Once upon a time, about a decade ago, or more precisely a few days after our wedding, the newly wed husband of mine was chatting up my younger brother. I lolled around in the background listening to the boys taking in the sights and talking about Cricket.
“Do you remember Kapil Dev’s batting in the 1983 World Cup?” asked the husband breathless with excitement. Clearly, it was one of those turning points in his life because that was the time he remembers the transformation in his image. The time he became the go-to-guy in the extended family. Suddenly, all his young uncles and their friends could bank on the lanky, shy eight year old boy to tell them all about Cricket. He had every player’s statistics at his fingertips. He had an audience for his gospel on batting techniques and strategic fours and sixes. Through all the frenzy, one special hero emerged: Kapil Dev. Kapil Dev was the hero for an entire generation. How many times have boys fought over who can be the Kapil Dev in their roadside matches?
Life moves on, however. Memories recede to farther and farther corners of the brain and sometimes fade. Only we realize that some memories don’t fade. They simply lie there waiting to be awakened again. One such was the Kapil Dev memory. It so happened that the husband got to meet his childhood hero recently.
When he came home after meeting the Cricket legend, I asked him how the experience was and he said,
“You know? As a boy I dreamed of meeting Kapil Dev and never once did I stop to think what I would say to him if I did.” The strange thing is, the intervening years seem to have done nothing in that department. He continued, “I had all week knowing I was going to meet him and I still didn’t think about what I was going to say to him.”
A glassy look came over his eyes and he went on mute. There I was waiting to listen to the rest of whatever else happened at the tip of my chair, but there was nothing. The eager wife waiting for the hero-blessed-husband to chat was left wanting. There was silence. Well he was sipping his coffee, so the slurping noise filled the gaps but not much else. I prodded him gently by poking his ribs and yelling “HEY! ”
He “Uhhned?” and said, “It must be really hard being a celebrity. Imagine, I went there and told him it was nice to meet him, but my heart was thumping that it was nicer still to take a picture with him. That’s all most people were interested in. A picture to be posted on Facebook.”
But the husband brought up a good point. What do you say to the celebrities? They certainly inspire us to dare to dream, but what do the celebrities get out of the exchange?
The husband got this…..
8 thoughts on “Childhood Heroes and Cricket”
Good post. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thanks Sri 🙂
Ooooh yes. We were all Kapil Dev fans back then. I remember being allowed to stay up to watch the World Cup.
I don’t remember the World Cup much, but I do remember Kapil dev being the hero for a long time for many of my friends.
Good one. I also got a chance to meet him in Malaysia airport as a common man getting his daughter to complete the home work :). Prem I dont know you remember or not we use to replicate his style of bowling including every bit of hand position, jump etc. It is different story that similarity stops there, the ball which we delivered after that need to be searched in bushes (Either it would have been a big wide or the batsmen would have hit it so hard that it disappears in the bushes :))
He inspired so many children in so many different ways 🙂 Bathri: you and your brother’s cricketing chronicles can fill a book!
Kapil, Marshall and Imran are few that I remember. Sometimes with plastic ball too 🙂
With loosened front button and drooping shoulder for marshall and high jump before delivery imran, Simple to be come one:)