Tag Archives: Sachin Tendulkar

Yes We Know Its Time For #Sachin, Yet We Want Some More

Sachin Tendulkar

By Ankush Kumar

A spider and its climb tirelessly inspired a king to fight again. Victory was still not guaranteed but the fear of failure did not act as a deterrent to the man’s attempts. Great warriors have died in the lamest fashion, but none are remembered for their end, history still talks about their life and their efforts to conquer the world.

Tomorrow modern age heroes will adorn pages in different textbooks, they will inspire generations, but for many they will just remain a reference point. Nothing more and nothing less.

Yet for some bizarre reason we still want to cling on to a few of them forever. Why are we not ready to come to terms with the fact that ‘All good things come to an end”. Is it our insecurities or is it the fear that we do not have too many people who will inspire us again?

I guess its a bit of both worlds. The few good men, who have entertained us, given us a ray of hope, have made us believe in ourselves, in the process have learnt nothing but that. Shahrukh Khan has said it umpteen numbers of times that his biggest fear is that ‘one day he will get up and the arc lights wont be around’. He still is in a profession where his fans can get entertained at 70. But what about heroes who play on the field? How can they entertain us till death separates the genius and its soul?

The bitter reality is that they cant. Beyond a point defying age is stupid. Yet the fans that want to see Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar bat again outnumbers the critics who don’t. So what does he do now?

Imagine how tough it must be for the man itself to think of hanging the boots if its so tough for the fans. There is a entire generation for whom cricket has started and ends with Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

Few good men like him can adorn roles of mentors or coaches or teachers, but the reality is great sport stars make very average coaches. So how will the man entertain us? The answer is he wont. Once he walks back to that dressing room one final time, an era will be over.
Maybe the time has come, yes the BCCI has possibly squeezed in one tour before the SA series, maybe money was their priority, but then for once fans like me are not complaining. Maybe it will be his last test, maybe in bradmanesque fashion he will end his career, but that one chant ‘Sachiiiiin Sachiiiiin’ will reverberate through the roof of Wankhede this November.

Bruce triumphed, his failures are stories of folklore, warriors won, their battles are part of history, sport stars have fallen, lost, yet the only stories that are remembered is the number of hearts they have won.

His recent failures, have given a chance to his cynics to prove that he is Human not God, his fans knew that long back, its just that GODS were made by action and deeds and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar falls in the same category. One part in me and possibly many others will go numb when he will be gone. But till then let’s savor each run the legend scores as possibly even we know that the time is up.

Romi and Gang: Book Review

romi and gang

By Kartik Kannan

To paint an image, this is basically a ‘Swami and Friends’, for the kids who grew up playing Gully cricket in the 90’s. While ‘Swami and Friends’ and ‘Romi and Gang’ are different from the generations that they picturise, the quality and simplicity in writing is similar. The book is a refreshing read into the daily lives of Romi, Sulkhi, Golu and Sunny, whose lives are based around the 3 pillars of cricket, school and their tryst with the maidan. The story re-connected me with my childhood, and brought back memories of gully cricket. As an Indian, most of make that transition from child hood to Adult hood, by spending more time with our studies, gradually leaving the memories of gully cricket a distant and fading dream. This book has taken me back in time to re-affirm the importance gully cricket once had in the list of ‘priorities’

The first chapter draws the connect to its audience, like Tendulkar took to opening the batting in his first game. The image of a helmet(albeit a scooter helmet), 4 stumps, bat and gloves lying unused, as the 4 of them were busy searching for the lost ball in the bushes, replaying the trajectory of the shot to locate the ball. During my growing up years, I remember searching for a lost ball in the bushes , usually with a lot more gusto, so as to make hay (read as getting a few overs to bat), while the sun shone( make use of whatever little light was there).

