Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Biggest Fear of an Engineering Student and Rising above it!!

Engineering Exams. The mere mention strikes fear in the hearts of students. Actually fear is a small word, the correct word for engineering exams are monsters, striking terror and horror in the students. I completed my engineering from a college which was affiliated to the Mumbai University but was situated 400 kms from the mega city itself. I had never lived away from my parents, I had no clue what hostel life is all about. Then there was the small case of dealing with living in the constant fear of the upcoming semester exams. In the previous batch only 1, yes ONLY 1 student had managed to clear all exams in the first attempt. Fear was a constant as the exam dates were announced and those fat reference books were still gathering dust on our study tables.

With just a month remaining for the first semester exams to begin, most of the students were already burning the mid-night oil. I knew I had to do something as I was completely blank and had not started my preparations yet. My room mates were in the same situation. I was beginning to wonder if I had made the right decision by selecting engineering as my career option. I had never failed in my life, ever. But engineering exams were scaring me, mocking me as day after day passed without me making any significant breakthrough through my course.

With 20 odd days remaining, I made a call. I made a timetable - a to do list for myself. This was the thing I had done for all my 12 years in school. There were 5 subjects in total and I gave each subject 4 days, it looked impossible to cram so much in so few a days but a start had to be made.

With steely determination and a bit of apprehension I was ready to go. The first few days were difficult as I hardly took my eyes off my books. I managed to take an evening walk daily after my dinner to get some fresh air even with my break-my-back schedule. Nights were hell as it was cold but I did not want to fail, how would I say to my parents that the son in whom they had trusted so much had failed. I slept for only a couple of hours for each of those 20 odd days. I was beginning to feel a bit confident by the time the exams started but I knew that it would be touch and go.

I still remember when I sat down for the first engineering exam, the moment I saw that question paper, a chill ran down my spine, I could feel a bead of sweat form on the back of my neck. The paper was tough beyond my wildest imaginations. But I could not give up at so late a moment. I started writing down whatever I knew, I wrote half answers, drew diagrams as much as I knew. The rest of the exams were no different, I realized by the end of my exams that no one can say with confidence that he or she is fully prepared for these monstrous engineering exams.

The results would be declared after about a month and now there was nothing I could do but wait for those results to be announced on the college notice board. The day finally arrived, the news of the results being displayed spread like wild fire in our hostel. While I made my way towards the college slowly dragging my feet with a silent prayer on my lips, I saw some students returning with a frown on their faces. No words were exchanged as the results were writ large on their faces.

I reached there and glanced through the results, I witnessed a miracle. I had passed all the 5 subjects. Yes, I had not topped any of them but I had not failed. There was a time when I would be disappointed after scoring a 90 during my school days, on that day I had scored 42 and had a big smile on my face. I lingered around the notice board for a long time, most of the students had returned to their rooms long back. Only a few students remained, they had all passed all the subjects in the first attempt like me. We were only 9 who had done that, I remember us all hugging each other like we had scaled the Mt. Everest - actually we had if the circumstances were taken into the account.

The engineering exams always struck fear through the remaining 4 years, but I was more confident about taking them head on, I had pledged to be better prepared from the next time and the moment of triumph came when I scored a distinction in my final year, the joy on my face was priceless.

This post is written as part of the Happy Hours Campaign on Indiblogger. This one is sponsored by Mountain Dew, Rise Above Fear. Do check out their facebook page here -  https://www.facebook.com/mountaindewindia

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Jesse Ryder not picked in New Zealand preliminary WC 30 squad

The joint hosts New Zealand are the latest team to announce their 30 men squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup. There are no major surprises in their team except that the hugely talented but perennialy troubled kid Jesse Ryder was left out.

The 30 man Kiwi squad is given as under:

Batsmen

Martin Guptill, Anton Devcich, Tom Latham, Hamish Rutherford, Rob Nicol, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson Neil Broom, Dean Brownlie, Colin Munro

Allrounders

Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Daniel Vettori, Colin de Grandhomme, Andrew Ellis, James Franklin, Grant Elliot

Spinners

Roneel Hira, Nathan McCullum

Fast Bowlers

Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Matt Henry, Mitchell McClenaghan, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Tim Southee

Wicketkeepers

Luke Ronchi, BJ Watling

This is a pretty settled New Zealand side and they look set to make it deep into the World Cup yet again. They seem a little light in the spin bowling department (the old war horse Daniel Vettori is there but he has not played too much in the recent past) but the sheer variety and fire power in their fast bowling cannot be ignored. Not too many sides will fancy their sides against that quality of fast bowling. The batting also seems in safe hands with Brendon Mc Cullum, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson and Corey Anderson there to blast the opposition.

