Archive for April, 2013

ON TECHNIQUES

Posted on April 21, 2013. Filed under: CRICKET, IPL, SEHWAG, SPORTS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

 

Oxforddictionaries.com provides the following meanings for the term technique:

1.skill or ability in a particular field

2.a skilful or efficient way of doing or achieving something

Merrian-Webster.com also has a similar offering to make when technique is defined as a method of accomplishing a desired aim.

What is my aim of talking about technique?

It has to do something with athletes and sportspersons in general and Virendra Sehwag in particular.

Sehwag has been one of my most favourite of cricket players and when he fails to perform as is the case now, it is painful to say the least for me and many of his fans.

A student of mine, who is now a colleague, blamed the lack of technique as the reason for the repeated failures of Sehwag that has led to the omission of the batsman from the Indian team. Even in the world of IPL where Sehwag was expected to score heavily, things have been extremely disappointing.

There are instances when commentators use the phrases like ‘straight out of the copybook’ or ‘right out of the coaching manual’ while describing a shot. I wonder which or whose manual or the copybook is to be used as a reference while explaining a particular shot played by a particular player. This is because each player has his or her own technique that is as individual as the player in question. This is very much a dichotomy since every player is urged to play according to his or her natural talents (meaning individual technique), yet at the same time, we spend too much time thinking and talking about some manual or copybook.

Every player has a particular way of dealing with a specific ball or a pitch and it is very difficult to have a similar solution for all. The physical characteristics of the individual player do matter a lot when playing a shot. There can be only one Brian Lara and no matter how hard one desires to imitate his style, the lefthander will be considered unique.Ravindra Pushpakumara of Sri Lanka had a bowling action very close to that of Waqar Younis of Pakistan but the Sri Lankan could not even once replicate the success of the Pakistan paceman. A certain Vivian Richards had a style and technique of his own and no other batsman till date has shown that kind of an ability that would make bowlers shiver in their pants.

Sunil Gavaskar was extremely successful playing against some of the greatest fast bowlers that have graced the game. He did that without the use of the helmet and that too on wickets that were really fast and bouncy all over the world. At the same time, Gavaskar was equally adept against the spinners as his last innings of 96 versus Pakistan at Bangalore would testify. But there were some question marks about his record against spinners like Derek Underwood. The same is the case with Sachin Tendulkar when it comes to the handling of left-arm spinners. In his last tour down under, Rahul Dravid the technician was repeatedly out bowled. Do these o-called failings cast a question mark over the technique of these masters?

In tennis, the top players have their own style or techniques. Nadal is different from Djokovic who is completely different from Federer when it comes to technique. But all of them are successful. There was a time when the two-handed backhand shot was out of fashion in the men’s game but Djokovic has made it something of his signature shot. Those pundits or the so-called experts who earlier had some theories about why the two-handed backhand would not work are having a quiet time eating the humble pie.

Usain Bolt was deemed too tall for a sprinter and he has the physique of a marathon man from Africa but Bolt is the fastest man in the world for sometime now.

There have many singers who made the initial mark by imitating or covering the songs of the inimitable Kishore Kumar but later they tried to shed this image and started to sing in their own way. One can sing like a Kishore Kumar but one cannot become a Kishore Kumar.

It is not the technique or the lack of it that is responsible for the poor showing of Sehwag. The opposing teams and their bowlers have become smarter and Sehwag has failed to recognize this and reinvent his game. The failure is more due to the lack of confidence in part and in part due to the arrogance. Given the current state, it is very difficult to anticipate a successful comeback by Sehwag into the Indian team but that does not in any way diminish his contribution to the success of the Indian cricket in the not too distant past.

It is not mathematics where there is a unique solution for a specific problem. It is a sport where individual ability and creativity are involved and where a critical decision is to be made when not even a few seconds are available.Does anyone bother about the techniques of masters like Leonardo DaVinci or Michelangelo? Let us not bother about the technical failings of Sehwag. Sit back and recollect those innings where Sehwag conjured some magic with the same technique in the past.

