The first reaction when I saw Yuvraj Singh on TV was, “He looks so arrogant.” As years passed and I kept watching and keeping myself updated about Indian cricket, I came across a lot of news that was totally in-line with my judgment about him: he was the ‘bad boy’ who used to get into fights at parties and he seemed to live life King-size dating Bollywood actresses, completely oblivious to how privileged he was. One by one, I started judging everybody around me and many others who I didn’t even know. It felt good. Judging someone gives you a sense of power.
I was brought up in an environment where people always told me that only few human beings are lucky in life while everybody else suffered. I was conditioned with this belief that bad things only happens to me and others? They are just enjoying life. Who are these others? They pointed out to the celebrities, to the cricketers who were lucky. Nothing bad could happen to them. We, the middle class people, on the other hand, are meant to suffer. I am not denying the element of truth here. Certainly, Indian cricketers have everything a human being could wish for: fame, money, respect, love etc. But I always hated the world because I thought that everybody except me was lucky.
It’s when I heard the news about Yuvraj Singh being diagnosed with cancer that my whole belief system was challenged. For the first time, I was forced to ask myself, “Wait a minute! This is the guy whom I hated because I thought he was one lucky bastard. How can he have cancer?” Then I slowly started noticing those who conditioned me with this belief. I realized that even though I was not as lucky as an Indian cricketer, I lived comfortably. I also saw that those who called themselves ‘unlucky’ justified things like bribing by saying that they “had to do it” because..they are unlucky! Sure, the majority of human population is not rich but when I hear about atrocities against human beings, I feel that I am the luckiest person alive. It’s then I realized that everybody has their own share of suffering no matter how rich and famous they are. Most importantly, those who attack and harshly judge people they don’t know are just those who are wasting their lives.
As I reached the last page of Yuvraj Singh’s autobiography today, all those memories came back to me. I felt ashamed for judging someone just to make myself feel better. Some of the news stories that was a fodder for my judgment were actually far away from truth.
What’s beautiful about this book is that despite losing so much to cancer, he didn’t lose his sense of humor. Even while narrating the most gruesome experiences that he had during his treatment.
Yuvraj Singh made me look at celebrities in a new light. He taught me that celebrities are human beings too. We cannot know how dedicated a sportsperson is because he/she doesn’t live around us. Even if sportspersons lived around us, we cannot know their motivations. That applies to people in general.