Yeh Dus Saal Aap ke Naam!

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Since the year 2008, I have always been looking forward to the season of summer to arrive. This was primarily due to two reasons. One of them being the arrival of mangoes and the other being the commencement of the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches. As much as IPL is about cricket, it is about entertainment as well. The Indian Premier League is into its 10th year and is a very successful event too. Yes, it has its detractors, but if it is going on for the tenth season in a row and the crowds are thronging the stadium, then it can be very well-assumed that the event is successful.

Nearly a decade on, the tournament that keeps landing on its feet is a festival of the New India, a tournament where every moment is a thriller, a tournament which is the complete package of entertainment in its own, a tournament which gives young players the security to play with freedom at the highest level, the league has entered India’s cultural calendar like no other sporting event.

Many people are of the view that it is one of the best things that ever happens to the game of cricket. It is for sure that in cricket crazy nation like India, popularity and craze for Twenty-20 will surpass the One Day International. So Twenty-20 seems the future of cricket which is capable to revolutionize and globalize the game.

M. S. Dhoni: The skipper who never skipped

“Dhoni finishes off in style…..a magnificent strike into the crowd…..India lifts the World Cup after 28 years….the party starts in the dressing room and it is the Indian Captain who has been absolutely magnificent in the night of the final”. Those were the words which came out of an overjoyed Ravi Shastri after Dhoni hits that magnificent six to give India a memory which every Indian would cherish for his lifetime. It’s been 6 years since India won the World Cup but that memory can give goosebumps to any Indian cricket fan. To say India is a cricket-crazed country is an understatement. We are nuts about the game. We worship our cricketers when they’re successful. And the same happened with Mahendra Singh Dhoni too, the man who made the dream of 125 Crore Indians come true.

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From a duck on International debut to becoming India’s most successful captain, From a thrill-a-minute swashbuckler to a captain whose trademark is his calm, Dhoni has come a long way. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers in limited-overs cricket and the greatest captain of Indian National Cricket team so far.

Since he took over as captain in 2007, Dhoni led India in 199 ODIs, and over the nine years he captained, Team India achieved almost everything that an Indian cricket fan was waiting for, from winning the T20 World Cup in 2007 to being the World Champions in 2011, and from winning ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 to being the No.1 team in all the three formats.

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The strains of captaining an international cricket team, especially one as high-profile as India, can be extremely demanding. MS Dhoni’s legend is based on his leading India to victory in many top tournaments – he is the only captain to win all three top ICC events, the World Cup, the World T20 and the Champions Trophy – also equally impressive was the manner in which he ensured his own standards as a batsman through most of his tenure as captain. Dhoni is already amongst the best ODI players in the history. His finishing skills in particular are enviable. Give him the most difficult task and he will, more often than not, finish it with ease. In 2008 and 2009, he was named the ICC ODI Player of the Year. And over the years, he has maintained an ODI average of above 50 which is enough to prove that how good a batsman he is.

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The worst thing about time is that it changes, even if a person doesn’t want it to. He is still lightning between wickets. The undoing of the glove remains. The focusing of the eyes has become more intense. Even now, that remains the only external indication of some form of stress. But the only thing that has changed now is that he is no more the captain of the men in blue.

Cool is now legendary, but has there ever been a captain with greater situational awareness than him?

Travelogue – The land of Sher Khan

The wild beasts dwelling in the woods of The Jim Corbett National Park and a lifetime moment to capture the pose with the furious Royal Bengal Tiger, everything from its wilderness to its predators makes Corbett – a dream destination for wildlife lovers.

The wild always has a special place in my heart; the smell and colors of the forest, music of a rivulet, and wild animals roaming around freely in their natural habitat – it has an exciting aura to it. So visiting Jim Corbett in the state of Uttarakhand was something I was looking forward to for quite some time.

So, as soon as I came to know that Adventure Club is going to organize a trip to The Jim Corbett National Park, I started to prepare for the trip. I could not sleep the entire night of 11th November because I knew that within the next 24 hours, I will be in the land of the tigers, The Jim Corbett National Park.

Leaving from Patiala at 9.00 am on 12th, the day was mostly confined in our long bus journey that passed so fast with meeting new people and making new friends.  After a long ride including a halt for lunch at a roadside restaurant which served us food fit for the royals, there it was, our resort nestled on the border of the lush green wilderness. The Den Corbett resort, one of the best properties located in The Jim Corbett.

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On the next day after refreshing ourselves with a sumptuous breakfast we set out to the first destination of the day, the Kosi River. When I was sitting beside the river, I was deeply absorbed in the moment and the moment itself was an eternity of living. After coming back to the resort and having delicious lunch, it was soon time for to get ready for the adventure activities, zip lining and rock climbing. Zip lining through the forest canopy is an experience you won’t forget soon. And after facing my fears of heights, I can officially say that I am at least one step closer to fighting crime as Spider – man. Later in the evening, dinner was made and served by the resort staff and it was absolutely delicious! We ended the night with some star gazing as we sat around a bonfire.

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The best part of the trip was the early morning jeep safari on the next day where you get to be part of the jungle. Excitement was high among the group as it was a novel experience. Unluckily we didn’t get to see the Tiger but it was an amazing lifelong experience which is gonna stay in our memories forever. The safari lasted for a few hours and later we left for Patiala.

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On the way back to Patiala, we discussed the entire chain of events and agreed that the experience was mind blowing and beyond what we had expected. Though we were disappointed for not having seen a tiger, the feel of adrenaline surging, heart thumping aloud and living on the edge was invigorating! And top it all to have shared it with some new friends was an added bonus indeed!

