Saturday, February 25, 2012

With Wife, On Official Duty

Performance of the Indian Cricket Team has really gone "Down Under" in Australia.  The failure in Test series was conveniently blamed on the seniors in the team, especially VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid.  Questions were raised about their continuance and all pundits, semi-pundits and non-pundits unanimously declared that they should retire. "To retire or not to retire" (Click on this to read this post)  was the question posed to them.  The test series is over now and they are off the hook for the time being.  Focus shifted to the "One day Tri-series" between India, Australia and Srilanka.  The younger and fitter players were on the field and initially they were praised for their wonderful performance.  Within a fortnight that also evaporated and  we are back to the same pitiable situation with the younger lot also.  Funnily enough, now the older among the younger lot are blamed for the poor showing.  Critics deserve to be congratulated.  With each poor performance on the field, they are able to find an unending supply of scape goats.  We are also to be blamed for the present mess.  Instead of being grateful to these players for continuing to play the game despite the extreme demand on their time to take care and invest the large sums of money, for which they are being repeatedly auctioned in IPL and other circus, we still expect them to win matches.

One of the reasons attributed for the poor performance of the Indian players in the past was the presence of their wives with them during tours abroad.  Add girl friends also in case of those who are not yet married.  These wives and girl friends were often cited as the reason for poor and dismal on-field performance of the players.  Questions were also raised as to who was footing the bill for their travel abroad.  This was despite the clear knowledge that our millionaire cricketers were eminently capable of meeting the travel cost of their entire neighborhood if they so desire.  Fortunately  Air India was not involved in this saga as otherwise there could have been stories about smaller planes being replaced by bigger ones to accommodate the larger and extended families of the famed cricketers on such tours.  After all our cricketers are no less than some minister or politician.  Just look at how each one of them is being misquoted so frequently and how they are blaming each other.  We do know that some of our cricketers have successfully contested elections and became our official representatives in legislatures and parliament.  Not only successfully contesting the elections but also remaining in limelight thereafter.  Not for their illuminating or inspiring speeches in the debates of the houses,  but for beating up some hapless person on the streets.  One has to express deep regret that no statistician is coming forward to keep a record of the number of persons beaten up.  And thus depriving us of the valuable knowledge as to who has been the most consistent beater of hapless persons and the average beating record of these ex-players.

Presence of wives on tours reminds me of an anecdote told to me by a friend.  A General Manager of  a Public Sector Undertaking went to a big city on an official tour.  After his return to headquarters, Managing Director (MD) of the undertaking received a complaint that the General Manager was accompanied by a woman on tour and stayed at the hotel on official expenses.  MD commissioned a discreet inquiry to find the truth about the complaint.  The investigations revealed that the complaint was indeed true and the General Manager had actually stayed in a Hotel with a lady during the official tour.  It was also found out that she was actually his only wife and there was no effort on GM's part to conceal this and this was clearly told to the Hotel management.  It also came out that the GM had not charged even a single rupee in excess of his entitlement and he had actually paid all additional expenses arising due to his wife's presence from his own pocket.  It further came out that he had also discharged his duties of the visit as expected and did not spend any time with his wife when he was expected to be on duty elsewhere.  The GM was naturally peeved at this complaint and so expressed to the MD.  The Managing Director laughed and told the GM; "You should be actually happy about this episode.  It has shown what sort of a man you are.  In fact, it is a "Character Certificate" issued to you by the complainant!".

A similar scene is portrayed in a Kannada film, "Kaaleju Ranga".  As the name itself suggests, this film is about the events that unfold in a College.  A college where internal politics and individual likes and dislikes push academics into the background.  The film itself was considered an average one though it was directed by one of the best directors, Late Puttana Kanagal.  A complaint is made about Professor Devaiah,  eminently played by Kalyan Kumar, that he was found in the "College Laboratory" with a woman late in the night.  An enquiry is conducted and he is questioned about his misdemeanor.  Prof. Devaiah accepts the charge that he was indeed with a woman in the college laboratory, late in the night.  he explains that the woman is none other than his own wife and she was in the lab helping him in his research work.  He had to take her services as he was not provided an assistant despite repeated requests and she was well qualified to assist him.  She was not paid any salary or allowances by the college.  While answering he gets emotional and finally thunders, "I was not in the lab enjoying my time with my wife.  For your kind information, I also have a house and there is also a bedroom in it".  Unable to frame him on this count his detractors set fire to the lab and all his valuable research papers and his hard work of several years is consigned to flames.

"Kaaleju Ranga"  film is based on a novel by Dr. B G L Swamy, one of India's eminent Botanists.  Prof B G L Swamy taught Botany in the prestigious Presidency College of Chennai.  He was also the Principal of that college for some time.  He was awarded "Birbal Sahni Gold Medal" for his research work in Botany.  He was also a writer of high value literary works and had the ability to communicate scientific information in true literary style.  Some of his works like "Hasiru Honnu" (Green Wealth) and "Namma Hotteyalli Dakshina America" (South America in our stomach) are very popular.  His "Hasiru Honnu" was a Central Sahitya Academy award winner.  He and his father D V Gundappa, popularly known as DVG, were the first father and son duo to win the prestigious Kendra Sahitya Academy award.  DVG is a highly respected writer and philosopher and his "Mankutimmana kagga" is a treasure of knowledge.  Younger generation will be greatly benefited  by reading the books of B G L Swamy and DVG. 


  1. Here lot of stories clubbed together though seemingly unconnected with other make a lot of sense to make a point. on one side persons who enjoy without being questioned by the media and on the other side some innocent people put into unnecessary hardship just because once upon atime they were popular in their field...C S Dinesh

  2. In our period/generation situations/incidents narrated were not accepted by the majority of the society.However at one point of time it was felt that staying with wife in place of work(during long stay/short stay)will pave way for improving individual's efficiency.(Due to lack of distraction for players/sharing the work stress in other cases)For present generation/society it is a accepted culture due to practical constraints. I regret that I may not be able to read renowned writers"s books. In the process you have advised younger generation to read the books written by the authors.Incidents narrated may be taken as preamble to your advice.I appreciate your every effort to make the messages
    appealing for all age group.
    v lakshminarayanan

  3. It has been always the case where if things are going right, no one is questioned otherwise anything is questioned. Sachin, Dravid and Laxman did perform as good OR as bad as any other member of the team.

    It was good to see the connection between various indicidents