Sanjay Manjrekar – Grim Accumalator





    Major Dil breaker

    How many Mumbaikars do you see in the current National cricket squad? What happened to them then you ask? Well, this is exactly why I chose to read Sanjay Manjrekar’s autobiography.

    Sanjay who you ask? Rewind to the good ol’ days of Test Match cricket when all the top order batsmen in the Bharat XI comprised of Bombay based Maharashtrians. Could have been more had they managed to produce one decent Test class bowler too. This trend started ever since the evolution of cricket in India since the ancient days of Merchant & Mankad. Rather dramatically, their numbers began to decline somewhere in the 80s with the exit of Vengsarkar, Sandeep Patil, Gavaskar & Shastri. Manjrekar, Kambli & Tendulkar tried to keep the flag flying but only Sachin survived.

    Such was Papa Manjrekar's repute as sharp wit & tongue
    that once Chetan Chauhan approached him for advice.
    Manjrekar responded, "Son there is nothing wrong with your technique".
    "Though there could be something wrong with the selectorial process
    as you still ended up playing Test cricket"

    So what happened to this pedigreed breed? Was greed their only need indeed? Sanjay explains this trend to lack of physical fitness but then does a quick recovery by writing reams and reams eulogising Mumbai cricket and how none of us could have possibly have survived without their kind services. Jai Maharashtra! So where is Mumbai now in the cricket map of India? Unhe Zameen khaa gayi yah aasmaan nigal gaya?

    Sanjay candidly explains he became a cricketer just because he was expected to be one. His dad was the world-famous Vijay Manjrekar who could crack the bat as well as his razor sharp tongue all around the park. He was showered with affection by his fellow cricketers despite his foul temper. Goes without saying son Sanjay was also well taken care of. Gavaskar personally handed him over a Gray Nicholls bat he bought just for him from England. Viv Richards also waited patiently for him to show up to congratulate him on his ’89 Barbados test ton. Volatile tempered Papa Manjrekar’s family had to bear a whole lot of brunt of this “volcano” of talent so to speak. His son Sanjay grew up to be a complexed kid with an pronounced in-built defence mechanism that he suspects showed in his batting technique.

    Papa Manjrekar always displayed guts whether on field or in the streets
    Yuppers, I can tell you first-hand it does take guts to be in the same frame as a Dore
    (Giri Dore receives best bowler award in 1975 for a Siemens game)

    Apparently Sanjay could occupy the crease for hours without keeping the scoreboard ticking and this is the only talent he honed in the final analysis.

    Manjrekar’s short-livety as a batter can also be attributed to his devotion to himself as opposed to the interests of the team. Does it make any sense he introspected a lot about his mistakes and yet did not turn out to be a record shattering batsman? Apparently Mumbaikars also do not get along all that well with mates from North Zone. Sanjay blames it on the watching crowds too who would rather watch India lose than miss out on a Mumbaikar’s ton.

    One of Sanjay’s beefs is that team management in his time expected a lot from their boys who were not really in the mood for winning any game overseas.

    His book though was a li’l bit more interesting to read than watching one of his boring innings. He begins with a dramatic flourish stating to the effect that today he has nothing to do with cricket which we know is a fallacy as he is making a living as a cricket commentator. He does find his way around with words and that would explain his tremendous success he now enjoys as a TV commentator.

    My initial memories of Sanjay was when in he got that fabulous double hundred against the then formidable Pakistan side in 1989. Before that he got a hundred against the Windies too in Barbados though I don’t think it was really a tour worth remembering. The Indians got thrashed 0-2 in the Tests and got “black-washed” in the ODIs as a side-dish. After the tour they even had the gall to play “masala matches” in the US in return for a handsome remuneration. Bus ek sharm hi to nahi aati in logon ko. The Cricket Board ordered them to not play those matches and yet they did. What commenced later was a Players vs Board match which was fought to the last man but no one really won the game. If only the then players showed such tenaciousness in the playing ground at that time. All this is of course conveniently omitted from the book.

