Two Imrans and Kapil

September 29 was a date reserved for the Dilip Sardesai’s memorial lecture. I had the privilege of having actually known Sardesai in the last two decades of his life and the even greater privilege of being lectured to by him, so I wouldn’t miss the tribute in his honour for all the money in the 2G scam.

This year’s lecture was supposed to be delivered by Imran Khan. My friend Kunal was not amused. “What does Imran, the star of Mere Brother Ki Dulhan, know about cricket? Who is going to deliver next year’s lecture, Katrina Kaif?” These were Kunal’s exact words. However, since you and I are both fairly intelligent individuals, let’s ignore Kunal’s words and return to the lecture.
A day before the lecture, Imran Khan bowled a fast, inswinging, unplayable yorker. Apparently, due to a political crisis in Pakistan, he wouldn’t be able to honour his commitment. This was a trifle hard to digest. Wouldn’t it be fair to say that everyday, since August 14, 1947, has been a day of political crisis in Pakistan? So how was yesterday any different from the day before, and the day before that… whatever it was, the political crisis in Pakistan sparked off a cricketing crisis in India. Who would speak, who would speak? Who would deliver the Sardesai lecture?
My friend Kunal was not too impressed: “Why is our young Imran getting involved in our neighbour’s political crisis? What next? Will he recruit Katrina to resolve it?” Let’s, you and I, leave Kunal here and hark back to the events that subsequently transpired. Cometh the hour cometh the man. Kapil Dev stepped in. Yes, if there is one name that could replace Imran then that name would be Kapil.
At 4.30 pm, we were all together at the Cricket Club of India (CCI), in anticipation of Kapil. We were then greeted with another hit wicket. Kapil had missed his flight. Was it an incoming plane or an outgoing one? Did the plane pitch in line? Were the conditions too windy? The surface too roughed up? Did moisture assist the plane or was it a simple old-fashioned loss in concentration that made him miss it? I guess we’ll never really know. Luckily the Haryana Hurricane, even if he started slow, was always able to catch up and that is exactly what he did.
By 5.30 pm, India’s greatest cricketer was in the house. Mrs Sardesai, meanwhile, greeted me with her customary warm greeting, “Why are you here?” Kunal, meanwhile, was pestering Shishir Hattangadi and Vinod Kambli: “I just want to know why a young upcoming actor wants to dabble in Pakistan’s politics. It baffles me.” After he finished his point, Hattangadi and Yajuvendra Singh forcibly prevented Kambli from choking Kunal to death. Let’s ignore Kunal and his cronies for a while and return to the great man sitting on the stage. He is flanked by CCI president Sevanti Parikh and Dilip’s son Rajdeep who but for a slight accident of fate may well have wielded the bat, instead of the pen. Although in his defence, the pen is clearly lighter.
The next hour or so was heaven for me. Try to understand, for a 40 year old to find a heaven on earth that doesn’t involve any form of pornography is extremely difficult. As veteran scribe Ayaz Memon set the ball rolling, cricket yarns and cricket gyaans were exchanged. Kapil Dev used his rustic charm with some well-thought-out philosophy and the all-rounder held centrestage again. Just as he had done in his halcyon days, 30 years ago. When this writer was a nine year old clinging to his hero’s every deed, with bat and ball.
Thanks to the Dilip Sardesai lecture, I got a chance to be that nine year old again. It was great fun and more than nostalgic, it was therapeutic. I recommend such a trip for everyone, even our politicians. No, wait a minute, in their case it’s more a problem of being a nine year old too long.

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/99382" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-3f89b26a5a1dba9a14b2f39e2051234b" value="form-3f89b26a5a1dba9a14b2f39e2051234b" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="62931886" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.