Anjan called the other day and said we could meet for lunch. Ram Jayam was in town and a few others would join - Ram, my brother, Vikram. Vidya, Vemuri, Vasu from Indian Express and Srikanth Tirumala. We were all chatting and suddenly Srikanth turns to me and says 'Hey Hari, I met this cousn of mine yesterday and he has a son named Harimohan. When I told him I knew a Harimohan he sauid he named him after a Hyderabad fast bowler Harimohan who also wrote the story for Golconda High School.'
I brushed him off. No way I said. You're joking.
I'll show you said Srikanth and sent me a forward and some pics. This was the text.
"VN.Gopal named his son after up&coming Hyderabad Ranji Fast bowler HariMohan. Happy to share Vangipuram HariMohan was also enthusiastic cricketer. Still playing small time cricket in Bay Area, California."
|Gopal and Harimohan|
|And again - Father and son|
I was still not believing him when Srikanth got Gopal on line and gave me the phone. Gopal sounded happy to be speaking to me. He played cricket as a youngster - cricket crazy he said. He would follow all league scores etc. He himself would play a lot of cricket even in Ramagundam where he worked for the FCI. He would bowl cutters and get many wickets. He remembered playing Kesoram Cements and getting them all out for 40.
'I watched your debut match at Sirpur Kagaznagar,' he said. 'You and Venkatapathi Raju made your debut.'
That was a happy debut for me - I got five wickets - one and four. The second innings four was one of the best spells I ever bowled.
'I named my first son after Sandeep Patil,' said Gopal. 'He is now in Australia. And my second son was born around that time I saw this match. So I named him Harimohan.'
Hari looks like a happy, enthusiastic guy and I am sure he plays much better cricket than I do. I am so happy to be sharing my name with him anyway.
I am still not inclined to believe that Gopal named him 'after' me. But what a terrific story. I told Gopal to drop in at home sometime and we could catch up some more. He said he would.
I loved the story. I loved the way it came up. And I loved the connections. God does work in mysterious ways. Thanks Srikanth for adding a lovely moment to my life.