March 10, 2006

Ravi’s Column

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Sports — Mahen @ 5:37 am

We, at Brooks Software, India, have started to play cricket every Saturday. Ravi, one of my colleagues, a senior technical writer, and a good friend of mine captured a few cricketing moments at Brooks. Just thought of sharing it. Here it goes…

It was one of the greatest Saturdays that Brooks India had ever experienced. More than twenty cricket crazy Brookeans gathered at the IDPL school playground at 6.30 in the morning when the sunlight was just beginning to show up its magnificence while the fog was fighting to prolong its hold on the surrounding. It was surprising to see that all of them were interested in starting the game rather than spending time in organizing and teaming.
Two matches were played in which each side won a match. The first one was played with a slower ball which made batting tougher. As a result, guys who tried to hit the ball were all out by some easy catches. Yet that match had a nail biting finish with Gokul’s team winning by a margin of three runs. 
The second match was more fun because there were two more people in each team and the ball was changed. Since the dew disappeared, there was very little dampness in the ball. So the ball came to the bat well and traveled a lot more. Karthik’s team was lucky to bat first. There was some splendid shots from Sathya, Karthik and Mahen. On the bowling front, Lokesh, Mohan, Anbu and Bharathi were very tight giving away few runs. But the real culprits were the wides and no balls which both teams gave magnanimously. Karthik’s team avenged their previous match’s defeat by a huge margin.
At the end of it, it really did not matter who won how many. The spirit of togetherness bowled us all over. We finished playing at 9′ O Clock when there were about two dozen people all around the ground enjoying the cricket that we were playing. It was a great feeling. It was on that day, I called many people by their names with whom I had never spoken a word in the office. On Monday when I entered office, I felt I knew everybody. Suddenly there was sense of belonging to this place.

Many famous management gurus have come up with umpteen number of books which babble complex solutions about team building exercises, understanding group dynamics, and people management, but I think all this can easily happen when you start playing a beautiful game of cricket. 

Thanks to everybody for their support to cricket in Brooks. See you all at IDPL grounds this Saturday too!
Ravi Bharath


March 7, 2006

Speed Stacks: Sport and Livelihood

Filed under: Miscellaneous, Sports — Mahen @ 1:05 pm

You might have heard about the book business @ the speed of thought by Bill Gates. Here’s a sport @ the speed of thought—Speed Stacks! I was spell bound when I accidentally had a look at this sport in one of the news channels yesterday. A kind of sport to enhance hand-eye coordination.

What is this sport stacking all about? You have 12 cups and you have to stack and unstack those cups in some sequence, of course at abnormal speed. What’s the benefit of this sport? Well, you become ambidextrous, increased hand-eye coordination, the ability of your hand to respond to your brain’s orders swiftly, quick reflex, and not to mention the FUN. More on Sport Stacking

Wait a moment. Didn’t this sport relate to someone’s livelihood? Have you ever heard of Sivakasi (often called as the kutty Japan of India) and its matchstick manufacturing industry? An industry well known and despised for using child labors.

Have you ever witnessed poor children stacking matchsticks in racks at abnormal speed to make it ready for the dipping process (a process where a rack of matchsticks is dipped into the match head chemical)?

If so, you might be able to see how a different form of Speed Stacks with matchsticks have become the livelihood of a few poor children who otherwise should have been to schools and enjoying their childhood. Perhaps, the situation might have changed now. Thanks to the social marketers for trying to eliminate child labor. Still, it’s heart-racking  to know how a sport in one part of the world have for long been the livelihood in another and continues to be so.

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