To Kambli, With Love

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When you came, we cheered; when you left, we became sad. We had found a hero, someone whom we admired.

Perhaps we were wrong. We had too many and too high expectations from you. Surely we were not justified. Nobody asked us to dream for you, to admire you. But you know, we could not help it. It is seldom in our hands. We love just like that. And our own dreams, happiness, life, everything automatically gets attached to our idols. Of course, we do not want anything in return; which actor, player or politician has ever given even a part of earnings to fans and followers? And we didn’t even hope to meet you ever. We just wanted that you do your best, and be the best, that you be at the top of the world of cricket, simply because you deserved it. And definitely it was not out of your reach. We were waiting and dreaming to see you lifting trophies celebrating your dominance in the game. We do not know what actually had happened, it is so difficult to trust media reports these days. Perhaps the world was not treating you well, perhaps the environment was not friendly, perhaps the administration was biased, perhaps the time was hell-bent against you and you were still too young to face it, or may be it was really your own fault. We do not know. But one thing we surely know is that you were definitely capable of winning over all the obstacles on your path, fighting each and every battle — alone and single-handed — and coming out victorious and shining — getting more and more glorious with each victory. You were also capable of winning over your own weaknesses, faults and follies. That would have only increased our respect for you.

So many hopes and dreams were attached to you. Even today, now and then some past memory does invade us and we look back at those days with fondness and love. Sometimes some news comes that you are not doing well. Like that day when your car had an accident as you had suffered heart attack sitting on the driver’s seat. Fortunately you were saved, thanks to the swift action of the vigilant traffic personnel on duty. But it pained a lot. It is not a pleasant feeling to see one’s hero lying on a hospital bed.

It must have taken a lot of effort, training, and practice to reach the level where you were. It was not easy. And once you reach there, automatically several other people get connected and attached to you. You are then not living a single life, several, many more are joined to yours. It may be that you had never met any of them, you may not be knowing the names of them all; you may not even be aware of their existence. But that cannot deny the connections you have made.

I would not say further. We loved you, and we still love you. We cannot help it. We pray that wherever you be and in whatever circumstances, may you remain in perfect health and spirits. As you start the second inning of your life preparing the next generation, we wish you all success and happiness.

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