Saturday, September 29, 2007

Runs N Wickets

If you want to score your runs and take the opponent's wickets, join RunsNWickets.

That is the cricket team i play for. We are a bunch of passionate cricketers who meet up every weekend for a hit in the NETS or play a match. We also meet online using the google groups where the finer details about the game are shared and discussed.

Some photos from a recent game at Madras Christian College ( MCC) ground at Tambaram - One of the most scenic grounds i've played .

The green ground..

Vinoth ( Our keeper-batsman, who has played for TN under 17 team ) shows defense..

That is me, going hard after a cricket ball ..

Needless to say who won the game :)

Friday, September 28, 2007

My Paaatiee

She is the nicest lady i've ever met, the most caring person, totally pure - have never heard her say anything bad against anyone , she was almost like a kid - very innocent ( managed to take her innocence to the grave, quite an achievement considering the world she was in ) , she gave the best of education to her 6 kids ( all this despite being an ordinary worker in a textile mill ), sweated it out all her life ( if i was awake, i have never seen her sleeping after 5 am and she was always wide awake till 10 pm ) , went out of her way to feed a hungry soul , Never said NO when asked for any help, had amazing energy all her life (during her active days - she worked from morning 6 am to 4 pm and held the fort steady at home till 10 pm and she also walked from Coimbatore to Palani ( 150 km ) every year), brought up each of her grand kids in the best possible way, told us the stories - ( I looked forward to her stories of "those days" during bed time, whenever she stayed with us ) and she always had a beautiful smile on her face - My Paaaatieee, she was the bestest...

May her soul rest in peace.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

ECR Run # 3

ChennaiRunners had the big run for the quarter on September 16th.

No of Runners : 36
Total Distance : 26 km approx
Route : Toll booth on the ECR to Mamalla Beach Resort at Mahabalipuram

We called this event 40 x 30 - 40 people attempting 30 km run and we almost met the target. Runners met at 3:45 am at Dimensions Gym in Alwarpet and car pooled to the start point ( Toll Booth).

We had 2 cars that worked as mobile water points - they stopped every 5 km for the runners to get hydrated. Thanks to volunteers Savitri madam ( she is 50+ and her energy is amazing. She wants to finish a marathon very soon ), Ravikrishnan, Srivats, Jayant, Ramesh's driver and Bhargav's pal. They egged the runners on and supported us all the way to the finish line.

Weather aided out efforts - We never saw the sun till we reached the finish line. The finish point ( Mamalla Resort ) had ample space for us to walk around and some of us even took a dip in the sea. The weightlessness in the sea after the 26 km of pounding the leg received is just heavenly.

After a sumptuous meal and a fanatastic time with the runners, we left back to the start point. The runs always bring out great camaraderie at the finish line. It is almost as if the runners want to break free and make up for the "lonely" running moments...

Some photos

Ravi and Sundar at a water point. Savitri and Srivats , the enthusiastic volunteers.
Ram speeding away on the ECR ...
Shiva - 0 to 30 km in 3 months!!

Relaxing at the Mamalla

Sumptuous breakfast at Mamalla !!!

Hope to target 50 X 30 for the next run.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

T20 - Some thoughts

Totally enjoyed watching the T20 final ( Finals and the semi's are the only games i watched ). Some thoughts about the game, Indian cricket and more..

  • T20 is surely cricket's answer to the basketball challenge. Americans went the basketball way since the game offered excitement and uncertainity every second of the game and the game itself lasted only about 1.5 hours. From, what we saw in the worldcup, T20 can clearly match up to the "American" challenge
  • T20 world cup in 15 years will surely see stiff competition from the countries in the Americas
  • T20 worldcup in 15 years will probably structured the same way as the football world cup ( regional level competitions and then the world stage )
  • Bowlers need to be accurate all the time and have 2-3 types of deliveries to keep the batsman guessing. The 07 T20 finals saw Harbhajan being smashed for sixes. Harbhajan was attempting to just bowl 1 type of a ball ( fire the yorker in ) and the batsman can, by default, wait on the front foot to smash him. This puts the bowler under a lot of pressure to pitch on the right spot , ball after ball. On the other hand, Irfan Pathan kept mixing the balls - one was a slow offcutter, another was a quicker one, a short one ( at Afridi ), a fuller one and he was clearly successful
  • Also, the T20 worldcup clearly showed that the batsman has to have solid batting skills to excel. The batsmen who smashed - Yuvraj, Hayden, Misbah and others had a clear method to their hitting. T20 may not bring out the same grace from the batsman as a TEST match does, but it will surely match up to the One day international levels.
  • As a result of T20 games, if the One day international games are played ( i see the one day games dying out very soon ), the 50 over a side games will see totals of 400+ being scored regularly
  • Lastly, i couldn't feel more sorry for Sachin - He gave his everything for the Indian team for 17 years. Sometimes, it was as if he was the only guy who was playing straight - literally and otherwise. He deserved that world cup the Indian boys won as much as guys such as Yuvraj, RP Singh and Dhoni, if not more. He should have been a part of the team. That cup should be dedicated to his contribution for the Indian cricket. ( Joginder must be one lucky guy on planet earth. He kept bowling at all places on the pitch and still managed to be a part of the world cup winning side). Sorry Sachin - Life is really cruel sometimes

