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Sight Screen

Monday, September 12, 2005

Is this what the team needs?

Do you guys remember the 1985 Chepauk Test between India and Australia? One of the less recalled legends surrounding only the second tied Test in history is an incident of the 4th evening.
India, at that point, needed 347 to win on the final day -- and no one thought the home side would even go for the target, never mind giving it a whisper of a chance.
That evening, instead of the regular team meeting, the team was treated to a lecture -- by an exponent of Vedanta. What followed was, of course, history.
Remember the India-Australia series that ended Steve Waugh's dream of conquering the final frontier? Right -- what is less well known is that between the drubbing in Mumbai and the turnaround in Calcutta, the same man spoke, at length, to the Indian team. Again the rest, as they say, is history.
Remember Geet Sethi, circa 2001? They were saying the six time world champion had lost it; he had no motivation, no will; he was playing by rote, and didn't have a chance in the Worlds this time round. Forget the critics -- Geet was saying the same thing, himself.
He happened to attend a lecture, by the above mentioned gent; impressed, he sought him out and had an extended conversation with him. The result? Sethi went on to win the Worlds, in New Zealand -- and immediately attributed the turnaround to the same gent.
To give him a name, A Parthasarathy -- a promising cricket player at one point in time, having played for Madras State in the pre-Independence era; a star in the making in the corporate world at another point in time; for the last four-five decades, the premier exponent of Vedanta in India.
The reason for bringing him up now? Surprisingly, the Swami teaches application of Vedanta in business as well -- and for years now, top corporations and business schools have been inviting him over for lectures. He is due, later this month, to talk to the alumni of the prestigious Wharton Business School -- at their invitation, mind. And in about half an hour from now, I am due to call him up (he is currently in his ashram in Mumbai) and interview him at some length -- cricket, I would expect, will form a sizeable part of that conversation, considering that even at age 76, Parthasarathy -- or 'Swamiji', as his acolytes call him -- plays actively.
Plays well, mind -- in 2000, or 2001, he was in Bombay doing double duty; during the mornings, he was playing for his Vedanta Academy team, at the Bombay Gymkhana grounds, and delivering lectures in the evenings, for a period of about a week.
There was this one Saturday, when the Academy was playing one of the Kanga league teams. One of those tight finishes -- one wicket to go, some 6, 7 runs to make. Batsman drives to cover, nice flowing shot. From the extra cover position, a 74 year old man, one of the most lissome on the field that day, races around to cover, finds he cannot get to the ball, sticks his foot out, grabs the ball as it pops up off his boot, turns, and throws the stumps down at the non-striker's end. Last man out, match won.
Interesting gent this -- will be doing the story, later this month, for Rediff, and will let you know when it goes up. Will also remember, for what it is worth, to ask him what he thinks of the current Indian team's plight, and share it with you guys tomorrow.
Oh, which brings up what is being touted as a record-breaking Test -- Saurav due to become the captain who has led India in the longest number of Tests, that is. What can I say -- want to watch, but unfortunately, with the PM here (the usual fun and games at the UN -- and in between, on Wednesday evening, I am supposed to make up a very small party having dinner with former Prez Bill Clinton at his Chappaqua home -- this week is apt to be hectic as hell.
So I figure, this first Test, I'll watch the closing session, in my mornings -- and join you guys on blog during that period. Till post-tea play tomorrow, guys.. adios


  • Will be waiting to read content of your interview with Swamji. BTW, please pass same content to PM.

    Annual UN Tamasha will be on,to fill space on news media.

    Pervert Mess-ha-ruf antics will be on full display. Whereas, India PM will reiterate same things on K, terrorism etc.

    Bush will continue his fight on english :-)

    By Blogger Rajg, at 21:27  

  • Prem, 1985? 1986, it was!

    *read just the first line, will continue reading the rest now :D

    By Blogger anantha, at 22:31  

  • Gosh Prem, small dinner hosted by Clinton?
    Really looking forward to hear Swamiji's views

    By Blogger Toney, at 22:33  

  • After reading about Swamiji cricketing prowess, maybe the team could do with not only his lecture but his cricketing skills as well.. surely we can supersub Nehra with Swamiji!!

    By Blogger Tiger, at 22:47  

  • Does anyone know if IND - ZIM test is going to be shown on sportingstreams.com or not?

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 23:05  

  • Prem,
    If you happen to meet Monica-ji, please convey my regards. :)

    By Blogger Jai, at 23:14  

  • Ruchir, yes :- the foll is from sportingstreams website

    First test Live Day One: Zimbabwe v India

    This will start at 0850BST (that is 0750GMT) on Tuesday 13th September in 2005.

    The link we have found for this game will not appear here until 15 MINUTES before the match starts, do not panic, we are skilled in the art of getting it right and we rarely panic so we don't want you to panic either.

    By Blogger srik, at 23:32  

  • Strange but informative post. Didnt think that Prem Panicker would comment on Vedanta.

    By Blogger Rishi Gajria, at 23:49  

  • thanks Srik....

    By Blogger Ruchir Joshi, at 00:06  

  • I read his book " Vedanta Treatise" and I should admit it changed my perspective about life and made me a better person.

    By Blogger Ragav, at 20:19  

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