Adding flavor to the description are the real world connects to ODI cricket played in the 90s’. Whether its the 1992 World Cup labels, the Bumper Sportstar issues, the posters adorning the walls or the parallels drawn between Romi’s innings of 47 and Sachin’s 47 ( In the 1995 New Zealand Cricket Centenary tournament). The innocence of the conversations makes you nostalgic of the simple 90’s, when ‘priorities’ had still not swamped you. I basically rediscovered that lump-in-the-throat feeling, that was last felt when India chose to turn up on Friday’s at Sharjah to lose to Pakistan in the 90’s.

The backdrop of the school, adds more memories, whether its the PT room’s active inventory, or a scooter (I imagined a Bajaj) within the school premises of a teacher which we eyed with mischief, or conversations with a topper girl, whose parent taught at the school.

I am not going to talk more about the suspense or the climax, but I’d recommend this for a beautiful Saturday read, so that by Saturday night you are hunting all your childhood friends on Facebook to re kindle the emotions of childhood so beautifully captured by Tushar in ‘Romi and Gang’.

PS: While we don’t require to any more handle clumsy antenna’s on the terrace to get any free feed/signal from Prime Sports any more, I’d give anything for the sheer fun of what we did growing up in the 90’s, to be associated with cricket(even if it means looking like Sachin in Ambrose’s pads) I am going next month to my native city, to catch a glimpse of whatever’s left of the little maidan that we once used to play cricket in. Thanks Tushar for rekindling the memories.

Some More PS: You can purchase the book here in its print avatar, or buy the kindle version here

Rise Above Criticism, Stereotyping and Judging People

By Anuj R

Tibetan spiritual leader in-exile His Ho

The first line that strikes my mind is, Can only holy people like Dalai Lama rise above criticism, stereotyping and judgement? I just give it 30 seconds gap and realize that it’s possible for every human to do so. I have seen those rare people who initially shun away from these three actions or habits and finally develop an ability to be silent. Yes, these are just 1 in 100 persons and this quality is definitely worth the admiration.

“(Stereotyping) is only for those without the imagination to see people as they are instead of being like someone else they understand.” ― Tom Clancy

Stereotyping is taking a shortcut. People like to classify based on appearance, skin, colour, age, caste, religion etc. It ranges from most silly thoughts to some serious ones. If we think that stereotyping is a small thing, let us go one step backwards to realise that it has caused the greatest atrocities (Believing all Muslims are extremists which is one of the most ridiculous thought process).

It’s good to be mindful of the fact that each person is unique and generalisation creates barriers. If an effort can be made to know people as individuals and rejoice in the differences that make us individuals, it will slowly remove stereotyping.

1392027-f520-jpg

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” ― Aristotle

The ability to criticize is indeed a positive quality when used in right context at the right time and place. Criticism needs a review considering the frequency at which people have been criticising everything over the years. Millions of people criticise Sports, Government, Law, Movies, la vie quotidienne (Daily Life) and there is a never ending list. Considering the lack of action by our own people, it’s better to empathise rather than criticise. And again there is this rare category of people who simply don’t reprimand whatever happens. Such people really deserve appreciation only if they have altruistic personality traits. It’s quite easy to be selfish and avoid censure.

“If you judge people, you have not time to love them” – Mother Teresa.

What a quote! I just can’t stop wondering at the brilliance and depth of this quote. Judgment creates discrimination, predetermined mindset, leads to stereotyping, increases conflict and breaks the harmony. To be in the realm of peace, we need to rise above judgment.

To name a few, I feel Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Shahrukh Khan have been criticised a lot. To be at the receiving end of non-constructive criticism and maintain a calm demeanour is truly extraordinary. So I felt, it’s good to sign off by remembering these wonderful people.

mt_embarrass

10 Myths Women Have About Men

myths

Robin Choudhary deciphers the myths women have about men and how they are wrong in their assumptions.  

1 We are insensitive

Not at all. Most men feel deeply and strongly about things they care about. Just try walking in front of the television as Sachin Tendulkar winds up for a cover drive.

2 We are obsessed with our gym-built bodies

Partly true. Lying in a gym with large plates on a rod is meant to impress the ladies. Unfortunately, they don’t do the same for the lower part of the body. Resulting in a generation of broad-chested men with broiler chicken legs.

