Nov 29, 2013

A Confession

It’s been a long time since I wrote anything about my past days. I think you know how much eloquent is me when my topic of writing is about the early days those were at the brink of forgetfulness.  But, I think at least through this useless chronicling of my mesmerizing olden times, I can keep my fading memories alive.

This time the story is about a person whom I met when I was in Trivadrum during my initial days there. He was very funny, and dominating with some leadership qualities. I think I have told you about my admiration for taller persons, germinated during my growing ages when I was treated by others as a short guy. We both became befriended very easily and smoothly, and at the end of everyday, we used to have our evening jaunts together through the city in the process of acquainting with its many newly found curiosities.

Let me come back to the story. After our months long staying together, we both parted, but the contact was active. We used to meet each other, whenever he came to the city, and at one time, he had forcefully got me out for a ride during my office time, while he was on his occasional city visit. That time his purpose was to buy a cute little puppy from a pet shop located at some distance.

By that time he got married, and our attachment was getting faded. Our calls became very rare and less frequent. However we were connected through occasional mails, and seemingly meaningless activities through social networking sites.

On one night, when I was fast asleep, I was woken up by my cell phone ring. I had developed a habit of waking in the early morning, when my hostel mates were sleeping, in order to go on with my routine gymnasium visits. So, early to bed, and early to rise had somehow become my life policy, (though I rarely follow that policy nowadays).

I stretched my arms to get the cell phone in my half sleep state, might be the Non-REM state, I think I might have been sleeping without seeing any dream. Seeing my friend’s name on the cell phone, I attended the call, thinking what hell had made him dial my number at that unnatural hour. The time was between 1 and 2AM, so you can imagine what a sleep loving young man might be thinking at that time.

I could hear him breathing heavily, but I failed to identify whether it was because of tension or happiness.

Why brother? What happened at this hour? I asked without hiding my irritation.

Boy, I have become a father. My wife has just given birth to a baby girl. Oh she is so cute little one, he said while struggling to get breath.

So? So what? Is it the time to call me to tell such simple matters? You call me at this hour to say such silly things? My voice was very rude, though I didn’t realize it.

 Yeah man, you are the first one I call up to share my joy. Only your face came to my mind, he said apologetically. 

I doubt whether I had congratulated him. But that call didn’t last long. I cut the call, and returned to get back my lost sleep. Only the next morning I realized the serious mistake I made while treating my friend. It took a lot of time for me to realize how valuable my friendship was for him.

My friend, I don’t know whether you remember this. My deed was indeed beyond forgiveness. But, still I am wholeheartedly apologizing for the mistake that I committed. Please forgive me! Won’t you?

Nov 16, 2013

Adieu Sachin!

Today, the Indian sports icon Sachin Tendulkar retires from International cricket. It makes me sad, just like every Indian and many other cricket lovers around the world. Though his retirement was inevitable, I am sure everyone will be missing the cricket legend as we know that Sachin will not bat for India anymore as he has been doing till today.

I was a boy when I happened to notice the name Sachin frequently appearing in the sports columns of newspapers during the 90s. Being a person with no affinities towards sports, initially I failed to recognize the charm that every Indian perceives behind the name Sachin.  Cricket was just a meaningless act for me, but it was Sachin who diverted my attention towards the game, towards the excitement and unpredictability hid behind each ball that was thrown to the batsman at crease by a bowler at the other end.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar
Later, I too started to watch cricket, not for watching the game, but just to see Sachin playing it. When he was at the crease, it was a relief for us. All Indians put the burdens of high expectations on Sachin’s shoulders. And he many times, single-handedly carried those burdens and lead India to victory in a great chunk of first class cricket matches.

I had noticed my pulse was beating terrifically while watching a game. I counted and found it was nearing hundred. The occasion was when Sachin and Australian fast bowler Glen McGrath came face to face for the second time. When they encountered for the first time, it was McGrath who claimed the victory. He dismissed Sachin when he was yet to take his first run in the match. So, the second time, they met, expectations and curiosity were at high rise. But as a person, who disliked the dominance of any bowler on him, Sachin punished McGrath in the first ball itself for a gigantic sixer. Though he could take only 21 runs or something in that match, the vigor Sachin displayed was enough to overcome the dominance of McGrath.   

I know we might not be seeing him playing again in the international games. No chance to see the shots that dispelled to the boundaries through his marvelous ground shots. I loved the way he hit fours rather than his sixes. Those terrific shots were magical. I was lucky to see him getting the first ever double century in one day matches. Back then I was a journalist, was watching the game in TV live in order to update the live scores in the web news portal for which I was working. Don’t remember how many times I cursed MS Dhoni(a great player, of course) for not giving him the strike to complete the double century, when India was at the winning side. But, the caption I prepared was ready in the heading section, and I needed just a single click to publish it.

Now, I don’t watch cricket much. Being not an ardent admirer of cricket, watching the game on TV never had given me pleasure even in the winning matches. But I remember, whenever I enter a place where TV was switched on with live cricket streaming, be it a coffee shop, a bar, my home, or a friend’s home, I used to ask, Has Sachin bat, how much he scored? I know everyone would have asked the same question on many instances. After this, we will not be asking this question. But I doubt without remembering Sachin, or making a brief mention about him, whether I would be able to pass any game after this.

Attached below is a collage I made using my pictures and Sachin's. I know it is a stupid comparison, but still..

Sachin-Tomz Close Enough Collage

Thank You Sachin for enriching my boyhood days and youth with your mesmerizing shots, sportsmanship and personal charisma displayed when you were at the crease. Thank You for being the emotion of millions of Indians.
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