The 100th 100.

For all cricket fans across the subcontinent and the world, these three words are enough. The 100th 100. Everyone was wondering when it would happen. Everyone was nervous. Everyone was waiting. Everyone was slowly getting impatient. 

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar bats on his way to scoring a century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, March 16, 2012. Tendulkar, who had been stuck on 99 centuries for a year, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries on Friday when he hit to square leg and ran a single against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

The man in question, perhaps the best batsman this world will ever see – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. It had been a year since his last international century. He had a great 2011,but he had a miserable 2012. He went with the Indian team to the tour of Australa. Cricket Australia (CA) even had a special trophy made in anticipation of his remarkable milestone. Few know that this trophy was never mentioned and ofcourse, never awarded to the little master. 

 

The team returned home. He returned home. And then he went to play the Asia cup. His first innings was a disaster. And then today he played against Bangladesh. And he did it! He made his 100th century today. Just think of the number and the mind boggles. If your mind does not boggle – let me tell you that the person with the second highest number of centuries has 70. This man now has a 100. A HUNDRED! 

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar kisses his helmet after scoring his 100th century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, March 16, 2012. Tendulkar, who had been stuck on 99 centuries for a year, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries on Friday when he hit to square leg and ran a single against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar celebrates scoring his 100th century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, March 16, 2012. Tendulkar, who had been stuck on 99 centuries for a year, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries on Friday when he hit to square leg and ran a single against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

India's Sachin Tendulkar celebrates after he scored his 100th international century during their Asia Cup one- day international (ODI) cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka March 16, 2012.

 

Still there are people who will continue to pull him down, saying that he achieved this milestone playing against a ‘minnow’ Bangladesh. Few will acknowledge the mammoth pressure he was playing under for the last year, with people and the media nagging him for the 100th century. Things had become really bad after the Australia tour with people and sportsmen alike asking for his resignation, thinking aloud even whether he was being selfish and just playing for a milestone. 

 

But today is above everything else. He is above everything else today. He has time and again showed that he gives his opponents the same amount of respect – may the opponent be the formidable Australia or the ‘minnow’ Bangladesh. Sachin Tendulkar has achieved something that no mortal will probably achieve in his cricket career. He is an inspiration, an exception to the rule. He is everything that’s good in the game. He’s everything the game stands for – the class, the dignity, the integrity and the sportsmanship. In this country of a billion people, he is the perfect role model. 

Indian fans celebrate as they watch cricketer Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 100th century, on a television set inside a shop in Mumbai on March 16, 2012. India's Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman in history to score 100 international centuries, adding another milestone in his record-breaking career.

Thank you Sachin. Thank you so much. You never did need to prove yourself. But you did, over and over again. You are a true inspiration, Sachin. I am so lucky to be alive when you played at your best. I will always you love you Sachin. Thank you for everything. 

Teammates and spectators applaud Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, center, as he leaves the ground after being dismissed during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, March 16, 2012. Tendulkar, who had been stuck on 99 centuries for a year, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries on Friday when he hit to square leg and ran a single against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

Advertisements

Paan Singh Tomar. ‘Nuff said!

Yesterday I had the good luck of watching a great movie on an Indian sportsman in a long long time. I watched Paan Singh Tomar, the film made on the real-life story of Paan Singh Tomar, who went from a national steeple-chase champion to a dacoit in the ravines of the Chambal.

A beautiful, tragic tale of fighting for your dream, living it for a while and losing it all, Paan Singh Tomar is a must watch feature film showing the struggles of this great Indian athlete who made it to the big stage despite all odds. The story begins with a young Paan Singh Tomar, who is a new recruit in the army, who amazes all with his immense stamina and amazing speed. Things don’t go exactly as planned but Paan Singh Tomar makes it big on the national chase as the steeple-chase champion.

The story then continues with his journey through the national meets, the 3rd Asia Games at Tokyo and the International Defense Meet. It traces the trials and tribulations Paan Singh Tomar faced in order to make his dream come true, doing something great for his country.  The story is a tragic one, but it is real. The thing that saddened me the most as the movie went on was how little I knew about this sportsman who was one of the finest runners India ever had. I felt ashamed that I did not know a single thing about him, nor did the people in the theater.

As the movie ended, and the director made this very thoughtful gesture of mentioning other sportsmen of India who never got the attention and fame they deserved, I felt sad. I felt heartbroken that the other people in the theater walked out without as much as a glance towards the names, the names that were so much like Paan Singh Tomar. The names, who craved for attention and respect all their lives.

I had tears in my eyes, as I am sure you will have to, if you watch this film.

Well done Tigmanshu Dhulia for making this wonderful wonderful film and to Irfan Khan, for such a phenomenal performance as Paan Singh Tomar, so effortless! Go watch Paan Singh Tomar, it’s worth every bit of your time.

Happy Holi!

So today we celebrate the festival of colors! What a way to herald the arrival of Spring. There can be no  better way to welcome another season than to celebrate with colors and warmth.  On this day of Holi, I hope your life and the coming year is full of color and the old faded memories get a fresh coat of warmth and happiness. May this Spring also mean a spring in your step and a smile on your face.

 

Happy Holi!

 

A man daubed in coloured powder poses for a picture during "Lathmar Holi" at Barsana in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh March 2, 2012. In a Holi tradition unique to Barsana, men sing provocative songs to gain the attention of women who then "beat" them with bamboo sticks called "lathis". Holi, also known as the Festival of Colours, heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated all over India. Picture taken on March 2, 2012.

A boy is splashed with coloured water by tourists and Indians during Holi celebrations in Kolkata on March 8, 2012.'Holi', the Festival of Colours, is a popular Hindu spring festival observed in India and Nepal at the end of winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month. AFP PHOTO/Dibyangshu SARKAR.

A man drenches himself in coloured water under an artificial fountain during celebrations of Holi, also known as the festival of colours, in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad March 8, 2012. The traditional event heralds the beginning of spring and is celebrated across the country.

Girls apply coloured powder to each other as they celebrate Holi, also known as the festival of colours, in Mumbai March 8, 2012. The traditional event heralds the beginning of spring.

A boy smiles as he is applied coloured powder by other boys while celebrating Holi, also known as the festival of colours, in Kolkata March 8, 2012. The traditional event heralds the beginning of spring.

Another high for Indian sports!

This seems to be a great year for Indian sports. And no, I am not talking about Cricket because our players from Hockey have proved that there are other things that can make us equally, if not more happy. I am talking about the Indian Women’s Kabaddi team. The Indian Women’s Kabaddi team won the Inaugral Women’s Kabaddi World Cup yesterday! What a news! Fantastic to the core..

 

 

India defeated Iran in the finals, 25-19 at Kankerbagh yesterday. What a great moment for the first World Cup to be held in India and our eves winning it! Well done,team! Kabaddi has been included in the Olympics only once, many years ago but there are strong voices of support to include it in the 2016 games. Let’s hope they do that, and our women go and win themselves an Olympic Gold!

 

WOOHOOO!!