Beauty in cricket is in abundance – but you stood out
The sole bearer of melody in today’s hammer and tongs cricketing world
The ultimate hypnotist – you kept us in your trance forever
The magician – the spells you cast over us
VVS – words fail me when it comes to you. They really do.
You weren’t my childhood or teenage hero, nor my childhood idol; you were my secret crush – forget me, you were cricket’s finest romance.
Your love affair with the game – yes that’s what it always was – just pure romance; I cannot think of any other word to describe your 16 year trysts with the game.
Watching you bat was akin to falling in love over and over again
Each match was a new rendezvous with the same girlfriend and you would woo her anew every single time – whether you made 20 -50-100-200 it just did not matter. Every run was crafted with such grace that there are not enough words in the dictionary to describe what we saw.
After watching you bat I would often say in Marathi “Majhya dolyanche parne fitun gele”
You were among the core 5 members who defined and built Indian cricket’s finest decade, but you were the one reason we believed we could win – win from improbable situations. How many times did you imbibe that belief in us? Kolkatta & Chennai ’01, Mumbai ’04, Mohali ’10, Colombo ’10, Durban ’10, Adelaide ’03, Perth ’08 – and then many more matches where you stood ably beside the trio resulting in many wins for India.
And yet there was no VVS cult – there were distinct set of fans in the Dravid, Tendulkar and Dada factions but there was never a VVS sect of fans.
The fandom, the love, the craziness somehow seemed a bit incomplete when it came to you.
When Dravid called it quits this March, I wanted to see you play this season at home; atleast until Australia visited and then call it a day. I was definitely not prepared for the announcement you gave on Saturday. “With immediate effect” probably the only words I heard in that press conference and they stayed with me for a long time – 5 days since the announcement and I’ve not come to terms with not seeing your name on the scoreboard tomorrow.
People called for your head last year and I did not see the reason; the emotional me felt you would last this year and call it a day on home soil in your own romantic fashion. Maybe that last century at your favourite ground – that last perfect goodbye to your loved one.
But you didn’t wait – for reasons known best to you – you said Goodbye and it did not feel right. Break-ups are rarely amicable, yours was going to be tough to handle.
I’m not the best writer around – there are plenty who have written some beautiful prose about you while I struggle to express how much you will be missed, or more importantly I wonder if I and many more are left with a guilt of not taking our fandom for you to completion.
As I struggled to pen down my thoughts, I came across this wonderful song and I can’t thank @cluelessvictory enough for sharing this song yesterday. It probably sums up the feeling of incompleteness I feel with you gone forever from this game.
I will always wonder if your love story was left incomplete and if only…
Dil keh raha use maqammal kar bhi aao, Wo jo adhoori si yaad baaki hai
The heart says go complete – that memory which still remains incomplete
Dil keh raha use mayassar kar bhi aao, Wo jo dabi si aanch baaki hai
The heart says, go get it – that one suppressed spark that is still left
Dil keh raha hai use musalsal kar bhi aao, Wo jo ruki si chaah baaki hai
The heart says, go make it come true, that love which has been stuck for so long…