Thursday, February 25, 2010

The SUPERMAN from India

24th February 2010 is a red lettered day in the history of Indian Cricket and the reason for it is none other than the master himself. The feeling is yet to sink in and it is one of those days that will be conversed about over dinner tables across Indian families for generations to come. The typical I was there, I saw it in a garage, I saw it in a petrol bunk stories, my internet had got disconnected when he was about to take the run. A moment of high indeed.

From that distance morning in Auckland when he opened the innings for the first time till today, every day has been a reason for celebration for us. A whole lot of us have grown up in life with him being a constant factor. Come joy come sorrow, we have known our gateway to escape to the land of relaxation, rejuvenation and happiness. The smile that he has brought over the years cannot be expressed over a piece of article but he is definitely that one man who holds the power to elevate the mood of the country. He has done it in the past, he is doing it in the present and he will continue to do it in the future. He is the best example of experiential marketing and for every marketer in us there is a lot to learn from him on how he connects with the customers most of the times without fail. In business terms he is empathetic and knows how to satisfy the stakeholders. No wonder off the field he has been one of the most commercially successful Cricketers of all times.

Whenever asked about the man, I have always maintained the fact that more than the game it is the human in him that attracts me. By sheer volume he is one of the most popular face in the world and in the past we have seen how popularity can drive people towards foolishness but he is one such being for whom the priorities have revolved around values and character. His humility and level headedness offers all of us so much to learn. He understands the fact that all the glory attached to his name are because of his deeds on the field and as long he does his duty (scoring runs) perfectly he will be hailed. It is not the other way round. The man is a machine of runs for sure but more than that he is a fountain of knowledge and inspiration. How many people do we know who have that childishness alive in them at the age of 37? How many around us have followed their passion like the way he has done? The answers to these questions make him what he is today.

A few years from now, he will bow out of the arena and all of us will stand on that particular day and say – A PART OF MY LIFE IS OVER because before this generation became the Facebook generation it was an era owned by him and still does for most of us. But let us not worry about that day because today technology gives us a chance to revisit the past with one click umpteen number of times.

In an interview with ESPN in mid 1990s he had once said –“Convert your passion into profession.”
I will not pick his top 5 innings because every time he faces a ball, he gives all of us a reason to feel happy but instead I will share the link which gives a list of all the 442 ODI matches he has played so far;template=results;type=allround;view=match

25th February 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Pune – 13th February 2010 – It’s a time we live in.

We live in a time where no more can anyone afford to think that nothing can happen to me, I am immortal. In today’s time anything can happen to anyone at any point of time. Death or tragedy is just a blast away. You, me, our loved ones every single one of us is a target or a reason for various groups to put across their message. So if it has to be at the price of our life, then be it. Whatever happened in Pune on 13th February 2010 will be spoken about for a few months and will be condemned and things will again come back to normalcy and just when we will be under an assurance that things are finally back in control, another terror attack in some part of the world will open up the Pandora box and our confidence and belief will again be shattered.

There used to be a time when people in tier B cities used to read and hear about terror attacks on newspaper and television and used to discuss around that topic in social circles. But times have changed. Yesterday the target was Koregaon Park in Pune. Tomorrow B.J.B Nagar, Bhubaneswar or Mappin Road, Sheffield might be in the news for the same reason. Let us accept the reality that terrorism coexists in our neighbourhood.

How the governing system around the world is going to tackle this ever increasing threat is something we keep getting reports on but what happens behind the closed doors is not something a common citizen of the world knows. As a lay man of the societal system it is in our best interest to have faith in the governance and extend our support to the system because that is the only thing we can do. The more we criticise the system, the more it gives a reason for the terror outfits to rejoice and take advantage of the mistrust. We need to understand that to prevent attacks the system has to be lucky every time whereas to launch an attack the terrorists have to be lucky just once. Apart from that it becomes the responsibility of every knowledgeable citizen of the world to use his/her common sense in an apt manner rather than acting foolishly and then playing the blame game. Had that waiter in German Bakery not opened the unattended bag and had he informed the police authorities who knows today we could have saved a few lives.

As I write this piece in one part of the world, extremists in another part of the world must be merry making for having successfully executed their plan a few hours back. They have every reason to be happy as with just one act they have managed to attain more TRP ratings than Shah Rukh Khan or his movie “My Name Is Khan”. It is a irony that the more we write and speak about issues like these, the more they get reasons to rejoice and the reason being something we marketers use so efficiently –Top of the mind brand recall.

We are angered, anguished and we feel helpless and arrested. There is a grief in the atmosphere and our heart goes out to the family members of those who have lost their lives. It may happen to our families tomorrow. But more than anything what hurts me is the setback it causes to the industry of dreams. With so many young people dead and so many disabled I can so easily relate to them because I am also a youngster who has dreams and aspires to make it big in life. Just prior to the blast, the discussion on the table must have revolved around topics like Indian Premier League, English Premier League, the 2nd test match between India and South Africa at Eden Gardens, Shah Rukh Khan’s My Name Is Khan, Shiv Sena, about future, plans for Valentine’s day and what not and the very next moment their world changed and life came to a standstill.

We are young and we dream because it is the dream that keeps us going every moment. Every moment we think about the job we want to do, the car we want to drive, the girl we want to date, the industry we want to work in and it is these thoughts that keep us going and all our energy gets channelized towards aspiring these aims. As youngster our eyes sparkle with a hope that one day we will reach the position we desire to and that day will be the day of life. I am disturbed that in times like these all these thoughts have no value because you don’t control yourself, its the environmental factors that control you. What happens to the boy who lost his leg in the blast and his dream to play for Mumbai Indians IPL team. He has lost his leg so he can never aspire to attain his dream anymore. But does that mean we stop dreaming? By stopping to dream and by surrendering ourselves to the environment are not we sending out the message to the extremists that they so want to hear. The day we stop dreaming, that is effectively the day we become a walking-talking dead body and with that the society halts and the future gets buried. The biggest challenge for the youngsters of today is to continue to lead a life of freedom and energy amidst the chaos and confusion that surrounds our life. In times like these it is important to draw inspiration from ourselves and the surrounding and live every day to the fullest and seek for happiness within ourselves. It is important that we as individuals smile at our fellow mate and spread the charm and radiate positive energy. More than anything, the need of the hour is to trust in each other’s ability and to stand united.

As youngsters and the future caretakers of the system let us promise to ourselves that come what may we will not deter from our path of dreaming because to dream is what we have the right to. Come how many ever such incidents, our eyes will continue to sparkle with hope and we will envisage dreams and make everything possible around us to achieve them. We should not get weak and give into the terror network. We will lead the life we have always aspired to lead and the spirit within us will always be as lively as it was when we had started this journey. Tomorrow will be a new day and the Sun will rise again and the rays will be beautiful.

I will end this note of mine with the Facebook status message of Sourav Rath, my friend from school who used to be a frequent visitor to the German Bakery but on that fateful evening, work had kept him occupied in his office:

“Nothing ever happens... Nothing happens at all... The needle returns to the start of the song... And we all sing along like before.”


Sidhanta Patnaik

14th February 2010