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The image behind why Banned: a test had to be written on social media – Sports News Portal | Latest sporting goods

Boria Majumdar with players from the Indian hockey team in Bengaluru with the book Banned: A Social Media Trial

I’m in Bengaluru for a series of shoots, and Simon and Schuster, my publishers, had asked if I would be willing to visit some bookstores and do book signings. It’s always good to meet and interact with readers, so my answer was an overwhelming yes! And may I say that it was a very good experience to step into bookstores amidst the showers that cooled the temperature quite a bit.

In one of the bookstores, a young couple came up and asked me a pointed question. They had read the book and found it fascinating. And yet they had only come to the store to talk to me. “Tell us honestly,” one of them asked. “Didn’t you feel afraid to write the book?”

I really wanted to get the truth out there, so fear wasn’t an emotion I really encountered during the writing process. And when I said that, they seemed a little surprised. “You challenge the established narrative,” the man said. “You dispute the right, and yet you didn’t feel afraid?”

Then I was brought back to the photo. A story that I told them in detail, and at the end of it they had one more thing to tell me. “The book had to be written.”

Here’s that story.

The photo

While I was in Oxford in May 2022, my wife and I decided we would go to Birmingham for a week as the Commonwealth Games were being held there. And for India, the Games had the potential to be a turning point. There was a lot of buzz at home and it was hoped that this would be the event where Indian athletes excelled. Not many of the established media houses send reporters to such events anymore, and we planned to bring a team of six so that we could cover most events in real time and with on-site presence. The idea required meticulous planning and sufficient funding, and a trip to Birmingham was essential.

It’s only an hour by train from Oxford, and we decided to make the most of being there. On the day of the trip, Sharmistha clicked a photo of Aisha with me at the station, on the train to Birmingham. Me at the window, and she next to me with her cuddly toys and drawing supplies, all ready for the journey. The usual father-daughter photo that you would think would be exempt from any form of cricket-related abuse. But when I posted it, there were more than a few keyboard warriors lurking. One of the comments, which I still remember today, was: ‘Now you don’t have money to travel by flight, so you take the train! Madar****’

Perhaps he had mistaken Leamington Spa, a twenty-minute train ride from Oxford, for Liluah, next to Howrah. But whether I had the money or not was no one else’s business. This was the two of us, father and daughter, enjoying a candid moment. That comment hit me like a freight train. I had enough of it. The cricketer had to be made aware of the damage and devastation I had left in my life. This book had to be written.

And yes, readers agree. The response was overwhelming and the feedback was satisfying on a whole other level. The truth is out there and untruths are exposed. Yes, the book had to be written.