    Another memory is how he would consistently got himself run out in the 1992 World Cup games effectively putting India out of contention. His version is that his lack of fitness was the root cause.

    .... Sanjay Manjrekar runs himself out yet again
    in crucial '92 World Cup encounter vs Aussies
    effectively snuffing India out of contention ....

    A final recollection of mine was when just after his premature retirement he wrote how Indians must develop an aggressive temperament like the Pakis before they can even think of winning games overseas. Not sure how effective this ploy was as the Indians still are yet to win a Test series in Australia and by and large struggle with both bat and ball in foreign pitches.

    What is rather odd and noteworthy about this book is that Sanjay is all gaga over those who were accused of match fixing – Manoj Prabhakar, Azharuddin & Ajay Jadeja. Conversely he is rather critical of Kapil Dev who was cleared of all charges. There are suggestions Kapil would fake injuries when the Windies were in town. He does not name Kapil but it has got to be a senior player who commands and demands respect. Apparently Kapil Dev encouraged a culture where seniors were to be respected as not seen as buddies, yaars or cronies. He would like it if someone called him Paaji. There are other instances where without naming names he talks about a time where a senior player did not want to face a fiery Wasim Akram and kept going to the non-striker side, giving the strike to Manjrekar. Not sure who the player could be other than Kapil Dev.

    Overall he paints a sorry picture about the dressing room mileau of the 90s. Team meetings were mere formalities and no one really played to win as the fans were supposedly “not expecting” them to win in those days. Skipper Azharuddin would be mumbling to himself and the team would just not their heads pretending to hear every word. Azhar’s strategy if you want to call it that was to leave everything to Almighty.


    .... When K Srikkanth was elevated to captaincy in 1989 one ex-captain remarked:
    "So a hawaldar has been made Commissioner of Police, What next?" ....

    While he is critical of players outside of Mumbai and beyond, he is very generous in praise for overseas players. And yes that would include Ian Chappell who (alongwith jigar ka tukda Greg) every Indian cricket fan worth their salt believe to be the cause of the ruin of Indian cricket. Makes perfect diplomatic sense I guess not to rub fellow commentators the wrong way. Paani me reh kay magarmuch se bair? Nuh-uh. In fact Manjrekar is also kind of giving tutorials on how to suck up to your bosses of the corporate world if you want to bring food to your dining table. He even went to the extent of apologising to viewers on behalf of Dean Jones who made a racist remark at South African Amla for everyone subscribing to cable to hear.

    His bounty of overflowing encomiums extends to players across the border too. Manjrekar Jr goes as far as saying he wished he played under the tutelage of Imran the irresistable Khan. This does not automatically bring his patriotism to question (Jai Maharashtra, remember?) so we’ll let that slide. However his training his gun on North zoners should make him want to move out of his glass house. After all how do you explain freeloaders like Ashok Mankad who survived Test cricket for a decade without a single Test hundred?

    Speaking of match fixing, Manjrekar was also secretly taped by Manoj Prabhakar in that sensational Tehelka expose. Now why would he wanna do that is the million dollar question. The book also addresses the burning topic of match fixing with a straight copybook defensive bat leaving the stumps totally unexposed. All we could get out of him was that Ian Chappell’s views on how matches get fixed are rather naive. Now what exactly did he mean by that is another million dollar question. Manjrekar Jr. also claims that much talked about India-Pak match “awarded” to Pakistan due to bad light was not Azhar’s doing.

    All in all a book makes breezy reading for the quintessential desi cricket afficionado though I would not really qualify it as a must-read. The book covers cricket from bygone era and current times with aplomb. Though certain portions already covered by Tendulkar such as the 96 World Cup could have been edited out as it is clearly a ploy to increase the thickness of the book.

    .... The World Cup '96 India vs Pakistan encounter
    In those days it was rare for India to win a crunch situation match
    both Sachin and Sanjay mention this match in their bios ....





