Hava Nagila!

Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid

The Return of Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh's return to the cricket field! Yuvraj Singh was never someone who I greatly admired. He was a natural cricketer, a gifted stroke maker and a great fielder. Yet, I had always regarded him as an arrogant guy. I did not think that he reflected the values that cricket has stood for.

World Cup 2011 and his subsequent return from his battle against cancer have changed my perception about Yuvi. From the moment I read that he has cancer, I wanted him to survive and come back to play for India. I did not feel sorry for him. I wanted him to show the world that it can be done.

It is extremely hard to recover from a great illness and tragedy. Even if you know that the disease is curable, it sucks the strength from you and it is very easy to fall into the sphere of self-pity. Why me, one would ask and wallow in depression. Very frequently and effortlessly, one would enter the dominions of doubt. Will I survive? Will I be able to do what I did before I got the disease with the same intensity? What if I am not able to? Questions plague the mind, diverting the person from doing what is actually required.

Family, friends, doctors, drugs, jokes and God can only help, but the major part of the effort to cure the disease has to come from within oneself.

Somewhere, there exists something called a soul. If you can find it and search it, you find treasures that aren’t available elsewhere and are unique to yourself. An honest soul search can help call that lurking prodigious talent to bounce back within every human being. It is not easy, but it has been done. It takes extreme resolve to be balanced and to channelize your efforts towards helping your body cure itself. I am glad that Yuvraj has done it.

Plenty of people spring back from abysmal lows in everyday life. But they touch only those who they know. When a celebrity leaps from a terrible slump, it helps motivate more people. It gives more people strength and joy. It gives more people belief that it is possible to conquer tragedies. It shows people how to put things in perspective and prioritize things correctly.

Sportsmanship (not to be confused with aggression on the field) is a rare quality that one sees in players these days. Yuvi has demonstrated that in plenty now. It was a historic moment to watch him enter the grounds yesterday. He was back where he belonged and doing what he loved to do. The runs that he scored yesterday were a statement of his grit and will to survive. The sixes that he hit will stand testimony to his fighting spirit. Those who doubted his ability to recover and those who said that his selection was an emotional one need to hide themselves. It was as though he wanted to say, “Guys, take note, this is called courage”.

He has shown the world that it is possible to distinguish what he wanted to do from what the media wanted him to do. He enjoyed his game and that in itself is phenomenal. I consider what he did yesterday his best performance to date. I am sure, even in Yuvi’s diary, it will be marked as one of his best, if not THE best.

His return to cricket will be part of cricketing lore for generations to come; a chapter in world cricket that must be taught to aspiring cricketers. To me as to the world, it symbolizes hope. He has displayed the depth of his character and his innate strength.

I would like to see him as a legend of the game. Of course, much will depend on how he conducts himself on and off the field in future. However, what he has given thousands of cancer patients in India and elsewhere is one hell of an inspiring story.  Like he himself said in a recent interview, “Cricket is no longer a pressure.” Surely!!

Kudos to his indomitable spirit!!


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