Those ‘Priceless’ Five Minutes With Khalid Jamil

Posted: Saturday, December 24, 2011 by Kratik in Labels: , , , , , , ,

When you feel like a chronic ill-tempered feeling would never leave you,
Living with a look so demure,
When you know your greatest challenge lies ahead,
It’s then that his messenger’s word drops a seed of beatitude that in gratitude makes your eyes water.

During his playing days, he said ‘No’ to the ‘Big Two’ clubs of Kolkata having been offered contracts as either club was being sponsored by a liquor company (Source: TOI); he once sold a bottle of champagne which was awarded to him after he was crowned ‘Man Of The Match’ to buy sweets for slum kids; he is currently doing wonders with a Mumbai Football Club squad lacking the necessary strength to challenge for honours in Indian football, the so-called ‘God’s Own Midfielder’ and the Andre Villas Boas of Indian Football, Khalid Jamil.

Six months back, seeing him coach and manage his Mumbai FC Squad so superbly well, setting them up to defend well and nick games time and time again for over a period of six months, for me, even meeting Khalid sir one on one was like a dream for me. After having read about him on how strongly he follows his ethics, he had been an absolute inspiration for me.

Along with working for Real Time Sportscast as a Sports Analyst (RTS) and Pune Football Club in Sports Marketing, I joined as a Football Journalist in May 2011, and the first article that was assigned to me was on Khalid sir and his team, ‘The 'Underdog' Story Of Mumbai FC’.

I would be lying if I say that I didn’t enjoy writing the article. The article turned out great and its after effects were so positive that the man himself, Khalid sir met me and complemented me on the article that I had written. He said, “Kratik Malhotra? Mai soch bhi nahi sakta tha ki koi aisa bhi likh sakta hai.” After the comment, he also gave me his cell number and asked me to message him with my name. That very moment, as the adrenalin gushed through my veins, I settled myself down explaining to myself what had just happened and what the 34-year old had said to me.

From then on in - either in Kolhapur or in Pune - I interviewed him a several times and his simplicity, ability to be straight forward and the sheer child-like innocence in his eyes took me aback. Every time that I would meet him, I would just want to be like him; whether knowingly or unknowingly, I had just turned into a massive fan of Khalid Jamil.
While working for, Pune FC and RTS, covering football, if there was one more thing that I was doing, was applying to the United States to pursue my intended course, Masters’ in Sports Management. As months passed, god shower his blessings and I received admits from New York University (NYU), Florida State University (FSU), St. Johns’ University and Southern New Hampshire University, of which I opted to join FSU.

With me all set to leave for USA on December 26, 2011, my will to meet Khalid sir for one last time grew and a couple of days back, on December 22 when I was covering the match between Mumbai FC and HAL Bangalore at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune for RTS, I finally caught up with him.

After waiting for an extra half hour, watching Khalid sir finish his regular post match training with the players who had not featured in the game and the interviews with the press following a comfortable 4-0 victory, I went to him and spoke.

I first congratulated him on the result and later, told him that I would be moving to US after four days to do a two year Masters’ course in Sports Management. Listening to which he replied, “Toh fir idhar aa ke kaam karna”, which translates to ‘come back to India to work’. It was a statement that evoked a feeling in me of exactly how much I could help my country become bigger and better in the field of sports.

Moreover, he patted me on the back and said, “Mehnat karna, tu accha karega.” Translating to, ‘work hard, you will do well’.

It was like he had blessed me. I smiled at him, feeling so very confident. For that instant, I felt like I am the ‘special one’ sent by god to take the Indian sport to another level. I shook hands with him, and started walking out of the stadium. Just as I had reached the parking lot, the tears of gratitude started to flow down my eyes and boy! Wasn’t I touched? I sure was!
Half an year back, Khalid sir was once a man whom I was overwhelmed to meet and here he was, wishing me good luck for the future.

It was just magic, conjured by god for me to realize that my country is and would forever be my valentine. There are some things that money can’t buy and those five minutes with Khalid Jamil were just one of them.

Cheers :)
Love :)
Kratik :)


Posted: Monday, December 19, 2011 by Kratik in

Boy this thing is really picking up now!

Some of the tweets read as:

My way or the high way??? Why not choose the highest way!!!so#Volunteer4BetterIndia

Many pay 30% tax to the Government. This means that 4 months in a year we work for PM & Co. #Volunteer4BetterIndia - make them do their jobs

No Belongingness = Corruption. No one would ask/take bribes from anyone they consider their own. Spread Belongingness #Volunteer4BetterIndia


Why this volunteer volunteer volunteer di?! Because I love India... #Volunteer4BetterIndia!

It sure gets my adrenalin gushing through my veins. And yes, even I want to do something for my country!

More than a million tweets in a day. Man, stunning! Absolutely astonishing!

But, what exactly is #Volunteer4BetterIndia?

Guruji in the Ashram at the satsang said that we must devote at least an year of our life to our country. India! The Master was correct; we need to give an year to the country in order to bring about the change. So, give an year and volunteer and India will change. Thus, ‘Volunteer for better India.’

Now, don’t ask me why shall we work towards bringing about the change? It’s logical.

I mean, do you want to really want to live with this education system (click to read one of my blog posts) and crib all the time?

Do you still want to see a third of our country illiterate?

