Destiny!!

Destiny is seen as a sequence of events that is inevitable and unchangeable.

Well this has me confused – It is also said – “you can choose your own destiny”. If Destiny does exists, then no matter what I choose to do throughout my life, all those actions nonetheless lead me to a very predetermined destiny. So where is my free will? So why do I struggle everyday with all those decisions that I make? Why do I even exist as a puppet?

 

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Revelation beyond expectation | Indian cricket team has work to do

Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India in action during...
Image via Wikipedia

In some sense I am happy that I did this and sad that no one in BCCI or Indian camp is talking about it. Unless we know where we are we cant look to get better. We need to know our missing points. I rather be a critic to point out the things that didnt go well for my team than be a fan who sits back and enjoy what could be a short-lived victory. I am forced to make to make a comparison with good intentions towards my team. I know, some people will still think me being naive to think all of this and not just be happy, but I want someone to listen and maybe they do.

It started a few days back when my cousin started to propagate Dhoni’s leadership skills over the team members in CSK in IPL. I had liked Dhoni always, but the fan base that called out Dhoni’s captaincy so good that it started to show off other players in the team worthless – was something that ticked me off. In one of the discussion my cousin actually mentioned that players like Bollinger and Raina and Morkel are performing because Dhoni was motivating them.

I took it personally because it meant that the WC victory was only Dhoni’s doing and so was every feat India has achieved in Cricket in last few years and it was hurting. I know she meant no harm and she loves Indian cricket as much as any other Indian, but it was the ticking point for me.

All of this went into hyper drive when I had another discussion with Vineet Malani on Facebook where he was chanting about Dhoni’s captaincy and ignoring facts of what has happened around India and world of cricket. His point was simple – all that India has achieved is because of Dhoni’s captaincy and I wanted to tell them No – any captain in this scenario would have does what Dhoni has done.

I do agree to the fact that Dhoni is a good captain and maybe the best of what India has had, however he is not Great. However, in my zeal to find facts I ended up dissecting India’s path to being no#1 in test cricket and it was a revelation. In my post Deep dive | India route to Test#1; I ended up finding that we are where we are because of the fact that Australia failed to achieve the top standards they have been in the past. India’s efforts have only been marginally better than those of Australia between a period of 2008-2010. And, it was so hurting for me to realize that we are just as good as their worst. I do hope that going forward we can do so much more better than we have in the past and take it to the top level cricket. Australia between 2005 and 2008 have had 70% winning percentage and only 15% each of lost and draw. We managed to equal their worst performance to be #1.

India team – please do so very well in future; my best wishes are with you. Dhoni you are lucky for India and I wish you can take us to peaks where we are untouchables just like Australia were a few years back. I wish that day comes and I will write about you and how you took us to be on the top of the world so convincingly; where we will set benchmarks.

Deep dive | India’s route to Test#1

Mahendra Singh Dhoni at Adelaide Oval
Image via Wikipedia

I blogged about some stats and when i was cross checking I noticed something was off and I did the correction. Also, while i was doing the corrections, I wondered what attributed to India taking #1 position and how did Dhoni impacted that revolution. What I found was a revelation of facts that a lot of is was favorable and because of Australia and SA not doing their best and India matching up their worst or just being a little better.

To begin with the correction from earlier post is: India streak in tests not loosing a match is 14. Started on 10/9/2008 against Australia (Draw) and ended when they lost to SA on 2/6/2010. during this period India went from 3rd position (100 points) to 1st position (124 points). Also note that during period Australia dropped from 141 points to 116 and SA went from 116 to 120 points and were 2nd in rankings when they beat India.

Lets see how India, Australia and SA fared in this time period:

Played Wins Loss Draw Home Away Wins Home Wins Away Opponents – Home Opponents Away
India 31 15 6 10 19 12 9 6 SA, Aus, Eng, SL, NZ SL, NZ, Bng, SA
Australia 37 17 13 7 21 16 9 8 NZ, SA, WI, Pak, Eng WI, Ind, SA, Eng, NZ, Pak
SA 28 13 8 7 12 16 5 8 Ban, Aus, Eng, Ind Ind, Eng, Aus, WI, Pak
Home % Home Win% Away Win% Win % Loss %
India 61 60 40 48 19
Australia 57 53 47 46 35
SA 43 38 62 46 29

So a pattern clearly emerges – India played less matches in this period and their matches played at home were significantly high. They just played 4 series against Aus and SA and rest were against weaker test teams like WI and Bangladesh (note Australia was not winning enough either and were declining)

Australia were loosing heavily and given their better win rates in 2004-2007, they were loosing points because of the 3-year cumulative match in the ICC Ranking system. That how even in some periods where they were not loosing, they were loosing on points because they played lesser cricket and were playing against teams way below them compared to in 2004 where they were facing top teams.

South Africa were kind of neutral, but definitely played more matches abroad and had series against India and Australia consistently.

Also, note that India remained on top because their Loosing % is significantly higher than other two, while their win percent is almost same. This means they were drawing a lot more than others.

Overall, it clearly presents a case where India has been more conservative on their test playing strategies – playing less, playing at home, don’t loose and play safe to draw.

