Stories that emerge from the roots attain the greatest heights. It is perhaps the realization of one’s true self and the humbleness that makes the tale lively and worth a million claps and billion replays. In the tenth episode of Cricket with Queens, Vishal sits with Sukanya Parida.
At her young age, she has played cricket at the highest level. Her story, however, begins from her day in the countryside. What many people perceive from their flats in metropolitans is that rural areas or countryside lack resources and often people from these areas are blessed with a humble root. To any experienced individual, these accounts may be too plain as one ignores the quantum of hardships that it warranted out of an individual when he or she wants to make it big with her life in the Village.
Sukanya comes from the interior or rather a rural part of India and her village is situated in Odisha province. The mineral-rich state is not the best when it comes to infrastructure and the reason precisely is written on the wall. Sukanya recalls her days in the village. She reveals that her venture into cricket was opposed by the Orthodox generation of society. The game of cricket is largely perceived as a men’s corner.
In Orthodox societies of Asia, often women are not supported to break the societal norms. Vishal takes Sukanya back to her days and she revisits the days when she was subjected to a variety of comments by the village folk. She says that often she would play cricket or dress comfortably like boys and that would mean a thousand remarks from the people around.
In one such incident, she reveals that her father had got her admitted into a school which was far from her village. She would have to cycle around 7-8 kilometers daily to make her way to the school which his dad thought was better than the closer ones. Further, she would have to take tuitions until late at night. She remembers that her being a girl drew a lot of attention to her efforts made for education as well.
Nonetheless, in her chat, the only people that stand out are the parents. Sukanya easily and rather happily confesses that her dad has always been supporting her. She said that he never let the talks of the village reach his ears and offered Sukanya a career that was dictated by her own choice.
Mahatma Gandhi said that real India lives in Villages. The conditions of rural India, however, need to change for the betterment of women’s cricket and importantly to lift India out from the clutches of Orthodoxy.
You can watch the complete episode here: