Saturday, October 18, 2008

Straight from the heart of a fan.....

Success is a process and you’ve to turn stones into milestones’, were Mr. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar’s words after he compiled another majestic innings yesterday, en route to it, crossed two more landmarks.

1. Overtook Brian Lara’s record of max test runs
2. First cricketer to notch up 12000 runs in Tests

Records have been part and parcel of Sachin’s career and these two added to the many in his kitty. It gives me great pleasure in penning down my admiration of the two Doyens of Indian Cricket, one achieved that landmark and the other applauded from the non-striker end. Yeah….they are the two men I respect the most in Indian Cricket and have inspired me quite a lot. Just scroll down and look right. I’ve always been a staunch admirer of Sachin’s Consistency and Dada’s Resilience. They’re two men whose contribution to Indian Cricket has been unmatched. Though they’re contrasting in character, it’s a treat to watch them bat together. They were once; rated as the best opening pair in ODI cricket and I opine, they still remain the best ODI opening pair World Cricket has ever witnessed. They have shared the maximum number of 100-run partnerships and piled up tons of runs much to the despair of the opponents. If it was Sachin’s elegant straight drives and wristy flicks off the legs which tormented bowlers from one end, it was Dada's graceful cover drives and flamboyant square cuts that destroyed bowlers' rythm from the other end, no matter what the number of fielders were, on the off-side. The analogy below, best describes their strengths.


Their talent apart, they’ve been wonderful entertainers of the game and provided cricket lovers with the best of batting performances. The Geniuses made full use of their technical brilliance and have endowed us with some wonderful stroke-play over the years. It’s hard to find players of such high caliber and it’s a gift to have these two cricketers belonging to the same generation. The year 1997 saw the coming together of these two stalwarts at the top of the batting order and this was also the time, when, as a 9 year old, I started watching the game with so much involvement that I wouldn’t miss a single ball bowled. Their batting made such a big impact on me that I used to cut pictures from newspapers and magazines. I’ve, in fact, made an album on Sachin Tendulkar and with a special feauture on the 2003 Cricket WC. When I reminisce of some of their best innings, memories of my notorieties peep into my mind as I'm reminded of days when I watched cricket during exams without my mom's knowledge. Though I've been caught by mom on many occasions, quite a few of them have gone my way..

The best is that impeccable innings in September 1998 when Sachin and Saurav were on a rampage, taming the Sri Lankan bowlers en-route to their World record 252 run opening-stand. They batted, batted and kept batting till Sachin became victim of an unfortunate LBW decision and replays clearly showed the ball getting deflected off the bat. This innings happened just a day before my Social studies quarterly exam. I was in class 6 then and not switching off the TV was inevitable and I just couldn’t take my eyes off the TV. With a Social text-book on hand, I sat in-front of the TV for the entire session and my mark in Social studies was just one-fourth of their partnership score….a mere 60+. Apart from the batting, it was fascinating to see the team vibe so well under Dada’s captaincy. He took over the reins when parents in India advised their children not to watch cricket because of the match-fixing scandal. Dada led from the front, exuded confidence, made his players believe in themselves. That period also saw the induction of youngsters like Yuvraj, Kaif, Zaheer Khan, Dhoni, Pathan and Bhajji in the team. All these players were groomed under Dada’s captaincy. A pro-active captain he was, on and off the field, backed his players whenever they needed his support, made the necessary bowling changes and brought the team closer with the GREAT INDIAN HUDDLE. This was one of the very reasons which made the team perform really well in the 2003 Cricket WC and in my opinion; it became the team’s lucky mascot. 

The series win in Pakistan and the test series level Down Under in 2004, was at a time when Indian Cricket was at its peak. Not many know that Dada was the first captain to call the entire 15-man squad to the dais for collecting the winner's trophy. That was at Canada when India won the Sahara Cup against Pakistan in 2000. These performances made Indians be more passionate about cricket and exemplified the need for team-work. As a fan, it was a treat for the eyes to watch the team celebrate the fall of an opponent wicket. To see 15 members uniting before taking the field with Dada doing the talking, cheering up his players made up for the perfect start to an innings almost matching the legendry Sachin-Saurav walk together to kick off the India batting. 

Sachin’s contribution was no behind. Despite being criticized by his detractors, he proved time and again that he was and will always remain THE BEST. Another sight that’ll stay in my heart forever was when Sachin scored his record-breaking 35th test century. As the ball was flicked off his pads to square-leg, he punched the air with his fists en-route to the non-striker end. He turned back only to see one of his closest pals waiting to congratulate and hug him. It was none other than the Dada of Indian Cricket and it was, indeed, a wonderful sight to see that repeat a few days back, as Sachin crossed Lara’s magical score of 11953 runs in Tests. They're 'Men for the biggest occasions'

It was an emotional moment for me when I watched news stories flashing the announcement of Saurav Ganguly's retirment from International Cricket. When I read that headline aloud, my voice choked for a moment because I just couldn’t think of Indian Cricket without Dada. Love him or Hate him, you just can’t ignore him. His comeback exemplifies his self-belief and the way he’s played cricket since September 2006 has been phenomenal. He’s worked hard on his game, concentrated and paced his game just brilliantly. His has been a journey worth reminiscing and is a book chaptered with cover drives, square-cuts, lofted sixes, verbal duels and of course, Inspiring Captaincy. In my opinion, he's been the BEST INDIAN CAPTAIN. Though fans will miss this fantastic cricketer, I feel he's made the right decision and I breathe a sigh of relief as he doesn’t have to face any more humiliation and as he rightly said this evening when asked if he would re-consider his decision to quit, I quote, ‘No….this is my last series and I don’t want to depend on anybody for selection’, he put it point-blank with that characteristic smile. 

