Apnon ne Apne Dum pe Jeena Sikhayaa
A honest and true account of how
my family members have guided and encouraged me to grow into a better, more self-reliant
person., a blog from the true and honest me.
As the father and the husband of
the household and thereby being the senior most member of the family, it was
quite natural that I was assumed and presumed to be the only candidate eligible
to done the role of the mentor, the trouble shooter, the caretaker for all
other family members. I took of my responsibility in full zeal too, taking care
and embracing my close knit family consisting of my beautiful wife and three
wonderful daughters, my princesses under the cover of the umbrella that my
spread out wings covered, not only with respect to the love and affection that
they needed from me but also the financial support and risk cover to take care
of their needs in case of any unforeseen eventuality of I not being there to
watch over them.
They say, children learn from
their parents, and that may be true to a certain extent, but my practical
experience has made me a firm believer of the maxim that we are constant
learners, we learn from what we see, we learn from our and others’ experiences,
we learn from our mistakes and we learn from our deeds. And in this process of
learning, our teachers, our mentors can be anyone. In my case, it happened to
be my own daughters.
Born and brought up in a very
conservative household, from the southern hemisphere of our country, where risk
taking was considered taboo and securing a job with the Government was the way
to eternal bliss, it was initially a bit difficult for me to shed my inhibitions
and leave the comforts of my secure job and take a plunge into the world of entrepreneurship,
which I did a few years back.
A father with the ultimate
responsibility of seeing three daughters getting married off, how could I even
think of such a stupid idea? These recorded messages by my so called
well-wishers kept playing back in my mind and into my ears. A totally confused
me was at the mercy of breakdown, when my eldest daughter, my angel came as the
mentor to me. It was she who stirred and woke the confidence in me. She
insisted that her Dad was not destined to work under someone for the rest of
his life. She realised the flame in my eyes, my quest to become an entrepreneur
and cajoled me into taking the dive.
Today, as I look back on the
crossroads of my life and career, I have no regrets for having taken the
diversion, the less tread path, when I felt like doing it. My daughter has
been the one who believed in what her Dad was capable of and ensured against
all odds that I achieved it. Years after that fateful decision, today, even she
is following my footsteps on the same profession and ready to take over my
enterprise from where and when I shall be willing to hand over the baton into
her worthy hands.
For me, it was my eldest daughter
with the able support of my ever understanding wife and the loving care of my
other two daughters too, who let me live my life the way I dreamed, so that I
can hold my head high and exclaim, Apnon ne Mujhe Apne Dum par Jeena Sikhaaya.
I could do all this without fear was because I knew always that in any
eventuality, my family will be looked after by HDFC Standard Life Insurance
Company Limited, where I have invested prudently in their various life
insurance policies will ensure that my family will also live their life Apne
Dum Pe.


For more details of the amazing insurance
plans specially designed by HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited to
make us live our life our way, apne dum pe, please visit http://www.hdfclife.com/.

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Father’s Lost Diary
Tiara had always been a great fan
of Suhas Kumar. And why wouldn’t she be? He was the heartthrob of millions of
female fans across the country. Girls would die just to have a glimpse of him,
and Tiara was no exception. And her father, George made sure that she did not
miss out on any of her Idol’s new releases. Any movie featuring him, and George
would ensure that the tickets for the first show were arranged for Tiara.
George never realized when Tiara
grew up to be a teenager and became completely in awe of Suhas Kumar. She
wouldn’t eat for days if she read that Suhas had a new affair. She would feel
excited that Suhas had broken up with his girlfriend as if she now had a
chance. George would often tell his daughter that Suhas was of his age and is
of no match for his pretty daughter and she used to get very angry with him
saying that he is jealous of the film star.
George started greying and
balding in complete contrast to increasing popularity of Suhas Kumar. Tiara
started feeling ashamed of accompanying her father anywhere. And then one day,
George fell sick and had to be hospitalized. Doctors diagnosed that the
pressure of taking care of a family had taken a toll on his health and his
condition was fast deteriorating.
Tiara was alone at home one day,
and while cleaning up the house, and happened to chance upon an old red diary
hidden beneath a heap of books, George’s collection, being an avid reader. She
opened the diary to realize that it was her fathers’. She opened the first
page. It was dated 18 years back, the day of her birth. George had written that
it was the happiest day of his life. He would sacrifice anything in life for
the little angel who has been bestowed to him.
With trembling hands, Tiara
started turning the pages. She started reading about George’s various hobbies
and interests and how he sacrificed all of them just because he wanted to just
concentrate of bringing up his daughter in the best possible way and how he
felt so happy about it.
And then on one page in the middle,
was an old worn out photograph of a very young and dashing man. The photograph
was of someone who was much more debonair and good-looking than Suhas Kumar,
her Idol. She took the photograph in her hand and stared at it for a while
trying to imagine which actor of yesteryear’s he could be. Then she started
reading the next pages of the diary. Her throat choked as she read how George
was being approached by many movie producers to act in their movies and how he
turned down all the offers very firmly just because he thought that the movie
industry was very ruthless and valueless and he didn’t want his darling, his
daughter also to be drawn into it. She tried to see the dates of these accounts
in the diary and realized that she was all of 3 years at that time.

Tiara was speechless. It was not
difficult for her to realize that the photograph she had in her hand was of her
bald and frail father. She could not gather the courage to read any further.
She closed the diary and imagined her father’s face as she had seen all these
As Tiara entered the hospital
room, her father was sleeping peacefully. She stared at her father’s face but
she was unable to recognize him anymore. She was unable to see the forming
wrinkles on his face. She was unable to see his balding head. She could just
see the young and dashing face of George that she had seen in the photograph
that morning.

