|The Uber Modern Metropolis- Melbourne where tradition and modernity walks hand in hand|
The sun was idly floating over the placid waters of the pristine Yarra in the city of letters, Melbourne. There was something oddly disconcerting about such a calm, languorous vision bang in the middle of the ultra-chaotic streets of the Uber-modern Metropolis. But for young Abhinav Trivedi, it was mysteriously comforting. For him, the day of reckoning has very nearly come to pass. Having been fast-tracked into the International squad on the background of a heavy run-scoring marathon in the Domestic Cricket scenario, and then translating his unbridled talent into a complete symphony on the cricket field, across all the three departments of the game, he truly deserved the break that any 21 year-old cricketer in the country could only dream about -opening the batting for his country in the Boxing Day Test of India's Tour Down Under.
|The Hallowed grounds of The MCG|
The multitude of emotions he was experiencing and the painstaking anticipation of the moment that he had been hoping to experience for all his playing years now seemed to be weighing him down, drowning him. The restlessness and the jitters were the main reason why he quietly missed the optional team gym workouts that morning and skip down from the posh Melbourne Marriot hotel, where the team was staying and experience the sights and sounds of the beautiful city all by himself, after informing his supportive coach, the legendary southpaw whom the cricketing world calls Dada. He was never much of a show-boy material like his flashy team-mate Virat Pathak who was a poster-boy for brand endorsements; he was more of a man with his work cut-out, banking on the huge reserves of his self- belief and immense talent to propel him from the humble beginning that he started from, to finally realize his ultimate pride of representing his Nation. So, when his captain and idol MSD came near him, clapped him on his shoulders and told him ‘Son, instead of Virat you are pairing with Viru on Boxing Day, it’s your time to visit Melbourne NOW’ , he could hardly stymy the torrent of tears forming in his deep, expressive eyes. It was hard to believe that all this happened just two days back and in less than 24 hours he would be making his debut in the hallowed grounds of the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
He knew that what he wanted then and there was a release- a total escapade from the maddening pressures and requirements of the modern day game and what better way there is, than to sink into the paradise at hand. He always loved travelling and exploring new places. So this short alone-time gave him the perfect go forward to channelize the free-spirit in him, reflect on himself and also explore the cosmopolitan charm of throbbing city of Melbourne- vibrant in spirit, elegant in its old-worldly appeal and charismatic in its outlook.
|Hot Air Ballooning across the sunny skies overlooking the behemoth skyscrapers|
He had been at it for some hours exploring in great detail every nook and corner shopping for trinkets and souvenirs for loved ones back home , walking through the famous Melbourne’s alleys and cobbled lanes; complete with its unique street art, extreme skateboarders and aboriginal musicians with their soulful renditions and in some cases their foot-tapping numbers. He had been so overwhelmed by the sheer number of the towering skyscrapers and for a small-town boy like him a journey over the magnificent city, overlooking these behemoths in a hot-air Balloon was one of a sheer unbridled child-like joy. The jolly rides down the pristine green suburban areas with their manicured parks and breathing spaces, in the popular tram service reminded him of those rare childhood trips to Kolkota with his beloved Papa and it only enforced him with the necessary fortitude to give it his all on D-Day.
|Melbourne- The Mecca of Street Art|
|Bird's eye view of the Central Business District from the Rialto Towers|
The sheer joy associated with exploring the culture and cuisine completely alien to his appealed to him. In the flow of the pure magic unfolding before him, he wasted not a minute in hopping into a cab and rushing to the National Gallery of Victoria and the Melbourne Museum which according to his amiable cab-driver was an ‘Osum place, Mate!’ During the 20 minute drive he really opened up with Matt, the driver who, so unlike the typical Aussie, was not a cricket junkie and was rather an Australian Rules football and Hewitt-fanatic. (It was with a certain respect that he pointed out the Rod Laver Arena!).He made a general observation that Aussies in general and Melbourne-ites in particular are a very passionate and appreciative lot once you give them enough reason to respect you. They love their shopping(Queen Victoria Market-their answer to CP) and their theatres which mainly includes the Victorian Arts Centre, the Melbourne Recital Centre, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Princess Theatre, Palais Theatre and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art.
|Where modernity gazes at the pristine waters of the Yarra|
Every minute that he opened up to the soul of the city, unknowingly he was opening up his consciousness and becoming a totally different person with a wider perspective and a profound understanding of the things around him giving him a clarity to his mind that was until then cluttered. From Matt, he learnt about the Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park and the Philip Island Nature Park and he made a mental note of it to visit there if only to just cuddle the koalas and see the kangaroos. After a ‘brief’ tour of the Museums, he was longing for a place to just chill out for some time and watch the sunset and that was when he heard about that wonderful place-the Great Ocean Road. Exploring the entire avenue with the 12 Apostle'sentinel stones' out there in the sea and soaking in the everyday life of the people was a really exciting experience, adding the fact that he was munching down on the most favourite Melbourne street food – the delectable sausage sizzles and a huge bowl of pie-floaters. He also observed with surprise at the sheer number of kebab counters with their daily display of spicy meats.
|The Apostles from the Great Ocean Road|
The brilliant sunset that he experienced along that coast was a memory that he vowed that he would treasure to his last breath. He imbibed it all, the entire journey, right from the huge fiery red orb at its zenith to its slow descent into the calm blue of the Tasman Sea and he smiled to himself. It seemed that the city and all in it were telling him something all day long, something that he had completely forgotten. He tried to reflect on it and saw it as clear as crystal. It was the fact that life is to be lived to its fullest every single moment and that he needed to loosen up a bit . He only needed to enjoy what he loved doing rather than treat every day as a battle. It told him only within himself would he find the courage to be the best and to beat the best. He gradually understood that he had the capability and that he belonged there at the highest level; he was ready for tomorrow’s challenge. He was a new man, a changed man. And he owed it to this city of dreams, so unlike from where he had come from but what has now become so much a part of him. Melbourne…
|A dreamy sunset across the Tasman Sea|
This post is written as a contest entry. If you liked what was my first attempt at a story kindly like me on IndiBlogger.
To enjoy the thrills and magnificence of this wonderful city Visit Melbourne
CREDITS: All images used in the entry are from google images. If you find that I have infringed upon anyones IPR I would gladly take down that image concerned. Thanks..