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The things we remember, the things we forget

The cricketing memory is a strange beast. Sometimes you recall exactly where you were and what you were doing when you watched a cricket match 33 years ago. Words from the next day’s match report are stuck in your head. The photographs are etched in your memory. They transport you to a time and place far, far away.

Then you try and recall a game that took place ten days back. You watched every ball of it. You had a lot to say on Twitter when it was happening. You saw the highlights, too. But seem to remember very little now. The scorecard is a blur. The match report… did you even bother to read it?

In our latest episode, we chat with two guests who fell in love with the game in the 1980s. They are cricket tragics who have lived in various parts of the world – and they tell us about their experiences of following the game in the pre-internet, pre-cable TV years and their passion for tracking scores and devouring match reports.

Each explores their own relationship with cricket over time and they try and make sense of how they can remember so much… and yet at the same time, remember so little.

Participants:

Vijay Arumugam (@vijayarumugam)

Subu Sastry (@suubsy)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Related:

From Bedi to Kohli: a cricket writer’s journey – Vijay Lokapally interview in 81allout

From moustache to Mushtaq – 81allout podcast on random memories

What we talk about when we talk about cricket – 81allout podcast

Kapil Dev lofted shot flicker – posted by @suubsy on Twitter

Sportstar archive from 1987 Bangalore Test – posted by @suubsy on Twitter

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Lead image from here

5 Comments

  1. Ashfaq Shah Ashfaq Shah

    Absolutely loved it. Brought back so many memories. In Pakistan we used to have Pepsi promotions on crown caps as well and as kids I use to collect to win posters/calender’s etc. Keep the good work going. Much respect.

    • 81 All Out 81 All Out

      Thanks a lot, Ashfaq. Glad you liked the podcast.

  2. Vivek Bhandari Vivek Bhandari

    I listened to this podcast about two weeks back but couldn’t write a review (here). Now I will see how much I remember, which is, not to mention, a tough ask. I will give it a try though 🙂

    First things first, this blog is very rapidly becoming like your ex you secretly don’t want to see. But secretly you do. You know how it goes, right?

    Then, there are things that you think may have happened in some era and only you remember it. And then suddenly, there’s a podcast in which you discuss those things plus a million others. This is mentally very draining 😀

    Coming to THIS podcast, I listened to it in 2 (major) parts, and I am glad it logically partitioned into such parts. First part, in which both Subu and Vijay discussed their first games and second part, in which they discussed the impact of cricket in their lives.

    First part: TBF I didn’t relate much with this part, as I was too young during both these Tests. Having said that, it was great to listen to their experiences, and it’s really amazing how much they remember. And to use your tweet on this, it really seems as if they don’t remember anything else in their life.

    Subnote to what Vijay said: I have lived a year in Jammu and sometimes we used to get some Pakistani channel on Radio where I could hear the Urdu commentary. They used to say “Shahid Khan Afridi” or sometimes “Sahabzada SKA” even in running (actually running) commentary.

    If I have to tell about the first game that has an impact on me, I’d give a diplomatic answer that there isn’t a single match. I started early (watching cricket) courtesy my father who’s still a cricket buff and by ’89-90, we were getting up early and watching Sachin bat in the New Zealand ODIs. But the seriousness started from a one-off Test in Chandigarh (not yet Mohali). Raju took 6-12, SL were bowled out on 82 and had to follow on. So three major things happened in this match. And I had so much on my plate early on.

    Then things started to happen on their own. Sachin Tendulkar had started being the youth icon Indians always wanted, so much so that my mother used to watch him bat. She had no inclination towards cricket, so to say, before that. But she started asking us “Tendu aa gaya?” in between. And I remember a special Outlook feature (early 1999) to celebrate his 10 years in international cricket. There was an Adidas print ad/poem featuring him with the title “When Sachin Plays”. I read that ad now and then.

    If the first part was entertaining and nostalgic, the second part is where the podcast took off. I was amazed by how much you and others have to slog to get the cricket news/scores. I remember when one of my cousins moved to the US, I used to send him Cricket Samraat and Wisden Asia Cricket along with pickles and sweets (that our family routinely used to send across). But this episode is something else. Each story is a gem in itself. Be it Subu’s story about watching an animated match or Vijay’s account of going to the office during night hours. It’s so interesting and thrilling that I can’t put in my words 🙂

    The closest story I have is during the 1996 South Africa tour involving my father on an official trip with his colleagues. But that for another day. 🙂

    Another significant part of this podcast is the discussion and lovely stories as to how cricket has impacted our lives and our language and our outlook. Because of listening to the English commentators, I somehow got used to the English and Australian accents but had difficulty in understanding US accents (while on the job, of course). Like most of us, I was so much in awe of Tony Greig and wondered where I can use his often used phrases like “they are dancing in the isles”, “neck of the woods”, “chock-a-block”, and so on. 🙂

    One not so funny story to end this feedback 🙂

    For a long time in my growing years, I didn’t realize that Railways, Services are departmental teams. I always thought they were Central Zone and North Zone, that’s it. So while I was in a coaching school after 12th exams, I met a girl in my batch whose name was Su***** Bangar. And the first thing I asked, “are you from Railways?”. She said, “No, why?” I said, “well nothing”, and wondered why I asked that question.

    Over.

    • 81 All Out 81 All Out

      Thanks Vivek. We are both glad (and slightly guilty) for being likened to an ex. 🙂

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