Sunday, April 25, 2010


It's a wonder that I am even writing about that monster of a cricketing shot. Monster because it went a distance of 108 m and hit the top of the beautiful Dharamshala cricket stadium. Had it been a little more higher, the Yeti, the mysterious Abominable snowman of Himalayan legend would have come rushing down from his secret cave in the snows to beg forgiveness of Dhoni on live TV and ask him what he had done wrong to be assaulted with a missile like the one that was fired off Dhoni's bat on Irfan Pathan's bowling in the second last shot of the match. Monster because the shot came right after Dhoni had miscued a similar shot on the ball while needing 12 runs off 5 balls, being quite lucky to survive and get 2 runs as the ball fell into no-man's land. A failure to make those remaining 10 runs would ensure that my team, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would still have the slimmest of chances of making it to the semi-finals despite playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from one match to the next and Dhoni's team would be out of the tournament. It was not to be as Dhoni or MSD as he is also called put paid to any such wild dreams by tonking another six off Pathan's free-gift bowling to finish the match with 2 balls to spare.

The first six, the 108 m colossus, killed off my dream and the ridiculous dreams of millions of KKR which will of course be resurrected next season and should have made us scream out in pain but it was so breathtakingly awesome that it did not hurt any of us in that way. At worst, it might have numbed a few of us with its cold statement of fact "Your team did not deserve to make it to the semi-finals so here go your futile wishes, right to the top of the stadium, almost to the top of the Himalayas!"

MSD both as the Indian team captain and as a player has always been a study in contrasts. In his style of play and shot making, he is brutally aggressive but in his on-field manners and post-match presentations, he presents a picture of calmness and peace. He did punch himself after taking his team to the semi-finals that night, but it must be some extra supernatural energy that he had summoned which he had no longer need for and thought it best to let out on himself. To be able to pull off such a superhuman feat at such a critical moment, to have the coolness of mind and strength of body to perform that task and then later to see the picture (see above) of the uber cool M. S. Dhoni with His spiritual Holiness, the Dalai Lama led me to one uncontestable conclusion - a suspicion that I had long held and found confirmation on Sunday night in that super cricket innings in the lap of the Himalayas. Take a bow, M.S. Dhoni. No one knows which hidden away Buddhist monastery you trained in, which lush green mountains and forests saw you fight bandits before going into meditation again and which wizened old kung-fu master it was who helped you hone your extraordinary powers. But you are a Shaolin monk, if I ever saw one outside of the movies!

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