Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A dream which ended to be one...

It all started with the 1996 world cup. I was in class VIII. Daily when I walked into the class, I could hear some of the boys loudly discussing about how the previous day’s match went on and when some girl used to query them on how Sachin got out etc they will immediately grab the opportunity (which they were eventually waiting for) to sit down and explain the ball and thus develop the conversation. I used to heave a sigh, sit quietly and watch the conversation grow further onto something else other than cricket until thankfully some teacher interrupted to take class. I had no chance to participate in those kind of conversations because I never watched cricket...... I was being left out of conversation with girls and thus being deprived the opportunity of frying kadala with them......... POOR ME, WHAT A TRAGEDY AT SUCH YOUNG AGE!!! That was the day I decided that I should also start watching cricket (what a source of inspiration!!!! yuck, shameless fellow......... I can hear you guys telling). So I compulsorily sat through some of the matches which India played so that next day I would proudly walk my way into the class (as if a man well prepared for a CAT exam), hoping that some topic about the world cup arises wherein I can pitch-in with my comments on the match (idhellaam oru pozhappaa nu dhaanae kekkareeenga. What to do, so much of hardwork put in, to get to talk to girls). The homework however was tedious. Watching something which doesn’t interest you, that too for hours together was difficult. I used to wonder how people have the patience to sit 8 long hours to watch a dull drabbing game. But at no cost did I want to lose out my girl(s) to the other guy just for the reason of not knowing the proceedings of the previous days match. So the fear of losing the 'competitive edge' (kaaaari thuppanumnu thonumae !!!) kept me stick to my decision. As the saying goes "For every successful man, there is a woman behind". Success or not, but for me taking to watch cricket, there were quite a number of girls behind the decision :-)

As the World cup entered its knock-out phase, gradually, without my knowledge I started liking the intensity, the suspense, the entertainment and aura of the game. Thanks to those good looking girls in my class and of course to my unflinching flirting attitude, I got introduced to a wonderful sport. Who can ever forget the verbal duel between Prasad and Aaamir Sohail in the quarterfinal…and subsequently the stumps getting shattered. It will be frozen in every keen follower of Indian cricket and am no exception. I started liking the game so much that I joined Vinod Kambli in shedding tears, when India lost out by D/L method in the called-off semi-final in Calcuttta. That was when I took to playing the game. Me along with my friends used to cycle kilometers away from our home, not bothering the scorching autumn sun, to enjoy a game of cricket. Not everyone had the cushion to own a cycle. So most occasions it was either a triples or doubles in my atlas cycle and often the scapegoat was me who had to pedal. The 50 paisa Pepsi cola or the semiya kucchi ice at the end of a scorching day of cricket will be amirtham to us. A person carrying a two rupee note in his pocket was considered rich. Not a single vacant plot in our locality was spared. Wherever we found space enough to plant the stumps (in the absence of stumps, the front or back wheel of the cycle served the purpose) and have few yards to serve as the pitch, we were all there, like vultures eyeing its prey.

It was in 10th standard holidays that me and my friend decided to give it a shot in taking the game seriously. We enrolled ourselves into a renowned cricket academy. Along with cricket we learnt so many things, got introduced to many new friends. It was a dream that we were in pursuit of and it ended to be one. Those were good old days, where nothing mattered other than what happened on the field. Each and every time I went onto bat, with my coach watching me, I felt like a public exam. So desperate to pass, so desperate to somehow make it big. To cheer a five wicket haul of my childhood friend from the gallery and carrying drinks to him, to celebrate a towering six of my gentle-giant friend, which soared out of the ground, to have played along and pursued our passion and dream along with my childhood friend, the foot-board travel in D70 bus, with room enough only for one leg and the space meant for the other leg occupied by our bulky kit bags, the early morning jogs on the road all the way from vadapalani to kasi theatre, the residential camp at the outskirts of Chennai, the tiring fitness classes, the practice with the bowling machines, the hit on the abdomen by one of its fierce incoming delivery, the unforgettable tight finishes in the league games, the crucial drop catches that cost the match, the corridor practice at my home, the scoldings from the apartment inmates, breaking of the window panes, countless hours of nets session……… everything remains fresh in my mind. Our pursuit of the dream had all the ingredients...... happiness, sorrow, irritation, frustration, anxiety, failure, excitement, adrenaline rush.... Although, the script could have been better.

It all boiled down to one fateful day when me and my friend decided (or rather realised) that we were going nowhere near the destination which we aspired to and age was fast catching up and along with it came the responsibility to be shouldered back home. We wouldn't call it a painful decision because we knew our priorities and we knew that the journey was still too long and far for us to continue with our pursuit. However, to look back at those days and finding ourselves in ground reality where, here am sitting in front of a monitor in office and staring at it, whereas I should have been holding a bat and be ready to face the next ball and my friend is roaming around meeting his clients whereas he should have been celebrating a wicket resulted of his outswinger. This was not where we wanted to be, this was not why we had specifically chosen a cricket-reputed college to do our graduation, this was not why we had invested whatever little money that our parents could afford. But thats how life is. It has its own ways of throwing surprises and hurdles at us. Its our ability to cope with disruptions and failures or crushed dreams that determines our mental toughness, maturity, peace, happiness and contentment in life.

All said and done we are happy yet, not brooding over the failure of our dreams. Rather cherishing the attempt made and all those moments that came along during our attempt. Once again thanks to those beautiful class mates of 8th std. Thats where it all started and paved the way for some wonderful, nostalgic and cherishable days in my life...........

Sri Kumar J


Rajiv M said...

"However, to look back at those days and finding ourselves in ground reality where, here am sitting in front of a monitor in office and staring at it, whereas I should have been holding a bat and be ready to face the next ball and my friend is roaming around meeting his clients whereas he should have been celebrating a wicket resulted of his outswinger "
reality sucks !! dreaming is much better!!

SriKumar J said...

He he..... now u know why i sleep almost for the entire day :-)

koushick said...

Ha ha ha thats true da..

Reality Sucks... this common dream for many like us will always beckon us to do the best which we know (dream )

But then....... dei Udyogam Purusha latchanam nu vera solraanga... sonnavana naaanum thedindu irukaen....kaila kedaichaaan mothal dead body avan dhaaan !

Anonymous said...

Then you had attraction towards girls from class 8th onwards?

SriKumar J said...

site adikkardhukku enna vayasu vendi irukku....

Anonymous said...

Hi Srikumar, You look just like the hero in Jayamkondaan... not joking seriously... watching the movie right now.. thought of telling u. thats y..

-your friend

SriKumar J said...

Yaar idhu ???

Anonymous said...

yaaraa irundha enna?? unmaiya sonna othukko pa..

SriKumar J said...

Naan therinjavanga unmaya sonnaa dhaan eduthuppaen :-)

Anonymous said...

oru vidhathula therijavanga dhaan.. adhaan guess panna sonnen la.. if u cant guess, then let me stay anonymous.. that wud be gud..

snikdha said...

felt like i was going thru some tamil film... with Dhanush or someone like that as the hero and his life... before and after.. hehehehe.. kanna site adikardhaye oru positive point a sonna mudhal aasaami nee thaan... :)

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