Like the tributaries and rivers emerge from the ocean, to begin a journey of their own and experience and explore new paths to ultimately merge with the ocean itself… i too have been separated from you, so that i can experience (you)r Love in different forms and return to myself (YOU).
Empty words and broken promises,
That’s all I have,
Nothing or nobody to back me up,
For I have made myself miserable,
I must suffer for the choices made,
Life is a Game, Play It
Life is a dream, Realize it,
Life is a challenge, meet it,
Life is about the choices you make for yourself
I feel, think & say things,
And I do something else,there is no Unity in thought, word & deed
I’m beginning to loose it all
Loose it all
Feel like a hypocrite
Feel like a leech, that sucks my own blood,
Feel let down and helpless,
Feel like the time has come to own up and make things right
Time is of the essence,
Past is past, with it’s lessons taught, bitter and sweet,
Future is uncertain, with axiety and grief,
The Omni-Present is when i have faith and Love
that things will change
Things will change
For all that matters is Love
For Love is all there is,
Love yourself, you are a spark of Love,
See Love (good) in All,
Be Love (good) to everybody,
Do Love (serve) everybody,
This is the way to God. Continue reading
As a child I was told, You are God,
Pray to Him, my father would say holding my palms together
And I would, not knowing what to ask for,
Yet asking what seemed to be right,
Let me be a Good boy Swami.
The notion of God did not sink in then,
But I knew you meant something to us and we something to you,
In all those times I saw you afterwards,
I had only one thing to ask for,
to be with you, to be your student.
Years later, did you accept me, chiselling me, preparing me for the moment,
Even then I complained, why not earlier,
It would have been so much better, but you remained quiet,
I found solace in the thoughts that everything has a reason, a time and a place.
There I was in front you, unable to believe it myself
And for five long years I soaked in your love and grace,
Learning all those tiny lessons that you taught me,
Through ways and means immeasurable, inscrutable and unknown to me
Even whilst with you, times weren’t easy,
Lessons learnt the hard way,
He is a tough task master, I was told,
Only then will I learn,
And thus many a lesson did I learn at Your feet.
It was not easy leaving you and I never did,
But to stay away from you physically,
Was every bit painful as I imagined it to be,
But to not be able to see you daily,
Your dense locks of hair,
Your smile that raptures everyone and captured my heart,
Your words sweeter than nectar itself,
Your touch which is softer than petals of a rose,
The twinkle in your eye, The Grace with which you floated amongst us,
The Love that you showered upon me, the patience with which you dealt with me,
The compassion you had towards me, The amount of time you gave me,
The Love that you had towards me- Pure and Selfless
The education you gave me- Wordly and Spiritual,
For all of this and so much more,
I ask myself, what have I done to deserve this?
Nothing comes to my mind, nothing worthy to deserve so much from you,
In what currency can I pay you back, I wonder?
Love, Love, Love my Heart says,
It’s the most expensive, the most valuable
Love one and all for I am present in everyone, (Love All, Serve All)
Serve one and all for I am present in All.
Seasons change, People change and times change,
So have I, but you haven’t,
You still Love me the same way you used to,
Do I? I wonder to myself,
Has the distance grown between us, I wonder?
Has it? No! You reply.
I feel lost, I complain, Seek me within you cajole and say,
Don’t ever leave me I plead,
I have never left you and never will, you rejoin,
I love you we both say.
Then there is silence, so deep, so profound and so Loud
I say I’m sorry for disappointing you, to break the silence,
Ever so often I do, how come your love for me never changes, I ask?
You are my Child, my very own, how can I dislike you?
How can I forsake you? You are a part of me,
You have to realize that, You and I are one,
We always were and always will be.
When it All Began
When asked as a sixteen year old as to what his life’s amibition was: He replied in a nonchalant way, to play for India, to don the test cap and to win matches for India. This was in 1989, when very few in the cricketing world (In india and abroad) knew about the little chap from the suburbs of Mumbai, who would arguably go on to be the one of the finest cricketers that India has ever known to have produced. It gives me and every other cricket lover, Indian or otherwise immense joy and pride to see that young lad to go out and play some of the best cricket we have witnessed, achieved his goals, lived his dreams not only for himself but also for a nation over 1.2 billion. If there is ever a moment in the history of cricket that would make us Indians proud apart from lifting the world cup trophies twice in 83 and ’11 , I would say this is the day and the moment is now. I think we all can succesfully say , thanks to Sachin Tendulkar that we have witnessed ‘HISTORY IN THE MAKING’.
