gives disgrace to the otherwise great achievements but also destroys the focus of our sports persons. Of course, they have to be strong. They have to face all. But that does not mean that their national government, that their very own country, does not recognize them. Yes, they have to be strong to face the world wide competition. But not that they have to undergo all this trauma and politics. 

It's not just for medals in Rio Olympics'2016 that India shall aim.
... To be continued!!!

Aug 16, 2013

One who plays the best! ... Take Home #247

The best may or not win but the one who plays the best certainly wins! Being the best is important but playing the best just when required is necessary. 

Aug 15, 2013

66 years of Independence...!

Happy Independence Day to all Indians!

Year after year we celebrate the Independence day at every corner of our country on 15th August. The next dawn brings back the regular responsibilities and routine. We get engaged with our own lives. We at times do not mind to know about our nation's stance on the world wide happenings, especially alongside the boarder. Once in a while when either of the surrounding countries get through our security forces and if some shoot out type happens we do read in news papers and listen in news channels. And the next dawn brings everything back as usual. 

That's nothing wrong or different from how it is in any other country, I guess. Every country needs every type of person and professionals who take forward the nation in all aspects. Who ensure the nation stand tall and prove on the world's stage. All fields and professions are important so as the women, who do provide the necessary support to their families and that too unconditionally. So as the job of the Indian defense forces. A very important one for the country, rather the top most. They live and die for their country, only for their country at instances. It's very important that we acknowledge their every sacrifice. It is as well important that we acknowledge their sacrifices by doing our jobs sincerely. After all, their job is let us live our lives. And why not we live lives by putting in all efforts! 

Salute and many thanks to the Indian Defense Forces. The then leaders ensured our country's Independence and these heroes have been taking forward the responsibility. I as well salute all leaders fought India's Independence struggle. 

I dedicate this post to all those officers and sailors who have lost their lives in the SindhuRakshak tragedy. May a lot strength and love bestow on their families. 

Believe in your dreams... Take Home #246

Believe in your dreams how ever crazy they be! They bring joy when come true; they keep you high rest of the time. And that helps you live the reality with far better enthusiasm. 

PS: Provided you are aware of your job at hand!

I write for IBL #2 - It must also be about keeping the nation united

It's just the half way through the second day and we have been through the excitement already. There has been a 20-20 winning shot, couple of 11 point deciders, Jwala-Ashwini and Saina-Sindhu ties and last as well as the rarest of the rare, Gopi Chand into the mike in the commentators box. Now, that's IBL for you. You follow it and you get the joy of the game.

Pune Pistons Vs Delhi Smashers...
Pune Pistons and Delhi Smashers had been through a near nail-biter yesterday night. Beginning match was the highlight of all. The mixed doubles tie went till the third and the decider game. Couple of Ashwini's smashers and Jwala's placements stole my sleep at almost mid-night. Pune Pistons won the maiden set yesterday. Congratulations to them. 

Commentary department...
Game apart, commentary is one department I'm sure the organizers/sponsors/telecasters would concentrate upon. There is a result already bringing in two male commentators for today's matches. There have been enough female badminton former players/ex-coaches. I'd love to hear at least couple of them in the days to come. The Delhi crowd is seen encouraging and enjoying. A good and right sign. Hope they would continue to do so. All players need at some moments are applauds. They can change the results and it has been proved at number of occasions across the different sports. Delhi guys, keep it up!

Saina Vs Sindhu...
I learnt couple of days back that the Saina vs Sindhu is scheduled to happen on the Independence day. I've been waiting for the same since then and even more wait has been there from this morning. You wait long in front of an open door to see if anyone come there, someone's foot steps are heard suddenly, your heart lit up and the door shuts! Some what the same happened to me before the start of this match. The power-cut. Pune's Thursday special! Thoughts boomed around my mind. some good wishes too. Such as "there shall come a day when there is a Saina-Sindhu tie and the power is never cut intentionally", like the way it happens when India play a crucial match in the country's most watched sport. Well, the fan started running as well as the LEDs on the set-top box. I quickly turned the channel ON and the play had been going on already. 

Though I was excited to watch the match, I knew what I wanted the result to be. The Saina's win. No partiality or side-taking. I thought, if Sindhu won today, a lot other thing would go around than about the IBL itself. And that would definitely prove bad for both these young players. Hence I wanted such result and yes Saina won it with the head to head first game and a single sided second one. 

