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Saturday, June 02, 2007 

Punching the air !!!

If I were to choose the lousiest week in the year and some days I have spent at my job, then last week was it. For five days I was almost without any work. Although I was supposed to be working but some of the projects were so boring that I couldn’t help wander around checking cricinfo.com and reading global gyaan on the net. To add to this there was a serious issue on Friday, where I found myself in an unintentional malice which the client almost made out. The issue was hopefully sorted by the weekend.

The Friday night kind of sucked, as I got my salary but had no one to go out with, my room mates have moved out and I was alone eating dinner at one of our usuals. I slept relatively early as I had to wake up early for a match on Saturday morning. We won the match and I was the man of the match.

We bowled first and I have definitely got some rhythm going now, with 3 overs for 9 runs and a wicket. But as always my team starts experimenting once there is a good start and we ended up conceding 159 in 25 overs. We started ok and were going along at 4-5 an over. By the 22 over our score was 128 for 7 and I came in to bat. In the exacting heat of 12 noon in gurgaon I ran twos of virtually every ball. I hit an off spinner over extra cover for four, a shot I guess Roushan Singh would have been proud of. We needed 12 from the last over. After my partner handed me the strike of a leg bye of the first ball, I ran 3 consecutive twos leaving 5 to get from 2. Old memories started haunting me.

Around 3.5 years ago I was at IIT Bombay playing against IIT Roorkee. I was the vice captain of IITD, I was on strike with 5 to get from 2. Two swings and no connection, we lost by four runs. I had let my team down. I could not look anyone in the eyes when I went back to the dressing room. This time I wanted to make some amends. So the first of the two disappeared for a four to square leg. One to get from the last ball, the whole field was up and the match was not over. The ball went over the mid on fielder and nobody bothered to chase it, we won the game and I scored 29(14) to seal the game.

Success can be perceived very differently by different people. A few months after I passed IIT my mother complained that she was disappointed that I didn’t throw my hands up in jubilation just when I had heard the result for JEE. One of my close friends asked me why I was not jumping with ecstasy when my hostel made it to the semi finals of a tournament for the first time after ending up last on three previous occasions. I try to put success in a bigger picture. You need to hold the celebrations for the real thing because it means something.

The one time I can never forget when I punched the air full throttle was when I took the second last wicket in an important final. Although I took a wicket next ball too to win the cup but that was emotional as it involved the success of the whole team. The previous ball was for me, stumps flying away for a perfect in singing yorker at a time when it was imperative.

I try to set short term goals, so that I can try to achieve them one at a time, even if a pack of short term ones are supposed to lead to a big one. But the celebration has to accord the value of success. Today as I lofted the final ball to get the winning runs I made a small pump of the fist as that was as much as it deserved. I can still feel the disappointment and shame of that December evening in 2003 at Bombay; I guess nothing can make it go. But it is pleasing to tell yourself that you can do it, maybe not at that level and therefore the celebration is toned. I wish I had made connection with those two balls, as I kept waiting for another opportunity. It never came.

I guess all this teaches an interesting lesson. Celebrating, enjoying and partying in success are not forever. It can never be ‘more the merrier’. But still it’s important to try to look for success all the time. That’s the paradox, I guess that’s life.


Well played!! Victory is always cherished, but innings like these are remembered forever. Hope, now, when u think abt the bbay episode, u'll also think abt this one, and in the end, smile.

you are Passionate about the game.. u really are.. and u put it brilliantly when it involves the game and its analogies with life...great post this one and I hope sunny is right about u smiling when u look back at this game :) ur redemption... even if not quite at the same level ...

redemption to kaudi ka nahi hua...but kharch bhi kuch nahi hua thats it...the world would have been a lot better for me if would have done it in bombay with 200 eyes on me...

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well played sirji..and i guess we donot play fr people we play fr ourselves....

nb - in a way u are right...we do play for our contentment, but that contentment is largely dependent on the contenment of your teammates who look up to you...thats the beauty of a team game

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