Saturday, November 16, 2013

Growing up with Sachin

I heard the name Sachin Tendulkar consciously first time when I was a 9 year old. The radio was reporting that he scored a century in South Africa ( 111 in Johannesburg Nov 1992 ) - which didn't mean a lot to me at that time. Little did I know that my growing up days will be filled with memories of this person.

The 1993 home series vs England was when I saw him batting live but Kambli was scoring more. And then 1994 came. Cable TV was getting launched in our hometown, and a neighbor was passionately trying to find friends who would sign up so that our street had enough numbers to warrant cable wiring. We signed up, and India was touring NZ at that time. He had already opened in the 2nd ODI and smashed 82 and the newspapers were all waxing eloquent. By the time we had cable tv, the 3rd ODI was going on and I saw glimpses of his innings of 63 and could now understand his genius.

I had the pleasure of watching his first ODI century live on TV. That was the first time my heart rate pumped up for Sachin. It was followed by three ducks and taught me what sporting frustration was all about. He scored his then highest test score of 179 - he hooked Walsh for six to bring up his century. That was stuff of dreams. By end of 1994 I was a mad Sachin fan.

1996 - the world cup. Among all school boys, the one with a radio transistor was GOD :). Some one in the class would sneak in a radio, and all kids would gather in a growd listening to world cup commentary in between classes, during recess and sometimes during classes if Sachin was batting!
How could India lose to SL despite Sachin scoring 137 (group stages). I can still recall those sixes of Pushpakumara's bowling in the end overs. But the disappointment of that loss was nowhere close to what I would go through in the semifinal. There were cheers and hope until he was batting, and then there was none. That was a theme I started getting used to

1997 in SA - a magical innings of 169 ended by one of the most impossible one handed catches of all time. All the curses adam bacher received on that day probably ruined his career

1998 - desert storm. It was my 10th std final exams. Lot was at stake. High expectations at home. Geography exam coming up - my least favorite. Charting river paths on an empty map was never my forte. And to top it all, Sachin was in the form of his life. I couldn't concentrate on anything else. Once India got to final, the anticipation was killing me. I was addicted to Sachin's batting by now. And for once, the dream did not turn to nightmare.

1999 - why the hell does Sachin play in middle order in ODIs? That too an year after 1998. Illogical!!! Disappointing world cup, following by the mother of all disappointments - the 136 in Chennai vs Pak. Excruciating pain - for him it was physical, for us it was emotional.

2001 - I was in college. Watching cricket had never been more exciting. One room, one TV and hundreds of us standing inside. Hardly any room to breathe but who needs oxygen when Sachin is playing? The kolkata test will always be a laxman/dravid folklore, but I was there when Sachin came on to bowl and took 3 quick and important wickets to seal victory. A contribution many people don't recognize - but it was a big one in terms of turning a draw into victory

In that period, many new stars arrive. Sachin is no longer the lone star, but he is now the shiniest star in a constellation of stars.

2003 - People are dumb enough to make Sachin play in middle order in ODIs once again. Thank God, they realise it before the world cup. 2003 world cup viewing was the best experience - nothing comes close to watching Sachin in full flow in the company of lots of friends who share the same passion. That six of Caddick and the 98 against Pak will live the longest in memory. The final - ah the final - we were all heading out the moment Sachin got out. Nothing else mattered!

2004-2006 - My life got busy. Interviews, placements, training, projects, late night codings. More internet access meant I could catch up on lots of missed Sachin moments but I miss the school and college days

2007 - Sachin is jinxed. Keeps getting out in the 90s. Again, some one decides that he is best suited for middle order in ODIs - the world cup is a disaster. I honestly thought the world cup dream was over! And Sachin would retire soon

2008 - Sachin wins us the tri series in Australia with two great performances in the best of three finals. His style of batting is very different to 1998 but the end result is same. If 1998 was breathtaking, 2008 was methodical. He also wins a test against England scoring 103 not out in a high scoring chase.

