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My Vote, My Future and My Country… The Lament Of A Disillusioned Voter

Published April 3, 2014 by vishalvkale

On the 10th of April, in 7 days time, the Great Indian Election Season starts wherein each adult Indian is supposed to excercise his or her vote, and choose a party into power. To some of us, it is a vital day; to some of us, it is a duty, to some of us, it is a task, to some of us, it is unimportant… and to some of us, like me, it is a day to regret, to cry in desolation at the absence of a good choice.

2014… 23 years since I reached 18, the grand and exciting age that grants me the right to vote, that grants me a single lifetime Share Certificate in India, Inc; that grants me the ability of impact the direction of the nation and that grants me an admittedly small and infinitesimal but vital power over my own future and destiny.

And yet, despite this share, this power, this influence… I have felt disoriented and aloof from this entire excercise, remaining aloof and divorced from this entire tamasha. For, look as hard as I might, I could not spot a single person to vote for, a single person who deserves my vote. For every party fields candidates with criminal records, a subject now discussed to the point of boredom. If they dont, then you have dynasties, making me wonder and re-check my civics books for India’s Government – is it a monarchy? To my complete shock, and bewilderment, I find that book stating India as a Democracy! Whats with the dynasties then? Not just Gandhi, but everywhere you see dynasties! Pretty sure that I was taught civics by a science teacher. India cant be a monarchy, methinks. No way, no how.

Then, as I began to age a bit, I started noticing things… sorry, GoI, noticing is a no-no in India, I know – but it is kind of hard to ignore the naked woman beggar, the jamaadar bathed in shit as he cleans my drain, the hungry beggar begging for a roti, the emanicipated kids running around half-naked the adolescents carrying tea instead to going to school, the half-naked men and women labourers, the power-cuts, those fantastic roads that ensure that mechanics get some earnings (a true patriot, that person who makes those shit roads – ensuring business to the impoverished. Good show!).

Then, sadly, I did my BSc(Ag) and MBA. And what is worse, someone in both colleges didnt know his job; he was bad at it. He actually taught me something. Oh, woe is me… I actually gained education. And, with that dirty word called education, came those lovely but totally forbidden things- thoughts. Time passed , I read some more. Blame the newspapers – those fools actually printed some good analytical articles, as also some misguided authors who dared to educate us heathens on what good Governance is all about. (Good Governance? Who needs it when we can have those criminals and dynasties around us? Pshaw! Stuff and Nonsense. What we need is a good, hard criminal and a monarch – 2 of them)

And then, I did the cardinal sin. I actually became a bigger fool by taking all those evil writers at their face value, and started analysing. Ooh, evil dirty word – analysis; that puts such stupid thoughts as GDP Growth, Gini Coefficient, Inflation, Per Capita Income, Implementation, Project completion time, Irrigated Area, Per Hectare Crop Productivty, Corruption free society {Sacrilege! Corruption free? India? Sent this guy to Agra Mental Asylum: he’s mad}, Per Hectare Income of farmers, farmer suicides, education and literacy in India, Mortality etc etc…

Having made the mistakes above, I could then only see the stalled project due to corruption and crime, the loss to the nation due to the Mining fiasco, the simple fact that I have pay a bribe just to prove I am married (And I married in front of God and a 1000 guests. Bribes more important than both, hey?), the fact that I cant get a headway on property without grease {this grease has nothing to do with that gooey stuff mechanics use, btw}, the power cuts, the state of the Army as it doesnt have equipment, the state of health and Government hospitals, the state of our schooling system.

Sadly, having actually listened to a lecture in MBA {Yup, classmates, thats one more than you guys!), I had the sad and unfortunate ability to realise that we had been ruled by both sets of dynasties, politicians and criminals largely due to our federal status, with something called “states” being constituted in India, which meant both major parties were ruling me locally at varying times. {What did I tell you – Civics by a science teacher. She did tell me about something called a state, cant recall what. But she did, so there!}. As I said, I made the mistake of analysing, and the even more base mistake of observing.

