Monday, May 25, 2020

Anjali - The Lockdown Routine

I was wondering how Anjali was going to deal with this lockdown. She has not stepped out of the gate since March 15, the day her final exams were to start. She had prepared hard for it as she normally does, was disappointed that the exams were cancelled (which is a good thing) and quickly took it in her stride. She adjusted to the online classes as the school decided to promote the lot and go on with their next class. In time she got her new books and the classes ended. All of May was her own, her summer vacation, which she so cherishes.

Reading a book
Last summer was a wonderful little vacation for her. We spent a lot of time in Mumbai and Pune with her cousins and her grandmother. Anjali was there almost for a month or more and we did several things which we enjoyed. Visiting bookstores, hangouts like Lucky Cafe, Marzorin, meeting her cousins, time with Ajji - she had a ball. This summer also we had the whole thing planned out between out our two favourite cities - Bangalore and Pune. And then the lockdown happened. I knew how much she looked forward to the vacation so I wondered what was going on in her mind.
Anjali's lockdown creation!
But she quickly got into her stride. Unlike me and Shobhs who started a late-night movie watching habit which messed with our next day, she was clear that she would hit the bed by 11 pm latest. Her morning started off at 730 or so with yoga. Then she would finish her homework or help in some chores. a couple of web series that she likes took up some time. But then it was back to some other work.

One day she decided to make some soft toys. I think she learned how to use the needle for this. then there was the cooking challenge - she made pancakes on Mother's Day. She helps out with dishwashing and takes half my burden. Then she goes off to draw or paint. I see her meddling with some journal type of a thing so I know she is writing something.

She made a group with a diverse set of cousins and added them to play an online game called Psych. They all catch up once in a while and play the game. She has scheduled weekly Zoom meetings with her Satish mama in Atlanta and chats for hours with him. Similarly, she chats with her cousins Pooja and Miskil. And then she and her friends have weekly Zoom sessions where they play some online games. Once they all caught up on Zoom and watched a movie together.

Every day, at 4 these days she has these online classes by an IT company called Byte IQ which teaches some computer languages or something. She joined it voluntarily. After that class, she and Mansi get together on Zoom and they both read out their new textbooks, to each other, complete with agenda for the next day. After the reading, they engage in some fun. The other day she made me download Avengers and watched it by herself. She seems to enjoy watching movies by herself.

When she is washing dishes she has music playing alongside. Yesterday we played carroms, last month, we did lots of table tennis. She watches her shows and covers her books these days. And she cannot wait to go to school. Every night she picks up a book to read - 'Around the World in Eighty Days' is done and so is 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'. I like that she is trying new authors and styles.

I am quite amazed at how she structured her life around the situation all by herself. When I buy her ice cream, she saves it up and eats it over a week. I would have finished the lot in two days. I cannot get how she is so clear about it. Today she said she does not want any more ice cream.

That's it.


Canteen Fundas - New Mistakes Are Good, Old Mistakes Are Not

Don't repeat old mistakes and you will get out of the rut. Make new mistakes and you will grow.

https://epaper.newindianexpress.com/c/52209744


Life in Lockdown - Day 60, May 25, 2020

May 25, 2020

It's a hot day so stay at home day. Watched Mrinal Sen's 'Bhuvan Shome' last night and was quite thrilled that I did. Column writing day, Eid day so quite a bit of phone work.

Chitra Shared this Poem

Some Food Pics
Puri, chana and sheera from Chef Shobha


I'm wondering why I am doing this lockdown series.

But here are the migrant stories

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/back-home-migrant-workers-reel-under-multiple-challenges-11590346879515.html

https://kalingatv.com/state/305-migrants-flee-from-shramik-special-train-after-pulling-chain-in-odisha/


Bhuvan Shome - Movie

1969. National award-winning movie made on a shoestring budget from the NFDC by Mrinal Sen. Seen as the beginning of New Wave movies. Suhasini Mulay is a revelation and Utpal Dutt is fabulous. The movie is narrated by Amitabh Bachchan. Must watch. YouTube has a decent print.

One of the few films I'd like to watch again.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Samskara - Movie

1970. Based on UR Ananthamurthy's novel of the same name. Girish Karnad, Snehalata Reddy (read her bio, amazing). It was taut and intense, dealing with the subject of final rites. Set in an agrahara in a village that follows the brahminical tradition, it deals with the death of a brahmin, who does not follow any rituals, has a low caste mistress and drinks and eats meat. But he is true to himself and as the story unfolds we realise how the others are not. National award winning movie that actually got banned so its a must watch.


Life in Lockdown - Day 59, May 24, 2020

May 24, 2020

There is a discernible change in the beat. Traffic outside is almost normal, people unsure what the new normal is.

Jyothi Paswan - For the Daughters
I don't know if I put this story up already but I don't mind putting it up again. 15 year od Hyothi Paswan rode 1200 km on the bicycle, from Gurgaon to Darbhanga in Bihar, with her injured father on the pillion, in 10 days. What can you say? Daughters are the best.

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bihar%2C-a-15-year-old-girl%2C-cycles-over-1200-km-to-bring-her-sick-father--50160.html


Topper Sent Me This Link - Nicely done by Anand Madhukar
Lovely little story

https://www.facebook.com/1124209989/posts/10216631744202410/?sfnsn=wiwspwa&extid=M7r2lPFaryoArtfB

This Was Interesting - For the Writing, And Even More for the Responses

Do read the responses

http://avayshukla.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-lock-down-diaries-viii-feel-little.html

My Cricketing Insights - Salil Datar (Have Confidence and Stay Put)

Salil Datar and I met thanks to our IDBI connection. Though he had left the organisation when I joined in 1994, he would come to meet my colleagues, Parag and Jaideep, when he was in the neighbourhood. Salil had played for Bombay (now Mumbai) and West Zone Under 19 schools which was a pretty good platform for taking off into higher levels. He then represented Bombay University (1984-85) which did so well under Sanjay Manjrekar.
Salil Datar (left) with former Indian cricket captain Ajit Wadekar (2017)
Salil was a solid middle-order batsman in his day. He has played competitive cricket alongside Sanjay Manjrekar, Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsakar at club level - Dadar Union (1984-90), Sachin Tendulkar while leading the BCA Colts team (1988). He also played alongside past legends like Ajit Wadekar, Madhav Apte in an exhibition fixture ( Dadar Union v/s Shivaji Park Gymkhana- 2017). He represented Mumbai in Ranji ( 1988-89) and the IDBI Cricket Team (1988-1990).
Salil Datar (third from left, standing) and the victorious West Zone team that won the Under 19 Cooch Behar All India Trophy with Sunil Gavaskar (1983)

Salil, gave up his cricketing ambitions and took up the corporate route, doing extremely well in his chosen field. These days he writes as well on various topics that catch his attention. Salil is a fitness enthusiast and has been participating in Mumbai Half Marathons since 2010.
IES Cricket team  Winners Giles Shield (1980), skipper Sanjay Manjrekar with the bat on the left, Salil with the bat on the right

Here are some of Salil's insights into the game.
...
Salil's Insights

Have confidence and stay put - It's the one good break that matters !!

