Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chandu Borde - A Class Act

Borde saab launching the book watched by me, CP Surendran and Suhita

Borde saab speaking as I look on

Borde saab signing autographs
Padmabhushan Chandu Borde is a well-known cricketer and administrator who has done great service to the game and the nation. So when I planned a book launch of my cricket novel 'The Men Within' in Pune in December 2007, I could think of no other person who would be more appropriate to be my Chief Guest. He is a busy man and after much to and fro we decided on a date after Christmas. I invited C.P Surendran as the Guest of Honor and well known actress and Shobha's cousin Suhita Thattte as my special guest as well. Malay, Shobha's nephew, picked up Borde saab and we were all set for the program at Crossword.

Borde saab came well prepared for the launch and spoke very entertainingly about the book's content, some important lessons that it taught and about his own experiences as a player and manager. He dressed up formally for the occasion as well, wearing a nice tie, a blue shirt and dark trousers - another wonderful feature of our old timers which I shall try and emulate form now on. Many in the audience interacted with him and crowded him for autographs. After the launch he big good bye warmly and left with a small token gift of some books I picked for him that I had arranged.

After that event I have called him on a few occasions but never got to speak to him as he was busy in some function or the other. I decided to meet him when I went to Pune next.

When I published my second novel 'If You Love Someone...' in February this year, the least I thought I could do to all my guests who came over at book launches was to send them all a copy of the book as a token gift. So I sent a copy across to Sanjay Manjrekar, Ayaz Memon, Chandu Borde, K. Srikkanth, R. Mohan, V.B. Chandrasekhar, Anita Nair, Charu Sharma among others for their warm gesture in taking time off from their busy schedules and being my guests. Some knew me, most did not but they all showed a great heart to support an unknown writer. Thank you all once again from the bottom of my heart!

Imagine my surprise when a day later I got three missed calls while I was on the line on a business call. After the call I checked the missed calls and was delighted to find that they were from Mr. Borde. I called back immediately and he spoke warmly in that very affectionate way that he calls me "Hari" - about receiving the book and thanked me for it. He enquired after me, about the first novel 'The Men Within' and was very happy to hear that it was being made into a movie. I thanked him for calling me and said I would meet him when I visited Pune next and show him the movie as well when it permitted.

This incident, stands out as something that only people of the old school do. Some part of their culture, of niceness, of greatness makes them take the responsibility of making people of far lesser calibre feel good about themselves. I truly believe that this is the one quality that truly great people possess. To take time out and call me to thank me for something as routine as the sending of a book was amazing. Thank you for the fine lesson Borde saab, and I shall always do the same thing that you have done with me. Acknowledge and thank every small gesture that has been sent my way from any and every person that I know or do not.

Here's wishing you good health, joy and happiness as you influence so many more lives in this world!

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