Do you want to have people continuing and following age-old customs like Dowry and child marriage?

Do you want to live in a ‘tiger-less India?’

Do really want to see several NGOs (click to read one of my blog posts) milking money from people for their own sake and not for people?

Lastly, would you even like to see the rate of currencies like dollar, euro and pound go further up?

No, right?

So, work towards the change. Even the seva mentioned in this (click on the ‘this’ hyperlink) blog post of mine, could just be fine but then, it has to be regular. Take up a project and then, stick on to it. Any project that helps the society in some way or the other would do, but work towards change!

As my Art Of Living teacher says, “YOU TEDDY BEAR!!! Don't just sit there and look cute, but make a difference!”

So, pick up your seva arm and start like you have never started before, and work like you have never worked before.

Jai Gurudev J

Love J


Cleverley’s Injury, Crisis? What Crisis? Ravel Morrison Is The Answer

Posted: Monday, November 28, 2011 by Kratik in

Ahead of the Manchester United's mid-week League Cup encounter against Crystal Palace, I, Kratik Malhotra talk of Manchester United's wonder-kid, Ravel Morrison, who along with Paul Pogba could well start against the Championship opposition. I also talk of why Morrison could soon become an invaluable asset to the first team. Have a read...I hope you like the article:

With no Wesley Sneijder signed this summer – who earlier in the year was termed by United’s first team coach, René Meulensteen as a ‘perfect’ signing for the club aiding Gary Pallister opinion, who thought that the 27-year old would be ideal for the team giving them the ‘steel’ missing since Roy Keane’s departure - there was a growing panic among Manchester United fans who were contemplating a tough season ahead.

However, all the doubters were put to rest with the emergence of the young dynamo, Tom Cleverley who seemed to fit into the system well, filling well into massive boots left over by legendary Paul Scholes. Cleverley’s speed, agility, creativity and ability to hold the midfield had United race above the rest at the start of the season.

But since the 21-year old’s foot injury at Bolton ruling the young Englishman out for more than a month, the Red Devils have lost their way a little bit and are now found chasing their fierce rivals, Manchester City by five points.

Tom, however, did make a return to the first team but the former Wigan loanee suffered another injury at Everton last month in his first game back ruling him out further until Christmas. Since Cleverley has been out, United have rather been poor and if such displays continue, City may well have the title wrapped up by Christmas.

So, in order to replace ‘Scholescy’ and have United playing the fluid ‘United way’ again, what will Sir Alex do?

When asked this question in the summer, pointing to the marvellous group of youngsters coming through the ranks, Sir Alex said, "Maybe the next few weeks will help us overcome (the Scholes retirement) it. Maybe somebody will emerge out of the youth team or one of the young players emerge, and then we carry on."

So, is the current crop of youngsters that good?

Well, the man himself, Paul Scholes thinks so and regards them better than his ‘Class of 92’. Speaking about the United youth players who have recently won the FA Youth Cup, Scholes said, “We’d struggled a bit in the Youth Cup since then 1992. But this group look like they’re ready to go into the first-team now, because they’re big, strong, powerful lads and have the skill to go with it.”

Of United’s current crop of youngsters, Scholes - who has agreed to take on a coaching role at the club - identified attacking midfielder Ravel Morrison as his pick of the bunch. “We’ve trained with Ravel and we know what talent he’s got - hopefully [he will fulfil it]”, remarked the former English International.

Ravel Morrison, who?

Morrison - who was astonishing against Wigan’s reserves a couple of weeks back in a performance when he even bagged a stunning goal - is a midfielder who can play through the middle, as a playmaker, on either wing, in behind the striker or even has an ability to sit deep. His style of play makes him best suited to playing as one of three in the middle of a 4-5-1 as he likes to roam and float around. Although he is notoriously hard to mark as he tends to pull opposition players out of position but due to that, he is also overly reliant upon other midfielders doing a lot more work to fill in gaps that he has vacated.

Ravel Morrison Scoring Against Chelsea Rserves

One of his specialties is his ability to spring counter attacks so quickly by sitting deep. He also times his runs into the opposition penalty area very well and is particularly good at halting a run to find space just on the edge of the area, a reason why he scores so many Scholes-esque goals. Ravel embodies a street footballer who has succeeded in translating carefree showboating to passing the acid test of one of world football’s biggest clubs.

Therefore, his style of play can see him play either as a box to box midfielder in the centre of the park in a conventional 4-4-2 formation or as a partner to Rooney, in behind Hernandez in a 4-3-2-1 formation, which Sir Alex famously employed during the Cristiano Ronaldo era, winning the Champions League in 2008.

Brian Marwood, Manchester City’s football administrator, who has been put in charge of cultivating City’s next set of stars at their Platt Lane academy and in a recent interview, speaking of the youngster who is born in Wythenshawe in Manchester on the 2nd February 1993, he stated, “Probably the most gifted teenager in the country is Ravel Morrison at Manchester United.”

Huge, isn’t it? Especially, considering that it’s coming from a man from the blue contingent of Manchester.

More so, the United fans are going ‘gaga’ over Morrison, by making comments like – ‘Who needs Messi when we have Morrison?’

