One can like or dislike him, but ignoring ‘Prince of Kolkata’ Sourav Ganguly is just not possible. Ganguly is popularly known as the ‘King of comeback’ because of the unique ability he had displayed during his career to get his spot back in the Indian cricket team after getting dropped out more than once.
Sourav Ganguly brought passion to the Indian dressing room. He was among one of those unique cricketers, who would look at the bowler, dance down to the track and then smash the ball out of the ground. That is why he was often referred to as the ‘God of off-side’.
The ‘Maharaja of Indian cricket’, Sourav Ganguly, was the man under whose captaincy India started winning matches overseas. He brought passion into the gentleman’s game, he was confrontational, he would stand up to the umpires, coaches, and his opponents but the most importantly he was considered selfless and a complete team-man.
However, while his on-field story is known to all, what many don’t know is that Ganguly’s love story with wife Dona is straight out of a movie. On his birthday, let us tell you the tale.
Sourav and Dona were childhood sweethearts, and neighbours. It is said the two families had good relations earlier but the friendship didn’t last, so much so that they were reportedly not even on talking terms. However, that didn’t stop Sourav and Dona’s love from blossoming.
It had started the very old fashioned way, as Sourav Ganguly had once confessed during a talk show. “While playing football, while going somewhere, I could see her, maybe way too much,” he had told the show host, Anurag Basu. And the “too much” was not enough for the former Indian skipper as he started to follow Dona to her school with his friends.
However, for Dona Ganguly, it all started with badminton.
Recalling the early days of her life, Dona had once said in an interview to Rediff that whenever Sourav used to play badminton the shuttlecock would often land inside her house. “Whenever the shuttlecock fell on our compound, I got my chance to return it,” Dona had said. When she was asked when did she fall in love, she said, “When, I don’t remember. But it happened somewhere in between.”
Sourav Ganguly, the man who was known for his Dadagiri, would blush looking at Dona.
A lot had been written about the romance between Dona and Sourav in Bengali media who could not have enough of it. A classical dancer falling in love with a cricketer and they marry defying family objections — their love story was no less than a fairytale and had all the masala of a blockbuster.
Sourav and Dona’s marriage could have been the wedding of the century, but their parents would not give consent.
Finally, soon after making that great Test debut at Lords, when Sourav was a star already, he decided to take the plunge. Dodging the paparazzi, Sourav and Dona got married secretly and decided to keep their wedding a secret as they continued to stay separately, with their respective families.
However, despite all the secrecy, the media got to know about the marriage, as did their parents. The families might have been upset too, but they eventually gave in. The lovebirds finally got married according to all traditional rituals, with the blessings of their respective families, on 21 February, 1997.
In November 2001, Sourav and Dona were blessed with a baby girl, and they named their daughter Sana.