Guess what is in common between the Indian Cricket team, Arsenal FC, Roger Federer and Fernando Alonso. What apart from the fact that they are modern day sport teams or icons? Well, you guessed right, they are my favorites. But you look closely at how they have been faring recently, and you notice one more thing in common. They have had some really bad results lately. The Indian cricket team has been whitewashed by a resurgent English team. 4-0, humbled, humiliated. Arsenal FC suffered their worst defeat in a hundred years a couple of weekends back to Manchester United. 8-2, humbled, humiliated. Roger Federer has not had a grand slam win since the 2010 Australian Open and Fernando Alonso has switched two teams since his last world championship in 2006, but has been buttoned out of his Formula One world champion form. All my sporting icons going through a "lean patch"!! Humbled and humiliated, here is another thing in common for you. And I cry out, "Who in their right senses would support these folks? Who? Oh, damn fools like me !" But then, from these shambles of defeat and stories of disappointment, I learn some important lessons of life.
Lesson number one! This world can take you over the moon when you are winning and drop you like a hot potato when you don't. One year back, the Indian cricket team were feted as heroes winning the World Cup, today, some folks call them "donkeys" ? This is a fickle world with short term memory and you can't let the noise of this world drown your belief in your abilities. Victory and defeat play an equal part in life. You hear Kipling " If you can meet with triumph and disaster, And treat those two imposters just the same "You recognize the ephemeral nature of this material world. You recognize the delusions of victory and defeat. You recognize Maya. You learn to take victory with a pinch of salt and defeat with a scoop of humor. And you cry out "Oh, damn fools like me !"
Lesson number two! You can't just believe this is happening to your favorite team. "In Arsene, we trust" is the chant of every Gooner, but doubts were creeping in. And then you realize that what is happening is because of some past actions. Arsenal went to Manchester United before the fateful 8-2 match having just lost two of their best players through transfers to other clubs. A couple of other players were serving suspension. A few others were injured. The team had not yet signed on enough new players of the caliber. You were effectively playing a second string side. What else other than humiliation could you expect. It is a cause and effect world. I have been told long back, "You reap what you sow". Your reality of today is a function of your past actions. A friend introduced me to the Lotus Sutra recently. "Nam Myoko Renge Kyo" that signifies that life is a cycle governed by a process of cause and effect. You recognize the cause and effect. You learn to introspect your actions and you cry out "Oh, damn fools like me!"
Lesson number three! And finally, I remember thinking there is no better time to blog this thought. Because tomorrow will be different. Because India would be bouncing back against England winning the one day international series. Because Arsenal will be making its way back to the top of the Premier League next weekend with a well earned victory. Because Federer will be lifting the US Open this Sunday. Because Alonso's Red Ferrari will be back on the podium. Because Man lives in eternal hope. Oh, damn fools like me!!