The first thing that I did when India won the world cup trophy in 2011 was to name my small gold fish ‘Yuvi’. I know it sounds a bit corny, but the reason I did this was because like Yuvraj, my little goldfish was a born fighter. He would wriggle his way into a school of fitter fish and one way or the other keep the bigger bullies at bay. Bullies would try to terrorize him into submission and never once did my goldfish act meek and swim away, instead he would swim into the wave of danger and grab the fattest worm dexterously. And with all the worms that he ate, Yuvi soon metamorphosed into one big strong goldfish and very soon, he was acting like the King of the tank. He deserved to. My goldfish lives up to his name, Yuvi – The Fighter and continues be the Man of the daily water tournaments with his fellow fish. Yuvi had grown from a minnow to a whale.
When India played England in the T20 world cup, the match had re-birthed a Hercules. Hercules stood in the middle of the ground and lambasted six balls in succession and made Suart Broad look even tinier than Stuart Little. But, that moment was not just about adding or appending a record, it was all about determination, grit, attitude and spunk. Qualities you always wish to find in our sportsmen but rarely do. And yet, finally, here was a man who would take the bull by its horns and had no qualms about it! Sledging does not work against Yuvi, you cannot mentally disintegrate the man. He will not take sledging lying down, no way, he will come at you and bundle you up with his bat, over the boundary ropes is where you have to kiss your pride goodbye. This is one man who will look at the opponent straight in the eye, bump his chest against him and make it amply clear who is in command. Many have been at the receiving end of his spirited countenance. Kevin Pieterson, Dale Steyn, Flintoff, Umar Gul have all received generous return gifts from Yuvi, tied up in a big red bow. Even if Yuvi had his share of ups and downs, in form or not, fit or stout, the champion in him always remains, as his gallant spirit today does. Yuvi rose to the occasion at critical times, and he remains one you can easily call a ‘match winner’. Yuvraj represents and will always continue to represent the hopes, dreams and aspirations of thousands of youngsters who wish to become Yuvi, the valorous one.
The news today about Yuvi’s health has shattered his fans, me included. It must be an extremely colossal task for Yuvi to be battling an enemy that raises it’s head at the most unexpected of times. This is an enemy that needs to be decimated at the earliest and remains the most vicious of opponents that one has ever faced and yet we hope and pray that Yuvi will surpass the times. Yuvi’s intransigent spirit is his strength. Yuvi had tweeted that he wishes to take plenty of support from Lance Armstrong’s book “ It’s not about the bike: My journey back to life”. Yes, Yuvi, I agree with you, its not about cricket or about the bike or the profession that got one all the accolades, its always about the singular biggest gift that we all have received, the ‘gift ‘ of life, and we seldom open it. Now is the time to open the biggest gift and live life to the hilt. You are but the man of this tournament called life. Wishing Yuvi, the Fighter, a speedy recovery.
“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
― Lance Armstrong, Every Second Counts