It's been well over a year and a half since my last post. Well, nearly 22 months in fact. Not good at this at all.
The few of you who followed loyally and kept dropping comments and feedback, thank you. I hope to see you back here again. Simran, thats means you.
Well, as you know there are just two things I can really talk about at length: cricket and movies. So let me begin with the former, for now.
It's Tendulkar's 20th year at the top, and I remember January 19, 1989 pretty well. I was a week shy of my eighth birthday and my father took me along to interview what he said was the next big thing in cricket, a guy who was going to shake up the sport. I wasn't in to cricket at the time, but was made to believe this was a going to be something big. I tagged along.
It was at the Hindu Gymkhana ground on Marine Drive. It wasn't a very hot day, I recall. We got there, my dad and I, and there was a small camera crew. Just two people, I think. There was chit-chat between people, we stood around and watched players knocking it about at the nets. My dad wandered off with the camera person to speak to a man in dark shades. I would learn later that this was Dilip Vengsarkar. He wasn't too animated. Years later I saw the interview on Doordarshan and what struck me most were the Raybans.
Then up comes this little kid, with a big mop of curly hair. He looked shy, and apprehensive. Not that I was majorly perceptive back there, but this kid looked a bit uncomfortable. He wasn't much taller than me. The interview began and he spoke in this squeaky voice. This is the next big thing, I remember thinking?
It didn't last long. I didn't pay much attention. I stood near my father most of the time. I remember trying to stand under the shade of a small hedge. The interview over, they requested the kid to give a parting shot where he's supposed to grab his kit bag and hop over a ledge onto the sidewalk. He did it one take.
I forgot about that day. Later i got started watching more cricket, started reading. I got to fully understand what Tendulkar was.
Cut to 1993-94. I remember him pulling up to the driveway of our middle school building in Bombay, which was owned by his to-be in laws. He drove a swanky black sports car. Now he wore dark shades. The hair wasn't as much of a fro. People crowded about. But he was a kid still, waiting for his girlfriend to come down from upstairs. He still seemed a bit awkward, apprehensive. He waited for her to come down, he signed autographs in the meantime; then they drove off.
The next time we met was in Delhi, I think it was the same year. Tendulkar, Gavaskar, my father and I had tea at a hotel. He didn't speak much. The interview came up. He remembered it well. He was a superstar, and still awkward and apprehensive. The reasons to him were probably the same as when he was a kid in 1989.
Now that kid is a day shy of completing 20 years of international cricket. Time flies.