Here is my predicted New Zealand 15 that may make the cut:

Batsmen

Martin Guptill, Anton Devcich, Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson

Allrounders

Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Daniel Vettori

Spinners

Nathan McCullum

Fast Bowlers

Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Mitchell McClenaghan/ Adam Milne, Tim Southee

Wicketkeepers

Luke Ronchi, BJ Watling

Who do you think should make the final 15 of the New Zealand side?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sri Lanka include uncapped Tharindu Kaushal and Lakshan Sandakan in WC 2015 Probables

The 30 men squads for the World Cup 2015 to be played in Australia and New Zealand are now being announced thick and fast and after India and Pakistan, Sri Lanka are the latest team to do so! The Sri Lankans always do well in the World Cups and this time too their team is formidable in all departments. The stalwarts Mahela and Sangakkara who will be playing their last ODI tournament will be also looking to go out on a high as they did recently while winning the WT20 in Bangladesh.

The 30 man Indian squad is given as under:

Batsmen

Angelo Mathews, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Mahela Jayawardene, Upul Tharanga, Dimuth Karunaratne, Ashan Priyanjan, Kithuruwan Vithanage

Spinners

Rangana Herath, Dilruwan Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Ajantha Mendis, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis, Ramith Rambukwella, Tharindu Kaushal, Lakshan Sandakan

Fast Bowlers


Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Dhammika Prasad, Shaminda Eranga, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Pradeep, Lahiru Gamage

Wicketkeepers

Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera

The return of Malinga and Lakmal will certainly bolster their fast bowling while if Senanayake (who was banned for suspect bowling action) is not cleared then they have exciting young prospects in Tharindu Kaushal and Lakshan Sandakan who can fill his shoes. I certainly do not think that Mendis should be included in the final 15 as his mystery seems to have been decoded by most teams. The only point of contention for the Lankans while selecting their final 15 will probably be the selection of Dinesh Chandimal and I think that he should be included as he is highly talented and has done very well in Australia in the past!

My final 15 Sri Lanka squad would be something like this:

Batsmen

Angelo Mathews, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal

Spinners

Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake/ Tharindu Kaushal/ Lakshan Sandakan, Jeevan Mendis

Fast Bowlers

Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Dhammika Prasad, Thisara Perera

Wicketkeepers

Kumar Sangakkara, Kusal Perera

Who will make your team for the final 15? Do share your views with me!!

Ajmal included in Pakistan's 30 man preliminary squad for the Cricket World Cup

After India, Pakistan have announced their 30 man preliminary squad that will soon be trimmed to the final 15. The talismanic off spinner Saeed Ajmal was included in the list but he will be included in the final 15 only if can clear his bowling action, the date for which has yet been given by the PCB.

The 30 man preliminary Pakistan Squad is as under:

Batsmen

Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Sharjeel Khan, Sami Aslam, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Sohaib Maqsood, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Umar Akmal

Fast Bowlers

Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Ehsan Adil, Mohammad Talha, Anwar Ali, Sohail Tanvir, Bilawal Bhatti

Spinners

Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Raza Hasan, Yasir Shah, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi

Wicketkeepers

Sarfraz Ahmed, Kamran Akmal

This is a pretty strong squad provided that all their fast bowlers are fit as Junaid, Irfan and Gul have been suffering from injuries lately. Also if Ajmal is cleared then Pakistan will be ready to mount a serious challenge in Australia-New Zealand on the other teams. With Sarfaraz in fine form this year the wicketkeeping woes that plagued the team for so many years will also be looked into. In any case Umer Akmal can be a stand by for Sarfaraz in case of any injury so there seems to be no real need to pick up Kamran!! The spinner Yasir Shah impressed me during the recent test series against New Zealand and Shahid Afridi is always there as a spinner.

Let us see what the final 15 will look like, mine would be something like this:

Batsmen

Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Umar Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan

Fast Bowlers

Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Umar Gul, Bilawal Bhatti

Spinners

Saeed Ajmal/ Yasir Shah, Raza Hasan, Shahid Afridi

Wicketkeepers

Sarfraz Ahmed

What do you think of the selections? Who would make the final 15 in your opinion? Have your say!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Stalwarts Omitted from the preliminary Indian Squad for the World Cup 2015

The Indian selectors announced the preliminary squad of 30 members for the ICC Cricket World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand from February 2015. Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan were all omitted. Obviously those from outside the 30 can still find a place in the final 15 that will be announced soon but I guess the fact that these players were omitted in the first place leaves that window of opportunity pretty much closed.

The 30 man Indian squad is given as under:

Batsmen

Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Manoj Tiwary, Manish Pandey, M Vijay

Fast Bowlers

Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Dhawal Kulkarni, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Ashok Dinda

Spinners

R Ashwin, Parvez Rasool, Karn Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ravindra Jadeja, Akshar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav

Wicketkeepers

MS Dhoni, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson, Wriddhiman Saha

I would say that this is a pretty good squad and that the best players have been chosen based on recent performances. It is not everyday that I praise the Indian selectors but a pat on the back is required for a job well done, they must have been under some pressure to include the stalwarts which were a part of previous World Cup success but they did not give in.

Let us see what the final 15 will look like, mine would be something like this:

Batsmen

Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu

Fast Bowlers

Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron

Spinners

R Ashwin, Akshar Patel

Wicketkeepers

MS Dhoni, Robin Uthappa

What do you think of the selections? Who would make the final 15 in your opinion? Have your say!

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