Pink ball reality

by | Jan 1, 2021

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Cricket is a passion for Indians. I grew up listening to cricket commentary on the radio. During test matches, life would come to a lower gear as people unabashedly listened to commentary at work and students carried pocket transistor radios in their school bags. Shopkeepers put up display boards outside their shops writing with chalk the latest score. I had a friend called Pramod Dixit who would take tea, water and lunch as and when the players in test matches did. My father never went to a playground himself but would want to know the score whenever India was playing cricket with whichever country.

Earlier, the Indian team winning a test match used to be a rare event and even individual performances were celebrated. When young Nawab Pataudi scored a double century against England in Delhi in 1964, people in my neighborhood in Meerut distributed sweets. India had its first test victory overseas only in Dunedin, New Zealand, in February 1968. On August 24, 1971, when India had won cricket’s final frontier — beating England in England — I had just joined Engineering at GB Pant University, and that night in the hostel was like a carnival. 

I saw the birth of one-day cricket. It was a 60-overs’ game initially. Television had arrived, and we could see the matches live. In the first World Cup played in 1975, India lost its first match with a huge margin of 202 runs to England. When India was chasing 336, Sunil Gavaskar had crawled to 36 not out, out of 174 balls as if he was playing a 5-day test match. It was generously declared as lack of experience. 

The turning point came when nine years later, the Kapil Dev-led Indian team lifted the World Cup by beating the mighty West Indies at Lord’s Cricket Ground. I had come to Hyderabad by that time to work at DRDL. I remember clearly that on June 25, 1983, it was five minutes to midnight in India, when Mohinder Amarnath got Michael Holding out in the 52nd over and India won by 43 runs with 8 overs to spare.

In the 1987 World Cup, the overs were reduced from 60 to 50 and the matches were called One Day International (ODI) since then. On July 13, 2002, India successfully chased down 326 against England with two wickets and three balls to spare in one of its greatest ODI wins. When Sourav Ganguly took off his India jersey and waved it to the crowd from the balcony of Lord’s in celebration, he indeed declared the rise of New India – confident, capable and above all, courageous.
A further short format of 20 overs with a more athletic and explosive form of cricket came in 2005. It was called Twenty20, or T20. The Indian cricket team played its first T20 match under the captaincy of Virender Sehwag against South Africa at Johannesburg on December 1, 2006. India defeated the hosts by six wickets. India also won the first T20 World Cup in 2007 defeating Pakistan by 5 runs bowling them out with three balls to spare. India once again won the ODI World Cup against Sri Lanka in 2011 with Mahendra Singh Dhoni hitting the iconic six for the title chasing 275, the highest winning target in a World Cup final.

The color of the cricket ball was changed from the traditionally red to white, for better visibility, when one-day matches began to be played at night under floodlights. White balls have been found to behave differently in swing. They also deteriorate more quickly. As a balancing measure, the color was changed to pink as a satisfactory compromise on this issue.

Fast bowlers throw the ball at 160 km/h and skillfully make it deviate from a straight course. This is called a ‘swing’ when done in the air and ‘seam’ when off the ground. Spin bowlers impart lateral revolutions on the ball at the point of delivery, so that when it bounces from the ground it takes a different course. The color and the damage that the ball must endure make things unpredictable and the game, interesting. The pink ball is pushed to make day-night test matches work.

The first pink-ball test was played in November 2015 in Adelaide between Australia and New Zealand. It turned out to be a low-scoring thriller. Australia defeated New Zealand on Day 3 by three wickets. Since then, there have been ten more pink-ball tests. Adelaide now exclusively hosts day-night Tests, with the only exception being the 2018 match against India. The Indian team had declined to play with the pink ball due to being unfamiliar with it. 

India played its first pink-ball, day-night Test match against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in November 2019. It won by an innings and 46 runs riding on the century of captain Virat Kohli and excellent fast bowling by Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav. And finally, India played from December 17 to 21, 2020 at Adelaide, its first pink-ball test against Australia only to score their lowest score in history. On the third day of the match, Indian batsmen suffered annihilation. Every player was edging the pink ball and almost all of it went into the hands of the fielders as catches. Australian bowlers Cummins and Hazlewood were over the Indians like a rash.

