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Tributes Pour In From Cricket Stars As Legendary Coach Vasudeo Paranjape Bids Goodbye

Vasudeo Paranjape — the suave cricketing soul of the good old Bombay and modern Mumbai — got along wonderfully well to the pleasant greetings of “Kasa hai, eppadi irukkai and khem cho” in Matunga. Vasu (also Vasoo)— who took leave of our world on Janmashtami Day — was the pride and joy of Matunga, the area’s social fabric representing a beautiful blend of Marathi, Tamil and Gujarati-speaking people who mingled well at the inviting Udipi Restaurants with a good fill of upma- idli-dosa washed down with assorted peaberry concoctions at a dozen outlets, at the old Gulshan for the superb Burun-Maska and chai, or at the Rama Nayak on Sundays and holidays for hearty meal. When Vasu was around, cricket had to be the powwow, and much of it in a lighter vein. Of the old school, having raised at the famous King George (now Raja Shivaji), Vasu helped the careers of Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar to blossom, showing them the way at Dadar Union, Matunga’s all-time favourite sporting club built by a disciplinarian Madhav Mantri. According to Vengsarkar, it was mostly fun and laughter even while playing the game the hard way for Dadar Union with Vasu at the helm. Over time, Vasu became a cult figure. With his passing, the world of cricket has lost a treasure house.