Now, that may be a bit over the head but seriously, if such a talent exists at Old Trafford, in ordinary circumstances, it must be a time for celebration in regards to a prodigious footballing career. But, unfortunately, there is a twist to the Morrison story:

Throughout his schooling, he has had disciplinary problems, resulting in suspensions and expulsions. His home life was equally disruptive. Since his time at United, he has been involved in a number of behavioural issues: Threatening other players, threatening opponents, getting involved in fights, alleged gang activity, and subsequently witness intimidation. He was recently arrested by police for being in a car carrying weapons and drugs. The young midfielder has also been charged with assaulting his girlfriend and causing criminal damage.

But in spite of all the charges, under the guidance of United’s coaching staff, he has shown signs of improvement that got the Guardian Journalist, Daniel Taylor to remark (after his court case, where he escaped imprisonment), “At his court case this week he was in a suit, he hadn’t brought any of his hangers-on with him and, overall, he just seemed a little bit older and wiser. The reports from the youth offending team were all positive and – if it was genuine – there was no longer that sense that he thought he was untouchable.”

If Sir Alex ever wondered ‘had he’ grabbed Rooney five years prior to when he actually signed him, then, this is a real chance for him to guide a talented player to even a better career.

With Daily Telegraph’s Henry Winter hailing him as a better footballer than Jack Wilshere and considering that United are yearning for a playmaker, and suffer from a shortage of guile in midfield, he possibly should have cemented a berth in the first-team squad already.

Considering Anderson is out until February, with Phil Jones and Ashley Young – both of whom can play in the central midfield - recently signed by Sir Alex Ferguson and central midfielders in Darren Fletcher, and Michael Carrick already amongst the ranks, testing out Morrison may not be the worst decision.

Even if United are to make any new signings, January is still a long way to go and Cleverley’s injury really shouldn’t be looked on as a calamity but a chance to see a promising home grown talent with bags of undeveloped potential that if given decent first team opportunities and if developed properly, may reach unparalleled heights, and as it has always happened at Old Trafford, youths are always given a chance to prove their worth.

One of Sir Alex’s great attributes is that he knows when the time is right to give a player his ‘chance’ and no matter how young he is, he may well be worth a shot. As Sir Matt Busby once said, “If they’re good enough, they’re old enough.”

Legends Of Indian Football: SS 'Babu' Narayan – Where Is He Now?

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2011 by Kratik in

‘Babu Narayan’ as he is famously known is regarded as one of the stalwarts of the Indian football. But where is he now?

SS Narayan or ‘Babu’ Narayan as he is famously known is regarded as one of the stalwarts of the Indian football squad that made its name at international stage during the mid-1950s. Born on November 12, 1934, Babu is a legendary goalkeeper who, along with his coach then - Syed Abdul Rahim Saab, is said to have played a massive part in what is now known as the ‘Golden Era’ of Indian Football. Babu Narayan’s story is nothing but a fairy-tale, let’s look back at the story of, probably, the greatest goalkeeper that India has ever produced.


Love for Basketball:

Babu Narayan was a student of Khalsa college in Bombay and during the time with his college, he represented the Maharashtra State in 1954 and became a member of the Bombay senior team. His love for playing sports always got him charged up and prompted sudden eagerness as he devoted the mornings playing basketball and evenings football. According to the man himself, basketball helped him a lot in becoming a better goalkeeper. When I interviewed him, he said, “I think basketball made me a better player. Positioning, collecting the ball and jumping made me more aware of my position, handling and overall agility.”

Caltex India Limited:

As football was a growing sport in India, the American company, Caltex India Limited was looking to form a competitive team in Bombay (Mumbai presently) and thus, Caltex were bringing in players from all across the nation in 1955; one of them the legendary Neville D’Souza. A player named - SS Narayan - typically unheard, was picked on the basis of his performances during his time with the Junior (college and school) teams. He was also picked because the club owned by the American owners lacked a goalkeeper and needed someone to step in. It was nothing but a chance for the then 20-year old and he grabbed this opportunity both his hands.

SS made his debut for Caltex in the Rovers Cup and was applauded for his debut performance against Kemari Union (KU) from Pakistan. Even though he was only 20, his ability to position himself, organize his wall, come out to collect crosses, also, handling and shot stopping skills were considered exceptional as his influence on the team was worthy in leading his side to the semi-finals of the tournament.

As described by Babu Narayan himself, “Kemari Union was practically Pakistan’s National Team” and as he says, “Pakistan had a very good national team then.” The Rovers Cup tie between Caltex and KU was an epic game which was played over three games as the first two games ended in draws and failed to produce results. The third game saw Caltex beat KU to enter the quarter-finals of the tournament. Next up, their opponents were the strong Bangalore Muslims, who had been the finalists in 1953.

Babu Narayan’s Caltex beat the Bangalore based side in a single game and marched on to the semi-finals carrying the underdog flag. Their semi-final outing was rather considered an uphill climb as they lined up against the mighty Mohun Bagan which composed to mainly Indian internationals including the great Sailen Manna, probably the greatest striker who has ever played for India and also, the only Asian Footballer ever to be named among the 10 best Captains in the world by the English FA in 1953.

The tie against Mohun Bagan was another epic encounter as it lasted for three games with the first two ending in draws, only for Caltex to lose the third by conceding a goal in the final two minutes of the game.

