“Purrrrr!” Jill, my Siamese cat glanced at Lulu, my parrot. “Mumbai Indians lost the match when they looked invincible. You can’t take the opposition for granted.”
“For a change, we agree with each other Jill,” Lulu said dancing his long tail.
“I feel bad. I am a Mumbai Indian supporter, although I will not say the same about Ambanis” I stretched my arms and settled on my chair. Jack, my Great Dane, gave me a knowing look. I pointed to the Sofa. Jack promptly jumped on it and settled there resting his jaw on a pillow. “Whuffff,” he growled.
“Yes, Jack. What’s that? Do you want to say something?”
“You are missing the most important point. Kieron Pollard said, “Sometimes you have to say that to the opposition – that they played well.” I mean you have to be gracious in defeat.” Jack raised his head and ears as he spoke.
Jill’s disapproving tone was piercing. “That’s the language of a loser.”
“Gracious loser” Lulu came to Jack’s rescue.
“Gracious or otherwise. A loser is a loser is a loser!” Cats are rather sharp witted. Result matters to them, not the emotional stuff.
“Oh, come on. Try to understand the point Jack is making. It’s a game of cricket. It is a Gentleman’s game. It’s not boxing.” My intervention as an umpire is often required in this friendly conversation of the trio.
“They did not pick up Rohit Sharma in the team for Australia tour. That’s a surprise. He was doing well. He always does.” Jack said.
“Injury, they say.” Lulu supplied the official justification.
“But the tour is still a month away.”
“I feel Suryakumar Yadav should have been given a chance. He is consistent and has done well as an opener as well as a middle order batsman.” Jack sat up on the sofa.
“You always sympathize with the underdogs.” Jill never leaves an opportunity to scoff at him.
“What would you call them? Losers? That would be unfair.” I asked.
“Ha ha! Muhammed Ali and Rocky Marciano were filmed and based on data about fighters a computer program determined the winner. In the U.S. version Ali lost in a simulated 13th-round knockout, but in the European version Marciano lost due to cuts, also simulated. Ali suggested that prejudice determined his defeat in the U.S. version. He said jokingly, “That computer was made in Alabama.” It’s all there on Wikipedia.” I said.
“Biases work in any selection. Even in selection of judges as we are seeing in the case of the US Judge to their Supreme Court.” Lulu looked at Jill. She gave him a curious look, closed her blue eyes and continued her thinking, wagging her tail.
“Are you saying that a loser should eschew bias?” Jill asked.
“That’s the way to stay positive. That’s the way Ali stayed positive. Ignoring biases in selection is the hallmark of those who make a big comeback.” I said.
“Well, it was another case with Pollard. He showed a certain reflection and an objective view that the strong can’t always win. There are factors which help the weak. Moreover, the weak may display greater fire in the belly to win!” Jack said.
“In final analysis, I think one must give his best. No matter if you are fancied to win or if you are the underdog. Ignore the bias of selectors about which you can’t do anything. Yes, one must give his best. Give whatever it takes to win. And accept the result. If you do that, you are still a winner in my eyes.” Lulu culled out the final lesson.
“It’s time you wrote a book on the ‘philosophy of winning and losing.’” Jill shot one at Lulu, closed her eyes and continued her meditation.
Vivek S Patwardhan
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
“Aroehan: Creating Dream Villages in Mokhada by 2025: No Malnutrition Deaths, No Child ‘Out of School’, Reduction in migration by 50%.”
Pic Courtsy Great Dane Nathalie SPEHNER, Siamese Cat Parviz Isaev, Parrot Greg Hill all on Unsplash