My Home. My ‘karmbhoomi’. The region, the field that has defined me into what I am today.
As many emotions as it brings from me, Chhattisgarh Archery is something that has been close to me, my heart and its interests are reflected in my actions & has always guided my efforts. I am compelled to write about it today because I see it in ruins and with only 1 past glory to account for & every future potential going waste.
Let me begin from the beginning, as I know it to be.
Modern day Chhattisgarh Archery began its roots from Teklal Purrey. Staying in Bilaspur, Teklal was attracted to the sport & alongwith Chandrashekhar Baghel & Adarsh Khandekar, in 1999, he participated in the All India Inter University Tournament, in Trivandrum, Kerala. It is a legendary story that has been told in the Chhattisgarh Archery circuit for a very long time. Their bows were of a single piece bamboo. Teklal stands at a lean 5’10” & the bows were a feet longer than him. The string was of gear-wire, without any sighting or arrow resting attachments. They had cut out TV antennae to make arrows, and they’d visit the nearby poultry to buy wings for fletching. When they went ahead for their equipment inspection at the tournament, the judges didn’t know how to react to the equipment. They were wondering what to do because the equipment was nowhere close to what competitive archery equipment has become & the standards do not allow Teklal & Co.’s equipments to be allowed. After they were allowed to shoot, Teklal’s first arrow hit the rear leg of tripod target stand & the target collapsed. hahahaha… This was , perhaps, the first target collapse in the history of Indian Archery.
Amidst these stories, years passing by & the chaos that has followed, I personally feel that Teklal, Chandrashekhar, Adarsh & Arvind Soni are the foundation on which Chhattisgarh archery began its journey.
I entered the Chhattisgarh Archery scene in a quiet, reclusive manner in 2002-03. I was passing near the railway station & I saw some archers practicing on the field & I came to know that the selection trials would be held later in the day, for Inter-University Archery Tournament. Out of curiosity, I went, shot a few arrows, not even knowing how to shoot & won a place in the GGDU team going to Chandigarh.
15 GREAT THOUGHTS BY CHANAKYA
1) “Learn from the mistakes of others… you can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves!!”
2)”A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and Honest people are screwed first.”
3)”Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.”
4)”There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.”
5)” Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.”
6)”As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.”
7)”The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.”
8)”Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.”
9)”The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.”
10)”God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.”
11) “A man is great by deeds, not by birth.”
12) “Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness.”
13) “Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.”
14) “Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.”
15) “Education is the Best Friend. An Educated Person is Respected Everywhere. Education beats the Beauty and the Youth.”
For anyone who’s gone through various “religious” scriptures, Gita of the hindu’s, is the first scripture to define a conceptual state of higher emotional intelligence. In Gita, Krishna mentions it as a “Sthitapragya”, Pragya is mind, intellect, wisdom. Sthita means stable. Sthitapragya is a person whose mind has stabilized. Whether he has faith in the divine is immaterial, as long as he is in a state of equilibrium while facing the ups and downs of life. Sthitapragya is not a religious person engaged in rituals. In this state you do experience life but remain unmoved by it because your mental faculties are always in a state of equilibrium. You can even be an atheist.
A sthitapragya remains unperturbed in pleasure and pain — he does not say he is insensitive to them. He means to say that a wise man goes beyond happiness and sorrow, he transcends them — not by killing his sensitivity but by attaining to a higher state of consciousness, to superconsciousness. This statement of Krishna’s is very profound and meaningful. He says sthitapragya is one who remains unperturbed and steady in the midst of both happiness and misery. And your question is equally relevant: that if someone does not feel happy in happiness and miserable in misery will it not destroy his sensitivity?
There are two ways of remaining unperturbed in the midst of happiness and suffering.
One way is to kill your sensitivity. Then you will cease to be happy in happiness and miserable in misery. If your tongue is burned you will cease to taste both the sweet and sour. If your eyes are blinded you will know neither light nor darkness. A deaf person is insensitive to every kind of sound — pleasant and unpleasant. Insensitivity is the simplest way of achieving evenness of mind in both pleasure and pain.
Krishna’s meaning is very different. An unconscious person, one under the influence of drugs, is insensitive to pain and pleasure but he cannot be said to have transcended them. He has rather fallen below the normal state of consciousness. In that way every dead person is insensitive. Transcendence is entirely different.
