Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t always Inspire Cricketing views. Sachin Tendulkar moments are actually something Different.
Warning: When a write up is titled, “My Sachin Tendulkar Moments” it should not be mistaken for a Cricket post. It is true that I have a bad habit of bringing Cricket into everything that is Cricket and even that is not Cricket. Even though people know this, it also is important for me to mention that I don’t have any talents like Sachin Tendulkar. I have never scored a century even on EA Sports Cricket. This is completely different and can actually be considered embarrassing by any person with any lesser thickness of the skin than myself !
Early in my life, I was very fond of singing the songs from the movie “Shankarabharanam”. My extended family members even thought of sending me to music classes. But 1983 June 25 changed everything and I wanted to become a Cricketer. Over then next 4 – 5 years, I just played Cricket. I tried to bat like Sunil Gavaskar and bowl like L. Sivaramakrishnan. But then I realized I was just about a little worse than mediocre and came to a conclusion that becoming a Doctor was far easier. Rest as they say, is My-story !
Once in Medical College, the fear of ragging was such, I started developing fever, cold, diarrhea, heart attack, stroke and Mysathenia Gravis all in a span of less than a week. And then on a fine evening, our block leader and the ever so gentle Lokesh asked me about my talents. I said, “I can sing” hoping for a respite. Well, it worked and poor Lokesh liked my assassination of Mukesh numbers.
In those days of poor food, missing home and Formaldehyde eyes, sad Hindi songs were the only things I could remember and from “Jaane Kahaan gaye woh din” to “Hum Chor Chalen Hain Mehfil ko” I became the official singer to the block monitor. I really started believing I was indeed a good singer.
Then came the day of realization. Our classmate Guru Raj’s mother and sister had come from Bangalore. They had stayed in the ladies hostel; the dreaded or admired 18th block, according to how you looked at girls. In the evening, they came to our block and all of us were introduced to the mother and daughter. Finally when I was introduced as Govind Raj Shenoy, the innocent lady asked, “So this is the boy, the girls were talking about, who sings like S. Janaki and P. Susheela…” I believe, Guru’s sister was more embarrassed than me perhaps. She cut her mother off with, “No Amma, what are you talking ? He sings nicely. Don’t talk anything !”. Well, that was very nice of Guru’s kid sister but I had my realization !
A few weeks later, one of our North Indian classmates confirmed that. When I was straining my vocals to sing Mohammed Rafi’s “Ehesaan tera hoga mujh par”, he said, “Tumhaari aawaaz me Lata Mangeshkar-waala version behtar lagega” [Lata Mangeshkar version will sound better in your voice]. I never tried that song after that.
Once I had to call Asianet to lodge a complaint about poor quality of relay. Throughout the conversation, the lady on the other side kept talking, “OK Madam, right Madam, we will do Madam”. I was enraged and told her, “You are not talking to Madam. This is Sir”. The flustered lady replied, “Ayyo Sorry Madam, I didn’t know Madam, I mean Sir !”
Whenever I call KSEB during power outage, they respond with, “Leave your number Madam !” I realized it is a waste trying to educate people about my gender during telephone conversations. In a way perhaps it helps too. People tend to be lot more polite, I suppose !
Now I believe, whoever reads this has come to understand the relevance of the title. My voice sounds feminine over the phone and over the mike. I always thought I could imitate Mukesh, Kishore Kumar, Kumar Shanu, Raaj Kumar [Jaani] and Amitabh Bachchan but then came the realization. My friends were indeed too kind, nice and polite.
There was a girl, who once challenged me about my height or rather the lack of it. She was ready to bet anything on her being taller than me. I beat her by a huge margin of 55 millimeters. When I won the bet, I wanted her to buy my breakfast for an entire month, hoping to help me grow up. It definitely helped my lateral growth but failed to help me tide over the gravitational force. I remained stuck at half a foot below six feet.
Let me conclude this piece on the similarities I share with Sachin Tendulkar with this piece of riot. I went to a Woodlands shoes sale near our hospital. I tried several shoes there and all of them turned out to be too big for my small feet. The sales boy, who looked and talked like a dimwit was getting frustrated. When I tried the smallest size 6 shoe and even that proved to be big for my poor little feet, he burst out, “Sir there are only two things you can do now. Try kids shoes or try ladies shoes !”
Life has taught me to take a joke on myself, be it intentional or unintentional and laugh out loudly !