Featured Desicritic - Writer Spotlight

April 10, 2006
Pratyush Khaitan

In our continuous effort to bring quality writers into the spotlight, it gives me immense pleasure to present the inaugural Featured Desicritic Each week, we will highlight one writer chosen by the editors. Desicritics is just over 2 months old but has already seen over 1200 pieces from more than 240 writers. It is an ever-growing community in terms of numbers and quality.

Drum rolls please. The inaugural Featured Desicritic is Aditya Kuber.

Aditya Kuber was born in Mumbai on 30.10.1979. However, he spent the next 22 years of his life in Pune. Aditya has been an editor, a writer and a photographer and follows many interests. For more, read on!

Pratyush: Tell us a bit about your love for photography

Aditya: Photography was and remains my first love for expression. I started off in college, worked professionally as a photographer for publications including writing about photography. Over the last 9 years, though, writing took up more of my time, effort and unfortunately interest. Photography is now something that I do only for myself. And honestly, it's better that way.

(Check out the superb photos Aditya took in Japan last year here.

P: You have written mostly on sports and we know you love photography. What other stuff enthralls your mind?

AK: Technology. Gadgets. Media. Movies. It's a rather eccentric mix, but the binding factor is the fact that all these interests allow me to express myself. Technology and gadgets are the means while media (and that's a little tough to explain) is something I would be lost without. I follow movements and changes in the media and like to read into them especially when all seems straightforward! Movies is another medium that has caught my fancy and I dream of writing (and maybe making) one someday. But that's perhaps a long way away yet!

P: You have also written for the print media like Digit magazine. Tell us a bit more about this and other places you have written for.

AK: I started as a freelance photographer working for The Times of India in Pune where I also contributed small articles and covered Sports, Features and the Page 3 beat (yes, I did!). Soon after, I moved to Mumbai and was heading The Times Journal of Photography for 3 1/2 years and wrote, shot, reviewed, edited, made pages, proofed them and at times, even sold ads! You see, it was an editorial team of 2 for a 120-page monthly on photography!

Moving on, I joined an english daily, The Maharashtra Herald, that had just been taken over by the Sakal Group in Pune and was involved in a lot of things there, notably, the re-design, heading the Business and Special Projects and IT sections. And from there, I moved to join Digit in Mumbai where I was head of the Copy Desk, Writers teams and multimedia teams. It was a learning experience working at Digit.

P: India is doing hopelessly in tests but awesome in one dayers. What do you make out of this?

AK: Too much one-day cricket is what is costing India. How do you explain the balance between 3 Tests and 7 ODIs (as is the case in the England series)? As a result, batsmen cannot apply themselves, bowlers cannot plan and execute and expect wickets to fairly innocous deliveries. Even the captain seems a little clueless on field in the Tests. Test cricket is all about attacking and defending at the right times. If wickets are not falling, defend and make the batsmen do something different. Take the Karachi Test where Younis Khan and Mohd. Yousuf went berserk on a 'bowler-friendly' wicket. In response, our batting could not even last 3 sessions.

Proper planning and spacing of matches is required. Why are we playing in Abu Dhabi now? Bhai ka phone aaya tha kya?

P: How do you assess Greg Chappell's tenure as coach till now?

AK: To be honest, it's been nothing special. John Wright had laid a good foundation when he left. Chappell is a more in-your-face persona and hence everything he does or does not do makes news. Sure he has blooded more youngsters in a year than Wright/Ganguly did but at what cost? The Test side is a mess and the ODI side seems to be peaking. I just hope they don't peak too soon for the WC is still a year away.

It's positive but can be better.

P: Will Ganguly come back?

AK: Here's the equation that will help Ganguly come back:

(Chappell-More)+Dravid = Ganguly in the team.

But why do we want him in the team? Sure he is experienced but his batting form when he was dropped was nothing spectacular. He deserved to be dropped. And along those lines, Kaif and Sehwag should also be made to sit out now. Will he come back? Maybe. Should he come back? I don't think so.

P: Should the BCCI be over hauled? What is a better way to restructure the board?

AK: Ok. you asked for the thesis. So here goes. It should be corporatised. Only then will there be accountability. There should be a CEO, MD, General Manager and each department should be treated as a business unit. Get rid of these committees and pay the people who work for the BCCI. Moreover, they should be made answerable to the public by submitting reports (annual) like a publicly held company has to.

SO there would be a Chief Manager, Selection and a Chief Manager, Talent Search and a Chief Manager Media and so on who would have their own teams working for the best results.
It's not necessary to have only past cricketers in key positions. Incidentally, the last cricketer to be the president of the BCCI was Raj Singh Dungarpur and he wasn't too good at what he did, was he? Similarly, people with objective thinking and a firm grip on reality need to hold key offices in the BCCI.

Q & A Segment

Favourite sportsperson:
Michael Jordan
Favourite writer: P G Wodehouse
Favourite sports writer: Ayaz Memon
The best time to take a photograph is: When there is film in the camera
The worst time to take a photograph is: When there is no film in the camera

On Desicritics:

Which is the best section?

Difficult to say, but my favourites are the BizTech and Sports ones.

What do you love about desicritics?

The openness and interactivity. I can say what I think. Without fear.

Aditya Kuber on Aditya Kuber

We asked Aditya to pick some of his favorites from among his writings, and if you've missed any of these, do take the time to enjoy them.


On the DNA ad campaign in Mumbai

On Ricky Ponting and why he is best

Reminiscing Pune

Why India does not win the Oscars

Pratyush Khaitan is a young entrepreneur. Off the clock, he is a movie buff and a sports writer. He analyses sports at Sportolysis.
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April 11, 2006
01:26 PM

congrats. but why so much talk on cricket. ganguly has been done to death. look to the future, guys.

Aditya Kuber
April 12, 2006
02:44 AM

Thanks Nandhu,
Sure he's been done to death, but he doesn't go away! And so long as there are chances of him coming back, he will remain in focus. Cheers!

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