Now, if all that was played just as I can see all of those, good strategy to be number one. It is like saying “Let the others fight and diminish their resources and we will come on top because of their losses.”

Now – please tell me what did Dhoni do to take India here – it just happened. With a good team and safe strategy forces were in our favor. I am happy we are number one, but Dhoni did nothing in all this to happen. As a captain he could not do what all others in the past have struggled – improve our performance overseas. Change that – and then be called a Great Captain.

The feeling of being stuck

I want to move on, but looks like I have placed myself in a position where I cant. I find myself stuck at a place where some of my personal priorities are taking a hit on what I have want. I find myself at a point in time when a passion suddenly does not excites me. I just dont want to go back to that place. And No it didnt happen overnight, the process took almost 3 years and now I have reached a place where it is no longer with me.

Now a very important part of my life kicks in and I need to answer a very important question: Was that a passion or just an addiction? the answer can change my life in ways that I cant think of today. I need to answer myself on what I need to do – balance out my personal priorities and let go of my ambitions passions or go back and find what I lost over a period of 3 years.

Both options have their fall outs and I need to see what is more important for me – ?? vs ??. Sadly, I dont know how to put these in words that describe what I am thinking and I do not wish to say those words and end up hurting loved ones.

I dont know who to turn up to for answers that are neutral; I dont know even if anyone can come up with a neutral answer. Every person has their experience and unique situation in their life and their answers are influenced by those situations. What I am feeling is unique in its own sense and I need to find answers in those situations only. I hope I can reach out to God and seek guidance.

Importance of Pain in Life

Another quote and one of my favorites:

“The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived.”

And I am thinking – can one get pleasure in that? Did that ever happen to me?. It is a secret because we dont know how can you pleasure in such a thing 🙂 – okay that was a bad one.

The reason I love this quote (philosiphical) is because unless you understand how to enjoy being deceived or hurt or anything not good for you, you dont know how to learn from your mistakes. You will continue to hate things and then you are in a spiral that leads you south in your life. Unless you get over the past, you can not grow.
We have to be happy to move on, sadness keeps you stuck and even tke you behind.

Decisions

I received this email today:

There are 2 railway tracks, one of which is has been shutdown. A group of children decide to play on the one which is operational and 1 kid chooses to play on the one which had been shutdown. You are standing next to a manned switch, when you see a Train coming by. The train is bound for the operational track. The train can not be stopped; and only you can change its course.

You have 2 choices:

  1. Let the train go and risk lives of the group of kids who chose to play on the operation track or;
  2. Switch the train to the non-operational track and risk the life of the that 1 kid

What will you do? Is that right? Who has the right to decide what is right?

Well, a few of my friends have said to me – Sacrifice that one kid in favor of the many more. When asked why? they say it sounds moral and emotional right.
Let me tell you what I will do? – I will not change the course of the train and let destiny play its part for the kids who are playing on the track on which the train is bound. Maybe they are aware that that track is operational and are aware; or maybe they are just being ignorant kids. Who knows why that track is not operational and I may be putting many more at risk by making that decision.

It will be a hard to be there at that moment and be caught up in that dilemma; but I feel that is the right thing to do. Who am I to change someone’s destiny? If I ever get the choice, I would want to be in a position where I can inform kids and anyone else about the risks like that. I prefer to provide my suggestions and then let people make their choices, rather than make choices for them.

As for me, as along as I have faith in my decisions, I am doing justice to myself. I do not have an obligation to make others understand the rationale behind my choices.

 

Leaders or just Managers?

Recalling an incident from 2007, it reminds me of the ideology of being “emotional for your work and company”. The phrase comes to mind – “Married to the company”.

In the past I have tried to be very emotional around my work, but a couple of discussions back in 2008 with a Senior Project Manager and a Director made me realize a few things. And now when I contemplate those things back and see similar things happening elsewhere too.

My assessment back then was that being emotional towards work and company (someone else) will only hurt me in the end. In the past I had worked almost twice the tenure with my company. For the 4 years I spent, my time spent working clocked to almost 8 years. No doubts that I was learning a lot, but the mistakes I did was that I was emotional about my work. I used to put that in front of everything else in my life. The rewards were good too – money, position etc. Until the day my project started to do South. A meeting that I had with a Senior Project Manager (Manish) around my future role on the project made me realize that he was going to sacrifice a human interest for the betterment of the project. He is a very successful manager in the organization and is very talented too.

A year later in 2008, another meeting made me realize that the company will choose to pay new hires more than what I am getting because I enjoy the Goodwill in the organization. I was not fully sure how to respond back then. But, I realize now that this is how every company operates. What I fail to understand is how that works out. A company/manager chooses to pay less to an existing employee who has done well for them and has generated results in the past; someone who knows the domain and the company. How can a manager/company let go of that person and go about finding a replacement only to give that new person a higher compensation and in the process spend a lot more on training and opportunity.

Maybe, this is a trait of a successful manager, I do not believe that this is a trait for a good leader. I have not done any MBA, but all these people who are running companies around me are MBAs from IIMs and other premier institutes. I do not understand the rationale behind it.