Kishan Bothra. Right from childhood he loved cricket and wanted to follow his passion. The sound of the ball hitting the bat and rushing afar into the field played a music of its own in his heart. He used to play many local matches from the age of 8. And by the time he was 16, he got an opportunity to play in Calvin Shield. That was sometime during the 80’s.
He went for his training camp in Sri Ganganagar for a week. Soon after, he was invited to join the camp further till Jaipur for rest of the training. This time though, his father denied. He thought there was no scope in pursuing sports, wasting time and energy, at a crucial stage when he was just 16. Kishan was left heart-broken. Those days it was difficult to convince a father from a middle-class background that sports too had a future. But wait. Is it any easy today either?
Even after not participating in Calvin Shield, he did not give up on cricket. Kishan still used to play local matches. Once he had a match at a place named Karanpur where he and his team lost out but still, while coming back, one of his friend named Sujant Singh wanted to have a famous sweet, bhalushahi. So they went ahead for the shop to eat the sweet. On their way they met with an accident. Kishan got a fracture on his leg. He was very scared that he would be scolded by his father and once again cricket would be blamed for his misfortune.
That time he was in his B. Com 2nd year. After being hospitalized for a month he was back home and could walk slowly. He was strictly instructed not to ever face the playground again. He was warned that he’d be locked in his house if he was to be seen anywhere close to the ground. He listened in silence. But didn’t obey. He still did not give up cricket. He used to skip his college and go to playground, to hear the music of the ball running towards the fence after hitting the bat and. That was the rhythm, the beats that no one else heard other than he.
“Cricket is my passion,” he says looking outside the window of the old age home which shelters him now. “So what if I could not pursue it as my career. Not everyone can play for the Indian team. But I have my own cricket to give to the sport.” He smiles through his wrinkles. “Cricket has given a lot to me. It still does. What, you won’t understand!”
As told to Ritika jain.