Tiara went and kissed her father’s cheeks and laid
her head on his chest and cried her heart out. Her cry woke up George and he
lifted her face and held it next to his. Tiara could not feel the wrinkles or
the roughness in his face, but could feel the softness of all the efforts in
bringing her up all these years. She cupped her father’s face with both hands, kissed
his forehead again and said to herself that she got her Idol, her real Hero…her

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Technology –a boon or a bane to Cricket
An honest opinion on how the Cricket World Cup
has changed over the last few years based on the advent of technology, a blog
by the true and honest me.
When we talk of the advent of technology in the
cricketing field, the immediate picture that comes in our mind is the UDRS. The
Umpire Decision Review System, from the time it was officially adopted by the
ICC had been a matter of debate, whether it is between the cricketing boards,
the players, the ex-players, the experts and commentators alike. Even the
general viewers and the cricket buffs have not been spared of this debate.
The most widely argued reason for the debate on
the UDRS is due to the controversies it has created, every time it has been
tried out for adoption in any cricketing match. The controversy and the
argument always had been over the contentious issue of the accuracy of the
technology, with the teams and players coming up with their views and counter
views based on their share of knowledge of and experiences with the technology.
I would
not be using my space here to explain what exactly UDRS is but for the novices
in cricket, I wouldn’t be
doing justice if I do not at least run through it. UDRS as the full form of one
of the alphabets of the acronym itself suggests, is the new review system
launched by ICC in November 2009 first introduced in test matches and later
made mandatory in all matches from October 2011.
Under the UDRS, each team is allowed to make
unlimited successful and two unsuccessful review requests per innings during a
match to review a non out or out decision, which can be availed either by the fielding
captain or the batsman being declared dismissed, by signaling a “T sign” using
both the arms.
The technology that is used in the UDRS may
vary from the much simpler Hawk-Eye, the relatively easier Snickometer to the
more sophisticated Hot-Spot.
The Hawk-Eye, which is a just a computer based
technology which just tries to visually track the trajectory of the ball and
record the most likely statistical path of the moving ball. This is a much
simpler method and can be used only to indicate whether the ball would or would
not have gone one to hit the stumps in a leg-before-the-wicket decision.
The more sophisticated technology which is the
talk of all debates on UDRS is the Hot-Spot, which is an infra-red imaging
system which is used to determine whether the ball has struck the bat or pads
or any other part of the batsman’s body
during its travel and where it has struck.
The raging debate on the use of Hot-Spot is the
whooping cost involved in it, which seems to be approximately around $56,000
per day, which translates to close to Rs.25 lakhs in Indian currency. Though
the cost is surely a concern, it is quite ironical that the richest cricketing
body in the world, the BCCI is vehemently opposing this on the matter of the
The high cost of this technology is due to the
fact that it requires two infra-red cameras to be installed on opposite sides
of the ground above the play area which continuously records the images.
Wherever there is a snick or bat/pad event, it gets recorded in the infra-red
image by way of a bright spot due to the elevation of the local temperature
recorded where the contact friction happens. Sounds too technical, yeah it is.
Another simpler variation of it is the
snickometer which is used to graphically analyse the sound and video and hence
tries to confirm whether there was a fine noise, or snick as the ball passes
the bat.
The technology being adopted is certainly a great
boon for the game of cricket and hence it has been responded quite positively
by most of the players. Though surely human errors cannot be completely
dispensed with, this technology has certainly helped in reducing these errors
to the minimum.
However, we must also admit the fact that
technology is created by humans and therefore they also may be fallible at
times. The creators of this technology, themselves going around declaring the
possibility of high percentage of inaccuracy, add fuel to the already raging
We should also be honest to state that the
hot-spot may perhaps not pick up feather touches which does not result in
substantial change in temperature, or the haw-eye just predicts the
predetermined path of the ball, as programmed by the software but does not
consider the amount of seam, bounce or spin, it would have actually got, in the
real sense. But all in all, we all would need to admit that it has reduced
human error to the minimum.
In my opinion, embracing technology is always
good, in any part of life, and cricket is so exception, but the existing flaws
in the UDRS system should be pruned up and it should be made consistent and
100% accurate so as to avoid further controversies. I also feel that this
technology should more and more be used in domestic level matches too (of
course the cost is to be borne in mind), so that the players and umpires get
used to it and understand its usage more effectively and efficiently.
Further the review system should be consistent
in its results or else instead of improving umpiring decisions, it would only
lead to increasing the number of controversies relating to non only on-field
umpiring but third-umpiring as well. When I say this, I would need to refer to
the recent case of a match in the World Cup where a batsman was found trapped
in front of the stumps twice. The first time, the batsman was given not out by
the on-field umpire and when the fielding team called for review, found that
the ball was hitting the leg stump and hence the on-field umpire was allowed to
sustain his original decision. The second time, the same batsman was given out
by the on-field umpire, and when the batsman called for review, found again
that the ball was hitting the leg stump and hence the on-field umpire was
allowed to sustain his original decision. Sounds funny, but on both occasions,
the ball was hitting the leg stump, but the first time, because the appealing
team reviewed it, it went against them because they were challenging the
on-field umpire and the second time, it went 
against the reviewing batsman, because he too was challenging the on-field
umpire’s decision.
UDRS is a challenge for many umpires too, with
the case of a senior Umpire being removed from important matches of the World
Cup because most of the cases reviewed against his decision had gone against
him, is also a thought to ponder.
In conclusion, I would say that technology need
to be pruned and fine-tuned and the flaws removed to provide 100% accuracy or
else the controversy surrounding it will continue and we will have more and
more “spot”-on debates on this “hot”topic,
but will still end up realising that the “feather” touch is still wanted and there is still so
more to catch the “eye”.
Written for the #BloggerDreamTeam

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