What does this story tell us? In June 2003, Kabir Edmund Helminski came to meet President APJ Abdul Kalam. I was there with Dr Kalam so he involved me in the meeting. Mr. Helminski presented to Dr Kalam his book on the thirteenth century Sufi poet, Jelaluddin Rumi, containing the English translation of Rumi’s Persian poems. Later, Dr Kalam gave me the book marking a few poems. One of those read: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” 

The need to change was conspicuous when our cricketers played cricket with the pink ball. The new world needs new skills. Let us not die a death by our old habits. Let us change the ways of working, reset our aims, recalibrate our goals, and stop doing what is bound to fail and start something small, that is safe, certain and that keeps the kitchen going. The biggest falsity in the world today is the impression that newer and bigger means better – whether it is cars, houses, brands, etc. Don’t fall for this mirage. Small has always been beautiful and will remain beautiful. Learn to appreciate small pleasures and conveniences and relish simple tastes. 

India must learn to live with an unfriendly China, free its supply chains and produce all its needs, medicines especially, indigenously. Work-from-home will continue. Corporations have tasted the savings of closing their expansive offices and cutting down on travel expenses has become mandatory to maintain bottom lines. Digital payments, online sales and home delivery will flourish and people will mind their health better as availing medical facilities in hospitals has emerged not only risky for infections but also increasingly exploitative.

Year 2020 has left behind a mountain of debt. Governments, companies, businesses and families are all under massive amounts of debt. No one really knows who will be paying. The days of things like Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops, permanent jobs, life-time pensions, and electoral freebies are indeed over. But hope is adamant. The gaiety of fantasy is die-hard. We can’t blame the ball. What if it has become pink? The game must go on.

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21 Comments

  1. Dear Sir, Your blog on Pink ball reality took me by surprise because I never thought that it could also be your subject of interest. But the finesse with which you have written the blog proves my assumption totally wrong. The good olden days of cricket in 1960s and early 70s were totally different because of no television in those days and only the radio transistor was the means of communication to enjoy cricket. You have so subtly described the process of listening to the cricket commentary. That makes us all today, the masters of analyzing the game to its minutest details without actually having played the game at any resealable level.

    I consider that we got cricket from British in BIRASAT. In fact, in many ways, the game came to Indians naturally as can be seen from the British cricket teams of 1930s and 40. Indian players of that era played international cricket as part of British team. After independence in 1947, the cricket teams of subcontinent had some players from British era but still it was difficult for them to defeat or compete with teams like England, Australia or for that matter West Indies. As brought out by you, winning a test match was rare and therefore, even the individual performances were celebrated. I consider the uncertainties of the game is what makes it so popular and full of passion in India.

    Then the one-day-cricket was born and first world Cup was played in 1975. The arrival of black and white TV and the heros like Sunil Gavaskar along with some more, made the game very popular in India. Initially the players came from mainly the Metropolitan cities and slowly we started watching players like Mohinder Amarnath and Kapil Dev coming from relatively smaller towns. I in fact saw Mohinder Amarnath and Surender Amarnath for the first time playing in our University – AMU, in a inter Uni Cricket tournament in 1969. Both went on to represent India very soon thereafter. A class mate of mine Rajesh Kumar, explained to me the nuances of the game and my interest also grew in Cricket after that. Rajesh Kumar retired as Chairman of Central Water Commission, Govt of India and lives with us in an adjoining society in Dwarka in Delhi.

    When India won the third World Cup in 1983 in the Lords, England, the golden moment of Cricket had arrived. The one day cricket started 50 overs a side since 1987 world Cup. The new era of Indian cricket started with the famous Lords win in 2002 against England. The arrival of players like Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni coincided with the arrival of instant cricket T 20. India played and won its first international cricket match under the captaincy of Virender Sehwag against South Africa in 2005. Since then India has been a force to recon with, in International Cricket. We won the inaugural T 20 World Cup in 2007 and 2011 ODI World Cup, both under the Captaincy of MS Dhoni. Today Indian Cricket team stands as one of most fearsome team of the World in all the three formats- T 20, ODI and the test cricket.

