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For people who don’t know IPL, IPL is today’s money making machine in the sports arena. IPL aka Indian Premier League is the largest sports (cricket) entertainment in terms of money and entertainment. Now, the idea of IPL is not new. It exists in various forms of other games like basketball (NBA), soccer, football (NFA) and many more. So, what makes IPL the most popular game.

  • Cricket: Cricket is one of the craziest games of many countries especially in Asia. Go to any nook and corner of the countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and you will find kids and people playing cricket with a bat and ball. Very few them make it to the playing 11 of the team but to be 11, is like a dream come true for anyone. In India, cricketers and film stars are like demi-gods. If one legend dies, the whole country goes down in no time. If India gives one bad performance in a cricket match, the effigies are burnt. One would be surprise to know that we have temples to worship cricketers and film stars. Moreover, IPL paved the way for shortest version of cricket games: 20-over bringing the excitement right onto the audience
  • Entertainment: Cheer-leading has never been a profession earlier in India but it is one now. How can someone forget the Knight Riders’ team Cheer-leading Reality Show. Additionally, not to forget the eminent filmstars associated with IPL: Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty and many more. Not to forget how dozens more flock around during the matches to promote themselves and their movies.

The marriage of above two fields. Cricket and Entertainment was deadly and that drove the whole nation crazy. Of course, one might say the business model is not new. There is nothing innovative. Of course, yes. I do agree but then no one introduced the concept better than IPL. And let us accept the fact: almost all our business models are the borrowed concepts from abroad: well tested and proven because we, Indians,  (most of us) are not risk-takers by nature.

Today, IPL has emerged as the biggest and largest money spinner in its genre in the sports domain surpassing all NBA and NFL. Last year, its brand value was estimated to be $4.13 Bn and with the addition of two new franchisees, it is going to be more this year. Let us look at the some of the auction highlights of this year:

  • A total of 127 players were sold in the two-day auction at the ITC Gardenia hotel in Bangalore, while 12 players were originally retained by the franchises ahead of the auction.
  • Deccan Chargers have 14 players, spending $6,875,000 and keeping $2,125,000 still to spend. Dale Steyn ($1.2 mn) and Cameron White ($1.1 mn) were the costliest players for the team.
  • Kolkata Knight Riders have 12 players, spending $8,575,000 and keeping $425, 000 still to spend. Gautam Gambhir ($2.4 mn) and Yusuf Pathan ($2.1 mn) were star cricketers.
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore have 16 players, spending $8,640, 000 and keeping $360,000 still to spend. Saurabh Tiwary ($1.6 mn) and AB de Villiers ($1.1 mn) were top fetchers.
  • Mumbai Indians have 12 players, spending $8,520,000 and keeping $480,000 still to spend. Rohit Sharma ($2 mn) and Andrew Symonds ($850,000) rocked the table for Mumbai Indians.
  • Sahara Pune Warriors, the new franchise, have 14 players, spending $8,070,000 and keeping $930,000 still to spend. Robin Utthappa ($2.1 mn) and Yuvraj Singh ($1.8 mn) were their prized possessions.
  • Team Kochi, another new franchise, have 17 players, spending $8,640,000 and keeping $360,000 still to spend. Mahela Jayawardhane ($1.5 mn) and Muttiah Muralitharan ($1.1 mn) were the costliest players.
  • Delhi Daredevils have 17 players, spending $8,250,000 and keeping $750,00 still to spend. Irphan Pathan ($1.9 mn), David Warner ($750,000) and Umesh Yadav ($750,000) were star cricketers bought.
  • Chennai Super Kings have 18 players, spending $8,615,000 and keeping $385,000 in pocket. R Ashwin ($850,000) and S Badrinath ($800,000) were top fetchers.
  • Rajasthan Royals have 8 players, spending $6,195,000 and keeping $805,000 in pocket. Ross Taylor ($ 1 mn) and Johan Botha ($950,000) emptied their suitcase.
  • Kings XI Punjab have 11 players, spending $6, 945, 000 and keeping $2,005,000 in pocket. David Hussey ($1.4 mn), Adam Gilchrist ($900,000), Piyush Chawla ($900,000), Dinesh Karthik ($900,000) were their prized possessions.
  • Rajasthan Royals were allotted budget of $7 million because of Bombay High court order.
  • Koklkata Knight Riders were constantly on the news: for picking up Gautam Gambhir for a record money and then not taking the star player of the region and former Indian Cricket team Captain, Saurav Ganguly.
  • Saurav Ganguly, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle went unsold. More than Brian Lara, this IPL auction put a BIG DOT on the cricketing career of one of the most successful Indian Cricket team Captain, Saurav Ganguly. Media left no time to make a fuss about the situation and broke hell on Dada. Most surprisingly, can Kolkata Knight Rider play without Saurav Ganguly in the player’s hometown itself? I guess yes, because this is India and lets be honest, we take few seconds to make a star and few seconds to bring someone to ashes.
  • The another aspect of auction side of KKR is: If I am not wrong, they are the only team to have broke even and into the profits. Don’t forget that they have never qualified for the semi-finals and have been one of the worst performers in the league. The credit goes to the King Khan of Bollywood, their franchise owner, Shahrukh Khan. Personally, I don’t like him or his acting but I love his presence of mind and his sheer attitude and marketing skills inspire me a lot. Remember, those xxx energy drink or the cheer-leading Reality show, SRK rocked the IPL with his own presence. SO, why KKR needs to play when both franchise owners and players are happy earning money without winning matches.
  • Personally, I feel Team Kochi made intelligent buys and did not put in money anywhere where the stake was too high. A lesson well learned from the Deccan Chargers from the past.
  • Anil Kimble made a smart move by opting himself out of the auction at the right time. Prestige and honor kept intact and he also got to mentor the Bangalore Royal Challengers.
  • Rahul Dravid, another star player of Indian Cricket team, just escaped the fate of Saurav Ganguly when he was picked up but it is a YELLOW light for Dravid. Be careful for the next auction.
  • Youngsters from India and abroad made the most out of this auction. A lot of unknown names got picked up over well known names: a very good positive sign. I am a strong believer in the power of fresh blood and Ia m sure some of them are going to make their dream run this IPL. Best of Luck to all of them!!!
  • Last year, IPL debuted on youtube, live streaming all matches. I expect this year they should live tweet also 🙂
  • IPL3 also debuted on movie theaters, showing the IPL matches live in the multiplexes. So, I guess you can grab your popcorn this year too.

IPL4 is going to have more matches and it is going to get bigger and better. I have always been a strong fan of Mumbai Indians and I am going to stick to my team this year too. Who will win IPL4? What do you think?

Just sit back, relax, get your popcorn and enjoy!!! For me, I am more interested in knowing the facts and success of both IPL4 and Cricket World Cup and we will try to bring you a post-tournament report. I am curious to co a sided-by-side analysis of the two biggest cricketing events of the year. Are you anxious? Do check back that time…

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Today I delivered my P4 Speech. The original source of the speech is here. I did modify the speech at lot of places to suit my taste. Even though I did not clear the speech in the first attempt due to lack of little bit of preparation and a strong conclusion,  the speech made me famous across the Orators Bangalore Club and I received overwhelming response from a lot of people.

The fourth Toastmasters speech project guides you to use simple, but descriptive language in your speeches.

The aims for this speech project focus on your selection of words and phrases:

  • Choose words and grammar which communicate clearly.
  • Choose words and grammar which appeal to the senses.
  • Eliminate jargon.

A general approach could be to choose any of the following approach:

1. Choose Descriptive or Story-based Topics

Any topic can work, but to flex your speechwriting muscles, choose a topic which lends itself to vivid descriptions. Speeches based around stories or experiences will challenge you to select words and phrases to transport your audience from their chairs to the setting where your speech takes place.