And to top it all, I also thought! {A citizen, thinking? Whats the world coming to, anyway?} While this stupid analysis did tell me one set of geniuses were slightly better at running the Goverment {Yup, I think I know what that word means. Google Zindabad!} – it also told me that I still require to pay a bribe for just about everything, that projects are still stuck due to corruption, and so on and so forth, despite this “state” government being different. And, since my civics classes were taken by a science PhD with a post-doc in particle phsyics, this sad person taught me state lists and central lists as well. {Well, I mean – to be fair, he didnt actually expect me to read those bloody lists. But I did, kyaa karoon?} And, unfortunately, I could see both lists in deep trouble. Why Oh Why did I read those bloody lists? Those should be classified top secret Government reports!

Result? Confusion! {What do you expect if you think???? Clarity? Kyaa Samjhe ho – RamRajya Hai? Hadd Karte Ho! What an Optimist} {Well, ok, maybe idiot is a better word there. See – the advantage of an education? I read your mind! Yes, yes, I now know it is a perfectly useless skill} Both sides, the people seem similar. Both sides clamouring for my bechaaraa vote. Both sides doing nothing to make my life easier.

What did I expect and ask for all these years?

  • Lesser Corruption
  • Improvement in amenities like cleaner cities, no power cuts
  • Education
  • Cheap and Accessible Health.
  • Good Roads
  • A friendly police force
  • A fast-growing economy
And for that, I, the discerning voter, am considered a fool. Yes, it is foolish in the extreme – asking for such things as a Marriage Licence without a bribe, good roads etc. I mean, I am alive, isnt it? Aur kyaa Chaahiye???? Amazing, the expectations of people nowadays. I am a fool for I used to state that I cannot find a single person to vote for.
Enter 2014. Once Again, Elections. Once again, the chance to alter the future of my country, and by extension, myself. Once again, I start that forbidden monstrosity – analysis. Once again, with a hope that by some miracle I will find someone who deserves my vote. Once again, I search… will this time be different? Will I find that impossibility? I it too much to ask – a single decent clean candidate from my constituency? This time, chances are I might. Hope lives on… being an optimist {ok, ok, ok, ok and a fool}, I once again hope with my fingers crossed… my head bent in silent prayer for my mother, my India

Yet another incident and proof of our lack of humanity…

Published August 24, 2013 by vishalvkale

Heartless Kolkata watches woman commit suicide – The Times of India

Courtesy The Times Of India:

No words, just shock. Read it yourself, and see into a mirror that portrays how uncaring and cruel we have become… we need urgent attention to our  internal value systems, which, far too obviously are skewed up, and screwed up big-time! Our internal compass, which I had thought to be in dire need of correction, is actually lost somewhere; we just lack a moral compass in totality. Read this if you care; move on if you dont! 

Jaago, Sonewaalon!

KOLKATA: A woman climbed on a lamp-post on Friday evening, took her time fashioning a noose from her dupatta, put it around her neck and jumped off. Heartless Kolkata passed by as she choked to death. It was 4pm, rush-hour on Central Avenue, and no one had the time to stop to save a life.

Even when the body hung limply from the lamp-post, no one stepped up to see if there was a heartbeat left. The culture hub ofMahajati Sadan is nextdoor and MG Road Metro station right in front but commuters glanced at the body and went their way. It was 15 minutes before someone informed a policeman and 10 minutes more before the body was brought down because no passerby wanted to help the cop with the grisly job. The victim was identified as 50-year-old Soma Bakshi, who gave up after a bitter fight with her addict husband.

The incident reveals the dark, uncaring side of the city that was not long ago known for its compassion and helpfulness. In October 2008, two police stations squabbled for four hours over jurisdiction as a 37-year-old man lay dying in Howrah and in November that year, hundreds filed past an old man who was shivering to death on Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road. In August 2011, a teenage boy lay bleeding for an hour after an accident on the busy AJC Bose Road but no one tried to save him.

Even on Friday, insurance agents were milling about the place when Soma carried out her suicide preparations, witnesses told TOI. They had come for a musical soiree at Mahajati Sadan but no one reacted when she climbed a tree, clambered up to one of the lamp-posts set up recently, and threw herself off.

“Soma lived on the pavement in front of Mahajati Sadan with her husband Dipankar and a daughter. They slept under the open sky and when it rained, they would take refuge on the porch of the Metro station. Soma was the bread-earner and the couple often quarreled because Dipankar didn’t work and blew up her money on drugs. So when they fought on Friday afternoon, none of us paid much attention,” said tea stall owner Pawan Jadav.

