'What I saw of Hardik Pandya on Koffee With Karan was nauseating'
Dear Mr Pandya, Greetings for a prosperous 2019. I do watch Koffee with Karan, primarily because it gives me a great insight into an achiever's attitude, outlook to life and value systems. It sets a great template on what it takes to come from humble economic backgrounds and make one's presence felt in one's field and more importantly, in a crowded world, a world in which luck plays such a huge part to be successful. It also embodies the proverbial blood, sweat, tears and sacrifices that one's parents, friends and well wishers make in a small, but significant way to help accomplish someone's passion at doing something one loves. I was looking forward to your show only because I wanted to trace your path and feel good about what you had achieved through that journey. But what I saw was nauseating. It was an unexposed individual who hadn't learnt the values of being fortunate with what God had endowed you with — a world that you are only lucky and privileged to be within, a world that hadn't imbibed the good things from — a humble past that you seemed to be ashamed of and apparently abusing your present with. Mediocre first-class record I don't usually refer to cricketing credentials, but I may be forced to bring to your notice how privileged and, needless to say, blessed you may be in this competitive game. With a first-class batting average of 30 in 29 games and a similar bowling average, you have been spotted as one with potential to play in the top bracket. The system, the authorities and the custodians of Indian cricket, have placed faith in your talent despite a mediocre first-class record. Believe me, when I say there are thousands of cricketers with that kind of a record, who will have reason to believe they haven't had the luck to be sieved as judiciously as you may have been. As a follower of Indian cricket, I don't care too much for the colour of your hair, the rings that you don, the brands that you wear or when and where you lost your virginity or what you had to tell your parents about it. What is relevant for me like a few billion people is your commitment to your club, state, country and franchise. Your struggles from a frugal lifestyle to achieving your goals and sustaining them would have been an education for so many children who live in humble surroundings, but have a passion for this great game. Think about the parents who do jobs of helpers, vegetable vendors or drive auto rickshaws to ensure their children make a life and living from the game. For so many children who dream, that would be a story to hear, a story that inspires parents and kids alike, a fairytale that came true for Hardik Pandya. Expected an inspirational story I may not have reacted if someone from another profession had gone through the shame and embarrassment of what you may be going through, if you are at all. To see a cricketer who has a inspirational story to tell, talk about his conquests or his attitude to women was I'm sure, not a sentiment of the fraternity that I am so proud to be part of. Watching the show I remembered a poster that one often saw in public places albeit not so frequently these days. It read: Cricket creates character. When you understand the depth of those words maybe you will come to terms with what this great game can teach you outside the wickets, runs, catches and of course, your night life and the huge money that the game has blessed you with. I will keep watching you like so many cricket lovers albeit only in the realm of 75 yards of the hallowed turf that you are so privileged to be a part of. Best of luck for your cricket, Shishir Hattangadi The writer is a former Mumbai captain Catch up on all the latest T20 news and updates here. Also download the new mid-day Android and iOS apps to get latest updates