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Things i will do before i kick the bucket

Here is a dream "to do" list - things i will do before i kick the bucket ( have more to add than that appears here and will do so at an appropriate time )

  1. Finish a Marathon ( Finished the Bangalore 2006 and Mumbai 2007 marathons )

  2. Run a Marathon in under 3 hours and 30 mins

  3. Take a cricket team to tournament victory ( Corporate league or local divisional league )

  4. Write a book

  5. Play the guitar

  6. Learn to dance comfortably ( move away from my current embarassing moves on the floor!! )

  7. Keep playing active sports ( run marathons, play cricket, badminton , tennis etc ) even after 70's

  8. Have a house by the beach

  9. Have a house in the hills

  10. Build a lasting entreprise

  11. Drive on an F1 track ( If not an F1 car, atleast a Ferrari )

  12. Do cross country biking ( Atleast 1000 km )

  13. Learn to cook !!!

  14. Learn to speak Hindi and French ( at the least! )

  15. Read biology lessons again ( i sucked at it at school and want to have a another go !! )

  16. Win a competitive 100 m race ( Have won at school, college levels )

  17. Set a record in Athletics at a competitive level ( 400 m junior Coimbatore record is in my name J )

  18. Finish a triathlon race

  19. Travel to all the continents

  20. Explore a rain forest

  21. Travel around India on a Rs.100 a day budget

  22. Ride through the tour de france mountain section

  23. Read the college physics book again ( and understand the concepts )

  24. Build a car from scratch

  25. Become more energy efficient ( thanks to my bro's inspiration )

  26. Fly an aircraft

  27. Learn to be efficient when working 14+ hours

  28. Use few words to convey a point and do so convincingly

  29. ....

This will be a rolling blog post - will update when the time is RIGHT to add to the list / crossed the action.

Am tagging my buddies below, to come up with a similar blog post

  • Amie
  • Anu
  • Nithya
  • Sumi
  • Abhinav
  • Arvind / Neeru
  • Boston

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Children !

Went to a pal's place recently and spoke to his kid( who is in LKG) for a short while. I realise, as i write now, that the last time i interacted at length with a small kid was when my cousin brother ( who is in class 6 ) was 6-7 years younger!

The innocence, their questions, their answers to our questions, their tone, laugh, walk, interests, experessions, actions... one will only fall head over heals for those, like i did

Some memories...

I asked the kid , what his favourite colors were - he said " i like whyteeee and bleeuuu ( expression being happy excitement and wide grin... ). I like my shirts to be whyteeee... just like my teeth ( he had a wide grin... and pointed to his teeth and told us how white it should be..) "

He was playing with his toys, mainly cars. He fished out some toys, from the bag, which included a dump truck. His dad tried to join his "play" with the dump truck and his typical kid response "Appa, don't play with the dump truck. The dirt ( since it "carries" waste and not the toy being dusty ) will enter into your eyes... "

Thoroughly bathed myself in the innocense ...

This kid is super active and super smart.. someone to watch out for !!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Chennai Runners on India Today

India Today has a piece on Chennai Runners in its edition dated 17th September 07. The "Simply Chennai" section has this piece. It was 2 weeks ago, when the runners met with the India Today Photographer and the correspondent at Anna university grounds. After a number repeated routines to get the right picture ( and spending an hour in the process and having fun.. ), the memory card in the photohrapher's high tech camera gave up!! and we did the same routine again a few days later.

Here are the scanned pages - Thanks to Ram for these!

Hope more of you join us for the early morning runs - 256 is current group size. Check

On Turning 25...

Have gone past a yearly milestone for the past 25 years, but the last crossing ( just over a week ago) is clearly taking me into a new world . I can clearly see the transition, with its hazy beginings 6-7 months ago, becoming more clear. If look back at the last 25 years, i had 2 BIG dreams - One was to play cricket for india ( Day dream, as it turned out to be... ) and the other to be a successful entrepreneur.

Though i have played Cricket at reasonably competitive levels, i was far away from the dreams. Never worked towards it - Spent the extra 3 hours required everyday to hone the cricket skills in studying !! The fear of falling flat on my face made me take a safe decision - to study. The trade offs we make always takes to the point of no return. Yes, i do play cricket still ( it energises me everytime i play - its my recharge point ) but far far away from where i wanted to be ... it turned out to be an unreal dream !

With the entrepreneur dream, having learnt from my previous mistakes, am putting myself on the line. Am not going to be safe and i hope to be doing a "turning 50" post with more positives to it than the current one. It sure will be an exciting next 25 and more...

And for the crossing itself, it turned to be very memorable - thanks to some thoughtful pals !

