Harsha Bhogle on autobiographies, social media and much more...

If you decide to write your autobiography, what would be the name of the book?

Anita came up with one for my collection of articles and suggested, ‘Out of The Box’ and it was just so appropriate whichever way you looked at it. Should have kept it for the autobiography! Or maybe ‘The Outsider’ because that is what I have been in my profession all my life! Never been part of any club, so had to find my way around. It impacted me hugely as a person. Yes, maybe that as of now but I hope I can come up with a better name because that isn’t a reflection of a hugely fulfilling family life.

An autobiography that disappointed you the most... And why?

I switched off autobiographies a few years ago. I found them devoid of the passion that created memorable moments on the field. Maybe sportsmen have the deeds, not the words to describe them! Armstrong and Agassi were nice because they chose good partners to write them. Melody often comes from a composer and a performer working together. Singers routinely make poor composers so maybe it is about knowing what you are good at and respecting what others can do! Actually, I must start reading a few again... had got put off a bit.


At a time when trolling on anything and everything is in fashion, you are one of the few people on the internet who hasn’t faced much flak. How do you manage to be such a sweetheart?

Interesting choice of words! I get my share, certainly some of it has been much discussed in the public domain!

Maybe because I see sport differently and people relate to that. Maybe they see me as a simple guy who stayed that way (largely I guess!). Maybe because it is not in my nature to be confrontational and I’m okay with people’s opinions. Maybe they realise that it is a waste of time to be rude to me. I still believe in the old line about not agreeing with people but accepting their right to have an opinion. But yes, I have met more people who have been nice to me than those who have been nasty.

Also remember, on Twitter, the guys who abuse you are hoping to provoke you. By getting angry, you are giving them what they want. By ignoring them, you are taking away their power, making them feel irrelevant and hence miserable. So ignore them, just assume they are sad people!

I think I am a person everyone believes he can be (often should have been!) compared to all these other famous people who intimidate people with their ability and live in a different orbit and are people others cannot be.


If you are elected as the BCCI President, what would be your first decision as the chief?

Take out the word ‘Control’, the second ‘C’ in it. It is at the root of all problems. Administrators don’t control the game, they look after it, they nurture it. Our sport, all sports, in fact, need benevolent parents. And then, I would do many other things. Many.

One team that you wished you played for. India. Without a doubt. But I must confess, playing for the country was never a dream when I was growing up. I loved playing cricket dearly, I looked forward to my games like a kid would to a piece of cake. I remember some of the shots I played thirty five years ago but even more than that I remember the catches I took and the times I hit the stumps directly. I loved fielding because nobody could stop me from being good. As a batsman, a bowler could get me out, as a leg spinner, a batsman could score runs off me. But as a fielder, it was me and the ball and nobody could come in.

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Eat. Play. Write. Repeat!