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Saturday, April 9, 2011

If I were Dhoni’s mummyji

Excellent article. Do not miss it

India’s biggest superstar ever, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD), is 10 years younger than my older son, and almost the same age as one of my daughters.

The thought that I could easily be his mother is seriously scary. Why scary? Because, I am certain, I wouldn’t know how to handle it. Look at the guy — just look at him. Is he for real? He’s so wise, so cool, so mature and so damn successful. And he’s all of 26. 

What did his mother eat when she was carrying this boy in her womb? What were her thoughts? Her emotions? Was she on a special diet (soaked almonds? pure ghee? lassi?) or did she sing the right songs to her unborn child? Read out cricket scores? Make him listen to cricket commentary? Recite from the scriptures? What? I am sure there are countless mothers all over India wondering about the same thing.
Especially mothers of toddlers who are aspiring test cricketers (at this point, what’s the bet that most little boys who watched the historic World Cup final, and Dhoni’s spectacular sixer that clinched it, lisp that they want to grow up and be like him). We now know what it takes to be a champion (guts, talent and the right temperament). But what does it take to be the mother who produces such a champion?

I am sure the lady who gave birth to this extraordinary man must be extraordinary herself. Not in a flamboyant way. Not in the public space her son now occupies, but determinedly, quietly, steadily and surely. It is not often that mothers of male super achievers are given their due. 

Even Sachin Tendulkar looks skywards and thank his late father when he hits yet another milestone. We know Sachin has deep regard for his mother but not much is known about the lady who gave birth to this living legend. 

Yuvraj Singh’s mother is more upfront while claiming her rightful place under the sun. Shabnam Singh doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind when she thinks her precious son has not been appreciated enough. She even goes so far as to write a strong letter to an international fashion magazine that had dared to comment on Yuvraj’s birth last year (they loved her feisty style, and printed it). 

After this victory, she has been both visible and audible talking about her ladla beta. But since this is Dhoni’s moment as the captain of the victorious team, it’s more relevant to track his antecedents. Besides, Dhoni’s story is so much more dramatic. In fact, it reads like a TV soap. 

This young man from Ranchi has scripted one of the most inspiring, real-life stories ever and, like it happens in fiction, we want to know more about the lady who brought him into the world. From the little that is available in the public domain, Devaki married Paan Singh and produced three children, two boys and a girl.
She prefers to stay in the shadows and let her son’s success do all the talking. She was admirably discreet even during her celebrity son’s modest wedding last year. She has done a bloody good job of raising her kids. Nobody can taunt her by singing, “Maa da ladla bigad gaya”.

If I were in her shoes, I would have insisted on getting some exclusive “Mommy-time” with the guy, before the world grabs and monopolises him. 

I would even put in a pre-condition — no managers, lackeys, fans, hangers on, endorsement chaps, deal makers, cricket officials, bodyguards, stylists, advisers, chamchas, dieticians, bankers, physical trainers, not even his lovely bride Sakshi. Just me and my boy, bonding over comfort food and conversation that has nothing to do with cricket. 

Over chai, daal chaaval and his favourite guilty snack, I would make him laugh, even cry and forget he is MSD — the most successful cricket captain in the world right now. I would tell him over and over again that he’s a champion, my champion. A permanent hero in a mother’s eyes, regardless of wins and losses.

I would restrict my comments to light-hearted banter and remind him of his carefree childhood, running around Ranchi in half-pants and bunking school. 

The one thing I wouldn’t do is to treat him like a star — a megastar. I would not allow myself to be overawed or overwhelmed by his success. Nor make any references to those dramatic moments that brought so much joy to so many people. Nope. 

I would treat him like a “normal” son, shower him with love (the same love he has known since birth, nothing “extra” because he is a super-celebrity now), wipe the tears of joy from both our eyes with the corner of my sari and carry on like nothing has happened and, certainly, like nothing has changed and nothing will, regardless of circumstances. 

That’s what moms are there for. To provide a reality check, along with unconditional love, no matter what and no matter whom. Dhoni has more than a billion admirers all over the world. But only one mother. He has the world at his feet, but I am certain his biggest trophy of all time still remains his mom. 

Well done, Mummyji! India is proud of you.

Coutesy: Shoba De in Deccan Cronicle

A letter from a former cricket hero

If you are cricket lover, please do not fail to read this
Dear BCCI and the cricket Krazies of the country,

As you may have noticed I have not been invited to any of the public functions that are being held to felicitate the imperious team that is gluttonously gulping from the glittering cup.

Haven’t we been friends for a very long time — ‘very’ close friends for over 10 years, and friendly for nearly 20 — until it all went wrong between us from A to Zee. I know Mr Chandra would advise to simply ignore the snub, and I’m inclined to do that. But part of me worries. What if an invitation was actually sent to me and it got lost in transit or was stuck with the postal department like the Cup that got wedged in passage at the doors of Customs dept. I have lost so many things over the years in transit like my teeth-flashing smile.

