Dear me: Understanding of science will help you in cricket – Deep Dasgupta | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Dear me: Understanding of science will help you in cricket – Deep Dasgupta

Deep Dasgupta tells his 9-year-old self that cricket and academics are both important and that there is no substitute for hard work

Dear Me series Updated: Aug 11, 2017 16:34 IST
Deep Dasgupta, who played eight Tests and five ODIs for India, enjoyed considerable success in domestic cricket.
Deep Dasgupta, who played eight Tests and five ODIs for India, enjoyed considerable success in domestic cricket.(Illustration: Mohit Suneja)

Dear nine-year-old Deep,

Happy birthday! I see that you are already spending a lot of time with your elder brother’s cricket bat. It is way too heavy but you still hold it and proudly announce ‘Palmolive da jawaab nahi’ trying to imitate how Kapil Dev promoted that shaving cream. Keep at it for who knows, one day you may be sharing jokes and the commentators’ box with the man who led India to their first World Cup title. And he won’t be the only idol you share airtime with.

Maybe then you would tell them about your growing-up years in New Delhi when the National Stadium, where you would train, would be out of bounds when these stars came for an international game. Trust me, it is possible.

Deep, every summer vacation you go to Calcutta for a month-and-a-half to be with your extended family. It could pay to let the city grow on you and not complain about power outages that everyone refers to as ‘load-shedding’ and water-logging. Because one day, it would be home and it would be close to where you spent your holidays. By then, Calcutta would have become Kolkata and power-cuts history.

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Vacations over, it would be back to school in New Delhi. Remember that cricket and academics are both important. Your family will make a lot of sacrifices to help you at both but it is important that you stay disciplined and treat them just the same. That’s because one day you will find your understanding of science helping your cricket. It will help you coach yourself, other kids and also to explain the game when the microphone replaces the bat. So, please do not neglect school.

Oh! Before I forget, be careful while you hitch-hike your ride to National Stadium from school.

And just as there is no substitute for hard work --- if no one has told you this already, trust me, many will --- it is also important to remember that you will have to take criticism, often a lot of it, in your stride. The critics have a job to do just as you have one. Don’t let it get to you, don’t stop believing in yourself because wherever you reach, you do that because of you are good enough to be there.

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It also won’t hurt if you get out of your shell and start interacting with people. And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They will teach you a lot in life. Take a few chances, it’s really all right.

Post-retirement, looking at numbers you might regret not being selfish but be proud of the fact that you played for the name on the chest, not at the back.

Most importantly, it’s just a game; never stop enjoying it. Isn’t that why you took up your brother’s bat and played with a skull cap made of newspaper?

Best,

Deep Dasgupta

(As told to Dhiman Sarkar)