I strongly believe that at times it so happens that you visit some places not because they are on your list but for your loved ones. A place which means so much to someone you love, that you have to go and leave your footprints and of course bring back souvenirs for them. That’s exactly what prompted me to go see Lord’s – The Mecca of Cricket during my year long stint in the UK. My cricket crazy brother(s) wanted nothing but Lords ki mitti from England when they could have asked for so much more!
So, one fine Sunday morning I booked a stadium tour of Lord’s and headed to London with a couple of friends. The day’s agenda revolved around India’s best loved sport as well as the history of how it began and changed form to evolve into what it is today. At Lord’s, it didn’t take long for me to be mesmerized about everything, given that I secretly love Cricket too. The fact that I visited a few days after Sachin’s emotional retirement from the game added an emotional angle to it all. Our tour guide asked the nationalities of everyone in the group and instantly connected to us Indians, given our love for Cricket is a well known fact in England. He kept sharing with us nuggets of information about various Indian teams and players who have toured England and played here.
A 100 minute tour of Lord’s was overwhelming to say the least. We witnessed the history of Cricket in all it’s glory while walking through various galleries, dressing rooms and into the stadium. Though we were not allowed to click pictures while inside, the memories of that tour are still fresh. A huge hall displayed paintings, hundreds of years old, depicting Englishmen playing cricket. Each one of these was a masterpiece and love for the game radiated through these centuries old canvases. We were lucky enough to see the original Ashes Urn and The World Cup Trophy won by India in 1983. Witnessing the Honours Boards added a sense of pride, with our Indian legends marking their place. One could follow the footsteps of our heroes through the Long Room, admiring everything about the Mecca of Cricket.
Goosebumps refused to go away as we followed our tour guide through Lord’s.Setting foot in a place where so many legends from across the world have walked time and again made me feel so fortunate. And then our guide asked the Indians in the group to be ready for something extraordinary. We were now entering the very dressing room and balcony where India got it’s most memorable Lord’s memory!
The rest, as they say is a blur because nothing else could then match up to the excitement of really being in that place. The mind wandered back to the time when I watched this unfold on TV and I called up my brother(s) to share the moment with them.
Lord’s is really a piece of art, and definitely the most beautiful stadium I have ever seen. Old and new stand side by side here, creating a perfect harmony that’s hard to find in case of such overlap. I brought back various souvenirs which are now shown off very proudly to anyone who notices them at home! I also bought one for my grandfather in heaven, who would have loved to hear my Lord’s story again and again.