    By Suresh Doré


    So you want to run a marathon? Completing 26.2 miles is an awe-inspiring accomplishment that requires commitment and dedication and that provides many rewards, not least of which is joining the .5 percent of the U.S. population who have run a marathon. Most training plans
    call for 16 to 20 weeks of training. You’ll run three to five (or more) times per week, and your weekly mileage total will gradually increase as you get closer to the big race day.

    .... A marathon is an awe-inspiring accomplishment that
    that provides many rewards....

    The key to successful marathon training is consistently putting in enough weekly mileage to get your body accustomed to running for long periods of time. Newer runners may start with 15 to 20 miles per week total and gradually build to a peak week of 35 to 40 miles. More experienced runners may start at 35 or more miles per week and peak at 50 or more miles. When you select a training plan, avoid those that would increase your volume by more than about 10 percent in the first week. (For example, if you usually run 20-mile weeks, avoid plans that have you running much more than 22 miles in week 1.) Find a training plan here.

    The most important part of your training is a weekly long run at an easy “conversational” pace that gradually increases in distance, week over week, to build your strength and endurance. Spending the extra time on your feet helps prepare your muscles, joints, bones, heart, lungs, and brain for going 26.2 on race day. Most training plans build to at least one 18- to 20-mile long run. Most coaches do not recommend completing the full marathon distance in training because they believe the risk of injury outweighs any potential benefits.

    .... Most coaches do not recommend completing
    the full marathon distance in training as
    the risk of injury outweighs the benefits.....

    Your training plan may also feature weekly or biweekly speedwork, tempo runs, or miles at marathon pace. Common speed workouts for marathoners include mile repeats (usually at about 10K pace) and Yasso 800s (repeats at somewhere between 5K and 10K pace). “Tempo run” most often refers to a sustained effort at comfortably hard (about half marathon) pace, meant to build speed and endurance. And segments at marathon pace—which may be done as part of a long run or as an independent workout—help you to ingrain that pace in your mind and body before race day.

    Select a couple of long runs in the month or two before the race to use as “dress rehearsals.” Get up and start running the same time you will on race day. Eat and drink what you’ll eat on the day before, the morning of, and during your race the day before, the morning of, and during the dress rehearsal run. Wear the same shoes and clothing you plan to wear in the marathon. This gives you the opportunity to troubleshoot any problems, and to respect the cardinal rule of marathoning: Never Try Anything New on Race Day.

    .... Never Try Anything New on Race Day......

    What to Eat and Drink

    What you eat before, during, and after you run can make or break your training. Eat too little and you’ll bonk—that is, run out of energy to finish your run. Too much and you’ll find yourself running to the bathroom. Midrun fuel—from sports drinks, gels, gummy bears, etc.—helps you sustain energy to finish the effort.

    Before you run: To sustain energy, you need to eat something before any run lasting more than 60 minutes. Ideally, you should have a high-carb, low-fiber meal three to four hours before you plan to run. That time frame gives your body a chance to fully digest and reduces risk of midrun stomach issues. However, if you’re running in the morning, it’s not always possible to leave that much time between your meal and your run. If you have at least an hour before your workout, eat about 50 grams of carbs (that’s equal to a couple pancakes or waffles with syrup or a bagel with honey). If you’re doing a really long run, consider adding in a little protein, which will help sustain your energy levels. A PB&J sandwich or a hard-boiled egg are good choices.

    .............. If you’re doing a really long run,
    add some protein to sustain your energy levels.............

    During your run: Taking in fuel—in the form of mostly carbohydrates—during training runs that exceed 60 minutes will help keep your blood sugar even and your energy levels high. Runners should consume about 30 to 60 grams of carbs per hour of exercise (it’s best to spread that out over time intervals that work for you, such as every 20 minutes). You can get the right amount of carbs from sports drinks (16 ounces of Gatorade provides 28 grams of carbs), one to two energy gels (GU Energy Gels provide about 22 grams in one packet), or energy chews, like Clif Shot Bloks, which provide about 24 grams of carbs in a three-block serving. Real foods, like a quarter cup of raisins or two tablespoons of honey, also provide the right amount of easily digested carbs that will energize your run. Everyone’s tolerance for fuel is different, however, so the key is to find out what works for you during your training so you know what to take in on race day.


