An ode to Bishan Singh Bedi - well deserved tribute

By -
Heartfelt tributes.

𝗕𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗵 𝗕𝗲𝗱𝗶 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘆: '𝗟𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗮 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝗯𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿, 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗮 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗺𝘆 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁', 𝗺𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗻𝘀 𝗣𝗮𝗸𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻'𝘀 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗸𝗵𝗮𝗯 𝗔𝗹𝗮𝗺

𝑨𝒇𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝑩𝒊𝒔𝒉𝒂𝒏 𝑺𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒉 𝑩𝒆𝒅𝒊'𝒔 𝒅𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒆, 𝑷𝒂𝒌𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒂𝒏'𝒔 𝑰𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒌𝒉𝒂𝒃 𝑨𝒍𝒂𝒎 𝒔𝒂𝒚𝒔: '𝑲𝒉𝒖𝒅𝒂 𝒉𝒂𝒇𝒊𝒛, 𝒎𝒚 𝒇𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒅. 𝑲𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒂 𝒈𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒔 𝒐𝒇 𝒓𝒆𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒚 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒎𝒆. 𝑼𝒏𝒕𝒊𝒍 𝒏𝒆𝒙𝒕 𝒕𝒊𝒎𝒆!'

(From the Indian Express)


Who will call me every then and now in the evening and will request me to sing a Louis Armstrong song? Who will give me compliments about my singing? Who will pull my leg about some of my random dismissals during my playing day?

I am heartbroken. I have lost a part of my heart today. I can't express in words how I am feeling. I have lost a friend, a younger brother. Last year, around the same time, we met at the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara. He forced me to sing Louis Armstrong's songs, held my hand, we smiled, we cried. Those were some of the most beautiful few hours of my life. I can still recall his smiling face, waving us goodbye once he crossed the border.

I have known him since 1971. I was playing county cricket for Surrey. Bishan was there with the Indian team for their England tour. The first time we interacted was in a match during that tour. India was playing Surrey and they had fielded three spinners, Prasanna, Chandrasekhar and Bishan. I hit two or three sixes off Bishan's bowling. All of them were over his head and those were massive ones. After the third six, he came to me and said "Kaptaan ji dusre bhi bowler hai, mujhe baksh do, mere peeche kyu pad gaye (Captain, there are other bowlers as well. Please show some mercy, why are you after my life)."

After the day's play, he came to Surrey's dressing room. I was dying to talk to someone in Punjabi. Then we never looked back.

The same year, we spent five months in Australia playing for the World XI. There were players from six or seven different countries. Gary Sobers was the captain. I was the vice captain. Bishan came up with the idea that since it is a long tour, we should at least meet once a week outside the ground. I made a Sunday club. Once a week, we used to hang out. We used to eat, drink, sing and dance. I used to sing for them. This is where he listened to Jazz for the first time and fell in love with Louis Armstrong's songs. We were similar in every sense.

People always talk about his action, and how great a bowler he was. I used to tease him 'Oye Sardar tu bowling karta hai ya Ghalib ke sher sunata hai' (You are bowling or you are reciting Ghalib's poem). Such a beautiful action he had.

He was a magician with the ball but besides that, he was a great human being. I have never seen anyone as genuine as Bishan. There was no fakeness in him. He was the same inside out. I used to get worried because of his personality. Whenever I used to warn him, 'Bishan, sometimes it is okay to be diplomatic.' In his younger days, he would reply, 'I will try.' After his retirement, he would say, 'ab toh aadat daal lo (At least get used to it now).'

I can go on and on and on about Bishan. It is indeed a sad day for world cricket. We have lost a gem. Our friendship will continue till the time I am alive. He loved me like his elder brother. I loved him like my younger brother. I may never sing Louis Armstrong's songs. Maybe, once we meet in another life.

Today, I will dedicate a Kishore Kumar song, another favourite singer of ours. This, from the movie Yaarana, is for Bishan, "Tere jaisa yaar kahaan, kahan aisa yaarana, yaad karegi duniya, tera mera afsana."

Khuda hafiz, my friend. Keep a glass of red wine ready for me. Until next time!

Post a Comment


Post a Comment (0)