The surprise landing at my place with the cake was easily the best - thanks :) ( best surprises come cheap !! ), the chirpy afternoon/quiet evening drive to mahabs and back, the calls at the stroke of 12, calls and messages on "both days" ( if you know what that is ), the calls from London, Bombay, Bangalore, TN and Costa Rica, the many messages on orkut, the sms at 3:06 pm on 29th , the dunking into the sea at besant beach after the frisbee, the mails and the quiet dinner and the breakfast and many more - It sure was a memorable "crossing" !

Thanks for making me feel really special .

Update - Apologise to the person who called up at 6 am on 29th and sang a beautiful " Happy B'day" song . Am really sorry to have missed this out.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Shauk Hai - Rahman's best!

Anu has an amazing ear for music - digs out some brilliant ones from the repository, every now and then! Am hooked to her latest discovery - Have been listening non-stop for over an hour before this post! Thanks girl !

Surely, this song will rank as one of Rahman's best.

My hindi "Knowledge" required that i google for the translation of lyrics - Lyrics are beautiful
Thanks to Arvind, for the lyrics and translation.

( I have an mp3 version as well. Mail me (karthikeyan.vijayakumar at if you want this one).

Raat ka shauk hai

I aspire of the night

Raat ki saundhi si khamoshi ka
That earthen silence of the night

Shauk hai
I aspire

Subha ki roshni
That light of the morning

Bezubaan subho ki aur gungunati
Humming toward the mum morning

Roshni ka Shauk hai, ho shauk hai
I aspire of light, oh…I aspire

San sani anwlon ka
Of those pungency of amlas (I aspire to taste)

Ke ishq ke banwlon ka
Of those crazyness of the lovers (I aspire to have)

San sani anwle
Those pungent amlas

Ke ishq ke banwle
Those crazy lovers

Barf se khelte badolon ka
Of those clouds playing with the ice

Shauk hai
I aspire (to touch)

Kaash ye zindagi Khel hi khel mein kho gayi hoti
I wish this life were a child's play

Raat ka shauk hai
I aspire of night

Neend ki goliyon ka
Of those sleeping peels (I aspire)

Khwab ke loriyon ka
Of those lullabies of dreams (I aspire to listen)

Neend ki goliyan
Those sleeping peels

Khwab ke loriyan
Those lullabies of dreams

Bezubaan aus ki boliyon ka
Of those (unsaid) words of mum dews (I aspire to listen)

Shauk hai
I aspire

Kaash ye zindagi binkahe binsune so gayi hoti
I wish this life had gone to sleep without saying or listening

Subha ki roshni
That light of the morning

Bezubaan subho ki aur gungunati
Humming toward the mum morning

Roshni ka Shauk hai, ho shauk hai
I aspire of light, oh…I aspire

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Man who Moved the Mountains..

"Every morning, for 22 long years, a frail, diminutive man, barefoot and clad in a loin cloth, would trudge two kilometres to a hillock of solid rock and chip away at it with a hammer and chisel. Bemused onlookers thought he had lost his mind, and he was an object of great fun for village urchins. But the women of the village, young and old, admired him, for his was a labour of love "

- You can be rich, you can be powerful, and you can be famous, but you won't amount to much of anything until you change the world-

"Dasrath Manjhi was building a memorial to his wife Phaguni Devi—one that won't ever find a place in hallowed global must-visit lists, but can well be passed down from this generation to the next as a monument of love. A poor man's Taj, literally. Not for its aesthetics, but for the way it symbolises the human spirit's capacity to endure, its indomitability. Dasrath had undertaken a Herculean task, perhaps unequalled in recent human history. The direct beneficiaries may be few—the residents of Gelaur, a remote hamlet in Bihar's Gaya district—but the act itself is a gift to us all: a fable for our times."

More here

Its really amazing, the extent a human being can go to conquer something .. if they set their minds to it ...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sports Story #4 : Spectator and more

Of the many gripes about sports in India, there is nothing more damaging than the lack of spectator interest in the games beyond the national stage. Support and encouragement to the sports and games played at the local level will be a big boost to the sports in general and players in specific. My friend in the US regularly talks about going to watch his local football team play. He and his friends take a picnic meal along and enjoy the weekend supporting and appreciating the local league games. In contrast, the only people who turn up at the local games in India are the player's family.

Can this situation change ? ...I don't have an answer. But i do know of someone who stands by a cricket team like a rock in India - In an earlier life, i used to captain the cricket team of Frost & Sullivan in Chennai. This highly enthusiastic team used to play competitive cricket against other corporate teams almost every other weekend. We always could count on this person to turn up and support the team - whether the game happens at the easy to access, in-city grounds such as St.Bedes or the grounds that are miles away and have to be reached through "national highways" ( Yes yes, grounds beyond Tambaram in Chennai ).

She has played the role of a 12th man taking water to the thirsty souls in the burning heat in May, been the cricket scorer when the players dumped the work on her , team's photographer clicking away the snaps and promptly mailing it to the players for "keeps", Run around and organise farewell gifts for players moving away from the team ( Cricket and Frost ) and importantly, cheer the players ball after ball ... For over a year now.

If only we had many more of her tribe, am sure there would be some positive change in the sporting culture in India.

Thanks AC !!

Here is a video she put together ... That was one of the best teams i've been a part of and it shows in the photos!!