    When day night ODI matches started, the red ball was changed into white and recently when day night test matches were planned to be played internationally, the red ball has been changed to Pink as an balancing act. I am happily amazed, to see your in depth knowledge of the so called gentlemen’s game. You have beautifully narrated the story of changing the white, red and the pink ball with accurate data and explained the reasons for doing so. Also the art of bowling spin or fast has been explained in the blog by you. I am sure one day you will surely write about the historic series win in 4th and last test match of the India – Australia series named as Border- Gavaskar Trophy series, recently held in Brisbane, Australia in Jan 2021. You will also write about the new heros of New India of 21st century. Whenever, you do that it will be the story of a fearless, passionate and arising India.

    You have rightly written that instead of trying to change the world, one must try to change oneself. And then you have beautifully ended the blog with the words – let us not blame the color of the ball, so what if it has become pink. I think Mr Rahane and the team heard your saintly voice with compassion and changed the gears immediately after that. The results are there, for the world to see, witness and learn from the bravery and the discipline of Indian cricket team. Jai Hind.

  2. A well delivered message for the need to change with the reality of pink ball in cricket, Prof Tiwariji !

    Your underlying note that Life is beautiful when we appreciate small pleasures and conveniences is superb.

  3. This blog reminded me of your old writings on cricket and reports from the university cricket ground at Pantnagar University. One such reporting catapulted me to the university team and changed the course of all of my activities and interests there.

    I had the good luck of reading more of your writings in the form of inspiring books. Now, this blog perfects the masterstroke. The game must go on…We are blessed with the narrative that resonates with most Indians—a perfect new year gift.

    Wishing a very healthy and happy 2021 to all the followers and contributors to Professor Arun Tiwari’s writings! Let us all take our guards afresh and play.

  4. Respected Arun Sir , Happy Makarsankranti!!!

    I read this wonderful blog begining with wonderful historical illustration of The Game which has probably one of the longest duration (i.e., For Test which is real test of Game and patience too). On First day of journey of new orbit. In between I too read wonderful Comments put by many imminent luminaries from across the globe that also spark me to put here there should be thought instead of Comments which enforces both our Atman and Mind to put as their own thought to the confluence various thought (many small river) to blog (As a big river). So this journey of thought, wisdom and their reaction merges into ocean of knowledge.

    Before putting comment I was talking to my father on phone. He narrated the story of two person one is his friend and other friend’s son. His friend (around 65 year) was in state of beyond unemployed so after 60 he decided to get out of slavery of old habit, changed life style and ever ready to change onwards, now content with his situation. And my father’s friend son is so gripped with old habit that even his close realatives are unable to get him out of inertia of old habit.

  5. Dr Tiwari, as usual, a beautiful narrative, and perfect delivery!

    You have talked about the need to change. I am reminded of an incident when I told an old friend, who had achieved stupendous heights and was heading an organization, that I would crumble under that kind of pressure. Pat came the reply — “No, you won’t. Just take each day as it comes, and fight.” That left a deep impact, almost became a mantra. Perhaps, the determination to face it “As it comes” helps because it frees us from fears and notions about the future and past. In the pink-ball context, it’s difficult to fathom why our team couldn’t take each ball as it comes, and hit!

    Your message of small and simple being beautiful and wholesome resonates. Small and simple is manageable. Also, not much more than the `kitchen fire burning’ is really needed. I suppose, Peaceful is way more preferable than plentiful. I’d take this further, Sir. Small is not just beautiful, it actually does the trick in so many ways:

    *Arjuna was successful where others were not, because he focused solely on the eye of the bird. Focusing on the `small’ turned out to be key, rather than thinking about the insurmountable `big’.

    *If the new world needs new skills and new ways of working, as you say, surely the way to go is by taking baby steps initially and building on them. Small is slow, sure and reinforcing.

    *If new situations create constant stress that grates on the nerves, and doing usual tasks seem Herculean, calm oneself by breaking the work down into steps, possibly even writing down points. Small will become doable.

