Thursday, October 04, 2007

"THE LITTLE STEPS MATTER" - by Sachin Tendulker

original appeared in Hindustan times Oct 3,2007

I would never have become a serious cricketer had I not been a problem child. I was extremely difficult to manage and had seriously high energy levels that would invariably get me into trouble. At that stage, my brother thought that summer camp could be the making of me - it would give me no time for pranks or mischief. Somehow, the idea worked and those eight hours I spent on the field everyday changed my attitude towards life. I became very serious about the game it was a single-minded focus where nothing else mattered.
The other thing that really helped me was having my coach insist that I play practice matches constantly This is something I feel was crucial as it gave me an edge later in my career - it made me intensely competitive. You can practice for hours but it can never be the same as being in the middle, protecting your wicket or trying to get one. Consequently, it was never just "nets" for me. In fact, when I would head to practice straight from school, my coach would often tell the opposition that Sachin will come in and bat at No. 4. On my part, if I got out first ball, my practice was over It meant I had to focus every ball and later, this made dealing with match situations much easier

Why I'm detailing this really, is because I want to point out that every little step towards success, towards the attainment of a dream, in my case, towards playing a higher level of cricket, counts. I think, often, people dream big but gloss over the process involved in realizing that dream. I honestly believe that we need to focus on smaller targets that stack up towards that final goal.
I would badger my brother every time I played a game, scored a hundred, did something special: "What next?" I wanted to compete, needed to compete, to push myself even then.
It's really funny when I look back now, but then, as a 12-year-old, even though I knew I wanted to play for India, I didn't know how one got there. I was clueless about the Ranji, and Duleep or anything. In my little world, I had some vague idea of things - you played well at Mumbai's club games and were magically transported to playing for India.
And then, it happened. I started doing well at those games and found myself suddenly in state contention, rubbing shoulders with men I'd only seen on television. Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri, Lalchand Rajput... many more. My being there with them first gave me the confidence to believe in my own ability and then, that season, when I became the highest run-getter for Mumbai despite the presence of several stars, it became more special. It gave me the confidence to know I wasn't out of place. I belonged here.

And then, suddenly, it was all happening. The centuries in my Ranji, Duleep and Irani debuts took me to Pakistan and a whole different world. Pakistan was a unique experience, one in retrospect, I was too young to fully fathom at 16. I was just so excited to be part of the Indian team.
But even then, cricket-wise, I was very focussed on being there, knowing that once I was there, I had to stay there. This is where my years of preparation and early training in visualization, a concept introduced to me by my brother, helped infinitely
It wasn't something that I was formally trained or told about specifically but even during school games, I used to prepare by letting my imagination take over. I would imagine situations, plan out things, try and get into the opposition's head. Somewhere, in those early years, I had begun training my subconscious mind.
I've always believed in the power of the mind, it goes way beyond imagination, in its ability to push itself beyond what you might think is its limit, in its ability to readjust, realign and refocus. It is something incredible, the mind, and if you focus, there is no limit to one's imagination and what the mind can accomplish. I've tried to bring that power of the mind to my game. For instance, when I walk into the middle, it is my fourth or fifth walk, as I have already done so several times in my head. It gives one an edge.

Coming back to what happened, playing for India was obviously my dream. And once I was in, that was one dream realized. The next one was staying put there. Thereafter, once I had a reputation, it was all about living up to that. I lined up targets, one at a time. I competed with myself to achieve and better them.
For instance, if I made 300 in one series, I would tell myself I had to better that in the next. I had to push those boundaries, stay competitive, all the time.
The hunger and the desire to get there, do that, was always there. At no stage did I let myself relax, say I'd already done so much, think I could afford to let things be. I could not, that was not me.
What really helped immensely was the support I received from my family, my coach... no one got carried away by my success, so neither did I. There were no big celebrations in my house if I did something, it was accepted as normal.
Like when I got back after making my first hundred in England, all I did was have some friends over for a meal and chat about it. Our little ritual centered around seeking blessings from God, so 100 times out of 100, that's all I would do, seek blessings. And focus.
Even later, whenever I did something, my brother, who has really been the driving force behind my cricket, would never tell me it was exceptional or brilliant. He would more likely point out that say, 'in the 29th over, fourth ball, you didn't quite play that shot correctly'.

