I loved cricket. As in the past tense. I’d write poems on the opening pair of Sunil Gavaskar and Srikkanth. Had a crush on Anil Kumble because he wore thin-framed glasses…(?!!!) Was envious of Sachin Tendulkar for a long time because we are close in age (for a while I went on saying, ‘avan enge, naan enge!’ (look where he is and where am I!) Cried when Chetan Sharma’s last ball at Sharjah went for a six! Took on the boys of the neighborhood who were rather amused by my cricket fixation. Would debate, make that argue, and out-shout the others when it came to cricket and my heroes!
Co-fanatics at home included Amma, Appa and big brother. Listened to ball-by-ball commentary on the radio before television… Painstakingly learnt the rules of the game. Laughed at Henry Blofeld’s antics on screen. Digged the Mexican wave. While paati would wonder what all the fuss was about this ‘kiricut’!
At Nagpur, watched cousin Kartik play Ranji for Vidharbha. Superb opening bat and wicket-keeper. Cheered and cheered with a gang of friends. Watched my first ever live match India vs West Indies with him. Got autographs. Now Kartik works for India Cements and Chennai Super Kings. Look forward to the goodies every year 🙂
Muscat. Times of Oman. And Dil Maange More. Superb supplements. Drool-worthy edit pieces. Watched cricket matches with colleagues in the dingy library. And we’d literally kick out colleague who would saunter in and everytime a wicket would fall. Had Coco-Cola/Pepsi bets. Watched Bangladesh beat Pakistan and our Bangladeshi driver Ali handing sweets first to the Pakistani colleagues 🙂
2011. Decibel levels will soar to ear-shattering levels. Every game, ball and every cricketer worth his salt will be analysed by the husband and the brat. Madness will reign for a month.
But I’ll be calm… cool and collected. I’m in a Zen-like state because I know nothing. Because ignorance is definitely bliss. Who is Praveen Sharma, by the way? (Amma, exclaims the brat, as he peers over the screen, ‘For God’s sake, it’s Praveen Kumar!)