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Tears in my eyes

by Ankit

this is from my personal archives…nothing duplicated, feel like sharing it now, after a chat I had with NC:

Some dreams are truly beautiful!

When I was six years old, I used to play tennis ball cricket with folks from surrounding areas. Most of them were about 10 years older than I was, which meant I was the last one to bat, no one taught me how to bat, and wicket-keeping came naturally. I remember a couple of occasions when I took a breathtaking catch or made the crucial last 5 or 10 runs needed to win the match and fill my teammates(who had lost hope, of course) with tremendous joy.

As I grew up, the breathtaking catches became a norm and the batting as well as the number at which I batted, improved. I enjoyed the tests the most. The tests were 2-innings a side games which lasted for five days, each day consisting of 2 hours maximum or till lights permitted. I proudly bragged about two ground records I held for around 4 years. ( I think I still hold one of them). They were:

  1. Highest Individual Score: 142 off 83 balls (set in June 2000, got broken in June 2003)
  2. Fastest Fifty: in 14 balls. I ended up scoring 73 off 23 and we ended up chasing 106 in near dark conditions on day 5. (set in June 2000, still unbroken)

Such are memories which stick. And are sweet even now. They used to call me the "velcro cheetah”, for obvious reasons…

Meanwhile, I was always improving. I could field at all positions save slip (keepers suck at slip, its the 180 degrees habit), I could take ultimate reflex catches, and would have tears in my eyes whenever, when I was batting and would hit an excellent cover drive or one over long off(my favourite), dad would cross the street and tell mom or whoever was with him- “look, he is my son!”

Around 2003, I was in 9th grade and the only thing I wanted to do in life was to play for India one day. Suddenly, one fine day, I was told not to go and play – by my dad. He did not give any reason. No he did give me one: “koi bhee aira gaira parthiv patel nahin ban jaata hai. padhai pe dhyaan do! (every tom, dick and harry cannot become Parthiv Patel, Concentrate on your studies.” I had tears then too, and hated him for about 2 years. No, I hated both of them (dad and Parthiv).

I did not play a single day for 2 years. In 11th, when I was in DPS NOIDA(high school), I started again as I was in boarding, and could never be the velcro cheetah again! :(

I worked hard, but people always seemed to be much better than me. I mean, I got into the Hostel Team (was their second best batsman), but I knew this was never going to be good enough. I thought this would be the time to decide between my dream and my career. Alas, the 2 years of no cricket had already made the decision. The day I realised this fact, I had tears in my eye…

Ravindra Jadeja made his debut this february, and scored a fifty. He might not succeed in the long run, he might not be a great, but his story touched the chords of my heart like nothing till now ever has. Here it is:

In the morning, ahead of Jadeja’s first one-day international, Sachin Tendulkar gave him the India cap on the ground. It’s been a 12-year dream for Jadeja. It’s the story of a young boy and his mother standing firm on the path to walk in life.

When he was just eight and beginning to fall in love with the game, his father, a security guard, decided he had to join the army and was just a day away from enrolling him. Jadeja cajoled his mother to persuade his father from doing it.

Jadeja’s mother passed away in 2005 and he has been nursing her dream. "She wanted to see me in Indian colours. Losing her was the saddest moment of my life." The young boy has fulfilled his promise.

Mr. Ravindra Jadeja, you are the “lapku bhagoda” I could never be! Live my dream…Right now, I have tears in my eyes.

PS: It all right, Parthiv. And yeah, dad stopped me from playing as he had seen one of my teammates carry a gun on him. Nothing against you now, love you dad.

Ankit Mishra also blogs at Paddlesweep


Bhaskar Khaund said...

Very good post Ankit ! Refreshing stuff And belated congrats on those records ! Lots of us have some personal association with playing the beautiful game to some degree but not many have that kind of numbers ...i can tell you mine could be summed up by shifting a decimal places to the left of yours..e.g. 1.4 runs off 8.3 balls (on a good day of course) ;-) ;-)...Let's have a few more such posts, laddie

pRAFs said...

seems to be the story with quite a few of us,:-
remember being the tear away fast bowler for the colony also for the school later, even though i stood at 5 ft 6 inches(i still am).
underrated at first,only to take it to the opposition by actions and a lot of words
then being told that my cricket could never make me earn a living, that there are hundreds like me who are practically lost out there.
should concentrate on completing my degree.
Turned up for trials at the office team selections a few years later only to find out 'right arm fast' was now 'right arm medium' even at 23.
Been six odd months now, cant find no rhythm ,no pace whatever i do.

Thanks Ankit,this brought back a
lot of memories. Might hurt a bit, but they're still ours, right?

Rob said...

A gun? Is that common then?

scorpicity said...

Take a bow.

Gaurav Sethi said...

Ankit, you just punched me with yr piece.

You should be incharge of the BCC! under 18 program. No cricket porn there tho.

straight point said...

very moving...

Unknown said...

touching article.........well written ankit

Krish said...

Great post, Ankit. Very touching.

Ankit said...

thanks a lot guys for all the praise..
this article was supposed to be just mine, but I had a chat with Gaurav and thought to share it...
great to know that you all liked it..

Megha said...

Really beautiful post Ankit.

Is the velcro cheetah willing to be a guide for other kids who have dreams in their eyes?

Ankit said...

sure thing...YOU need my help?

Megha said...

Wish I was the sporty kinds AND still a kid! But no, I meant do you guide your colony ke bachche on the art of wicketkeeping?

I know I feel great to be able to help/guide/encourage people to do things that I couldn't but wanted to :)

Ankit said...

my son will play one IPL season..i will be happy

Anil Singh said...

The story of unfulfilled dream really hurts. For sure.

Your write-up guided me to memory lanes too.