Writing bout somebody on a special day or an event kind of “insignificates” the person.
It reduces him/her to “jus very special”.
It doesn’t nearly capture the essence of what you’re trying to say.
So, keeping this in mind, on the occasion of “no-real occasion”, I tell you about my hero-
A certain saurav chandidas ganguly.
When you think Indian cricket, you immediately think Sachin Tendulkar; not that I blame you; his mere presence sometimes manages to spellbind you, as does that staggering record.
But well, there are other men & whether you like it or not, saurav ganguly is one of them.
To understand the value of his contribution to Indian cricket, we, without prejudice, rewind to the year 2000.
We analyze saurav ganguly and the controversy that always surrounds him.
We analyze the man who was made captain when nothing was working, nobody wanted the job.
As if a string of failures weren’t enough, the match-fixing scandal ate away half the team & with it swallowed the faith of a hundred crore cricket lovers across the nation.
He, as if by sheer magic, brought into the scene a bunch of nobodies & defended their inclusions in the side, until each one of them proved him right.
To back young blood in front of what is arguably the most parochial board in the cricket world, takes a brave man.
To inject that X-factor, that zip, that element of a street-fighter into every one of them, takes a winner!
To actually build a whole cricket team, slowly, single-handedly, takes a LEADER!.
Ganguly was never captain, he was leader!
A dreadful personal run coupled with Greg chapell’s now famous “confidential” complaint letter to the BBCI, led to him being rather cruelly dumped from the side & stripped off captaincy.
His phoenix-like rise from the ashes after an 11-month-layoff, not only drew silence & shock, but also salutes from his every critic.
Right from his bizarre refusal to carry drinks onto the field at 23, to appearing at the toss in shorts, to innumerable accusations of arrogance from various quarters, to allegations of sledging, to altercations with Stephen Waugh, to stripping his shirt off at the Lords in 2002, to wearing his heart on his sleeve, to fire, to grace, to passion, to aggression , he always has been a puzzle; an enigma; a wonder; a reason for little boys to hold their breaths, India’s exclusive “lord snooty” , our very own brave-heart, our very own winner, our first ever leader!
I remember being 12; I remember widening my eyes in horror every time I heard him swear!
I remember his first post-captaincy speech; I remember that steel behind the camera flashes in his eyes!
I remember keeping awake all night just to watch him bat, even as we lost; I remember wondering if there could be a prettier cricketing sight than an off-drive off his blade!
I remember admiring his every action; I remember latching onto his every word!!
I remember watching him being crowned the most successful captain in Indian test history.
I remember learning organic chemistry in my tuition centre when I received a text-msg saying he’d been dropped; I remember bursting into tears that very moment!
I remember watching his comeback inning; I remember the clutch in my throat; I remember feeling overwhelmingly proud, I remember not being able to speak, I remember staring at the screen, I remember feeling, just…numb.
When I think of saurav ganguly, I remember the man who unknowingly sculpted my childhood; I remember the man who taught me cricket; I remember the man who brought me immense, immense happiness!!
I wonder if cricket will hold the same charm to me, once he’s gone.
I live in a fantasy world, I know.
Hero worship is foolish, yeah.
He never will know of me and he never will read all this that I’m writing now.
So if u see him someday, just thank him, on my behalf, for, he gave me so much joy, & tell him I never want to see him go.
I hope my words at least remotely express, how tender I feel when I think about him;
How proud I am to watch him bat;
How much in awe I am of all that fire;
How humbled I am by that sublime grace;
How thankful I am, to say I’m a daughter of the same soil, as is saurav gangly.
He is my hero, is saurav ganguly.
He is my hero, my idol, my champion, my inspiration, my super-star, my “gasp-factor”!
He is my hero, is saurav ganguly! :)