Friday, 15 January 2016

The Test of My Life - Yuvraj Singh, Sharda urga, Nishant Jeet Arora

A personal account of Yuvraj Singh’s journey through cancer with the 2011 World Cup victory in the background‘

That day I cried like a baby not because I feared what cancer would do but because I didn’t want the disease. I wanted my life to be normal, which it could not be.’

For the first time Yuvraj Singh tells the real story behind the 2011 World Cup when on-the-field triumph hid his increasingly puzzling health problems and worrying illnesses. In his debut book The test of my life, he reveals how—plagued with insomnia, coughing fits that left him vomiting blood, and an inability to eat—he made a deal with God. On the night before the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final, Yuvraj prayed for the World Cup in return for anything God wanted. In this book, he lays bare his fears, doubts, and the lows he experienced during chemotherapy— when he lost his energy, his appetite, and his hair—and his battle to find the will to survive. Poignant, personal, and moving—The test of my life—is about cancer and cricket; but more importantly, it is about the human will to fight adversity and triumph despite all odds.


Yuvraj Singh

This is one of those few books which makes you stop, look around and feel thankful for everything that is around you. Only a few books have such raw power to sway the reader's emotions and make him want more and more from the book. This is one such beauty.

This book, the story of how Yuvraj fought his demons, is simple, straightforward and brutally honest. The Yuvraj we know, the fun-loving, cheerful and prankster guy can be seen in the first half of the book. I've always been a fan of Sharda Ugra and have been following her writings in Cricinfo. She has a simple yet powerful way of conveying her thoughts and that style shines through in this book as well. Yuvraj's early childhood days, his happy family and his passion to become someone big are brought out beautifully in the initial part of the book. The first tears arrive on the reader's eyes when Yuvray describes his struggles during the World Cup 2011 series. I am one of the ardent followers of Indian Cricket and I must say I noticed nothing wrong with Yuvraj when the series was going on. Yuvraj's passion for the sport, his strong desire to be a part of World Cup winning team had enabled him to conceal his physical struggles and go through with the series. And how he fought in the series! Like a raging bull, ready to decimate anyone who came between him and the World Cup. Winning the World Cup was a fitting tribute to his man and his hunger to achieve big.

And then came the Cancer! It was so sudden, so shocking that no one knew what to do. It was obvious Yuvraj was suffering from some physical ailments but no one imagined it to be this big! Yes, it was CANCER - the deadly killer!

Yuvraj had fought a lot of bowlers on the field, but this was different. This was his first battle off the field, and this was against a deadly disease. Yuvraj, being the warrior he is, did not lose hope. How he fought it and came out a winner is best left to the book to describe. It is enough if I say the book has done a great job of it.

Yuvraj's fight against Cancer, the help he received from various friends and family members, the love and support he got from the entire world are sources of great inspiration for all those Cancer fighters out there. Yuvraj's victory is a testimony that Cancer can be defeated and overcome. That he managed to return to competitive cricket in such a short time is proof his passion for the game.

It is only when life puts us in such tough situations that we learn to understand the value of the small things and the people around us. This book brings out this fact in an exemplary manner. A must read book for everyone - a true source of inspiration!


“I was not going to feel sorry for myself. No, why should I? When my form came back, or when I picked up wickets, or when I got the big scores, or when I got player of the match, or hit six sixes, had I ever asked God, ‘why me?’ Of course not. Often in my career, I have been the man with silver in the fist. Have I ever asked God, ‘why me?’ No, never. So when the illness came I had no right to ask ‘why me?” 

“What was seminoma, I asked Dr Ashish at one point. A rarest of rare kind of germ cell tumour, he explained, a manageable tumour. I asked him to explain further and this was his reply: Look, he said, your tumour may not be Sachin Tendulkar, but Virat Kohli it is. He can also be dangerous and after all you do need to get him out. I still laugh at this analogy. Later one day I remembered to tell Cheeku about this and he couldn’t believe how much respect the doctor had given him.” 

Other Links

View this book in GoodreadsAmazonFlipkart.
Read about Sachin Tendulkar here.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Few Seconds Longer...

          Who was that woman lying on the road in a pool of blood? Ananya did not know her.  A group was beginning to gather around the woman. It looked like a terrible accident. The woman was lying lifeless, a lunch box with it's contents scattered and water spilling from a water bottle.

          Why was Ananya standing here? She had no idea. How did she come here? The last thing she could remember was that she had once again forgotten the promise she had made to Varun -  to get to his school on time. The school lunch time was 12.30 pm and she had to be there ten minutes prior to the bell.

          She had once again miscalculated the time it would take to do the laundry, set the house in order, do the dishes and prepare lunch. By the time she competed all these chores, the old grandpa clock in the hall struck 12. Yes, she would be late to the school once again. In her hurry, she had forgotten the promise she made Varun the previous morning.

          Packing his lunch bag and water bottle, she took off in her scooter. She had 20 minutes before the school bell rang. She could still be on time if she drove fast enough. She was humming a merry tune thinking of her only son who was turning 8 the next week. What a nice boy he was growing into! Ananya was very proud of her son. He was good at sports and loved playing cricket and basketball. He even proved a tough nut to crack when he competed with his daddy in Chess. He had come first in his class every month of that academic year. He would be honored in the next Annual Day for this unique achievement and Ananya was looking forward to that moment.

          She was a little away from the school junction. The school was a few metres down the right lane. The signal was about to turn red. She could turn right before the signal turned red if she drove faster. She accelerated. And then what happened?  How did she end up standing here?

          "Wait, is that Varun? Why is he going towards the dead woman? Why is he crying?  Does he know her? I must comfort him". Ananya started walking towards his son.
          "Hey Varun!"... "Hello!".. "Why can't he hear me? Who is that woman he is crying over?"

           She bent over and looked at the woman. Ananya went white with shock on seeing herself sprawled on the road, entirely lifeless and motionless. What happened?

          Suddenly it all came back to her. The black Limousine!... The right turn!... The red signal!... The hurry!...The school!.. The brakes!... The skid!.. The collision!... And the sudden void!...

       She could have waited a few seconds longer...


Friday, 1 January 2016

15 Things 2015 has taught me...

  1. No matter how rich you are, how many cars and houses you own, you cannot eat money.

  2. The best investment is to invest your time on the right people.
  3. This!

  4. Books are the best stress busters. Feeling frustrated? Lock your room, grab a book and get lost in that heavenly dream.

  5. There is no such thing as keep in touch forever. 
  6. 22 to 27 is the age when we meet many temporary people in our life.
  7. Time erases everything, I mean everything. Even the worst wounds inflicted on us heal with time. 
  8. Everyone is right in their own perspective. There is no such thing as winning an argument. You only lose a friend. 
  9. A year can turn strangers into best buddies and best buddies into complete strangers.
  10. There is no problem that cannot be solved by your parents' advice.
  11. It is better to be alone than with unpleasant company.

  12. When you have moved on,  the golden past fades away into a dream-like fog.
  13. Fail -> learn ->  get up -> dust yourself -> succeed ->  repeat. There is no other shortcut.
  14. Life is a long journey. Take one step at a time. 
  15. It takes a fraction of a second for all of it to end. Be thankful to be alive. 
Welcome 2016!

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