02 November 2008

Farewell Anil Kumble

So what I expected for some time, finally happened. Anil Kumble announced his retirement from international cricket. While a lot will be said and written to analyze his contributions to Indian Cricket, I will just quote an article from cricinfo that sums up my thoughts for Kumble

... There is something about sportsmen from Karnataka. The best are polite and gentle, supremely gifted but modest to a fault; they are old-fashioned gentlemen who respect what they do ...  there were no tears and no histrionics, just the modulated tones of a man who always put his team-mates first ...

I dont watch cricket as much as I used to and i really doubt that it will change in near future. But i will always have fond memeories of the times when I used to watch even 5 day test matches. Thanks Anil for the wonderful memories!

28 September 2008

Agneepath - The path of fire

अग्नि पथ! अग्नि पथ! अग्नि पथ!

वृक्ष हों भले खड़े,
हो घने, हो बड़े,
एक पत्र-छॉंह भी मॉंग मत, मॉंग मत, मॉंग मत!
अग्नि पथ! अग्नि पथ! अग्नि पथ!

तू न थकेगा कभी!
तू न थमेगा कभी!
तू न मुड़ेगा कभी!-कर शपथ! कर शपथ! कर शपथ!

ये महान दृश्य है, चल रहा मनुष्य है,
अश्रु, स्वेद, रक्त से
लथ पथ, लथ पथ, लथ पथ
अगनीपथ! अगनीपथ! अगनीपथ!

Source: Wikipedia 

23 August 2008

If - Rudyard Kipling


Here is a rendition of the poem by Federer and Nadal

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master,
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build them up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose,
and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling's inspirational poem 'If' first appeared in his collection 'Rewards and Fairies' in 1909. The poem 'If' is inspirational, motivational, and a set of rules for 'grown-up' living. Kipling's 'If' contains mottos and maxims for life, and the poem is also a blueprint for personal integrity, behavior and self-development. 'If' is perhaps even more relevant today than when Kipling wrote it, as an ethos and a personal philosophy. Lines from Kipling's 'If' appear over the player's entrance to Wimbledon's Centre Court - a poignant reflection of the poem's timeless and inspiring quality.

The beauty and elegance of 'If' contrasts starkly with Rudyard Kipling's largely tragic and unhappy life. He was starved of love and attention and sent away by his parents; beaten and abused by his foster mother; and a failure at a public school which sought to develop qualities that were completely alien to Kipling. In later life the deaths of two of his children also affected Kipling deeply.

Rudyard Kipling achieved fame quickly, based initially on his first stories and poems written in India (he returned there after College), and his great popularity with the British public continued despite subsequent critical reaction to some of his more conservative work, and critical opinion in later years that his poetry was superficial and lacking in depth of meaning.

Significantly, Kipling turned down many honors offered to him including a knighthood, Poet Laureate and the Order of Merit, but in 1907 he accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature. Kipling's wide popular appeal survives through other works, notably The Jungle Book (1894) the novel, Kim (1901), and Just So Stories (1902).

Kipling is said to have written the poem 'If' with Dr Leander Starr Jameson in mind, who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. The 'Jameson Raid' was later considered a major factor in starting the Boer War (1899-1902).

19 August 2008

Don't Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow -
You might succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup.
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out -
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt -
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

- Unknown -

19 July 2008

Harsha Bhogle at IIM-A

I recently came across this fantastic talk from Harsha Bhogle given at the IIM-A campus. This talk is part of a series of lectures on what constitutes excellence. Some of the gems from the talk

  • You never know when and from where the next great opportunity will come from so if you give every moment 100 percent, the little things in life that make the difference between good and great will happen for sure.
  • Excellence never seeks excuses.
  • Anger and ego have no place in the world of excellence.
  • Never hate criticism.
  • Attitude and passion counts far more than talent.

Check it out. It will be well worth your 80 minutes. The actual video is available here

27 May 2008

GMAT Preparation

The admissions to the best B-schools are highly competitive. To get in, one needs a good if not great GMAT score.

A few points to note are
  • A stellar GMAT score won't guarantee admission
  • A poor GMAT score won't guarantee rejection (Or DING)
  • To be safe, your score needs to be in the middle 80 percent range
  • Don't over-stress the importance of GMAT scores. Your essays, recommendations, interviews, and academic and extracurricular records will also play a very important role in evaluation of your application
When to prepare for GMAT
  • Start early - Make sure that you are done by your GMAT by May of year previous to the one when you plan to enter B-school. For example if you plan to enter B-school in Fall of 2010, be done your GMAT by May of 2009
  • Take into account that you may need to give GMAT again.
Resources to use
What to do and when: Everyone has his/her own comfort levels, professional and personal commitments and desires to succeed. You need to do an honest evaluation of how much time you would need to prepare for GMAT. The below suggestion/timeline worked really well for me. I personally think that 2 months is a good time to prepare for GMAT.
  • Take the first practice test from Princeton Review (PR T1). Note your scores. Don't be disappointed if you scores low. Don't be elated if you do well.
  • Start with PR. It is gentle compared to official guide and will give you a good taste of the challenges
  • Finish Princeton review and give the next PR test (PR T2). Note your scores
  • Start the main official guide and Manhattan Sentence Correction book
    • Read and practice each section everyday
    • Keep a log of mistakes that you commit
    • Halfway through the book, give your third PR test
    • Start following the forums on GMAT club. Be helpful. Be respectful.
    • Finish you official guide and take the first GMATPrep test. The results of this test will give you an idea of where you stand.
  • Start the official Maths and verbal book, and essay writing preparations
    • Halfway through them give your fourth Princeton Review test (along with essays section)
  • Finish the books and give your second GMATPrep test (along with essays)
  • Give your GMAT within next 3-5 days. Don't give your GMAT the next day and don't delay more than 5 days.
What not to do
  • Lose patience. GMAT preparation will test you. Keep the faith
  • Try shady online tests claiming to contain questions from actual GMAT
  • Not read/practice everyday