    *When health and wellbeing challenges confront, rather than drastic changes in diet, routine and lifestyle (which won’t last and could also harm), make tiny changes. Small is sustainable.

    *Finally, aim to please oneself and one’s voice of conscience only — rather than `wow’ the whole wide world. Small, here, is fulfilling.

    You have woken us to the reality of imminent Change. In this, some `small’ — like children and the marginal — are having to face an unequal share of disturbance. Perhaps, the more fortunate ones among us can channel our energy and efforts into trying to ease things for them.

    So far associated with beauty and aesthetics, pink can suddenly become the color of discomfort, like in the ball. Instead of resenting or fearing it, an attitude of preparedness and making efforts may be the wiser thing to do, as you say. Alongside, of course, asking God for the necessary strength and willpower.

  6. Facing reality and adapting to situations are one of the main challenges we all go through. Prof Tiwari sir has very nicely narrated this by talking about the recently concluded pink ball test match between India and Australia.

    The reason for this to be such an imposing challenge stems from the “fear syndrome” that probably all of us suffer from. We allow our minds to be most often affected by what the Society thinks or more so what our neighbhor thinks. In a way we sometimes live life as per a narrative decided by the society than trying to reason out how to live life or face life.

    If we have self belief and the courage to face up to situations, more often than not you end up defeating the crisis created by the situation. India were in fact humbled in the pink ball test match but the character and self belief of this Indian team was evident with the victory in the subsequent test despite the absence of their regular captain and mainstream bowler. Winning and losing to a situation or game is part of life but learning and adapting to this is where the solution lies for helping one bulid their attitude in facing situations created in life.

    Happy New Year Sir !!

  7. As you have described, the game of Cricket is full of uncertainties, thrills, and frustrations. The outcome is quite unpredictable. Entrepreneurial journeys are also like a series of cricket matches. On the other hand, Govt, jobs are relatively more stable and secure.

    It seems we all have to develop an entrepreneurial mindset in our lives. The predictability and protection offered by Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Agricultural Produce, Assured Government Pensions, etc., may gradually be phased out. Thank you.

  8. Hari OM Sir!

    I found this to be a joyous article which is both light and deep. Mixed with nostalgia and grounded very much in the current world affairs.

    From it I understand that, slowly, very slowly the karmic wheel will turn, the golden lotus shall blossom and all the bhramars will receive the elixir. whenever and however it has to .

    The world has now been exposed to COVID and also China and is learning to come to terms with everything and tackle all the challenges head on..

    One thing is certain, The game has and the show too has and will always go on 🙂

  9. It’s a massive hit. Smashed right out of the stadium for a huge six….
    For me, a diehard cricketer by heart… your this piece of ‘Pink Ball reality’ is nothing short of that longest six hit by Shahid Afridi (158 Meters) against South Africa at Johannesburg, March 17, 2013. I bow my head to you in reverence.
    Though I stopped playing Cricket after leaving College, the ambers could never be extinguished; a small spark is enough to rekindle the fire. And now your this Blog on the first day of the year 2021, considered as the crucial revival year is probably the best New Year gift. It satiates the cravings of not only me, but millions of fellow Indians and billions of Cricket lover’s world over.

    You have crisply and appropriately articulated the historical journey and traced the evolution of today’s cricket. Yes! I fully endorse, India is passionately mad about Cricket. One personal incident I would like to share…my Dad, also a Cricket aficionado could never forego listening to the running commentary on radio then. My memory goes to that Test match….Beating England in England, which you mentioned, he couldn’t skip office for he was a responsible Govt. Officer (Executive Engineer Electrical, Jammu City) so he called up home and instructed to switch on the radio… set the commentary…keep the telephone receiver near the radio so that his highness could hear the commentary while attending office with the receiver glued to his ear….such was the craziness.

    Getting selected in the University Cricket Team, to me was like scoring hundred out of hundred or a GPA of 5 in the Engineering College trimester (A grade in all subjects, which of course I never got, would mean GPA of 5). In turn I got an Academic Probation (To repeat some of the courses in the trimester) So, Dad…this was for you… your son excelled you in the passion and craziness called Cricket.

