To be or not to be...

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By Devadeep Purohit Zeeshan Jawed
  • Published 19.06.05

India or Bengal, parochialism or criticism for homegrown stars, cricketing skills or leadership qualities ? an adda session at CC&FC on Saturday evening threw up these issues and more as a panel of experts shared its views on whether Sourav Ganguly was still good enough to be in team India and lead it.

The speakers included former cricketers Arun Lal and Saba Karim, journalists Gautam Bhattacharya and Utpal Chatterjee, cricket aficionado and designer Nilanjana Chakraborty and CC&FC president Utpal Ganguly. Cricket writer Kishore Bhimani steered the one-and-a-half-hour discussion.

The session turned out to be one full of fun and funda as the panellists punctuated their talk with stories, on and off the field ? if one pondered on the fear among top Indian batsmen about Australian pace battery Jeff Thompson, another spoke about the injustice meted out to east zone players, yet another whipped up some interesting statistics.

Though Sourav?s present form was the starting point ? a forthcoming Bhattacharya made it clear that he was not ?amused? with the motion ? the session ended with the panel veering towards a somewhat unanimous resolution.

Some of the high points: The boy from Behala has a lot of cricket left in him; he has revolutionised Indian cricket by dumping regional bias; the Prince of Calcutta should be credited for bringing aggression into team India and, finally, Maharaj?s success as the captain can never be wished away.

?Knowing Sourav, I am sure he will be the first to object if parochialism is the basis for support for him,? Karim observed.

But thanks to different degrees of emotional quotients, the speakers failed to arrive at a consensus as to whether Sourav should continue as captain or not. Bhimani ushered in the issue by quoting former England captain Mike Brearly, who once said: ?Every captain has a shelf life??

Both Lal and Karim argued that Sourav would be better off by concentrating on his cricket. ?Pressure is building on him. Six months ago, there was undying loyalty for him in the team, but that doesn?t exist anymore. Sourav should consider whether he wants to carry on as captain,? they chorused.

The discussion soon snowballed into a debate, despite Bhimani?s warning that no one was ?for or against the motion?. Chakraborty argued that a ?couple of bad seasons? was not reason enough to show Sourav the exit door.

The CC&FC president dwelt on the skipper?s motivation. ?He still can?t forget the finals against Australia in the last World Cup. Sourav?s target is the 2007 World Cup, and for him to be in cricket, he must be leading the side,? said Ganguly. Bhattacharya also argued in favour of a longer innings for Sourav, stressing that ?technically? he has not lost a series in the past six months.

The discussion then meandered to issues like the (Jagmohan) Dalmia factor in Indian cricket, the need to groom future captains, the selection process for team India and the challenges in leading the team.

But Bhimani did not let the speakers stray, extracting their opinions on diverse topics ? from Sourav?s technique and fitness to his decision to sign up with Glamorgan. ?Captaining India is the toughest job on the planet and I am a fan of Sourav for the way he has done it,? Lal?s comment summed up the mood.

Twinkling at home

Twinkle Khanna (right) with sister Rinke in the city on Friday. Picture by Rashbehari Das

It has been exactly 10 years since she forayed into films with those chiselled features and a lost-girl look in her eyes. When Barsaat and a few more films failed to lift her career, Twinkle Khanna quit Bollywood to get married. Now, with a flourishing business in interior d?cor, the elder daughter of Dimple Kapadia has found her true calling.

?I had reached a crossroad in life where I had to make a choice in which direction I wanted to head. I decided to quit acting because I never enjoyed it as much as I am enjoying my own business and taking care of my son and husband,? says Twinkle, in town to unveil a collection of branded watches.

As an interior decorator, she?s busy doing up quite a few celebrity homes. And the going has never been so good with a second outlet of her d?cor brand, Bite Window, also in the offing.

At home though, there?s two-year-old son Araf and husband Akshay Kumar vying for her attention. ?I try to provide all the moral support to him (Akshay). And that is it. I do not meddle in his work life and his decision-making process,? she adds, brushing off media reports of a break-up.

?I have been a part of this industry for too long to lend a ear to such rumours,? she stresses.

Though far from films herself, a couple of her works do have a special place in her heart. So, if Barsaat made her feel like a small kid attending her first day in school, Mela gave her creative satisfaction.

But does that thought make Twinkle toy with the idea of a comeback? ?Never,? is the emphatic reply. ?I was very keen on joining the industry, but once I spent some time there, I realised it was not my calling. And I do not think I will face the camera again. In fact, I have found a more satisfying option in my interior decoration business,? adds she.

The small screen is a no-no, too, unless it has something to do with, what else but, interior decoration, Twinkle signs off.