And I interpret this aphorism of Krishna’s very differently. In my view, Krishna’s way of transcending happiness and sorrow is different and unique. If someone experiences happiness fully, if he is utterly sensitive to pleasure, if he lives it so totally that no. thing remains to be lived, he will soon transcend it. Then he will be unperturbed and steady in every situation of pleasure and happiness.
Similarly if someone experiences pain and misery totally, if he goes into it with all his being, without trying to escape it in the least, he too will go beyond pain; he will never again be disturbed by suffering. Krishna does not ask you to kill your sensitivity; on the contrary, he wants you to heighten your sensitivity to its utmost, so it becomes total. Krishna stands for sensitivity, and total sensitivity at that.
If someone’s continuously seen misery & pain, especially something that cannot be expressed to anyone else in words, something in him dies; he continues to live but some emotions never come up & rise again in his being. Sometimes the pain is too great a burden for words to bear & silence is the only path that she expresses her loneliness in. She said it in a moment of silence & I heard it in a moment of silence…….
Being a sportopreneur & also an avid sportsman, I’ve dabbled my share in the sporting world, the key areas of which are essentially technology, human capital development, assessment, performance & post-career placements.
I’ve also had the rare privilege of interacting & gaining a third person’s perspective & analysis of the components of my sport: Archery. Essentially I’ve noticed a singular lack of structured training imparted to the athletes.
As we all know & acknowledge the fact that even though they might be categorized on the age criterion, there might exist one or more skill levels in the athletes present in that particular age group. According to Linchon & Barchowski in their brief on Sports Training & Performance, say,
“..In order to ensure optimum performance of a group, the athletes must be trained & imparted the same level of training; assessed & then categorized into skill levels & trained & reassessed & reorganized. This procedure might be repeated several times to ensure uniform skill distribution in all subjects..”
This is very possible, but it is yet questionable as to why is training yet not structured across training institutions. We have two very standard concepts:
- Tournament Based Training;
- Athlete Based Training.
In both the cases, a standard form or structure could be introduced, which could them be customized & wrapped around the trainee/subject.
Since my sport is Archery & I know its dynamics better than I’d know other sports, I’d say that a structured curriculum which includes theory, as well as practice, is a must & shall prove immensely beneficial in making all archers start on a stable foundation & with the right technique, bringing uniformity & greater efficiency to the sport.
Like, my organization, VAYAM, offers the CTP-Coach Training Programme, with a basic first year course consisting of the following:
- Human Anatomy & Physiology
- Physical Training & Conditioning
- Introduction to Sports Medicine
- Bow-Mechanics & In-Flight Dynamics of an Arrow: Understanding Your Foundations, Understand Your Equipment
- Tuning your equipment for perfection
- Maintaining & repairing equipment
- Bio-Mechanical Principles
- In Field Skills: Shooting, Pre-Shot & Post-Shot Techniques
- Technical Analysis: Technologies, Techniques & Execution
- Coaching Principles: Techniques & Best Practices
- Sports Psychology: Principles, Applicable Techniques, Remedial Psychology
- Competitions: Preparation, Strategies, Planning & Execution
- Inspiring Excellence™ – Excellence Development Programme for Personality Enhancement of Archers
This is just an example as to what can be done to start with. Similarly the athletes would also be trained into the theoretical & practical knowledge of the essence & techniques of archery. This would vary with the skill levels and would be evaluated at regular intervals, say 3 months/6 months, with written, oral & practical tests.
Hope to see more people react & comment on what I’m doing & help me improve on my efforts so that we can deliver better & benefit all.
This was a question I was asked by an overtly curious gentleman on a flight.
He apparently saw me using my letterhead on my mac & asked me the question. Now, it bothered me to tell him what do I do.
Now, how do you explain it out to just anyone, that I dont want you to know what I do, coz it would boggle your mind… I mean, people cant even begin to comprehend on the possibilities that can happen.
Well, it depends on the occasion is what I would say.
On a usual schedule, I would meet people, people as in my counterparts or equivalents in other organizations. I would meet them over presentations, tea/coffee/lunch/dinner, as the occasion demands it, but it is different for a startup group.
There is a lot more time spent on brooding over strategic plans, how to increase your footprint, who can give you a competition & when. When’s the right time to take down a competitor, how do you strategically place your pawns in order to acquire a company, how do you plan your finances, what factors, policies would affect you in the long/short term & what can you do to stay afloat & profitable on such countless occasions.