The other part of me wonders, should I say something? Not (again) out of good manners (it wouldn't be — plus, how awkward), but in the context of our friendship, for me this is a huge deal. I know other people like Mr Dalmiya and Mr Shukla and Mr Srinivasan (of the ‘parent’ generation, which without doubt I would be in as well) who are invited, so the list is not limited to the godfather and his farmers. You must have surely noticed the majestic Clive Llyod at the presentation ceremony.

I'm feeling hurt, but more importantly, I don't know what to do now about this friendship. And I really don’t know how to be sport. And even if I manage to I surely can’t run 20 yards backwards to take that catch. So what do I do? Hold a “silent grudge” and watch the ball, standing at mid-wicket, go past me to the boundary. Act like nothing has happened? I tried hard to hide my emotions when I was on the panel of TV channel’s show. Several weeks ago it felt as if you had suddenly withdrawn without revealing any symptoms of doing so and when I asked around if anything was wrong or I had offended you in some way, the common refrain among you guys was ‘nothing’s amiss’ and that you were simply ‘busy planning the presentation’ along with ‘personal engagements’. I had simply requested a man to man talk and was ready to take on the reverse swing.

But you walked in the opposite direction from the bowling mark and the ball was declared dead. Leaving out the possibility that I have committed some offense, which I can't imagine, my only other possible conclusion is that you have deliberately excluding me for some unfathomable reason and don't give a damn how this makes me feel. After all, 1983 was only 28 years ago. So I have been battling these inner demons in me, which have formed an excruciating bitter knot within me that can’t be sweetened by the sugariest of gestures from Mr Pawar. 

There are these questions that pop into your face like a ball bouncing from an under prepared wicket, which we are so famously capable of: Do I raise the issue only to explain that I am hurt, in deep suffering? Do I consider the friendship as null and void? Or do I take it for granted that there never was any friendship between us? Or should I return to my English speaking course — may be something is wrong there, the diction etc… Not that I haven’t revised my English after every World Cup final since 1983. They used to say Kapil da Jawab Nahin. But people close to me say ‘mere in sawalon ka bhi jawab nahin’.

But these questions surely lie on the outer fringes of the conceivable problems that a system of etiquette will generally be called upon to answer. Remember, people are fragile and incomplete. Not everybody gets the whole lunch. Some just get the roll, or some soup. In my case I haven’t got anything, not even my share of smile amongst all the partying. Now that the IPL is approaching I do see hell (Did I hear someone scream ICL?) 

Yours truly
Kapil Paaji
(As imagined by Manoj Nair) 

coutesy: The Economic Times 
Blogger BHASKARAN19 said...
Yes, read it with deep sense of hurt, heavy heart - our BCCI bigwigs are all egoistic- does not know how to respect a Legend, sad indeed
April 9, 2011 9:02 PM
Blogger VaK said...
In spite of BCCI being hugely politicized, it still happened; Dhoni’s men won the cup. Don’t know how. If it was hugely politicized and personally today, it was unorganized and again Kapil’s devils lifted the cup then. Both, in spite of the demons that lie beneath the system of governance in cricket.

But, is it true that Kapil paaji not seen around in any of the celebrations now after 28 years of long wait by the cricket fans ? Shame on Pawar and co. Time, men like Anna Hazare crop up to curb the demons in the BCCI. We all are humans and prone to errors in judgment and behavior but that cannot be a reason to ignore the achievements of individuals like Kapil. Even, the Modi of IPL deserves a nod(surely, I am not comparing the two). In spite of the game is being suspected to be partially controlled off the field, it still exhibits talent, hard work and excitement on the field. Let’s accept that and appreciate and award our players, present and the past. The politicians and other BCCI toupees can wait on the rest of the matters. Just like they slumber in Parliament since independence.

Some titbits of World cup 2011

Just saw a Sri Lankan dude drinking tea out of a saucer...
He said 
"The Indians took the cup"

The ICC world cup tournament 2011 has been associated with the number six in
many ways:
• During the League matches teams of each Group had to play
against six other teams.
• Sri Lanka finished their innings with a six wicket loss.
• India won the tournament with six wickets in hand.
• Sri Lanka finished their innings with a massive six.
• India equaled that feat by hitting a glorious six to lift the cup!
•  Mahela Jayawardene and Nuwan Kulasekara were associated in a stand of 66 for the sixth wicket.

• The Wankhede Stadium is the best for the sixth wicket in a
World Cup final, surpassing the 32 between Michael Bevan and Stuart Law for
Australia against Sri Lanka at Lahore on March 17, 1996.
• Dhoni completed his 6,000 (6 x 1000) runs in ODIs. He thus crossed Six others including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag.

• Jayawardene is the sixth batsman to score a hundred in a World Cup final.
• The game was played on the 2nd April and if you look at the corresponding numbers of the date and month they add up to six.
• After a hectic and hard-worked five day week, we had the wonderful Game played on the sixth day.
• Hitting a six is a great ambition to every cricketer.
• Each ‘over’ in the game consists of six balls.
• Last but not the least, the game was played in Mumbai (with six letters in its name).

(sent By Mr. Bhaskaran Sivaraman)