Harsha Bhogle and the art of winning a battle without fighting

Fight only if you must. Sometimes, the best way to win a battle is not to fight at all.

harsha2Harsha Bhogle has been axed as commentator by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) from the IPL 9 Season. As is the case with most BCCI decisions, no reasons are forthcoming. Meanwhile, the rumor mills are working overtime to suggest that any of these three – or all – reasons may be valid: BCCI being ‘deeply influenced’ by innocuous (per me) Tweets by Amitabh Bachchan and M.S.Dhoni conveying their personal opinions on how commentators must commentate; Harsha’s run-in with a Vidarbha Cricket Association official in Nagpur over a common-sensical suggestion and how Shashank Manohar, the current BCCI President, stepped in and stood up for this official; or how players have begun to influence the BCCI on who should be chosen as commentators. But when news broke out on Saturday evening, when the first match of IPL 9 was being played between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiants, that Harsha will not commentate, the man in the spotlight was off to watch a movie with his wife Anita in Mumbai. All he did was he tweeted his surprise at the turn of events.

I think this is a phenomenal quality that Harsha’s got – to not fight everything and everyone that comes in your way!

Though not among my personal favorites (L.Sivaramakrishnan and Danny Morrison are), Harsha is clearly a world-class cricket commentator. He’s worked hard to follow his bliss and he, deservedly, is very, very admired. Just the outpouring of sentiment in his favor, over his axing, is evidence of how much he’s loved. Yet, the landscape in which he plies his trade is fraught with BCCI’s mafia-like ‘control’ of the game and infested with intra-organizational, political landmines. And Harsha perhaps knows this better than anyone else. Hence his choice to not lose his dignity or sanity trying to stir an already confounded situation is commendable. Undoubtedly, the public – his fans and followers of the game – is with him.

There’s a learning here for all of us. When someone queers your pitch, just walk away. You don’t have to respond to every provocation or pick up every gauntlet that’s hurled at you. Some battles are best left unfought. People react to situations based on their own insecurities, perversions or justifications. Things happen in Life because that’s the way Life is – it keeps on happening, endlessly, often mindlessly. So, if you get embroiled in trying to bulldoze your way every single time someone or something becomes an obstacle, you will only be fighting inconsequential battles all your Life. Precious personal positive energy will get drained this way. Sometimes it is better to be silent and work around a problem person or situation than wanting to decimate an obstruction. Be stingy about where your energies go. Choose the good fight – where there’s a cause, where more than just you will be benefited, where there’s an opportunity that your victory can make the world better. For any other battle, not fighting is perhaps the best way to win!

Life never is what could have been or what it will be

The Deepavali spirit was celebrated by Team India yesterday with a spectacular win in the series clinching One Day International at Bangalore against a very strong Australian team. Harsha Bhogle, while delivering the match summary, said that things could have been different had James Faulkner (116 from 73 balls) stayed on. But Bhogle also quickly added: “Cricket is not about what might have been!
And so it is with Life. Life isn’t about what might have been, what was or what will be. It is what it is! And also, whatever happened or is happening, is always for making us better, stronger and happier!
We all do, however, wish that our Life be in a certain way. But Life doesn’t ever really pan out the way we plan. So we get stuck in a past event – grieving. Or worry about a future event – fearing how it will be. Our definitions of good or bad are made from our own perspectives. So if we wish for something and it doesn’t happen, we think it is a bad deal for us. For instance, Rohit Sharma, the Indian opener who scored a brilliant 209 yesterday, was not selected to represent India in the 2011 World Cup. His coach Dinesh Lad says Sharma was shattered when he was not picked up to play for India in that historic tournament. He was really depressed (at) that time when he was dropped from the World Cup squad. But eventually that proved to be the best thing that happened to him. It made him focus on the game a lot more. ‘I’ll come back into the Indian team with a bang,’ he told me. His game changed completely. He started capitalizing on his starts and became a different player,” Lad told Times of India.
Just the same way, invariably, all the events we thought of as setbacks in our Life have contributed to our evolution – emotionally, physically, professionally, financially and spiritually.
To be sure, if you sit down and review your Life, you will agree that everything that has happened in it so far has made you who you are today. Indeed it never could have been any different from what it was. And really your Life cannot be any different from what it is just now.  
So embrace Life for what it is, love what you have and live it fully! Remember: each moment that you wish your Life could have been different or worry about how it will turn out to be in the future, is a moment you have squandered, a moment that you will have not “lived”!