‘Inspiration’ is all around. All you need to do is to get inspired by it. When I was browsing, I watched an ad made by Mountain Dew. “Rise Above Fear” is the concept of the film. In the film, the very popular South Indian Actor Arya, with two of his friends, take risks to click pictures of rare KURINIJI flower and ultimately gains them the limelight. It reminded of an incident that happened a year ago in my life, and I decided to pen it down at half past two in the night.
I always loved two things in life – one is ‘Writing’ and the other is ‘Cricket’. While the former is my way of venting out my anger and cherishing a happy moment, but the later is my “Happiness”. But do I get time to live it? Well I keep asking that question to me every day every hour every minute and each second. I do, only once in a year, when I represent my company, and play cricket with my customer. Eleven months and 28 days in a year, I live a mechanical life, and the rest is for my “Happiness”.
They say, “Race with time to win big!” That I second. When you get to play for only two days in a year, then you have really race with time. In such a race, the fear of losing plays a major role in failures. ‘Fear’, it did hurt us for the first two years, when we ended up losing the cup to our customer. We reasoned that lack of match practise (actually, without any match practise) for our loss. But was it true? No!
With the tagline ‘losers’, we took the field for the third time last November, but under a new captain, Veera. He taught us a mantra “Rise above fear”. It boosted our morale and strengthened the spirit of the team.
We lost the toss, as usual. Maybe, we were not lucky to bat on a flat pitch first. Our fast bowler Ranbir started the proceedings by bowling two full tosses and giving away twenty runs in the first over. I came on to bowl the second over of the match. I always loved bowling more than batting. That day was no different. I bowled a magical over. Six perfect balls, the first two balls swung in sharp taking the batsman by surprise, the third ball bounced high and hit the helmet, for which I apologized to the batsman, the fourth took a faint edge and was caught by the keeper, but was ruled not out and the last two balls hit the batsman on his pads. Veera ran to me from slips, patted me on back, and appreciated for bowling a maiden over.
Ranbir bowled the third over of the match. I advised him to ignore generating extra phase to surprise the batsman and asked him to concentrate on the line. It did help, as we gave away eight runs, but the run rate was still large. The fourth over was a disaster. I started off well with two sharp deliveries that swung out almost close to the bat. The third ball changed the momentum of the over as the batsman picked the slow ball from my fingers itself, and pulled it over long on for six. It was a drop chance. The fielder misjudged the catch, as the ball tossed out of his hands to sail over the boundary line. I lost my cool. First was a bad decision in the last over and now a drop catch. I ended up giving 18 runs in the over.
The fifth over got us back into the game. Our sensational fast bowler, KV, bowled a dream over. The seam position and the line, made the balls unplayable. He also struck twice and missed out on a hat-trick chance and his seventh was a maiden over. The sixth and eighth was bowled by a spinner Rahul, who took two wickets and gave twelve runs. At the end of eighth over, we were in a commanding position, but lost to a brilliant batting display from our opponent star all-rounder Ali who scored a century is 45 balls. I bowled the seventeenth and nineteenth over the match giving away 12 runs in total and bowled Ali in the last ball of my fourth over when he misread the slow ball. They scored 153 runs in twenty overs, which was a huge target for us, as we failed to score three-figure mark in our last two outings.
During the team meeting, Veera spoke to us positively. I, too, supported saying that if we manage to score 70 runs in first ten overs without losing a wicket, then we could win easily. KV, not only a dream bowler but also a wonderful batsman as he along with Arun gave us a dream start. We scored 80 runs in ten overs without losing a wicket. You know, the mantra “Rise above Fear”, worked well until KV miscued a short pitched ball to third man. Arun was run out in the next over, Sumit was stumped, Revanth was caught in deep, Rahul was out for lbw, and Karan was clean-bowled. By the end of fifteenth over, we were 101-6 and I joined the crease with Veera.
The ‘Fear’ inside my head played on, as I edged the first ball to four, second ball hit me on my elbow, third and fourth was unplayable, fifth ball went for four after it brushed my pads, and the sixth was a dot ball. We needed 44 runs to win from 24 balls at a run rate of 11. We are neither Pollard nor Sehwag to pull off things in the last few overs. It was a refreshing drinks break. Veera tried to calm me down and asked me to stick to my instincts.
Veera scored two consecutive fours and stole a single to Midwicket. I took a deep breath, recalled my school days, walked down the crease for two steps even before bowler started to bowl, and waited for the ball. Almost everybody laughed, but that’s my way of playing unplayable balls. Hit before it pitches. I was right. I hit him for six, as I walked down two more steps when he released the ball and smashed it over the bowler’s head. It got my confidence back. I hit two more six – one over Deep cover and the other over Long on scoring 27 runs in that over. He was happy that his mantra worked “Rise Above Fear”. With 17 runs needed from 18 balls, it was a cakewalk for us in that mood. Veera played the eighteenth over, scored twelve runs, and the target was now five runs from twelve balls.
Ali came running from the boundary and bowled the first ball. I stepped out of the crease in a flash and smashed it over his head for six. I jumped up in air, pumped my fist in air, in happiness. Veera pulled out a stump in his hand from the bowler end and I took all the three from my end after, went to him running, and hugged him. All our team members came out and appreciated, as they celebrating before our customer for a win could invite us into trouble. But a game is a game and a win is a win. Celebration is always on!
The moral is simple and straightforward. “Rise Above Fear To Win!”
Hope you liked reading this incident that happened in my life a year ago. We even won this year too, but sadly, I was not a part of the team, as I was in the hospital with my wife. She is back home now to home and is feeling better. Will keep you all posted. For now, watch the video, and I'm signing off… keep sending your thoughts on comments and emails. Have a nice Sunday!