Private firm employee B S Chouhan was the first to react when he saw the body after exiting the Metro station. “I was shocked to see the woman hanging while people went about their life as though nothing had happened. I alerted a traffic constable. But when he sought help from passersby to bring the body down, no one agreed. Only when two other constables arrived could the body be brought down and taken to hospital,” said Chouhan. Police have ruled out foul play but have detained Dipankar for questioning.

Gopal Das, who sells fries on the adjoining pavement and knew Soma, rued how insensitive everyone had become. “I am to blame as well for not realizing that Soma had snapped. We are too busy with our own lives and don’t bother if the person next door lives or dies. Had I turned when the quarrel intensified and seen her, I could perhaps have saved her,” he said.

Book Review: Business Sutra

Published April 28, 2013 by vishalvkale

This is one of the most difficult books to pen a review on, a book that is almost limitless in its reservoir of knowledge and wisdom, a book that provides a veritable treasure trove of fables and learnings, a book that is to be treasured, a path of discovery to be undertaken, an experience to be savoured… a book that will leave you richer for the experience, and wiser for the titbits of knowledge; a book that will stay with you for a very long time… a book that will provide each reader with at least one powerful takeaway
For this review, I am adopting a different style altogether; the reason is that the book is so wide and comprehensive, that I freely sumbit that I cannot do justice to the entire content in a review – at least, not in a fashion that will hold the readers” interest. That would require in-depth knowledge – and I have only read the book one-and-a-half times. Further, it is also a fact that this is a book that is experience-based, so let me quote practical real world examples based on some of the concepts the book mentions… that should convince the reader to procure a copy. 
Hence, while I usually try to start my book reviews with lines or paragraphs from the book that draw in the reader and make him or her yearn for the book; however, I am starting this review with a youtube video of a Marathi song sung by Salil Kulkarni and composed by Sandeep Khare and Salil Kulkarni. This song features the lament of a young father who is unable to give his daughter any time,  is unable to be a part of her daily life,  due to work pressures… 

Damalelya Babachi hi Kahani

komejun nijaleli ek pari rani,

utaralele tond dola sutalele pani ||2||

rojchech aahe sare kahi aaj nahi

mafi kashi magu pori mala tond nahi

zopetach gheto tula aaj mi kushita

nijatach tari pan yeshila khushita

sangayachi aahe majha sanulya phula

damalelya babachi hi kahani tula …

Translation: A sweet sleeping child, face strewn with tears, lies sleeping on the bed; this is a daily affair – how do I say sorry to you, my daughter? This is not something new, it is a daily affair… I always see you sleeping, and take you in my arms in with you in your slumber… how do I explain to you, my child, the story of your overworked and dog-tired Dad? 

