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To Sourav With Love

To Sourav With Love
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It’s 11 pm, Wednesday, July 8. A sticky, humid weeknight, and I’m wearing a huge smile!
Those who know me, even if only a little, I’m sure are (more than) aware of my love for a certain man. A man I can never quite get enough of. A man who makes me weak and gives me strength, almost at the same time. A man who’s touched every bit of my soul without even touching my skin. A man who taught me to be proud of who I am. A man who won my heart before I was even aware of its existence. The only man I’ve truly imprinted on, ever. The only man I’ve loved with my whole heart, every day since June 22, 1996. The only man I pray for, and to. The only man I’d take a bullet for, and not think twice before shooting a few. He’s the one who makes my world go round, and round, and round. The only one who makes me <g data-gr-id="60">look</g> up at the stars every night and hope that one <g data-gr-id="61">day</g> ours will match, and our paths will cross.

My love for Sourav Ganguly has always been unbridled. Tell me, what is <g data-gr-id="53">passion</g> if not unquenchable? What is affection if it is restrained and inhibited? My love for Sourav is a lot like the man himself – passionate, full of fire, bold, audacious, uncaged. It is wild, and can never be tamed. It might seem ridiculous, bordering on <g data-gr-id="52">loony</g>, to many.

But, that’s the beauty of love, I guess. You won’t know it till it hits you. And, hit you it will. If you’re lucky to have someone like Sourav sweeping you off your feet, it’ll hit all the sweet, er, right spots!
Sourav, I fell in love with your stylish cover drives, those lofted, down-the-wicket <g data-gr-id="65">sixes</g>, the little tuft of hair on the top of your head floating in the breeze as you ran down to put in a few of your <g data-gr-id="64">medium paced</g> deliveries, the knot of sacred pendants around your neck on full display when you took your jersey off at Lord’s, the excessive blinking, the awkward crotch-guard adjusting, the sluggish running-between-the-wickets, the stunning catches at mid-off/on (like the one to send Rana Naved packing in the Lahore test in 2006), the stern admonition every time an opponent tried to act smart (remember dishing it out to Russel Arnold during the 2002 Champions Trophy final, when he ran down the pitch, in an apparent attempt to make it more ‘spin friendly’? “I’m just saying, keep away; don’t f*** around!), the impeccably worded replies to Ravi Shastri’s moronic presentation ceremony questions, the swagger, the charisma, the aggression, the hunger, the pride.

I loved you when nobody else seemed to, I loved you when everybody else only pretended to. I loved you when you had a moustache, I loved you when you didn’t have much hair. I loved you when you were 24 and took the cricketing world by storm, I loved you when you were 34 and made a roaring comeback and whooped Chappell’s sorry OZ arse. If this isn’t true love, then what is?
One of my favourite authors, Richard Bach, had once said, “true love stories never have endings”. Well, ours must be one such. My love for you knows no bounds, and it never will. I don’t know if I’ll see you in this lifetime, but my soul is forever entwined with yours.

Dearest Maharaja, thank you for being “The One”, for there couldn’t have been anybody better to give away my heart to. I love you, and one day, you will love me, too!
Happy Birthday, Sourav!

The author is a playback singer, former sports journalist & television producer, and writer of all things fun, serious, and in-between
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