Some say that this past Saturday was one of the happiest days of the planet.
About one-fifth of the world’s population was celebrating. All at the same time.
48 hours after the event, it remains at the back of my mind… images of how it all happened, how it all came together, that final six, the sense of relief, the sense of euphoria at watching it happen the way we’ve dreamed of.. for a long, long time.
‘Tis a little hard to come up with a good way of intro-ing topical posts, while including my own snarkiness in the mix.
Nevertheless, here goes nothing.
It sort of splits up.. oh, you’ll see.
Stuff that struck me while reading about Sachin Tendulkar’s nearly unbelievable* feat, most of which will be repeated everywhere I look over the next few days/weeks:
- On this day 21 years ago He completed a 664-run partnership with Kambli. Twenty-f*ckin-one.
- His 200 contained 25 boundaries (the most by a single batsman in an ODI till date) and 3 sixes. The entire RSA team innings (in reply) had 30 boundaries and 3 sixes.
- He has scored 93 international centuries (combining test and ODI cricket) until today. There was a time when He decimated an Australian team for a whole summer (yes, the great Sharjah innings), which was when I started believing that He would score over a 100 centuries before He retired. That day is nigh.
- His closest competitors today (in terms of statistics) have to currently make
- Tests: 1588 runs to catch up His total of 13447, 8 centuries to catch up His total of 47.
- ODIs: 4170 runs to catch up with 17598, 17 centuries to catch up with 46.
- He made an impeccable, near-perfect 175 while chasing Australia in Hyderabad last year.. only to have the Indian team let Him down and choke once He was out. I remember defending him when people said that the innings was typical Tendulkar – the century was great, but no use if He never finishes what He starts. I wonder if.. somehow.. RSA had successfully chased 400 (they’ve done it before), how sweet would this 200 be for the ungrateful Indian cricket fan?
- The fact that He does not make the ICC list of the best players of all-time in either Tests or ODIs has to now rank as one of the biggest egg-on-your-face (or idiotic) statements until date for the ICC. For a man who is redefining every batting record there is every time He takes guard, a man who has surpassed His contemporaries in both longevity and performance… I guess He doesn’t need the ranking to make His mark in cricket history.
I ask you, does He really have to worry about never lifting a World Cup on India’s behalf? Can we quit wondering aloud about His performance every time He doesn’t make a century?
Will we ever get over Him?
Side note: I noticed that the statistically top batsmen who are still playing cricket today are all 34+ (age in brackets): Jayasuriya (40), Ponting (35), Tendulkar (37), Gibbs (36), Kallis (34). This is to be expected, given the amount of cricket these people have played in their lifetime… but it appears the old guard is never going to make way for a new one.
*I say “nearly unbelievable”, because it is Sachin after all. One can believe that He can pull it off.**
**Yes, the capitalization of ‘H’ is intentional. God, after all.
The time has come.
Back to India.
Madness. All centered around me. And the missus. But me too!
There will probably be no posts for a bit here. I’m not live-blogging my own wedding, or even live-tweeting my honeymoon 😛
Speaking of which, that is probably going to be the best birthday ever 😀
It has taken its time to sink in, people have been asking me ‘How do you feel about you getting married?’ for weeks now.. and I haven’t really had an answer. Half the “wedding feeling” is in the atmosphere around you. Yes, I have great friends and a great missus who are all insanely excited about what is going to happen… but its not quite the same, is it? Having 20 billion people around you (or at least what feels like 20 billion people) all abuzz, all running around, ragging, laughing, managing, noise, shouting – this is what really makes that feeling really hit you.
A little bit of that feeling is striking me now. I’m not sure if it is my usual trip-anticipation jitters, but it does feel different somehow. Feels like a lot of preparation is coming together at long last. A big huge deal is about to happen, and I’m right in the center of it all. I want to hug myself and hold onto all the anticipation, save it for the big day.
The missus becomes more than just fiancée. She already is, but will now more officially be an SWMBO. I wonder how much she will like me as her PWOM (inverse of SWMBO).
I can’t wait.
Engines whir, and I watch as the plane passes the runway, the adjoining highway, then another, and another…then they blur together amongst the millions of blinking lights that make up the streets and homes of Bombay. I desperately try to retain a final picture in my mind as the coast approaches. The plane banks into the darkness as it leaves Bombay, and eventually, India.
I sit back in my seat trying to retain every lasting moment, every vestige of my trip.. to squirrel it all away amongst a host of memories that I don’t want to lose. A long family train journey and a celebration of my Dad’s life thus far – events that happen too few and far between for my liking today. Rituals, prayers, togetherness, joy and above all the type of fun I can only associate with India.
The second event happened was my own hooking the missus and ensuring I have to return in a few months to complete the “formalities”, so to speak. The kind of celebration and having a ball of a time thing that you can only do once in a while – especially when it comes to yourself. I have already spoken about the bummer that it is to miss a family wedding.. I should be able to make it for my own 😛
And hopefully somehow make up for the bummer that was.
Describing the feelings, astonishment and enjoyment of the last 21 days is hard. Really hard. Everyone I know has grown up/old – and I still cannot come to terms with it. Cousins I have babysat now have talents and a precocity beyond their years. “Grown-ups” I cannot think of as anything but people bigger, stronger and more organized than me have.. started to show an age. I can see batons passing from one generation to the next. I miss not being able to see them grow. To see them live. To see them enjoy. To be with them. Share time and moments of joy that are eventually all that remain of a lifetime spent together.
Seeing everyone together after so long and enjoying (not just in photographs), watching a previous generation bask in the joy of a new one, realizing how your own family has changed and matured; even finding, meeting and accepting another family into your own – these are things one really misses sitting in a foreign land. Yes, I am now convinced that the US cannot really arrest my life forever. The so-called comforts and conveniences are mere rationalizations of a need to believe that one’s own country cannot measure up. I need to take hold of this degree and accordingly plan the eventual departure. There is too much I am missing, too much I am sacrificing sitting here. India has grown and adapted to a country that can more than challenge you – it has the potential to make a real difference.
It was the kind of trip that has proved to be life-changing in more than one sense. Hopefully life will stay changed too.
Sucks more and more every time. Period.
And I remain obsessed with StickCricket, even as my mom pointedly mentions that I am now supposed to be reallly growing up – given that I’ve hooked the missus. Not taken her, just hooked.
Now for my annual sojourn of Bombay, and a visit to my school after a really really long time.