Joy of life – Sachin Tendulkar

A dream of a man becomes a way of life of a billion people.The strokes of a person on a cricket field brings out gamut of emotions out of a child.The disappointments of a human bring out the tears out of a grown man.The success of a man invigorates the emotions of what its like to be successful to million others. A man alone does what democracy couldn’t do- Unite a nation. This man is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

As they say, we are take birth to do a certain task. Sachin realized what this task was. It you look at that task in simple way, it was to play cricket, he did that in a brilliant way but in course of doing that, he shaped lives of a billion people. He gave people the joy which no other thing could have provided. There are so many casts and creed in India, but when sachin played, there was no muslim, no hindu in them, they were all Indians hoping for just one thing, cheering just one man, praying for him in temples, worshiping him like god, crying for him in his despair, and shouting the words which would ring in ears of each one of us until we die, the words Sachinnn, Sachinnn…

Prodigies are always there, but few of them go on to become legends. There is no bigger truth that the phrase  ” There is no substitute for hard work”. Even If you are a prodigy you have to work day in day out to reach your potential and stay at the top which is exactly what Sachin did. Never gave less that 100 percent even If it was a 3 day warm-up tour match or a world cup final. You know a child is special when you start hearing his name in media when he is just beginning his teenage years. Fast forward a couple of years, the boy was decimating the best bowlers of the world.

The light which everyone saw in that curly haired boy, slowly became the beacon of Indian cricket. Come 1998, he established himself as one of the best players ever to have graced the cricket field. There were numerous great innings which he played , it is difficult to choose a single one, but If you look at all the factors, one stood out for me.

136 vs Pakistan in Chennai. Pakistan had come to India after 10 years for a test series.India were chasing 271 in 4th innings which is always a difficult task. India were 2 wickets down for 6 runs when he walked in. Pakistan had two undisputed great fast bowlers in Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and one world class spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. He scored a century on that day suffering from back problem throughout his innings, but his determination, his hunger kept him going. One bad shot when India needed 17 to win, he got out and India lost the match. It was a heart-wrenching moment for us and Tendulkar cried a lot that day as it came to be known later. With that back pain he played but it was his will power , his never say die spirit, his hunger to win for India cheered him on. I was a child then, but I knew back then what this great man had done.

If you are an Indian and If you are ardent fan of cricket, you should not have missed the opportunity to watch him live at the ground. I was fortunate enough to witness him score his 99 century and he was at his vintage best that day.He tore apart South Africa and I was happy not only because I saw sachin score his 100, but also because the way he scored those 100 runs. That was the sachin I also knew and I always liked, charging bowlers and hitting them out of the park, but a journey is never a moonwalk, it always has some potholes.

Injuries disarmed him of the arsenal he had, he stopped playing lofted shots so he could prolonge his career. Critics attacked him whenever they got the slimmest chance. But he stood firm and stayed true to his capabilities and worked on his strenghs. He was dilligent, he was intelligent, he was worked so one day he could fulfill his dream of winning the world cup. That day came in 2011, and when that happened, the dream had become the dream of the whole nation. I cried that day, not only because it made me forgot the horror of 2007 world cup and the heartbreaking loss of 2003. but also it was the happiest day of my life.

So,What will I miss as Sachin has retired now. I will miss the immaculate On-drive. I will miss the the straight bat high left elbow back foot punch through the covers, I will miss the front foot cover drive which pierced the fields, I will miss the leg glance which made ball fly to the boundary. I will miss the thunderous pull shot which went out of the park so many times. I will miss the anticipation of what genius you would produce when you came out to bat at no 4. I will miss the fear when a ball went past your bat and opponents appealed for you to be given out. I will miss the bunks of the school, college days when I stayed at home to see you bat. I will miss shouting  your name as loud as I could till my throat went soar. I will miss the eternal joy you have provided me Sir Sachin Tendulkar.

Thank you for my making 23 years of my life so special.

Confessions

The following confession takes place in a rehabilitation group.

Mr.X- Good Evening all, I’m X and I’m addict.

Group- Hello X.

Mr.X – So, I actually  don’t know how to start and my addiction is kind of unheard of specially outside of India. I would rather pinpoint to the city I lived In but, hey what the heck, Its spreading all over the country. So, I was in my late teens when this addiction started. I had learnt to drive my bike and had got the official licence to “ride” it from the transport authorities. I had this drive inside me to reach quickly where ever I wanted to go,maybe it’s because I played a lot of Need For Speed in my childhood and maybe RoadRash I don’t know. When I got my bike, I thought I had wings, to go anywhere I wanted and no one was there to stop me maybe except for the spiking fuel prices. It was thrill to ride my bike and this addiction got to my through that thrill only. I really didn’t realize I had developed this addiction, it really never occurred to me until one day when I was turning right on a crossroad and suddenly a guy came out of nowhere from the opposite direction and bumped into me.

Mr.Y interrupts in between.

Mr.Y – Sorry to interrupt you Mr.X, but I have a similar confession to make. Good Evening all, I’m Mr.Y and I’m an addict.

Group- Hello Y.

Mr.Y- So, my story is also similar apart from the addiction I have. I also belong from the same part of the country Mr.X belongs to and the prologue to my story is exactly similar to that of X. While Mr.X has the urge to disrespect the traffic signals and cross it without even considering the consequences, I have an urge to press the horn of my vehicle unnecessarily.

Group looks at the two of them in a confused manner.

Mr.Y continues.

Mr.Y- It gives me utmost pleasure to press the horn and the sweet melody of that horn is just ecstasy for my ears. I press it anywhere and everywhere. When there is a free road and no vehicles to alert them of my overtaking, I press it. When there is a traffic Jam  and even the dog in my car knows I can’t move in inch, I press it. One day I realized that I press the horn subconsciously. I feel like there is an alarm within my subconscious which feed signal to my hand to buzz the horn every few minutes. When you are travelling on a breezy Sunday night, with no traffic at all, and when you press that horn, It just feels Orgasmic, sheer pleasure. I also hadn’t realize my addiction like my friend Mr.X here, until one day, and that day was the same day X present here got into that accident.

Mr.X- Ya, that was a fateful day Y, wasn’t that, I felt so much adrenaline from my insides when I was breaking that signal and disrespecting the cop standing in front of me, until that bugger bumped into me.

Mr.Y- Yes X it was. So where was I, Yes, that day. So , that day, both X and I were waiting on a traffic signal on the opposite ends. I was working my horn like they were chords of a bass guitar, but for some reason the biker in front of me give me a look full of disgust. At that time, I was like what has got into this guy. He got fed up of my constant buzzing, and decided to break the signal. Mr.X here, was his usual that day and was breaking the signal and they collided.

I will respect the person and won’t take his name, lets calls him Mr.Z. So Mr.Z, suffered critical injuries and is currently in Coma from last 4 years. Mr.X didn’t have a scratch on his body in that accident,did you Mr.X.

Mr.X – Looks down and whispers, No, I didn’t.

We both got sent here our country to this place called “Foreign”(When anyone goes out of India, people say “Foren gaya hai” meaning he went abroad). We got sent here because people don’t break signals here. I have been here for 1 month, and If i can recollect, I’ve heard horns just 2 times. It feels great. When I go back again, I will try and spread awareness of importance of traffic signals and utility of horns in vehicles.

Group Coordinator- Lets give a round of applause to both Mr.x and Mr.Y who have now admitted their addictions and are on course for rehabilitation.

Thank you Group, it has been a good session, see you all next time with absurd confessions.

Mother.

We are the fruits of the tree called Mother,
the legacy of whom we dare not smother,

The sacrifices she makes to fulfill our needs,
Our tantrums are dealt with the patience she keeps,

She is there to hold you up when you’re down,
tears roll out of her eyes when you go out of town.

Day or night, please don’t bother,
when she needs, just reach out for your mother.

Dont’ forgot her when you get your wife,
she has been there for you all of her life.

India V Pakistan -The game that Unites

Imagine a situation. People running to their homes from offices. Half of the students of a school are on holiday. Streets are deserted. Shops closed. Everyone in the country glued to their TV sets. In a general scenario it happens during a curfew situation, but In India it happens when a game of cricket in played between India and Pakistan.

This game transcends ages. Religion, caste,creed all take a back step when you consider this game. The years from late 80s to late 90s had been forgettable for us if we consider our record versus Pakistan,but world cup was our forte. We have never lost a single game against them in world cup. Political tensions have always been there but it has always increased the tension and ferocity with respect to the game if it already not much more. When India plays Pakistan, country stands still. All work, businesses just stops. Nothing is more important than the match. I have very vague memories of the 96 world cup when Ajay Jadeja just went berserk and smashed Waqar to all parts of ground. But I fondly remember 1st March, 2003.

India had not played Pakistan for almost 3 years. It was a holiday that day and I had ventured out to gallery of my house at 1 PM, there was no one on the streets. Absolutely no one. Everyone was glued to their TV sets with their families and friends. India v Pakistan is on a different level altogether. We forget our communalist squabbles and become one natio that day. That day was nothing different.Pakistan played well that day and posted a target of around 275 for India and what unfolded next will remain edged in every Indian’s memory until his end. Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis are legends in their own respect but there was a 5 and half feet man standing before them who showcased his class at topmost level and what a evening that was. Sachin Tendulkar said that he was not able to sleep for 10 days in anticipation of that match as he wanted to succeed so much against them. We were privileged to watch master score those 98 runs.

This sunday will write another chapter in history of this epic battle we all love to see. We will all wake up in wee hours not caring about Sunday and don our national spirit. Gather your friends, your families, and lets hope we have a story to tell and as they say Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and this guy below is not losing his hope. Enjoy the game!!!

London Diaries- Chapter 2- Is It for Real

It has been 24 days since I have been in London. Now, Imagine living your dream for 24 days. When I write this, I might want to add that I’m working almost 12 hours a day during weekdays, I get up at 6:30 in morning and return back around 8 in evening. But I don’t want to complain, who wants to complain when you get to enjoy and roam a city like London on weekends. It has been 2 weeks since I wrote, and two weekends have gone by and I have made two glorious trips, the latter being one of the trips I was determined to go on when I came here.

Lets tell you about the first trip. I had no company on Saturday as my friends were busy working, no surprises and no regrets as I was working on Sunday. I had not decided where I would go when I started off, so I decided to go to central london and then decide where to head off. Being a Saturday and as holiday season was close by, there was huge rush near all the major paid attractions, the only one having slightly less being a cruise till Greenwich. Greenwich is known for its prime meridian line i.e. a zero degree longitude line which divides eastern and western hemishphere which is located at royal observatory atop of a hill. It was a unique experience both the cruise and the observatory. The cruise goes along river thames along which majority of attractions of London are present and you get to experience both the old architecture and times of yesteryears and how the city would have been in previous decades or even centuries. You get to see both the old London, its shipyard and a new part Canary Wharf which they are calling London’s Manhattan.

DSC_8183                         Meridian Line

Banks Of River Thames            High Rises Of London

The old clock in the above picture was the first clock ever which sent signals to all the other clocks in different cities and thus our clock system was established. The need for clock system came up when train network was setup and it was necessary to synchronize times in different cities. One another attraction of Grennwich is the O2 arena which is massive and many concerts happen there. As I returned back, I captured a beautiful pic of canary wharf, a beautiful embankment of glass buildings with glowing LED’s and a scenic view of London’s tallest skyscraper The Shard. It was a beautifully spent day, visiting the places you dream of visting and discovering some breathtaking visuals.Next day I worked and slept which is one of my beloved timepass. Next weekend was going to be big, it turned to be spetacular.

DSC_8078                          Tower Bridge

Modern London                          The Shard

When the offer was made to me to travel to England, the first thing which came to my mind was Liverpool. I’m a die hard fan of LIverpool football club and a chance to visit England meant I could make that journey from London to Liverpool and see the team in action for which I spend most of my time during my freetime. It was maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was not going to let that pass. I had decide that I would travel on 21st december when Liverpool play Arsenal and it was a big match. I had even thought of buying tickets but ofcourse I was not able to as they were sold out on website within minutes. Till 18th december I did not have any arrangements of tickets but still I book my bus tickets in order to at least give myself chance to buy tickets outside the ground at a reasonably inflated price. I could not just let this go by, I had to go, I could not have sat at home in London when I had one and maybe only chance to see my team play. I had made several contacts on twitter with people who live in liverpool and asked them for a spare ticket. Till 20th, I had no response, but I was going anyways. 20th Evening, I get a response from a guy that he had a ticket and I was sorted. I had read this line back in march – “Anything is possible for those who believe” and yes it works.

Thus began the coveted journey. I woke up at 4:30 in morning without setting up an alarm which is a miracle if you get to know my sleeping habits. I had a 6 hour bus journey with a halt in between at Birmingham and I reached Liverpool. I always kept saying to myself and whoever I was talking to back In India that I couldn’t believe that I was going to Liverpool. I just could not believe that I was actually experiencing the scenes, the images which I had imaged millions of times in my head. I was thankful to god that I was getting the chance to experience which many people crave for. It was surreal. I reached Merseyside two hours prior to the match, took tickets from the guy who had promised me. I can now say I have made a very good use of social media, contacting a stranger for a ticket in a foreign land and being helped by a loyal supporter, this is why social media exists. If you take advantage of it, it can be very useful for you. So, I took the tickets, and went to Anfield, the ground, the stadium which has legacy throughout the world, where teams fear to travel to, where dreams come to life.

DSC_8333                         At Anfield

My Favourite Footballer- Steven Gerrard                        THE Famous KOP

When I entered the stadium, i was on the brink of tears of joy. I saw the footballer i admired the most-Steven Gerrard and my day was made. Teams came out and I saw all the high profile players from a distance of not more than 30 mts. Then came the time of Kick off. If you follow football religiously, you know what happens before a match begins at Anfield, but for those of you who do not know, experience this.

This is not the actual video of that day, but It happens at every game. The moment, the time, the experience was so fulfilling and so overwhelming for me that I was not able to sing. I tried a couple of times and then there was a lump in my throat and I just thought of soaking it all in. It was magical, it was the best and the most fleeting experience I have ever had.My friends,brother were so happy that one of them was experiencing a magical moment.The match was a great one and it ended in a draw with Liverpool scoring in the last minute of extra time and people going crazy in stadium.I returned back to London the same day, and I’m still trying to tell myself that I have experienced the spectacle I wanted the most

This is probably a long post, but this was difficult to express specially the second part. I’m still searching for words to exactly express my feelings.I never doubted that I would not go to Liverpool, I knew I had to make that journey, and I made it.  I have learnt one thing and I always believe in that, always have Dreams and stay true to them, never concede defeat, and you shall be rewarded.

London Diaries-Chapter 1

I had landed upon my dream city on a chilly monday morning. The thing about the best cities of the world is that their public transportation is top notch. London is no exception to that. I landed at heathrow and there was a facility and “chance” to experience the world famous “Underground rail network” or the tube as they call it in London. I reached my abode after dragging my bag for about a km or two. I was relieved to enter the shelter as it was quite chilly outside.

I had come to London on an work assignment so next 4 days till friday went into sorting the office affairs so I would rather not go into those details apart from telling that my office was in heart of London i.e. at victoria street which gave me ample opportunities to roam around as all the major attractions are in that area only. It is amazing part to be in and London is majestic at night. It looks classy in the day with all its Victorian architecture but when sun goes down all the LED’s glow it just looks majestic.

While I write this, I must tell you that I have come back home an hour ago after an beautifully spent day in London. For 12 hours I was in lap of London allowing it to throw surprises at me one after the another. I began the day travelling to the Victoria station, grabbed a coffee. I was waiting for my friends, so I decided to wander about. I looked at map and saw Buckingham palace just a mile away. When you travel London, apart from travelling in buses and trains and tubes, you should walk. It just feels good with all the old architecture blended perfectly with the new. I was also lucky that although it was 3 degree Celsius but it was sunny today and that was a big respite. I started towards Buckingham palace, spent a good half an hour there taking pictures and asking fellow visitors to take mine as well. I headed towards the big royal gardens which are a treat to walk in.

Buckingham PalaceRoyal Gardens

I met my friends after half an hour admiring the view I was presented with. We had planned to go to Lord’s Cricket stadium. For those of you who are not into Cricket, Lord’s is called the home, the mecca of cricket. It was a dream come true to visit the place you had seen on TV while growing up. You are in the same place as all the great player once were. You can imagine them sitting in the players room, you can relive the history which once was created there. Cricket was THE game I loved the most and to visit the mecca was nothing less than a dream come true.

LordsThe Perfect View

So, one place ticked off in the bucket list. Where do I head next I said, before my mind could have replied, stomach gave the answer.But,as I was en-route to have my lunch, I found one more place which is a landmark place for all the literature lovers, “The Baker Street”, decode that Sherlocks.

221 B

London is full of so many marquee places that one or the other is always round the corner, and I literally mean that. After grabbing my lunch at an Indian joint, I headed for Trafalgar square. I took the “tube” and landed at Piccadilly circus station. This is a busy area full of people, so you may get some respite from the chilly cold. So if you are feeling very cold and you are not at home and you do not want to go home, go to Piccadilly, you can have enough entertainment there.

Piccadilly Square

After spending some time here, I headed towards London eye by taking the route of Trafalgar square. In between, I encountered the royal museum. I headed towards the London eye which a big attraction place of London. After getting mesmerizes by the view, I headed upstairs towards “Big Ben” and the “House Of Commons” .

London eyeBig Ben

So, here I was at the end of long and awesome day.My first weekend in London, and what a day spent. London is surreal at night, don’t miss it.

Stay tuned for the next post..

London Diaries…

There are some things you dream of as a kid. There are these black and white images which you see in your mind which you wish come alive in front of your eyes. I had one such wish If you would like to call that. For no such particular reason I always wanted to visit London. There was this excitement about the place which I couldn’t understand but it did exist in all its entirety. I had never commuted in an airplane before, this might seem absurd for majority of people, but sitting in an airplane was a thing of awe in India till recent years because it was expensive and common man couldn’t afford it. I got a chance to fulfill both at one go. Travel to London in first ever air travel. These are what dreams are made of.

This is the first article in series of blogs which I will write.Stay tuned.