    Change is always welcome. And if the change in the long run is for a cause and for good, be it sports, entertainment, health or wealth, there would be umpteen takers, it would be a a win win situation for all. Though the path to be travelled to acquire that elusive pot of gold at the end of the road is never smooth, to traverse the bumpy road is never easy and to master and be the navigator of success is equally an upheaval task. If one has to hit the bulls eye one needs to practice and practice hard. To succeed and master, one has to burn many midnight lamps, only then one gets that pot of gold, howsoever elusive it might appear. India did master the Red and then the White Ball, will Pink be far away…. After all Pink is an emulsion of red and white it’s only that one needs to get the right proportions to master that perfect pink…Good luck India.

    You’re describing a fast bowler’s swing or a spinner’s deviation to fox the batsmen looks so easy to master. Hats off, to you Sir, you are a big motivator, none else than me can vouch for that. I sincerely wish Sourav Ganguly, the present Chairman of BCCI and Captain of the team who charismatically removed his jersey and swung it around from Lords balcony, reads your Blog… He would be tempted to request your services to motivate the young and budding cricket lovers. After all it’s the motivation that moves many a mountains. Do recollect that fateful day of the Annual Inter hostel cricket matches at G.B.Pant University, our Engineering College hostel against Agricultural College and me primarily a bowler, went in to bat at No. 9 with last over of the game and still needing 10 runs to win. It was a hopeless situation. But lo behold! I smashed, though blindly, three fours in five balls, to win the match. You had jumped out into the field. I was carried over the shoulders and treated to free ‘Fruit Cream,’ in the hostel mess. I was the hero of the day. Though later I Kept wondering, how did this miracle happen? Some kind of magnetic force which saw the ball each time find the middle of my bat as I swung across blindly to dispatch the ball to the boundary. Probably the impulse to do it for the college…the prestige at stake… the motivation for sure at that precise time played the trick…It probably was you who won the match, motivating me to the extent that I could not only believe but be confident that I could do it. And results were for all there to see.

    Mountains need surely to be moved. Your mention of Mr. Helminski “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Is very appropriate and rings a bell. Self change I won’t agree less is a must. We need to highlight ‘don’t stay hungry and don’t stay foolish.’ Present immediate requirement to live in this era is to identify our needs to survive, to care for our health, education and business. Your gospel of starting small and then slowly building should be the golden rule – the new gospel of life. Do we need to show our meteoric rise to someone….No, not at all? None who follow, watch, read or admire you are actually happy at your achievements, your wealth or your vertical rise. Moreover, you are not going to carry anything along when you reach your milestone to cross over, so why the bother. The desire and wishes are unending, like work in progress for ever. They keep on multiplying and the struggle to scale new peaks is unrelenting. Be satisfied be contended and stay happy. One who remains satisfied is the one holding the master key to open all locks of pleasure. He is the one who in true sense attains Nirvana.

    Red, White or Pink, endless efforts need to be put to master the game. Small is beautiful…As chronicled, Japanese entrap the feet of the girl child to try and keep them small, for they believe small is beautiful. Satisfaction needs to be mastered and that probably is what will see us through in the tough times ahead.
    Save for the rainy day. Stay full and stay wise. Cut your coat according to the cloth. Spread warmth, joy, and delight. Remain motivated and keep smiling. The pot of gold is easily assessable.

  10. Happy new year Sir. The Pink Ball blog gives a very refreshing feel. India and Bangladesh played their maiden day-night Test with the pink ball, at Eden Gardens in Kolkata in November 2019. As India won the ball had become attractive. This time, playing its second test with the pink ball, India lost the match rather ingloriously, and the ball is now dreaded.

    The message I derive from this blog is that new reality has to be lived. It will always be called bad by losers and good by the winners. I consider the problem of education as most critical; one full year has gone by without children seeing schools. As you rightly put, “We can’t blame the ball. What if it has become pink? The game must go on.”

  11. Prof Tiwari, Once again thank you for raising issues that we live with but hardly get the courage to deal with at that space we call individual, for some reason we have majored on minors so much that it takes self determination which is deliberate and courageous to address what is in our power to do for certain and tangible changes to be realised, the subject is me, I and myself, embarrassing as it sounds.

