Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A king is a king anywhere!!

It was early March this year, the last of the financial months.But in the language of tennis, it is the time when the first of the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, the "Fifth Grand Slam", the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells is played. More importantly, this year it was the event in which Rafael Nadal after an injury which kept him away from Tennis for around eight months( of course he won two small events before this but this is a Masters 1000!!). And he has been undefeated on hard courts ever since, winning five out of the seven Masters 1000 tournaments played so far this year three of them being on hard courts. His win-loss is 52-3. Out of these three loses, two came on clay courts and one on grass court.
I think it is time we take back the title, "Clay Court Specialist" we have given him.
A deeper look into his statistics.
Nadal after winning US Open 2010 

Nadal has played in 17 Grand Slam finals so far out of which he has won 12 with eight of them being on a clay court. Fine. This makes 47 percent of his finals. He is yet to lose a grand slam final on clay. So more than 50 percent of his grand slam finals have been played on a non-clay court. The rest of the 9 finals, 56 percent were played on grass court and the rest 44 percent on hard courts.
It has been 9 years since Nadal won his first grand slam. Let us divide the nine years into two halves. First: 2005-2008 and the second: 2009-2013. In the first half, his clay court grand slam finals share is 57 and in the second half it drops down to 40 percent. From 2009 to present he has won seven grand slams, 58 percent of his total grand slams.
In the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments too he has an impressive record of reaching 14 finals on non-clay courts winning 8 of them. And wait, his olympic gold was on a hard court!! And please do not ask about grass courts. Only one major event is played every year on that surface and there is no Masters 1000 played on a grass court!
His achievements on clay surface undoubtedly makes him the greatest clay court player in history. He has 42 titles overall on clay courts and 8 grand slams on clay court and at a single grand slam, a feat which no one even dream of. However, he also has 14 titles on hard courts and 3 on grass courts. He also holds many other records which prove his quality of tennis on any surface.
While Nadal is not at all a contender in the GOAT race compared to Federer according to me, he has however, definitely proven himself a very good player on any surface.
He is called "The King of Clay". Now, he is off to show that a king is a king anywhere and everywhere!!
Vamos Rafa!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Gandhiji's Idea of Independence..Mine!

Gandhiji said India would have attained real independence only when a girl roams freely on any Indian street at any time!! No, I am not going to challenge this statement but wait, I want to assure that nobody, boys or girls are able to step out into the "Night Street." Actually this is a very healthy issue, considering the fact that people are afraid to go out late in the night and are getting a good six to eight hour sleep everyday!!
Why I made this statement, is because of a strange or better put it "the strangest event of my life" that happened to me late in the night in the capital city of the state with highest literacy rate in our country!! But hey don't worry, India is overall quite a safe place to live in!! 

Not a watch dog but a street dog
I had to board a train early in the morning one day in this high literacy city. So I was in the railway station the previous night itself. I wanted to experience the 'footpath' life. So, I went out into the city. As I was walking on the 'Mahatma Gandhi' road, a person came to me and asked me to come to his room which was nearby (he pointed not towards something residential!) and sleep there the entire night. When I said no, he tried convincing me for a long time and finally left.
I could have left the matter there but I felt like Robert Downey Jr. in Sherlock Holmes and started following him. Of course he shook me off! Who he is? What is his profession? Don't ask me!
Then I continued my walk along the road. Now, two youths on a bike stopped beside me and asked for money!! I didn't give any!! They asked my phone. I said I had none. Maybe they were unarmed because they left me unharmed.
This time I felt a little nervous because two very strange events were simultaneous.
Hey the rhyming was spontaneous!! 
As I started walking back towards the railway station, I was approached by a guy who was dressed in the oddest possible way( I better not describe the colour combination or the pattern of his dressing!!). Now, I was ready for another assault but the guy asked for the address of the primary bus station. It was just opposite to the railway station so I showed him the way and calmly came back to the station and waited for my train till morning.
Now my point is, though nothing happened to me, the experience made me worry about the safety in our country at night. You can ask, 'Why should one roam on streets at night?' In fact, this is a valid point because the police at night have to but suspect everybody. It happened so that one day few of my friends were locked in a cell for an entire night on suspicion grounds. They were roaming on the streets just like that and couldn't give a valid reason to the patrol men.
But then, true independence doesn't mean roaming freely on night streets with no purpose. Gandhiji meant that one should mind his own business and not disturb others, even in late hours of the day when crime is easier to commit. Only then, India is independent.

A little late, but
Happy Independence Day

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sincerely - A Civil Servant

Brothers and Sisters of India,

We come from your middle, only in the hope to serve you well. This, we did though we graduated with a cool degree from even cool institutes like IITs, IIMs, AIIMS, IISc etc only because we couldn't see the sufferings of so many of our fellow country mates. We could have gotten away with a nice job in a huge MNC and in places of our choice in the world! But we wanted to serve you and stayed back. Amidst heavy competition, we made it all the way to become a civil servant.

In the training we were what is "India". People from different states, cultures and from different upbringings come together to get trained to become one!! We were not trained at our home place so that we mingle other people. We are all from various backgrounds.. rich, poor, some engineers, some scientists, some doctors but all with a common aim which is to be patriotic!! We are taught how to behave, how not to behave, we learn how to make friends and most importantly how to be honest. We loved this and are very enthusiastic to serve our Indians. We know we are one of the country's most respected professionals and we step out into the real world to keep up that name.

But, once outside we are met by a hostile environment rather than the friendly and cheerful one we had in our training. So what. We are powerful and use that power sincerely. We are rewarded well for our sincerity only that the awards are received posthumously by our kin. A noble officer was burnt alive for opposing the oil mafia in Mumbai. Another officer who was brave enough to stand up against the sand mafia has been stamped down by the "Rowdy Raj" to an extent that she is now knocking the doors of the assistants of politicians to show mercy!! She was suspended on some stupid religious grounds and the same Rowdy raj which promised no political rowdyism is backing the sand mafia and wants no IAS officers in their state. Shame!!
The central government keeps quiet because it wants support from this state government!! Thank You!
And sincere officers being threatened, kidnapped and killed by the maoists is well known!!

A civil servant's job is not high incomes, Z category security and high profile dinner meetings and it is definitely not as a cakewalk as it may seem to be!! Though we are an independent power, we are constantly controlled by the Legislative. It's a highly dangerous job in which we have to take every step carefully. And God knows about our personal life! Yet, we will bravely move forward. We will do our duty because that is our aim. That is our breath. We don't care if no government, no opposition, no media supports us.All we want is your support!! We apologise for few unfaithful servants but nevertheless we will move forward with a little support from you.

Always at your service,
A Civil Servant