Having played Inter-varsity, U-22, U- 19 cricket and been selected to the Mumbai Ranji Trophy team, I have played cricket at a fairly competitive level. Looking back at my playing days, if I have to pick one thing that separates the men from the boys - then it will be the mental frame of mind or the belief that you have it in you to make a difference.

Once you play at the national level, you obviously have the skill as well as the ability. What you need to focus on is building the mental frame of mind, confidence and belief in yourself. During my Varsity days I have seen at very close quarters 2 players- Maninder Singh (circa 1984/85) and W V Raman (circa 1985/86). Maninder Singh had begun his Test career with a debut at a young age of 17 yrs, playing against Pakistan at Karachi, way back in December 1982. W V Raman made his Ranji debut for Tamil Nadu in 1982 and had established himself in the state side. While Maninder was already an active member of the Indian team but was dropped subsequently as he lost form, W V Raman was an established first-class player, he was struggling with his form.

Here is how both decided to go back to the basics and fight their way to regain confidence and a positive frame of mind.

Take 1 - The Maninder Singh Story
In 1984/85, I was representing the West Zone in the Vizzy Trophy with Sanjay Manjrekar in the lead. We made it to the finals to be played at Chepauk against North Zone with Maninder Singh leading them. At Chepauk, the wicket turned out to be a rank turner.  Maninder, keen to make a comeback, latched onto the god-sent opportunity to use his left arm spin variations with guile. He tormented the west zone batsmen including Sanjay Manjrekar (he was yet to make his Test debut then) bowling to a 7-2 field, keeping only a square leg and a deep mid on, on the leg and rest on the off-side crowding around the batsman. North Zone managed to take the first innings leads of 29 runs with Maninder nearly taking all except one out of the 10 wickets in our first innings. The only wicket that he failed to take was that of our left-arm spinner who decided it was prudent to get runout instead of giving Maninder ( a test discard then) the honour of taking all 10 wickets, a record of sorts !!! However, the silver lining for us was that Sanjay Manjrekar marshalled us well. We came back from behind and lifted the Vizzy Trophy by getting North Zone bundled out for a paltry 137 runs and then knocking those runs off with 3 wickets to spare with me stemming the rot to hit the winning runs.

Take 2 - The WV Raman Story
In 1985/86, I was representing Bombay University (Bombay was changed to Mumbai in 1995) in the All India Inter- Varsity tournament. The matches were being played at Aligarh University grounds. In the finals we clashed with Madras University (Madras was changed to Chennai in 1996) led by W V Raman. Again another left-hander but who was an all-rounder. Even though I scored a century, Madras University lifted the coveted Rohinton Baria Trophy for supremacy in Inter-Varsity cricket in India on the back of an all-round performance by W V Raman (88 runs and 5/78).

In those times, in spite of Rohinton Baria Trophy and Vizzy Trophy not being classified as first-class matches, they were considered as tournaments of national reckoning. National selectors kept a close eye on outstanding performances by youngsters in these tournaments. In both the above instances, what stood out to me was the fact that in spite of having been discarded from the national team, Maninder and Raman showcased a burning desire to make a comeback. They opted to dig it in and rough it out to grab any opportunity, even if it meant Varsity level matches, to showcase their performance and get into the can-do mental frame of mind.

The net result of their performance was that Maninder got an immediate callback to the national side. He proved to be a match-winning force against England in 1986 and followed it up with some brilliant performances against Sri Lanka and Pakistan at home. 1986/87 was probably the best phase of his career as he picked up two 7-wicket hauls, one against Sri Lanka in Nagpur and then delivered his career-best figure of 7/27 against Pakistan in Bangalore. He then went on to play in the now most remembered Madras tie test against Australia in the 1986-87 series. As for W V Raman- he made a comeback into the Tamil Nadu Ranji team and then went on to debut for India in 1987-88 at his home town Chennai against West Indies. In his debut match, India was bowled to victory by Narendra Hirwani, who took 16 wickets (8/61 and 8/75).

Just as I said in the beginning, once you have made a certain cut, your mental frame of mind counts, have confidence, stay put, go back to the basics if need be - It's that one good break that makes it matter. Cheers !!!
 ....
Thanks Salil. That was a very useful sharing into the mental aspect of the game. I am certain that young cricketers, or rather anyone who is aspiring to succeed, realises that one needs to stay, keep working at it, and you will ultimately get there. That is the champion mindset. 

For some more of Salil's cricket anecdotes hosted on his blog - Musings of a 50 something click here:-





Saturday, May 23, 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 58, May 23, 2020

May 23, 2020

The temperature is really shooting up. If yesterday it was 42 degrees C today they say it was s 45.5 according to a WhatsApp forward. The heat was so high that I sat with an ice bag this evening to cool myself off.

Went to Polimera today to do some shopping. Despite the sanitiser and the plastic gloves, the concept of social distancing is long gone. in fact it was worse than it was before with people falling all over another. I can't imagine how it can get worse than before.

The Erragadda fruit market si bustling. I bought some Banganapalle mangoes. They looked nice.

Sanjay paid me a visit today, the first visitor we have had ever since the lockdown has been announced. That too because Sanjay said he was in the neighbourhood and could he drop in. I know people are moving about, meeting and socialising, but am not sure if it is time to do that yet.

From Sathya Saran -Nice Gesture from Aruna Bahuguna to Share Shoes with Migrant Workers

Sathya sent me this forward today.

From Aruna Bahuguna
Friends, I am collecting footwear - old or used, sandals, slippers, shoes, but in "walking" condition, to distribute to the migrant workers. 
I go with the help of police to the railway station and distribute. 
Anyone who would like to donate, please send to 103 Prashasan Nagar. 
I leave around  2 pm. 

My address 
103, Prashasan Nagar Road no 18 
Jubilee Hills Hyderabad 500033 

Google landmarks opposite Prashasan Nagar Water Tank or Le Gorjuss cosmetic clinic.

Thank you.

Those in the neighbourhood, please go ahead and share your footwear.

Nothing to report but the heat. Of course, couple of calls informed me that the numbers are rising like crazy.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Spellbound - Movie

1945. Hitchcock. Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman. A psychological thriller of a mental institution, conspiracies, impostors, guilt complexes, love and murder.

Got nominated for Oscars. Peck is very young.