Saina will now be more conscious anyway knowing her opponent's capabilities and Sindhu will, I think, work more on her mental strength and never-die attitude. From the last two matches I watched of Sindhu, I can state that her body language suggests her opponents if she is trying to win it or play it. That's where Sindhu's game becomes a open door for anyone to get through. Gopi Chand would have already started working on it. And Saina, she is a warrior, a fighter soul. For today's game, it was undoubtedly Saina who was carrying the pressure as her opponent and the stunning teenager won the world's bronze by beating couple of top Chinese players in a row. Not just that, Saina herself was going through a tough phase of her career these days. Her metal ability has won the match for her as well as for the Hyderabad Hotshots. 

Not just about winning matches, it must also be about keeping the nation united...
Congratulations Saina, Cheers Sindhu! With full of my heart I hope these two players will unite the nation and certainly do not divide. There have been the contemporary rivals who have at many occasions left a tough choice for Indians by ending up in all such controversies. I really want to see these two girls turn all the around and be the faces of women-ism with generosity, competitiveness and support for each other. Responsibility will have to be shared by their coach too! It's not just about bringing up many players, coaching is also about keeping them all together as much as one can! I wish Gopi Sir all the very best to achieve so.

IBL gives many chances for other forces to play their part in inducing any possible negative kind of rivalry among players, especially the iconic ones. 'Forces' include the media, team management and sponsors etc. We being the audience certainly cannot stop all that but as an audience we must cheer for the game, for the togetherness of the players. I've just seen a poster by someone from the crowd by crossing a player's name and putting on the name of the other player. That's no good. 

Well, that's quite common and sports men/women are made to go through all this. I wish a lot strength to all the players to stay united and keep the nation united.

Aug 14, 2013

I write for IBL #1 - India's Another Sports League!

Indian Badminton League (IBL) is taken off today and is expected to prove to be the best ever platform for the Indian shuttlers to prove themselves before their home crowd. As far as the foreign shuttlers are concerned, it might appear just as if any other series to begin with but as the matches go on, they would get to know the Indian badminton supporters and media more. 

Saina, Kashyap, Chetan Anand, Ashwini, Jwala and of course Gopi Chand have been the players who made the world look at Indian Badminton in the recent years after the heroic feats of Mr. Prakash Padukone back in 1970-80's. The new addition to this successful Indian player league is none other than the P.V. Sindhu, the world badminton championship bronze medalist and the youngest ever Arjuna awardee from the game. With her stunning performance at the worlds'13, she has not just won the medal, award etc but also won the crores of Indian hearts in the span of just two matches! Of course, that was not about two matches but about the hard work involved in the back ground and that too since years. 

Well, all these players have been the different faces of the game in India. Now with the inaugural IBL would mean a lot more than a tournament for every player/coach and audience as well. I really hope for a success of this tournament. And why not I hope! India is made of many other sports and sports personalities apart from the ones who often come into lime light be it a win or a loss. No, nothing against anyone. It's just about bringing up the nation's capabilities to the world stage such that India will be a sports hub one day. I'm sure everyone who is directly or indirectly involved in this league will put their best efforts to establish themselves strong enough. 

At the moment I'm not interested in choosing out any of the teams. I'd first like to get into the league before I raise my thumb for any team. This time, I'd not like to go by the city name! 

May the best win!

Aug 11, 2013

The game-changer instinct!

Be humble in success. 
Be gracious in defeat. 
Arise, aspire, and develop,
The game-changer instinct!

Aug 10, 2013

Ray of hope @ Indian Badminton

It has been almost a year since my last writing on badminton, my another favorite sport after Cricket and Tennis. An year passed by after the first ever Indian badminton player stood proudly on the Olympic podium. There is every reason to recollect those wonderful moments and as well to celebrate. Adding to that, the recent historic wins recorded by the Indian players, Kashyap and Sindhu, have reasoned it out beautifully why the Indian game watchers have to look for more tournaments to held across the globe. 

Before moving on, I congratulate Kashyap and Sindhu for their inspiring victories over the players ranked well ahead to them. 

Saina Nehwal is undoubtedly the one player who has made the world look at the Indian badminton. The duo, Gopi Chand and Saina have assured India of a great future of the sport. Her medal from the Olympics has already inspired many young lads to hold the racket. The recent victories of Indian players have made sure that there is a lot than Saina-Gopi Chand, Jwala-Ashwini-Diju, and that there are other players too, that there are Sindhu and Kashyap too. 