Advertisements
Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

THE IRRELEVANCE OF POLITICS IN THE CAMPUS

Posted on April 14, 2013. Filed under: HIGHER EDUCATION, INDIA, OFF -BEAT, POLITICS | Tags: , , |

The Sunday Story ‘CHANGE’ in The Hindu dated 14/03/2013 made for an interesting read with write-ups stressing the import of campus politics and inevitably there was one about the recommendations made by the Committee headed by J M Lyngdoh, a former Chief Election Commisioner of India.

As a Lecturer for more than 18 years and in-charge of conducting elections to various students associations,I have come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no need to hold elections in the campuses for it does no good.In fact, the entire campus atmosphere is vitiated with the entry of political parties and large amounts of money and muscle power. Not only the students even the staff are also affected by the involvement and the interference from the political parties.

In the said page, it is mentioned by S N Vijetha that the limit on expenditure of Rs.5000 per candidate is something that is not practical and also something that no candidate ever wants to adhere to.For me, the most sticky recommendation is relating to the attendance.In most cases, the aspirants are not in the habit of attending the classes and the college authorities are often pressurised to give the required attendance under duress from local politicians.When some college decides to take the proverbial bull by the horn, there is no support from any corner of the state administration.The student unrest following the disqualification of aspirants due to the lack of attendance forces the state administration to cancel the elections only to hold them at a later date.

I welcome the recommendation that gives a student only one chance to contest the elections for in the past many students used to have a monopoly over certain posts for a long time.Similarly, the fixing of the age limit also has put an end to serial contesters.

Most of the candidates who come out successful in the elections learn the art of things like collecting funds from various sources very quickly and that should be a stepping stone into Indian politics where it is increasingly becoming difficult to come across a politician who is not corrupt.

More importantly, we are in a country where entry into politics is determined by the lineage of a person, cutting the political teeth in the campuses is hardly required.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

PRESTIGE OR SYCOPHANCY?

Posted on April 9, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Technorati Tags:

The write-up of Sri Gopalkrishna Gandhi in The Hindu dated 23rd March 2013 titled ‘Right honourable way forward’ relating to the use of adjectives while addressing people holding higher offices was really inspiring .In my humble opinion, the use of honorific titles or adjectives has to do with our culture which asks us to give respect to elders and partly due to the deep rooted feudal mindset which was further reinforced during the British rule where the gora sahibs wanted to show the place of Indians in the society. In some cases, the use of adjectives is just a reflection of the sycophancy that has such an important role to play when it comes to the relationships between the superior and the subordinates and between the rulers and the ruled.

Sometimes, things go to such a pass that things become nauseating to state the least. In matters as simple as requesting the Principal for a casual leave, things start with the address ‘Most respected Sir’. Then it descends further into the morass with the line, ‘I beg to state the following few lines for your kind consideration’ .Finally, the request for the leave ends with ‘most sincerely’. The person to whom the leave is addressed is surely going to feel superior.

When it comes to formal meetings in the college, it is a hard time to look for adjectives since there are many on the dais that demand proper respect and honour. The Principal is always someone with the need to be addressed properly and then there is the Head of the Department who should also be given his due. If there is any other dignitary things go from bad to worse. I remember when a Principal objected to the use of the term ‘Mr. Principal’ during a talk when the person giving the talk was invited from a different college. Things became so unpleasant that the Principal walked out of the meeting very angry over this issue and the invited dignitary felt extremely slighted. The Principal refused to give him the necessary ‘relieving order’. I always wondered why things go so bad and people become so touchy when they are addressed on the basis of the office that they hold.

It is a pity that even after many decades since independence, it is necessary to give proper respect to the descendants of the former ruling dynasties. We come across in the media about the King or the Prince of a particular state. The title King or the royal family is enough to make everyone feel the need to be inferior. It is not a surprise therefore, the elected representatives don’t feel comfortable in the matters of address.

It is time that we stopped this practice and make our lives less miserable.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: