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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Follow the Sun 

To ensure and complete a rich integration of a smooth transfer of learning from the bored-room to the black-and-bored room, the Ingenious Silo of Blah has enunciated their version of beating the street in the wake of recessionary pressures. This heady concoction titled “Chase the Shadowy CEO” engenders students staking a claim to bid for and get a full day to trace the whereabouts of CEOs of their choice who have fallen afoul of the laws of the land.
The need for money to bid has already seen the aspiring students knock the doors of the organizations where these CEOs are from. However, many employees have expressed little interest in funding the search of their truant masters which has whittled the enthusiasm of the young aspirants who crave to walk in the shoes of their corporate icons


Sunday, September 06, 2009

A Teacher's Day 

An unhappy task lies before me, to remember a dear teacher on an occasion meant to salute the noble efforts of this most undervalued and under-recognized profession. The discomfiting humidity and momentary loneliness I feel may pass but the lump in the throat that refuses to go away may not.
Prof. Deven Dhanak who taught me Organization Development about a decade ago passed on last month. While there may be and will be practitioners who manage an easier bite-sized dissemination of their collective experiences, Prof. Dhanak went the other way in his relentless efforts to get young students to think and feel as a practitioner would in similar scenarios, and channelize those to get the class to comprehend issues and grasp insights which would simply not be possible through a conventional teaching medium.
One may have memories of various tints and hues of an education that one increasingly distances oneself from in the pursuit of corporate effects, but some do stand out especially of associations where teachers have taken the pains to lay down the entire contents of curriculum requirements and then proceeded to wipe the metaphorical slate clean in evolving a learning mechanism that would be interesting, inspiring and ingenious.
His confidence and easy affability even while engaging in serious discussions allowed many a fledgling mind to expand and flower, his ability to ruthlessly exorcise all forms of verbiage and sophistry and instill similar traits in his wards and his use of quote-a-minute asides which were founts of entertainment and mirth on the surface and filled with experienced wisdom and genuine knowledge ensured his classes were always looked forward to, in itself a difficult assignment in an era where strong minds and bodies were wilting under the sheer weight of academic demands. Wearing his erudition lightly, he always managed to hold students enraptured who were sick with waiting for the one-liner that they could chortle at or with as the case may be. Looking back, some of my own professional efforts to attempt to peel the onion and get to the heart of the matter while jettisoning conceivably distracting tactics in a vocal articulation towards those may come from some of my experiences listening to him, as also a tendency to nudge folks into talking about an issue and not around it.
His untimely demise will be felt by those who worked with him, but I do believe that those who were influenced most by his style and substance will bounce back, committing themselves strongly to whatever they held dear just as he had once exhorted me and many like me to !


Friday, September 04, 2009

A Star is Born 

For a nation ranked about No. 150 ( FIFA rankings) to rejoice about exploits, real or imagined, on a football field might be construed as heady optimism by some and blind faith clamouring for any form of sporting success by others. This light-headed joy came largely due to custodian Subrata Pak held up as the public face of India’s victory, and who now finds himself the subject of a respectable fan following- many of whom sat wonderstruck as this youngster stared down his opponents, indulged in various displays of gamesmanships and emerged triumphant when it mattered.

From a deserved bad-boy image which reached a crescendo around his part in the sad demise of Dempo striker Cristiano Junior in 2004, Pal has now come full circle. His cheerful comportment while causing palpitations in others, atleast serves to keep him calm and composed in trying situations like the penalty shootout with Syria in the recent Nehrup Cup at the Ambedkar Stadium, Delhi. India reached the final of the four-member tournament after having conceded a goal in every match played whereas Syria’s Mosab Balhous had kept a clean sheet in all his matches for Syria.

A 120th equalizer had taken matters to the shootout after a Renedy Singh setpiece had given India the lead in extra time. And then it began. The strutting Pal kept a beatific smile as his waited till given marching orders from the ref. to retreat to the goal-line, did his Big Bird flapping routine during all penalties, constantly chatted with the Indian penalty-takers and made as much a nuisance of himself within the rules and came good with three saves out of the seven he faced.

After the last penalty had been squandered ( a wise lady sports anchor called it a penalty corner !) by Al Altounim, Pal is worth watching. He starts off with clenched fist, breaks into a jog away from goal, changes direction as he sees his elated team approaching, changes direction again and then of all the people he has at his preening disposal to pump flesh with, chooses to go to his opponent, the Syrian goalkeeper Mosab Balhous to exchange a quick high-five and a hug before being mobbed by his teammates. Quite a sight to see that in international competition ! Perhaps the Indian soccer revival will come from a backfield move after all with this Pune FC player at its head.


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