Our discussion room at VAYAM, which was named the war-room on its initiation coz of us being right in d middle of the war, is essentially a hub of every single plan that we’ve made & the fronts that we open, in order to make VAYAM strong enough to beat down the adversities & to live & be passed on as a legacy..
Apart from this, you stay on facebook always online, as you’re online & working close to 20 hrs a day, and within that you need to shoot (archery), you need to golf, polo… you need to do things on your whims & fancies…
Establishing your own organization, gives you the right & the power to delegate which is what makes you free of the burden… You hire the best people from their respective fields to work for you, to make your dreams come to reality.. You dont need to bother with the basic marketing plan, the advertising, the brand visibility, the human resource capital & talent management… CEO’s, MD’s, Chairpeople & the one’s who have a bird’s eye view of the entire setup, usually look at the balance sheet & go off “tee”ing, and the one’s like me, love to let the society participate in the movement…
I would rather say, I’d love to see a smile on the faces of people I care for..my students..my mentees, the startup entrepreneurs that I help out..the few friends I’ve made in the due course of life..
After all, what’s the use of my success, if my own people cant enjoy it?? If I cant spare time enough to sort out issues of one of my students & coax her to quit smoking at an early age, whats the use of my earning & working..if I cant teach a few kids on one of our education centre, how to learn multiplication tables, whats the use of me being me??
If I do not press my mother’s feet as she falls asleep, there is no use of me launching this company.. if my city remains a dump even after me earning millions, what was the use???
Sometimes, it is just not enough to earn if your own people do not get enough of your time & attention..who do you work for? who do you earn for? isnt your strive to see a smile on your kids faces?
So, coming back to the question, a chairman needs to check the balance sheets, delegate work to his staff & motivate them to work hard..then he goes off to golf..to try out designer suits & give speeches…A father needs to ensure his legacy’s future, his son’s wellbeing & his contribution to the society..With Dhanraj Pillai, ex-Captain, Indian Hockey Team…reminiscing old times together…were together on several camps,flights…what amazing days..Inaugurating inter IIT sports meet, together..
2005. The year I was inducted in the indian national team.
The first time I realized what it meant to be an indian. The way the Tricolour felt under my fingers, on my tracksuit & my tee. It was an incredible feel. Carrying your flag on your chest is not just a fashion statement, but a tremendous responsibility.
It was a chilly morning that we stepped into the Bangkok airport & then you see people staring at you, recognizing the tricolour on the tracksuits & tees & then whispering amongst themselves. The way it felt to be an Indian, was beyond expressing in mere words. The chest swelled with pride… the walk got an added swagger & a new zeal of performing to the best of your capabilities became all the more pronounced in the subconscious.
I got my first feeler of being under scrutiny for being an indian, when a storekeeper refused to let me enter the store because I was an indian & they’ve had some rough experiences with Indians in the past. The hostility & the resentment in their eyes are something I can never forget. It changed something in me. Made me vow in my head to keep myself so pristine & proper in my actions that people learn to respect Indians & my country never has to look down coz her sons were incapable of upkeeping her honour in a foreign land.
I think that thought was what made me so ferocious & aggressive in my approach & perspective towards delivering an extremely tough competition to any archer i encountered in any competition. I always felt the honour of my tricolour was at stake & each arrow of mine would have the same responsibility of being as close to perfection as was humanly possible. I remember scoring a thumping victory in the Asian Grand Prix in Antalya, against the Chinese Taipei archer & I remember the way I roared & I remember the way i felt when I saw “Sanand IND”, go higher up in the ranking list. It was a heady feel.
I am not so good with expressions but today is 26th Jan, the Republic Day of India & the way i feel about my country is not a fashion that comes once or twice a year, but its the foremost thought & the driving force behind all my personal & professional goals.
In my family, we might forget festivals, but the Independence & Republic days are NEVER forgotten & the entire family wishes each other the same. Maa’s always had a wish that I represent the nation & make it a proud mother & I have. I was just listening to a very “my kinda tribute to indian Independence” as I would like to call it.
and I was moved… Even after doing soo much for my country, I yet feel that I havent done anything for it… The country & the tricolour feels sooo much like my mother… Just ask it to bless me with enough strength to serve it all my life & make it a proud mother.