This tournament did no harm to Babu’s reputation as the goalkeeper received a call from the football club to be a part of the Durand Cup played in Delhi in December 1955. Although Caltex again didn’t win any honours, SS Narayan’s excellent performance throughout the tournament was noticed and acknowledged. This made way for the youngster getting picked in the Bombay team for the National Championship in Trivandrum.

His performance in the tournament was a standout and saw Bombay reach the finals of the tournament where they lost to Hyderabad due to a last minute goal. The youngster got substantial recognition as the national selectors thought that they had seen enough to take him to Australia as a part of the travelling Indian Olympic Football team. So, within an year, the boy who had never played for a professional club until his graduation time, at a tender footballing age of 21 had reached the promise land by making it to the pinnacle of Indian football, The Indian National Team! Babu was living a dream.

Tata’s Football Club:

After a fascinating Olympic experience, Narayan returned to Caltex and played a couple of seasons with club before moving on to Tata’s in 1958. The move to Tata’s was not due to the difference in the playing standard of the two clubs but due to a choice that Babu considered as a ‘safe’, as in those days, the rumours of the clubs owned by American owners shutting down were drastic.

The legendary goalkeeper played for Tata’s for 13 years before announcing his retirement from club football. In his time with the club, Babu Narayan won five Bombay league titles; the first of which – unbeaten! As Babu was the goal-keeper, he was majorly credited for the performances. They repeated this feat in 1961 as not even one team, once again, was found good enough to defeat the Tata’s football team. Babu’s goalkeeping was always the centre of attraction.

Tata’s did not have a coach and Babu Narayan often acted like one to the junior team, teaching the younger kids, his immediate juniors and the players looking for a break in the first team.

Babu’s retirement came as a shock to many as it was one that was completely unexpected. Along with his football, Babu was also working and doing his job properly was one criteria to which he couldn’t succumb. As Babu states himself, “I got a promotion in my job and they asked me – job or football? And I couldn’t leave my job. Thus, I had to retire from football. Nowadays, cricketers get a day’s leave for playing sports; back then, this was not the case.”

Indian National Team:

Babu Narayan Played for Indian National Team for about nine years. He made his International debut in the 1956 summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia and performed exceptionally well to help India reach the semi-finals of the Olympics. India became the first Asian country to achieve this feat. After reaching the quarter finals, Team India lead by Samar Banerjee defeated the hosts, Australia 4-2 but then crashed out of the tournament 4-1 losing to a very strong Yugoslavian team, which had beaten a good United States outfit 9-1 earlier in the tournament. In the semi-finals, Babu Narayan made some fantastic saves but couldn’t stop his country from getting hammered.

Even though he switched clubs, his performances on the national and international stage had made him an automatic pick for the Asian games of 1958 in Tokyo. His inspirational performances led India to another fourth position. He was again in goal when the national team was attributed to the runners’ up position at the Merdeka Cup 1959 in Malaysia.

Tough Time:

Babu was again picked for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Italy. These games were a major disappointment as India finished last in their group with only one point. SS Narayan was left out of the team for the 1962 Asian Games where India beat South Korea 2–1 in the finals to the tournament. Babu Narayan made a return to the Indian squad again, establishing himself as India’s number 1, but failed to make a serious impact as India failed to qualify for the 1964 Olympics in Rome, losing out to Iran in the final group game.

Babu Narayan stated the reason for the loss as Rahim Saab’s death due to cancer. He said, “Rahim was the greatest manager ever. He coached the Indian national team for over 12 years and thus, he knew every single player in and out, and made it a point to come regularly for the national championships to see the developments of individual players. We played almost the same team for four years and that was the key to getting great results.”

“Our preparation was going on for the Rome Olympics when a month before, he passed away after losing his battle against cancer. The new coach who came in started to implement a new formation which didn’t work out at all because we were used to playing Rahim Saab’s way.”

Coaching Role:

Babu worked with Tata’s for 43 years and so, never got a chance to go into professional coaching. However, he managed to do his bit to promote football in India. Since he is associated to Bipin Memorial Football Association, which provides free coaching to students, for over 20 Years, he has coached the best crop of youngsters coming through. He would take his fun out by training the kids and even Steven Dias is one of his students.

Man of the Match Selector:

For the I-League matches played at the Cooperage Stadium, Mumbai, Babu Narayan was chosen as the ‘Man of the Match Selector’ his primary job being to select the best player of that particular I-League match. He did the job because he loved the beautiful game and wanted to stay attached to the sport. Moreover, he had a chance to the current crop of Indian youngsters. In order to reach Cooperage, the man whom they love so dearly in Mumbai, would travel 45 minutes by local train from Thane to Churchgate.

Where is he now?

Babu Narayan is the current Vice-President of the Mumbai District Football Association. When he is not working, you will find him either at the Cooperage stadium during an I-League match, at football events where people often call him as a chief guest or relaxing in his house after a historic career that has affected the Indian football history in so many ways. Babu Narayan has gone down in the books as probably the best goalkeeper that India has ever produced.

This was my post on a legendary Mumbaikar. I hope you liked it.

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The Innocent Foreigner

Posted: Thursday, November 3, 2011 by Kratik in

Unlike a townie, rambling across the treacherous street,

Timid by nature, dowdy in manner,

Not knowing the limits of his own feet,

Lost in a land unknown, the innocent foreigner.