3 We have a sense of fashion

Except that it needs to be handed down to us, which can be dangerous. Remember walking into office after Allen Solly’s Friday Dressing campaign had broken and being visually mauled by the hordes in solid blue shirts and khaki trousers?

4 We are obsessed with all things techno

A small percentage are. The rest carry them around as the male equivalent of the designer clutch bag.

5 We only love women with great bodies

No way. What really turns a man on about a woman is how she carries herself, how she holds her own and how individual she is. Top it with a dash of humour.

mens-grooming-myths-large-540p-video-sharing_scruberthumbnail_0

6 We are bad shopping companions

It’s just that the process is something we don’t understand. Try marrying an opening batsman and then watch him pick one solitary piece of English willow in a bat shop, after half an hour of shadow driving, cutting and pulling.

7 Metrosexual men are so nice

Yes, and it stops at that. Sensitivity is all about being there in your own way when she needs you, and letting her fly when she wants to.

8 We are untidy

Most men, apart from a few who have a fetish for body odour and unwashed socks, are quite neat. It’s just that their idea of neatness does not conform to a woman’s.

9 We are more transparent than the men of ’70s and ’80s

That’s a wide down the leg-side. Boys will be boys. And if that means lying through your teeth that you are in a brainstorm and watching a Formula One race, so be it.

10 We are notoriously bad movie-goers

I see many couples, who hold hands going into the theatre, and come out blinking, still holding hands.

men-are-Pigs

‘Batku’ For Sachin, ‘Rotadu’ For Sreesanth: Spot Fixing Code Names

So if you thought only you have nicknamed your favourite players and love calling Yuvraj as Yuvi and Sachin Tendulkar as Tendlya, think again, another band and this one for commercial reasons also use nicknames for them. Check out the list below as aggragated from media sources. 

scale 

– A Rs 1 crore bet : Mirchi

– Chris Gayle : Raavan

– Lasith Malinga : Makki

– Yuvraj Singh : Model

– Virender Sehwag : Chasma (glasses)

– Harbhajan Singh : Pagadi (turban)

– Suresh Raina – SherS

Sreesanth_crying2_20080425

– S sreesanth – Rotadu (cry baby)

– Ajit Chandila : Mowgli

– Ankeet Chavan : Kavala (crow)

– Virat Kohli : Shining

– R. Ashwin : Phiraki

dara singh

– Vindoo Dara Singh : Jack

– Gurunath Meiyappan : Guruji

– Asad Rauf : Dada

Hoping you enjoyed the list. More might come in soon. 

Twitterati On Dhoni Playing ‘The Silencer’

dhoni

These are 10 great tweets about Dhoni’s Silence act at the Press Conference today. Must read. 

Kunal Pradhan (@_kunal_pradhan): Another demonstration of how nothing will ever change in the Indian cricket. #ipl #Dhoni #Srinivasan #bccirot

Eagle Eye (@Eagleeye47): #Dhoni #Tendulkar & the greats of the cricketing fraternity all surprisingly silent, on Spot Fixing & the BCCI ; Strange & Pathetic !

Shashank Sourabh (@shankyn): @bhogleharsha so do u jst write moral stories in ur books or do u hav an opinion abt d farce indian cricket hs become. #dhoni #disappointed

Piyush Kaul (@piyushkaul): Country is headed by MUM Mohan Singh & India Cricket team by MUM Singh #Dhoni 😉

And media was also not let go

Rohit (@rohitsakunia): If the press was so angry on #Dhoni not responding on #spotfixing why didn’t they walk out. They should have na

Back to MS though and there were some who also dragged BJP and Mrs. MS Dhoni

gurujoth_kohli (@gurujoth_kohli): #Dhoni MUM on Questions posed by the Media abt IPL.Will the #BJP ask for his resignation?Or stall the Parliament for this #JustAsking??