2. Use Sensory Language

Make your audience see what you see, feel what you feel, taste what you taste, smell what you smell, and hear what you hear. In short, draw upon all five senses to create a completely immersive description. Transport your audience to a movie theatre by describing:

  • Sight: the dizzying special effects of the martial arts scene
  • Smell: the wafting aroma of buttered popcorn
  • Sound: the booming surround-sound effects which made you jump from your seat
  • Taste: the sweet licorice Twizzlers which melt in your mouth
  • Touch: the claustrophobic squeeze of your knees pressed into the seatback in front of you

3. Use Repetition Wisely

Repetition of phrases throughout a paragraph, and repetition of sentences throughout your speech make your speech memorable. Wrap your speech around a signature phrase.

4. Avoid Topics About Words or Language

Toastmasters typically choose the topics which are about words or some other aspect of language, like poetry or figures of speech.

However, I recommend against choosing this type of topic. Rather than talking about words, let the focus be on your use of words, phrases, and grammar. Similarly, for project 5 (your body speaks), you should choose a topic that allows you to use your body, not a topic that is about body language. Further, in project 8 (get comfortable with visual aids), you will learn more by using visual aids to enhance your message rather than talking about projectors or flip charts.

Well, here then I go with my P4 Speech:

It was a nightmarish nightmare. Desiring to see Anushka Sharma in my dreams and dreadingly getting ToonToon instead. It was like finding a desert all of a sudden amidst western ghat’s evergreen rain forests. Waking up one day to find out that Bangalore’s darshini outlets won’t serve Masala dosas anymore.

I was dejected, disgusted, and devastated. I had fallen short and failed, no matter how fervently I tried. The news gave me bigger shock than the one Saurav Tiwary and Robin Utthappa would’ve got when they got to know that they were not selected for the T20 World Cup despite amazing performance at the IPL3! No matter how hard I tried to hide the fact, it kept popping up in my mind… just like Amitabh Bachchan’s ads pop-up in every other TV channel no matter how hard and quick you press buttons of your remote control.

Dear Toastmasters and Guests, the fact is… I am… a 3-speech toastmaster. I couldn’t come up with one more speech! I just couldn’t write a speech no matter how hard I tried! It looked like I could do anything else… I could look as macho as Hrithik Roshan; I could make more news than Rahul Mahajan; I could even grow taller and muscular than The Great Khali, but… I couldn’t come up with one more speech! I was, I am, and I will be a 3-speech toastmaster! I could even bear a 21-day fast, but not this tormenting truth!

It was tough to take terms with the reality! All the fun and frolic in my life faded away. The otherwise-evergreen factors in my life – enjoyment, excitement, entertainment – their existence evaporated. Wherever I went, whatever I did… this fact that I’m a 3-speech toastmaster hit me on my face all the time, like Himesh Reshammiya hits us with his voice. I started feeling more miserable than ‘Sanjay Saawariya Bhansali’! I no longer could enjoy pan-fried noodles at mainland china – the tempting tasty thing I love more than my life.

Even coffee didn’t give any kick! My days were as miserable as days in office when the vending machine was out-of-order! Roar of a tiger I heard at National Geographic channel didn’t interest me either, it only indicated that even an animal could get more vocal than me. In the menu cards of restaurants I kept searching for words to use in my speech. Even a 3D movie at gloriously grand PVR gold class didn’t bring down my grimace.

Well, you might want to know what I did to overcome this problem. Ask me what not I did! At times I took a crystal clean white sheet, wrote the title of my speech on top… underlined it, made a flowery box around it, overwrote it using another color pen… and I wrote the lyrics of ‘dard-e-disco’ underneath!

Some times I would come up with a great opening, write it enthusiastically… but then my mind would go as blank as Rani Mukerji’s world in the movie Black. It felt like Sehwag, hitting fours and sixes in the first over, and then getting out cheaply at gully in the second!

