17 May, 2021

Is He 40 Already?

India’s coming of age story, in many ways, mirrors Sachin’s

Illustration by Sorit
Is He 40 Already?

Just like many people in my generation, the world as I knew it began in 1983, that seminal year when India joyously, and mysteriously, won the Prudential Cup, and conquered a world few of us babies of the early and mid-’70s knew existed. When, less than a year later, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian in space, spending seven days, 21 hours and 40 minutes aboard the Soviet craft Soyuz T-11, our cup of joy was complete. Cricketer or cosmonaut, there were really only two choices in life.

But our age of innocence was to be cut brutally short within months, first with Operation Bluestar, and then the consequent assassination of Indira Gandhi.  Modern India had entered its most turbulent phase and the next decade or so would do nothing to lessen that tumult.

I was a completely confused nine-going-on-10 when we moved to Delhi from sleepy Secunderabad in 1985, mere weeks before the gunning down of the local member of Parliament from South Delhi, Lalit Maken, allegedly by members of the Khalistan Commando Force. They, as many others do, reportedly held Maken...

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