Second Innings… | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:58 PM, November 19, 2018

ls exclusive interview

Second Innings…

…when I reached years of reflection, and began to look around me and take stock of my progress and position in the world, I stood already committed to a profound duplicity of life…it was thus rather the exacting nature of my aspirations than any particular degradation in my faults, that made me what I was… — Dr Jekyll

Think alter ego!

Is it the ill-fated Dr Jekyll that comes to your mind?

A man of science, whose quest to delve into the unknown led him to his downfall.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are inseparably one, and nothing could eventually reconcile the opposite ends of the spectrum of their duality.

That is a Gothic reading of Stevenson. 

How about someone who is elegantly suave and passionately flamboyant; someone who's public image saw him play brilliant knocks in the innings he opened as a batsman. And when the time came to set aside the bat, he took up the mic with equal prowess.

How about his other side — a subdued duality; a family man through and through, whose personal life — a second innings, if you may — he continues to play with precision and grace till this very day?

Athar Ali Khan is the definition of the terms cool and suave. The unforgettable charisma, the temperament, and now, the iconic commentator who travels with the Bangladesh team anywhere that the sport is played. 

Star Lifestyle had the pleasure of meeting this king of dualities last week for an exclusive interview. Discussing his high-paced lifestyle over a cup of coffee, we learnt more about his doppelganger than about the big league life, one that he is widely famous for. And perhaps, came back with a snippet of his larger than life charismatic career, and met his alter ego — Athar in his second innings, as a family man to the core.

" Looking good comes to Athar Ali Khan pretty effortlessly, but when the tall, hazel-eyed, smooth talker focuses on fashion, he is simply unstoppable. The casual Khan went classic with a white tee and frayed navy blue jeans; not at all looking like the distingué reviewer with a demanding lifestyle, but rather, just another man down the road — at ease and off to reading by the foyer, maybe. Referring to his life of constant travelling and shifting hotel rooms, Khan accepts that at a point, it does become a bit tiring, but since cricket is an undying passion for him, that exhaustion is quickly overcome.

“If I didn't love cricket, all this running about would have been very taxing for my health,” admits the former opener-turned sports commentator. However, back at home, he is quite the paterfamilias, prioritising himself as a husband first, and then a father to his children.

“I try spending as much time as possible with my family; we go out to watch movies and do what all other folk would do in their free time,” he said.

I am all about the classics…

As we discussed music, Khan agreed that he listens to all kinds of music, including the latest hits from the music charts.

“Yes, sometimes you'd find me listening to Ed Sheeran, but most other times, I am either listening to James, Ayub Bachchu, or AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, etc. Other times, you can catch me listening to Eric Clapton, Bee Gees and Bob Marley. It all depends on my mood,” he said.

Mohammad Ali is my all-time favourite hero…

It is a commonly held belief that to know what a man is made of, just see the kind of books that he reads. “I read a lot of biographies, especially sports biographies. My greatest hero in sports is Mohammad Ali, and so, you'll find a lot of books on him beside me,” said Khan.

Tasteful, not fashionable…

Khan's television persona requires he stays modish and trendy all the time. Obviously, that requires us to prod a bit into his styling wisdom. Khan, however, does not believe in owning too many things, much to our surprise!

“You should always buy a few great items and then mix and match them in as many ways as possible! When I was younger, I used to follow magazines and current trends. Today, I know what I want and would rather set my own fashion drift,” said the cricket commentator.

Soon after, Khan revealed that besides his father, his style icons are cricketer Imran Khan and actor Al Pacino.

“I love how both of them carry themselves so flamboyantly, both on and off-screen, especially Al Pacino, who has a small frame, but nevertheless, looks all the more captivating; dominating all his encounters,” explains Khan.

Digging a little deeper into his fashion icons and their influences, Khan highlights the impact of his late father on his choices.

“My father is by far the most important style influencer. When we were growing up, we saw him visit numerous countries, and everywhere he went, he bought some new shoes and clothes, and those influenced my own styling pattern.

“Today, I am very fond of British, Italian and French fashion trends,” he added.

Playing with the alter ego

"Perhaps because of his on screen persona, his predilections for branded clothes, men's jewellery and accessories, Khan is perceived as an arbiter of style and general manliness— perhaps, his alter ego? In reality, he is more likely to be playing cricket with his children in his apartment terrace or discussing life's philosophies over a game of UNO or Scrabble

“I am all about the disciplined life-- waking up in the morning, going to the gym at least 4 days a week, and following a routine – that's me; no matter how boring it may sound,” said Khan, on the secrets of his evergreen persona.

Leisure…

One would imagine that a person as busy as Khan would only want to relax and rest when not working. But it is quite the contrary.

“In my free time, I still play cricket with friends representing social clubs, both at home and overseas. And it's not always cricket that keeps me active; I am also an avid fan of snooker and golf.”

Household chores…

We always see celebrities helping out at home, be it with hilarious photos or tweets, so it's only logical that we'd be just as curious regarding Athar's role in household chores.

With a fair amount of guilt, he admitted to not being very useful around the house.

“I can make nice cups of tea though. Initially taught by my wife, Faria, I can brew with a mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper and red chilli; I am sure that counts as a household chore of some sort!” smirks the sports legend.

As you can see, there really are two sides to Athar Ali Khan; maybe three; or even more!

There's the one that you regularly see on TV raving over cricket scores of our national team and there's the other— the more reserved, homely, family man who finds fast fashion, fast cars, and fast life unpredictable and volatile.

And still, there's the socialite, the public face, the risk taker, the critic who lives and dresses on his own terms.

We all have our own alter egos. Allow me to ask the question, do we know them all well enough?

FASHION FOR THE ALTER EGO: ATHAR ALI STYLE

Here's a few ways on how you can be inspired by Athar Ali Khan

>> Wear a lot of men's jewellery including skull rings, bracelets, and neckpieces.

>> Make sure to complete every look in the top notch way, like if you are wearing a black dinner jacket, don't forget the black bow-tie, the cummerbund, or matching Oxfords.

>> You need to have proper shades for every different look you own.

>> Don't be afraid to experiment with new looks, be it a leopard printed shirt or silk florals; be confident with every look.

>> Hair styling is very important. You should always opt for a cut that matches your facial structure.

>> Finally, don't spend too much time thinking about the end results, as long as you feel comfortable in a look, rest assured that everybody else will be appreciating your effort.

 

Model: Athar Ali Khan

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha

Location: THE WAY Dhaka

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