Offisat ushira mi asato basun

bhandavale doke gele kamat budun

taas taas jato khaal mane ne nighun

ek ek diva jato haluch vijun

ashaveli kai sangu kai kai vate

athava sobat pani dolyatun date

Translation: Whenever I stay late in the office, my head swimming with the pressure of my daily chores, the hours passing by at a terrifying speed – with me unable to ever raise my head from my desk… how do I explain to you, my daughter, that at such times, tears clog up my eyes whenever the memory of your tearful face swims before my eyes? 
The above is the hard reality of life; with its work pressures, disturbed work-life balance and lack of quality time for family. The modern work-place, the professional work-place, with its KRA-driven work ethics, and the penchant to regard human beings as resources, leaves little scope for the emotional and personal side of employees. “Emotions dont play a role in business” is a commonly stated sentence (phrase?) in business. Sounds fine, when viewed impersonally. But consider that the “resource” involved is a human being – and human beings have emotions, feelings, desires and tolerance levels. By dehumanising the entire process, the focus on the KRAs has been achieved  is the common business approach in all organisations. But do take a look at the song above; just how productive an asset is the above employee going to be? His mind is at home, with his child, who complains ” I never see you, I never play with you etc etc?” If you think this a far-fetched, read this article below: 
The scenario of the employee as a human being and not as a resource is one of the first chapters in the book – and most of us, with business or professional experience has either experienced this first-hand – or have seen it up close and personal. Job performance is a function as much of KRAs and targets and goals as it is a function of the individual human being who is responsible for setting the strategies and executing the tactical plans. The moment you look at it from this perspective, a whole new business paradigm unfurls in front of view. And at least a few of the top successful people do realise the virtues hidden in this approach. 
I recall an interchange with my boss a few months ago. He called me up to set up a team meeting. Then he said – dont worry. No plans – just an open discussion. I just wanted to check how much your teams believes in our product, how much they themselves trust and like our product. This is another concept that the book introduces – one that is not touched by contemporary western management science – but it works wonders in the field – simply because an employee who believes in the value and quality of the product of his company will be far more convincing in his customer (whether internal or external) meetings, will more readily recall details and will be more effective as a result. 
The book talks about to vision and mission statements of the organisation… and makes the solid point through a powerful diagram which features an employee hard at work, focussing on his KRAs… but in the thought balloon, he is shown as thinking “whose vision? Whose targets?”. So true, and so spot-on. Vision statements are in reality just phrases adorning corporate – and at the most – hub offices; on-ground reality has little relation to, or at best little focus on the vision statements, company goals, targets, etc. It is all about my vision, my targets etc… little effort is made to communicate and align the employees with the organisational objectives, to understand individual needs and motivators and align them towards a greater common goal. The net result is that frequently, the larger loftier vision or organisational goal gets lost in the race to achieve personal targets – which is quite often at the cost of long-term sustainability for the organisation. 
One of the most powerful parts of the book is the one which concentrates on the individual, and how to understand each employee, and the need for getting to know the drivers of each employee. In my own team, I have three people who are poles apart; their motivators are varied. One is driven by money and the will to succeed after a fall; another is just biding time as he is assured of a good job in the government. I cannot drive both by the same logic; as a leader, I need to understand the person – not the resource; the human, not the object on an excel sheet that contributes to my own excel sheet of performance! 
I could go on and on ; but this is a review – not a sermon. My objective above is to kindle the thought processes of the readers of this review. The above practical learnings and examples should make the content approach of the book clear. The most interesting aspect is that this is not done in the form of a boring classroom lecture, but through learnings from our scriptures – The Vedas, The Upanishads, The Ramayan, The Mahabharat etc. Allegorical stories and the teaching method adopted; each story is short, fun to read and highly interesting – encapsulated at the end is the short business lesson in the form of diagrams and business examples. The writing is simple, the language is very easy to understand and the pace is almost frenetic; it is a page-turner, It looks at the individual, as I have shown above; it looks at decision making skills, It looks at change – both calm change as well as sudden violent change; It looks at the organisation as an organism – in short, it looks at the entire spectrum of business activities. The book moves smoothly from the broad vision statement of the company to its internal organisation and to the individual in a smooth flow. 
All along, it leaves insights and deep thought provoking germinating ideas in your mind; for example, the segment on the leadership styles and qualities is worth a book unto itself, so powerfully phrased is the presentation. But most importantly, the key message is the importance  of the individual as a human being – not as a resource; understanding him / her – drivers, motivators and how these interplay with the larger corporate scenario; how his/her decisions impact the scene; how differing roles are played by various players in the world – the person who makes decisions, the follower, the leader etc. Read this book for this alone; to me, this has been the most powerful learning. 
In closing, I would like to quote from the above song again, which will serve to highlight that the employee is a human being, and not a machine…

asa kasa baba dev lekarala deto

lavakar jato ani ushirani yeto

balpan gele tujhe guj nisatun

ure kai tujha majha onjhali madhun

jari yete othi tujha majhasathi hase

najaret tujha kahi anolkhi dise

tujha jagatun baba harvel ka ga?

mothepani baba tula athavel ka ga? ||2||

sasurala jata jata umbarathya madhe

babasathi yeil ka pani dolyamadhe?….

Translation: What kind of a father has God given you? Goes early, comes late?  Your childhood passed without Dad being a part of it; Will Dad be a part of your later life? Will you remember me when I am old? Will you cry for your Dad, for missing him as a part of your life when you stand at the threshold of our house on your wedding day, as you leave forever to your Husband’s house? 

Human Beings arent resources on an excel sheet – they have feelings, pressures, stresses, memories, ties, relations, fears, desires… something western management concepts totally ignore…

This review is a part of the biggest Book Reviews Program. for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

HP Bloggers Meet At Mumbai

Published September 8, 2012 by vishalvkale

By hook or by crook, I am the first in the contest!
PS: Team Blogadda, kindly DONT correct me in case I am wrong! 

Now, where were we? Aah, yes. The HP meet

All three of us were invited to the HP meeting held at Fat Cat, Andheri-west organised by HP. Who’s the 3, you say? I, Me and Myself of course. Come on! And it was a good thing indeed that all of us – meaning I, Me and Myself were present… had only I attended, leaving Me and Myself in the office attending to business, a good event would have been missed…. in which event, the meeting would have been attended, but not attended….

But more of that later. First a word for the sponsors… I dont like commercial breaks; they interrupt the flow of the story, you see. That, and the fear that by the end of this rather monotonous monologue (tongue-twister, there: monotonous monologue) all of you will be so bored that no one would read about the poor sponsor! (Note my honesty: and remember my intro, Harish. I said I was a transparent and honest character). It was a blogger meeting organised by HP Printers Division, focussing on the range of their latest printer series… the HP Print Advantage – which brings me to the first takeaway for me from the meeting

Takeaway No 1: 
The latest technological developments in printing technology, affordability and simplicity of use are truly amazing: printing @ 0.75 per page, 500-something per cartridge, wireless printing. And at a starting price of 5799 MRP, not a bad deal indeed. Nowadays if you dont keep touch for even a few months (like me), you wont know where the market is heading! Great Experience! And a sobering thought: technology is moving fast… all of us have to keep abreast of the latest in the field… or end up getting surprised! One has to constantly upgrade… 

Takeaway No 2:
This is the main point I have to make about HP Printers; its low-key launch is the second – third if you include The Taj Conspiracy – launch that has opted to move away from mainstream media at least initially; Nokia Asha Series, HP Ink Advantage and Manreet Sodhi Someshwar (Taj Conspiracy) all opted for a low-key business launch, with a subsequent ramp-up. I had a word with the HP category head, who confirmed that brand is doing well despite its low-key approach. For me, as a marketer and avid follower of marketing developments, this is a lesson in Marketing. Do not go after the obvious. Second, ramp-up is easier when you have a base; as both HP and Nokia have taught me…

Takeaway No 3:
KISS. (I am most certainly NOT being naughty, mind you). Keep-It-Simple-Stupid. This was a point raised by yours truly – although in a somewhat different context, but admirably followed-up by one of the bloggers present. Long sentences, Long words, compound sentences should be avoided was the sage advice of the person. Simple words, short sentences (say, 15 words to a sentence, avoid the use of “And” etc ) should be preferred; people should not want to consult a dictionary. It caused me to pause a moment, stop in contemplation of my penchant for long words…. (Yup. QED…. “contemplation”, “Penchant” when  thought and habit would have been just as good)

You can imagine my non-insubstantial trepidation (!), as I allowed my so-called mind to go gallivanting (!!) into the foggy environs (!!!) of my memories, recalling such lovely words that I have perchance (!!!!) had occasion to use; words like perchance, penchant, not-insubstantial, trepidation, environ, gallivanting, contemplation, pusillanimous… giving birth to a new resolve to ensure forthwith that here onwards I would keep to simple easy daily use words… (see? short sentence; very short in fact. No “And” here! And a further No – I have not used Pusillanimous in this post. Tricked you!)

 A big learning for me. Me, I am a fast learner-  current blog post is proof positive of that fact. Reminded me of sentence I once wrote: 

“Me, I had adjusted to this daily rigorous exercise with spoon, cup and milk powder with an unfailing regularity every 7 a.m., which would be the harbinger of the day to follow –  which was not necessarily a bad thing, as on the plus side, it gave me a damn good workout enabling this competitor to state with complete assurance that their milk powder is decidedly healthier than Nestle, allowing as it does the development of the musculature – male and female alike – of its faithful consumers, giving them a ruddy strong left / right arm, depending upon their dexterity.”

I wont do THAT again. See? Short sentences in this blog post! What did you say? 92 words in one sentence? Where????

