Saturday, October 18, 2008

Googlies: On Ganguly who bamboozled critics again (Gangooglied them)

Ganguly dada did it again: produced another knock to remind his critics that he is and will ever be regarded has one of the greatest Indian batsmen ever. But the critics already have their I-pods on, (they are all but knocked out), their eyes are watching other kids and they are only irritated by this undying rubble raiser. The trouble with being an outspoken great in India is that people want to drown you in their own nonsense. In his hour of greatness too, he stands on a podium, waiting for an applause. While applause will come at some hour, maybe when shame and guilt will egg the gathered masses, for now, the hero stands on the podium, not garlanded, not felicitated, but stands there fighting the mosquito noises asking him to leave and go home. But here I will start will loud clap from my corner, and hopefully others will join in:

Dada, for you and your "zazba" (the passion that makes you the man you are)!

To have sixteen ceturies, highest number of wins as captain, seven thousand runs in test cricket is no mean achievement. It does not happen everyday. Only Tendulkar, Dravid and Gavaskar have scored more, and among all the batsmen in the top ten list for India, only Ganguly has been in the eye of so many storms. To score more than 11000 runs, take 100 wickets, make 22 centuries, lead your team into World Cup final, requires a Ganguly, the Prince of Calcutta, the man next only to God on the off-side. After Tendulkar, Ganguly is the best ever one day batsman we have ever had, and his records do not display the spirit and fight he brought into the team when he took over as the captain. Even Lara, the greatest left-handed batsmen ever, has prone to dismal phases, even Tendulkar has had his rough patches, but while their greatness was never doubted, their selection was automatic, Ganguly has had times when he was unrecognizable, covered by mud, blood, spit, dirt and sweat.

When he lay writhing near dead in a cesspool of criticism, when selectors, veterans favored obituaries over eulogies, Ganguly busied himself in domestic cricket, waiting for that chance to reassert that a great fighter never fades and never destroys himself by the doubts that lies in the mind of others. As a man who failed and fought passionately, and celebrated his successes with a torn shirt, beating his chest like a tribal, as a legend who refuses to fizzle out, Ganguly is a saga that will ever inspire me personally, and hopefully many among our midst.

Ganguly has the capacity of creating intense emotions in the cricket maniac country. He is judged and smudged by the audiences that include:

The Halwaais whose best catches are of chappatis thrown from one hand to another.
The streetwallahs, whose experience of glance amounts to leering at women walking by.
The barbers, who think they know how to cut.
The partymongers, who believe they have mastered the art and style of dealing with bouncers.
The drivers, who know how to drive to any corner of labyrinths called cities in India.
The beggars on riversides, who dive without fear, and pluck out coins at speed that could help them win a medal, if there was an Olympic event like that.

The bureaucrats who understand the concept of slip extremely well, the clerks who know how to guide the buck, the businessmen who know how to steal a single (from the beginning of a number like 10000 that was their due as taxes).

The students, many of them have never scored half century, let alone a hundred. The students who accept every failure and never fight back, never learn how to rise against adversity, never strive to achieve event a momentary state where anyone would be roused to say, "thats brilliant!"

The politicians, who think positions, seats in academia or government or industry, are to be distributed not according to the talent or the proven ability but in a way that makes greatest number of voters happy. The oldies (>65 year old) who rule the country and never think of retiring, think that the seniors (i.e. 35 year old) should retire to make way for youngsters (~30 year old).

We, Indians, who have not learned how to praise unless foreigners bestow awards on our kind. We, Indians, who know how to lead a man to disgrace, maybe form a mob to beat him to death, but we don't know how to hoist a hero on our shoulders and carry him around the city in triumph. We carry only hardened criminals around like that. We can worship only movie stars, we can suck up to only politicians, we can praise only the dead. We, Indians, who don't know how to value our heritage, our language, our environment, our laws, we, Indians, who defile everything original and pious, we Indians who are happy with zero or at most three medals in Olympics, we Indians who have let millions perish without food and opportunity for earning any, we Indians who let our daily life be mediocre and full of "chalta hai" (let it be) attitude, we Indians who just criticize and never do the effort it takes to actually change or better anything.

