There is no joy in lawn tennis if we take Wimbledon out from the equation. Ever since my growing years, my dearness for ‘The All England Club’ has only intensified – even though am not the same avid youngster who used to wait for 3rd of June to come soon. Especially, after witnessing all the faltering in the land of clay. There is a sublime reason to it as well, since players and spectators have unanimously shown their fondness for the green.
I am more of a classic guy and love history, more significantly since the game, players and their aura keep changing. I developed a keen sense of interest in the adulation this venue garnered for the sport in itself. The open era remained, quite oblivious, to our generation but the achievements and the glory was read, grasped, admired. Rod Laver, for example. Players, great players, finesse players, star players. They will come and go but we will always remember the ones who were lucky enough to lift the gorgeous trophy in Centre Court, kiss them, kiss them again, keep kissing them, stand for the media and press, then take a lap of victory before the sun goes down.
A major throwback – Boris Becker’s first in 1985 as ‘Boom Boom’ Becker and his shock upset in 1987 by Peter Doohan. The cool, suave Stefan Edberg and the art of ‘Serve & Volley’, Agassi – the fighter and the best return of serves in the game. Sampras’s straight second title beating Goran Ivanisevic – scoreboard read 7-6,7-6,6-0. Ivanisevic’s first and only Grand Slam victory as a wild card entrant, the iconic rivalry between Sampras and Agassi. The charm of Gabriela Sabatini, class of Steffi Graf and resilience of Monica Seles.
This is the Wimbledon story I was possessed and grew up with. The game evolved since then, is less of grace and more of power. But with modern greats like Federer, Rafa and Djokovic, the art of tennis is always blooming with enormous talent and the promise of keeping the art alive.
Who will conquer 2016? Let’s wait, watch and enjoy the moments that encapsulate on the green grass.
The walk from Ballygunge Circular road to Park Street would be a shade under 20 minutes, 15 if you are in a breezy mood and walk like fire. LaMartiniere, The Kookie Jar, Hallmark, AGC were my witnesses while I gallantly strode towards my educative influences.
Well, that was around 18 years back. But, the charm is still imperious.
Christmas day this year was kind of a stunner, seriously. Since I grew up, Calcutta, 25 Dec and Park Street have always been mad for each other. New Market, yes, perhaps for Nimhans but Park Street was the gorgeous de noir for the elite and otherwise. Yes, even 18 years back, you could see those Santa bound lightings, the parks being decorated, schools and colleges having their alumni to welcome Jesus in to our lives, Mags and Mocambo making you wait with a lane long queue. All that hasn’t changed, but the noise and the glitter of people has been two fold, may be 5 fold. You must see the roar of people!
From Shakespeare Sarani to Rawdon Street, touching Freeschool Street through Park Street till Hot Kati Roll. A twist across Sudder Street and the swag in Little Russel Street – the walk was probably the longest in years, the lighting of Jesus’s arrival and media swooshing over our taste buds in the eternal Flury’s – unmatched, undisputed.
The moment you are in this vicinity of bliss and year end pleasantries, you tend to remain famished. We want to. None were spared, categorically. The ghugni in Rawdon, the rolls in Kusum, the pastries of Flury’s, the kachuris in Camac, the puchka in Freeschool. Not to mention, our travesties with the drop-down tea encounters in almost every corner was a taken.
We did return home, but hearts were left behind in the Park.
I have a self confessed fascination for legacy, and it certainly gives a road map to our roots. After all, today is risen from the past that paves the way for tomorrow. Seldom acknowledged, though.
You will see some shots which are by far, the most revered ones. Those were the times when my photographic bargaining took a delicious turn towards an indulgent passion. And remember, there was an era when having a camera in hand was unheard of and photography was an art that was consumed by the elite.
I am revisiting myself, come along.
Double Punch. No. It isn’t Niagra. One of the most divine and beautiful scenes I have ever captured. This place initially didn’t find a place amongst the agenda and today, it’s difficult to imagine how life would have moved ahead without my signature touch over these eloquent sights. My take – lets do it again.
I somehow found this shot extraordinary. Apparently, nothing extraordinary about it unless you see through my eyes. Sun feeling quite shy about my presence around, suddenly disposes itself in to oblivion. Doesn’t happen everyday, and a classic was born.
“life isn’t your bane, you are!”
This isn’t a typical comeback, but then with plausible child monotony, this could be a turnaround. Or, may be, it does act as a litmus test. Nevertheless, does with darned fortunes.
I am in joy with the city that possibly, and inevitably, made me. I am a believer in roots, and I have great inclination towards mighty legacies that have today’s larger blokes at bay. But I don’t think I care! Not for the old warhorses, but for the ones like me who live and eat passion.
10 years is a long time, almost! The core hasn’t changed, the people have probably become intrinsically lavish, the govenrments have rendered with ply-mouths and bandhs remain a cakewalk (tomorrow is one!!). But the charm is back, the vibes are alive and I come back to relive the days of evolution. Primitive but prerogative!
As I commute between 2 arms of Calcutta (‘Kolkata’ never really got in), I see altered landscapes with a flair of famished plunder. The ‘Calcutta’ I knew is still buzzing but what paves the way is the ‘Greater’ one. As a resident, I love to be admonished with a sense of newness. And with a wife, my days will be a feast. For her, and for my insanity towards this city of marque collage.
Welcome me 🙂