Gaurav (gauravarora_123): #Dhoni is silent because Sakshi Bhabhi wont allow him to speak #GharGharKiKahaani

Saurabh Gandhi (@gaggycool): When Sakshi said ” Kuch toh log kahengay” , it was probably a cue for Dhoni to shut up. #dhoni

And then came some real bad allegations (unwanted considering nothing was proved)

Vikram Sharma (@vikram_sharma09): apart from Azhar, only other Indian cricket captain who has been so hand in glove with establishment & under an ethical cloud is #Dhoni

And lastly came the fans. Oh how poor Indian cricket would be without us and them. 

Pranay Mehta (@PranayMehta_PM): People who are criticising MS Dhoni are the same people who know zilch about how he led India to WCs & No. 1 in all formats! Respect #Dhoni

DHONI-WITH-FANS2

Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings: The Grand Finale

DLF_IPL_Mumbai_Indians_Chennai_Super_Kings

As the cricketing fraternity all over  is shockingly disturbed over the fixing theories going around the IPL, the 76th game and the most important is about to commence in the next few hours.

Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super King are undoubtedly the two strongest teams of the tournament and it makes tremendous sense for the two to make to the finals. At least this could have been natural and without much external influence, you know what I am talking about.

mumbai chennai

Not only did Chennai win most number of games and qualify on the basis of winning the first qualifier, they are also the only team which has won more games outside their home strip than any other. With both the highest run-getter (orange cap – Mike Hussey) and hight wicket-taker (joint Purple Cap – Drawne Bravo) in this unit, they don’t lack a punch for sure. Their fielding is what sets standards for other teams and their batting order can send any bowling attack a shiver down their spine. Mumbai is no less though in fielding and the fact that three out of top 5 catches this season has been held by the jumping Pollard speaks volumes of Jonty Rhodes’ efforts as a fielding coach.

B_Id_372939_Mumbai_Indians

Mumbai on the other hand are a team built with strong people as well. The way they actually dropped an out of form Ricky Ponting (yeah really) and made Rohit Sharma the captain made one clear sound, and that was that they are here to win the tournament. The chopping and changing has worked for them this time and they have been another franchise, alongside Rajasthan, to win all games at their home venue. Unfortunately, the final is at a neutral venue and Mumbai’s record abroad is not as great as Chennai.

Comparative Analysis: 

chennai

While Chennai Super Kings bat deep, Mumbai Indians batting has never let them down this season. With Ambati Rayudu coming into form in the last game, their batting looks an in-form line-up with Dwayne Smith, Rohit Sharma, Keiron Pollard and Dinesh Karthik making a star-studded line-up. If Sachin Tendulkar is fit, this will probably be a test for the Chennai bowlers who have leaked runs in some important games. Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh and Mitchell Johnson have led the Mumbai bowling well and if they have a good day together even CSK batting will look a little less strong.

Chennai batting is no less. Murali Vijay is is top form, Raina is probably batting as best as he always does in the IPL, Hussey is orange-cap holder and we all know what MS Dhoni can do in crunch games. With Badrinath adding the much needed stability to the side, this team does not look any less than the opposition. The bowling though is of concern to Chennai. They do not have match winners in their like a Malinga as the Mumbai team does. There might not be a weak link but at the same time all of them, the Bravos and the Sharma’s we know could leak runs in dozens.

Players To Look For: 

Chennai: Hussey, Dhoni, Bravo, Raina

Mumbai: Smith, Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Malinga and Johnson

Pitch and Ground conditions: Except for the rain impacted last match, the pitch at Kolkata is notoriously famous for being slow and spin friendly. This would assist both sides as they are packed with good spinners. Unfortunately unless it rains again, the team winning the toss might hold a massive advantage batting first.

Mumbai might be a tad more confident winning 2 out of the 3 games played this season between the two sides. The way though they lost the first qualifier would be a cause for concern. Both the teams have a super record at Eden and overall this should be a grand finale for an otherwise controversy prone tournament. Hoping the best team on the day wins, other than the bookies.

