A little personal and a little political

90’s Superhero

Chiranjeevi had just taught his sister-in-law a moral lesson on family values. Now he has to survive her from the bad guys abusing her. That was only a part of the story…

His brother tied with ropes; his other sister-in-law, her children and the old granny hijacked. It’s not over… The twist here was, the villain was no one but Vijaya Shanthi’s (the heroine) father. Chiru can’t kill the villain, because heroine needs to revenge her mom’s death. Chiru can only help her and Vijaya Shanthi needs to get the job done.

So Chiru had to 1) save his family, 2) kill the bad guys, and 3) help the heroine kill her own dad. Confused? Amazed? That’s exactly what I felt (add disturbed too) when I was watching a Telugu movie (Gang Leader – 1991) this weekend. Why does this story sound familiar to me?

He got all these things taken care of, not to mention that he jumped out of an exploding car, and kicked some 50 thugs single-handedly. This is lot more than the old James Bond style climax dilemma…Save the girl he loved or save the world?

My nostalgia was not from the Bond movie climax. It was not a super hero cartoon either. Far more familiar than that.

I know what it was; it was Sachin Tendulkar batting in 90s. Sachin was the guy rescuing (or trying to) the weaker partners. He was trying to rescue billion hopes. But his performance was not a scripted drama. His every move was watched live by an entire nation and many more.

The expectations from fans were as high as they were on Chiru. Just how they would walk out of a theater if Chiru was dead in the middle of the movie, they would shut (some times break) their TV sets whenever Tendulkar failed to take India home.

My fav innings was from the finals of 1998 Sharjah Tournament vs Australia. Australia gave a target of 272 runs. Apart from some support from Azhar, similar story continued, wickets tumbled around SRT. But Tendulkar had an innings of a life time. He hit all the bad guys (Australian bowlers – Fleming, Kasprowich, Warne etc) for boundaries, while the crowd went ballistic seeing their favorite superhero go belligerent.

The excitement can be felt from the commentary of Tony Greig (actually from the semis, where SRT hit 143).

First ball of the over from Steve Waugh to SRT….

….Straight down the ground, wonderful shot, all the way for SIX. What a playa. Lovely crisp clean hit straight down the ground….

Next ball..

…..He has gone again. It went all the way up. It’s gonna be gone (for SIX). No… he’s (fielder) got him. Tendulkar is OUT….. No, he has dropped him. He has dropped him. It’s gone over the fence for four….Tendulkar smashed that one down the mid-wicket. Fielder tried to catch him, and dropped him and the ball rolled over the fence….

By the time he got out (or umpire called an incorrect one), he scored 134 and got India close to Victory. The batsmen followed him were able to get the remaining runs. That felt to me like the cops who come at the end of the movie to arrest the villain. India won the finals, and took home the cup. Needless to mention SRT was the man of the match and the series.

Like Chiranjeevi and all other superheros, if Sachin had a weakness, may be that was ego that got him out more often than great bowling.

Oh BTW, if you like, you can watch this video on youtube

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This entry was posted on March 14, 2010 by in English, India, Movies, Sports.
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