Squat, visored knight, armoured in storied deeds,
Uses his bat's butt-end to shift his box,
Takes guard, gardens for invisible weeds,
Looks up, thanks Dad, ignores two wheeling hawks
No higher in their heaven than him on turf…
Buoyed by devotion's thermals, desis surf.

A hundred runs, two hundred, maybe three,
Will help delete the demi from their god
Give us this day a valedictory
Explosion, oh, let Bombay's sacred sod
Be his last proving ground, his portal,
To that rare rank: Certified Immortal.

Immortals can't cite age as their excuse,
Swansongs must scale the summits of their pomp;
To fail is to invite unhinged abuse
From second-hand men who dimly romp
Through heroes' lives and will go starkly mad
Without that brilliant youth we never had.

Mukul Kesavan is a writer based in New Delhi. This poem first appeared in the Hindu on October 27