BSC wishes Jatin Sapru a very happy birthday! Here’s to many more years of being a rock star with the mic on and off the field!
“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play” – Mike Singletary, American Football Coach and Player.
Cricket is not a sport in India, it is a sentiment that embodies excellence. Almost every little boy in India harbors the fantasy of walking down the pavilion in a packed auditorium, someday. In a country of billions, only a handful get to live the dream. And then, there are a select few, whose passion lands them a spot on that hallowed field, albeit with a microphone in their fists, instead of a bat. We had the pleasure of a conversation with Jatin Sapru, a familiar face in cricket broadcasting today, and discussed with him the joys of his calling!
Of sticky wickets, and brave starts
Jatin was born into a family of academic Kashmiri Pandits. His grandfather was a professor of repute and the family lived comfortably in a farm in Kashmir.
Until communal agitations stranded the family in a one-bedroom apartment in Delhi, landing them in a struggle for survival. Like thousands of others that had to flee the valley with just the clothes on their backs, they had to rebuild their lives from scratch.
Jatin credits his father for keeping them afloat and ensuring that he and his brother had a fulfilling childhood.
“My father worked hard to make ends meet. He had to cycle or hitch a ride to work. Despite everything, he saved enough to afford a good education for us”, Jatin remembers.
At school, Jatin played javelin, shot put and eventually cricket. Sports always felt like home.
“One of my fondest memories is of walking miles, carrying heavy cricket kits, in the sweltering Delhi heat. We would save those meagre bucks, reserved for our commute, to buy a soda and a roll, post practice.”
But, like most boys in the country, he had to give it all up in favor of academics, after the tenth grade. Science, and eventually engineering had to happen, as is almost mandatory in India, despite Jatin’s lukewarm penchant for the stream. After a few months of jostling with the unexciting prospects of a life in engineering, Jatin took a stand, to the displeasure of his father.
“Dropping out of Engineering was a difficult decision. But I had always enjoyed literature and theatre, and English had always been a strong-point, so when I made it into a journalism course, I immediately felt like I belonged”, said Jatin.
Steaming into an unconventional career: Broadcasting
Jatin humbly attributes his success to good fortune. But, he does mention a few milestones, that culminated into his career.
To begin with, the pervading influence of sports in his life is unmistakable.
“I remember how my cricket coach, Mr. Tushar Deshpande, once slapped me for swearing at an opponent. Sports teaches the importance of grace and respect, in victory or defeat.”
Jatin credits his father for encouraging him to follow and understand cricket, in the formative years. And his mother who instilled the importance of excelling at both English and Hindi.
Jatin started working small stints while at college and did odd jobs with an event manager. Post that, he chose to intern at a smaller media channel.
“I got the best career advice to join a small set-up and learn everything firsthand, instead of being a sidelined apprentice in a big firm.”
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