CSK-Vs-MI-2

The 4:00am Dream – Part II

Ankush Kumar in the second part of his article on Sachin Tendulkar talks how hollow Indian cricket fans become when they criticise the only man who continues to be in the side even when the other 14 have changed on multiple occasions in the last two decades. 

Top Image

Sachin Tendulkar is on fire’! He has stroked a master class century. Oh! Now surely India will lose the match. Tendulkar and centuries is jinxed. Knock! Knock! (Critics) have you ever held a bat in your hand, and more than 40 million fans hooting for you in the ground? Have you ever imagined that red/white leather ball hurling towards you at a speed on knots? I am sure the answer is a BIG NO!

You actually haven’t managed to even become the ‘TENDULKAR’ (how ironical Na) in your gully cricket team. Before you jump to illogical analysis, please verify facts, and in your defence stop comparing him to other match winners. Because (critics) there was a time for a good period of eleven years, where the ‘MASTER’ was a one man army.

The other day I met a journalist. He had a very profound (according to him) theory on the ‘master’. He said ‘someone who does just one thing for twenty two years’ is supposed to perfect the art. Sachin Tendulkar is just an average cricketer’. I checked the background of the journalist, he came from a defence background, and it established the theory ‘that these people have their brains in their knees’.

This post is being written at a time when ‘Indian cricket yet again is going through a crisis’. The critics have also raised eyebrows on the man saying ‘he is prolonging his retirement because of his endorsement contracts’. Really! Do you people have absolutely no work?

When our generation started watching cricket, one advertisement was very popular, that of Sunil Gavaskar donning suits for a brand called DINESH. The cricketer was well past his playing days, endorsements were not as big as it is today; still the man was a face on national television. You really think that the ‘master’ will not be a face to reckon with post his playing days?

Critics have argued, the man plays only for records. OH GOD! I feel like taking a chopper and you know what follows! (Hope you do). In a country where the population exceeds a billion, only fifteen chosen ones play for the ‘INDIAN CRICKET TEAM’. Out of that, fourteen faces have changed in the last two decades, but one face remains constant and that is of the ‘Master Blaster’. Someone who has stayed in the game for so long and played with the highest pedigree all records are meant to be his. Isn’t it?

Critics, when was the last time you were the cynosure of all eyes? Perhaps on your birthday but even that lasts only for twenty four hours. Or maybe your marriage, but even that lasts till your better half arrives on the scene. But this man has been India’s favourite ‘Son’ for twenty two years. Even today as the man nears his end, he boasts of a fan following cut across all generations.

Hence next time you raise your stupid arguments on the man remember your work is to ‘throw stones on the man, and his duty is to convert them into milestones’.

At The Bottom

 

 

 

The 4:00am Dream!

awesome_innings_-_sachin_tendulkar

Ankush Kumar delves into a very important point. Why we criticise someone like Sachin Tendulkar who has done so much for the game and still cry over Ferfuson’s retirement from the League. Hypocritical isn’t it, our fans behaviour. 

The ‘De Ghuma ke’ song was possibly the worst world cup anthem to be made. However, all Indians had a smile on their faces, when that song was played in the background. We watched Dhoni hit that ball for a six. The euphoria made that song sound incredible all of a sudden.

Today as we look back, Indians have very few sporting memories which bring a smile on our face and induce the feeling of pride within us. I am reminded of another instance – the National Anthem being played when ‘Abhinav Bindra’ won us the first individual gold medal at the Olympics.

307343-sir-alex-ferguson

Some moments are universal, some ‘nations, teams, individual heroes’ speak a unanimous language of hope, happiness and dreams. One such moment was the final game for Sir Alex Fergusson, the legendary Scot who waved goodbye to ‘The Theatre of Dreams’. The song that played on loop on my laptop when Manchester United beat Everton to give a fitting to farewell to the ‘best manager’ in the world was ‘Ya Ya Maya Ya’ a Goan number. While it brought a smile on my face, a tinge of sadness crept in since the next season onwards we will miss the man.