Someone once told me ‘you can get a speech topic everywhere, even in a casual conversation with your friends’. So, I started watching for words when my friends spoke to me. Soon my friends started avoiding me; they said ” Deepak, Man…you are worse than an irritating LIC agent!

I searched for ideas in every nook and corner of my world. I started looking for one-liners and anecdotes in the hoardings instead of enjoying a Priyanka Chopra or a Kareena Kapoor picture! I suspected my own sanity when I realized that I was looking for vocabulary even in Barbara Mori interview in TV! Newspapers, magazines, movies, and even horrible TV reality shows… I desperately searched everywhere for inspiration… in vain!

Dear Toastmasters and Guests, I may have to live rest of my life with this fact that I’m a 3-speech toastmaster, just like Salman Khan and Vivek Oberoi live with an Aishwarya Rai… sorry, Bachchan dump. They say ‘failure is the stepping stone for success’. But for me, this failure is like an elevator stuck midway while I’m in it. I can only take heart to say that this horrendous truth is a humbling experience. But this humbling experience gave me the courage to speak out my feelings as a speech. So, you don’t hesitate to speak and don’t worry about the topic and content. At the end of the day, your thoughts are going to be your idea and content of your speech and your feelings are going to make the speech. Open your heart and march. On the face of this earth, I will have to wait for few more minutes to know whether I jumped the fourth hurdle to the race to become a competent toastmaster.

PS: This Speech was very well appreciated at the IBC building, resulting in 15 IM requests congratulating me within half an hour of completion of the session. On my second attempt, I was awarded the “Best Speaker” Award for the session.