    A well meaning friend has even quipped in his new year’s message of encouragement by saying:

    “Ideally you don’t need a new year to start over.
    You need a new mindset and new determination.
    A new year remains the same if you don’t change your approach.
    It shall be a continuation of your last year
    if you don’t take deliberate steps towards your resolutions.
    Start if differently and expect different results” and the only good place to start is with me!

    So this is what Mr Helminsk was saying on the famous quote you made, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” The only life worth living is one that is being actuated by the principle of being the change one wishes to see in other people, hence the relevance of the sentence you made, ‘Let us not die a death by our old habits. Let us change the ways of working, reset our aims, recalibrate our goals, and stop doing what is bound to fail and start something small, that is safe, certain and that keeps the kitchen going. The biggest falsity in the world today is the impression that newer and bigger means better – whether it is cars, houses, brands, etc. Don’t fall for this mirage. Small has always been beautiful and will remain beautiful. Learn to appreciate small pleasures and conveniences and relish simple tastes.

    On the other hand we fail before we have began our journey to changes when we compare ourselves with others, without knowing that their experience is different from our own, as a result the speed has to be and will certainly be different. The Great Teacher Jesus Christ is quoted by Matthew in the eleventh chapter and the twentieth verse ( Matthew 11:28-30) ‘…come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’. While the invitation is plural the coming for the rest is individual, if we are to outgrow our old negative self and experience the change that Jesus imparts we must be willing to go to Him.

    2020 has taught us again that status quo isn’t the only nor the best option, lockdown during the annus horribilis fueled the changes that will remain with us for quite some useful time as we saw alternatives work with sustainable deliverables in what prior to this could not have even began to be considered as an alternative solution. We have changed and greatly appreciated alternatives, and this won’t be the end as challenges are prone to come still.

    In the long run the game of life must go on. Happy New Year!!

  12. The game of life goes on. We need keep fighting and ‘trying to win’ as opponents change, as ball type and color changes. Every time you’re beaten by the ball, take a deep breath and re-focus to play the next ball. Play one ball at a time, one session at a time and one day at a time to win the test match of life. If you’re able to forge meaningful partnerships in life, those sessions of immense pressure become easier to conquer. We may lose at times, but always be ready to bounce back.

  13. I will make a deal with you, Professor Tiwari. I will teach you about baseball if you will teach me about cricket. I think each game provides insights into the national culture. Americans love baseball because it is a team sport, requiring cooperation to be success, and also allows for individual excellence. Each starting player gets his own at bat, and the pitcher is a lonely figure on the mound. So the importance of the team and the individual is melded into the overall performance. But Americans are short on patience, so the lengthy cricket games have not been our cup of tea, so to speak, I like the story of the pink ball and what it tells us about the need to constantly be adapting and changing. Happy New Year!

  14. On a celebrating note of happy new year 2021, thanks Prof Tiwaari ji to remind us the famous quote of pur Rashtrpita Mahatma Gandhi ji whi said “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” It is a time to be self reliant in the changed time

  15. With all the best wishes for the New Year 2021 to Prof. Arun Tiwari jee, I am surprised to read his blog today and also surprised how he connected the link of mighty cricket game of Gentlemen, changing the color of the ball to suit the need of cricketers and connect the lines written in Sufi poem book “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Prof. Tiwari I know is also well enlightened with Bharateeya Knowledge books written by Bharateeya Saints (The Rishi/Munees). Sufism culminated from the same knowledge. But, just as we left our own ancient/traditional games which used to make us healthy also while playing and opted for cricket to look like gentlemen, we also set aside our own traditional knowledge and started following gentlemen to become like-gentlemen. We forgot our traditions which preached us become wise and remain, and followed gentlemen to become clever. Now nature has taught us to be wise and connect with nature. Nothing remains more to be said than “laut ke buddhoo ghar ko aaye”. So be wise and remain wise, not clever. People say another CORONA is coming!

  16. Happy New Year Sir. Reading your blog today took me back to your class in Hyderabad University. In fact, you were so different from the other teachers. You used to give us reading material in the form of PPT slides and submit answers as assignments. This forced us to learn comprehension. And you spent the class time sharing stories, which are still alive with me even today. Now in the teaching profession myself, I can see your story telling as the best way to teach.