I think I was blessed in my family because they allowed me to choose and follow my dream, they supported me, yet, did not overwhelm me. My father for instance, played a huge role in ensuring I stayed focussed on cricket. I was never forced to do the more conventional things, to try and concentrate on being a doctor or engineer He sat me down a long time ago and we talked, he told me that if I was serious about wanting to play for India, I should go for it, said that if you dream, then dream properly, go after that dream, believe in it and yourself and concentrate on realizing it.
That freedom to choose allowed me to focus my energy in one direction. I think for a lot of kids, that energy is divided, either because of a lack of choices or a lack of support when you make those choices. If that happens, then your focus obviously cannot be single-minded and it takes away from your effort.
To succeed, you need no detractions, no distractions. As a student of sport, I always tell people, you also have to figure out what works best for you. Often, it is sheer instinct; a basic feeling in your gut that tells you this is what you have to do. I can't explain this logically, there's no rational explanation or technique involved here but ever so often, a movement, a glance, an angle, something just triggers a feeling and sends out a subconscious signal- it happens often between bowlers and batsmen and it comes with and, is developed by dogged, determined concentration.
Nothing else.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Naxal Problem

Well every problem starts from a reason, Naxals or Maoists as they are called spreads from Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar , Jharkhand, Karnataka, Maharashtra till north Andhra Pradesh. Area wise its the biggest trobled area in our country. killing scores of security personal may be more than j&k and north east combined. There might be a reason about this movement, but its now turned more into militancy than a movement against oppression. There is no coordination among the polices forces of various state,ill equipped paramilitary as well as police force and above all weak intelligence are reasons for state's failure. How else once can justify attack on paramilitary force's barracks by 1000 odd Maoist.
i know i might sound very high headed, but its time government should take them seriously and take some serious action against them. May be if someone can still tell me whats the maximum age for applying for IAS exam, so that i can enter IPS. i might give it a try in 2008 or 2009.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Saatiya Review

i love driving, infact may be its the only time i get without any worries at all. Time when a can enjoy some music and think about things to do in my life. i know one should only focus on driving, but somehow i am always good with multitasking hahahhaha.
Well lets start with a review. Its a old movie called Saatiya. watched it for Nth time on my DVD and i guess i am still in love with this movie.Nice movie with Rani mukherjee giving one of her best performance till date. Vivek oberoi also gave one of his better performance.Direction, cinematography and music of movie is just brilliant.
Story is simple boy see the girl, Falls in love with her. parents are against the marriage and boy and girl gets married against their wishes. The real story starts now. Saatiya begins from the point where other films usually ends in hindi cinema. What happens after marriage?
Movie looks at up and down of marriage or a relationship to be precise. Ego, jealousy, doubts, small fight, difference in reality and expectation of life after marriage everything is captured in the movie.
Nice movie to sit and watch if you want to spent some time and enjoy its good music and one of the best one liners

Aditya Sehgal: I love you.
Suhani Sharma: What is that?
Aditya Sehgal: I Love you...means I love you.
Suhani Sharma: Means what?
Aditya Sehgal: Means that I am in love with you, I can do anything for you.
Suhani Sharma: Anything? Can you jump off this train?
Aditya Sehgal: Sure! i'll jump as soon as it stops.

hahaha i don't think it can get more better than this.

Also the climax scene of movie is also very nice.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Remembering BABU

Late on Saturday evening my brother gave me news that Abhishek Mishra drowned near ranchi at dasham waterfall, I was shocked. Now whole lot of controversy has started over his death, due to involvement of laloo Prasad yadav’s daughter with him. I don’t want to comment on any of the controversy let the law, take its own Course.

Babu as Abhishek Mishra was fondly known among his family and friends was very bright, enthusiastic and lively person. We used to play together during our childhood; actually I guess it was like 11-12 years back. He was brilliant with football and cricket. Babu used to be first person in ground for both of them. Total live wire in field and totally dedicated to sports. Also he was very jolly person, always laughing and telling jokes. I wasn’t in touch with him since last 4-5 years. But if I now remember him his goals, his bowling & batting and his smiling face comes into mind. Sometimes you wonder why nice thing comes to end so early.My condolences is with his family who lost their beloved family member.'s+death&id=97755&category=National

Monday, November 20, 2006

Casino Royale

Bond, James Bond.

Definitely the most famous lines ever. Well when Daniel Craig was announced as new james bond, I wasn’t sure whether he will be perfect for bond, No doubt he’s good actor, but Daniel is blond, blue eyes very unlike previous Bond.

