Men of ‘Onor
Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom……..
Nehru’s speech is immortalized not just in our Indian textbooks but in the minds of anybody who appreciates beautiful oratory; just because it embodied the spirit of a whole nation and inspired an entire generation.
Yet one speech that struck a chord with me recently belonged to a man who too inspired his entire generation:
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer…………..
With a muslim middle name few expected him to give the bigshots a run for their money. Yet, in a stunning example of personal determination, he broke all odds of race, religion, etc and is what we see him as today – The President of the U.S.A. The week that was, most definitely belonged to him.
Yet, IMO, the week also belonged to another man, who did not exactly steal the limelight. Yet like Barack Obama, he is truly “Destiny’s Child”. Like Obama, he inspired an entire nation. He and Obama are two of the most envied leaders in the world, each in his own light. Like Obama, few in his own country would have heard of this man before 2004. When he played, he was ridiculed for his long hair and for damaging the beautiful game (I know its not cricket, but still!).. When he became captain, few envied his job; the pundits wrote him off. But today, M.S.Dhoni is the darling of a nation and his men would be willing to do anything for him.
Whether Dhoni is a truly inspirational leader or just running of Felix Felicis is disputable, yet the current state of Indian cricket owes atleast a part of it to him; after all, who would have trusted Joginder Sharma with the last over in the T20 Finals, when Misbah was on Rampage. 😀
I have always made made my disdain for Dhoni Public. IMO, he definitely had a role to play in the departure of 2 seniors who are “much-better cricketeers” than him in the true sense of the game. Dravid will probably go soon looking at the state of affairs. And Sachin is still there only because Dhoni is scared to keep his hands on him. The whole nation will erupt.
Like all throughout his life, there was irony in Ganguly’s final match too. A brilliant innings, yet 85. The 100 was so near, yet so far. And then a golden duck. I think the 2 innings were brilliant metaphors to Ganguly’s career.. Sadly his attitude problem marred all his good characteristics. A fighting spirit, determination, great captaincy and some brilliant innings. And Dhoni offering him captaincy for one last time.. WTH was he thinking. That was more of an insult than an honor. Seriously, it was like handing Ganguly leftovers. Sourav Ganguly could have been remembered for many things and in a better light yet……..
Another great cricketer hung up his boots recently. Anil Kumble, India’s #1 wicket taker. Test captain for a short while, perhaps till Dhoni was groomed. Yet, he will go down as the last of the fighters in the game. Not perhaps a “brilliant” spinner but a great adapter to the game’s needs. Who can forget him bowling with a broken jaw. And his “Only one team played in the true spirit of the game” summed up the anger of a whole nation is such a simple statement. Whatever the nation remembers him as, I dont know, but I will remember him as one of the last gentlemen in what was once known as “Gentleman’s Game”. Good bye Jumbo!!
P.S: Whether Obama’s speech will go down in history books is yet to be seen. He has a daunting task ahead of him, but something tells me, he might pull it off.