    Your very serious words spring out of the light-hearted narrative around cricket. “The new world needs new skills. Let us not die a death by our old habits. Let us change the ways of working, reset our aims, recalibrate our goals, and stop doing what is bound to fail and start something small, that is safe, certain and that keeps the kitchen going.” So, true. People are foolishly flying their fantasies rather than walking straight on firm ground before them.

    Working in Saudi Arabia, I can testify the truth of your beautifully written words, “The biggest falsity in the world today is the impression that newer and bigger means better – whether it is cars, houses, brands, etc. Don’t fall for this mirage. Small has always been beautiful and will remain beautiful. Learn to appreciate small pleasures and conveniences and relish simple tastes.” Thank you Sir.

  17. Sir, thank you for giving new year 2021 a ‘pink’ start. By using the happenstance of recent cricket match between India and Australia where pink ball is used, you brought out the most important truth of life – change when things change around you. Your quote of Rumi, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself,” is the spindle around which you have woven this beautiful blog.

    When I look back at my life, particularly the years I spent in the U.S., I was in constant struggle of trying to make things work for me. It never occurred to me that nothing is going to change except that myself is changed in the process. Now in my midlife my child taught me this truth. May I add here what Albert Einstein has said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”

  18. Dear Arun, Wish you,your family and our friends in your Blog a Very New Year 2021! Indeed you reminded me my childhood passion for Cricket and if you recall our college days, I went on to become the University Captain. Yes, you have chronologically captured the evolution of Cricket beautifully which proves that Change is a Constant in every sphere of Life. Those who manage to adapt, do survive. Nature makes course correction and all living beings have to follow to survive. God Bless!

  19. Fantastic start to New Year 2021.

    I was reading the interesting history of cricket when you suddenly changed the track. “The need to change was conspicuous when our cricketers played cricket with the pink ball. The new world needs new skills. Let us not die a death by our old habits. Let us change the ways of working, reset our aims, recalibrate our goals, and stop doing what is bound to fail and start something small, that is safe, certain and that keeps the kitchen going.” So, true! The tough lockouts, and even now restrictions on movements and interactions, made life real tough and growth still tougher.

    Then you brought out your signature emphasis on living simply. “The biggest falsity in the world today is the impression that newer and bigger means better – whether it is cars, houses, brands, etc. Don’t fall for this mirage. Small has always been beautiful and will remain beautiful. Learn to appreciate small pleasures and conveniences and relish simple tastes.”

    I recall you teaching once about ‘Small Is Beautiful’ a book by German- British economist E. F. Schumacher. One point remained stored in my mind. “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” In contrast to some of my friends in college who pursued market-oriented careers, I may be seen as ‘ordinary’ in my technology jog. But it is indeed so fulfilling and satisfying.

  20. Sir, Happy New Year. I am amazed how you mixed cricket with life! When I see the government and farmer talks going on into meetings after meetings, it indeed looks like a pink ball game going on. Why are farmers so touchy? Why is the government so adamant?

    India is a predominantly agricultural country and things were going on very badly if not very well. But now it appears that everything has to be corrected in one go and that to ‘my way or highway’ type.

    2020 was hijacked by coronavirus. I wish the new year takes us forward and not mired into controversies and confrontations. I am especially concerned about China, as you very rightly pointed out: “India must learn to live with an unfriendly China, free its supply chains and produce all its needs, medicines especially.”

  21. Sir, It is indeed true that the days of things like Minimum Support Price (MSP) for crops, permanent jobs, life-time pensions, and electoral freebies are indeed over but people are living in denial, and even our leaders are pretending as if by doing this or that things will change for the better.

    I am not very much into cricket but as you said your father used to mind the score of any match that India was playing, I was shocked when the entire team was out for 36 runs in two hours’ time. Of course they won the next match with a regular ball, but the pink ball will remain a mystery for some more time.

    Wish you and through your blog to many kind-hearted and knowledgeable people connected here, a good new year 2021.

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