02 August, 2021

Honour In Imperfection

Sanjay Manjrekar's insightful and utterly frank autobiography sets a high standard to aim for, while engendering in us a new respect for the man

Honour In Imperfection

Autobiography is to be tru­sted only if it reveals something disgraceful, wrote George Orw­ell. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a ser­ies of defeats. Sanjay Manjrekar’s Imp­erfect wins over the reader early with a startling confession: “I played cricket not because I deeply loved the game…(but because) I wanted to be famous.”

It is not the thought that is unique, but its admission. The tone is set: this is a book of searing honesty. There is suffering and embarrassment, but no complaint. Above all, there is gratitude and acceptance—not qualities one always finds in a cricketing memoir.

What went wrong with Sanjay Manjrekar? At the dawn of the 1990s, his centuries in the West Indies and Pakistan, then teams with great fast bowlers, marked him out as a leader of India’s batting for a generation. In Pakistan, where Manjrekar, eight years older than debutant Sachin Tendulkar, looked after him, sharing a room and...

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