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Well, what’s up guys? I know it has been quite a time I wrote on this blog. Well, this post was due. If you are thinking about IPL version of cricket, then we will definitely talk about it but I am also going to talk about another version of IPL that swiped the country completely this month.
If you had already guessed, you are right; I am talking about Indian Elections – Indian Political League. We will talk about this version of the IPL first.
The largest democracy of the world, India, went into the Elections late last month. The results came out in May 2nd week with Unites Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by Indian National Congress (INC) getting almost near majority. With thumping applause from the voters of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh became the 2nd Prime Minister after our first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, to become the prime minister of the country in consecutive terms. The extraordinary performance of the INC with 201 seats alone showed its growing influence and belief of the voters in INC. The another major part, National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) was completely thrashed with Lal Krishna Advani’s hopes of becoming the prime minister of India being completely crashed. There was no doubt that the credit goes to Dr. Manmohan Singh for his exemplary leadership in his previous term as PM. But the efforts of the upcoming power of INC, Rahul Gandhi, cannot be ignored. If INC was able to compete at par with the Mayawati’s Bahujan Samajwadi Party and Mulayam’s Samajwadi Party, then the whole credit goes to only and only Rahul Gandhi. Additionally, this election brought the hopes of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Ram Vilas Paswan, Mayawati, Jayalalitha, Prakash Karat, and Sharad Pawar of becoming the PM completely crushed. Among all these names, one can easily identity the name of Ram Vilas Paswan. Paswanji was the cabinet minister since HD Deve Gowda’s government. No matter who formed the government since HD Deve Gowda, Paswanji used to join that government with his bunch of ministers’ support to become a cabinet minister. This time he lost the elections and could not even become a MP also. The same is the state of our ex Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav. He decided to go to the elections all of his own and did not accept the alliance of INC. Such was the pathetic state of Laluji, which he lost from one of the constituencies he contested. Remember, had he fought the elections from that constituency alone, he would have been in the same boat as Paswanji. Another major turnaround was the state of West Bengal. For the first time since more than 30 years, voters thrashed the dreams of Left and for the first time Didi, Mamta Banerjee, saw the hope of becoming the CM of the state in future, Her party, Trinamool Congress, did exceptionally well in the elections, due to which she earned her berth in the cabinet as the Railway Minister. Remember, when the current Lok Sabha has more than 300 crorepatis, Didi is one of the poorest MP. Hats off to her. With a thumping win over the NDA and the left, Dr. Manmohan Singh went on to form the government by taking oath on last Saturday. I do wish him all the best and I hope he would be able to take our country to new heights of prosperity and growth, especially when there is Left Support this time. I wished that Rahul Gandhi would have joined the cabinet but its okay. Let him take outside work to build a much stronger party that can lead the youth of this country in the right direction.
I am going to take a break here as I had almost a night out yesterday and will resume writing on the other version of IPL once I wake up.
So, it was an almost 3.5 hrs break now. I slept for 1.5 hrs and then did exercise for 1 hr or so. Don’t take me seriously. I am yet to join the gym but I can say I really miss it and I am just waiting for this phase of my life to get over so that I can start afresh everything.
Well, let’s come to the second version of the IPL, the cricket, Indian Premier League. Initially, it went into issue of security due to head-on collision of IPL dates with Elections. Thanks to the stubbornness of Lalit Modi, IPL got shifted to South Africa. I had few problems with shifting of IPL to South Africa. Firstly, what kind of message Mr. Lalit Modi wanted to set with taking almost at least 300 odd ((approx 15 players in each team*8) +celebrities+performers+…) citizens of the country outside the country with the Election round the corner. None of them voted. When it was time to make a joint statement about the future of the country, these people were busy making tons of money. Who should be idolized, Mr. Lalit Modi? Why these people deserve to be in India and representing the country when none of them are not even responsible citizens. I can definitely say that Mr. Lalit Modi set a very bad example in front of cricket fans. Secondly, anyone who has seen IPL season 1 would agree with me that the real craze is playing the matches in home and enemy’s den. Playing in from of the die-hard fans and shout, is a different thing and playing in a calm place where half of the people don’t understand Kolkata, Rajasthan, Mumbai … I hope that the next season will definitely be in India. The most amazing of this season is the Finals, where last year’s 2 bottom teams Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers, the worst performers of last season going on to win the finals under the captaincy of Adam Gilchrist. One find of this season of IP was FakeIPLPlayer blogger. The identity of the blogger was not revealed but he was a real entertainer gaining one of the biggest craze among the IPL fans. News channels covered the blog but no one was able to reveal the identity of the blogger. Each and every post of the blog was simply amazing, entertaining and fun reading. The articles definitely hinted of the possibility of betting in the games with Kolkata Knight Riders defeating last year’s champion Rajastahn Royals and preventing it from going to the semi finals. It was well predicted ahead in the blog that the worst performer of the current season will defeat a team and will nullify its chances of making it to the finals. ICC should look into this more seriously or the better way is to legalize the betting, which could bring huge revenue for the governments as in any form, betting does happen no matter what. One striking similarity between the IPL season 1 and season 2 was the performance of Australian players. Whether it is retired players like Adam Gilchrist, Mathew Hayden, Shane Warne or current players like Adrew Symonds, Shane Watson, Hodge, they all showed why they form the best team with their killer attitude and leading the team from the front. This is one thing I feel Indians lack a lot, which is quite visible in the team of Mumbai Indians, who don’t have a single Australian. Next time, Mrs. Neeta Ambani should bet for an Australian in the team to get the team spirit back. Are you listening, Mrs. Ambani? We need a diehard killer Aussie in the Mumbai Indians. As for the profit of the individual teams, there is no doubt who is the winner. Obviously, SRK owned Kolkata Knight Riders. Despite finishing bottom of the table, SRK managed to get well over 100 crores from various source like the reality show, some Knight Angles or so. There is no doubt how many Ambanis or Mallayas jump into this IPL, SRK is a true businessman. Hats off to SRK and his acumen. I may not be your big fan of movies but I do adore you a lot on your business acumen.

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