    First Generation Kid meets Fourth Generation kid!

    Kartik Dore shares

    CHENNAI /28th Feb 2018
    Dear Nandu,
               We got a call last night from
         Gippy, that he’d like one pic of his
         with Devika to be put in T-O-D ,
         with the caption ” First Gen meets
         Fourth  “. This happened on 12th Feb
         last, when Gippy visited Poornima’s
         Wadala flat & met Devika, Poornima
          & me. We had a great time ,and Devika
         took to Gippy, as if she knew him.
           I’ve sent you 2 video clips & a few
         snaps on WhatsApp.
                Let’s hope for the best.Thanks.
                   Affly & with regards,
                                   Kartik Anna


    Members recalled the glory of P.G.Wodehouse, the greatest humourist, who like the arab quietly folded his tent on Valentine’s Day and disappeared over the sands of time. In the echoes and parallels of eloquent prose it is vain to seek such elegance of language laced with a rare filigree of humour. He wove on the roaring loom of Time with the warp of imagination and the weft of humour till his last breath. Truly a blessed soul who wrote 90 plus novels in a life span of 90 plus years. A miracle indeed! Since his demise we have had a long winter in the world of humour. We tipped our hats to Sir P.G.Wodehouse.


    We all know about Wodehouse as a cricketer but we have in Giri Dore another in our midst at Wodehouse Corner. Giri Dore, as seasoned as a cricket ball, was invited to Kolkota to be the National Match referee for Siemens teams across the country. With his years of experience on the field this was not surprising and soon Giri, recalling his sunny days in Calcutta between 1959 and 1965, winged his way to Kolkota. with the latest Cricket Rules in his hip pocket. On arrival, after much wading at the airport through a crowd of Chatterjees, Mukherjees and Bannerjees Giri was escorted through Tollygunge, Ballygunge and other outlying bally places to the sports ground where there were more Chatterjees and such of their ilk, besides an assortment of persons with appellations like Ghosh, Das and Sens. There he saw a delightful crowd cheering away. In one corner a chap was coaching a section of the crowd in hissing and other sounds to unnerve the players. The elite and the well bred sat at the far end away from the noise makers. Amongst them were delicate fair hands that elegantly held fans that opened now and then to wave off the flies or the rising heat. Their plunging necklines and pearl necklaes stamped the hallmark of class and affluence. Even in such gatherings there are class and caste shades, each segment coexisting seamlessly though, together but apart. The matches were hectic and on quite a few occasions disputed issues were referred to Giri, who with his balance, diplomacy and tact left the players satisfied with the final decision. By evening, the crowd stood tired and subdued, listless “with the drooping of their collective necks.” When it was announced that the session would conclude with a song by Dore they became attentive and were astonished to hear Giri sing a Portugese tune with Spanish rhythm followed by music on the harmonica. The audience gave a deafening applause which still rings time and again in Giri’s memory long after they faded.

    Not many may remember Wodehouse having received an Honourary Doctorate from Oxford University in 1939 for his English but it turned out that he became equally adept as a doctor as many a depressed soul has recovered from a reading of his novels. In his writings, Wodehouse prescribes the cure for insomnia. Briefly stated, :

    Breakfast: After toast and marmalade,
    Jeeves and the Hard-boiled egg.
    Lunch:      After cauliflower and lamb cutlet,
    Jeeves and the kid Clementine.
    Dinner:    Clear soup, chicken en casserole,
    Jeeves and the Old School Chum.
    Before Retiring: Liver pill followed by
    Jeeves and the Impending Doom.

    Actually, holding a Doctorate in say, Physics or Philosophy can be a social disadvantage. The physicist Dr. Millikan, famed for his accurate measurement of the diameter of the electron, overheard his charwoman answering a phone call in his apartment telling the caller, “No. the professor is no good for giving any medicine.” PG narrated an incident about his Professor at the Institute of Social Sciences who had a doctorate in sociology. His neighbours often rang his doorbell at night in quest of medicines and no amount of explanation would convince them of the fact that he knew nothing about medicine. They persisted in being given asome harmless pills, potions and powders. A powder to cure cough, a tablet for headache, a pill for fever and some mild purgative. What he thought was mild was perhaps too strong for the patient who never turned up thereafter.

