SUJAY TARAFDAR, an 18-year-old Indian Cricket League player from Assam, wants his mother to give up her small-time job with the Indian Army. She has, however, turned down his request, fearing the good fortune her son has stumbled upon might not be true.
"She still finds it hard to believe that I have signed a contract worth lakhs of rupees with the ICL. Anyway, I will go home after the tournament and convince her that she doesn't need to slog any more," says Tarafdar.
The young medium fast bowler, however, understands his mother's reluctance to give up the job with which she single-handedly raised three children. "We have seen very tough days. She's the sole earning member and raised the three of us - Tarfadar and his sisters - with her meagre earnings," he said.
Besides the financial constraints, what hurt the siblings more was that they got to meet her only twice a year when she came on leave.
That he still managed to play cricket was largely due to a Guwahati-based club. "They saw me playing and offered me food and lodging. The club secretary would also give me some money to help meet my expenses," Tarafdar says wistfully.
But things would change now, asserts the youngster. And he is indebted to the ICL. "I had never imagined that I would earn so much money at such a young age. It's given me a huge sense of financial security and I can now focus better on my game," he said.
Tarafdar started playing while nurturing hopes of playing for the country. But when the dream didn't appear to be materialising, he joined the ICL.
But isn't his a case of giving up too soon, for he is just 18 and hasn't played more than a couple of Ranji matches?
"I am not saying that I was expecting a call right away. We just don't get the attention that a youngster from Delhi and Mumbai or from any other part of the country would get. Can you tell me why not even a single player from Assam has played for the country, or for that matter hasn't even been in contention," he asks.
"I have taken the decision and I am more than happy with it. The matches are being telecast live and I am sure we will be noticed now," he said.
The youngster hasn't taken long in grabbing attention. The very first he played in the tournament, Tarafdar wrecked the Hyderabad Heroes and was adjudged man of the match, the only second Indian to get the award so far.
Life certainly is looking up for this youngster.