I vividly remember the first time I saw this guy on field; the first words that slipped out of my mouth were “Wow! He sure is cute.” Barely a teenager at the time, I was still unknown to quite an extent about the male species, but this guy made me fall for him instantly. There have been occurrences where in an India vs Australia match I’ve been told by people to shut up just coz I was supporting Lee more than any Indian player. I distinctly recall a match where the Aussies needed 6 runs off the last ball and Lee was on the crease. Balaji had the ball in his hand and I found myself praying “God, please don’t make it worse for him”. And guess what (of all times,God chose only that day to answer my prayers),Balaji bowled a full toss; Lee wasn’t one to miss such a golden opportunity, he hit it over the boundary for a six and the Aussies won. Despite my efforts to keep quiet during this scene, everyone in the house turned to give me the cold look and I grinned guiltily in return.
Over the years, I’ve been religiously and rigorously following him, in and outside the field. Dad used to wake me up early morning (and I mean really early, 5 AM, just for the record) for the CB series matches (even before they became a tri-series thingy). This was not for the match, No! It was only for watching him. Yes! My family knows how crazy I am about him. I even followed the Ashes series just for him. No other reason. Actually when he’s around I wouldn’t require any other motivating factor for watching a match, be it domestic or international, a charity match or an IPL/Champions trophy match (even any event for that matter). I’ve a deep regret though, that even after being such a faithful fan (from 13 years to be precise), I’ve never got a chance to meet him in person. 😦
Believe me when I say I’ve tried. Really hard! One instance of this is really funny and ironic at the same time. The World Cup 2011 was on in full swing. Dad had managed to get hold of two tickets for the Australia vs. Zimbabwe match at the Motera stadium in Ahmedabad. (after a lot of persuasion and constant reminders on my part). As luck would have it (this happens a lot with me btw), anyway, so my final presentations for internal assignments turned out to be on the same day. (yes, laugh!) I was seriously thinking about bunking it, but no one would’ve allowed that, least of all my parents and people in my group. So, yes, I missed it. This wasn’t the worst part though. It was my mom calling me up every two seconds and saying things like “Oh! He’s standing just by the boundary line. I can see him clearly”, “He turned around and waved at me”, “He did Namaste and smiled at us” (I just feel like hugging him every time he does that btw,totally adorable) and blah blah.It was killing me.Argh!
And it’s not just his bowling and cricketing skills that caught my attention. Yes, for those of you don’t know yet, this man is one versatile person. Has a band of his own called “Six and out” and he’s tried his hand (voice rather) at Indian pop (kill yourself if you don’t know this already) with one of my favorite singers Asha ji .Oh, how I love the delectable image he makes, be it with the ball or with the guitar. That song still remains, the mp3 players, iPods, iPhones and everything have changed over the years, but this song has maintained its spot unwaveringly on my playlist. And yes, yellow is still the dominant color in my wardrobe (after blue though,for obvious reasons). Now,the colors also include navy blue (the new Aussie color), red (KXIP), black (KKR). I have to mention here that I supported the Kings XI only and only because of Lee, yes you can judge me or hate me or make faces but whatever. And also, I never even took notice of KKR before last IPL and now I support them the most (MI is first on list though).I thought I’d covered all reasons for being a fan of him but just then he came out with his autobiography (Yes, he can write too!!) and showed me how erroneous I was. Just like people say another feather in the cap, I landed on one more reason and fell even more deeply and madly for him.
Many people have asked me, “If you like (I hear that as love jfyi) him so much, why haven’t you written anything about him so far”. Well, so, here it goes. Cricket has lost all its charm for me without him. So, I choose this day, his 34th birthday and this year, the year he’s retired from international cricket (how it breaks my heart saying that), to write about him, and wish him a Happy 34th , in the hope that today, someday, any day, in this lifetime, this message reaches him and he’d know that somewhere in India there’s a girl who is totally head over heels for him, has already imagined the first meeting (the lines from a Bollywood song that goes “Aayi aisi raat hai jo bahut khushnaseeb hai,chahe jise door se duniya, woh mere kareeb hai, kitna kuch kehna hai phir bhi hai dil mein sawal kahi,sapno mein jo roz kaha hai woh phir se kahoon ya nahi”) and even today when someone asks “Your dream date”, smiles mischievously and without blinking or thinking says “Brett Lee” already imagining the Sydney harbor in the back drop having dinner with him on a candlelit terrace.
A true fan (Manali Desai)
P.S: Translation for the Hindi song “A night full of fortunes has arrived; I am near to the one person who the entire world loves from afar. There are so many things I wish to say but a million questions are there in my mind, should I repeat the words I say in my dreams every day?”
P.S: This was written in 2012,back when I was still grappling at my writing skills.