My Cricketing Insights - Jaideep Pal (Batting and Wicket Keeping)

Jaideep Pal was my skipper when I played for the IDBI in the Times Shield during my stint in Mumbai between 1994 and 1998. Warm and friendly, with an impish smile perpetually on his face, he belies the tough and wily competitor that lies within. He is constantly match aware, has a high emotional quotient and is always thinking of how to get the best of his resources. No wonder we made the finals one year and did pretty well in the next. I found Jai to be a captain for whom I wanted to give my best - he is vulnerable, open and affectionate and wants the best for you. He is like that as a person too, so it's so easy to trust him, to want to do well for him. He sings beautifully, has a great sense of humour, loves a good time and is easily the most liked by all. He is certainly one of my favourite people and one of the better skippers I have played under.
Jaideep Pal
Jai started playing cricket for Shardashram High School (Sachin's, Kambli's, Amre's school) and was part of the playing XI when the school won the prestigious school tournament viz. Giles shield. He was the youngest at that time to have played a finals - at a mere 11 years and few months.. Then Jai played for Don Bosco School. At college level he went to Poddar College, played for Mumbai University and was part of a specially selected team of probables of BCA colts which played in the Moin Ud Dowlah Gold Cup tournament at Hyderabad in 1990-91. Jai played regularly for 2 two years for the BCA Colts and A division club cricket for nearly 15 years representing top Mumbai clubs like CCI, Khar Gymkhana and Shivaji Park Gymkhana from 1987 to 2002. He last played for Shivaji Park.


Three centuries - on a roll!
Jai's role model in batting was Sunil Gavaskar, and he idolized Syed Kirmani and Alan Knott in the wicket-keeping department. He did well in both departments, scored heavily and received prizes for best wicket-keeper on several occasions. Jai captained IDBI and was instrumental in the team reaching the B division of the prestigious Times Shield in a short span of time from lower divisions.

Here are a few of Jaideep's insights on batting and wicket keeping.

To be frank, I have never had proper coaching by any sir apart from Late Achrekar sir who was very keen that I should play at a good level of cricket and that was way back in 1978-79 when I was 11 years old. At that age, one hardly remembers what is taught. Whatever I have learnt by watching, listening and practising is as under:

Batting :
1. One should be hungry enough to become a good batsman as it is always one person against the 11 players at any point of time.

2. A still head is the most important thing. If the head is still you are sure that you will gauge the length of the delivery. What I mean by a 'still head' is that the focus should be on the ball and it should not sway. When the head is still, it is in line with the delivery of the ball and helps you judge the length and the moment the head droops sideways, one is not able to judge the delivery and also results in difficulty in playing deliveries which are pitched on middle and leg as the vision becomes blind. You can say for batting it is the side on stance. Which helps you keep your head still. One knows it when you can't judge the line and length of a delivery..
Even in wicket keeping, when one takes a stance it should be ensured that the balance is proper and the weight is evenly distributed. This ensures that the sight is set on the delivery only and not affected by the movement of the batsman. As a wicket keeper we know the head is not still the moment we are not able to follow the ball right from point of release to its landing. If one sees the release but misses the flight and sees it only after it lands, it means you have to search for the ball, the moment that happens indicates that head is not still.

3. Always focus on basics. A good defence will ensure that you can easily play big strokes when required but the reverse is not true..

4. Practice regularly and approach each session as if you were playing a match.

5. Keep your hands close to the body as much as possible this ensures you don't chase outgoing deliveries.

6. Before any game analyse the kind of bowlers expected and practice mentally how one will approach each delivery. This practice is very tough as you need to imagine and it is exhausting. But very helpful.

7. A day before the game tap 100 balls on the bat focusing on the seam and that to be done on Match day too

8. Always play the ball and not the bowler.

9. Remember it's a mental game.

10. For physical training basics are important but one should hit the gym twice a week for muscle building as the game has become more of power.

As a keeper I suggest the following:
1. Take as many catches as possible not only standing like a wicketkeeper but outfield too.. This improves how we receive the ball.

2. Play all kinds of sports especially football and TT/badminton.

3. Keep wickets at least for 3 hours in a day. It could be a combination of tennis ball and season ball cricket.

4. Try and follow the correct techniques and then improvise. I feel one should not stress too much on getting up with the ball but if one watches the ball keenly, then the movement automatically happens.. So focus more on watching the ball.

6. Always remember/expect that each and every ball will come to you, this ensures that edge's are not missed. Try it and you will find out that every time you have dropped a catch you were not watching the ball or head was not still.

7. Exercise sideways movement in standing and crouched manner at a constant speed for improving agility.

8. Skipping 1000 rounds daily atleast.. I used to do at least 1500 daily. Does not take much time on off days and at least 500 on normal days and running a mix of jogs and sprints..

9. In case one cannot play football, hit the gym for leg strengthening..

10. Wicket keeping also improves your batting.
...

Thanks so much Jai. Those are very sound tips for batsmen and wicket keepers. For those of you who wish to reach out to him over mail for any further tips or clarifications, here it is - paljaideep67@gmail.com.

Life in Lockdown - Day 58, May 22, 2020

May 22, 2020

Rawat called. When is the cricket academy opening he asks. I said I don't know. He says they are all opening. I have no clue. My friends are all on a visiting spree. One of them threatened to visit me tomorrow. Why is he so desperate to see me I wonder. Suffice to say people are running all over like the world's coming to an end.

Watched 'Spellbound' by Hitchcock last night. 1945. Nominated for some Oscar awards. Kind of 1945ish. Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman.

Worked all day. Now to check on some good classic. I feel like I earned it.

I'll drag this series on till the 28th of this month, the official lockdown deadline for Telangana and update whatever happens to me. At least let me finish what I started. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Dog Day Afternoon - Patrick Mann

I watched the Sidney Lumet movie in which Al Pacino plays Little Joe way before I read this book. Little Joe is an interesting criminal type who is looking to make some quick money - he has a home with a wife who is now become fat and he is also in love with a tranvestite, Lana who needs money for a surgery.

Little Joe decides to rob a bank and hires a friend of his, Sam who has been in jail for a long time and who is not a happy man for it. They stake out a bank, hire a driver Eddie, and walk into the small branch. Everything goes wrong from the beginning. Joe gets his fifteen minutes of fame, seeks out his ransom, gets a plane and well becomes a bit like Bonnie and Clyde. We start liking the spunky little fellow too by the end.

Racy. Checked Wikipedia and it says the movie is based on a book titled 'Boys in the Bank'. Wonder what's the confusion about.

Life in Lockdown - Day 58, May 21, 2020

May 21, 2020

Happy birthday to my brother Ram. We spoke on the phone. Watched 'Samskara' last night. Fabulous movie. Also finished reading 'Dog Day Afternoon'. Got a better sense of the story than from the movie. Been a stay at home, do some work kind of a day. Something about the heat and the late nights knocked me out cold this afternoon.

Diya outside. Candies for the sweepers. A call or two and now I am back wondering what movie to play. Am so out of the news that I haven't a clue what's happening.