Movie starts with cold blooded killing by Bond to earn double O status. Then we move over to African continent where international money launderer Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) is using war money to fund his stock purchases in market. Followed by totally unbelievable chase sequence (I guess best one in recent years and its not some random car chase). Story movies to Jamaica and Miami, where bond foils an terrorist attempt which ruins Le Chiffre’s stocks and force him to organize high stakes poker game in Montenegro to fund his losing, and bond is assigned to win the game and track all money laundering business. What follows is totally brilliant movie.

The revelation in the movie is Bond himself. Daniel Craig is an immensely physical 007. Crashing through walls and leaping from buildings with superhuman strength. During one scrape he pulls out a large nail that's embedded in his shoulder and tosses it nonchalantly aside. Unlike previous bond whose tuxedos won’t get dirty in fight, Daniel bleeds like real man. He spends much of this film a bloodied and bruised mess, no body ever challenged his acting abilities and Craig proved in this movie that you can act in James bond movie too, its not about just style and action.

Mikkelsen's villain is low-key compared to over the top Bond villain. The infamous torture scene with Bond and the cut-out chair is all the more chilling thanks to Le Chiffre's ice-cold demeanor.

Shrewd and smart as well as gorgeous, Vesper Lynd(Eva Green) is hardly the typical Bond girl, and Green makes her an ideal match for Craig's Bond. Her chemistry with Daniel was instant. In one notable scene, Vesper attempts to purge herself under a hotel shower after she witnesses Bond kill a henchman. She imagines blood on her hands. Bond joins her under the spray - both of them still clothed - and sucks her fingers.

I always believed that any movie is as good as its script, which was lacking in last few bond movies. Script by hangs together reasonably well and is rewarded for its unaccustomed preoccupation with character by the attentiveness to same by director Martin Campbell, back after having helmed the first Brosnan entry, "GoldenEye," 11 years ago. Dialogue requires Bond to acknowledge his mistakes and reflect on the soul-killing nature of his job, self-searching unimaginable in previous bond movies. Bond in casino royale is not perfect, He’s impetuous and a little messy. He makes mistakes.

In end it’s one of the best bond movies ever, Daniel Craig has excelled as bond in Casino royale, I guess franchisees is now in good hands just like batman, which was fizzling with couple of bad movies, already looking forward to next installment in may 2008.


Vesper Lynd: Am I going to have a problem with you,

James Bond: No, dont worry. You're not my type.
Vesper Lynd: Smart?
James Bond: Single.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

DON- The Chase Begins

Well in my opinion DON(1978) was new beginning of Indian cinema, arguably one the best commercial movies ever made in India. It's story, acting, suspense, thrills, background score everything was unique and marvelous and then their was Amitabh as DON. Nobody can have his screen presence or aura as DON. So, when I heard Farhan akhtar is making Don’s remake, I was quite skeptical. I said nobody can make Don’s remake, it will be just disaster. But I wished farhan proves me wrong, since his last two movie Dil chahta hai and lakshya are one of my favorite movies of all time.

Don – II, starts with SRK’s chilling, bit stylish performance as DON, including DON ko pakadna mushkil hi nahi, namumkin hai dialogue. Rest of story is almost same. DON kills his enemies with style and cold blooded ways. ACP DeSilva catches dons and kills him, Replacing Vijay as DON. Roma joining Don’s gang to take revenge for killing of his brother ramesh. Jasjit in quest of fining his missing son.In mean time De-silva gets killed in encounter, making things complicated for vijay. Who now has to prove his innocence to police and save himself from DON’s enemies as well as friends. But in movie there are minor twist and turn which will keep you glued to your seats.

The Movie’s biggest strength is Farhan Akhtar, his direction, his writing and his treatment to movie of the best movie in Indian cinema in all time. SRK has done fine job as DON, specially when he had comparison with BIG B himself, nice decent job. But he wasn’t as ease as vijay, a simple bihari chap.

Priyanka chopra looked lovely,beautiful, sensuous and dangerous all at one time. Her portrayal of Roma was in my opinion better than one of zeenat aman. I never found zeenat as good actress.Priyanka is surely future of bollywood, next superstar. Isha Koppikar had virtually no role in the movie.

Boman Irani is marvelous as ACP Desilva, he did complete justice to role given to him. Om puri as Interpol Agent Malik is just wasted. I expected more screen presence of him. Rest of cast was fine, they just did their part. Arun rampal as jasjit had nothing to do, Pran’s character was just to large for him to follow. Farhan should have avoided taking Kareena Kapoor as kamini, she totally screwed the legendary song pictured on Helen, with her idiotic dance routine. Urmila might be better choice than her.