Maa tujhe salaam… I utterly & irrevocably love my India..
“Its not about force. Its about serenity.”
“Its not important, where the arrow hits, but how u shot it.”
“It is good you hit the centre, but can you hit it everytime??”
“They say, its all in the mind. Is it??”
“Keep your arrows in the yellow. It is our favorite colour…ALWAYS”
“Shoot for only 1 arrow. That is all that matters. Give each arrow the same concentration, the same form & the same strength.”
“Great champions are not made from more competitions, but from more preparedness.”
“On the line, you’re alone. Your coach stands away. So do your supporters, loved one’s, even your own inspiration, watches you from a distance. Brace yourself coz you stand & shoot alone.”
“Winning is not a choice, or an option or a luxury. It is our foremost necessity.”
“It aint about the force that you use or the rush that you have, but the inner calm & tranquility that you feel within you when you pickup the bow.
“We train you to perform consistently on a global platform. Our aim, training, equipments & standards have always been global. Help us make you rise to being a global champion.”
……………. to be continued..I’ll keep adding as I hear my instructors/coaches/mentors, speaking to the students..
This is a very rare speech of mine, as the Chief Guest at a function of UNICEF. It was the closing ceremony of a month long camp on Youth Journalism.
Hi. I’m Sanand. I’m an entrepreneur by essence, a sportsman by passion & an innovator by education.
I’m here between you all today to present to you, the laurels you’ve achieved in the past year with your contribution towards the rise of child journalism with your creativity, your perspective & the unique bent of your thoughts. I’m deeply honoured & gratified for being chosen. And though I am going to talk about what I feel about creativity, journalism & expressions, I would just be giving you my perspectives on the matter.
For those who know Ford Cars, their founder, Henry Ford once exclaimed: “Whether you think you are creative or not, you’re right.”
Okay, so Mr. Ford didn’t exactly say that, but he did say something very, very close. And despite the minor difference in what Henry Ford really said and what is quoted above, the meaning is the same: if you think you can, you can.
If you think you can be creative, you will be.
Beliefs are powerful, so much so that they can either help you grow and overcome obstacles, or not. The Buddha himself is quoted as saying “He is able who thinks he is able.” Granted: you can’t simply believe that you’ll grow wings and fly, but being realistic about what you believe and what you think you can do might make all the difference. How could you possibly expect to solve a problem or resolve an issue or think of a groundbreaking new idea unless you first believe that you can?
There have always been means to express your creativity, your perspective, your opinion. Expressions such as painting, writing, speech, poetry, etc. have been the foremost & choicest methods of portraying what you are thinking. Expressions are alike. Words are chosen as per your mood. If you think lofty, you would choose lofty words such as magnanimous, gigantic, while if you’re sad, you would choose sad words such as gloomy, depressed, etc. It works the same with painting. If you’re happy, your hand moves on bright colours, while your gloom takes you to darker & gloomy tomes.
The task at hand, Journalism, is a tricky thing as you might have noticed in your experience with it. Writing & expressing, or reporting is fairly easy but the master-stroke lies in the word-play, the choice of words used to coin sentences, the slippery double & multiple meaning sentences. I know you’ve had fun with it but were you responsible in your use of the written word?? The question is not what was reported, but how was it portrayed. Were you fair & justified in your portrayal of the subject?
Journalism & its art are easy to learn but lethal if they’re unjust in their use. Your perspective must be wholesome. You HAVE TO report things in totality, else the very essence & the purpose of your reporting is destroyed. We know history for what it is, but we know it only through perspectives of those who lived to tell the tale. Things could have been different but do we know if they were?
On you lies the onus of fair portrayal & reporting. Use your creativity well. Believe in yourself. It is the key to being yourself even after you’ve come out of the struggles of life and even the tests of time.
If you want to be creative: first believe that you can be. And always remember the ground advice: whether you think you’re creative or not, you’re right.
Always stick by the truth, follow your conscience, it never lies or deceives. If your heart tells you it is wrong, it is wrong. Know & accept it. Report the news, unadulterated. It is your foremost duty.
Make India a proud mother, she basks in glory only through her children. US. Always.
