Jus for the sake of those non-existant readers of this blog...latest staus of teh apps is 3-2...admit from UC Davis on Friday.
The big ones are awaited...fingers crossed.
Now the ode...to the most famous bengali post independance, to my personal hero - The Prince of Kolkata.
Bengalis are known for their blind passion and support for the son of the soil, but Dada has captured the imagination of the nation and the world with this gritty comeback. But wait, I'm rushing this ode. Lets go back to the early 90's.
The Australian tour of 91-92, jus prior to the World Cup. Mohammed Azharuddin struggling, young Srinath generating some genuine pace and Sachin enthralling the Australian crowd with his talent. Part of that touring party was a nondescript 19 year old teenager, Sourav Ganguly. A talented left-hander but the victim of the politics that sub-continent cricket has come to accept. With one tour match, where he did pretty well, in a partnership with the run-out maestro of that tour, Sanjay Manjrekar. One ODI, a single digit score the bengali cricket dream after Pankaj Roy was finished. Touted as a "Maharaj" by the media, teh 19 year old was flung back to the anonymity of domestic cricket.
Still a boy in school, I watched Dada play Orissa at Eden Gardens on a Sunday afternoon, soon after his Australian night mare. Booed by his home-town, abused by one and all the biy became a man.
Four years in the grit and grime of ranji cricket, Dada steeled mentally.
It was 1996, i was in the 11th standard struggling with pressures of adolescence, engineering entrance tests, board exams. Dada made his debut at Lords. We didnt have a cable connection at home, so I managed to grab bits of his innings from the news clippings. Im sure I wouldnt have been able to sit throught the innings. Somehow I felt one with Dada. That image of Dada holding the Man-of the Series in his hand will be ever lasting one in my memory.
Soon I was facing the worst crisis of my life, a year at home after the board exams, preparing for the entrances. It was my time to steel up. I still remember that day, standing outside the gates of Bidhannagar Govt College, waiting to go to my Maths Hons class, I heard a classmate of mine sings praises of Dada's performance at Toronto. Salim Mallik had become his personal bunny, Dada was taking wickets, scoring runs, India had drubbed Pakistan 4-1. The pain of those defeats at Sharjah was a thing of the past. If Dada could bounce back, so could I !!
1998, a dream fulfilled as I entered the gates of Jadavpur University. I had achieved what I had setout to acheive a year back. I was no longer lost in wilderness.
The South African ODI series, Dada captain of India !! He was setting the bar higher.
Those six years of sheer joy that he gave us, his uninhibited display of emotion at Lords, beating the Australians at home and away, thumping that century at Adelaide, crushing one and all before falling before the mighty Australians at Jo'Berg, Dada was realising a dream.
Then followed the slump, the home series against Pakistan, ridiculed by the media and the public, the fallout with Greg Chappell in Zimbabwe, fighting for his place in Pakistan. Dada was out!!
Was the dream over?? Dada struggled in county cricket, domestic cricket!!
Obituaries were being written. Menawhile my dream of a MBA was slowly being flushed out.
Then came the turn-around, the prince ws fighting back. Match-Winning performances in doemstic cricket, dada was clawing back.
Finally in South Africa a fighting performance and the tide had turned.
England, West Indies, Pakistan, Dada devoured all in his path.
Now the 100th test match on Boxing day in MCG. A year back who would have thought Dada would still be part of the touring party, and its best player as well. Dada didn't give up. He gave me the strength to hango n to my dreams, and they too seem to be on their orad to realization in the fall of 2008.
Dada fights on..........