Heard that a few of my friends got together and partied. Wonder why they are so desperate. I am quite fine in my place. Don't intend going anywhere for a while.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 57, May 20, 2020

May 20, 2020

I have noticed that the newspapers have started calling migrant workers as guest workers. I am sure they will be very happy to know of this new job title they have got. They will certainly be thrilled to know of the wonderful perks of the job - long walks, long holidays, close communion with nature, complete freedom and zero responsibility. They will be thrilled to hear this.

I went to Ratnadeep Supermarket today. Everything is chilled out. The security guards who had assumed commanding positions earlier and behaved like they owned you have now shrunk back to their original size and shape. They looked very insignificant and not like demigods who could control how long you stayed in the queue. Now they are merely sanitiser dispensing fellas. Inside the store also I found that the attitude of the store boys and girls has changed, a bit. Now they aren't appearing like angels and fairies. they look like shop girls and shop boys. Though they arent fully back to their customer is god state. Even now they still feel like they have an upper hand on you.

I had enough to shop for. After my big checkout of four bags, I started to look like a hoarder, but hey, I was stocking up on chips and biscuits man. Then I found what I have been scouring the market for in the last three months - vanilla essence. I put those two little beauties in the cart and off I went to checkout. Another beauty I found after two months was a huge Dettol bottle. I thought they were out of stock and that I will not see them in my lifetime. Also, RD has new sticks of masks for 149.

After a long checkout I lugged my loot in two tranches and found that the two vanilla essence bottles were not billed for. i went back in and told the girl that. She was rather unhappy with me for coming back because she had to log in and all that and definitely did not look happy - I thought they would reward me or something for my honesty but all I got was a dirty look. anyway, my conscience is clear. One less sin god. I saw Dominos was open and so was Abhiruchi and so was Himalaya Books. Some shops were shut, some were open. Life's back to normal for the host workers.

Back home I got some work done and wondered why people were flocking out on the road. At 8 I lit the diya maybe for one last time. However the candies and toffee for our colony sweepers will continue.

I got one food pic but it was really bad so I am ignoring it.

Paddleton - Movie

2019. Two single friends, Michael and Andy, neighbours, who have no one else in the world but one another, find ways to make their lives interesting. Their lives are about making pizzas, watching Kung fu movies and playing a game called Paddleton that they have invented - bouncing a ball off a rundown drive-in theatre. Michael contracts cancer and wants to end his life with medication and requests and to help him. Andy agrees but he is reluctant to let his friend go.

It's beautiful.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 56, May 19, 2020

May 19, 2020

The lockdown seems to have partially ended. People are going on as they try to 'live' with Corona virus. Masks have come off despite warnings or penalties of Rs. 1000. Activity has started. I got a call asking whether the cricket academy is starting. People are moving on.

The Migrants Are Forgotten
And as we get back to our lives, the migrant stories vanished. We don't have time for them anymore. Watching the 1984 movie 'Paar' made me realise that nothing changed, nothing will.

Zoom Call With My Old Students from the Department of Dance, UOH
Janimiya, my old student from the Department of Dance, University of Hyderabad, 2015 batch, my first batch, messaged me saying that the batch would like to have a zoom call with me. I agreed. It was a special batch, my first, and we tried so many things together. Niyanthri, Aparna, Suchismita, Snehalatha, Sneha Sasikumar, Aswini, Aishwarya, Rohini and Janimiya were my students. We chatted for an hour and promised to meet up at the University's famous Mushroom Rock after the lockdown days are over.

A lovely picture of all of us sipping chai in 2015. One of my all-time favourite pics.
Aishwarya, Rohini, Aparna, Sneha, M, Niyantri, Suchismita, Ashwini, Snehalatha and Janimiya (2015, UOH)

Lalitha Anand Shared This
Lalitha shared this. Sounds interesting.

Food Pic
Shameem shared his haleem pic. Looks delicious.

Paar - Movie

1984. Award-winning movie based on a story by Samaresh bose, by Gautam Ghosh starring Naseeruddin Shah, Shabana Azmi, Om Puri and Utpal Dutt. It starts with the upper caste landlords burning and pillaging the Harijan ghetto in a village in Bihar. They are retaliating against the murder of the landlord Utpal  Dutt's brother by Naurangia (Naseer) who escapes with his pregnant wife Shabana. They go to Calcutta to escape the wrath and find no jobs and run out of money. They finally get a job - to swim across the Ganges and deliver 36 pigs across. The swim across the river, getting across to the other side, the crossing, is a brilliant scene that has you at the edge. Fantastic.


I Am That - Nisargadatta Maharaj

Satish gifted this book to me a few years ago. It is a series of conversations between Maharaj and his followers. I picked a few that resonated with me.

Some excerpts
Love all, or none of it, and stop complaining. 

The root idea is I am. The "I am" remains as the witness, but it is by the will of God that everything happens.

Experiment with any theory you like - if you are truly earnest and honest, the attainment of reality will be yours. It is the earnestness that liberates and not the theory. When you are in dead earnest, you been every incident, every second of your life to your purpose. You do not waste time and energy on other things.

Bring in the attitude of pure witnessing, of watching the events without taking part in them.

There is no chaos in the world, except the chaos which your mind creates.

In reality you are not a thing, nor separate. You are the infinite potentiality, the inexhaustible possibility.

I am neither rich nor poor. I am myself. I do not see the world as separate from me and so there is nothing for me to desire, or fear.

At the root of creation lies desire. Desire and imagination foster and reinforce each other. The fourth state of turiya is one of pure witnessing, detached awareness, passionless and wordless.

If you want to sin, sin wholeheartedly and openly.

Give your undivided attention to the most important in your life - yourself.

The right use of the mind is in the service of love, of life, of truth, of beauty.

You must begin in yourself - with yourself. You cannot change the world before changing yourself.

Put in all and get all.

All things contain their future.

Death gives freedom and power. To be free in the world, you must die to the world. Then the universe is your own, it becomes your body, an extension and a tool. The happiness of being free is beyond description.

You need not push life about. Just flow with it and give yourself completely to the task of the present moment which is the dying now to the now. For living is dying. Without death life cannot be.

Only your attitude is faulty and needs readjustment.

The self does not need to be put to rest. It is peace itself. Only the mind is restless.

You can find what you have lost. But you cannot find what you have not lost.

Knowledge is but a memory, a pattern of thought, a mental habit.

Pain and pleasure go together. Freedom from one means freedom from the other. To know that pain and pleasure are one is peace.

Whatever task you have undertaken - complete it. Do not take up new tasks, unless it is called for by a concrete situation of suffering, and relief from suffering.

A man who no longer thinks in terms of loss and gain is the truly non-violent man, for he is beyond all conflict.

The stronger you desire, the easier comes the help.

