Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Questionable Tribute

    It took me quite some time to convince myself that I actually didn’t think Sachin was even close to being the best batsman in the world like a lot of his peers claimed, a lot of journalists wrote about and a lot of cricket fans debated on. In my books, over the last couple of years that mantle should clearly belong to Ponting and prior to that it was Lara’s. Barring the summer of 1998, Sachin never came close to claiming the mantle of the best batsman in the world. He would hang around and remind us of what he was capable of but never delivered.

    While I do think, that as a cricketer ( and otherwise) he is a gentleman and a complete one at that, a lot of journalists, cricketers and commentators have allowed the nice boy image of Sachin to make up for his lack of supremacy to win matches for India.

    In the same context, posted below is a piece written by V. Gangadhar for Hindustan Times today. Sometimes, there are things that you want to write and then you read something that describes exactly, what you think, in the exact diction and tone and sarcasm that you would have penned it in. And if it comes from one of your favorite writers, isn’t that a nice beginning to a day! : -)

    Posted below the article:

    AS THE third test match between India and South Africa was in progress, the Sachin Chamcha Group (SCG) in the television commentary box was frantic with excitement. Here is the chatter that went on:

    Know-All Bhogle: And there is, Sachin, at 34, chasing the ball like a fly, diving full length and stopping it, saving one run. What commitment, what dedication. This one run could be decisive in the match. Why talk of Jonty Rhodes when we have Sachin. I am sure our Little Master Sunny Gavaskar would agree.

    Little Expert Master Gavaskar: A great dive, a great save. In fact, you would have noted that Sachin dived at an angle of 63 degrees facing East, which is the most difficult of the dives. While doing so, he braved the wind from the North-east which was blowing across the pitch and he must have hit the ground with a velocity of 34 kmph. Simply remarkable for someone his age. The neck, the arms and the legs were perfectly positioned. A bit like watching Burt Lancaster in the movie Trapeze.

    Bhogle: Leave it to Sunny to come up with such wonderful pieces of information. And Ravi?

    Deadpan Ravi Shastri: Remarkable commitment, but then this commitment was always there, whether he was playing at Bandra MIG Club, Shivaji Park or a packed Lord’s. If there is a Nobel Prize for commitment, it should go to Sachin.

    (Later, when Sachin is batting)
    Bhogle: Yet, one more perfectly defensive shot played with the middle of the bat. Everything in position. Of course, though India should score enough runs to force a victory, Sachin had scored one run in 88 balls. Why bother about runs, when you can watch such perfect technique. Sunny, did you play like this when you scored 36-not-out in 60 overs in the 1975 World Cup match against England? That was the most monumental innings in one-day cricket.

    Gavaskar: Thank you, Harsha, for your fantastic memory which is as perfect as Sachin’s defence. See the left shoulder thrust at right angles to the right wrist and the right shoulder pointing exactly at the vacant spot between mid-off and cover. This is the mother of all defensive shots, I would say even father. I think there is a deep strategy behind Sachin’s approach. By batting like this, he would induce sleep among the South Africans, and when they come to bat, they would just rub their eyes and get out one after the other. There is always planning in Sachin’s approach.

    Shastri: I agree entirely. This again reflects his commitment — combined with wisdom, a rare combination. By remaining still like this, and keeping the score-board still, Sachin would make the clouds over the ground still, so that it will not rain and we can win the match.

    Bhogle: Look, the South Africans are already lethargic which is what India wants.

    (The match is over and India is beaten by South Africa)
    Bhogle: That is all from the SCG. Please stay tuned in for ‘Cricket Tamasha’ special.

    Viewers: What the hell we were watching till now?

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A Questionable Tribute

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Friday, January 5, 2007

There's something about Marketing!

    I specialize in Marketing. Often I’m told, I look the “pakka” Marketing types. I take it with a pinch of salt. I’m never told I’m the “pakka” intellectual type.

    Marketing takes me places. Literally, more than figuratively and currently places mean only Delhi and Mumbai. Often I wake up not knowing which city I’m in. There’ve been days when I’ve wanted to go to CP in Mumbai and Churchgate in Delhi

    I’ve a great house in Jangpura Extension and an even better company guesthouse in Bandra. I’ve a Mom’s house in Guwahati and Dad’s house in Quilon. Yet, I end up spending majority of my time at my office.

    I’ve been on Marketing since the last 6 months. I’ve been a part of a team that has launched a Radio Station in Delhi, a mega promotion in Delhi and am currently working on the launch plans for Mumbai. And of course, you can call a duo a “team”.

    I’ve figured out Marketing is 99% common sense. The other 1% is your top-boss telling you what to do. I call it, “Will-power of the Mighty!”

    In media in particular, I find a lot of Mallus either in top jobs or surrounded with great babes. Alex Kuruvilla is just “a” case in point. I’m a Mallu and yet to hit a top job and Salma Hayek can never give me time.

    I figured it’s fashionable and intellectual to be late in Marketing. Late for signing off budgets, sites, creatives, everything. The fun is when you are actually late. If you do things on time, no one gives you credit. Be a day late or two and you must have done a fabulous job.

    I haven’t perfected the art of screaming at agencies, media planners, printers to meet deadlines and budgets but I’m getting there. I can just feel it. I’m only looking for barters, great deals, good money and prominent positions across media and across avenues. I just want to bargain. Even when my maid tells me she’ll give me my Aloo Paratha in 5 minutes, I feel like asking her, “Can I get it in 2 minutes with an add-on of a Gobi Paratha?”

    I don’t know whether this is to do with Marketing but I get along rather well with the security guards, housekeeping guys, liftman and the receptionists. The people who I haven’t broken ice yet with are the CEO and the AVPs and the VPs.

    A lot of times Marketing has been considered too subjective a topic of discussion in organizations. No one knows where the bang for the buck lies. People are cagey about spending on Marketing. How the hell do we know Marketing has delivered? I agree.
    But I find an uncanny similarity to this and “ Hey, I find that babe hot. How the hell do I know she’ll talk?”. At best, you can do your homework and back your instinct and hope your money is in the right place. And that’s what Marketing is all about! : -)

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There's something about Marketing!

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