Jokes apart, that was a good bit of advice, at least for me. Thanks, Blogadda – and whoever made that point! This experience will enable me to become a better writer, not just a better blogger. As someone else stated, it is not about impressing the audience, but getting your viewpoint across. Such meets should be held more often, as they are great learning grounds…

Takeaway No 4:
The main point – and here I am not joking even in the presentation – was raised by an HR person present in the room. A blogger himself, he made a simple observation: even if we can convert 1 person through our writings on various issues, then it is a positive contribution. Excellent words, sir! Well Said! It also tends to bear out point no 3 above – the power of the short but correct sentence. 
Indeed, why should I get depressed that some of my posts on corruption, social change are not read by too many people? If even 1 person can get influenced, who knows? 1 added to 1 a hundred times gives a century! Besides, there is also the added advantage that in doing so, you also tend to recognise where you yourself are going wrong. 

Takeaway No 5:
BLOGGERS HOLD A RESPONSIBILITY TO THE SOCIETY AT LARGE, AND THE READERS TO BE HONEST, TRUTHFUL. Words of the same person…. I dont think any explanation or clarification is needed in this one….

There were many, many takeaways from the get-together; others will doubtless write much better lines, more inclusive feedback; but to me, the above are the most important points that stuck to me. All in all, it was a great evening. It was great to get together with some like-minded people, share views, learn from them, contribute something. At least I have come away with a value addition. Thanks, Blogadda: and I am writing this post from my heart, not just for the contest. 

Soldier, state and society – the ever-growing imbalance

Published April 15, 2012 by vishalvkale

Harsh V Pant: Soldier, state and society – the ever-growing imbalance:

‘via Blog this’

Harsh is making a solid point in the article above…
“A state makes a sacred contract with its soldiers: that while they will lay down their lives when called upon to do so, the nation will take good care of their and their families’ needs to the extent its resources would permit. This contract underpins the very survival of a nation, as when its territorial integrity and political independence are under threat, the nation looks upon the only instrument that can protect it — its armed forces. While all governments have to look for a considered bargain between their commitments and power and between power and resources, a responsible government will always be aware of the serious implications of not spending adequate resources on defence.”
It is very painful for me to state this, especially since both my Dad and my Granddad were Army Officers, but the fact of the matter is that:
1) The Indian Government has not planned for or allocated resources to the Armed Forces to the tune required, especially considering the range of external threats that confront our country over the short, medium and long term
2) The evidence of innumerable news reports of official apathy towards war-widows etc would seem to indicate that the state has also not done its full duty towards taking care of the families. I say full duties, since by-and-large, various central and state entities have done their bit in this regard.
But the most powerful point in the article is that there is also apathy among we, the people – the citizens of India. Never thought of it that way, but if you ponder over it for a moment – that view of the NRI Mr H Pant does seem to be grounded in fact. Had there been a sincere concern, there would have been much greater pressure on the government to set things right. Further, the dwindling applications for armed forces openings also lay bare this fact. 
My question to everyone goes beyond the article – do we take our independence and our Armed Forces for granted? Based on current evidence, this does seem to be the case. Further, why blame the gorvernment? The government is made up from within us. We have to look within our own selves, to accept the malaise that infests us all – the Chalta Hai attitude, the extreme focus on I-Me-Myself. This is evident everywhere – endemic corruption, lack of civic sense etc. Unfortunately, the government is in it for votes. Their steps will be dictated by what sells. And, not to put too fine a point to it, populism sells. Had it not sold, we would not be in such a dire situation on any number of fronts! 
Having said that, I can spot the winds of change flowing through the environs around me. The India Against Corruption campaign brought out one fact that was noted by quite a few writers: the activism of the inward-looking middle and uper middle classes. For the first time, this class was involved big-time in something that concerned the society – actively involved. Their are other indicators also – well heeled people quitting prime jobs to come into rural service with various ideas or for teaching etc. Let us hope that this gentle breeze of change turns into a wind of change… where all of us can place our country at least on a par with our own self-interest, if not above!
In closing, I would like to quote from this incisive article: The military exists to serve the state; but a military that lacks societal prestige and the attention of the state will not only endanger the security of the state, but will also pose a challenge to the liberal societal values that we so love to espouse. It has become imperative now to get the balance between the Indian state, society and its military institutions right if India is to avoid the high costs that will inevitably follow if the present turmoil persists. A real dialogue needs to start now.

