Category: Uncategorized

Diego Maradona (1960 – 2020)

Photo by Jack Hunter on Unsplash

I heard the news of Diego Maradona passing away late last night (India time). He was only 60.

Growing up in India in the 1980s, my earliest memory of international football is watching the 1986 World Cup on Mexico. And who can forget the ‘goal of the century’ that Diego Maradona scored against England in the Quarter-finals of that tournament. He went on to score two more goals against Belgium in the Semi-finals and assisted the match-winning goal against Germany in the finals.

He could not match those feats again in the 1990 World Cup, but Argentina did manage to reach the finals, losing to Germany by a solitary goal. And he played two matches in the 1994 World Cup in the USA before being sent home after a failed drugs test.

At that time, in India, it was not very easy to follow club matches. So it was only much later that I read about Maradona’s exploits with Napoli in the Italian League. It is an astonishing story. He joined a relatively ‘unsexy’ club that had never previously won the Italian League and led it to a stupendous run of results – winning the League in 1986-87 and 1989-90 and finishing Runners-Up in 1987-88 and 1988-89. Napoli also won the Italian Cup and the UEFA Cup during this period.

It is fair to say, I guess, that this story of Maradona’s genius was not as well knows as his World Cup exploits. Here are some articles that try to convey what Maradona meant to the city of Naples:

His time at Naples was also the theme of a documentary by Asif Kapadia, simply called ‘Diego Maradona‘.

There is no doubt that for people of my generation, he was the best football player ever.

As I woke up this morning, still processing the news that he is no longer with us, I saw that the skies were grey and a steady rain was falling. It was as if the heavens themselves were shedding tears. As many have commented, there will never be another like Diego Maradona again. Rest in Peace, Legend.

Monday Reads – 23/11

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

This week, I decided to select a few articles on some of my favourite topics:

Bird Man – I have been bird-watching for close to four decades now. It still gives me great pleasure to be out and about, peering closely at our feathered friends and trying to identify the species of bird that I am watching. This article goes into detail on why this hobby appeals to many.

The drink that kept us going through Covid-19 – I love my cup of coffee (South Indian filter coffee, black, no sugar). This article looks at how the coffee business has been impacted by the pandemic. Fun fact that I was not aware of prior to reading this article – Coffee was the number one e-commerce grocery product before 2020.

Are your favourite foods at risk of extinction? – Extinction is not an issue with animals alone, even plants run the risk of going extinct. But, as this article states, ‘all plants are part of an eco-system, and as habitats disappear – largely due to farming – or come under pressure through climate change, it can be difficult to predict what effect this will have on food security.

Best in Travel 2021 – This year saw Travel coming almost to a stop. As we wander about what the near future holds for travel, Lonely Planet has ‘decided to make this year’s Best in Travel different by recognizing places and people demonstrating a genuine commitment to sustainability, community and diversity.‘ You might find some places or experiences to add to your bucket list on this list.

‘The Power Of Music’ To Affect The Brain – A casual Web Search will throw up plenty of results on how music impacts us. I found this particular podcast quite interesting.

My Reading List

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am a late adopted of Digital technologies, which my friends find ironic, given that my profession if Digital Marketing! I have only just started to enjoy listening to streaming music. And similarly, I have only recently started appreciating the benefits of an e-reader.

Thanks to the Amazon Kindle app, I have started reading books at a greater pace recently. These are some of the books that I have read over the past few months:

  • Of Birds and Birdsong – M Krishnan. An easy and delightful read on habits of some of our commoner birds.
  • Aimless in Banaras: Wanderings in India’s Holiest City – Bishwanath Ghosh. A book that takes you to the heart (or soul) of India’s holiest and oldest city.
  • Longing, Belonging: An Outsider at Home in Calcutta – Bishwanath Ghosh. This book takes us to Calcutta (or Kolkata) and again takes us to the depths of this fascinating city.

This is just a partial list as for some reason, I am unable to find a few others in my history. It is for this reason that I am thinking of publishing the list, so that I can have it as a reference.

Monday Reads – 16/11

Photo by Bhargava Marripati on Pexels.com

Happy Diwali to everyone who celebrated the ‘Festival of Lights’ over the weekend!

This weeks articles cover topics such as Home Delivery, Likely impact of the pandemic on leading global economies, Writing for the Internet, films to inspire wanderlust and more…

How our home delivery habit reshaped the world – I am sure that I won’t be exaggerating when I say that many of us, especially those living in urban areas, have become highly reliant on home deliveries for most of our shopping. This article takes a deep look at what it takes behind the scenes to get our items delivered on time and the impact this is having on cities. Yes, it is written from a UK perspective, but it is just as relevant for countries around the world.

The pandemic has caused the world’s economies to diverge – The Economist writes that ‘As a recovery takes place, however, huge gaps between the performance of countries are opening up—which could yet recast the world’s economic order.

Audio’s post-pandemic boom – While teaching Digital Marketing at Business Schools, for the past couple of years I have opined that one of the key trends in the Digital space will be Audio. It is interesting to read that this is now happening. Do also read the related article – Audio’s Cambrian Moment: Why We Invest in Audio Technology

The Social Media Managers Are Not Okay – It is easy to think that it’s great to have a Social Media Manager’s job. It is an important and in demand role in today’s highly connected world. But, as this article highlights, the reality can be very different. Employers would do well to constantly check in with their teams who are on the ‘on the front lines of a relentless and overwhelming news cycle that is pushing them to the edge‘.

23 Travels Films That Will Make You Feel Like You’re on Holiday – With the holiday season fast approaching, and with the pandemic continuing to throw travel plans in disarray, here are a few films that you might want to watch if you feel like just getting away from it all, even if only for a few hours.

Dr. Salim Ali – The ‘Birdman’ of India

Back Cover of ‘The Book of Indian Birds’ by Dr. Salim Ali

Today, the 12th of November, marks the birth anniversary of Dr. Salim Ali, arguably the most famous and influential ornithologist that India has produced. I owe my interest in bird-watching to Dr. Ali, as I am sure many other bird-watchers in India would, as well.

His pioneering ‘The Book of Indian Birds‘ was possibly the first book on Indian birds that I read (multiple times). In fact, I still have a copy of this book (the thirteenth edition) that serves as my primary reference book on Indian birds.

I then read his autobiography, ‘The Fall of a Sparrow‘, which I found quite fascinating as a young boy. This led me to the Bombay Natural History Society, of which he was a key member and helped raise funds for its survival. I am now a life member of this esteemed organisation.

Dr. Salim Ali died in 1987, and if memory serves me right, this made the front page of The Times of India the next day. I still remember reading his obituary in the newspaper.

For people who are not familiar with the life and work of this renowned ornithologist, this article in the Deccan Herald can serve as a good introduction.