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Bet you would want to know this..

Knowledge Beyond the Ground:
I know I am acting condescending here but these WERE stories of lore and I would do myself no justice if I don’t remember the time...

*** When a prominent batsman asked me how to go on to the internet..he said he knew to type in www first …what was to be done next?
*** When another prominent batsman was shocked with the concept of online chatting. I mean he was startled to know that two people could sit across the globe and communicate with each other by typing messages!
*** When a prominent bowler wanted to chat with one of his friends and since he had the twin problems of bad typing speed and not-so-decent English, asked me to do it for him. The funda was he would speak in Hindi; I’d listen to that, translate it into English and quickly type it. No wonder the formula was a resounding success because the friend came online regularly and I had to do this job for 10 days.
*** When a prominent batsman was puzzled with out of the world symbols like : - ) and ; - ) or : - ( in his mobile phone’s text messages.
*** When the captain, the coach, and others including myself were shocked to see laptops on the shoulders of so many of the prominent players on one tour...the assumption was a take for a techno-savvy team, when I discovered that the laptops were strictly used for movies only!

Well..being with the team was always fun !! - August 2002

As also there are numerous occasions which I can manage a smile when I remember..

*Once in an NZ stationery shop, when in the course of conversation, one of the attendants asked us if we were going to be in NZ for Christmas as well. When we replied in the affirmative, he let out a sigh and had a sympathetic look on his face. He politely opined: “it must be so tough for you guys, ain’t it be away from home for CHRISTMAS !!”

*Once when we went swimming in the blue and wavy Caribbean Sea in Barbados when Sachin and Mongia almost got drowned. We all had taken wave boards and went quite inside..after some time when we realized that Sachin wasn’t to be seen in the vicinity, we could spot him waving out for help deep inside..Amid the euphoria, Rahul swam inside and pulled Sachin out. Just around the same time, Mongia cried out for help a few meters away. Tinu was the saviour this time. When both were chugged ashore, they were panting and laughing at the thought of them being so close to danger. It was a golden day for Indian Cricket.

*Once again in the W.I, on Sachin’s birthday we had been to a Thai restaurant for dinner..when the owner oblivious to the fact that some world-class cricketers were his guests but vaguely knowing that they were cricketers came over and sat next to us at the end of our dinner. He confessed that he had a serious query and would be grateful to us if we could answer it. He incidentally chose Sachin to answer the question and asked us this innocuous question “What’s the difference between a fast bowler and a spin bowler?” Sachin looked at him for a while and called him closer and in his inimitable action-oriented manner (using hands), told him the answer to the puzzle. “A fast bowler bowls fast and a spin bowler bowls spin”.
The owner seemed mighty pleased with the answer.
He had a heartening smile on his face.

*Once when we happened to visit one Beach Party in Trinidad…when some of the hosts recognized us and pulled us onto the dance floor..I was dancing with a Trini female who had a hoarse voice but seemed sweet. The W.I players were also there. When Lara came close to us, I played the gracious part and tried moving away so that these two could dance when the female pushed Lara on the chest and said.. “ No… not you” and smilingly said “Go away”.
And continued dancing with me.
Lara had one more reason to hate me that tour!! ;-)

*Once when a prominent journalist was trying his level best to get close to me. It looked quite obvious that he was intent on keeping me happy with his words until one day he came and asked: “Sumeet, have you thought about writing a diary or something?” I thought he was interested to see me write. He continued. “I mean, we could jointly collaborate and write a book on the err…I mean…err.. the player’s lives on tours??” “You could have the copyrights and we could share the revenues together” Before I could say anything, he was like “Not many people know about our players, isn’t it???”
Here was a man who wanted the juicy details of our player’s lives on tours and contacted me for that.
It was sad to see that he had chosen the wrong person.

They'd always be my teammates ! - October 2003

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