Thursday, March 21, 2013

Isn't it ironic?

So yesterday was a very very eventful day in the history of the Clan of MinCat. My father is a little...how do I put this delicately...cricket mad. He and my mother's brother have this habit of bouncing around the house in the afternoons acting out strokes and bowling actions. Yes, really. Yes, they are 67. My sister won't ever wear her Tendulkar shirt because the one time she wore it, he got out on a duck and then we lost the match. My mother has once--a moment remembered with complete glee--hopped down the stairs on one leg while balle-balle-ing her arms to go buy chocolate because we beat Pakistan. My niece was throwing her hands up in the air with fingers pointed whenever anyone said sixer before she could stand.

I think you get the picture.

Now I, ever the changeling, have never really given a shit. I mean okay, when there's a big match on and everyone's excited and it's the last ten overs; when it's an excuse to faff off from work or studying, sure I've run about madly watching cricket and yelling and screaming. The child of the self proclaimed high priest of cricket, who is waiting for a form to ask him his religion so he can say cricket, I could not help but imbibe much information and awareness of the cricket world. And when I started work here, I ended up being assigned cricket books to copyedit since I actually know what an off-break is. And then it just stuck. So I ended up with cricket book after cricket book. I don't know if I blogged about my my immense rage towards SRT when he scored his damn hundredth century the day I was handing over the updated bio, a day that was a Saturday and then I went MAD trying to get an extra chapter in. There was the Bishan Singh bio by the world's most horrible man. There was the Harsha Bhogle columns reprint. And then there was the hundred centuries book, by a Hindi journalist and full of cricketer interviews, which meant I basically had to write it. And then we missed the date because we weren't ready to publish. Which is when inspiration struck.

We decided to rework the book, which was basically in the format of a writeup on each brilliant century and then another writeup on Sachin and the century by someone who had played with him, preferably in that match. We turned it into the ultimate Sachin tribute. The book is out in stores now, and really is one of a kind. But I shall not plug it here. Working on it was HELL because there was no system to the way things were stored and unless one knew instantly what the names of grounds were and so on one had no idea which order the chapters went and so on. I really went mad. Like seriously. HATRED. ANGER. In those days CB was still speaking to me, and kindly assisted me with some sorting, and of course I just called the priest every so often for consults.

Last evening, we had the book launch. It was thrown together in forty-eight hours by the author, and we were all skeptical about it, coming right after the launch of the Yuvraj Singh book, studded with luminaries of the cricket world. But it came together. And how.

Which brings me to the ultimate irony of MinCat, least cricket interested of the Clan of MinCat, meeting Both Sachin Tendulkar and M.S. Dhoni. The former looks 25 and REALLY needs a stylist. The latter looks 35, distinguished and REALLY HOT. Like YOWSA. Be still my throbbing ladybits. Sachin was there briefly, and once he left Dhoni took the stage. And left me so impressed. Such an articulate man. Such presence and good humor. Having promised to relax and give an interview, he just did it. He stayed an extra ten minutes, chatting with author's family, and when author's dad went up on stage to give him the book, he touched his feet. I have heard many people talk about the team, the nation etc, but I have never felt it ring with sincerity like it did when this guy talked o how he would help Dinesh Karthik get better at batting even though they were in competition for the wicketkeeper's position, because who cares, India has to win. So what if I have made 23 Test victories and dada has made 22--at the end of the day it's India's victories. When I retire I want to join the army. And go to the front. To the north-east and fight in the real wars.

I was left just a little starstruck--enough to breathlessly ask him to sign my book and gawp a bit when he smiled and handed me the pen he was using--which sadly was not mine. Of course clan MinCat is seething with joy and envy, and my sister, when told her birthday present now includes a Sachin autograph admitted it would be a hard present to top.

10 comments:

  1. OMG.. that is something. MSD is top notch hot maal. And then he went and shaved his head after we won the world cup and my ladybits went into perennial throbbing condition (i have shaved head fetish, okay? TMI? maybe? okay.)
    But I am not really so big on cricket, and yet I feel like I want to read this one. But fear that if it is too technical and nittygritty with minute details it may be lost on me.

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  2. lolz. i can upload photo of the hotness...
    and no there is NO nittygritty. by the end of book i was teary eyed and emotional about how amazing sachin is, though i had been hating him all the while i was editing it ;)

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    1. Accha? Maybe I will read then -- in the interest of some variety. Too much estrogen-lit happening in the last 2 weeks.
      I loved SRT when I was a gawky teenager, when I knew very little about the game or his genius. But in the last few years the sight of him has started to irk me. I dont hate him so much as the hype around him. Its like he is the SRK of cricket, for the lack of a better way to explain what I mean.

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    2. yes yes is nice variety. also try reading following fish if you havent. SO LOVELY! but i also feel very slight.
      yes i know what you mean about SRT. ive never loved him though, it was all dravid, whom the bride cruelly refused to permit me to mob at her wedding. also SRT, like SRK, is busy sleeping around. though only with women.

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  3. Came here from the Bride's :-) Was just wondering aloud a couple of days ago if there was any woman who wrote about cricket at all and found this one girl who writes for sportskeeda. So good to see this post after that. Have only now emerged from the haze of the crushing disillusionment that followed Cronjegate to take an interest in the game again. Somehow living away from the country makes me want to bond with cricket followers. When the twitter TL is filled with cricket updates, all seems right with the world.

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    1. eee i zwear she's my biggest source of traffic. i dont write about cricket ya...i dont even like it, i just got suckered into the cricket books at work. yes i was also more enthu when i was in phorens, i think its the expats nostalgia or something like that

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  4. Yeah, I realized when browsing through your blog. Nice even without the cricket :-) I still think it is awesome that a woman helmed a book on the sport. Expat nostalgia is true. It hit home pretty hard with Kai Po Che this time. It is weird to step out and encounter vast empty spaces in the US and not see anybody wielding a cricket bat. I grew up playing gully cricket so actually love that version the most. So much a part of daily life at home.

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    1. hahah thanks. is there higher praise than that? ;) hee. i didn't exactly helm it but i shll stop quibbling and gracefully accept compliment. thankee. see for me its never the cricket bat thing but its driving past fields for hours and not seeing a human being or a cow. it's very bizarre. also my umreeka experience was in new york city so really the wide open, no noises, no people playing, no shit on the pavement stuff doesn't apply...

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  5. I just found your blog. I think you have my dream job! I would love to be a copywriter! To work with books and their production is sort of my dream job. Unfortunately, unless I migrate to another country, I am destined to not do that. So instead I blog.

    I also think it is ironic that you, the one person who shows no interest in cricket gets to meet a cricketer because of your job. Kudos for sharing and not being selfish!

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    1. hey beth! welcome! i'm actually not a copywriter (advertising) but an editor (publishing). where do you live? yeah i really lucked out with this job, touch wood =) and thank you. its kind of you to see it that way heh

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