Learn from your mistakes and do not repeat them.

Stand without desire and fear relinquishing all control and responsibility.

Words are of the mind and the mind obscures and distorts.

The real cannot be described. It must be experienced.

Give up the idea of what you think yourself to be and there will be no gap. By imagining yourself as separate you have created the gap.

The witness only registers events.

All consciousness is limited and therefore painful. At the root of consciousness lies desire, the urge to experience.

Welcome all that comes with a glad and thankful  heart. And love all creatures.

To the ignorant, all that they cannot understand is madness.

Develop the witness attitude and you will find in your own experience that detachment beings control. The state of witnessing is full of power, there is nothing passive about it.

You live, you feel, you think. By giving attention to your living, feeling and thinking, you free yourself from them and go beyond them. Your personality dissolves and only the witness remains.

Stop making use of your mind and see what happens. Do this one thing thoroughly.

The only thing you know for sure is 'here and now I am'. Remover the 'here and now' and the 'I am' remains unassailable.

Unselfish work leads o silence, for when you work selflessly, you don't need to ask for help. Indifferent to results, you are willing to work with the most inadequate means. you do not care to be gifted and well equipped. Noor do you ask for recognition and assistance.

Fight with all the strength at your disposal against the idea that you are nameable and describable.

In reality, time and space exist in you; you do not exist in them.

Don't ask the mind to conform what is beyond the mind. Direct experience is the only valid confirmation.

Transform desire into love.

What you seek is to express in action what you are. (p 203)

It is a 500 page book. But it is the kind of a book that you keep referring to every now and then to dip into the wisdom.

Canteen Fundas - Don't Take Your Eyes Off the Finish Line

The last part is the trickiest - don't take your eyes off the finish line!

https://epaper.newindianexpress.com/c/52001240

Life in Lockdown - Day 55, May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

The 55th day is also the day when the extended lockdown was to end. Telangana government had decided to prolong it till the 28th. But today the Telangana govt has come with some new directives which were shared in a small image by Telangana Today.


Monday, May 18, 2020

Kindness - Poem to Read Everyday


For The Hindu Muslim Dividers - Story of the Lockdown

The story of these two friends, Amrit Kumar and Mohammad Saiyub, two worked in Mumbai and were originally from Uttar Pradesh, will never leave me. It's one of the images of this lockdown.

https://www.orissapost.com/hindu-muslim-migrant-friends-misery-reveals-contrasting-responses/

My Cricketing Insights - V Ramnarayan

V Ramnarayan played for Hyderabad in the 70s and was an integral member of the team of handsome dashers from Hyderabad - a team led by M.L. Jaisimha with the likes of MAK Pataudi, Abbas Ali Baig, Jayantilal, P. Krishnamurthi, Govind Raj, Abid Ali, Mumtaz Hussain, Jyothi Prasad, Narasimha Rao etc. The team had seven or eight Test players and beat some great teams but enigmatically, never won the Ranji Trophy for all its talent.
V Ramnarayan bowling in his prime
Ramnarayan was the team's penetrative off-spinner and wrecker in chief of the Bombay first innings when Hyderabad took a sizeable first-innings lead and then collapsed and lost inexplicably in the quarter-final. He made his debut for Hyderabad at 28 and 5 years of competitive cricket during which time he was named in the Indian probables camp. However, his tragedy was that he was the third man - always behind EAS Prasanna and S. Venkataraghavan - and all that talent went waste.
A fav pic of mine - that shows Ram in character - he came to the Chennai launch of 'The Men Within' all by himself, only to congratulate me on writing the book which he had bought and read. I had tried to reach him but I could not and I was thrilled when he walked up to me quietly and introduced himself and congratulated me. This picture was taken moments before he met me - I am at far left in the background, VB upfront in the blue shirt and Ram on the far right in his blue shirt. Gentlemen cricketers

In 25 first-class matches, Ram got 96 wickets - 6 wickets on debut against Kerala, followed by 6 in his second match against Andhra and a career-best 7 for 68 against Bombay in the quarter-final which gave Hyderabad a first-inning lead that was later squandered away. Post cricketing career, Ram did several things but finally found his calling in the world of writing as an author, translator and editor of anthologies. "Mosquitoes and Other Jolly Rovers, The Story of Tamil Nadu Cricket" (2002), "RK Swamy, His Life and Times"2007) and "Third Man, Recollections from a Life in Cricket" (2015) are three of the many books he has written. Ram also edited India's leading magazine 'Sruthi' on performing arts. 

In Indian cricket, Ram's name always turns up in the list of players who missed out on playing for India. He is highly regarded for his knowledge of his craft, his humility and the breadth of his experience which traverses cricket, literature, music, singing, dance. 

....
Here's Ram, sharing his insights into the game.

"I was told by my parents the first reading I did was cricket news in The Hindu. I grew up surrounded by a large cricket-mad family of siblings, cousins, and uncles. The first case of a concussion that I came across was when I was hit on the forehead at short leg off a vicious pull. That probably explains all the mad things I have done in my life. 

Spinning the Ball - Most Important 
Like many kids, I tried my hand at the whole gamut of bowling specialities before zooming in on off spin at age 16. Even at that stage, I was very sure I would learn to spin the ball well before striving for accuracy, thanks to my precocious devouring of cricket literature and advice from older cousins. 

A bleeding spinning finger at the start of the season before a callus was formed was one's badge of courage. One derived massive masochistic pleasure while subjecting said finger to 3rd degree torture day after day.  

Put Enough Revs So Ball Does Not Reach the Batsman
I learnt early enough to put enough revs (didn't quite think of it that way then) on the ball that it would not quite meet its appointment with the batsman ( Ian Chappell on Prasanna). 

The idea was to land on a spot where the batsman didn't know whether to play forward or back. You made him play forward and discover that he was not quite there. 

Visualisation
Endless hours of visualisation had you dreaming of catches to short leg, rattling of the stumps from outside the off stump, or catches to short mid-wicket or back to you while the batsman's intent was quite different. 

Length and Line
Length is mandatory, says Prasanna, but I would add "Line too," as Hanumant Singh once told me. The only variations an off-spinner can indulge in are in trajectory, pace and deviation, none in line and length. Try varying line or length and you will have your captain tearing his hair trying to set a field for you.

Of course, length will vary depending on the batsman's reach. 

Bowling to Left-Handers and Right Handers
Bowling to left-handers, I learnt from my captain MLJaisimha, to cramp them on leg and middle from over the wicket. 

To neutralise right-handers strong on the sweep, I went around the wicket, again courtesy Jai's wisdom. 

I enjoyed some success in both cases. One had to be so precise in length and line, that one never bowled with an offside sweeper, something unheard of among off-spinners of the time. 

Simple rule: you can't set a field for bad bowling.