Back in 2001 when I met Pullela Gopi Chand during a felicitation ceremony held at our school grounds with regards to his All England Championship win, I never expected he would bring so many more victories home. He could not be more successful on world stage later to his 2001 All England's win but he has been successful than any other Indian player in giving back to the game. Having been the youngest ever chief badminton coach for India, the way he has been bringing up the young players is inspiring and mind blowing. His academy is the champion making factory so far for the Indian Badminton without a second argument. His dedication and consistency are the back bones for India's success in the recent times. 

Having said that about the coach, I have no intentions in downsizing the efforts of the players who have recorded stunning victories in the recent past. Coach can add certain technical tips, form disciplinary rules, and plan punishing workouts etc. But at the end of the day, it's players who have to adopt themselves to all those that their coach put on them. Players have to at times surrender themselves to their coaches without saying a word back. This needs not just the interest of the coach but a tremendous will power and respect from the players. Be it Saina Nehwal, Kashyap or Sindhu, or for that matter any other successful player to shine in future, it would take hell lot of self control and surrendering nature to the game. 

Hats off to all these guys and girls for letting the world notice them in their earlier ages of career. What matters henceforth is the consistency in game plans, wins and focus towards the game. I wish them all the very best for their successful careers. Media and brands must also support them by highlighting them to the point. Nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately, we do not often see such support from either media or sponsors, i.e. just to the point. But there is scope of improvement every where and a ray of hope. Let's see how it moves on. 

Once again, wishing Sindhu, the new teenage sensation from India, congratulations for being assured of a medal at the world championships and all the best for the upcoming match. 

Aug 7, 2013

Respect... Take Home #245

Respect, but do not get lost in it too much that you keep quiet where otherwise you would question the decisions/happenings. 

Aug 4, 2013

Friend, you are the one!

In the moments of Joy,
In the moments of sorrow,
In the moments of setback,
In the moments of triumph,
You are the one!

You are the one,
Making the laughter of joy,
Shedding the tears of  sorrow,
Patting the back in setback,
Sharing the fruits of triumph.

Friends fill colors in life. Friends bring smiles to the moments. In need, in pain, they be the ones to support, to encourage. They play a major role in keeping our spirits high always. More than anything else, they give the moral support, which is much needed to keep a person's confidence levels on constant note. Keeping apart what a friend is and does for you, it's important that you be the friend, to share and care your friends as well. 

The best way to win a friend is to be a friend.

Aug 3, 2013

Wish and will... Take Home #244

Along with the strong wish to come into limelight, have strong will to face the rejection and criticism. You can never achieve all; you can never satisfy all.           

Aug 2, 2013

The 'key' in defeat... Take Home #243

Giving it fully matters and is important. Outcome is important but does not matter too much. Life opens a lot doors of opportunities and often the key lies in the form of defeat.  

Aug 1, 2013

Five years and on...

What else could be a better topic for the day? Five years back, same day, I along with few other aspiring young engineers joined the organization that I work for. It's been a beautiful journey since then, undoubtedly.

When in college, you aspire for a good job, salary and weekend parties. When in initial days of work, you look every where to learn everything. As few days get consumed in understanding the whole intention, what for you are in a job or in that organization etc, some more days go with mugging up the hierarchy. Though you spend days put together at initial stages, you may hardly understand the ocean-like structure/happenings and especially the responsibilities to come. That's not something very different that occurs only to you. Unfortunately, it appears that way. The free time and the weekend outings etc of the initial days let the pressure stay away from you. But as the years pass on, you get conscious.

Experience brings the exposure, provided you are open to look here and there apart from the path that you are supposed to look at. Drawing strict and thick borders for yourself, especially in work, can work against you as the years of experience get increased. While you get involved deep into your work, looking around helps and at times makes you realize that you are not alone under the radar and eventually reduces the pressure as well. It also makes you realize of your strengths and improvement areas. After all, life is all about learning and growing not just older but experienced. 

It's not just work that fills one's career or professional life. Neither it's just learning. To enjoy the other fruits of professional life, one must be as a good friend and not just as a colleague. All who can support you the most are your colleagues not just at toughest of the tough times but also at all the times when you need a lighter moment to your otherwise routine workout. Gossiping can be the best stress buster at times! Well, don't spread out the words until and unless you are too sure to be said. Might not be possible always, but ensure it as along as you can. Participate in off-the-work activities, group activities. They do not just give you another experience, they also ensure you a well deserved break at times.  

Spend time for yourself too. Make friends. Enjoy.

Wishing my friends, colleagues who joined along with me and equally completed five years. Hearty congratulations and best wishes for the years to come.