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A limited overs Test Match

Imagine you are a batsman playing out there in a limited over cricket match. How would you like to spend your time on the pitch? Following are some things you would be doing depending on your interest in the game and your skills and of course your form –

1)      You could probably play slowly taking your own sweet time

2)      You could go hammer and tongs after the bowling attack  –  maybe putting yourself and your team at great risk or maybe without much risk

3)      You could also get out early.

What if I told you that you get some match fees for playing in the match but it is some currency which is acceptable only within the stadium limits.

I hope now you are getting a feel of where I am getting at.  Consider human life and its importance in the universe.

Let’s consider size first. Needless to say, humans (weighing an average of 70 Kg and 165cm tall) are just but a speck as compared to the earth which is 5.9736 * 10 ^ 24 Kgs and whose radius is 6371 km radius. Now, the earth itself is 330,000 times lighter than sun and so on.

Let’s consider time now. Average life span of human being is 70 years. Big bang happened 13.7 billion years ago. Sun has been there since 4.6 billion years and may be there till the next 4.6 billion years. Earth has been around since about 4.54 billion years and life on earth evolved about 4 billion years ago with multi – cellular organisms coming up 535 million years ago. There have been 5 mass extinctions since then, last one being about 65 million years ago. The next ice age is expected sometime in 30,000 years and no one knows when human life will cease to exist altogether on the surface of earth.

Further, once we die, irrespective of how much wealth we accumulated during our life, we will go away empty handed.

In light of the above facts, I am going to state that our life is like a limited over cricket match where we can not spend the match fees outside the stadium. Considering the fact that life in itself is not that easy and is a TEST and also because of the fact that Test matches these days are limited overs per se, I would say “LIFE IS A LIMITED OVERS TEST MATCH’.

People have different ways of playing in this match. According to me, all are right in their own way – To each his own.

1)      PLAY AN ATTACKING GAME

You are a fighter – a go getter. You will do well in life, try and achieve a lot in life, try to earn fame and money – everything. Whatever the bowler bowls at you, you have an answer.

2)      PLAY SLOWLY

You take your own time. You have a much cautioned approach. At every point of life, you plan – you look at all future implications of your decisions. And yes, I am not saying that you get out easily to a tough ball. You might be easily able to block the really fast ball pitched at full length.

3)      YOU WAIT FOR THE MATCH TO GET OVER AND ARE NOT PASSIONATE ABOUT THE MATCH IN ITSELF

This is a truly possible situation when you know that death is inevitable and there is nothing much you can do about it. Or in other words, you are just too very insignificant in the bigger scheme of things and hence are not passionate about any of the balls bowled at you. You might hit it if you are in the mood or you might just get out and wait in the pavilion. This is something I would associate with the SANYASA ashrama or generally all people in the past and present who believed in or practiced sainthood.

Truly speaking, there is nothing wrong in playing this way. The fact that you know that life is not all about earning money or competing against others often makes you lose purpose in life. But then, you won’t be playing in the spirit of the game and others would lose an opportunity to play the game in a fair and competitive manner. Imagine a scenario where all the players on the field having realized that they are not playing for match fees have lost interest. The match would become a complete waste of time for the spectators as well as for any player who is still interested. Also, the real world rarely gives opportunity to go and sit idle in the pavilion. You have to keep batting to survive.

SO KNOWING FOR A FACT THAT THE MATCH WILL END EVENTUALLY AND YOU WILL GO HOME EMPTY HANDED, WHAT SHOULD YOU BE DOING?

Here is what I feel –

a)      UNDERSTAND THE PITCH

Gain enough knowledge about your environment. Take your education and work seriously and try to find a reason for everything. At least the time you are spending on earth, make sure that you understand the environment and spend your time batting without major issues. You should be able to fend off the bouncers and must be able to read the wrong un’s which come your way once in a while.

b)      ENJOY YOUR GAME

Just because you do not have any incentive to compete does not mean that you do not play well. You could simply enjoy the time you spend on the pitch, score runs freely without having any specific target in mind.

c)       BECOME A MASTER AT THE GAME

You control your life. Not to say that you have achieved a lot in a short time. You generally do well for yourselves and help those around you. You tend to instinctively understand when the loose deliveries would come. You anticipate the difficult balls and are ready for them. When required, you take singles and give strike to your fellow player so that he can hit the boundaries.

d)      NOT FIGHT, ARGUE OR SLEDGE

Knowing for a fact that life is not a zero-sum game or a win-lose situation, there is no point wasting your energy on negative emotions. Try to make friends with everyone. Control your anger and try to reconcile with your enemies who were at some point of time your friends.

e)      MAN OF THE MATCH

Again, do you want to be remembered after the game? It might be important to some – not to others. Both are right as being remembered for a positive act is much better. It is not that someone could consciously go about doing good deeds and still get away without getting into anything bad. Nobody is perfect. Also it is a team game – in spite of  stupendous performance by all 11 of you, only one of you would get the man of the match award.

As I said earlier, options 1, 2 and 3 are all the right options. And as one of my friends (This whole discussion started off after speaking to him) said, “Everyone is trying to maximize his/her HAPPINESS”. Dravid derives as much pleasure listening to the sound of the ball being beaten down to the ground (while defending) as Sehwag when he listens to the sound of ball hitting the sweet spot of the bat while hitting a six.

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Categories: Life
  1. bala
    February 12, 2011 at 3:16 am

    respect

  2. February 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Nice article. Some parts made me think really deep and maybe this will help readers put things in perspective. 🙂 Keep writing!!!

  3. February 14, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I found the last para to be the most relevant. But the problem is, most people over time lose track of what makes them happy and what doesnt. It boils down to societal definitions of success and happiness.

  4. June 23, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    what if you are a fast bowler 😛 :P…well on a serious note, I like the philosophy but slightly differ with the analogy…A limited overs cricket match is often played against an opponent and a large part of how you bat is dictated by a tendency to win/lose against the opponent. Life on the other hand has a large eco system and is dictated by much more complicated forces/emotions/relationships…one mistake by a batsman can get him out…in life, you can learn and adapt, evolve, grow, marry (:P…remember the discussion)…wish it were as simplified and lucid as this post. Nice read.

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