The Dinesh Karthik Syndrome

The Dinesh Karthik Syndrome

“Did you watch Dinesh Karthik? What a game he played! All are going gaga over Dinesh Karthik.” I pointed out to the newspaper stories on Dinesh Karthik to Lulu, my parrot.

“Yes, superb play. He played a big role in the victory over South Africans in the third T20 match.”

“He is thirty-seven today, and they say he played his first match for India in 2004 when Rishabh Pant was not even a ten-year old boy!”

Dinesh Karthik PhotoCourtesy Cricbuzz

“That’s very dramatic way of putting things! Yes, both are wicket-keepers, and Pant is the captain. That should tell us how Dinesh Karthik went to the sidelines.”

“True, but the man is back in form and is making waves. He is all set to regain his place in the Indian squad.”

“There is an interesting point here. Dinesh Karthik is at the age when most cricketers retire or have already retired. How come Dinesh Karthik raises his performance to such a high level while on the verge of retirement, and what propels him do it?”

“You have raised an interesting point, Lulu. I have seen this happen in the corporate world too; people who are about to retire – they kind of wake up and start running as if they are a 100 Meter runner like Usain Bolt.”

“What could be the reason people raise performance to a very high level on the verge of retirement? Tell me.”

“Let me think …. If I had asked this question to my wife, she would have said that people touch ‘peak’ of their life at various levels. Some hit it early like film stars and fade away. Some others touch the peak late in life.”

“That’s an interesting theory, but it leaves everything to fate.”

“Take Nani Palkhivala, our famous jurist. When he argued and won some cases in the Supreme Court, which have had far reaching consequences, he was about fifty years old. Soon thereafter he fought for restoration of constitutional rights. He was at his peak then.”

“Have you heard of Vidyadhar Bhuskute?”

“Sounds familiar name. What about him?”

“He walked from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and then from Arunachal Pradesh to Porbandar in Gujarat. Literally, the length and breadth of India! Bhuskute did it after his retirement.

“Wow! That’s amazing. Yes, I am also puzzled by this phenomenon. People seem to reach the peak of their life at different age, but many reach when they face retirement. It’s like the last rocket of the satellite launch vehicle which puts a satellite in the highest orbit. Where from they draw energy, where from comes the motivation?”

“This discussion with you is getting interesting, isn’t it? This is the age of ‘start-ups’. There are several stories of people getting so much money in such a short time and that makes people believe that this is going to be the order of the day! Millionaires before you are thirty!! And we are discussing what makes oldies fire up.”

“Ha ha! Statistically both might be occurring at a fairly low frequency. I mean – one in a thousand becomes a millionaire before he is thirty, and similarly one in a thousand becomes a Dinesh Karthik.”

“Good analysis, prima facie. But we are beating around the bush. What makes oldies go high on the impact?”

“Frankly, I have no clue. I can only say that with the changing technology and fierce competition making such an impact is difficult, more so for the oldies. Look at Dinesh Karthik’s competition; it is coming from several youngsters who train well, have better coaches, dieticians and gadgets to help them, and sponsors too.”

“My theory is that people who have a sense of history do it better than others.”

“Simple language please, Lulu.”

“Some people wake up when the retirement stares in their face, and they realize that they will be never remembered for anything if they do not act quickly. They realize that time is short. It is then that their desire is fired. They want to ‘leave a footprint on the sand of time’ to quote Longfellow.

“Hmmmm …… “

“And as someone has said, ‘footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down!”

“Ha ha, that’s true. You can’t leave a legacy by doing nothing.”

“You got it. Everyone wants to leave a legacy. That’s one way to address the issue of immortality which we face in the evening of our lives.”

“Insightful, I say”

Remember that we must live our life pursuing excellence and introspecting on experience. That’s the build up to the last high-octane spurt. If you don’t live your life pursuing excellence and introspecting on experience, you will not, in all probability, experience the Dinesh Karthik syndrome!” Lulu knew he had left me speechless, so he fluttered his wings, perched on my shoulder and rubbed his head on my cheek.

Vivek S Patwardhan

PS: 1. When you start living in the way you want to be remembered, you have begun creating a legacy. That is the connect between quest for immortality and leaving a legacy. 2. Sunflowers are seen as followers of the sun, and Sun represents the life force. The Sunflowers feature picture depicts the theme of this blogpost.

Feature Pic Courtesy Roma Kaiukua on Unsplash

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” / Read more Lulu blogs in my book ‘The Lulu Duologues’