Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An Inspiring Show

The clock in my mobile showed 2320 hrs and as I decided to close my books and hit the bed, the IPL fever pushed me back from the bedroom to the hall to check out what was happening. The Knight Riders were still in the hunt and seemed very determined to salvage their pride and who better than the son of Bengal, could have made the show better.? Dada was batting on 34 and Saha was giving him company. ( I prefer to use Dada in place of Sourav just as a mark of respect to the man who fought till the very end and proved why he still has the fire in his belly and hunger for more runs in spite of all the controversies surrounding him). Though wickets kept tumbling at the other end, Dada was there to keep the crowd alive and seeing the six he hit off Piyush Chawla, I really missed Tony Creig here, who, you know, would have got all excited and his reaction would have been “DOWN THE WICKET HE GOES……AND WAY SHE GOES…OOOOOHHH…WHAT A SHOT!!!! WHAT A SHOT!!!...SORAV GANGOOLY IS TURNING IT ON HERE FOR THE KNIGHT RIDERS…..WHAT A PLAYER!!!! WHAT A PLAYER!!!! ..’’. It was, in my opinion, a trademark Dada shot. Had Muttiah Murali watched it from the Chennai camp, he would have had nightmares of Dada’s massacre at the 1999 WC match where he smashed an unbeaten 183 and yesterday’s innings was no different. Rahul Dravid once said “ After God, it’s Sourav on the off side”. Dada did justify his good friend’s cliché with some fantastic cover drives and square cuts where all the five fielders on the off side were made spectators as the ball blazed away to the boundary ropes. Umar Gul’s short stay at the crease was a shot in the arm and eased the pressure off the champion batsman. Even after Gul’s exit, Dada continued the onslaught. With 15 runs needed off the last six balls, he smashed Pathan for a towering six over square leg off the very first ball and the latter could only applaud the genius who groomed him in the early days of his cricketing career. The six that followed, straight over long off, majestically executed, just a shuffle across the stumps made it a fantastic sight and I wondered if it was the same Dada of the late 90’s.

What really surprised me was his reaction after s
coring the winning runs, I expected him to jump and punch the air with his fists but he preferred to stay calm and shook hands with his opponent players. This unusual reaction of him was an indication of the disappointment at not being able to qualify for the semi-finals. I got so much involved that I actually stood up from the chair and lauded the Bengali for showing very good temperament. This knock exemplified what self-belief can do even if you're in dire straits. He played for his hometown and provided just what the crowd had expected that day - an entertaining knock from their son. This is definitely one among the best innings ever played in T20 cricket and more than that, it was truly an inspiring innings for all budding cricketers from one of the Greats of Indian Cricket.

Had Mr.Dilip Vengsarkar watched, he should surely justify his earlier comment on selection by bringing back Dada into the ODI squad. Who better than Dada could give Sachin the much needed company at the top of the order??

Thursday, May 08, 2008

7.05-8.05 AM

“Bye pa”, I say and get down from my dad’s bike and stroll towards the staircase at the Mambalam railway station to board the electric train en route to my college. The aroma of coffee at the stall refreshes me. Though the companionship with my mp3 player is second to none, on many days, a newspaper, I feel is much better just because of my curiosity to get to know what atrocities are happening in an otherwise heaven- India, read interesting articles relating to health and fitness, the IPL obsession and above all, fulfill my everlasting desire to improvise on my English vocabulary. It’s already 7.05 in the morning and as I was bustling towards the stall and deciding which newspaper to buy, the train had already entered the platform and I finally settled for the new colored version of The Indian Express and pushed myself into the compartment against the throng of commuters who were waiting to get down before I could get in.

A train journey especially in the mornings is something I’ve always loved where the scenic beauty could be enjoyed to the fullest. When I see the rising sun, the flowers raise their buds towards the sun whose warmth really injects freshness into me and as I pen down now, I can reminisce those wonderful journeys I had made traveling in the Brindavan express to Bangalore as a kid. Coming back, what a train journey can do to one especially when you’re seated next to the window, or if I confine to myself is, I can really rewind myself to my past life incidents looking at the meadows, the vehicles on GST road and of course the landing and take off of flights as I pass through the Guindy- Pallavaram stretch. It's just a perfect time for introspection which I truly love when left in solitude, and it is always joie de vivre and sometimes I only feel like laughing at things I had done a few years back with so much enthusiasm, some included notoriety as well. Occasionally, when the thoughts get so funny I would become too expressisve and I manage to control myself sensing what impression a person opposite me might get when I giggle to myself. The gamut of my thoughts is very interesting, it varies from my childhood ambitions of playing cricket for my country, the flair for the language of French (thanks to my French teacher Ms. Divya) and the interest I had developed in solving math problems (and I’m interested even today) while in middle school, the enthusiasm with which I used to admire and imitate my physics teacher Mr. Sundaresan in high school, my funny ideology of somehow managing to impress a girl soon as I enter college (this of course is something I can only laugh at if I think of it now and thank god I never put myself in embarrassing situations like proposing etc..) and I can visualize what lies for me in the future, a perfect SWOT analysis flashes across my mind. If one of my friends seated next to me starts a conversation, I would still be in my own world and when I try to reply, I’m left in a state of delirium. Just as the one hour journey is about to come to a halt at Potheri, another episode of my flashback had come to an end with an imaginary phrase at the left bottom of my mind

“To Be Continued….”