I was about 15, sitting in the back seat of the family car after a dinner out with everyone, imploring my father to drive faster as we were about to miss the start of the cricket. He wouldn't and he gave me a reason to justify his non-action that I didn't believe then, and I only barely believe now.
My dad reasoned that as a man gets older he develops phobias for things that came naturally to him in his younger days (ie. driving fast, some would argue other things too, but we'll leave that for now). He lives with a constant fear of "what if?" My father told me that I too would develop this fear one day, where I would doubt my instincts, where throwing caution to the wind would not be an option, let alone seriously considered.
After much introspection I cannot really say that I have reached such a stage. I do not totally agree with my venerable father (nothing new there), as such mindsets are not universally adopted by all, but depend on an individual's priorities and experiences. However, I can see the effect he described, in other people. Sourav Ganguly being one such person.
Life is no Bollywood masala movie, where they all live happily ever after. Only the uninformed or the cricket-illiterate would have held any hope of Sourav Ganguly being invited to rejoin the Indian dressing room. Unfortunately, we merely witnessed what we have been observing for the past year, or three.
The demons in Ganguly's mind have cemented their roots to such an extent that even an attempted exorcism by the most worshipped practitioners of black magic would not suffice. The said demons serve to cloud the links between his limbs and his mind. One gets the feeling he knows what to do, just does not remember how. He seems scared every time a bowler capable of bowling above 125 kph stands atop his mark. It need not matter whether the bowler is actually able bowl that fast, because more often than not he has already won the battle against the Ganguly of post 2003.
Alas, this is the end. There will be no more attempts at re-selection, only memories. They will be treasured and recounted with pride and vigour. It was good having you around Dada. Take care of yourself and hold your head up high. You are a fighter and true leader who game much to the game of cricket in your country. You will, eventually, be remembered fondly, by most, if not all. Take care of yourself, dear friend.
Everything else in the Red v Green Challenger Trophy match pales into insignificance compared to the final passing of Ganguly's cricketing career. Click here for a just review of the other protagonists and all the scores.
(Our previous posts on Ganguly here.)
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