MANSUR ALI KHAN .. SEP 23/11

Yesterday I wrote that I am NOT GOING TO BECOME a local news reporter.. HAVING SAID THAT.. HAVING WRITTEN THAT.. allow me to deviate from my position that I am NOT a local news reporter.. and I have several good reasons for this exception..

First.. here in India.. I feel that it is MANDATORY and LIFE IMPORTANT for me to KNOW what is going on.. there could be vicious rioting in another part of Calcutta and I NEED TO KNOW things like this.. SO I am INTO THE NEWS here and I do see.. and I do read in the daily paper.. delivered to my door.. much of interest which prompt me to comment to you all ..

Next.. since I began  being a local news reporter.. IN RESPONSE to your questions about the earthquake.. I want to finish up for now the issue of the earthquake in Sikkim.. I just want to ‘wrap it up’ for now..

SIKKIM  EARTHQUAKE..

In today’s newspaper.. SIKKIM has been demoted back to PAGE 6 in the interior of the the first section.. NOT THAT SIKKIM IS NOT NEWS.. IT IS.. but.. like our own news media in the United States.. news moves forward endlessly and ruthlessly.. and so this will FINISH.. FOR NOW.. MY reports about the earthquake on Sunday the 18th in SIKKIM..

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Now lastly.. I now want to cite the front page headline of today’s (THE TELEGRAPH) Calcutta newspaper.. taa daa.. the headline and a photo (PLEASE see www.telegraphindia.com IF interested).. DOMINATE THE FRONT PAGE..

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PRINCE  AMONG  PLAYERS ..  accompanied by a one-half-page full facial photo..

Nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.. DIED ON THURSDAY in New Delhi..from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.. an irreversible lung disease.. he was 70..

SIGH.. I HEAR YOU ALL SIGH IN UNISON.. so here we go as to WHY I am again a local news reporter..

He went more by Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.. he WENT even MORE BY ” TIGER ‘ .. he was ROYALTY.. as a school boy in England he was THE Nawab of Pataudi (junior).. and.. Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi WAS A CRICKETER.. not just a man who played the game of Cricket.. OH NO.. in the 1960s and for his life thereafter.. Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi was THE MAN.. on the scene  in all ways..

I have racked my brain to come up with a name you can relate to..  I am unable.. so I came up with five names..here we go.. JOHNNY UNITAS.. TERRY BRADSHAW.. JOE MONTANA.. BRET FAVRE.. TOM BRADY.. you would have to add them all up.. and then you’d  have Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.. he was a one-of-a-kind in his beloved game of Cricket..you know.. I think that maybe MY MAN.. RICHARD PETTY.. stands alone in auto racing like Mansur Ali Khan Padaudi.. stands alone in Cricket..

NOW THE REST OF THE STORY .. (and how.. Paul Harvey.. can I NOT name you when I use that line) ..

Back in late 2004..I was about to catch a train out of Calcutta.. Swapan and I were standing on the train platform at Calcutta’s major rail station (Howrah).. when.. in a bit of ‘awe’ and very quitely.. Swapan (with great reverence.. whispered to me and nodded his head NOT pointing).. “THERE is Ali Khan Pataudi” .. indicating a solitary, standing totally alone and isolated (NOW I KNOW WHY).. male figure..

KIDS.. LET ME TELL YOU ALL. WHEN I AM HOT.. I AM HOT.. and when I am HOT I can.. and I will.. speak to anyone.. Lordy I too have my own portfolio.. back in May of 1969.. it was a qualification day.. NOT race day.. working the Indianapolis ‘500″ Race.. I was on the back of a golf cart in the pit row and was talking to my wife and sons standing across from me and behind a chain link fence..when THEIR EYES got wide and at the same instant I felt a body wedge itself down beside me on the back of the golf cart..

I turned to see JOHNNY UNITAS SITTING NEXT TO ME !  JOHNNY ‘ U ‘ .. so what did I do.. so what did I say to.. JOHNNY ‘ U ”  .. it’s as clear as if it just happened.. “Hey Johnny.. where is Steve Stonebreaker playing ball now.. I have lost track of Steve ..

Steve Stonebreaker and his wife lived in the Projects in Detroit on 1111 West Canfield where Bev and I and our kids lived while we were all going to University.. Steve played ball for the University of Detroit and.. Steve  MADE THE BIGS.. PLAYING with the Baltimore Colts.. and with JOHNNY ‘U’ ..

WELL THAT STARTED IT !  Johnny ‘U’ said .. “Steve is playing with the New Orleans Saints now” .. and I said .. “Johnny.. you have never played before a crowd this big have you?” and he had to admit that the NFL games do NOT.. and NEVER will.. draw crowds in excess of well over 100,000 going into the 250,oo0 range I believe.. we two chatted for about a full hour..

So here I am.. on the platform at Howrah.. with Swapan.. and I slowly ambled over to the imposing male figure and reached out my hand as said to him.. “WOW.. I hear from my friend over there THAT YOU ARE THE MAN”..

I have never met a more humble.. I have never met a nicer human being in all my days.. than Mansur Ali Khan (Tiger) Pataudi !

A nice.. a very nice.. memory of mine to share with you all.. MUCH LOVE.. Cap..