Prelude to what we need to know 2!!!

Anoubam Rishikanta Sharma *

Have you ever thought why it is very hard to find the right thing for you to do not for what is good for your daily needs but for your entire life? Why is it very difficult to change ourselves for better future? As to these two questions, the answers are not always the same and easy as well. Some say that we should be visionary and courageous and at least brave enough to face all the odds on our way to success.

On the other hand it is not again easy to define what success is. Well I don't mean that it does not exist. It does, but why is everyone not usually happy even after being successful? I am not talking about the ordinary things that probably bother any one of us at some point, like sickness, failure in relationships, poor financial issues, inability to make socially recognised, poor social relationships or unavailability of internet, though the internet is one of the most serious issues to the youths of the generation, regardless of the caste and sex.

Many of us are not professionally satisfied, which implies that many of us do not enjoy our success even though being successful in terms of our ambitions and goals. What would I say about those who are already made to have been suffering emotional pains in addition to tasteless success?

Many times, with a little bit of courage, we have experienced this moment, "Come on, this is life. We need to move on. No, this is not the way I am going to be for the rest of my life". But when our courage which normally does not stay long enough for us to take the first step, goes away, it leaves most of us feeling pale, irritable, miserable, inconsiderate and above all, hateful to life itself.

Courage is unfortunately not something we can go from door to door asking for it in the most persuasive fashion. Well, like everyone else, I have learned to convince myself to be courageous as we were taught at home and schools and college and university. Let me tell you a secret it's only I have become a teacher that I know it is always a lot easier to tell the students to do things than to do it myself.

Well I am not sure about many other people who have been in similar situation like what I am talking about, but I believe that courage exists in the mind in a very tangible form which consequently needs someone behind to say it out loud for you.

Here is what I believe:

This is the second time I going to tell this story from my childhood days. I was around eleven years old when I was at class seven at the Evergreen Flowers' School, Thoubal. There were many boys in our class who loved to play Cricket. As for me, I do not remember my first day at school, but I remember the day I was first hit by the ball on my left ankle while bating, and it happened long before I came to see and hear ABC on my first day at school.

So the bigger boys in our class had no choice but to put me in the team as the opener batsman. The teachers had no idea what Cricket was nor did they expect what we were going to come up for. Our team went to the headmaster's room and for the first time we learnt that that was how it looked inside the room. It was nice and clean and we started to hide our marks on our shirts and pants.

He was not quite sure of what he could do to our proposal. We were probably the first group of students who went up to him and ask for permission to let us play in a local cricket tournament. After a torrent of requests, we were allowed to represent our school, which was already our pride before we began to play.

There was a friend of mine, who is now no longer among us. He was a good friend of mine and we usually played Cricket wherever we found our bat and ball would have a little space. He was cheerful, friendly and considerate. Sometimes I was jealous of him not because he was cheerful and friendly, as he was far better than me in these rare human qualities, but because he was growing better than me in both bating and bowling. I even started copying some of his steps in bowling and bating even though I knew he would never play to impress any players nor anyone in the spectators around the playground.

We had our most crucial match against a very strong team led by a friend of one of our elder brothers in our locality. It was the match which would decide our entrance to quarter final as we had already lost a match out of three matches in the league round and it was the last one. We won the toss and decided to bat first and I was sent out as the opener batsman.

I was nervous a bit not because the match was crucial for us, but I did not want to be taken for unworthy student right after the match both as a player and a boy among my friends. My goal was not to win but to play my best to give myself a piece of recognition among everyone I had known, including our teachers at the school.

I wanted to prove to my little world that I was good at something though I was not scholastically impressive to everyone both at school and at home. I believe such feelings are arguably part of the root cause of creativity, which should be encouraged at various levels at home and academic institutes.

As we all know what is most important in life is not winning anything, but doing our best in whatever we are engaged in. As usual, it was not easy for me to play my best that day because normally you are scared and cannot focus your one hundred percent in your work when people all around you are watching you with their mouths ready to throw words of their judgement at you on the end of your work.

I only added one or two runs to my score in a while as I had already convinced to myself that 'my best' is synonymous with saving my wicket, not for the team, but for myself. All of a sudden our wicket went down one after another like roll calls in the class.

After the fourth wicket was down, my friend came to play and we were the only hope left to take our team to around 80 to 100 runs on the score board. As soon as he started facing the bowler, he started hitting one or two fours after two or three missed bowls. The over came to an end, and we would go to the middle of the pitch to talk, hitting the pitch with the bottom of the bat like they do on TV, but without knowing why they do it.

But this time, I forgot to hit the pitch while I was going towards him to do the real talk. I am certain that he did not expect the talk we had there in the pitch that day. Around then, we had scored only 35 runs and I knew the responsibility. It scared me more than usual. We were at the middle of the pitch and touched one another's bats like they do on TV.

Then I really looked into his eyes and said, "I am not felling so good about the match today. I don't know why I am so frightened and there is no more batsmen left except those who are all bowlers. I don't even trust myself to play my best today for the team. Everything seems to be on their favours". Before he could answer a word, my mouth stole the words from my mind and they came out really fast, "Sushil, do you believe that I can score a lot today for the team?" I know he did the right thing.

I learned that day that losers have many to say, but winners have many to do. He put his right hand on my left shoulder and said calmly, "I always trust you and I know you will score a lot today. Now onwards, it's going to be our game". Before he moved away, he moved his bat around and touched my bat once again and nodded his head just once, giving me all the energy to remove my fear and just be myself again on the pitch to face the bowler as a real hero.

He was a fast bowler and he was a bit scary too. He gave really a lot of gestures as if he had been my real enemy in a battle field. I didn't have a nice pair of sport shoes. In addition, we had come from school for the match after third period, so most of us wore leather shoes which were not allowed in the field. So we had no choice but to play barefoot.

The first bowl was really fast and before I could defend it, I already felt the pain. Soon, I realised it had hit my left ankle. The second bowl was not any less fast, but the ball directly went to boundary, because now I was saying to myself, "I will score a lot today". Right after the first boundary, he winked at me and I did the same to him.

After my first boundary, I began to hit many more, and during all these, I even hit one or two sixes, even though by mistake. I did it because I was saying to myself, "I am going to score a lot today". I even quite comfortably played some of the shots I was only comfortable playing in our local playground. I did it because I heard my inner voice saying, "I am scoring a lot today".

Now I saw people clapping and calling my name, which encouraged me to be more myself. It is hard to believe I scored 32 runs for the team against a very strong team, though they got my wicket at the end of the inning. And the best part is we won the match by 20 runs.

We are all humans and sometimes we need someone who can make us feel who we really are and do what we really can. That is why we have the word 'relationship' in the dictionary. Your choice, priorities, emotions, humility, attitudes and words can really shape your relationships.

The person whose presence or words or caress on your shoulder is your courage, will hardly be found on facebook, if you are not lucky enough. But you can always make your choice wisely and make him feel the same about you too. I won't say it out loud, "Maybe, it's the person sitting next to you".

* Anoubam Rishikanta Sharma wrote this article for
The writer can be contacted at rishisharma(DOT)r93(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on October 17, 2017.

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