“Words fall short yet again. What he is, is well-known but what he forces us to be is yet to be documented. Fighters; one who should not sway away when the going gets tough. And if we do fail, the example of Kohli will forever reside, teaching us to be frantic in the pursuit of our dreams yet unruffled in our approach”
Writer’s block is defined as a condition where the author loses his ability to produce new work, new experiences or original ideas. Blank. Staring at the empty leaves, or more recently the empty screen, he often finds himself twinging in frustration as he is given flashbacks of the plot that he has already used. A best-seller. In half a mind to approach his latest piece with a plot that has been covered extensively before, the author is often prone to plagiarizing ideas when a numbness besets his creative faculties.
Modern day great Virat Kohli can be pleaded guilty of sending writers the world over into a vacuous stare. As the Indian keeps on piling runs after runs, the horde of journalists who have made it a profession to cover every flick shot or square drive are sent into a dizzy. Yes, we adore his genius. No, we cannot wrap it around in a few thousand words. We watch and watch in awe as he wields his magic to break yet another record, but unless one is Shashi Tharoor, the words are limited, whilst his skills are insurmountable.
He is talented, yes we have been told. A well-oiled run-machine. The next in throne to Sachin Tendulkar. Queries over whether he is a legend already or a legend-in-the-making have been discussed over and over again. A composed player who sticks to his strengths, even as the teammate is firing away from the cannon around the park. A fitness maniac, a vociferous trier, an utter patriot, a shrewd leader, an aggressor, an inspiration, a motivator… Phew.
How then, do we get around praising his records with words that are not repetitive? How do we sum up the adrenaline rush that flows through our veins each time a past record is breached? Maybe, write about his transformation from an under-19 cricketer to a pioneer. Naah. Touched upon too many times. So we stare and stare into the TV screens, watching him brush that willow; gasping at the enigma that he is.
A superman with human skills or a human with superman skills?
“There is a right and a wrong in the universe, and the distinction is not hard to make.”
For someone who started watching cricket religiously only in 2007, the tales of Brian Lara, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Waugh brothers and Adam Gilchrist are but those of folklore. Stories that seemed so distant away, with their feats almost like the warriors’ in the Anglo-Saxon play Beowulf. Tendulkar had not wowed me just as yet, and I rather that I looked towards a player my generation, who was starting off in the cricketing realm, just like me.
In emerged Kohli. I vividly remember hearing his name as the captain who led India to the Under-19 trophy, just as MS Dhoni’s boys picked up the CB series trophy, after Ricky Ponting had tried his best to derail the Indian progress, stating that the best-of-three finals would require just two finals. And so it was. As the senior team landed in India amid much fanfare, Kohli was swept away under the shadows, till a point arose when he couldn’t anymore.
His emphatic journey from the chubby youngster he himself proclaimed to be, to the first four he hit in the game against Sri Lanka in 2008 in Virender Sehwag’s absence (a shot I vividly remember watching on Doordarshan), to his sensational debut hundred at my hometown in Kolkata a year later on 24 December, to being the fastest ever cricketer to scalp 10,000 runs in ODI cricket, Kohli has stood for sacrifice and focused determination, who aims to break all obstacles that emerge in his path.
Admittedly, I do not remember every single knock that he played over these ten years and many matches still remain a blur, but I do know that as he progressed and took rapid strides in his field, I was encouraged and inspired to do the same. His sedate starts and fiery finishes teach the importance of a solid foundation. The angst at missing out on a bad delivery even though he is batting well into his hundred displays how every opportunity should be grasped. His nonchalance, which started from him showing the finger to an unruly Aussie crowd, to a more calmer approach that has come about with his captaincy, highlight the different facets that each individual should carry along with him.
But most importantly, the passion. Giving up butter chicken and desserts to achieve the zenith might be a minuscule sacrifice, but how many ordinary beings are capable of even that? Forgoing his lazed attitude that allowed him to be second-best to enveloping a hunger that will not even allow him to rest when he is head and shoulders above the rest, makes him an icon, an idol, a hero, a superstar…
Words fall short yet again. What he is, is well-known but what he forces us to be is yet to be documented. Fighters; one who should not sway away when the going gets tough. And if we do fail, the example of Kohli will forever reside, teaching us to be frantic in the pursuit of our dreams yet unruffled in our approach.