Part 1: She kept thinking, “is that too much to ask for?” – Adira’s cricket story

“Is that too much to ask for?”, she sighed.

Adira plucked her school bag from the almirah after pinning the neatly pleated dupatta and sat in the bus. The occasional honking by the driver pestered her often, and consequently, she would switch over to her dreams for resurrection.

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Sliding on the seat, pushing the back rest of the front chair through her red striped bellies, she adjusted her focus onto things that offered her a new lease of life.
Racing with the morning sun to see who reached the horizon earlier, she chuckled on the outside. After all, an atheist had found her God. Right after the warm-up session as she geared up for tossing the red cherry on a freshly flattened tract, as she kissed her divine idol before releasing it in the air.
“Beeeeepppppppp”, honked the driver one last time on that trip as the school approached and as always, Adira sulked again as her fantasies busted faster than the soap bubbles the little girl blew at the roadside.

As she marched to her class with bold steps, cowardice set in from within. Retrospection that ruffle adults had swept away this young giant’s mind.

“Is that too much to ask for?”, she sighed.

Her parents were bursting magnanimously on her for choosing cricket as a career option till yesterday but today morning, they wore layers of insecurities than the usual fury. Cluelessness did to them what a steady and determined spirit did to her: minds were blown but in opposite directions.

Rebel is what they called her, when she didn’t succumb to the stereotypes of the world. Never asking anyone as how to conduct herself and plan her future as a girl, ample of unsolicited advises poured in. In a first, those torturous remarks dented her morale and unrequited sarcasm bruised her ambitions.

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Tirelessly creating and recreating speeches in the broad daylight during the recess break, the protagonist often found herself mindlessly bent over trivial issues. She wanted to convince her father to let her play and resultantly, those speeches were meant to quench the thirst of a father who declined to the glass of water on offer.

Breathing was involuntary and hence, smooth but Adira’s heartbeat wasn’t so. Her heart pounded at every request she made to her parents to let her follow her heart. After a plethora of futile efforts, she made a firm choice… To walk away.

To walk away from everything that appeared like destiny till few days back to experimenting one cheap life which everyone tagged as priceless.

A life which would see you retiring at 55. A life where every nook and corner will be filled with, “Ladki hoke cricket khelti hain?”
A life which will see no family turning to you with an apparent rishta.
A life which even if shorter than the rest would be the largest you could’ve lived ever.

So eventually, she slithered with the butterflies in her stomach to the cricket field. Whooshing with the breezy atmosphere from the pavilion end, she came over the wicket and leaped forth on her left foot to deliver a half volley. With the non-bowling arm pulling down tons of mental baggage at the time of release, Adira swung the ball inwards. The red leather disturbed the furniture of a seasoned batswoman and Adira’s soul knew no bounds.

Ounces of sweat under the basking sun, helped in forming the iron sans slag!!

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Besides conquering what she felt she was born to, Adira inflated herself with oodles of self-love, self confidence and self-respect. With so many adjectives prefixed with self, she understood that you can be your favorite despite being selfish. You can care for others despite it being at the cost of your own health: mental or physical.

She realized that when you want something and are tremendously passionate about it then the whole universe conspires to help you attain that goal. And it’s that “she” we all can be, if we’ve the courage to follow our dreams.

Because trust me, despite all the material success your pursuit of passion is going to carve your own identity, is going to help you discover yourself and most importantly, accept yourself. Accept your every mistake and take charge of things; there’s nothing more sublime than this onus.

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If you do all this and more, I promise you, you can be the next YOU of every motivational quote.

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