2009 - If 136 vs Pak was to tests, the 175 vs Aus at hyderabad was to ODIs. I think this 175 is his best ODI innings ever but alas, it had to come in a oh-so-close losing cause. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

2010 - the double hundred. It was a colleague's birthday at office. We had deadlines, but Sachin mania was taking its feverish grip. We decide to ditch work and head out to the colleague's house, just in time to watch live the last few overs of the innings. Dhoni is striking the ball phenomenally but we all keep wondering why he doesn't give the strike over to Sachin. This time, there is no disappointment though. Sachin becomes the first ODI player to reach a double century

2011 - finally the world cup dream is realized! To everyone's joy, Sachin plays his normal aggressive game and the others contribute too

2011-2013 - beyond the world cup! Mostly disappointing, Sachin is no longer consistent. He flickers like a fading star, almost as if to prove that he is normal like all the rest of us. An occasional gem here or there but the consistency is gone.

And he decides to bring it all to an end!

Many people will argue Sachin's stats, abilities, captaincy etc etc. It is pointless to argue. You don't measure your wife's love by the number of kisses you share. It is the memories, the moments that you cherish and the moments that live with you forever. It is the journey - not just one filled with happiness but the full gamut of emotions - anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment, joy, exhilaration, triumph. And looking back, Sachin has given all of that to us and more. Which is why we all love him and why all of us feel sad now that is he is retired. All things come to an end - we are very lucky that Sachin was so good and it lasted so long! Thank you, Sachin

Monday, May 04, 2009

Subtitles Censorship

I was surfing channels casually yesterday and HBO was showing 'Blood Diamond', one of my favorite movies. Leonardo Di Caprio was explaining to Jennifer Connelly about how he lost his parents - the dialogue goes like this

JC: You lost both your parents.
L: That's a polite way
of putting it, yeah.
Mom was raped and shot...
...and Dad was decapitated
and hung from a hook in the barn.

The subtitles on HBO actually did not show the word 'raped' - I can't understand the reasoning behind this.. who is going to get affected if the word 'raped' was shown in the subtitle? They didn't bleep the word in the dialogue, so anyway people are going to hear it.. so why bother not showing it in the subtitle? I am wondering if there is a separate team sitting around removing all such words from the subtitles.

And how is 'raped' any more grotesque than 'decapitated and hung from a hook in the barn'?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Utter Nonsense

I really hope this guy does not get voted to power.. I can't imagine going back in time where people used to stand in railway ticket booking queues, bank teller queues etc wasting valuable time

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Twitter Account

I created a new twitter account.
I am not sure if I will use it, just created an account for fun :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Future Dating

This cartoon from is hilarious - the scary thing is this future is not too far away.

Will he win - Rahman at the Oscars

Like many Indians across the globe, I am eagerly waiting to see if Rahman wins the Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire tonight. Though I don't think it is his best work, it is the only one that's got nominated - which goes to show that you need to be at the right place at the right time to get things going your way, or in this case, award nominations coming your way ;). I have enjoyed his music ever since he made his film debut in Roja - I believe he is arguably India's finest ever. Let's hope he brings home the Oscar.

UPDATE: And he obliges, winning both the Oscars.. am very happy for him. Well deserved recognition for one of the geniuses of our times.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Atleast Sri Lankan board is sensible

This is an interesting story, The first time a country has come out and openly said that they don't have to go along with every whims of the BCCI.

There is a WTF quote from Niranjan Shah in the same article.

Niranjan Shah, the BCCI secretary, told Cricinfo. "We will now refer the matter to the ICC, which is already debating the issue of unauthorised cricket."

I don't understand what he means by unauthorised cricket - what's wrong with a group of people getting together and playing cricket, in the process making some money by providing entertainment to people?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Nadal reaches the top

Nadal is guaranteed to become the No 1 tennis player in the world. It is good to see after a few years of Federer domination that new guys have come up and really put forward a worthy challenge to Federer.. This year's Wimbledon final was an all-time classic. It really proved that Nadal is here to stay and he is not just a one surface wonder. Given that hard court is his least favored surface, it should give Federer a good enough chance to recoup some lost territory.. All in all a wonderful competitive year for tennis :-)