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Space to be different (IPL Saga – Part 3 of 3)


   “Love you, Gauti”, shouted the two girls at the top of their voices. They were jumping off their seats and dancing and cheering when Gautam Gambhir played. Not only did they cheer his walk to the cricket pitch but every time the ball hit his bat. This is a usual scene in a cricket crazy nation where crowds run behind team buses just to catch glimpse of Sunil Narine or Wasim Akram. What would the scene look like for a Tendulkar or Dhoni. Absolute chaos.

   Coming back to the scene of the girls rooting for Gautam Gambhir and his Kolkata Knight Riders brigade. Every time the girls got up from their seats to cheer or shout some young boys behind them were copying the girl’s moves. Especially a lanky lad among the boys put some moves that kept the crowd amused. Behind, a drunk man was throwing a lot of ‘F’ expletives at a bunch of people who had occupied his seat. For some reason he wanted to sit in his own seat and not open to sit in other vacant seats. A bunch of opportune guys, saw the cheering girls and came and started chatting up the girls. And then there were people shouting slogans for India’s victory. That too in an Indian Premier league cricket game where teams were regional and didn’t represent the country. And there were people who were sloshed and shouting at the top of their voices. If only they had thumped their chests, it would look like a full clothed Tarzan in the jungle.

   Replace Cricket with Football or any other sport and sportsmen, the situation is the same world over (except maybe for tennis and its tie-clad clapping gentlemen). Do spaces like stadium offer a space where man lets his adrenaline flow? Why do we tend to behave differently in these spaces in contrast to our own offices or communities? Are we constrained by our social fabric so much that getting excited or fearful (the cause for adrenaline rush) is only restricted to these special spaces? Should we bottle it up until the next cricket match to vent it out?

Man versus System – The Indian Context (IPL Saga – Part 2 or 3)


It feels happy to have beat the pack of 40000 people and had an early drink in a stadium doesn’t it. After enjoying this little achievement, this author turned back to his seat in the stadium to watch cricket players going through the practice drill, coaches guiding players, Umpires and referees inspecting the pitch and the ground staff and their machinery clearing the dew off the grass. It was break time for the biggest game of the IPL season.

One such machine used in day-night cricket encounters in the sub-continent is a super sopper. It’s used to absorb all the dew of the grass so that the batting side don’t have an advantage. It was a road roller of sorts meant for the grass. Ironic that these machines were in use in IPL where balls mostly flew out of the park and only occasionally touched the grass. On the particular day of IPL final, two machines came onto the ground to do their duties. Unfortunately one of them broke down during operation. The technicians were called in to fix but to no avail. The break got extended by a few minutes as the huge machine stopped moving and had to be cleared off the field for the play to start. Though it had regular wheels to be rolled off the ground, for some reason the ground staff were reluctant to use it. The solution finally employed being, about 40 people lifted the machine off the ground.

The author wonders, what would happen if this situation were to happen in Australia or England where the planned system would have accounted for such an eventuality. Maybe they had a crane on the ground. Maybe they would have better designed super soppers that could be easily rolled off the ground. Why do, we in India, offer solutions that need people to do it instead of systems and infrastructure.

   The answer, in the author’s mind, is simple. ‘We use the resource that’s available in plenty‘. Could a western country afford to have hundreds of ground staff? Probably not. But we do. So are we a country that has less use of a system? Maybe. Look around you. Every time a road is dug to lay a cable you will find tens of people digging trenches in the age of advanced tunneling machines. At our IT/BPO industries which hire by few hundred thousands. Look at Indian Railways that’s one of the largest employer in the world.  So next time someone tries to retrofit a western solution to an Indian context. Take note that this is a different country where human resources thrive over systems.

And IPL 2014 winner is….


There is an interesting co-relation between Indian Premier League (IPL) and Indian State’s growth. (Refer to the table below)

Year IPL Winner Govt in the state state growth(%) National
2008 Rajasthan Royals BJP 9% 6.72
2009 Deccan Chargers Congress 10.1 8.59
2010 Chennai Super Kings DMK (UPA) 11.7 8.91
2011 Chennai Super Kings DMK(UPA), AIADMK 12.39 6.69
2012 Kolkata Knight Riders Trinamool Congress (UPA) 7.5 4.47
2013 Mumbai Indians Congress NA 4.86

Is Indian Premier League contributing to additional growth of a state in some way (either directly or by increasing the happiness quotient of the people in the state or something else that I am not able to comprehend). Also one generally sees a pattern that the team that won belonged to a state government that was in alliance with central government. Seems to be there is more than what meets the eye.

Let’s see who will win the IPL 2014. My pick is Kings XI Punjab for obvious reasons. …… Maxwell silly:)