Monday, April 21, 2008

MODESTY NON-PAREIL

“I’m not being immodest, but batsmen used to find it extremely difficult to score off my bowling the same way as Sachin’s”, confided my neighbour the day Tendulkar had routed the opposition with a career best tally of five wickets.

Most of my friends do not want to be immodest but still lavish praise on themselves. My mind boggles at the thought of having so many close acquaintances who could in their days, emulate if not better the feats of leading cricketers, hockey stars, brilliant managers and many other greats in diverse fields. Dumb as I am, I often wonder why they could not make it to the Hall of Fame or even TV prime time.[A1]

When Bart Conner, the famous American gymnast, was having his moment in the sun at the Los Angeles Olympics, the father of a friend of mine, who was a regular visitor to our place exclaimed with disdain, “Twenty years ago, I would’ve beaten Conner hands down on the Roman Rings.” Having seen the plight of our gymnasts years back in the New Delhi Asian Games, I marvelled at the physical prowess of Kaku in the spring of his youth. But his next indiscretion made me a bit uncomfortable, “Those days I could eat fifty six chapattis in one go and that too with desi ghee.” I could not decide whether we had lost a Suleymanoglu or the male equivalent of Nadia Comaneci.

The ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh was weaving pure magic with his mellifluous voice at the Lucknow Mahotsav when a voice rasped at me, transporting me back from cloud nine, “I have stopped my riyaz otherwise I could better him anyday,” exclaimed my influential friend, with whose contacts I had managed to grab a frontline seat for the concert.

While returning home he further elaborated, “Nowadays there is less of lyrics and more of music even in ghazals. In my days, and I am not joking, when I used to sing on the College stage, people used to leave their important classes just to hear me.”

It meant that I had wasted all the evening going to the Begum Hazrat Mahal Park to hear the ghazal recital when all I had to do was to hear my friend croon, I thought glumly. Still I fought a rear guard action, “But a maestro is a maestro. You can’t get any better.”

“My dear, how much do you know about ghazals?” he chided me and started humming the first few bars of a much known composition. If you can visualise the sound effect you are subjected to the moment an old automobile starts revving up one cold morning, you will move nearer to understanding my predicament that warm August night. But again I thought, this might be the actual way to sing this variety.

Syed Modi was smashing the cork all over the court and I was watching the box in awe. Agility, anticipation and placing were the very nature of this great component of the game. Suddenly someone slammed his foot in disgust and sneered, “ I wish I were across the net. I would have shown Mr. Modi a trick or two. Would you believe,” said another one of my badminton-great friends, “ there was not a single player in the whole University whom I had not bested. And talk of smashing! Huh!! I used to return them in such style that even Syed Modi would get a run for his money!!!”

I looked at my pot-bellied companion with a receding hairline and wondered how this corpulent figure would look sweating it out in mean competition. May be a protruding tummy and a prosperous backside did not impede fleet-footedness.

All my life I have not met a celebrity in flesh and blood. Should I ever get the chance, I might be tempted to ask whether he knew how many guys out there know better how to do the thing he does better than most.

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3 comments:

`~>>j@HnVi<<~` said...

Reminds me one of my favourite quotes by Conficius- "The superior man is modest in his speech, but excels in his actions."

But after going through your article i have modified it "A BIT" [not forgetting to keep the meaning as SIMILAR as i can]-
" An Overstated man is modest in his actions, but doesnt forget to blatantly magnify his actions "...lol

RAMACHANDRAN said...

WELL ROBIN .......As the popular adage goes...It takes many kinds to make this WORLD.
They also say... IGNORANCE IS BLISS, so please ignore such churlish remarks. I know its easier said than done...TAKE IT WITH A PINCH OF SALT , perhaps!
We from the sales fraternity usually in our everyday routine come across such 'noble guys', whom we further motivate figuratively ,obviously & sell them our products/concepts and merrily trot off singing or whistling that tune ..." Pukarta chala hun main...gali gali..." or " Chala ja ta hun kisi ki dhun mein....".
Right Buddy ! Happy Whistling !!!

Yoooo....hooooo.. Cheers !!!

Punkhuri said...

i like this one...its one of the daily realities. this really reminds me of one ov my really close frnds in delhi...n if u actually belive wat he says..then hes got greater potential thn bill gates...then sachin tendulkar...than shaan...than hritik...actually hes supposed to be better then the best in any field...u jus gotta name it!! but well...i wish i had the words to ask him n tell him in the same sentence y he isnt in their shoes...

rawk on..!!