Go Dada go! You did more than one could ask of you. But we have let bigger men go, we have allowed bigger calamities to happen. You have succeeded and done well, we have loved and hated you for many things in last two decades, and we have celebrated and berated you. Nevertheless we will remember you. Imagine what we are capable of and know, we have treated you exceedingly well, and forgive us, like an indulging, grand hero does. In your death on the battlefield, in your retirement, in your calling it a day, lies your future redemption and future praise. But that never guided or deterred you. So go in victory, go with your head held high, go with a celebration through your strokeplay, go with mute admiration of millions of us spread around the globe. Go Dada go! As you go, give us that smile again, raise your helmet once more, pound that fist once again, and once again, jump with that tight fist raised high...


vineet said...

Well written sir...but i think.. u shud replace the word "Indian" in your penultimate paragraph by the word "Media"..and that will be well justified...wat say?

Vivek Sharma said...

from :
October 18, 2008
11:38 AM



it was a nice knock by ganguly

didn't know he could inspire you to become so sentimental!

October 18, 2008
11:56 AM

Thanks for this inspiring requiem

Vivek Sharma said...


Ether posted 21 hrs ago


"We, Indians, who have not learned how to praise unless foreigners bestow awards on our kind." Actually this is not a bad idea not blowing your own trumpets but allowing the others to do so...

However, the scathing "We, Indians, who know how to lead a man to disgrace, maybe form a mob to beat him to death, but we don't know how to hoist a hero on our shoulders and carry him around the city in triumph. We carry only hardened criminals around like that."

yes, do reflect some but not each and everyone -


Reply | Delete | Block this user | Report Abuse

Super15 posted 20 hrs ago

If someone who is having allround records, its dada.... No one performed the way he did in various situations. Infact, those who made 10,000+ runs in both forms for India had never been as successful captain as DADA. He was leading the team, got enough number of victories, handled lot of pressures, explored young guys, given more and more opportunities to new people, gave lots of confidence, power to fight and stood by everyone at every moment and so on & on & on... Everyone talk about WC but he lead the team and took till the doors. Some people say that his contribution was not much... for them, I would like to tell is go and see the records... and in the event like WC leading a team itself a big contribution... and taking it till finals itself is a big achievement... Can anyone tell me what happened to very next WC where Chappal & Wall were showing so many colors to entire India and even veterans were forced to say that this is the best team who have potential to grab the WC... and we can back so early... Thats the fate if Indian cricket... You don't pay attention to one who deserves and the one who takes the responsibility doesn't have guts to achieve anything... The great Sachin also kept away from captaincy thinking that he cannot fully concentrate on his batting if additional responsibilities are put on him.... Our friend Dravid, did everything possible to get the captaincy and again did everything possible to get rid of it... unfortunately, during his tenure as a captain, he for sure did not perform as great as Dada... may be he must have hit few knocks... but prove me by holding that post for 5 years and you will know what it makes to be a Dada like captain...

Anway, after another 5 innings, we may not be seeing Sourav Ganguly in our regular ODIs or TEST matches but whatever he did to the Indian Cricket will be remembered for ever and ever...

Hope the Indian Cricket under the leadership of Dhoni with the inputs from Sachin and like minded people along with younger legs across the board will reach more and more heights...

Vivek Sharma posted 1 min ago

Ether, Our parliament and our beloved bollywood is full of serial offenders and hardened criminals. As far as the mob mentality goes, it has become only severe over time.

Super15, Ganguly may not have the quietness associated with Kumble, Dravid or Tendulkar, who more often than not, shunned the hard questions, and held their reserve to their advantage. By jumping right into the middle of shouting matches, and winning many of them, Ganguly has sustained himself and his men many times. Lets wish him well, and I hope Indian team continues to find people like him.

Vivek Sharma said...

More from

October 18, 2008
04:02 PM

You can love him or you can hate him, but what you can never do is ignore him. It was a brilliant knock. I do find over and over again, this enormous show of guts and character, inspiring specially in my beloved India where most public personalities have never believed in anything or anyone much less themselves.

Vivek Sharma
October 18, 2008
10:06 PM

Ganguly does not need to prove anything to anyone anymore, but it was still heartening to see him perform in both the tests.

Temporal, Aman: I was typing my thesis for past many months, and hence the relative silence.

AC: He knows how to live on the edge, and like true heroes, knows that the war is not lost in one battle. Let us hope he will be an inspiration for people in coming years!