Thursday, April 20, 2006


For this Bharuch(Gujarat) village which swears by the game, everyone was glued to their TV sets except for the boy's family and the street where he lives. For them, watching TV is “bad influence.” So as the hows and whens of his first wicket were discussed passionately, both his sisters were in school, his mother, who has never watched her son bowl, kept a roza for his success. His father, a small-time cotton farmer, reluctantly braved the crowd of reporters. He is a textbook success story. From the cotton fields and humble origins to the national team, he is now seen as an inspiration for every farmer’s son in this village to hang onto impossible dreams.

His mother says she is now contemplating buying a TV set. So far, the family didn’t get one as TV viewing is considered a “bad influence” in this religious but not very conservative household. “(We hope to get a TV now) so that we see him play and nothing else,” said the mother, who remembers his 101 in a village game some years ago.

The village has all signs of prosperity, well-laid concrete roads, a playground, mosques, but it is again his family which stands out. The father confesses that the family has seen worse days and occasionally breaks down in disbelief that the once barefoot, lanky son of a farmer, is now actually playing with the cricket greats. Since his success, the only addition in the home is a wooden cabinet displaying his trophies.

Being a farmer's son he is my role model.



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