I just can’t wait to watch the farewell at Nagpur and I won’t be surprised even if I end up with tears in my eyes as I see the man sporting National Whites for one last time. Age will definitely not act as a hindrance to his contribution to Indian cricket. I’m sure; he’ll contribute in one way or the other.

@ Dada
Even if you happen to bid aideu to International Cricket in a few days, you've entrenched a special place in my heart and remain A Hero who never dies. 

Goodbye Dada!!!!! Miss U!!!!! ***HUGGZZZZ***

Long Live Sachin and Dada!!!! Kudos!!!!

And Sachin....carry on the good work and continue to entertain us.

P.S: I take this opportunity to inform fellow bloggers that I plan to take an indefinite break from blogosphere. I promise to be back as soon as possible.

Till then, Happy Diwali, Merry X-Mas and New year Wishes. Hoping to catch up with you guys soon… Take Care…

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Yesterday, as I was browsing through one of my friends’ Orkut profiles, I came across something interesting. He had learned from his past relationships that All people are basically good. It just requires a little bit of effort to bring out the best from each one’. 

It caught my attention immediately and one look at it and I exclaimed to myself ' INTERESTING !!!' I pondered over it for a long time and I inferred quite a lot as I could relate to many past incidents and it was indeed, a learning experience.

As I finished reading that phrase of his, people who appeared cruel, arrogant and who deserved only a bad conduct certificate came to my mind. People who first deserved one but later bettered their impression on me came next. Just then, I started contemplating and felt what he had learned was 100% true. It first called for putting an end to the JUMPING-TO-CONCLUSIONS attitude of mine. Next, it called for patience, politeness and practicality. It spoke of the optimism embedded and the benevolence. As I went deeper, I felt the need to look at people with a broad mind forgetting any of the unfortunate incidents of the recent past and build an after-all-a-human-being perspective.

There’ve been days when I’ve pulled up a straight face at people who had failed to impress me on the first occasion. If not impress, they would have been those who had just not been my kinda people. And when I meet them for the second time, unpleasant memories of our previous meet flash across my mind and I get uneasy and don’t actually portray my own self. An indifferent attitude to a lively conversation might make the relationship bitterer and hence facilitate in creating a bad impression of me thereby leading to a breakaway of relationship before it could actually take off. Practical difficulties or situations may have made them behave in a way that annoyed me. A broad-minded perspective of things is very much needed in anything and I must understand the fact that everybody is good at one thing or the other.

So, all people are basically good. Now, what I inferred from ‘It just requires a little bit of effort to bring out the best from each one’ is this. I felt the need to be patient and wait for people to give their best. To make me understand this better, I brought to my mind some of Rahul Dravid’s finest innings which made him earn ‘The Wall’ tag. To many people, his batting looks boring at the beginning but as we wait, just like him, we start enjoying his style of play, those exquisite cover drives and the flamboyant flick off the legs. That bit of effort we put is, to wait for him give his best and the effort Dravid puts is, to understand the wicket better and that will make him give his best and we are provided with one of the best batting performances. To cite one example, I would like you to rewind to the 2003 Adelaide test where Dravid’s master-class 233 not out won the test for India and level the series 1-1. It was a proud feeling to beat the Kangaroos at their backyard and when it did happen, as a fan, I was happy like never before.

Now as I had said, practicality is another factor. People may have been forced to behave a little harsh on you but that doesn’t make them rude every time. Being rude is just one example but this is the one that annoys people many a times, or at least me to say the least. Other instances may have been on occasions when the second person may not have performed to the levels of your expectations. A hearty talk or exchange of polite words would have definitely helped but when we fail to do that, things never seem to get better. 

So let’s be patient, polite and above all, optimistic. We’re sure to get better and better and make people give their best. This will definitely make us live life at its best and it's indeed a FEEL-GOOD factor.

I truly agree with my friend’s view that ‘All people are basically good. It just requires a little bit of effort to bring out the best from each one’

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Words that kissed me


~You’re coming back home after a tiring journey on a sunny afternoon and your mom welcomes with a glass of chill fruit juice. How does it feel??

~ How did it feel while you first watched the climax of Dil Chahta Hai when Aakash surprises Sid with ‘Aaj Abi Isi Waqt…just turn around’? Was it not a scene epitomizing friendship? Was it not a realistic portrayal of what true affection is?

