Take the Plunge, Do the New

We get so used to our comfort zones, our routines, that when Life comes calling, we are simply unavailable. Or are wary of accepting an opportunity to do something new. But what’s Life without an adventure, or two?

Last evening on Season 6 of the Colors reality dance show on TV called Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, I was pleasantly surprised to find former Indian cricket captain and the ex-Chairman of Selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth as one of the contestants. As one of the game’s swashbuckling players of his time, the irrepressible Srikkanth introduced ‘slam-bang’ cricket to the world! Then in his after-player innings he has been an expert commentator, a selector, an administrator and a mentor for the game. But a dancer? And Srikkanth? That sounded preposterous.

To be sure, Srikkanth confessed on TV yesterday that his wife Vidya too felt the same. She said at 53, Cheeka (as he is fondly called) was stretching his luck a bit too much. But Srikkanth explained: “I don’t know ABCD of dancing. At the end of the day, it is different.” “When I will dance, I will dance naturally. When you are doing it naturally, you do it with passion and when you do it with passion and positive energy, you do it well. If I am here to please people, I cannot do it well. I believe that if you want to play, then play a natural game,”he added.

That’s vintage Srikkanth for you. Playing his natural game on the cricket field, often recklessly, has been his philosophy. And he brings that flair and flavor to his Life too. The way he speaks Hindi unabashedly with his bold Tamil accent, the way he comments on the game, straight from his heart, without mincing words is, often times, questionable, but always inspiring. He brings this spirit into his new challenge, dancing! That too on a reality show on TV!

Cheeka: Maybe two left feet, but the right spirit!
Watching Srikkanth yesterday, I couldn’t help but feel inspired. Here’s a guy who’s seen some of the best times in his game. A game that he loves. And knows. But venturing into an unknown territory, in full public view, on reality TV, being judged by stalwarts like Madhuri Dixit, Remo D’Souza and Karan Johar, and competing with some great talent, that’s some adventure. Surely. People may hate him for talking too much on TV. People may love him for the great cricketer he once was. But everyone will agree that Cheeka Srikkanth is simply unputdownable!

The learning we can take away is to learn to accept when Life presents an opportunity. We must not hesitate wondering what will happen. We must simply take the plunge. We live only once __ at least from what we know of Life! If we don’t do the new, we may not have lived completely. And in the evening of our lives, when the body can’t support many things that our spirit may yearn for, there’s no point wishing that you had done the new, that you had taken that plunge! There is no right way or wrong way to live. If something gives you joy, just do it! Don’t bother about what people say. Don’t follow the herd. Don’t live the ordinary Life. Simply take the leap and fly! As Jalaluddin Rumi, the 13th Century Persian poet has said, “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through Life?”