Aditya rises, thanks to his mom

Aditya Sarwate

Aditya Sarwate’s mother says every parent should have a son like hers and the all-rounder feels every child should be born to a mother like his. Sounds like a tear-jerker from Bollywood but only that it’s a real-life story -- a tragic incident finding a happy ending.

Sarwate was Vidarbha’s undisputed hero after the team completed their Ranji Trophy double by beating Saurashtra in the final here on Thursday. He had taken 11 wickets for the match besides chipping in with crucial 49 runs in the second innings to be adjudged the man of the match.

In the midst of celebrations, the left-arm spinning all-rounder recalled his tough times while growing up. He was a child caught between a mother who had to sacrifice a lot and a father who was crippled. When most children his age were playing in their fathers’ lap, he was bathing his father, changing his clothes and feeding him whenever his mother was at work.     

Sarwate was barely three when his father met with an accident in Mumbai. The head injury left him paralysed and while he did come out of coma, he was permanently restricted to wheelchair. Sarwate’s mother then took up a bank job. She was not only the only financial support for the family but tended to her motionless husband as well.

“I don’t have any idol as such, but I have seen my mother’s sacrifices,” says Sarwate when you ask him if he has any idol in life. “I always think if she can work so hard at this age, why can’t I do that. Cribbing over small issues is not worth it. I haven’t seen any struggle compared to her. But even now, I learn from her how to keep a smiling face all the time. That’s what I have learnt from her, so I consider her my idol.”

Cricket, of course, was in his genes. His father played for Nagpur University and for Punjab National Bank. His grandfather Shyam Sarwate was a Marathi radio cricket commentator and his grand uncle Chandu Sarwate, who turned up for Holkar, played Tests for India. Sarwate hardly has any recollection of meeting Chandu though. He was, however, just happy imagining how proud his father would be after he engineered Vidarbha’s win.  

“He is bed-ridden and wheelchaired since 1993. Since it was a head injury, he couldn’t recover. But he has been following my cricket closely. He was extremely pleased with our achievements last year and today, I am sure, he would be happier.”

Anushree quit her job once Sarwate landed a job with Comptroller Auditor General, having completed a Diploma in financial management but as long she ran the house, she ensured her son wasn’t denied of anything.  

“Obviously I was too young then to realise all this (accident to his father). She would look after my father, even my grandpa who was a renowned Marathi cricket commentator. She did everything at home and even managed her job. So, once I got employed by AG in 2013, my mother retired from her job and stays home and has taken full-time charge of the father,” he tells you. 

The 29-year-old all-rounder’s progress on the cricket field wasn’t all that smooth. His consistent performances in age-group tournaments didn’t get him a place in the Ranji squad for a long time and his mother got apprehensive about where his career was heading. She even asked him to take up some job that comes up but he remained hopeful. Sarwate, meanwhile,  also made sure that he had a degree to fall back on if his cricketing career didn’t go as expected even though his mother never forced him to concentrate on studies.  

“I have a strong belief that one should always have an option beyond cricket because I have seen lots of cricketers struggling later on in life, so I was trying to focus on studies as well,” he says.

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