~ Not knowing what to do, you sit by the window to watch tiny water droplets kissing the ground on a rainy day and just then, your lover calls to say ‘I Love You darling’. How does it feel? Does it not flutter your hormones nay electrify your nerves?

The above situations could be experienced by anybody and something everybody could relate to. Above all, the second person in the above situations is people who mean a lot and with whom, you share a close bond….be it your mom, friend or lover. They, on most occasions, mean the world to you. Could one experience happiness any better? How does one measure joy? Is it, in any way, related to its staying power?  Is there a superlative degree to ‘Happiest’? I don’t have answers to these questions. But I did experience a joy which I never have, in the past and that made me ponder over the questions. Those few moments when I experienced that joy will forever, be part of the air I breathe.

I’ve described my blog 

‘Life is not about the breath we take, It’s about the moments that take our breath away…I enjoy every moment of my life’. 

But what, when moments are always part of the breath you take in? Don’t you enjoy every breath you inhale and find life happy like never before? Does it not culminate to a feel ‘Happier than Happiest’? When that happens, in my opinion, you feel like running to the terrace of the world’s tallest building, look at the sky, wink at the stars, rocket a flying kiss to the moon and tell God ‘ Thanks for incarnating me in this world….I owe you lots’. I felt like doing that on Oct 1st at 1845 hrs and here I am, posting this article exactly 24 hours after I first breathed that joy.

What’s special about the day nay that moment? Here I go…….

It was around 6.30 in the evening; I was watching TV for a while and after some time, started experiencing boredom. Hence, I switched to the best alternative - surfing the net. My pc was turned on, followed by the windows media player. I played ‘Munbe Vaa’, one of my most favorite songs. Next, I turned on the modem, waited for a while and then logged in to 

I entered:

Username: coolrajesh88
Password: ************

To my left, it read 675 unread messages in my inbox. The comments people post in my blog get forwarded to my inbox and I just leave them unread. I moved my cursor to the inbox, clicked on it and left my room for a glass of water. The song ‘Munbe Vaa’ was being played, and thinking of Shreya Ghoshal, I sipped water and strolled my way back to the room, and as I sat on the chair, I was shocked on seeing a name in my inbox. A comment had been posted by 

S-H-R-E-Y-A G-H-O-S-H-A-L.

I was dumbstruck, completely bowled over. To be honest, I pinched my arms to confirm if it was reality because I have dreamed of meeting and exchanging pleasantries with her. I wondered if it was my heartthrob Shreya Ghoshal and hence, rubbed my eyes to verify if it was actually that name appearing on screen or was it just an illusion. I clicked on the subject of that message and moved to the next window. She had read my article ‘Fallen in Love with someone I’ve never met’ and left a comment at 1820 hrs and I happened to read at 1845 hrs. As I was reading her comment, the song ‘Munbe Vaa’ was still in progress and if you didn’t know, it was this song which made me fall for her. It was indeed, ‘LOVE AT FIRST HEAR’. What a co-incidence!!!!!

The playing of this song then, added to the emotions I was going through. I was on cloud 9999999999999……….….tends to infinity. I read her comment very fast that I just couldn’t wait for the next word she had typed. As I was reading, I seemed totally blind, deaf and dumb to everything around me and even had a bomb exploded in my locality, I would've failed to come to terms with it. I read her comment at least 5 times on and on as I just couldn’t believe my eyes and at the end of it, I found my cheeks moist. Yeah!!!! Tears had indeed, rolled out of my eyes which I actually have failed to realize having got lost in her words. Her words had kissed my cheeks and I believe, tears had rolled down just to emote that feeling. Is it not an indication of true love? Doesn’t this validate the purity of love? It is love sans infatuation or lust. I never have experienced so much joy and it will remain indomitable. It could only be bettered by a feeling which I, for sure, will experience while I meet her someday. I wish for that to happen soon. I just can’t wait for that to happen. Nevertheless, I’m happy for the fact that she’s aware of one Rajesh living in Chennai and that he’s waiting to meet her. Also she’s read every word I had written and that by itself is an achievement. It feels great!!

A food for thought…they say ‘Nothing is impossible in life’. This experience of mine clearly substantiates. Even in the wildest of my dreams, I never expected her to take notice of my write-up and read. She’s read and even posted a comment which was something totally unexpected, to be honest.

So friends!!! Let’s work whole-heartedly with full dedication, and we’re sure to make even the negative positive. Sounds an oxymoron? Well, just think about it. It’s something for all of us to realize if we haven’t, in the past.

Here is her comment on ‘Fallen in Love with someone I’ve never met’. Hers is the 43rd -THE MOTHER OF ALL COMMENTS. Do read it. Also read my heart-felt reply.

Shreya’s was a comment which, in my opinion, was bigger than that write-up of mine. The purpose of the article was served and the script couldn’t have been written any better. No reader’s visit, other than the Melody Queen Shreya Ghoshal herself could have made me happier. 

We bloggers, post comments for articles written, but here I am, writing this article for a comment posted. Is it not ironical? Does it not indicate the height of my craze for her? 

Ms. Shreya Ghoshal, are you listening to my craze??????