This is when the obsession began, believe it or not.
Coming from a modest and humble background, it was not surprising for many to see that fame and adulation did not change his personality nor did he let it affect his game. He started playing cricket since he was a kid recalls Sachin, when asked what he would most like to do after being selected into the Indian squad, the young Sachin aged 16, replies ‘to play for the country as long as possible and to make as many runs for the team as possible’. His post match press conference after the 100th ton also reveals what he said two decades back, ‘personal milestones are not important, playing for the team is more important’. To quote him ‘It’s been a long journey, there have been up’s and downs and it teaches you a lot. When you play over twenty years you break some records on the way, but that is not what I play for’. I play for my country, India’. (end of quote)
Anybody looking for a definition of Humility, look at him, it cannot get any more real and better than this.
It’s a historic moment for cricketing world simply because it is not every day that one’s get’s to see something like this. Sunil Gavaskar, (the other little master) was right when he said on air “I’m not sure if we would ever witness something like this in the future”. Personally for me it was a very nostalgic moment, reminiscing all those battles that he fought against so many a bowler, having conquered almost every feat possible for a batsman, to have grown up watching him play and then to see him reach such dizzying heights is definitely an emotional moment. I would idolize Sachin as a batsmen growing up as I’m sure million others have in their childhood during our ‘gully cricket’ days. (if you grew up in India you would be familiar with gully cricket). His elegant drives through the covers into which he would lean so beautifully, those punches, some mere pushes straight as an arrow past the bowler, with his head right under the ball and presenting the full face of the bat, and much later the cheeky upper cut that he later devoped and mastered, which was put to effective use by sachin against fast bowlers like Shoaib Akthar and Glenn Mcgrath, one wishes that such moments are captured in memories for eternity.
(From Left to Right)- A shot from the coach’s manual, left elbow high, presenting the full face of the bat and played, head still and perfect follow through!
A sachin classic, leaning into the drive ever so beautifully.
Those who know the little master on a personal level assert that (as he is often referred to, due to his physical stature) Sachin is a person who upon setting his target’s or his priorities straight, will devote himself to that cause. And his entire career, nay his entire life upto now, is testimony to that fact. To digress for a bit from his accolades and achievements on the field to the life he lives outside the cricketing ground, it is a little known fact that Sachin has contributed enormously not only in financial terms to various social awareness campaigns and welfare programs conducted by media houses such as NDTV and a few others but by also being the face of their campaign and helping in bringing greater awareness among the general masses about problems that society faces. It is a misnomer to think that his contribution to our country begins and ends on the field. There is much more to that man who is 5’6. It is one thing to be talented player gifted with a supreme sense of timing. He is rare and exceptional, no doubting that, but to sustain it, nurture it, to make an outstanding career out of it, one that speaks for itself (51 test hundreds and 49 ODI hundreds, with an aggregate of 33, 844 runs), averaging 55 and 45 in tests and ODI’s respectively. It is then natural for people to say that he is different from your ordinary Joe. No wonder then that cricket in India thanks to Sachin and a few others is treated as another religion (not that we have any less, being a secular state) and He treated as God.
India vs Kenya- WC- father’s demise
Another instance comes to mind, that reveals his character. It was the world cup of 1999 and Sachin was at the prime of his career and at the peak of his form. His father had passed away and so he returned to India to perform the obsequies for his father. He returned back to the team in a few days time and in the next match against Kenya, he scored a ton and looks up at the heavens as if to say ‘ this one is for you dad’. The image is to this day etched in my memory along with what he said in the post match presentation ceremony. Upon winning the MOM (Man of the Match) award, he reveals that his mother told him ‘you should not be at home, mourning the loss of your father, our country needs you, go make him proud’ and he did just that.
Pakistan tour India
After a successful tour of Australia in 2000-01, it was time for arch Rivals Pakistan to tour India after the war of Kargil (1999). It was said that cricket would do no harm and would in fact bridge the gap if anything b/w the two countries. The match in Chennai (chepauk stadium), is another excellent case in point that he is anything but a selfish player. He was suffering from severe lower back pain, using a waist belt, was on painkillers but yet he came out to bat. The humidity in Chennai was not helping matters and with wickets falling at the other end, it was not long before the Indian tail folded and despite what I would call a herioc effort from him, India did not succeed in winning that match and he had only himself to blame. There are videos on Youtube of the former chairman of the selecting committee and the current chairman who go on record to say that he blamed himself for India’s loss to Pakistan in that test and he (Sachin) wept in the dressing room. Such was his commitment to the game, to India and to his team.
World cup 2011
Years passed by, more centuries, more responsibility, more maturity was needed from Sachin as a player and also as a senior and he did just that and as always our media and public in large were in disagreement. They still wanted to see the swashbuckling Sachin of the early nineties. The tennis elbow came along in 2006, people wanted to drop him from the 2007 world cup. He continued regardless, never once saying anything either on the field or off the field. The lead up to the world cup and to the finals in particular deserves mention. Legends of the game, news reporters, anchors, journalists all asking the same question- Can India do it? Does this team have what it takes? Fortunately for us, the team brought home the cup after 28 long years. There are fond memories of that final against Srilankan’s and us lifting the trophy after Kapil Dev lifted it in the balcony of Lord’s. The entire team said they wanted to do it for Sachin, they owed it to him, the country owed it to him, the cricketing fraternity owed it to him and they were sure as hell right, they owed it to him.
On the Long Wait for the Landmark
‘I never gave up, on commitment and effort I would give myself 100/100’, he says in an interview to NDTV. ‘I did not take things for granted, there were times when I felt I was hitting the ball well, but I was unlucky’. It took him 33 innings to make the last hundred (having scored the 99th during the recent world cup) and he admits that ‘it was the most challenging and the toughest of them all, saying that it was a relief and that he felt a big burden of his shoulders’. Tendulkar after scoring the 100th ton says to a commentator during the innings break in a short interview “Never stop achieving your goals and dreams do come true, it took 22 long years for me to lift the world cup. There is nothing higher or a bigger achievement for me”.
Joyous celebration after winning the world cup trophy after 2 decades.
As I look back and quietly ponder to myself as to how he’s changed and matured as a player over the many years that I have watched him play, I also realized that the reason why I liked him, admired him, was fascinated by him also changed with time. With time and age everything changes and so Sachin was no exception to this law of nature. He played with more poise and attached a greater value to his wicket if it was possible than before. But more than his skill, dexterity and ability, I realized that it was his personality that attracted me more, his dedication to the game that he possesses that is so infectious, his determination to succeed despite all odds, his ability to never give up are some things that each and every one of us can learn and implement in our lives.
‘I AM NOT GOD I AM SACHIN TENDULKAR’, he says. It is selfish to retire at the top of your game”, I will continue to play as long as i can bring value and contribute to the team”. His retirement/exit from the grand stage is another subject of interest and discussion for the avid cricket lover. Ever since we won the world cup there have been suggestions and hints that he should retire gracefully and at the peak of his form. To stick around and be at the mercy of the selectors is not what we would want to see, would we? As it happens all that is being talked about, read and written is only speculation, until we hear from the master himself, the die-hard Indian supporter in you and me need not worry. However there is a request that I would like to make and it is as follows: After all, he is a human like YOU and ME. He does have expectations of himself and for the team too. It happens ever so often that we expect much more than he can deliver, if he scored a hundred, we quip, he didn’t win us the match, if we made to the semi-finals of the tournament and failed to qualify, we complain we did not win the tournament. How much can this one indidvidual do??? After all is not cricket a team game??? Is it then fair on our part to continue to expect a century everytime he walks into the crease, a match winning knock every time India finds itself in trouble??
If we claim to love him as a batsmen, as a cricketer and as an individual more than anything else, we should stop deciding his future as a cricketer for team India, stop trying to guess when he would retire, stop debating as to when is the best time and why. He will know when the time is right and he will call it quits when he is no longer fit mentally or physically. Shouldn’t we leave that choice to him? Doesn’t he deserve that much atleast from us?? After all that he’s done for the country and team India, can we in return at least do this much for him? I think it’s time each of us asked ourselves that. I think we should, I think we ought to, it is the least we can do, we owe this to him, we owe it to the little boy who began his international career 22 years ago, we owe to a certain Sachin Tendulkar.
If I am anywhere close in knowing and understanding the legend i would say he was most dissapointed yesterday as he could not win the match for India against Bangladesh. His hundredth hundred was of inconsequence yesterday, today and anytime in the future. It had to come with time, it was a certainty that only awaited the right time, the opposition did not matter, neither did the venue nor did the bowling attack. This is not to however to take anything away either from Sachin or the landmark that he has achieved, it is not to belittle him nor his stupendous achievement. I do believe that each of us is entitled to an opinion and we can agree or disagree with each other. Personally whether he get’s nominated and wins the Bharat Ratna award (highest civilian award in India, for outstanding achievement and contribution to the country) or not is immaterial. His greatness for me doesn’t change with that, it will be another laurel in his kitty.
For Me Greatness Lies In Simplicity and that is why Sachin Tendulkar – Thou art indeed Great! Take a bow!
Looking upto the Heavens, as if to say Thank You!
He was unique. That could be said right from the start. I have a cousin who plays for Hyderabad and also represents Andhra Pradesh in Ranji trophy matches. His father, my cousin and myself were avid lovers of his game. We would give up anything and everything to watch him lazily walk down the ground, almost looking dis-interested. Thank heavens I never actually thought that, it was just the impression you would get if you one didn’t pay much attention.
Born into a traditional Hindu Brahmin family, Vangipurappu Venkata Sai Laxman, was set to be a doctor like his father. He had only two things he was passionate about when he was a boy, cricket and medicine. It was like flipping a coin, heads- cricket and tails- studying medicine to be a doc. However destiny had something in store for him and Indian cricket in the years to come. T0hat reminds me of the charming city from which he comes from. Ruled by Nawabs a century ago, known for it’s famous Biryani and Irani chai, Pearls and Persian rugs, our city also has a distinctive feature of housing lazy citizens. His game and personality reflected some of these traits of a hyderabadi I would think.
Pardon me, my intention is not to talk about Hyderabad, it’s citizens, it’s culture nor it’s unruly traffic. It is merely a reference point to the man about whom I have set upon a task to myself to write about. You could always watch him in the slips in the test match, observing the game from the best place you could ask for, the slip cordon. He was famous for his talks/ideas while in the slips during the match. Dhoni and many others would say he was truly a delight to talk with. You could say anything to Laxi bhai and he would always respond with a smile. Dravid too, who occupied the treasured first slip position, says “anything and everything under the sun would be discussed while we were in the slips”. From this one would gather that he was an easy going person who was a very cordial and jovial chap.
A little about the game, then shall we. I read somewhere that he brought poetry to cricket, the way he would caress the ball, unlike butchering the cherry which you would get to see nowadays in T 20 cricket. A gentle nudge of the pads and the ball would race to the ropes, a flick off the hips and down it would go past the keeper to fine leg for a boundary. I will not pay homage to the famous 281 in Eden gardens. Commentators, analysts, fans and enthusiasts of the game like myself, have already spoken enough about it and I do not wish to venture into it again. It would seem that unlike a Sachin or a Gavaskar he didn’t have much apart from that historic innings, but that is not the case. There is again the innings where he scored a hundred and fifty plus in Sydney and saved the day for India. Again in 2007, he was the star of the series down under, when the Aussies came up with, we respect Sachin and Dravid but we FEAR Laxman. Such was his might against the mighty Aussies in particular.
To be frank he wasn’t as well equipped as Dravid when it come to technical skill. He however had this God given ability to time the cricketing ball like no other. I used to often hear commentators say “one cannot be taught how to time the ball, it’s something that comes naturally to a person”. He did not have the posture (stance) of Sachin nor the runs behind him to gain immediate acceptance from selectors and coaches alike. He however had class. Immaculate class and style. His team-mate and former captain Azharuddin was also famous for his flick shot. I as a young lad, would be amazed how they used to employ it with such dexterity and use it to great effectiveness.
