A tired evening. Lousy attitude. Relaxed and bent over for some real hot and good tea. Behind the nets, it was me at my terrible best.
Wait, I am coming.
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.
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!
I wasn’t very keen when Dad popped up with this idea to visit Mayapur. No, I ain’t an atheist but not the spiritual kind as well. Perhaps, I am the usually found under average human being immersed in success, money and big dreams. Nevertheless, I did make this weekend trip.
What it turned out to be remains unexplained beyond words. I came back mesmerized, and wiser – if it’s measured by tantamount feelings of realization and sanity.
A world of it’s own, with people swimming around outside civilization and with a touch of spiritual eagerness that at least shows up in the attire – not disputing their intentions in any way, that is. Just being there under couple of days gives you this feeling that there is indeed a world outside the juxtaposed self imposed amphitheater that we all live in. If that looks pretentious, ours is equally appalling. It’s just that we adorn ourselves inside the carpet of civilization that stems out of the roots of the supreme – as they say and as we cease to have faith in.
Interesting stories that kept me hooked up in a sting of conversation that seems to come from a different world, different thought process, different desires, different kind of people. Yes, they are different. Not the outside but the inside that matters. I am to believe that consistently faking yourself is a difficult task and hence my faith remains abducted to my principles that comes from a blessed value system. Long story cut short, I felt strong.
Piece of history was unleashed in front of my eyes and it was a curious visit, if I can say that way – with information about the legend. A weekend of heat and blessed aura that keeps me afloat in testing times.
Thanks to my parents who took my unworthy tantrums in their stride, I owe it to them for all the joy and bliss.
Truly, this is one of it’s kind.
Source of Idol Photos: Mayapur ISKCON Website