 

An AIESECer’s journey in Russia: How AIESEC Helped Me Explore Russia and Rediscover Myself

I got a chance to go on AIESEC’s global volunteer program in Russia this summer. My experience in Russia has been the best of all the experiences till now and I am sure that this volunteering program has become a lifetime memory to cherish. Since this was Russia’s National project as well as AIESEC’s biggest project till date, powered by United Nations, I got to meet around 140 interns from all around the world.

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It was a one-time experience: From saying Hi in Chinese, eating Russian, driving German, chilling with Latin Americans, working with my fellow Indians, listening to music with Egyptians, dancing with Europeans and much more. A vast exposure, a thrilling adventure and the best memory of my life; that’s how I can describe my trip.

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The people I met during this exchange were very kind and loving. In the beginning, we weren’t talking much but once we realized that we all are different and nobody was there to judge, we all opened up a bit and started socializing. The day I landed in Russia, I wanted to go back home but finally, when the time came to leave for home, I wanted to stay back and live my life more.

One of the most important highlights of my trip was that I got to learn so many things. Since I was working on the goal of Reduced Inequality, I realized that there is inequality not only amongst humans but even amongst animals. We used to approach random strangers on the streets, greet them, speak to them and spread awareness about our goals. We did not realize that we were actually learning a lot and most importantly, we were developing our own skills.

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The only problem I faced was the language barrier; hardly anyone knew English there. My workplace was Ekaterinburg, the Industrial city of Russia. The place was really beautiful and people were quite welcoming.

Every good thing has a downside. The worst thing I experienced was getting lost in Ekaterinburg when I was going back to my hostel at night without any help in sight. It got really difficult to book a cab as the cab driver wouldn’t understand where I was standing. I then used google maps and had to walk almost 8kms to reach my hostel when the temperature outside was around 8 degrees Celsius.

Apart from this one experience, my trip was extremely enriching, especially on the events front. This, led to a lot of learning and experience.

First of all I would like to thank my dad and brother for always being there to support me and to motivate me in whatever new things I want to try. They have never said no for anything in which I get to learn something new. My mom and my sister for always caring about me and supporting me morally. It was all because of them that I got an opportunity to go abroad and stay in an unknown country and that too with unknown people.

Last but not the least, I would like to thank all the people I met there. There was something to learn from each one of them. They helped me open up and stop giving a damn about all the negativities. Judging people is now a thing of the past. I have realized that everybody has their own story and a different way of living. Nobody is wrong. They are just “different”.

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I recommend the youth of our time to go for such volunteering programs and do something good for the world and for your overall development. More than anything, you learn to become Independent by living on your own.
Thank you, AIESEC for giving me an opportunity to volunteer for this amazing project.

 

The Diegesis of Tendulkar: My hero, My story

 

“Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don’t know, something beyond scientific measures, something that allows him to soar, to roam on territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives.”

-BBC  

 “There are two kinds of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar, two all of the others.”

Andy Flower

“I don’t know much about Cricket but still I watch it to see Sachin play because I want to know the reason why my country’s productivity goes down by 5% when he is batting.”

Barack Obama

 ”You were a great habit, Sachin”                                           

Harsha Bhogle

 

The first man on the planet to reach two hundred and it’s the superman from India – Sachin Tendulkar, yelled the bombastic Ravi Shastri. I remember the day clearly, India vs South Africa 2010, 2nd ODI, Gwalior. Before this day, I was not a Tendulkar fan. Yes I was obsessed with cricket but not with Tendulkar. I had seen him play, I knew he is the best but was not my favorite. Like most of the Indians, I was much into cricket, cricket being our pastime game. Cricket was to us what smartphones are for the new generation of kids. It was a mandatory game played at every gully of our society.

I remember people saying before that day, “Mujhe nahi lagta ke ODI mein kabhi koi double century maar paega, ye to na mumkin sa hai”. Par jo kaam duniya ko na mumkin lage vahi to mauka hota hai apna talent dikhane ka. And Sachin proved his talent again. He had almost every batting record on his name but not of highest score in an ODI innings (The record was to Charles Coventry of Zimbabwe and Saeed Anwar of Pakistan, both having 194 as their highest score). And that was his day, he added another record to his name.

Holy shit. That isn’t a score we get to make even in our gully cricket, where length of boundaries are even lesser than that of pitch of cricket. How did this happen? That was my reaction. He made me his fan.

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Sachin made me stick to the television from that day to November 2013, his last match. Rare were the days when I missed a match of him. And now, after watching 3 years of his live cricket batting, as well as the previous 21 years of highlights on sports channels, I realize why he is the best. I always believe that the world and India specifically, has very few people that are loved by ALL. Even Gandhi, Father of the Nation as we say, has a large group of haters. But then, there rises a man from Mumbai, who becomes a worldwide sensation, and is given an identity of GOD and is loved by ALL.

 

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24 years is a long time to call something a memory, journey wouldn’t be the right word either, only Harsha Bhogle hit the nail when he called Sachin a habit, and the habit had been an enthralling one. There are the lessons I learned from Sachin Tendulkar: Never let success get into your head, strive for the best, be sincere, love and enjoy what you do and never cease to learn. Sachin Tendulkar was, is and will continue to be my teacher of the game called life.

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  Tendulkar has done a lot of things to people. He gave them joy when he scored a century, sadness when he got out. He made people believe in god when he was in the nineties. He made people believe in unwieldy superstitions while he was batting. But of all, I like the one he made me do. He made me write a blog.