This story is chapter 3 of the 3 part short story. You can read Chapter 1 by clicking this link –
“Nobody except you, Rahul” said his coach soothingly.
Rahul regained his composure after listening to those last words.
“Do you want to turn it all around or at least give it a try rather roil in self pity all the time?” asked his coach.
“Yes, but what should I do coach? Nothing makes sense. Is there any hope left?” He asked hesitatingly
“Yes, Rahul there is hope. You have lost everything else, so hope is the only thing you have to depend on now” he said.
After a weeks planning, Rahul was all set to fly over to Mumbai. His parents were extremely happy to see him in good spirits after months of sadness. They spoke to Ramakanth sir everyday to make sure everything was taken care of. He had been kind enough to ask Rahul to stay in his house rather than at a hotel. At the age of 65 everyone including his family & his pupils had seemed to have abandoned the coach. But from the looks of it, Ramakanth sir still kept track of his wards.
After arriving late at night and exchanging pleasantries his coach asked him to rest the night so that they could plan his rehabilitation the next day. When the morning rays appeared through his window Rahul freshened up and eagerly hobbled his way to the living room where coach was already seated. From the looks of it, it seemed as if his coach had already planned out everything for him. His day would start with yoga at 5 AM. Following breakfast the physiotherapist would arrive and begin his therapy which should’ve been started a month ago. Then he would have to spend the morning simply hitting the ball hung from the ceiling with a stump. Evening would be exercise and jogging and the day would end with light reading.
Rahul was excited with the plan. Finally he felt he had something to look forward to in life. He wondered why he hadn’t thought of all this himself instead of spending his time wailing and blaming everyone else for his accident. But once the morning arrived and he tried his first asana, whatever hope he had, came crashing down. His body was in so much pain that it would just refuse to co-operate. He had tears in his eyes as he struggled with asana after asana. Within fifteen minutes he gave up. Disgusted with himself, he went and lit a cigarette to soothe his mind and hopefully his body. His coach came over and slapped him hard across his face and said- “If you want to waste my time, just leave. I don’t want losers like you in my yard” . Rahul stubbed his cigarette & tried yoga again, but nothing changed. The pain was excruciating. Somehow he completed the session. The physiotherapy was no better. At the end of the morning session his body felt worse than before he started. He knocked the ball hung from the ceiling. The bat would not come down at the right angle. Sometimes the pain would make him miss the ball altogether. Even toddlers would do this better than me he thought. And here was still hoping to play for India.
Days went by, but things just wouldn’t improve. After almost a month Rahul was completely spent. He felt he could no longer do this. He realised that his coach had invested an enormous amount of time for his recovery but he felt he wasn’t doing any justice to it. Finally he gathered enough courage and went before him.
“Sir, I know you have put a lot of faith in me but this is just too hard for me. I don’t think that I can ever play again. My body is hurting and my mind is unwilling. Please let me not waste your time. I will go back home.” He said earnestly
Ramakanth sir felt sorry for him. He knew that Rahul was giving it his best in the last one month. He just needed to motivate him somehow.
“Just one more month Rahul, if you feel you still can’t make it, you can give up” Ramakanth sir said kindly.
That day Ramakanth sir realised that he should do something to give him hope. He wanted Rahul to realise that nothing was impossible as long as he made up his mind. So every evening he would handover a book to Rahul so that he could read about the hardships faced by others and how they overcame it. When he was done with one, he would give him another one. Sometimes it would be a politician, sometimes a sports person. And he would play him videos of people doing extraordinary stuff. He even showed him the Guinness Book Of World Records. He wanted him to realise that if people say something is impossible, it doesn’t become so. All you need is your hard work and will power to overcome the difficulties.
Slowly Rahul’s morale started getting boosted. He seemed to develop the idea that- “If they can do it, so can I.” He fought through the pain and worked mighty hard. Slowly his body began responding to him. It started moving better. The pain began easing. He followed a strict diet. Never missed his exercises and trained hard.
After a years intense training, Rahul was finally ready to face his first big challenge. He had lost a lot of extra weight and he looked more a new generation cricketer now. He had trained with his teammates over the past month and the state selectors had found him fit to play for the state again. It was his first match in more than a year and he would be opening the batting as usual. After padding up and getting all set to go onto the field, he approached his coach whom he had invited to the dressing room and said
“I am afraid sir. What if I fail and all that work goes to waste?”
His coach looked at him kindly and said Brene Brown once said that “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort but you cannot have both. What will you choose Rahul?”
Rahul went to the crease and took guard. He looked around. The bowler ran towards him. The first ball he faced, he it hit straight down the ground for a boundary. The 20 people present in the stadium cheered for him. He was back! …..Almost.
Authors Note: I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge.