Cricket Uncut

A group blog run by professional cricket writers from across the world

Monday, March 14, 2005


The television set in my hotel room at Kolkata is one of those old 80's-style sets, which has ten buttons you press on the top for channels, and that's it. I thought I'd check out Mona Singh's new look on "Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahin", but sadly, Sony wasn't one of those ten.

There was, however, a Bengali channel that had this feed from the home of a family somewhere in Kolkata. A young girl sat on a sofa, with all her assorted relatives around her. She was the winner of "Pepsi's lucky draw", the presenter enlightened us, and surely a celebrity in her own right now, at least in her neighbourhood. And what was her prize? A visit from Inzamam-ul-Haq and Rahul Dravid.

The presenter asked the winner's mom how they were planning to greet the guests. "Roshogolla debo," she remarked. ("I shall give them rasgullas [a popular Bengali sweet]"). The guests duly came, and Inzamam was shown helping himself to a roshogolla. Dravid, always the gentleman, was shown making polite chit-chat with the winner, who had a large, satisfied smile on her face. Then the presenter went to Inzamam for a soundbyte.

"I've seen Kolkata before only from the stadium and the hotel," he said. "This is the first time I've come to somebody's house, and I feel great."

Despite the fact that the occasion was manufactured, there was something in the way he said it that seemed genuine. Inzamam wasn't just being polite, you could tell; he sincerely wanted to reach out. He is a great batsman, a fine captain (I know that's a controversial statement, but wait a couple of years), but more important than both of those, he is a good man.

The first and the third of those qualities suit Dravid as well, of course, and I hope he soon gets a chance to show that the second can also be true.
amit varma, 10:37 PM| email this to a friend | permalink | homepage