Watching India beat England after chasing down 317 with 2 balls to spare reminded me of the Natwest One Day Final in 2002 where we chased down 326 and Ganguly performed a "Half Monty" from the Lord's Pavilion. It also reminded me of the famous India Pakistan match in the Independence Cup final in 1998 where we chased down 314. These 3 matches (forget about the order) are my favourite One day victories. The heroes in these matches, Robin Uthappa hitting 2 consecutive boundaries off Broad in the last over, Mohammed Kaif coming in at 146-5 and batting with great cricketing sense and Hrishikesh Kanitkar hitting Saqlain for 4 off the second last ball, were all unestablished when they played these gems. Looking back, both Kanitkar and Kaif lost it somewhere down the line. Some go to the extent of calling them flashes in the pan (though it would extremely unfair to call Kaif that). Only time will tell how Robin Uthappa will be judged but as always a billion people will expect him to do what he did last night everytime he comes to the crease. I do hope this Coorgi dude becomes one of India's next generation of cricketers.
There is something cool about the Coorgis though. We had a bunch of them in school and each of them had this cool streak running through them that by the end of my first year in school I wanted to be a coorgi as well (The only thing I guess which stopped me was that Venkat would have had to become Venkatappa, Venkayya, Venkanna or something similarly uncool). I was lucky enough to sit next to one such Coorgi in Grade 6. Kaveri was this one helluva beautfiul girl and I think by the time we finished our first term I was very much smitten by her. I was this budding philatelist then and during study hour one day I was sorting out my stamp collection. She seemed to be interested as well and I couldn't say "No" when she asked for a few stamps to start a collection of her own. Caught between possessiveness towards my collection and this request from the girl, I by now was very much in love with, I did the obvious - I gave her a couple of fake stamps from my collection (I think it was those funny moon landing collections from one of those Gulf emirates). Kaveri left after the 6th grade and I never got to meet here again. In all those years in between I would rather discreetly ask other Old school mates about her whereabouts and I'd always get a blank.
In 2005, I got this forwarded mail about the dangers of using a microwave to heat water (Moral of the e-mail: Don't heat water in a microwave unless the cup has something like a tea-bag or wooden stir to diffuse the energy built up). It was forwarded from a colleague and as I scrolled down to read it my eyes lit up. The originator happened to be the very same kaveri I knew in school. I shot off a mail asking if she ever went to the same school and if she remembered my fake stamp collection or me. Yes (she went to the same school) and no (she could neither remember me nor my fake stamp collection) was the reply.
As far as I can remember Kaveri was my first serious crush (till then all I had in my crush list were Class Teachers). I did learn from friends that Kaveri is now married to a fellow Coorgi who was a Senior at school but when I think of first crushes I still think of those balmy evenings of 1990 when I had to make the diffcult choice between parting with my stamp collection and indulging the girl I adored and I know I couldn't have done better.