As the nation cheers onto the sporting gala at Delhi, I am thrown back into my days as a sportsman who proudly wore the Tricolour on his chest & fought for its glory & rise to the champion’s stands in major championships on foreign soil. “Sanand-India” used to be on my back & I was known for being an Indian. I also remember myself thinking in Madrid, I wish this was in India & simultaneously the thought reiterated itself, I would do everything I can to make India comparable to these cities.
Today, as a corporate head, who is looking towards contributing to the nation’s growth, not just as a taxpayer, but also as a component in the sectors that he conducts business in, I am looking at a sprawling nation, with an enormous landmass, huge potential, but a lot of talkers & even fewer doers. I have toured the country, close to 3 times, yes, the length & breadth of it. In trains, buses, bullock carts & even on bicycle, to get to the India that I would be contributing to & the nation that lives in my heart. No doubt, India is a country of villages with a far less number of urban centres. Going by the figures, I should say, at present, only about 30 per cent of India’s 1.1bn citizens dwell in urban centres. The remaining 70 per cent reside in rural areas, making Asia’s third-largest economy the biggest nation of villages in the world, exactly as the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, envisioned it would be.
However, this is about to change, as India is on the cusp of an urban transformation, according to Shirish Sankhe and Richard Dobbs, authors of McKinsey Global Institute’s report “India’s Urban awakening”.
“It took nearly 40 years for [India’s] urban population to rise by 230m, but it will take only half this time to add the next 250m. Cities will be core to India’s economic growth,” they argue. “They will generate 70 per cent of net new jobs created by 2030, produce more than 70 per cent of GDP, and stimulate a near fourfold increase in per capita incomes across the nation.”
The rise of a new urban class, which experts believe will represent nearly half of India’s population by 2030, is seen as an opportunity to create and develop state-of-the art cities and drive the country’s growth to double-digit levels, according to city planners, environmentalists and social scientists.
However as a son of my country, knowing my country as much as I do, I have a number of concerns. Is India ready for such a transformation? Are the country’s leaders equipped to direct this phenomenal transition from rural to urban societies? The systems & policies that should have been in place ages ago, are yet nowhere to be seen! And is there a vision available to the citizens of the nation, as to what the country would be & where they should see themselves in the next 20 years, and what would be expected of them? Not just as residents of megapolises but also as hosts to global guests, welcoming them into our abodes & ensuring their comfort & stay. We need to dovetail Indian culture with modern outlook, infrastructure, systems with the rise of India as a global nation, in league with EU, UK, USA, etc.
This writeup of mine is inspired by an argument of mine, with a friend of mine this evening over the fact that the rowdy crowds at the CWG, should be briefed about the decorum of the sport & also on the fact that I apologized to a few friends of mine, who’ve come from other nations as participants, on the discomfort caused to them in the event. My status, “India needs ambassadors who would show the world what we are with our ability to be global citizens, a global nation, comparable to the rest of the world, not ballad singers who would even praise pothole laden streets with great fervor without considering them to be way below the global infrastructural standards.”, falls in the same line, that we need to ensure that we rise up to global standards as a nation, not just with our culture & our philosophy, but with our courtesies, humility, manners as well as our infrastructure & economy.
We need to accept the fact that yeah, our roads are filled with potholes, but so what, we would take steps to ensure that we convert them into smooth tar paths & instead of sitting & talking about everything being okay, to quote Mr. Mathrani over here, won’t be wrong; what he terms as the “Chalta Hai” attitude that has been with us. The country needs to be accountable for all our faults, & we are what forms the country. Starting with us, we need to see what efforts we are making towards the development of India, into the nation that we would want it to be & for all those who still feel that we’re the best at everything that we do, I don’t think I would address the “ Gandhiji ka modern Bandar, jisme pichle teeno Bandar mile hue hai”. Kam se kam aankh khol kar dekho aur shrm karo ki ye sab jab ho raha tha to tum kaha they?? Agar apni galti nahi manna hai to desh ki izzat rakho..mehmaano ko dhange se treat karo.. Country comes first, not what you think.
Help the country rise to glory & India wont need false praises, it never has. We need to build it in a way that the world praises us as a nation. And we’re a team, when you decide to join the cause, afterall, we’re children to the same mother India. As they say in the national team, It is the Tricolour that comes first, the name on the back is where it should be, behind you.
Once again dedicated to the spirit of India with its passionate saffron hues, pure whites & serene greens & to the children, youngsters & my students, for whom we’re all building this nation. I love my INDIA.