Some cities just don’t give you a living, they breathe and emote, just like you do. Some cities make you what we are today. Calcutta is my soul and it’s DNA is the foundation of my life.

What I possess in Calcutta is beyond words, sometimes beyond comprehension. Feelings juxtaposed, memories unlimited and segmented nostalgia. Very few will understand, many will not. I don’t expect them to. 

Calcutta, I live you everyday.

Not screen space but spending few minutes with some of the finest and magical personalities who have lived to accomplish the impossible in fields of various dimensions is an iconic feeling.

Doesn’t matter if they are made of wax, their exploits were real and kissing them on reel was a delightful tete-a-tete.

The name says it all.

I grew up epitomizing you, you were my Guru and inspiration outside family. You are not just a Cricket player, much more to the country as a sportsmen and so much more to millions like me as a Superstar, Master and God.

My childhood was a bouquet of your batting. Your fifties, hundreds and double hundreds used to be my bread and butter. As swashbuckling innings from you would keep the smile intact on my face for days to come and even your 20s and 30s would make me cheer like a kid with inexplicable toys in hand. My scrap books were all you, you were more important than my academics, you were my only reason to get up and watch a cricket match with Chicken pox. Eden, Lords or MCG – doesn’t matter, I will watch the game as long as I see you coming in to bat.

Your batting was my soul, you being in the 11 was good enough reason for me to watch the entire match including the commentary that talks about your replays. Your presence in the field meant adrenaline unlimited for me and the team. You are my ‘Bahubali’ plus ‘The Dark Knight’.
You were Sachin and for me, your name gave me goosebumps.

Your cover drives made me topple with joy, your flick was my life’s sweetest menace, your on drive was a delight to savor and your straight drive made me go crazy. It was not the strokes that made me fall in love with you, it was ‘You’ and the batting in ‘You’ that made all the difference in a world of meandering cricketers. ‘Sachin’ isn’t a name for me, you were my lifeline.

I remember most of your epics, your test centuries, your ODI gems, your World Cup exploits in 1996 and 2003. Your debut, your birthday, your first ODI century – some of the very few dates I remember in my life outside family. For me, they are not dates. They remind me of your legend, your batting, your iconic aura and the magic of God.
As Harsha aptly said – ‘Absolutely Divine’.

I yelled at my mother as I was extremely upset over your dismissal in the 2003 WC final and my mother has still not forgiven me for my innocent burst of anger. At that point, I and India were shut down. And that’s an usual behavior towards any of your dismissals because I never believed that you can fail. And, you taught me to succeed.

Your discipline is a subject of awe for me. Your humility stuns me, your simplicity is contagious and your aura inspires me.

Cricket is still being played, we still have superstars and the game is still very popular.

But, for me, there will never be another Sachin.
And, since, Cricket has never been the same for me.

As the planet says, Happy Birthday!

Pre iPhone era. When photos were shot with devices we don’t see around today. Yet, impressive images with limitations and strong hands to shoot them. Out from the archives but still looks gorgeous!

What’s your pick?

yes, waiting is an art. waiting in the wings, waiting for time to salute you. waiting for the tide to adopt a different gear. waiting means you are almost there, but yet not there. yes, waiting does matter. holding on and not let go when the last barricade gives you a tough time. yes, waiting is tough.

waiting is to play with time. time isn’t everyone’s toy. it’s a toy with its own game plan, without indicators and warning bells. it happens, it moves, it turns, it again happens.

wait is for the time to occur for you. for me, for us.