LIFE LESSONS

Published on November 11th, 2016 | by drkkr

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PROXIMITY

There were two extremely talented batsmen from Mumbai. Their coach was Ramakant Achrekar Sir. Both had a brother named Ajit. While one Ajit guided his younger brother in the right direction to give India Sachin Tendulkar, the other Ajit went down and took his brother and his potentially great career down along with him. This is the story of that unfortunate batsman whom Sachin used to address as “Sir”.

He is Anil Gurav and this is his story:

He used to play for the Mumbai U-19 team.Coach Ramakant Achrekar used to ask youngsters Tendulkar and Kambli to watch Gurav’s stroke play and learn from him.He was called the Viv Richards of Mumbai and everyone thought it would be Gurav who would first go on to play for India.He says regarding his association with Sachin-

“I was his captain at Sassanian (cricket club). He wanted to use my bat but was too shy to ask me directly. The request came through Ramesh Parab (now international scorer at Wankhede stadium), and I told Sachin he could use it provided he made a big score. He said,’I will, sir’ and went on to score a century with my SG bat.”

However he fell a victim to circumstances. His brother Ajit became a sharpshooter of an underworld gang. Police officers used to pick up Gurav and his mother repeatedly and severely beat them up to find out the whereabouts of his brother Ajit, sometimes detaining them for days.

By the time this ordeal ended, Gurav’s cricketing career was also over. He took to heavy drinking. Everything was lost, his career, his dreams, all went up in smoke.

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He now lives in a shabby 200 sq ft room in a slum in Nalasopara, Mumbai.

Gurav says he last met Sachin in the early 1990s at the Islam Gymkhana at Marine Lines, when he saw Sachin getting into his car surrounded by security guys. Sachin saw him and at once recognized him. He called him and spoke for a couple of minutes and asked him to come to his home.

Now while Sachin Tendulkar has become a legend of the Cricket world who went on to achieve everything, Anil Gurav is a 48-year-old incorrigible drunk striving to keep his family together

Both of them were talented but talent is not the only component. This story illustrates how a good family background and support is invaluable. Not everyone is lucky enough to have it.

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