Monday, November 10, 2008

Dear Dada

Dear Dada,

It's been a slightly hectic journey, and you must be a bit tired at the moment. But just before you hang up those boots which were quarantined in New Zealand, and plunge full time into the machher jhol-bhat business on Park Street, we wanted to take a moment of your time and thank you.

Anandabazar Patrika & The Telegraph would like to thank you for increasing their Sports page advertisement rates since that summer evening of '96 when you and Rahul started what is now called the Golden Era of Indian batting. All of us, students during the late 90's would like to thank you for those 4 man of the match awards in Toronto, because it was only because of those nights we got permission to watch cricket till as long as we wanted since then. The selectors and some long-retired players would like to thank you for helping them be in the news all the time by just saying a few nasty things about you. And for those who wanted a bit more they even found themselves sculpted as 'ashura' during Durga pujas over the years.

We would like to thank you for that innings in Taunton which heped us overcome an otherwise forgettable '99 World Cup outing in England. The lovers & elopers woud like to thank you by showing them how to jump over walls and win your lady love and take the dulhaniya away. Thank you for halting a billion 'man-Sunday evenings' a few March-es ago, and even if Ponting lifted the cup you instilled the belief in the billion Indians. And last week when a coloured American was delivering his acceptance speech at Grant Park we felt the same goose bumps we felt when you did that Salman Khan dance at the temple of the white man's game.

Finally Dada, we thank you for instilling the belief in us once again of not giving up. Of never giving up. Even if that meant taking digs at yourself and urging the nation to drink a cola drink and listening to Dada's words while the sharks were eating him up.

It's been a long walk to the pavillion, one which took 16 years to complete, but it left behind the cricketing world with one of those personalities who don't take too long from transforming from one of the greatest cricketers to a legend and a myth.

Thank you Dada. Will miss you.
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