Jalsa, Mumbai May 13/14, 2017 Sat/Sun 1:28 am
An errant lad this creator of the Blog .. lethargic in his attendance and in his outputs of the written word .. compelling the Ef to wonder why they must continue to be where they ought to be ..
So .. since apologies are unaccepted by they that give this platform the dignity and visibility of its existence, I shall seek none ..
Instead I wish to complete what perhaps could have looked like an incomplete attendance at class ..
The IPL T20 Extra Innings interview .. sudden and honoured to be in the company of the great Sunil Gavaskar, one with whom there now exists a long and memorable association ..
The first meeting in London, where they came as the India Team and were invited for dinner at Jaya’s Uncle’s home who worked with the BBC, and the subsequent ride in a friend’s sports car stuffed with the mighty talents of cricket at the time - 1973 - in a 2 seater, dropping them off at their Hotel .. to the wedding invite for his sister’s wedding to the dynamic Vishvanath at Shivaji Park and so many years of not forgetting each others birthday to date ..
Kapil Dev and Madan after their incredible victory in the 1983 World Cup .. my concert tour of the UK and USA, and inviting Kapil and Madan to the stage at Wembley and the roar of the audience when they appeared .. truly a recognition most deserving ..
Those very early years of University and Sherwood and the desire to see a live cricket match .. it was in Delhi, and yes at the Ferozshah Kotla ground, then not even remotely looking like the spanking stadium it is now .. a India Pakistan match and the likes of Fazal Mehmood, the green eyed handsome pace bowler, who had in an earlier contest in England bowled so superbly that the British media termed it with a headline - ‘England Fuzzled out’ - a pun on the first name of Fazal Mehmood .. that game with the likes of another great from Pakistan, Hanif Mohammed .. and the Captain of the day Polly Umrigar, putting on our own bowling sensation Ramakant Desai as soon a Hanif came to bat, for, if there was one person that Hanif was uncomfortable to face it was Ramakant Desai !! and yes he bowled him out on that day too ..
The West Indies stalwarts that came over during that time .. the massive bowling and batting giants - Hall, Griffith, Kanhai and many others .. the pace attack bowlers so aggressive and frighteningly fast that as they would start their run up it seemed as they would blow someone’s head off .. indeed they did .. of Nari Contractor our Captain .. that wonderful story of an opposing batsman coming in to bat, crossing the boundary line to enter the field to bat, finding one of those bowling West Indian greats, that had immensely long run ups, standing near the boundary line almost, ready to take the start of his over, and the new batsman entering the field going past him and wondering why he was standing there, so far away from his bowling wicket and the response from the bowler -
“ You shall soon find out “ … !!
hehahaaah .. the bowlers run up used to start from a few minuscule feet away from the boundary line …
And then of course some other great thereafter - Chandu Borde, and Eknath Solkar and his prowess as the close in fielder .. Manjrekar and Ramchand and even before them the V’s - Vinu Mankad, Vijay Hazare, Vijay Merchant .. and the autographs sent to me by my Father from England, where he had gone to do his PhD in English Literature and the Indian community traditionally being invited at Buckingham Palace for an At Home .. the cricket team along with my Father being guests and my Father seeking the autograph of the players ..
Those friendly charity cricket matches that the film industry played with the Indian Team .. that moment when I was bowling and the Umpire guiding me by telly me to bowl over the wicket and shorter .. and I looking at him with some dismay, as to why he was guiding me and me not liking being told like so .. and on disclosing my displeasure to another team member, he telling me off with :
“You absolute idiot .. that Umpire is the great Vinu Mankad “ ! and me not knowing where to hide my face from this spin bowling giant, Mr Mankad ..
Ahh .. the memory goes on for years and years .. right down to present times and Sachin and MS Dhoni and all the younger players that exhibit such tremendous energy and skills on the pitch .. MS Dhoni walking on to the set of ‘BaghBaan’ while I was shooting and all of us in absolute awe of the man ..
Hmmm .. the tales shall continue ..
Mother’s Day and other appointments with WHO .. and so much more .. later