Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Indian Non-fiction Festival 2015 in Mumbai

I was part of a panel in the Indian Non-Fiction festival, an initiative by Leapvault, held on September 15, 2015 in Mumbai. The event was organised at the Somaiya College of Management. The Somaiya campus is huge - it's bigger than many Universities and the sports facilities are incredible. I was in conversation with Dilip D' Souza, my good friend, and well known writer, on the topic of 'Lessons from Cricket'. The audience consisted primarily of students from the college which was nice - packed aisles and all.
Dilip D' Souza and me

Dilip, who lives right opposite Sachin Tendulkar's house, and who has written a book on Sachin's last Test match 'The Final Test' is no stranger to cricket. He writes sports columns, travelogues and much better stuff than I do.

Dilip was very kind and focussed all attention on my book despite the fact that he had written a book on cricket himself. Since the time was short, 30 minutes, I decided to speak about the topics that may help the young audience directly.

Dilip started off and asked me about the concept of creativity and how it relates to catches, about the importance of effort and then about self-belief. On creativity I mentioned how great fielders create opportunities - one can drop straight forward chances and miss opportunities. Or one can go the other extreme and prepare for opportunities and grab half a chance. No prizes for guessing which sort goes ahead. Similarly one can, by preparation and practice, identify opportunities well ahead, prepare for them and grab them. Jobs and careers for instance.

Another angle - D and I
On the next question which was about the connection between bending the back and effort, I mentioned how fast bowlers get stiff and do not properly follow through and how when we bend our backs we get 25% more from our deliveries. Always that extra effort 10% pays off whether in bowling or in studying.
50 Not Out!
When Dilip asked me about self-belief, and the difference between ability and capability, I got into my favorite cricketing story of me getting 158 runs after I promised my skipper that I'd get 128 runs which is what I'd given away - which is not only a story of self-belief but about what we can do with our limited resources. I detailed the experience and highlighted what I think was the key to accomplishing that 10x performance with my limited ability. It was about the decision, the preparation, the use of limited resources, the minimisation of errors and the application of what I had. It was complete focus on the goal to the exclusion of all else. In fact, this story was what I wanted to share with the youngsters and I am glad I was able to do that.

Another young team of students whisked me away after the talk and did a small interview with me which they said they would put on the net. And then we headed back, me and Dilip, both towards Bandra, chatting nineteen to dozen on many things common to us. We promised to meet up for dinner later at Dilip's home and I was looking forward for that.

The Indian Non-Fiction fetsival was a nice event. Glad to be sharing with youngsters always. Thanks Kumar for inviting me and thanks Jaico for sponsoring the trip.


Rajendra said...

Self-belief actually can win us many things..

Harimohan said...

Yes Raja, I think that's what separates those who get ahead and those who do not. It's not about talent - limuited talent with self-belief is more than good enough.

Funnily I just had a discussion with a young cricketer who came to me with a question. He has a big match to play tomorrow and if he performs well he is in and if he does not he is out. What does he do? It boiled down to - what does he have, how can he use what he has to the best effect and how he must commit and find ways to deliver without fail (and not hope!). He went away seemingly confident. Let me post again if my advise works - tomorrow.