Mahendra Singh Dhoni – Monument for each moment
January 01, 2015. Days give us a hint of carelessness to our tantrums while moving on and taking us through at laser speed. In Rudraveena, the lyricist for the song Tarali Raada Tane Vasantham wrote about mysterious side effects that engulf lovers of music, one of them being timelessness of melody. When you fail to catch that hint and instead move ahead as planned for only being regular and casual, and somewhere down the line if you spot you are struck to see yet another monument leaving the scene with a few regrets, a few ifs and buts, wishful championships, quite a little professional credit, etc, sense of celebration storms you.
There was news yesterday that India’s second most celebrated position after Prime Minister Office had to fast forward the ‘next in, first out’. I got off the chair immediately and gave a pause for the lunch that’s been overly delayed to check if it was one of such pranks I usually make my friends fall prey to. The news appearing on flash cordon confirmed it. Foregoing moment passed on to the waiting moment. Somehow later, I did manage to give a slip to work after sensing I was in the comfort zone barely hours before New Year’s take off. Diversity, judgment, analytic mixer of feel for parting ways which I have agglomerated for writing adieu of 2014 had to make way for crafting currency for buying preparation manual of specially manufactured ice-creams on earth that have cream mounted on knife-edge. Imagine those tingles you have when you taste it for pleasure but you need to be careful enough for every melting moment! The man from Ranchi was just like that on the field – sweet taste embellished on a fighting sword.
Uncertainty his flavour
The problem with this man was always this. He didn’t respect day aspirations of off the field gentlemen, including those of mine, but later made they regret in the night for their remarks prior to the match or occasion. A few livelihood for food buffs like me, who grew up in 1990s by getting used to a norm that states any sort of conventional criticism by Hindustani parents for poor academics and indiscipline often follows wish nourishment of Indian children – like fresh supply of mutton chop and mango juice, were a trifle late in identifying the talent of this man from Jharkhand state of Indian union. The first delight came on the first Tuesday of April 2005 at a high profile international stage considered our own. We were delighted to know that this man drank close to five liters of milk a day. Fetich! Even the electronic media paid rich tributes to the milk he drank as if swallowing milk would have won them anything. They safely hid his duty as Railways employee like many of us would do in reserve of praise for higher echelons of insanitary manifestation of education – groom your son for diploma disease which ONLY earns him some job for a fair return of investment.
Contd.. Santhosh, Author, ScoopLense™
V V S Laxman – Leaving the Willow , Holding the Mike
February 2013. The moment my dream melted away, I woke up. I woke up to some nothingness and emptiness I’d never felt before. The window panes were beating, curtains swaying and the sun was shining. The birds were chirping and the “Suprabhatham”, a classical devotional song was echoing in South India heralding dawn and sunrise. Rubbing my hands, placing them on my eye lids for a short prayer, I opened my eyes to an absolute inertia. As I looked through the window of my apartment on the 8th floor, I could see the flood lights from a distance being turned off. Well, the latter were those present at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here in Hyderabad. On introspection, I’ve arrived at a feuding answer. Why were the lights turned off? Why are they deserted and depressed? Why are they feeling pain? Or, are they really moaning the fact that the city’s finest son will never walk in to bat again? The obvious answer ‘No’, only leads to my bafflement.
To say the least, things are not shaping out that well after 18th Aug, 2012. For once, I recollected that fateful decision V V S Laxman took on that day and how it struck a pall of gloom deep inside me. I’ve remembered how my heart sobbed and my eyes dampened, how I would walk past the boundaries of the stadium and lamented the absence of my hero on the cricketing field. On an absurd note, I even asked myself what on earth made him to hold a cricket bat rather than a stethoscope. For, even with a stetho he could have attained the same stature and success as he had with the willow. Guess you all know he comes from a family of doctors. For that sake, his on field works can be related to medicine in some way or the other. The way he handled the deteriorating ball is like treating a patient fighting for life; the way he respected the good length ball is like respecting his doctor colleagues; the way caressed and gently cut the ball on the onside is like performing a life saving surgery. If I was shocked to hear about his leaving the game when he walked through the greens of stadium along with his parents, kids and wife Sailaja, I grieved in consoling myself as time went on. I could not control my tears when noble people in sports journalism put Laxman in black and white as “The wizard among the muggles”, “V V S Laxman – The artist dude next door”, “The last of gentlemen – A personal history”, “For the second innings man, it was the draw of the stumps”, “The man who brought thrills and hope”, to mention a few. His presence was felt more in his absence than ever.
Does time really hibernate there? (Wish it halted in the case of Laxman though). As Charles Buxton writes, “You will never find time for anything. If you want to, you must make it”. This legend Laxman never whiled away his time.
22nd Nov, 1996 is remarkable for the Laxman’s debut. It has a special significance. VVS, to his devotees offered something special as a debut commentator on 22nd Feb, 2013, half year into his superannuation. If in 1996 he wore the traditional Indian white colored cricket uniform in Ahmedabad, in 2013 he wore the garb of a commentator in Chennai and excelled with his gift of the gab. Ironically, the opponents were tough masters of international scenario, South Africa under stewardship of Hansie and Aussies at Chepauk. In the box, it was the 43 year old Victorian with 708 test match wickets – Shane Keith Warne. Like his inevitable ‘takk’, Laxman’s words were gentle and soothing. Listening to him is a thrilling experience. It seemed as if he started exhibiting the magic he once had performed. He presented the semblance of his emerald past. The words were subtle, never lost coherence, sweet pitch, rhythm and intonation, chaste in opinion. He spoke like an experience professor of English. On a personal note, listening to Laxman was like listening to the early Morning Prayer (Aarathi) of Lord Sai Baba. So divine an experience it was.
As Rahul Dravid in his epic Bradman Oration down under in Canberra, 2011 says, “As individuals, we were asked to play to the absolute outer limits of our capabilities and we often extended them”, I hope Laxman leaves an indelible impression wherever he speaks, would be an epitome of professorship and above all, would add even more magic to “The Laxman Effect”, that once prevailed on this planet earth.
We are in hock to you a lot dear Laxman.
©Ravi Teja Mandapaka, Editor, ScoopLense™