To quote Navjot Singh Sidhu, ‘I would give up a date with Madhuri Dixit (who according to him was the most beautiful woman ever) to watch Laxman play’. Now bear in mind, this is a man who is eccentric about certain things in life and a date with Madhuri was one of his many eccentricities. Many a time, I would have high expectations that laxman would come and play a match saving innings, win the MoM trophy, sadly that was never the case, however those 15-25 runs that he would score, the eleganze that would literally ooze from his physical frame, the class his drives had, characteristic flicks and his smile were a greater reward than any award that could be bestowed upon this legend of the game.
He wasn’t the best of fielders, not very athletic- which is not a quality you would want in one of the 11 men playing for your country in the much awaited World cup. Laxman was never picked for a world cup squad, to this day it would probably be his biggest regret, he made peace with the fact that he was a Test match specialist and he did prove the selectors right and justified his inclusion in the test squads. One cannot help but feel sad for him, luck was rarely his companion when it came to leg before decisions and with the selectors. He never quite made his mark in the IPL or the T20 format, for which I think is a blessing in disguise. He was test match quality and T 20 does not even deserve his attention and a player of his worth and standing.
Laxman, in your retirement Indian cricket has not only lost a gem of a cricketer but a fantastic personality. Any amounts of praise was heaped upon Laxman by his colleagues and coaches. His uncle who was instrumental into choosing cricket as a career option, his coaches in NCA and HCA, his Ranji trophy colleagues. Your smile will never be forgotten on the field and off the field, neither will your class, your determined hard-work at the nets did not always reflect in matches. As is the case in life, effort is what is more important than the result.
A stand has been named in his honour and contribution to Indian cricket in the new stadium in Hyderabad. That is far less to say what you have given to the game and me. Having had the chance to meet with him and his family I would say i learnt more about life and simplicity by observing laxman behave and conduct himself on and off the cricketing pitch than cricket. Your class and elegance will be truly missed, for alas it is not to be found in modern day cricketers. I rue for Indian cricket and for cricket lovers all over the world, for we have said good-bye to a Very Very Special ambassador of the game.
It has come and it has gone, but it has left us speechless with what it has left for us behind. The World Cup is over and now we are “THE WORLD CHAMPIONS”. The wait has been long, longer than i thought seven years ago. It was in the Balcony of the Lord’s that Kapil Dev lifted the Golden trophy makin millions of hearts jump with Joy. Those were the days when only a priveleged few would have access to television sets, the rest would either be glued to AIR (back home in India) for hours together or even worse some would have to wait till the following dawn to see the papers. Times have now changed and fortunately for us, we were able to catch the action live as it was happening in Wankhede, Mumbai, sitting a few thousand miles away in Malaysia, which unfortunately doesn’t share the same zeal and enthusiasm for cricket as we Indian’s do. Nevertheless being limited to barely Fifty in munber, we were bold and courageous in egging our team on closer with each and every run scored and run stopped on the field. It was arguably the best time of my life in UNMC when MS scored the final runs with a loft over long on….the crowd erupted with screams, tears of Joy flowing uncontrollably….I said to myslef, Thank God we did it!!!!
Rewind eight years earlier. Scene: 23 March, 2003. India Vs Australia:Finals Next day Math Paper, Class X. That day was terrible, neither could i watch the match, nor focus on studyin for my Public exam which i was to give in a few hours. Neither the Indian team nor myslef were equipped & trained to handle the situation then. Unlike our team then i did manage to pass in the ‘final’ and do well in the exam, but not to my satisfaction. Yesterday was an entirely different ball game. True the pressure was enormous, expectation sky high, margin for error was less than the size of the tiniest atom in the Human Anatomy, yet Dhoni had delivered the goods for team India. Throughout the Tournament he was criticized for more than i care to explain. Dropping Yusuf for Raina in the match against the Aussies, inclusion of the injured/out of form Nehra instead of Ashwin in the Semi’s and the cherry on the cake has to be Sreesanth in the Final. He was a determined man who was walking on to the field like a tiger determined to get it’s prey. Not only did he display a sense of urgency in running b/w the wickets, converting one’s into two’s but he efoortlessly took the pressure away from the young Gauti, who in all credit due to him played a fantastic knock of 97. However the match winner for me was the Captain’s knock of 91, which saw us through till the very end. Many a critic and fan of Indian cricket vehemently criticised him and even threatened to raise his house to the ground in Ranchi, for his poor show with the cricket willow till the Final.
