February 09, 2004

"Chai Bana na".....

The person our group here at akron can associate with that statement is Adi, Sunil Adwani, is my friend who left for India this morning....he was one of the most joyful persons that I know. He is always lively and keeps the people around him cheerful. the fact that he has left akron has not yet sunk in.....I guess it will take some time...may be tommorow when I start doing my usual stuff I will realise that Adi isn't there.....

I wanted to write the blog on Adi earlier but the cricket matches kept me away from the blogging world for sometime.....so the WAAARRST FELLOW Phani grabbed the chance to write the blog on Adi....and man did he do a great job!!!!!!! awesome blog phani.....

I think I first met Adi at his place for the ganesh puja.....the first reason due to which I remembered Adi was that his name was Sunil and he had a roomie named Nishant.....well...I am suneel too and I had a roomie named Nishant...so it was that sheer coincidence that I used to remember abt Adi.....I didnt even know him that well till the Cricket 2002 season....which was a memorable season for most of the people on that team....as Phani said we could go on and on abt tht season and the 2003 season.....people in Akron have started hating us for the fact taht the guys from teh cricket team always talk abt cricket where ever they went and never get tired abt discussing their losing season....heheheh

In the summmer of 2002 I met Adi and Phani at the nets, ram and I were trying to make a team and they wanted to be a part of it. We started practice and thats when I saw how dedicated they both were in improving their game...neither had experience with the season ball cricket....they were always on time and we had a lot of fun with the relatively rookie team....sunny, sairam and all the otehr rookies also had a ball...that season will always remain in my fond memories....Adi's career as a bowler was almost disrupted by Ram !!!!!!!!!! what ??? Ram?? how can that be possible people knowing Ram would say....but the truth is that Ram wanted to teach Adi to swing the ball and take advantage of the natural angle that a left arm seam bowler gets bowling over the wicket.....they used to practice hard in the nets but Adi who was used to bowling around the wicket (similar guard to that of a right arm bowler) found it difficult to bowl that way....and could not adjust to the new style....he was naturally hit for some runs and wasn't successful in getting wickets....no wonder he ended the season with only 2 wickets!!!!!!!! but he made up for it with his briliant fielding and oustanding catching.....he was the best fielder we had and the person to go to for a high catch.....he was outstanding in the cover region and has had tremendous success there....he got two direct hits in a game in 2003 season....one was that of Bharat who is one of the most feared batsman in our league......batting.....he was a typical gully cricket...leg side player...just like me...but i had a wider range of shots than Adi (u have to admit that Adi)......

then came the famous and memorable six-a-side tournament where AkronCC performed extremely well exceeding everybody's expectations.....the best part was that Adi wanted to watch Sampras-Agassi final of the US Open....but we were in Columbus....so he wanted us to lose so that we could go back in time for the start of the match.....but for what we experienced I think Adi didnt mind missing that match....beating the top seeds....making it to the play off's after losing both the league matches....brilliant batting from Adi and Phani....I getting hit in the face....losing the final by one run.....name it and we had that!!!!!!!! most of all....phani hogging after every game!!!!!!! he kept on eatin eating and eating......by the end of the day he had eaten more than the rest (five) of us.

played some tennis with Adi....it was great.....he was a really good player but for some reason never beat me...seriously....I am not bragging abt it but I have to admit that he was the better player but always lost to me.....i guess I was lucky!!!!!! the fact that he was a left-hander used to irritate me as I never liked playing racquet sports with lefties!!!!!!! I have had bad experiences in both Badminton and now in Racquetball with lefties....i get confused and keep hitting the ball to their forehand side.....

then came the 2003 cricket season.....it was a turn around time for Adi's bowling career....Ram had left akron!!!!!!!!!!! i am just kidding.....we missed Ram .......but adi went back to bowling left arm around the wicket and was very successful in getting wickets and drying up runs!!!!!!!!! he was so successful that he was selected for the all-star game !!!!! thats indeed an achievement as the best players in the league are selected for the all-star game!!!!!!!!! he ended the season with 16 wickets!!!!!!!! I was in race with him for most of the season (phani and manpreet dropped catches to make sure that I was always behind) but his 5-wicket haul against OSU took him away from the rest of us!!!!! he even batted brilliantly against Youngstown and almost took us to victory......he top-scored in that match.....

for the past few months.....i got to know adi very well....with he coming over to my place and we playing racquetball together...i got to know him well.....he was always cheerful and was clear minded....he was also very optimistic and looked at the positive side of things!!!!!!

apart from sports adi was a part of our cultural program for Diwali.......he did a great job in our play at the 2002 diwali and was hilarious in his role as Raja Gajendra Singh in the play "teri Biwi Sirf meri" that we perfomed at Diwali 2003.....the practice sessions were the best part as Adi and madhu used to have a laughing competition as to who will disrupt the practice first by breaking out with laughter!!!!!! we had a tough time getting the two of them to get the scene and dialogue right!!!!!!!!

Adi is a big sachin fan and I am a big Dravid and Laxman (and of Azhar) fan so we used to have endless debates abt who is greater....though i was always outnumbered I still will say "Dravid is the best, Dravid baba ki jai!!!!!!"

there was one more thing that i can associate myslef with Adi.....the "Sunil-Suneel" picture...we invariably have atleast 10-15 of those pictures....we get a picture taken of the two of us whenever we find one of our friend's taking pictures with a camera......he have had those pics at almost all the parties we went to together and at all the events

Leaving us with all these and many more unforgettable memories Adi left Akron this morning for good!!!!!! Now, who will......

.....Ask for chai or make chai at any hour
.....stand in the cover position next season
.....play racquetball with me everyday
.....say "Sachin baba ki jai !!!"
.....bowl left arm around the wicket
.....leave the ball outside the stump looking as if to nick the ball on its way to the keeper
.....watch tennis and keep me updated on the latest news in tennis
.....make Renu and Prathyusha laugh (they are Sindhu's roomies who invariably break into laughter when they see adi)
.....call phani whenever Dravid scores a century
.....take all the high catches on the field
.....get the direct hits to get Bharat run-out
.....be happy to see indians fail and Gili (Gilchrist) tear apart the indian attack
....be in the "Sunil-Suneel" pictures with me

.....guys please feel free to add more of these one-liners!!!!!!!!!

ADI, my best wishes will be with you whereever you go and whatever u do......I will surely meet up with u when i come to india the next time!!!!!!!!! it will be time for another "sunil-suneel" photo:):)