....
Brilliant. Pure gold. Thanks, Ram for the quick master class on spin bowling.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 54 , May 17, 2020

May 17, 2020

And now the migrant stories are popping out everywhere. So I am putting them here.

Amit Deshwal's Story
This story hit me the hardest perhaps because it had an ending and also has a hint of a future. Read it.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157943743770465&set=a.10154011482420465&type=3&theater


Mukteshwari's Post
https://www.facebook.com/mukti.bosco?__tn__=%2CdlC-R-R&eid=ARB5J0im-quaoxVeEbRFJ_tVJjznyv3ZaYJZ7niJZN5LOHCwaBUCsMFgvHwHaoIfVPdRBSZ72Md41QQi&hc_ref=ARQWA3YdK4HG8w087zVeAzUh2RQnvFChpB4g51xwjaJVag8UC_Z1-Lp0POnA5E6-u_s


Here, Nityanand Jayaraman walked with some migrants.
https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/walk-migrant-workers-why-these-heartbroken-indians-are-leaving-tn-124671


Shekhar Gupta on the collarless class
https://theprint.in/national-interest/white-collar-blue-collar-no-collar-discovery-of-a-working-class-modis-india-forgot/422739/?amp&__twitter_impression=true


My Cricketing Insights 2 - Parag Paigankar (Part 2) on Preparation

This is Part 2 of Parag's sharing. More on preparation during lockdown/post lockdown.

Parag's Insights on Preparation

For Batsmen 
Training to maintain focus during lockdown/offseason

Motivating oneself during off-season and lockdowns is very tough and challenging. But one day the game will resume and so off-seasons/lockdown is the period where cricketer will have to train more harder and in a focused manner to not only keep physically fit, keep up your footwork and reflexes but also be mentally motivated to avoid sluggishness

Few tips during the lockdown period

Skipping 
I. Set alarm to get up at exactly the same time as you used to get up during the season ..say 6 am
Ii. Put on your track pant or shorts, light t-shirt and shoes. You should feel that you getting ready for a purpose

II. Skipping
a. Start with skipping with or without rope...first 10 days do 5 sets of 3 minutes each as per your limit..
b. After 7 days, increase the sets or from 3 mts per set to 5 mts or more as per one's stamina..after each set, you should feel you can not skip more.
c. Take a break of 3 mts between each set

Do skipping, including breaks for  30 minutes.
One can do skipping with or without rope
Drink sufficient (not excessive) water or lime water in between sets
Skipping develops and gives strength to lower body as well as agility n quickness

IV. Dips (Push-ups)
a. Do dips of 10 to 25 per set as per one's limit
b. Do 3 to 5 sets as per one's limit
c. Each set should be same number...if you choose do 1st set of 10 dips...then other 2 or 4 sets should be of same 10 dips
d. After every 7 days, see if  you can increase the number of dips by 2 per set then do it till you come to a minimum 25
d. Maximum dips per set are as per one's limit
e. Do not overdo in one set so that you cannot do balance sets..start with a comfortable number of dips per set so that you can do all the 3 or sets
f. Also after 10 days, increase sets from say 2 to 4 gradually as per one's limit
f. Take a break of 3 minutes in between the sets

Drink little sips of fluid in between the sets

I am not recommending use of dumbbells for biceps and triceps as it creates stiffness in muscles...Cricket needs strength in muscles and not stiffness

These 2 exercises at a minimum in the morning for 1 hour are good enough to develop upper and lower body strength

I am not recommending Abs or stomach exercises as at a young age it is not needed

These 2 exercises in the morning are indicated considering that you may not be able to go out of the house due to lockdown restrictions

Running - Long Distance/ Sprints
If you are able and allowed to go out after lockdown is over then during off-seasons, you should one day do skipping and next day go for long-distance running for minimum 20 minutes plus sprints for 10 minutes followed by Dips..

Please maintain a  constant speed while doing long-distance running. Next time, you may increase the speed as per your comfort but keep the same speed throughout 20 minutes...

How Long-Distance Running helps in Batting
Long-distance running helps in building stamina as well as improves focus to reach your goal which seems far off in the beginning but is achieved at the end...While batting long innings, this focus is very important because batsman start innings with zero and at that time 100 or 200 seems very far off. But the batsman will have to reach and pass small  milestones like 30 runs then 50, 75, 85, 90s...100 becomes reality and joyous moment that you have captured and conquered small battles in between  within yourself and with the opponent to reach your final milestone

V. Watching Experts
During the day after breakfast say between 11 to 1 p.m. for 1 hour or so, one can download and watch batting and bowling lips of your idols like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid, Virendra Sehwag, VVS Laxman, Sunil Gavaskar to name few from India and Brian Lara, Viv Richards,  Gordon Greenidge to name few from West Indies and/or whom you like to watch

VI. Evening between 4 to 6 pm for a minimum 1 to 2 hours -

a. Do stretching exercises

b. Batting drills for e.g forward defence on off stump, then middle stump, middle and off stump, leg n middle stump.. similarly back foot defence, front foot shots, back foot drives, square cut, pulls, sweep, etc.
C. While doing batting drills you need to visualize that you are facing a pace bowler or offspinner or leg spinner...also visualize inswing, outswing, flight, turn, spin while doing your drills
d. If you have pads n gloves at home,  then do the drills with your entire kit on...
e.Visualize match play while doing drills...for e.g a) how will you play short or well-pitched ball pitched on off stump and moving out or the same ball coming in.
b) Visualize in one over you will be playing front foot defence, back foot defence, front foot drive to mid-off / covers, front foot drive to mid-on/ thru midwicket, back foot punch to covers /extra covers, square cut, etc
c) Visualize short pitch ball on off stump or so, chest height and above  which you have to leave in front of your nose/ mouth,
d) Visualize ducking into short-pitched balls
e) Visualize field positions like 2 - 3 slips, gully, short leg, point, cover, mid-off, mid-on, square leg fine leg, short mid-wicket or deep mid-wicket depending which type of bowler you are facing and how to pierce the field, how to avoid giving a catch to close in /slip fielders,
f) Concentrate on you improving technique or how to avoid small unnoticeable errors for e.g your head may go up while driving, the bottom hand may come into play while off driving resulting in drive going uppish, how to quickly come in line of the ball,
g) Visualize turn, bounce, flight, pace...visualise grassy pitch or pitch with light grass or without any grass which is expected to turn from very 1st day

D) Last but not the least, strictly watch your diet...avoid oily, fried, sweets which can suddenly increase your weight but at same time, eat good nutritional food

E) Sleep early and well to have a good minimum of 7 hours of sleep
...

Wonderful advice. Thanks Parag.

Aranyer Din Ratri - Movie

1970. Satyajit Ray. Based on a novel by Sunil Gangopadhyay. Four friends who head out to the forest without any goal other than having fun and letting loose. In those four days, a lot of things happen, that change them. Soumitra Chatterjee, Rabi Ghosh, Shamila Tagore, Aparna Sen, Simi Garewal.



Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda - Movie

1992. Shyam Benegal. Abstract and nice. The protagonist tells stories from his life to his friends and they discuss love, the class system, economics of love. The satvan ghoda of the seventh horse is the weakest and smallest horse, or the working class, determines the rate of progress of the whole.
Something we seem to be missing with the way we are treating our seventh horse.


The movie is based on a novel by Dharamvir Bharati of the same name.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 53, May 16, 2020

May 16, 2020

Nothing to report. Just a video I will try and upload. The story of the migrants for whom no one took any responsibility is heartrending. Here's P Sainath on First Post.

https://www.firstpost.com/india/urban-india-didnt-care-about-migrant-workers-till-26-march-only-cares-now-because-its-lost-their-services-p-sainath-8361821.html

It reflects on us as a society - save the few who went out of their comfort and helped them with water and food, the governments simply washed their hands off the migrants and their troubles.


I guess it will always be the same. The weakest and the voiceless will always be easily sacrificed. But I never thought they would do it so blatantly. Human life is precious. Human dignity is precious. If we cannot treat human life with respect and dignity, we have failed as a society.

The collective leadership can squarely take the blame for doing nothing.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Lessons Others Taught Me - Rajan Bala (Make New Mistakes)

On one of our lunches at Bangalore, Rajan Bala, while talking about learning, told me this gem

- 'If you're making the same mistake, you are not learning. You are learning when you make new mistakes.'

Until then I always thought we should not make a mistake. I never connected mistakes to learning. Repeating same mistake is not learning. However making new mistakes means that we have learned the old process after the initial mistake and are now learning something new.

Very freeing perspective. Thanks Rajan saab.

Life in Lockdown - Day 52 of 67 (or less), May 15, 2020

May 15, 2020

I guess I'll wind down in this series after a couple of days. Watched 'Maqbool' and made sense of it better this time. Worked most of the day.
The long and winding road
The Leopard on the Road in Hyderabad
The stray leopard created a bit of a ruckus in Hyderabad. A black civet that many mistook for a panther was also seen at Golconda. Both areas on the outskirts but not so far away from civilisation really.

The leopard just lay there on the road, by the divider as traffic went by. Someone said it was hit by a passing vehicle. Anyway, what impressed me most was how the leopard gave everyone the slip in front of thousands of watchers by. Still haven't found it.
A WhatsApp forward


Amar Sent Another Poem
Thanks Amar. Very nice.


Maqbool - Movie

Vishal Bharadwaj's 2003 adaptation of Macbeth did not make much sense when I viewed it the first time. For some reason, most of Shakespeare's stories fail to register in my mind clearly, so perhaps that added to the confusion. But yesterday, in remembrance of Irrfan Khan, when we watched the movie, it made sense. Pankaj Kapoor as King Duncan, Irrfan as Macbeth the general who is goaded by Lady Macbeth (here, she is the King's wife) to murder the King and become the King. The witches, here played by two corrupt cops, Naseeruddin Shah and Om Puri, tell Maqbool (Macbeth) that he will become king soon. They also predict his downfall which comes true despite vague conditions which Maqbool believes will never come true. The key element is the guilt they face after killing the King, seeing blood everywhere, even when it is not there. The last scene shows Irrfan dying, closing his eyes peacefully. A sigh escapes you.
Pankaj Kapoor, Irrfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri, Tabu, Piyush Mishra - you've got to watch it just to watch them.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Garam Hawa - Movie

1973. MS Sathyu's award winning movie based on an unpublished Ishmat Chugtai short story of an Indian Muslim who stays back despite pressure to shift to Pakistan after the partition. Balraj Sahni, Geeta Siddharth, Farooq Shaikh. Lovely.

Gives you a perspective of things in those days.


Life in Lockdown - Day 51 of 63 (or less), May 15, 2020

May 14, 2020
Pic Satish Nargundkar

After watching MS Sathyu's classic 'Garam Hawa' last night I was woken up by the unusual sound of the calling bell ringing. At the door, I found the thin Muslim man who sells roasted corn every season. He is just a very nice guy and I worry for him sometimes - if I buy four of five - he gives me one free.

Today he looked worried - I don't have money, he said. It's Ramzan time. I didn't have too much in the wallet but gave him all I have and told him to come back if he needed more. he seemed glad to have got what he got. Despite me telling him repeatedly to come back if he needed more, he only kept telling me he would pay me back once the corn season comes.

It was very sad. I hope he has a decent Ramzan.
...

Today was the go-to-Polimera-and-buy-fruits-day. So I headed straight there.
Traffic picked up
The chirpy security guard who talks to me every time came over with the sanitiser and plastic gloves and told me that since the lockdown was being relaxed he wanted to go home. 'It's been four months now,' he said. Can't be older than 19 or 20. I asked him where he lived and he said Osmanabad, which is on the Mumbai-Hyd highway. 'Everything is normal in my town,' he said. 'All shops are open.' I told him he should go. 'I'll go for a week,' he said. 'There are trains and buses to my town.'. Lucky him. I hope he goes and stays safe.

...
While I was getting off the car at Polimera I spotted a family - an old lady, a younger lady and two small children. They asked me for some money and I gave them some. When i left Polimera I saw another small kid, cannot be more than six or seven, dash across the road to me. 'You gave them money,' he said. 'You give me also.' I asked him what he wanted, money or food. 'Money,' he said, looking this mother, who was nursing a small child in the shade. 'How much do you want?' I asked. 'Ten rupees,' he said without blinking. 'Do you want more?' I asked.

'No,' he said. 'Only ten.' He took his ten rupees and ran away across the road.
...
At the medical shop I found two dogs practising social distancing.
...
While driving back home I saw a couple of near misses - accidents. One bike guy just swerved out of the U turn in front of a van and just about missed getting hit. Another bike almost ran into a stationary garbage truck. I figure that people are still in lockdown mode and not getting that traffic is increasing on the road. Go to be careful fellows.