COME THE BIG GAME, COMETH THE MAN!! He was the embodiment of Calmness and personified his status as ‘Captain Cool’ yet again. Advising Gambhir not to loose his wicket, scoring the occassional boundary every other over really took the pressure away from us. Playing Murali & Malinga with level headedness and ease was what was required for us out there and he did just that. Any amount of praise heaped on Dhoni may be insufficient, as he has carried the great responsiblity and the burden of team India exceptionally well.
As oppossed to his hot blooded Pathani Kaptan, MS delivered when it mattered the most to us. Again i would say it was a battle of who would keep their nerves in the clash against the Paki’s in Mohali. Dhoni turned out to be rite and on top again. Playing Raina, instead of Pathan not only lent the batting team technical strenght but in Raina, we had a fielder who could atleast save 10-15 runs (which is a lot when ur chasing) and also the addtnl option of a part time bowler. Nehra was a gamble that fortunately played off for us and Dhoni rectified Sreesanth’s inclusion by his Majestic knock.
One should also spare a thought for a brilliant century in the finals by Sri Lanka’s best players, Mahela and Australia’s captain Ricky Ponting. They rose to the occassion when it mattered but it wasn’t enough. My heart goes out to these two Gentlemen. Having won the Finals, the picture seems all too rosy for my liking but the relaity is far from it. Rite thru the tourney, ‘Power plays’ have always been a problem for us. For ex. (D match against England & SA is a case in point). Batting collapses against Pakistan and other teams.The problem of part time bowlers….they were so many of them, yet we managed to come on top and that simply is the reason WE LOVE YOU TEAM INDIA
The best is always reserved for the last rite??? and so it is here too…SACHIN TENDULKAR!!!! Words fail me ??? or are they insufficient to describe ‘Cricketing God’ in human form, that is for you to decide readers. For twenty one long years this title was missing of having won a world cup for India and ystd was the end of it. It is not the runs that he scored in all formats of the game, it is not the centuries he has (99 & counting…), not the ‘MOM’ awards he has won that matters. What matters most to us is his Simplicity and his endearing Personality.Having the World cup feather in his cap now, it is for him to decide when he will step down and give others a chance. He is the best judge of that & none of us, NONE OF US (in case you didn’t read the one before) can/should decide for him. I bow to you Sachin. May God bless you wih another hundred soon … Another legend who would have loved to end on the winning side & end his career on a winning note was MUTHAIH MURALITHARAN or simply Murali. I’m in awe of this person. 38 yrs of age, diving around in the field as if he is 21 yr old, the energy and enthusiasm he has, the determination in his eyes with every release of the ball…. You have shown the world what spin bowling really is…with your exit there will be a vacuum in the Lankan side that no younster can/should hope to replace. You are simply superb!! WE SALUTE YOU!!
The Indian team had proved to the world that they are a force to reckon with. In spite of having so many set backs, injuries to players and not to mention the nervous tension that every player in the team and support staff would have felt, the MEN IN BLUE have triumphed. The entire nation is so proud of you. No matter what people say, be it Luck or chances, be it fortune or favour, you have worked for this & deserve this team India. People might not be courageous & Bold enough to accept the ‘fact’ that their team has lost, accusing players in their team & the opposition as well ( as if accussing players wasn’t enough), is a sign of being timid. I wish them better luck and success in the future. May God grant them the courage and power to change what they can, to accept what they cannot change and the Wisdom to know ‘The Difference’.
The past six weeks have been so emotionally taxing and a drain on our lives that there were times i would wish we could fast forward to 2nd April and be rid of the anxiety. Well i’m now a relieved man, not only has the tournament ended, WE WON IT…HURRRRRRAYYYYYY!!! and now it’s time we get back to leading our lives in a purposeful manner.
That’s all for now. My sinciere apologies for making it really long, but the time and the event demanded that justice be done to it.
Well! Here goes! I guess this is it! There’s no turning back from here.. I have started a blog. No more ‘notes’ on Facebook or articles that i mail friends and family.
Coming from a family that has a very distinctive interest in Music, Arts and has journalistic abilities, i guess this had to happen somewhere down the lane. I’m happy i hvae mustered up the courage to start a blog and voice my thoughts and opinions about topics or subjects that interest me.
Hope to make it an interesting and learning journey for you and for myself.