The College Auditorium, one of the biggest in the country was full. Students , students and students everywhere as far as the eyes could see.
Principal of the college not even in his wildest dreams expected this. He has heard about Sai before but never thought he commanded so much love and respect among the younger generation. For the first time in his life he saw that auditorium fully packed.
Sai was an ace cricketer who won many matches for his country and instrumental in retaining the world cup eversever since he took up the captaincy 12 years back. Few days back he retired from the game after leading his team for one more world cup victory.
He was invited to inagurate the new bowling machine which the college has installed recently. At 3.30 pm sharp Sai was on the dias. There was a big noise to welcome him. It was joy tsunami which reached its peak and took time to subside. The program started first with a prayer followed by welcome address and customary address by the principal all went very quick.
Then the moment came…Sai was invited to speak…he arose….. a joy tsunami again, this time magnitude was much higher than before ,as there was no signs of decibel levels dropping he started to speak…. sudden silence engulfed the auditorium …” Ladies and Gentlemen very good evening and thank you.I was a cricketer all these days and I know only cricket.Now that I am retired I am trying to learn other things so please dont expect me to give long talks. I admit I am not good at it ….thanks again and all the very best to you all.
He concluded…a big roar again and there were loud requests at least to answer some of their questions to which Sai acceded politely saying I will take three questions.
Immediately the first question came
1. What would you like to say to the students like us ?
If you have choices, choose the best
If you dont have choice do your best.
2. When you played against Pakisthan – what were you thinking inside ?
I always had a feeling of playing Ranji trophy match against a neighbouring state in my country .
Had we not been separated we could have had the world’s best bowlers and batsmen in one side.
There was loud cheers and
acknowledgement from the crowd on hearing this.
The last question
3. You had been rejected many a times, denied a place in the national team and critics had been very hard on you many a times…….despite all this you rose to the level of th captain and sustained long, how ?
Revenge…..he said and then there was a pause.
He continued …..The best revenge is to improve yourself and I did it every time I was rejected and then came back with renewed rigor.
The session ended and he was taken to the cricket ground to inagurate the bowling machine. He pressed the button and posed for the photographs.
He was asked to get into the ground and play some cricket. After little resistance he accepted. He walked to the change room and came back in full cricket gear….pads, gloves, helmets etc ready to challenge the bowling machine.
There was a lot of excitement in the crowd as the bowling machine delivered the first ball a bouncer in terrible speed which Sai effortlessly hooked leg side….it should have been a double six which went past the college compound wall and not to be found again.
That great shot marked another happy ending .