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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A short story on love

Disclaimer: Once upon a time the author wanted to be be a writer for, the leading cricket website in the world. And fuelled by optimism, he sent them across his credentials. Below is the text of that orginal cover letter. Yes, just after this neat line made of a lot of neat dashes.
                                        --------------- beginning of cover letter ---------------

‘You can know more about a person in an hour’s play than a year of conversation’

Right from that handsome age of nine when he first watched Sachin and Co crumble at the World Cup ’92, Neeraj Narayanan knew that he was destined to pursue a career in cricket. His conviction received further strength when he won every single match in his home ground, rather the house car park, against his sister. Since his neighbourhood only had bullies who refused to let him bat or bowl, he would run home after school, and grumble as his mother insisted he eat lunch before donning the whites. 

In his tiny white shorts he stood, bum jutting out like Roger Binny’s, bat in left hand. With his right hand, he would throw the ball onto the wall and before it could ricochet and reach him, he would grasp his bat swiftly with both hands, and drive the ball gracefully through covers, or two broken pots.
The intense and grueling work ethic saw him become captain of his colony and school, and when they appointed him leader of the set that represented the college team, he knew that there was a little spot in the Indian dressing room that was crying for his presence.

Our story of his heroics with bat, ball and ground fielding ends here.

Late 2005, he became a part of the Cognizant family, a clan that insisted on pleasing American clients by delivering software codes on time. But much as he tried, he never ran around the floor or screeched like a madman or pumped his fist on solving a difficult piece of code, the way he had when he was in his whites. Ecstasy no longer was part of his character. Expressiveness still held on belligerently though, and whenever India lost or Tendulkar touched a new realm of success, he wrote and sent it to all to his colleagues.
Exasperated by him, they directed him to the company blog and it was here he found respite. In 2007, they recognized his blogging efforts and transferred him to the ‘Branding and Corporate Communications’ team, just so that he stop writing eulogies on self, and do something similar for the organization.

Mica and MBA happened, and he wrote more. As member of the Sports Committee, he spent a lot of time thinking about the annual cricket tournament, campaigns for promotion, and writing articles on matches he lost, so much that when the yearbook came out, they only spoke of his deluded die hard love for sports , and a few tidbits on his writing. This, when he had expected long testimonials on his charm, dimple, brilliance and what not.

And when it all ended, he was staring at an office cabin that read ‘Communication Expert - the Government of Gujarat’. Gandhinagar, it has been rumoured is the capital of Gujarat but we don’t believe everything we hear, do we? It is in fact a country of old men and older women, a civilization that is set back in time, which has ancient written all over it. If Gandhinagar was Jambavan, the wise hundred and something year old monkey in the Mahabharat, Mohenjodaro and Harappa would be frisky two year old puppies, sprightly and full of beans.

 Since most sentences here began with ‘Under the dynamic leadership of CM Modi’, he observed that the only way that he would not forget the language was to write on other mediums. So he began writing his own book. Then when Sachin scored his fiftieth century, he mailed a piece to a friend. The clever fellow asked him to send it to Cricinfo, just so that he could avoid reading it himself. The article was then published by the website. Being of mediocre quality, he insisted on sending another article, this time on Rahul Dravid, and it was published too. Like someone said,
‘It is hard to write, but harder not to do so’.

Hi, my name is Neeraj Narayanan and I love writing almost as much as I love the wonderful sport. It would be my happy and fervent desire to be part of the Cricinfo team. I love the work that the team does, and believe that I have the potential to offer something both similar as well as distinct.  Do let me know if I could fit in somewhere.

Neeraj Narayanan

p.s Here are the links to my published articles on Cricinfo and two videos we made for the annual cricket tournament at Mica. Do remember when you are astounded by the absolute shoddiness of the video, that the vision was excellent, just that the actors (read: friends) and technology was pathetic. 

History will be kind to me …. because I intend to write it.

------------------------- end of cover letter ---------------------------------

Conclusion: Well, in reply they did call him for an internship, during the course of which he met Rahul Dravid, even shook a trembling hand with him. But, as things go, not all organizations accept siblings in the same setup, a sensible thought as Nishi Narayanan and I  do love lifting up computers and throwing it at each other. (I do wonder what Mark Waugh would have ended up doing if the Australian Cricket Board had thought the same way.)
Anyway, Cricinfo continues to be the wonderful website it is, with its tremendous dedication to the game. And I, well I have moved onto the travel world, a worthy second fiddle. Writing about travel is nice, reading about it even more so.

Sachin and Rahul, however, will always hold a special place.