“I’m not Tendulkar, Dhoni, or Kohli, so why are they making a film on me?” When a production company approached Pravin Tambe with the notion of making a film about his life, it was his first reaction.
Fast forward to a night in a Mumbai hotel, where he saw the film ‘Kaun Pravin Tambe?’ for the first and only time, during a special screening for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Pravin Tambe was requested to speak to the crowd, but he couldn’t; no words came out of his mouth, but he managed to keep his emotions in check. Tambe tells this in a newspaper, “The only thing I could manage to advise them is to chase your aspirations and dreams do come true.”
There aren’t many people who are better qualified to say those things with conviction than he is.
Pravin Tambe’s life would change tremendously, to the point where he couldn’t give his final consent because he was playing in the Champions League in the Caribbean when the film about his life was ready to be released. It was done for him by his family.
Pravin Tambe blushes as he asks his wife and son about the Film
“I asked my wife and my brother, how was it? They all said it’s too good. They were telling me the story, I said, no-no, please don’t, let me watch the movie myself. Then I laughed, arre yeh toh mere he story hai, (this is my story, only!)” he blushes.
It’s been an incredible journey, from obscurity to stardom in front of large crowds and inspiring people like Rahul Dravid, who told the story in a heartfelt speech that went viral.
Even yet, Pravin Tambe was unsure when the filmmakers approached him about the film.
“At first, I said no because I didn’t show any interest, but they phoned me again and asked me to meet with them. They wanted to portray Tambe’s journey, who is 41 years old. One phrase that stood out to me was when they said, “People knew you played at the age of 41, but people should know what you did in the last 20 years.” “I agreed,” Tambe adds over the phone, where he is now a member of the KKR coaching staff.
His life had its ups and downs, with the recurrent theme of one step forward, two steps back. His childhood dream was to play professional cricket, but life got in the way. In the 1990s, he was drafted into the corporate team at Times Shield by a friend who worked at Orient Shipping.
However, the opposing team objected, claiming that he wasn’t even an employee and that the corporation would provide a back-dated appointment letter.
After suffering losses, the corporation shut down cricket a few years later, and Tambe lost his job. He had odd jobs here and there till DY Patil offered him a position as a cricket player in 2007. Tambe was the liaison manager inside the stadium when the IPL began the following year. Then we’ll understand what happened.
Many people believe that life’s destiny is written in the palms of one’s hands, but in the case of Tambe, it was his hands that changed the trajectory of his life.
Coach Vidya Paradkar insisted that Tambe try leg spin because he has large palms. He was a medium pacer until then, in the 1990s, but the Mumbai Ranji selectors didn’t see him fitting into the powerful team. Tambe eventually developed into a leg-spinner.
Pravin Tambe was selected for the Mumbai Vijay Hazare Trophy team at the age of 41, but he did not play. Rajasthan Royals signed him in 2013, and he has since played for several more IPL teams. In the 2014 Ranji Trophy season, he represented Mumbai.
Tambe has been bombarded with messages since the film’s premiere. “My phone won’t stop ringing.” My phone has tens of thousands of messages. Previously, I received communications from cricketing circles, but now I receive messages from corporations and other industries. It suggests the film has affected a lot of people,” he says.
However, Shreyas Talpade, the actor, requested 15 sittings with Tambe before the film. His past was revisited by the writers.
All parts of Mumbai, from Parel to New Mumbai, were covered. Talpade needed four sittings to comprehend and imitate his actions.
Pravin Tambe’s biopic will also feature a few imaginary characters, according to the production staff. One such imaginary figure was the journalist who attempted to downplay Tambe’s role in his career.
Tambe has seen it all, from earning 1200 rupees a month to receiving a six-digit paycheck. “Kaun Pravin Tambe?” is no longer a question.