His metropolitan accent would have many embarrass him,

Writing his way out, he was often left chasing cars,

His appearance had them wonder if he was swayed by his own whim,

With Kids confusing him with football stars, to him it was like a written farce.

But a goal he had set for him to achieve,

And so, he took off wearing his fedora,

In God, he said he believed,

Marching on, holding master’s hand from Paris to Pandora.

Blessed by the wind, he danced with the wave,

He finally found friends and a place to refuge,

Crowned he was with comments so rave,

Climbing the ladder like our very own Uncle Scrooge.

Struggle sure it was but on he went,

Battling through agony with the ointment of grace,

Whenever in trouble, to his amazement, a scent he always smelt,

Greeted by guru with wisdom and knowledge, he finally found his place.

The Innocent Foreigner.



Good/Bad whatever. Please leave a comment.


But Something Just Feels Right

Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 by Kratik in

I am about to lose a job,

But something just feels right.

I haven’t got my admit yet,

But something just feels right.

I don’t know what I am going to do in life,

But something just feels right.

Jai Gurudev…Master is who makes you feels right J




Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011 by Kratik in

Whether it was Rituraj Borah (the best guitarist I've ever met, my classmate, currently working in Bollywood as a music director), Eugeneson Lyngdoh (another classmate and now, one of the best footballers produced by India in recent times), my YES!+ teachers Srividya Natarajan and Manish Nasa, Rahul Bali - Chief Editor, or even the Indian Express journalist - Kabir Mandrekar, I've been privileged to be with people who have been so terrific in what they do. This time was no different.

Week and week out, I use to hear this YES!+ chap called Krishna Sood sing in Satsang and wonder, how on earth is he not on TV?

From what he had told me some months ago, he had joined a professional band -Veda. I thought, fair enough, great chance to showcase his talent.

After all this while, half hour back to be precise, Krishna sends me on of his bands' songs and barely I had heard a minute of the song, and I!

I'm still astonished but so happy for Krishna

Here's the link to his first song.

I guess, you guys have heard by now. Brilliant, isn't it!

Publicize it. He needs your support to make it big and I hope you aid his cause.

Okay, I know this is not edited, so, do not keep an eye on the grammar. Chill!

Love :)
Kratik :)

Jai Gurudev :)

Getting Back To Old Facebook Chat

Posted: Friday, August 5, 2011 by Kratik in

The new faceboook chat sucks…doesn’t it?

It sure does according to me.

But why?

Consider that there are about 100 friends online but the chat only shows 25, mentioning 25 because it shows 25 to me. Basically, the number of people that the chat box shows depends on the your screen size.

It also shows your friends who are offline which hardly helps. So, in my opinion, what FB needs to do is to separate online and offline friends by providing them like google talk of ‘view offline friends’

Remember when facebook first introduced the ‘chat interface’, with a separate window opening other than your explorer if you wanted to chat. If you want to do that then, you can probably search different sites and blogs but here, what you’ll read is, how to embed a chat like how it existed sometime back.

I came across this on one of the websites, saw that it works and loved it so much that it works and decided to post it on my blog.

Here is how:

#1. If you are using Firefox you should install GreaseMonkey. You don’t need to install GreaseMonkey on Google Chrome.

#2. You need to install a userscript i.e., Facebook Chat Reversion

#3. You can install that script both on Firefox and Chrome. But you need Greasemonkey to install it on Firefox.

#4. You can get back the Old Facebook chat interface. Enjoy!

I have chrome and saw that it works, so posted it. I hope you all love it as well.

Cheers J


Clive Tyldesley with Magic in his Speech

Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 by Kratik in

As we are only a week away from another European Cup final, I thought it'd be awesome to look to look back on a piece of commentary that in itself has become an epic. Clive Tyldesley was the commentator when Manchester United beat Bayern Munich at Nou Camp in 1999:

United were 1-0 down after 90 minutes, scored within two stoppage time minutes to leave Bayern Munich bemused and United fans in jubilation.

Here it is...

(United have a corner, Beckham to take.)
90.21 Can Manchester United score? They always score. Beckham.......In towards Schmeichel......its come for Dwight Yorke
Cleared...........Giggs with the shot
90.35 SHERINGHAM! (Sheringham scores) NAME ON THE TROPHY!

91.15 As things stand we will go into extra time with a golden goal hanging like a massive shadow over this final unless Ole Solskjaer can find another......

(United have another corner, Beckham to take)
92.13 Is this their moment?

92.17 Beckham...... Into Sheringham..... AND SOLSKJAER HAS WON IT! (Solskjaer scores) Manchester United have reached the promised land, Ole Solskjaer, and the two substitutes have scored the two goals in stoppage time and the Treble looms large!

93.33 (Final whistle blows) History is made, Manchester United are the Champions of Europe again and nobody will ever win a European Cup final more dramatically than this. Champions of Europe, Champions of England, the FA Cup holders, everything their hearts desire. United fans will ask where did you watch the 1999 European Final? Where did you see Ole Solskjaer win it with virtually the last kick of the final?

Back from Dead – ONGC Revival

Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2011 by Kratik in

Having lost twelve of the first nineteen games of the season, ONGC looked dead and buried, and the favourites to go down into I-League division II. After several analysts and pundits had branded their relegation battle as ‘Mission Impossible’, heroics from Kailash Patil, newly signed Japanese - Katsumi Yusa – and Badmus Babatunde have seen them steady the ship and move to the 11th spot in the I-League.