Well I would advice you to go a watch DON-II atleast once, it’s a good entertaining bollywood masala movie. But Amitabh Bachchan is still the original DON for us.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Hyderbad blues,Rockford,Boollywood calling,3 deewarein, Hyderbad Blue 2,Iqbal and now DOR, Nagesh Kukunoor has given us some of the best movies in recent year, each one of them so simple yet so heart touching. Hats off to him.He is one of the guy's who are changing face of hindi cinema, movies who's strength is their story not stars, not item numbers or glamour.
Dor takes you by complete surprise. Of course you expect a certain aesthetic and technical finesse in a Kukunoor creation.Story is told in an uncomplicated, sensible manner, minus bollywood melodrama, and a glamor overkill. It's also amusing enough to keep you in splits throughout. Dor is about lives of two women, Zeenat (Gul Panag) Himachal Pradesh and Meera (Ayesha Takia) in Rajasthan.
Meera is a affectionate, spirited but abiding young woman who lives with her husband in a traditional joint family set-up in Jodhpur. She and her husband are very much in love and share an intimacy demonstrated very adorable manner in the film. Her husband, Shankar lands a job in Saudi Arabia, and the lovers part amidst a restrained show of sadness. He sends home money for the family and Meera rents a cell phone once a month, so she can indulge in conversation with Shankar.
Zeenat on other hand is a independent, self-assured, practical but slightly cold woman. The story doesn't reveal much about her background or her family. But her portrayal is of women with courage and strong will.She is in love with Amir, who marries her despite opposition from his parents. The two tie the knot in a simple ceremony. The next day Amir must leave for Saudi Arabia as he gets a job there. His parents come to bid him farewell. He tries to win their approval for his new bride. However, it is only after he departs that they finally embrace Zeenat.
Shankar and Amir become room mates in Saudi Arabia.Then Shankar falls off the balcony and dies. Amir is convicted for murder and thrown into a Saudi prison. and get's death sentence. The ministry of external affairs intervenes and explains to Zeenat that the only way Amir might be set free is if Shankar's widow condones Amir. So, Zeenat sets off on a quest to find Meera, treasuring a single document that could set her husband free.
Meera is now condemned to a peripheral existence. Her bangles are shattered. She is disrobed off her vibrant ghoonghat and made to wear deep blue widow's garb. She is put into a cold, dark room with a lone beam of light, where she silently moans the death of her husband and suffers the loss of freedom, alone.Sadly its true portrayal of widow's in india, specially in rural area, where widows are still blamed for thier husband's death and men can start a new life,where as women have to live in social stigma for rest of their lives.

When Zeenat reaches Rajasthan she encounters Behroopia (Shreyas Talpade), a conman who first entertains her and then steals her belongings. He has the talent for slipping effortlessly into the guise of real-life characters like your local taxman or police inspector and mimic different bollywood actors. Zeenat encounters Behroopiya at a local dhabha in Rajasthan, whilst she is thinking about her plan of action. He forecasts her future and entertain her with his skills in exchange for a plate of food. In return he flees with her money and belongings.However he later helps her to find Meera. Zeenat befriends Meera and they form a strong bond of friendship and mutual respect for each other.

Dor is a must-watch;The film is entertaining and also has multiple messages that are delivered in the subtlest manner.The film is shot against picturesque locations in Himachal and Rajasthan. The script as usual is engaging; the dialogs entertaining, witty and yet quite profound. You also have several sub-plots that surround the main story. And every scene seems to have been well etched out.
Ayesha Takia looked like a sweet doll,with innocence of child on her face, bushy eyebrows and the ability to strut her acting prowess. And she goes for the kill with an award-winning performance. Happy and content one minute, depressed, vengeful or naive the next, she does justice to all the various shades of Meera's spirited yet repressed character.
Shreyas Talpade is a natural at comedy and his impersonations will make you smile. However, his character commands more than just lots of laughs. In a drunken stupor he sheds his buffon like exterior to reveal his true feelings and this transition seems so natural.
Gul Panag looks lovely without makeup, her dimples lighting up the screen, you will just fall in love with her. Her portrayal of Zeenat is pretty decent, her character coming across as strong yet restrained. The supporting cast, despite having short roles, manage to hold their own.
Another wonderful aspect is the rural setting of the story as opposed to an urbane backdrop. Is Dor one of the most profoundly moving films in recent times? Most probably it is. When it comes to portraying a forlorn yet undefeated sisterhood it stands tall and stately right up.