I was not born in Manchester. The closest I have come to becoming a British is through my education in an English medium school and also through the numerous cuisines and my dressing sense. Despite this, we have various clubs as our favourites, we continue to feel sorry when our team loses and celebrate when our teams win; we go through different emotions every year, every season.

sachin-tendulkarWe are a nation that languishes at the bottom of the pile in world soccer, yet we do feel pained when a legend walks away from the game. Then why are we being so harsh on a legend from our own country? Why are we questioning him today? Why have we become so critical of him? Have we forgotten that ‘he is the same man that has brought us the maximum amount of joys in a sporting arena’?

The ones, who have been so harsh on ‘Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar’, have you ever chased just one dream in your life? Have you relentlessly pursued just one passion? Have you ever faced the burden of a billion hearts? I am sure the answer is in the negative. Amidst, all the updates against the man on different forums, the truth is, that when the legend walks away from the game ‘some or the other song’ will be played out and all that will remain is some sweet memories.

My First Press-Box Experience: Blissful

press box india

Shashank Kishore recounts his emotional and overjoyed experience as he entered the press-box for the first time.  

Covering cricket for a living is a privilege very few of us get to enjoy, the first press box experience being the most memorable. Fortunately, I’ve have had the opportunity to report on two World Cups, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. But the feeling I had when I entered the press box for the first time is something I find very tough to describe and I’ll try my best!

Having grown up watching cricket on television and in the stadium, my eyes were always on the pavilion and above, where the journalists were seated. I often imagined how it would feel like to sit there and work. When I finally had my opportunity on March 6, 2011, a sea of emotions engulfed me. Firstly, being in the presence of some of the veterans in the sports journalism world and of course getting an opportunity to interact with a few former players turned commentators. I was star-struck.

But what I also realised was, it was here that you had the liberty to share your views with your compatriots, unlike a normal cricket discussion with friends or family which bordered on which team you were supporting or who your favourite player was. And of course the networking with journalists across different organisations, their experiences and of course a few anecdotes thrown in, makes the press box a place of envy.

I remember reaching the press-box as early as 12pm for a 2:30pm start on my first day, definitely the excitement of being there got me going from very early in the morning. I also remember dressing formally for the occasion, almost as if I was inaugurating the arena, so as to create a good impression. The joy of swiping my pass and reaching the elevator hadn’t struck me yet when Sunil Gavaskar entered the elevator. To his left was another gentleman, who has played a bit of cricket. His posters adorned by wall. Something I used to wait for week after week.

Sourav Ganguly! Two legends on either side, my mind kept saying if I could ever speak to them, I could die a happy man. But I was trembling with joy and excitement, a little odd too, and that lasted all of 20 seconds as we reached the top floor from where the journalists and commentators enter their respective zones. I really needed to talk to Sourav and tell him how big a fan of him I was.

Could I do that? Remember I was a journalist representing the host broadcasters. Would it be right for me to approach him and ask for an autograph or a photograph? What would other fellow journalists think? So many thoughts crossed my mind and finally that desire evaporated. But that urge returned at the most unlikeliest of places. The loo, where I bumped into Sourav again. The most unlikely of places to shake hands, you’d think?

Soon after that, was the dinner break and obviously I felt it was rude to interrupt anyone while having dinner. And hence my dream of meeting and talking to my hero was fast evaporating. I didn’t have the pressure to do a traditional match report and send it across soon after the match and that somewhat helped me enjoy the sights and sounds of the intensity that comes along with working on a cricket match.

And as I was leaving the press box, a hand tapped me on the shoulder. It was Sourav. I didn’t know why, how. I was blank, but it was a colleague, who works closely with Sourav for a few television bytes, who went up to him and requested him if he could oblige for a photograph. But little did I know that I would have more than just a photograph. A cup of coffee past 11pm, well past dinner, along with a healthy discussion on India’s World Cup campaign, my admission to my childhood hero and of course a picture that I will cherish and treasure all my life.

In my next blog, I’ll dwell into my experiences across different press boxes. Till then, adios!