Saturday, November 3, 2018

Sunday Cricket Lessons - Baig Sir and Mary

This is an interesting story just for the way it happened. Not more than six weeks ago, I had dropped in at Sumana's house for her birthday along with Shobhs - I really was not supposed to be going but by some outside chance I did. Towards the end of the party I was introduced to Mary, who Sumana said was her cricket partner. Mary is from Manipur and has come to Hyderabad to work five years ago. She teaches sculpting and perhaps does various other things but she is absolutely committed to cricket.
Mary and Baig sir
I asked Mary where she practiced and she said she was practicing in Andhra and some local coaching camps here. Something about her seriousness prompted me to advise her. I told her that if she was serious about her cricket and if whatever she was doing in Andhra and her coaching centre was not going anywhere she could try coming to Baig sir. She could improve her game and also interact with Anuradha who has already played for the senior state. I gave her Anuradha's number and informed Anuradha to expect a call from Mary. And left it at that.

Come weekend and Mary came to the MLJaisimha Academy, met Baig sir, Anuradha. It takes no time to understand her seriousness about the game. She cannot have enough of the sessions. She has doubts, is full of attention and practices all that she is told diligently.
Anuradha and Baig sir
Before the week turned Baig sir told me, 'In all these years, I have finally seen someone who comes before me to the ground.' I used to joke with him about that - he is always first at the ground - even now at 80 plus. Finally, it appears, he found the student he has been searching for, someone whose commitment matched his.

As luck would have it Ahmad, of City Cricket Academy, someone who does great work and whose trainees I have seen, dropped by. I told Mary that during the week she could go there during the weekdays because Baig sir also goes there during weekdays. Ahmad chipped in and said he won't insist on fees etc. May started going there during the weekdays.

Another day we had some fielding practice going on. After a hard stint at the exercises Mary came quietly to Baig sir and told him - 'Sir, I want to be the best fielder.' The smile on Baig sir's face said it all. Here was someone who was pushing him finally, someone who wanted to learn everything and in a hurry.

All this apart, what made me write this blog was what Baig sir told me last week. While we were both watching the nets he looked at her and said - Paagal hai. She is mad about the game. You know what she did? She got me a box of dry fruits. She tells me so I won't get tired. Itne saalon mein koi first time yeh baat socha.'
Mary, Anuradha, Baig sir, Vaishnavi and Prateek
Ah, that was a moment. I could see the satisfaction in his eyes, the true recognition of a guru by his student - someone who genuinely loved him and respected and cared for him. I am sure others have done much too, but mostly it would be prompted by parents etc. There was something special about this.

Today is their open selection for the senior state team. Now we have three young women training with Baig sir. Anuradha who has already played senior-level fro Hyderabad, Mary and 14 year old Vaishnavi. I thought it was a good opportunity to click a picture together. Soon as I finished clicking the group pic together, Mary requested if she could get one pic with Baig sir. And soon as Mary was done, Anuradha stepped in and asked if she could get one with him. 


Shobha Nargundkar said...

Great to see the dedication from the youngsters!

Gowtham said...

I am a friend of Mary. Heard much about Baig sir. They are like as guru as disciple .

Arnav Kainthola said...

She is dedicate for her work. A hardworking girl. All the best for her future.

Harimohan said...

Thanks Gowtham. It is wonderful to see how they achieved what they did. Playing for senior nationals within 3 months after she met Baig sir is no joke. It is truly a testimonial to the way the teacher and student have worked together

Harimohan said...

Thanks Tulika. I am sure Mary will go far with all your support and wishes.