ONGC utilized the season’s first transfer market to its full effect, signing eight players including N.D Opara and Kailash Patil from local rivals Air India. Their business seemed good enough for a mid-table finish; some people even called them ‘the underdogs’. The season that promised so much for the Mumbai based club didn’t start as expected – both on and off the field matters. Firstly, their home ground in Mumbai – the Cooperage Stadium - was closed for the purpose of revamping, renovation and construction. Thus, they were forced to shift their playing venue from Mumbai. ONGC, eventually, agreed to play their home matches at the Shri Chattrapati Sahu Stadium in Kolhapur. Secondly, an inspirational coach in Sujit Chakravarty, the man who had got them promoted, opted to leave the club to coach an Indian Footballing giant, Mohun Bagan. He was soon replaced by Subrata Bhattacharya. Thirdly, ONGC were made to taste dust when a series of late goals in several games, denied them crucial points and had them fighting for relegation.

In their first game in the I-League, they produced a solid performance and got stuck in to East Bengal at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, only to lose by virtue of a late goal by Tolgay. In the next game, another late goal haunted them; this time to the advantage of AIFF XI when Jeje Lalpekhlua put one in the back of the net in the 81st minute after Babatunde had given ONGC the lead. Further late goals against Salgaocar, HAL and Pune FC broke ONGC hearts as they drew in the former and lost the latter two with the goals in 78th, 75th and 89th minutes, respectively.

But it was not only late goals that have led to ONGC struggling, some of their performances have been extremely disappointing and not in par with the other I-League teams. Their displays against Dempo, Chirag United, Mumbai FC and Mohun Bagan in the first half of the season were unacceptable and had them placed at the foot of the I-League table with only a win out of 13.

As the second half of the season got under way, ONGC did a Wolves – who had beaten a Manchester United side which was unbeaten in the English Premiership season, 2-1 at the Mollinuex - against East Bengal, shocking the unbeaten league leaders 1-0 in Kolhapur to notch up their second win of the season. Many had predicted this very game to be the turning point of ONGC’s season but it never proved to be. In spite of signing the Japanese - Katsumi Yusa - in the second transfer window, they were soon thumped by Salgaocar 5-0 in Goa and then, beaten by Dempo, Air India and Pune FC leaving them with 12 losses in 19 games and with a mountain to climb.

It seemed almost impossible for coach Bhattacharya to lift his ONGC outfit but somehow, he managed to do that with excellence.

It looked game over after 50 minutes in Margao, Goa when Churchill brothers, expectedly, took a two goal lead over ONGC. A brilliant run down the flank by Yusa allowed the Japanese to play in Babatunde, who found the net to pull one back. Soon, the former Air India man, ND Opara equalized to give ONGC hope. ONGC FC again had to claw their way back into the game after Odafa had restored Churchill’s lead. The 3-3 result against Churchill Brothers and a fighting spirit – that Bhattacharya had been speaking so much of - was vindicated by ONGC.

Pundits and fans, who had written off ONGC before the game, couldn’t even have thought in their sleep if this could be the turning point of their season. With six games left to play and fellow relegation battling Air India up next, Bhattacharya knew that this was a six pointer. He started with Katsumi Yusa, playing him for the first time behind Kailash Patil, the local Kolhapur boy. His trust on Yusa and Patil proved dividends. Yusa, first curled a 21-yard freekick from outside the box; a freekick that even David Beckham would have enjoyed. With news spreading around Kolhapur, thick and fast, of the former Air India man, Patil starting the game, the crowd soon started rushing in. And, weren’t they treated by Patil? They sure were, the local boy scored a brace to leave the Kolhapurians jubilant and to take ONGC within points of Air India, thereby, kick-starting their safety push. ONGC eventually winning the game 4-0.

A week on, another 6-pointer at Kolhapur, another start for Patil and guess what, the same result. This time, Kailash Patil didn’t shine but Jatin Bisht had a wonderful game, the captain lead from the front; man who made the difference - Yusa. On endless occasions, he charged into the box and out-did several JCT players with his quick feet and trickery. Although Babatunde received the man of the match for his two goals but the man who got all the praise was the 22-year old, Katsumi Yusa. The win gave the table footers another victory under their belt as they chased survival in the I-League. Babatunde scored the winner for ONGC in the 93rd minute. For once, even ONGC FC was experiencing scoring goals late on.

After beating East Bengal earlier in the season, Bhattacharya hoped for the same against Mohun Bagan; a task too difficult to carry out at the Salt Lake?

As it’s said, what goes round comes around. How many times have late goals denied ONGC deserved points, this was their turn.

Mohun Bagan scored early and lead until the 78th minute. With ever-influential Yusa going off for Kailash Patil, the Mohun Bagan fans breathed a sigh of relief, only for them to be shocked. Kailash Patil came off the bench to become the super-sub to score two vital goals that gave ONGC three priceless points and took them out of the final three, for the first time this season. The resurgent ONGC spirit was vindicated again.

Ever since the time, most people labelled ONGC’s relegation battle as “Mission Impossible”, it has been anything but; it has been a great escape. ONGC FC have since come out fighting, and fighting they are to play in the biggest football league in India for one more year, at least.

