I'm posting this with my emotions running so high. Quite a few of my blogger friends wanted me to post articles and not take this break. And I've been unable to comply with their requests for a few reasons. But Dada has just pushed me to write this. I'm just starting to miss HIM. All news channels have been telecasting those last few moments of Dada sporting India colors. And Boria Majumdar's tete-a-tete with Dada just got over and here I'm, penning down this heart-felt tribute to one of the Doyens of Indian Cricket.
I just can't imagine Indian Cricket without Sourav. What a player he has been!!! What a Captain!!! Well, all these have been said many a times but then, I want to say this once more. It feels really good to cherish those Ganguly moments.....if I can say. Be it that famours arms-up, punch the air style at Chepauk in 2001 after defeating the Aussies or his broad smile after taking that final catch to win the test series in Pakistan or that historic Lords balcony sight when he flung his T-shirt and cherished that victory to his fullest extent. There're many to note because Ganguly has just been an exceptional player, in all aspects. But he's best remembered as a leader who changed the face of Indian Cricket and gave it a new dimension in the 21st century. I'm very happy, he didn't disappoint fans like me, as he repeated the Lords sight for one last time at the Nagpur players' balcony this noon, after winning the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
He's been a special player. I'm not going to get too statistical here. Everybody knows his record as a player, captain but I'm going to pen down, what every youngster shall learn from this legend. Firstly, SELF-BELIEF. Had he not epitomized this, he wouldn't have survived this long and he's what today, just because of his self-belief. Second, DETERMINATION. In his recent interview to CNN IBN, he said he had a few goals in life, one being playing 100 tests for India and when he was left out in 2005, he had played 88 tests. That determination to make his desires deserving, is just amazing and something, we youngsters should emulate. He worked hard, really hard to make that IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE. Oxymorons have, many a times, been exemplified by Ganguly's actions.
The honor he was given this morning before taking the field was a pleasing sight, and more importantly, it was Dravid and Sachin up-front, patting him on his back as he led India onto the field. Bhajji, exchanging pleasantries with his mentor, wishing him good luck was a mark of respect he showed to someone who groomed him and for what Bhajji is, today, much credit goes to Dada for having backed him in the early days of his cricketing career.. Finally, as Johnson made his way back and as the stumps were removed, it was so so touching to see Dravid, run from one end, come near Dada and hug him with so much warmth. The expression on Dravid's face said what it's to miss a 12 year old friend and a once-upon-a-time roommate. A perfect way to emote one's affection for a long-time friend. Dravid's face said it all. And The Wall followed it up with another hug a few seconds later and I feel, maybe, he wanted to live that moment of his life with Ganguly alone.
It was also moving to see Dada's facial reaction as he hugged Sachin. His lips moved closer towards each other and it really expressed what it is to miss someone who has seen every run you had scored, every ball you had bowled, every catch you had taken, every win you had got for India and more importantly, appreciated and witnessed both the comebacks you had made. Sachin had a few words to say after the hug and Dada was all smiles as he bid adieu to a career which many say, has been DRAMATIC.
This is a heart-felt downpour of a Dada fan. Dada!!! You don't have to prove anything to anybody. It's for the world to look up to you and get inspired. You re-defined Indian Captaincy, YOU gave the Aussies a taste of their own medicine, YOU made us know what WINNING ABROAD is, YOU showed Indian selectors what youngsters could do for the team.Ganguly is seen as a man of privilege, someone who clicks his fingers and an army of servants arrives to clip his nails or fan his face. But above all, You've been one of the finest ambassadors for Indian Cricket and in particular, your ODI career has been something AMAZING, FANTASTIC, FABULOUS, EXTRAORDINARY and what not, I'm running out of adjectives. I Miss You Dada!!!
As Dada walked along the sands of time, his footsteps are the bunch of talented players he's left behind who are currently, the backbone of Indian Cricket...be it Sehwag, Bhajji, Zaheer or even the current Indian Captain MS Dhoni. Hats Off !!! I take a bow and salute this BENGAL TIGER.
I'm a tension-free person wanting to enjoy every moment of my life. I take life as it comes and strongly opine that one shouldn't get bogged down when things don't seem to go his/her way. I believe in my abilities and feel 'EVERYTHING IN LIFE HAPPENS FOR A REASON'. I get inspired and want to inspire others. An eternal optimist :)