My Cricketing Insights - Parag Paigankar

Just the other day, I was inspired by an idea. I'd ask some of my cricketer to share their personal insights about the game. We all trained under different coaches and played in different cultures. We picked up techniques and concepts which we all understood in our own way. At times, we share these principles with our colleagues and teammates, and at times, they remain with us.
Parag Paigankar - 1988
But that apart, we also have our own set of insights about the game - our personal code of how to bat, bowl, field, lead, be part of the team etc. These insights would be interesting I thought. So I contacted my good friend Parag Paigankar from Mumbai to start the series.
Parag - 13 for 83 in the Vizzy Trophy semifinal in 1988
There's nothing better than a Bombay cricketer to share his cricketing insights. And Parag comes from the finest tradition that Bombay cricket has to offer. He played league cricket for Dadar Union, the club for which Sunil Gavaskar and Sanjay Manjrekar played for, played for Poddar College, which is Ravi Shastri's and Sanjay Manjrekar's alma mater, Bombay University and West Zone Universities in the Vizzy Trophy. In a stunning Vizzy Trophy semi-final performance, he captured 13 wickets against East Zone for a paltry 83 runs and ran through the side twice. I am surprised he didn't play first-class cricket for Bombay after that performance. As things stand, playing for Bombay University is as good as playing Ranji Trophy in more than half the states in India.
...
I met Parag when we were both working at the IDBI in Mumbai in 1994. We played the Times Shield together and he won the best batsman and best bowler award that year if I remember right. He would completely transform from his chilled out, modest, almost shy persona into a fierce competitor on the field. His focus would intensify as he bowled or batted and he'd almost go into a trance. As a batsman, he would cut out all risk, play long innings and make the bowlers earn his wicket - all the traits the Bombay batsmen were known for. As a bowler, he would never give the batsmen a free run and always attacked. It was clear he'd hate to lose. There would be no error from his side and he'd make sure of that. If there was, he would be very disappointed in himself. It was professionalism at the highest order. Suffice to say, Parag was always a great guy to have on your side, because you cannot expect less than 110% from him. He brought the same approach to work as well. (For Hyderabadis like me, who were flighty and chance takers, watching such professionalism was a huge lesson.)

Looking back after so many years, Parag shared some of his insights which might be useful to budding and young cricketers..
...

Parag's insights in his own words

Batting -
1.. Enter with a positive frame of mind - including believing in your footwork, technique, ability,  skills.

2. Judge the pace and bounce of the wicket to adjust your footwork and technique

3. Watch the ball in the bowler's hand (and not the bowler or his run-up...not to over-awed by name/class of the bowler..) and be decisive in footwork on the release of the ball to play as per line and length of the delivery...

4. Play square-on or side-on and play very close to your body.

5. Play one ball at a time to build long innings...

6. If you are quick and decisive in your footwork at the time of the release of the ball, then the batsman will not lose an opportunity to play strokes and score runs...batsman should be ready to seize the opportunity when the ball is not good and whenever there is a scoring opportunity

7. Build partnerships and rotate strike ...running between wickets..

8. Know your weakness and your strengths...be well aware of weaknesses more so and work and practice to overcome it, as the opposition (if they know you) is going to target your weaknesses and give you less opportunities on your strengths...

9. Each inning is new and different...so do not go by previous inning performance...mentally you need to be positive for the next game even if you failed in the previous one...because failure in one innings can quickly lead to failure in multiple innings because of negative mindset and tentativeness in footwork. (Similarly, if you got a hundred the previous game, be aware that you could get out first ball the next game.)

10. Build your stamina and powers of concentration to play and run for long hours...in heat and sweat...

11. Practice and match are different...in a match, we have to build innings, concentrate for long hours, not take risks but also not lose an opportunity to score...be aware that one ball can take you out by bowlers skill or by our own foolishness. In practice, we are slightly relaxed and we practice batting strokes in those  15- 20 minutes, see if your footwork is good and if you are judging the ball well..we can only take only 25-33% of that practice confidence into the match so that we are not overconfident during matches
Parag 1988

Bowling -
1. The primary mindset of a bowler should be to "take wickets" while giving minimum runs - this is also called attacking bowler

2. A bowler needs to play with the psyche of the batsman...constantly try to disturb batsman's rhythm and footwork, perturb him sometimes through sledging by wicketkeeper and close-in fielders, create doubts, try make him play 6 of 6 balls, not allowing rotating of strike frequently,  create pressure through slip and attacking field placements...in short, the bowler has to make batsman constantly feel that he is bowling to take him out...

3. The bowler needs to quickly assess the batsman's technique...his weaknesses and ways of getting him out

4. Learn and practice to bowlta ight line and length and then variations to deceive

5. The length will vary from batsman to batsman...some batsman will have a small reach and some have big reach...some will be very quick to latch on to back foot even to good length ball...or some will hop/step out of the crease to play the same ball...bowler has to constantly and quickly assess it and vary the lengths according to the batsman...many times frequently within one over...

6. Bowling is all about disguise and deceiving the batsman...
For e.g
- we have heard and seen many times, bowler sets a field in a way to make batsman feel he is bowling a bouncer but then he bowls a yorker or slower ones and deceives the batsman.
- bowler bowls 2 bouncers in an over but at different speeds or different angle so that batsman loses timing while playing hook shot and holes out to square leg or fine leg...
- off-spinner bowling straight ones, floaters,  and by using the same angle turn an odd one and the batsman plays for a floater or straighter and gives bat-pad catch to the short leg or gets bowled or drives uppishly
- leg spinner bowling leg spins, floaters, googles,
The bowler has to think of using all skills to outthink and fox the batsman by variations in length, thru tight line,  thru flight and turn,

7. The batsman should not be allowed time to go on to the front foot and then rock back to play pull or a cut shot. So nip off the wicket is very important

8. Since the bowler is the one who is the one to take batsman out, the bowler needs to inform captain what field he needs for particular batsman...during the over also, the bowler should ask for field change if he wants to based on his assessments of the  batsman and what ball he is going to bowl...bowler should be aware to even make slight adjustments in slip field position for e.g whether slip fielder should be slightly square or one step inside, whether he needs 2 slips for a particular batsman or 1 slip or 1 gully for another batsman or just 1 slip..whether forward short leg fielder should be on the line or slightly as silly Mid on or whether one cover or one cover and one short extra cover or two short midwicket or one at short midwicket and one at mid-wicket at boundary...all depends on batsman's technique and how bowler plans to take him out

9. There needs to be good communication n understanding between  bowler and captain..both should be receptive to each other's ideas...many times, the captain should allow the bowler to set his own field...and then captain can help bowler to improvise with tactical moves...both bowler n captain are assessing and strategizing  to get the batsman out, so both of them may come up with ideas...sometimes both may have same ideas...sometimes both may have different ideas...so bowler needs to adapt himself and be flexible...he should have "Trier" attitude I.e trying any viable plan to get the batsman out

10. Bowling is all about Art as well as about Technique...so bowlers are many times NATURAL...it is also about attacking mindset, rhythm, guile, deception and off course technique...but the technique of the bowler should be kept Natural...for e.g one should not ask Bumrah to have bowling action like Lillee or Kapil or Hadlee...bowlers bowling technique and style should be allowed to be kept UNIQUE as bowling is also an Art and Art comes in different forms...and each Artist is different from other
...

That's a whole lot of wonderful insights Parag, and I know those are from the top of your mind. Next time we meet, we must chat longer on preparation and mindset. Thanks a bunch and I am sure this will help many young cricketers who are looking for some cricketing insights.