“He who is successful is not ideal. Only he is ideal and revered, who irrespective of success or failure, victory or defeat, gain or loss stands steadfast in the pursuit of his mission”
Flashback: 30 years back, somewhere in Biren Roy Road East, Behala, Kolkata
A young boy is disappointed to see his private tutor at his home in what was supposed to be his play time.
“Sir, can I ask you something?”
“Yes, go on.”
“You seem too tired after your day’s work. Even I come exhausted from school. Why don’t both of us take some rest, before we commence with our studies,” Saurav suggested.
“Hmm, that’s not a bad idea. It’s true we both get very tired, after the day’s work”, his teacher observed thoughtfully.
“That’s great Sir. You rest in my room, while I shall go upstairs and take a nap. Then we can start afresh”
In a mansion in which this young boy stayed,  it was not possible for the family members to take much notice if someone quietly sneaks out of the house. Thus every evening the youngest son would hit the football ground, while his parents thought that he was studying in his room.
The inborn ‘never say die attitude’ in this young boy was metamorphosed into a strong self-belief, by successes like these, in his childhood. Here is a story taken from the book “Saurav” by Shantipriya Bandopadhay
Don Bosco Lilua and St.Xavier’s Kolkata, were the two cut throat competitors in the annual school football match. It was like Brazil playing against Arzentina in the World Cup Final, where enthusiasm and emotions ran very high, in an environment which became most electrifying. But, it was mostly Don Bosco Lilua who lifted the trophy. And beating Don Bosco was always like a much cherished dream for the Xaverians.
Saurav was in the St. Xavier’s team as a striker. He knew that Don Bosco was a better team, but just could not accept the fact that his own team members were mentally prepared for a defeat already. He went up to Snehasis and asked him:
“Dadabhai, why are we so much afraid of Don Bosco?”
“It happens when you get defeated continuously,” Snehasis replied.
“But why should we get defeated again and again. Why can’t we fight back? Underdogs do win, don’t they? Look at Cameroon. If they could stop Argentina, why can’t we stop Don Bosco?”
“What will you do?” Snehasis asked.
“All I can do, Dadabhai is to score goal, and I will only try my best to do that. I won’t ever accept defeat before the last whistle is blown.”
Marvelled at his bro’s attitude, Snehasis caringly remarked, “But, remember you will alone have to fight in the beginning.”
“I will, and I will also make others play, just like Maradona or Majid does”.

Saurav’s inspiration was Maradona and Majid Bascar of the East Bengal Club team. He also donned a No.10 Jersey like them.
The D-day had come. The match between Xaviers and Don Bosco had started. Surprisingly Xavier’s managed to score the first goal and managed to keep it 1-0 for the first half of the match.
No sooner, had the 2nd half started Xavier’s faced a series of attack from the Don Bosco strikers. They tried their best to defend, but attacks were incessant and a leveller seemed impending. Finally at the 65th Minute of play, Don Bosco scored a leveller. It was 1-1 for the two teams now. This triggered an even fiercer attack from Don Bosco, trying to take the lead. Xaverians managed to hold on like this till the 90th minute, and the match went into extra time. Both teams were exhausted but were ready to take on each other for the final few minutes.
Saurav, was playing in the Centre Field, someone passed the ball to him. In a flash he started rushing to Don Bosco Goal with the ball, dodging mid fielders and defenders one after another. He came near the goal post, lobbed the ball with his left feet and hit a hard volley with his right feet and Goal!! Xavier’s won the match, 2-1.
They say situations of greater entropy are bound to happen, some things can’t quite quell the disharmony and the ushering of change.
Fast Forward: 2008, Nagpur, A sultry November afternoon, azure skies draws curtains on a Glorious career spanning over a decade.
A first ball duck, caught and bowled by and it’s over.
Here are some special moments involving that “young boy” whom we know as Sourav Ganguly or Dada.
Eden Gardens 2001: He made  Steve Waugh wait for 10 mins for the toss at his home ground, the Eden Gardens, saying he couldn’t find his Blazer. India went to win the test and the series thus stopping Waugh’s men from conquering the final frontier.
Lord’s Balcony 2003: Removes his shirt at the Mecca of Cricket. Exults in Joy revealing his bare torso, swinging his shirt wildly in delight. Quite a spectacle.
Goes up to the umpire and force him to refer to the third umpire if he feels the decision given is wrong. Aggression and Bravery at its best
Who is that guy? Who warns the opposition batsman not to run down the pitch when umpires forget.
Who is that guy? Who roared back to prove himself when everyone said his career has ended…
Who is that guy? Who argues and fights with selectors to get a player in the squad…
Who’s that guy who ushers in fresh blood and teaches India to win overseas?
When Sourav scored his first hundred at his famous home ground, The Eden Gardens in under-14 school level there was not a person in the stadium, but when he scored his first century here, there was not an empty seat in the stands.
We have rarely witnessed a fan breaking the barricades and dodging policemen to touch his idol’s feet while the match.
When Dada was felicitated during India’s ongoing series against Pakistan, someone had rightly said, “One Sourav Ganguly and one jeep in front of this packed Eden Gardens crowd would have been enough.” The noise was deafening to the whole of Kolkata and I haven’t seen a person who can muster such popularity by his charisma and personality.
Sourav Ganguly might be remembered for the wrong reasons by the haters and critics but for his die-hard fans, he will always be the apple of their eyes. For me, however, he would remain someone who changed the way I look at life. His stats speak a lot about him but his attitude and passion for the game coupled with his determination to fight out of testing situations can only glorify his incredible lifelong stamp on Indian Cricket. Thank you Dada, you always had the gift of timing.
He turns 41 years young today. May the Bengal Tiger roar and have no obstacle.

Next Post »