Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Net Practice

I feel like that little kid, woken up at 5 in the morning and sent packing to the cricket coaching centres which have mushroomed all over the cities, big and small. Carrying the dreams of their parents, of becoming the next Dhoni, they practice. They run, they stretch, they dive, they bowl, they bat. They do anything that can take them to the doorsteps of the national team, and then wait for the little push from behind.

This is a country of a billion plus population and two passions, cinema and cricket. There is engineering and MBA too, but that is for the less adventurous. And these little kids hit the balls day in, day out with Arjuna like focus to make the cut. Their mothers model themselves upon Sehwag and Yuvraj's moms and start practicing their lines for milk drink ads once their precocious child makes his mark. His first fifty against New Zealand in a 20-20 match at the age of fifteen, and the media is all over him. He is the next Sachin, the next Sir Don. Everyone develops a keen interest in his choice of music and women. The former he didn't have the time to listen to during all the practice, the latter he is too young and busy to give a thought to. He is a machine, a run scoring, wicket taking, money making machine. Cricket is not his favourite sport, it's his profession. Getting through the Ranji team is like the board exams, the national A team like higher secondary and finally cracking the national team is akin to cracking the IIT-JEE test.

He has to do something, anything. He has given up his education, mostly. His parents have cancelled all the vacations during the childhood years because that's when all the tournaments are held, his school teachers have given him secondary treatment and asked the other boys to concentrate on studies and not be distracted by his strange ways. After all this how can he just be content with the state under 19 side? What happen's to all the sacrifice? What happens to him? Who cares if he got up at 5 all his life to smack leather with wood?

I don't the answers to any of this, but I don't feel like that kid anymore. I started this piece as a practice session for my big blog dreams, but am ending it relieved and satisfied. I may practice or may not, but I don't have to make something I love take over my life and take the fun away from it.

Maybe you found this writing most pedestrian, but that's perfectly fine! I wrote because I wanted to, not because my parents or anyone wanted or forced me too. Maybe I will not write again for days, maybe I will. Maybe I will read this after a few weeks and find it so bad that I will delete it. But the fact is I like to write, so I wrote. And I also realised I don't want to take up writing as a profession. I don't want to mix my love with deadline and numbers, because then it will not be too different from writing codes or selling soap.

Practice over, time to go selling.
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