Recently, the pundits have called the ONGC FC form as temporary and have been saying the famous footballing prologue that reads, “When would the bubble burst?”

When would it burst, we will have to wait and see, but somehow, if ONGC FC are able to survive, it will, for sure, be one of the greatest relegation battles put forward by any football club on Indian soil.

No matter, how much people blame Subrata Bhattacharya for ONGC’s earlier results, the long haired Indian, coaching the Mumbai based club has certainly conjured magic, developed team spirit, made the team play out of their skins and shaped the fortunes of ONGC to the surprise of most watching the Indian Football League. Dead and buried, not quite! they are still fighting, the Men in maroon and White, ONGC FC.

Indian Education System and SkyKpaar

Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 by Kratik in Labels:

Graffiti on a wall next to ILS, Symbiosis, Pune reads, “It kills you without even letting you know. It kills you silently, the (Indian) Education System.”
Hundreds in India suicide after not doing well or in exams; thousands suffer from depression after been put under massive pressure, and millions stamp on their dream and not lead a life that they want to lead, instead leading a life that they have been made to lead due to this education system. But on the other hand, the life that they lead in a clichéd profession – in most cases - lets them taste success at a rate unparalleled in any other country around the world. Also, this has led to the Indian economy experience a rise in recent past and if you see, Indians are doing exceptionally well in India as well as abroad.
So, the education system, is it really a silent assassin, or is it the one that can leave India leaps and bounce above the rest?
The education system in the past:
The education system back then, was spirituality based. It made people have and maintain their piece of mind, also gave them skills and techniques for doing so. It was a pivotal in making India a country that was famously called as the golden bird.
Going back to the ancient Indian readings, "He who is possessed of supreme knowledge by concentration of mind, must have his senses under control, like spirited steeds controlled by a charioteer", is famously said by the Katha Upanishad (iii, 6). In fact, from the Vedic age downwards the central conception of education of the Indians has been that it is a source of illumination giving a correct lead in the various spheres of life.
If you go on to read through some of the books about ancient India, it is said that the percentage of literary people in India was more than that at present. At least up to the 7th century A.D. this system worked most satisfactorily. People showed brilliancy in all departments - Mathematics, Astronomy, Medicine, Chemistry, Poetry, Drama, Grammar and Philosophy. No nation could excel these people at that time. From the 4th century B.C. to the 11th century A.D. all foreigners who came in contact with India and studied her civilization critically were very much impressed by it.
They spoke highly of Indian character specially their truthfulness, honesty, and sense of justice. The influence of the system of education was very great among the people in general. Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador who came to India in the 4th century B.C. remarked " for whereas among other nations it is usual in the contests of war, to ravage the soil, among the Indians it is on the contrary. They never use the conquered as slaves." Idrisi, the Arabian traveler and scholar in his Geography written in the 11th century A.D. says, "The Indians are naturally inclined to justice and never depart from it in action. Their good faith, honesty and fidelity to their engagement were well known and they were so famous for their qualities that people came to their country from every side." Abul Fazl, the author of Aini Akbar, in the 16th century notes, "The Hindus are admirers of truth and showed unbounded fidelity in all dealings."
Dwelling on this wonderful effect of this system of education unparalleled in history Sir Monier Williams says, "And here I may observe circumstances in the history of India are more worthy of investigation than the antiquity and perseverance of her institutions. It has existed almost unaltered since the description of its organization in Manu's code two or three centuries before Christian era. It has survived all religious, political and physical convulsions from which India suffered from time immemorial. Invader after invader has ravaged the country with fire and sword but the simple self-contained township has preserved its constitution intact, its customs, precedents, and peculiar institutions unchanged and unchangeable amid all other changes." (source: Brahmanism and Hinduism p. 455).
British Transformed it for the worse:
As the British invaded India, they looked at the education system and were stunned to find everyone rich, happy and contented.

Lord Macaulay (Thomas Babington Macaulay), who was born on October 25, 1800, arrived in India (Madras) on 10th June 1834 as a member of the Supreme Council of India. He returned to England early 1838, and resumed his writing career there. Macaulay was in India, thus, only for nearly four years, but he was destined to impact the lives of millions of Indians forever, and so he did. In a letter to British Queen, he said, “"I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation."
Thus, now British had their work cut out. Slowly and gradually, by hook or by crook or by trail and error, somehow, the British transformed the Indian education system.
It is often said that British brought urbanization to India, fair enough. But what they took away was one of India’s priceless assets – the Education system.
A Silent Killer?
The head of Scientific Advisory Council very rightly, and famously, wrote to the Prime Minister, C.N. Rao, drawing his attention towards the faulty education system in the country calling the Indian education system as an exam system.
Well, according to me, he is absolutely correct. Have a look:
Curriculum of schools in India:
First week – chilled atmosphere.
Second week – Class Test 1.
Third week – Class Test 2.
End of the month – Unit Test.
This pattern continues throughout the year; only Unit Tests are replaced by Half Yearly and Final Examinations. Much to the agony of students, education becomes a burden rather than learning.
Every single place that a child goes, people rather than asking him what all he has learnt, all they him is asked is, “How much did you score in your exam?”
It is literally as though getting good marks and a decent enough percentage in exams is the end of the world for the people. But people forget that every child has his own field of interest, which at times is not respected by most and thus, this system pressurizes a child too much in order for him to succeed.
This trend of making a student week with examinations after examinations, carries on in colleges as well and has often lead to student suicides.
Newspapers recently had tragic daily reports of youngsters who have killed themselves or taken what Indians euphemistically call "the extreme step" because they fear the shame of a bad report card. On a single day last month, it was reported that two teenage boys in New Delhi hanged themselves at their homes.

One was falling behind in his studies and the other was afraid of an English exam. A final year Bachelor of Commerce student hanged herself in the commercial capital Mumbai apparently because she was not prepared for her economics paper and did not want her family to feel ashamed.

A grade 12 student from Surat in western India hanged herself and another threw herself before a moving train in Allahabad in northern India, the paper reported, adding there were other suicides that day too. "Teenage suicide (over exams) is a national disaster," said Samir Parikh, psychiatrist at Max Healthcare, a leading New Delhi private hospital chain.

In 2006, the most recent year for which official figures are available, some 5,857 students -- or 16 a day -- killed themselves due to exam stress. Police say thousands more suicides go unreported because parents want to keep the cause of death a secret.

Sad, isn’t it?
It sure is.
Movies like ‘Taare Zamin Par’ and ‘3 Idiots’ have been tried to covey similar things. It’s only for us to realize.
Another aspect of the education system is that it makes students think in an extremely clichéd form. For example, most of the people who take up engineering after their high school, don’t even know what does the engineering course offer. Board exam, then, a number of entrance exams, if you make it good, otherwise, students pay and get in; in another words, dig their own grave.
Look, there must be thousands who would have wanted to do engineering all their life and become successful engineers, but then, there are millions, who never thought of engineering as their profession and have got in (either on merit or donation) for the sole reason that, engineering is “the thing” these days to do. This was one of the reasons that a newspaper recently reported that only 7% of people, who pass out as engineers are worth working as engineers.
Need for a change?
Well, for all that has been mentioned above, yes but I guess I have left it too late when it comes to bringing out the positive aspect. Yes, the Indian education needs some tinkering but you can’t deny the fact that the degrees that it offers are respected all over the world. Famously, Chennai-born Sara Mathew in an interview to Times of India gave ample credit to the Indian education system for her success. "The good education system in India is what has helped me in excelling in my career in the US," she said and added that Indian degrees are highly respected and are very helpful in getting good jobs in the US.
Similar is the story with most Indians who have success stories in India and abroad. With Indian economy on the rise and Indians doing well in most areas of the world, is the change necessary.
Well, it is a difficult question but the change is needed, even if it is a minor tinkering but we do need a change. I know people are doing well and will continue to do well in the future but what about the ones, who find themselves down and suffering from this education system, do we not think about them?
I change is need, even if not a major one, but a change is needed.
Now, if the Indian Education System is that good or that bad, is it bad enough to be changed massively?
Ok, it does lead to students weep under but if it does bring success, do we really need to change it?
Well, now that is where SkyKpaar steps in, and steps in it does, perfectly!
In one of its modules: Sunshine:
Most children are really interested in a particular field but at times, there is something that stops them from taking a professional course in that field. Some succumb to parental pressure, some overly influenced individuals take up the same fields as their friends and most take up clichéd fields purely due to the thinking patterns in the society. This project called ‘Sunshine’ is aimed at school students majorly from VIII-XI std. in order to make them realize and live their fields of their interest.
A joke often goes around in India. The joke reads – if you ever throw a stone from the moon on India, it will – in most cases than not – go on and hit an engineer. Now, this joke is decent enough if we want to have an occasional laugh but what it also underlines is that the pattern the Indian education system is following. When it comes to choosing a field, most toppers chose science without giving a prior of what the field demands, then, Commerce and then, Arts. Now, some of those who have taken science might want to make a career in another field (theatre, music, dance, accountancy, economics, etc.), a field that suits their interest. Thus, we aim to bring a change in the pattern of thinking in the society.
In the other module of this workshop: Inside Campus: because you deserve to know the truth This is a website centric module which aims to provide all the inside and true information of all campuses (Colleges, Companies, organizations). This website will have the information of all the college in India from each and every university. Thus, if a person wants to move in from a different state, he can go to our website and then, have a look at the list of various colleges from the university and decide for herself which college she wants to take admission in.
This website would offer the grading of colleges, fee structure, courses offered, detailed map and a special review by us from the college which will include comments of the currents and the pass-outs.
The last module of the workshop: Jump Start: coz all it takes is a nice Jump.
This is a series of workshops specially designed for undergrads. Soft skills are exceedingly important and needed to be a successful personnel. These workshops will including development in students’ soft skills. The workshops will be aided by the students practicing the NLP and meditation techniques in order to focus better. These workshops will make the students aware of all the non-academic activities they can get themselves involved in.Day by day, the world is becoming smaller. We have universities who come all the way from UK or USA to Pune, especially to conduct seminars. Students are usually unaware of such events happening in the city. Thus, we will also make the students of such events happening.
Yes, SkyKpaar is definitely taking up measures to change what needs to be changed but we need your help, your support.
Is it a silent killer? Yes, it is.
Can it be bettered? Yes, it can.
Need for slight tinkering? Yes, surely needed.
Support us and we’ll change the thinking, we’ll change the education, we’ll change India.
Jai Hind.

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