A statistical analysis of Indian Cricket since 2008…

Published January 27, 2012 by vishalvkale

Ok, so here we are… nearly 4-0. That makes it 8 in a row… who is to blame? Everyone is baying for the blood of the Indian Quartet of Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag. Are they really to blame? I dont think so. OK, so I dont play or follow cricket too much. But my education has trained me in analysis, and statistics dont lie. Statistics are at the core of business, and they dont lie – only their interpretation and their presentation is at fault. We are looking at a short term scenario of 8 losses – that is point 1. Secondly, if we are looking at past performances, then we are presenting only that data for analysis that talks about results. A complete Data Sheet paints a completely different picture:

Count – Winner Result
Venue Drawn Lost Won Total Result
Away 7 13 6 26
Home 8 2 14 24
Total Result 15 15 20 50

  1. India has not toured Australia from April 2008 till date
  2. India has not been to England in the past 4 years!!!! Last England Tour was in 2007.
  3. We have lost 13 and won 6 abroad, counting this test. Remove the past 8 tests, and you still have less than flattering numbers of 5 lost and 6 Won Abroad. 
  4. These 6 away victories are :
    1.  West Indies
    2. 2 Sri Lanka
    3. 1 Australia
    4. 1 New Zealand
    5. 1 South Africa
  5. At Home, 14 wins to 2 losses! 
  6. In 2007, India played  10 tests – 7 away, 3 home. 2 lost, 2 won and 3 drawn abroad. Incidentally, the 2 won includes a win against Bangladesh!!!!

Not World Champion Stuff, I must say… I am beginning to think that our weaknesses lie brutally exposed… as we did not come into contact with England, which was also doing well. After the drubbing against England, the demotivation faced by the team ensured the Australia debacle. We perhaps became number 1 by default, caused by Australia’s debacle, with the others being in no position to stake a claim. Perhaps they were playing away from home!!!!

And the last point is also critical: look at the figures after the coach change, and see the graph – especially away results…

Are the batsmen to blame??????? I dont know, but these figures are certainly queer, and thought provoking – and deny the accusations against our batsmen….

