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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Legion of Legends...

1st March, 1992. Benson and Hedges Cup. It was nearly 5AM. Calcutta was chiller compared to what it was today. The Victorian antenna was tuned, to receive the correct frequencies. All the television sets were tuned to Doordarshan. I rubbed my eyes, to the commotion created by my dad; watching something being aired, from Brisbane, Australia. I watched a tiny little guy, claded in navy blue, walk through the whitewashed fence into lush green. My dad was ecstatic, shouting at a ray of hope against Australia. Sleepy, I saw the guy walk back the same fence, dashing down the "hopes" that dawned a few minutes ago!

4th March, 1992. Another match being aired from Sydney, Australia. To a second grader, it seemed awkward, as to me Sydney refers to my strict english teacher at school, Mr. Peter Sydney. Geography was  big zero for me; only thing, the world was much bigger shaped than my assumptions of the age. That day, I remember the celebrations and crowd that sprawled down the streets of Calcutta. India defeated Pakistan by 43 runs and the little guy named Sachin, was lauded as the "Little Master"; he just concluded his game with a score of 54.

29th November, 2004. I get slapped for the first time in my life by a girl, for undermining Sachin's rate of scoring century with Ganguly's!

14th November, 2013. Wankhede gears up for the grand finale.

He had never been my idol. In fact, I have aversions from ideas which is owned by many. But, yes, I have been an admirer for his name and his stature; the hope and strength that he brews in me when I see India play. Till now it's present; five days from now, it will be past. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar >> Sachin >> Little Master >> Master Blaster >> 10dulkar; whatever way you put in; I have seen a legend in my life time. Infact, to add upon my list, I have seen Tendulkar come and go. I had seen Maradonna go, seen Pete Sampras leave, seen Dhanraj Pillai, Haikkennen, Jan-Ove Waldner play their last.

No persona is better than the other and demands respect for their own cause; but to me, Maradonna and Tendulkar are two God's of the Era; who took national pride to a new level. Just like Maradonian Church, I won't be surprised with the advent of Tendulkar Cult or Temple!

Whatever it may be; the blade of the bat will not talk fluently in every language known to the Wisden Book of Batting. Thank you Sir. Thank you for the faith and hope of nationality instilled. Thank you for the moments shared on air.

Somnath Paul Photography


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