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June 2024

The Oval


-Karthik Gurumurthy

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Based in Kennington, The Kia Oval has been the home of Surrey Cricket Club since 1845, a stadium iconic the world over for its history and unique gas-holders that have overlooked every game played at the ground since 1853. Oval has also staged International cricket since 1880 and was the ground where the Ashes were born in 1882.

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Positive attitude

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Contentment comes from having a positive attitude. It means

  • Expecting the best in everything-
  • Remaining upbeat- even when you get beat up.
  • Seeing solutions in every problem- not problems in every solution.
  • Believing in yourself-even when others believe you've failed.
  • Holding on to hope- even when others say it's hopeless.

Your circumstances and your contentment are not related.


I have the streets by R. Ashwin and Sidharth Monga

-Karthik Gurumurthy

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I have been following Ashwin Youtube channel right from the covid time and couldn't get my hands on the Ashwin's  new book " I have the streets" Since it would take some time for the book to be delivered home, I couldn't wait and ended up getting the Kindle version. It took Ashwin four years to complete this work.

I could relive some of my childhood days with this book. Back in the 80's I went through the similar path of street cricket followed by Cricket coaching with different folks such as PK Dharmalingam Sir, CB Selvakumar Sir, NGautam Sir until it came to a complete stop when I was told about Flat foot. However, I decided to go into academic path playing lower division cricket with Magnet CC until I left to US for Grad school. 

While reading the book, I felt as if Ashwin was chatting with us through his Youtube channel sharing in detail about his parents, Thatha, Ramakrishnapuram Friends, his Cricket coaches (WV Raman, Sunil Subramaniam, CK Vijayakumar, D Vasu), his relationship with Ani (Aniruddha Srikkanth).  The fun part of the book was his ability to recollect all finer vivid details as if it happened yesterday and makes the reader sync with them as if they are the ones going through this. Maybe he had a habit of writing diaries or must be having a great memory to remember the intricate details which made the book reading fun. Ashwin is candid with regards to sharing his thought process and doesn't go to preachy mode. However he still makes it clear on how his thought process evolved over a period of time. It was interesting to see how people made judgement about him/character/cricketing abilities with few sample set of data. I can relate a lot to his experiences and had lot of "Aha" moments. I loved the part where he says a batsman can try anything inside the net practice and bowlers were not allowed to try different things, he insists that bowlers are not bowling machines

Reading the book tells us why Ashwin is special.. The amount of time he spends overcoming  his weaknesses and the amount of time he spends thinking through different scenarios and adopting a game plan/strategy is simply the reason why he is miles above the rest. He constantly questions status quo and that seems to be the reason why he is exceptional. He doesn't bog down or give up and always asks questions (very inquisitive). For a few people they had taken it personally and given him the hard time. However there are few like WV Raman who knew how to leverage him and bring the best out of him. Putting him through a drill of various speeds of bowling grip, approach the wicket at various speeds, use of the crease.  "Never allow the batter to cut or drive through covers." Line, not length. Great piece of advice for an off-spinner.  The ups and downs of being in the team as he reaches the pinnacle. This book goes in depth till the World cup 2011 win and am not sure if there is going to be a second book which goes over his illustrious test career. This book is authentic, and the writer has made genuine attempt to share his thoughts and not force feed anything. In that way, I felt connected with the way he thinks.

Kudos, Ashwin and Siddharth Monga. I am waiting for  R. Ashwin to continue his wizardry to break 600 , 700 and 800 wickets for India.  If he is given the opportunity , I know it is a done deal for him. God only knows if the selectors support him as much as Aussies support Nathan Lyon or Eng supporting Anderson. Ashwin has interwoven lot of Kutty stories in this great book. Strongly recommend if you are from Madras or if you like Cricket or Ashwin or all of the above.


Thought for the day

-Karthik Gurumurthy

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Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does. ~Margaret Atwood

We are actually 70% water."Be water, my friend!" says Bruce Lee


Nuggets from Roger Federer: Commencement speech at Dartmouth: June 9 2024

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Little nuggets of wisdom can be found all around us if we keep our eyes and ears open to the possibility. Roger that!

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The main take aways from Roger Federer’s commencement speech are:

i. Effortless is a myth:
Talent matters but talent has a broad definition. Most of the time it’s not about having a gift but having grit. Discipline, trust and patience are talents. Embracing the process is talent. Managing your life is a talent. Developing and working on these abilities is key to success.

ii. It’s only a point:
The best in the world know they lose again and again and have learned to deal with it. You move on, be relentless, adapt and grow.

iii. Life is bigger than the court.
Life like tennis is a team sport. Your success depends on your team, your family, your friends, your rivals. These influences shape you in who you are and to become the best version of you.

iv. He won 54% of all the points he played, yet he won 80% of all the matches he played!

v. Even a small, but consistent, performance edge at a micro-scale integrates to a much bigger macro-scale advantage over a period of time.