    On PG’s request to Ranju for a brief, precise narrative of his (Ranju’s) meeting with Krishna Mohan at Hyderabad he received a long, verbose, and detailed affidavit (designed not to omit any detail whatsoever).Attempts to condense it met fierce resistance as the stuff was tightly packed traversing history and geography enmeshed with sequenced  details. Any change attempted was like trying “to paint a lily”. So PG  thought let the readers have it thick and undiluted. Here it  goes:

    “I met OMH Krishna Mohan Gabbita in the lobby of Hotel Taj Vivanta in Begumpet, Hyderabad on Wednesday 7th Feb. He arrived at 10.15 am sharp and I appreciated his punctuality.
    Over coffee at Viva, I asked him if he had brought any PGW novel written by him in the Telugu. I had forgotten to mention this when I spoke to him that morning. I was curious to know how he had replicated the flavour and nuances of the written word and phrases in the English language by the Great Master. Some of my classmates ( many of whom had left that morning for the airport to return to respective destinations after the 5 day reunion ) had remarked that it is very difficult to capture the essence of Wodehouse humour and play on words in any other language other than English. Lost in translation was the phrase that jumped to mind.
    OMH asked me if I had some time to spare. Our former neighbours from Mumbai had invited us for lunch at their home in Motinagar but when OMH requested me to visit his house, a ten minute drive away, I could not refuse. He said we would spend ten minutes at his place and his chauffeur would drop me back at the hotel.
    I am glad I visited his home in Somajiguda where I met his wife. I am the proud owner of a large collection of books and novels but was amazed on seeing the contents of his library. An Ayn Rand novel caught my eye. OMH also showed me one of the eleven volumes of a Historical Compendium which he acquired after parting with a king’s ransom. I was tempted to count all the 92 books of PGW but lack of time and a sense of politeness came in the way.

    Six novels of PGW have been written ( or transliterated ) by Krishna Mohan in Telugu language and these have been well accepted by his faithful readers. Each print edition is for 1000 copies and all have sold out***. He is now writing his 7th book. Krishna Mohan has to seek permission from the Wodehouse Estate and pay them a royalty for every 1000 copies plus three hard copies of each book printed. He has a group of PGW fans who meet regularly in Hyderabad. OMH talked about the late Bapu, a renowned artist and film producer who designed the covers of his books. He also spoke about B S Prakash***, an authority on PGW. All his friends have now re-christened Krishna Mohan as “Gabbita Wodehouse”.

    I had a quick photo session during which I captured most of the contents of his library. Links to these pix have been sent to you.

    I was most impressed with his achievements during his career with DRDO and BDL, particularly Krishna Mohan’s role in the development and production of the Prithvi missile used by the Indian Armed Forces. I just had to take his picture with a model of the missile, naively asking him to stop me if I am violating any Official Secrets Act!! “

    During his visit to Hyderabad, one bright morning PG met Krishna Mohan (OMH) or KM at his residence. The meeting (just like the one Ranju had with him) could be called a mini-Wodehouse get-together. There was a nice interaction with KM on the travails of a translator, right from the start in selecting a novel that would be amenable for translation, the torturous struggle in adapting to the cultural milieu, the challenge of searching for the right word and phrase while keeping the humour alive, all this with an eye on the commercial imperatives and the petty cash of the cash register. A strenuous effort and kudos to KM for keeping the vernacular flag of Wodehouse flying. We carried our discussions to the lunch table. It was time for the wine cup and the guitar. The melodious strains of the guitar were not audible bu.t then as Keats said, “Heard melodies are sweet, those unheard are sweeter”. This was followed by a sumptuous lunch and it was merely stating “The food is tasty” “Exceedingly tasty” as we consumed calories far beyond the limits permitted by the quack.

    — PG.