Team 1 Team 2 Winner Margin Ground Match Date Scorecard
Australia India Australia 122 runs Sydney Jan 2-6, 2008 Test # 1857
Australia India India 72 runs Perth Jan 16-19, 2008 Test # 1862
Australia India drawn
Adelaide Jan 24-28, 2008 Test # 1863
India South Africa drawn
Chennai Mar 26-30, 2008 Test # 1870
India South Africa South Africa inns & 90 runs Ahmedabad Apr 3-5, 2008 Test # 1871
India South Africa India 8 wickets Kanpur Apr 11-13, 2008 Test # 1873
Sri Lanka India Sri Lanka inns & 239 runs Colombo (SSC) Jul 23-26, 2008 Test # 1882
Sri Lanka India India 170 runs Galle Jul 31-Aug 3, 2008 Test # 1884
Sri Lanka India Sri Lanka 8 wickets Colombo (PSS) Aug 8-11, 2008 Test # 1886
India Australia drawn
Bangalore Oct 9-13, 2008 Test # 1887
India Australia India 320 runs Mohali Oct 17-21, 2008 Test # 1889
India Australia drawn
Delhi Oct 29-Nov 2, 2008 Test # 1891
India Australia India 172 runs Nagpur Nov 6-10, 2008 Test # 1892
India England India 6 wickets Chennai Dec 11-15, 2008 Test # 1898
India England drawn
Mohali Dec 19-23, 2008 Test # 1901
New Zealand India India 10 wickets Hamilton Mar 18-21, 2009 Test # 1915
New Zealand India drawn
Napier Mar 26-30, 2009 Test # 1917
New Zealand India drawn
Wellington Apr 3-7, 2009 Test # 1918
India Sri Lanka drawn
Ahmedabad Nov 16-20, 2009 Test # 1933
India Sri Lanka India inns & 144 runs Kanpur Nov 24-27, 2009 Test # 1935
India Sri Lanka India inns & 24 runs Mumbai (BS) Dec 2-6, 2009 Test # 1937
Bangladesh India India 113 runs Chittagong Jan 17-21, 2010 Test # 1949
Bangladesh India India 10 wickets Dhaka Jan 24-27, 2010 Test # 1950
India South Africa South Africa inns & 6 runs Nagpur Feb 6-9, 2010 Test # 1951
India South Africa India inns & 57 runs Kolkata Feb 14-18, 2010 Test # 1952
Sri Lanka India Sri Lanka 10 wickets Galle Jul 18-22, 2010 Test # 1964
Sri Lanka India drawn
Colombo (SSC) Jul 26-30, 2010 Test # 1966
Sri Lanka India India 5 wickets Colombo (PSS) Aug 3-7, 2010 Test # 1968
India Australia India 1 wicket Mohali Oct 1-5, 2010 Test # 1972
India Australia India 7 wickets Bangalore Oct 9-13, 2010 Test # 1973
India New Zealand drawn
Ahmedabad Nov 4-8, 2010 Test # 1974
India New Zealand drawn
Hyderabad (Deccan) Nov 12-16, 2010 Test # 1975
India New Zealand India inns & 198 runs Nagpur Nov 20-23, 2010 Test # 1978
South Africa India South Africa inns & 25 runs Centurion Dec 16-20, 2010 Test # 1985
South Africa India India 87 runs Durban Dec 26-29, 2010 Test # 1987
South Africa India drawn
Cape Town Jan 2-6, 2011 Test # 1988
Coach Change
West Indies India India 63 runs Kingston Jun 20-23, 2011 Test # 1997
West Indies India drawn
Bridgetown Jun 28-Jul 2, 2011 Test # 1998
West Indies India drawn
Roseau Jul 6-10, 2011 Test # 1999
England India England 196 runs Lord’s Jul 21-25, 2011 Test # 2000
England India England 319 runs Nottingham Jul 29-Aug 1, 2011 Test # 2001
England India England inns & 242 runs Birmingham Aug 10-13, 2011 Test # 2003
England India England inns & 8 runs The Oval Aug 18-22, 2011 Test # 2004
India West Indies India 5 wickets Delhi Nov 6-9, 2011 Test # 2015
India West Indies India inns & 15 runs Kolkata Nov 14-17, 2011 Test # 2017
India West Indies drawn
Mumbai Nov 22-26, 2011 Test # 2019
Australia India Australia 122 runs Melbourne Dec 26-29, 2011 Test # 2025
Australia India Australia inns & 68 runs Sydney Jan 3-6, 2012 Test # 2027
Australia India Australia inns & 37 runs Perth Jan 13-15, 2012 Test # 2029
Australia India
Adelaide Jan 24-28, 2012 Test # 2031

Another 4-0 in tests for us?

Published January 6, 2012 by vishalvkale

I dont normally blog or write on cricket… but the latest loss has stunned me. I had not expected such a turn of events. Even a person who doesn’t actively follow the game on a day-to-day basis is disturbed by this

India loses its 6th tests in a row abroad… I dont remember it being this bad anytime in the past 20 years that I can recall. What has happened in the past year to change the scenario so completely?

  • Gary Kirsten Departs
  • Harbhajan Singh in trouble
  • Yuvraj in trouble
  • Zaheer sometime in, sometimes out
  • Ditto Ishant
  • Persistant injury problems
  • Gambhir not  in form
  • Ditto Laxman
Never seen so many problems simultaneously! The first thought that comes to mind is that is India falling ever since Gary left? I dont know, but am beginning to think so. Could also be that we are going through the most damnable bit of ill-luck, since Duncan Fletcher has won good praise as a coach – apart from his Australian record, which has been abysmal. Or is it an internal team issue? Are the players comfortable with him? 


I am not a cricket expert, so cant say. All I know is that unless the problem is identified by BCCI fast, we are going to lose 4-0. In fact, I am expecting a 4-0 rout again…

We are talking about line and length, combatting swing etc etc. Hello, this team is essentially the same that took the pole position in cricket. No one at no. 1 can lose ground so fast only due to sporting reasons… something else has to be wrong.

Are we being unfair to Fletcher? Does the problem lie elsewhere? I can think of only 2 other reasons:

  • Team Balance – bhajjie, yuvie, injuries to key players
  • Too much cricket – IPL????
I wonder…