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Back to school, Ishant learns about fame

cricket Updated: Mar 12, 2008 23:16 IST
Arjun Sen
Arjun Sen
Hindustan Times
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NOT TOO long ago, a certain Ishant Sharma could be seen walking the corridors of Ganga International School, books in hand, rushing to attend classes. He was just a regular student of the school, going about doing regular things like anyone else. On Wednesday, Ishant walked those corridors once again, only this time almost a hundred students walked behind him, jostling for his autograph.

Life has changed for the 19-year-old Ishant since he has returned from his exploits in Australia, it seems he cannot do anything at the moment without attracting both media and public attention. And if anyone needed confirmation of this newly acquired fame, the place to be Ganga International School.

Not being able to keep overzealous students away from Ishant, the school authorities had to lock the India pacer in the principal's office, where he spoke to his teachers and the media. No sooner had the felicitation finished than students of all ages made a beeline for Ishant, in the hope of his autograph and maybe even a photograph. And though the 'interaction session' started without too much trouble, five minutes into it, and there was not even a semblance of any order.

Reporters — both television and print — trying just about every trick in the book to get that 'exclusive' quote, hunters of all sizes and photographers jostled for space around Ishant. The media and a few teachers were allowed inside, while students stood outside in hope. He was inside for barely 10 minutes after which he was whisked away, much to the disappointment of students eager for an autograph.

"I really thought Ishant would give me an autograph, I had waited since early morning for that one chance to talk to him, but he came as quickly as he left," said 13-year-old Mohit with a lot of disappointment. "Why did he have to go? All we wanted was an autograph." Going by Wednesday's frenzy, getting that autograph is a very, very difficult thing, indeed.