Lockdown diaries: We will learn to be better human beings, says Shikhar Dhawan

Confined to his home, Shikhar Dhawan has found ways to remain active and focussed. Other than his regular exercises, he has made rapid progress in his new love — playing the flute.

“I can maintain my composure under any stress and not allow anxiety to influence my behaviour,” says Shikhar Dhawan.   -  PTI

Spirituality is the driving force behind Shikhar Dhawan being able to stand up to the challenges. His personality has seen a transformation from the time he regained his place in the Indian team, especially the sensational century on debut against Australia in Mohali in 2013. He lost his Test spot in 2018 after the tour to England but it has not dampened his resolve to keep doing what he knows best — play cricket with a positive mind.

The lockdown in the country due to the global coronavirus pandemic has helped Dhawan connect with himself, friends and family like never before. “It was a good decision by our Prime Minister and very important given the circumstances. We have to understand it is for the benefit of the people. We will have to be patient. Can’t we give 21 days of our life to help the country recover from this outbreak? We need to control the spread of the virus and that can happen only if we follow the instructions of the authorities and the doctors,” Dhawan told Sportstar.

How does he tackle the lockdown?

“By visiting myself. By understanding myself. I have to challenge myself. I have pledged to talk sweetly, not to lose my temper. I don’t raise my voice. I know my strength is this calmness that I have developed in the past few years. I can maintain my composure under any stress and not allow anxiety to influence my behaviour.”

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An injured Shikhar Dhawan during a practice session ahead of India’s World Cup match against Afghanistan in England in 2019. “I was quick to realise that life has various phases in store for you. I was fortunate to understand all that when I was a teenager,” says Dhawan.   -  AP

 

Insisting that it can be tackled, Dhawan said, “You have to learn to interact with yourself. When I am batting in the middle, I interact with myself. You can be your best friend. I was also my best critic when I failed. I would concentrate on keeping negativity out of my system, crush the negative feelings, because you learn nothing from them.”

How does he keep himself busy?

“Doing little chores in the house. Training. Reading. Playing with children. Eating together. I look at this lockdown as a directive from god and nature. We have been taught a lesson. We now must learn to respect the nature. You may have all the world’s riches and comforts but it is nature which has the last laugh. We all have had some harsh lessons in recent times and I am sure we all will learn to be better human beings.”

Being a cricketer, Dhawan picked up lessons in life from the sport. “I learnt to tackle hardships. Learnt to accept failures. I was quick to realise that life has various phases in store for you. I was fortunate to understand all that when I was a teenager. I could not get a place in the team as long as Viru (Virender Sehwag) and Gautam (Gambhir) were excelling. I was busy playing Ranji Trophy and accepting that my turn had not come yet. All the while I was learning. It took me nine years after my first-class debut to get a Test cap. It made me a better cricketer actually.”

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Recalling that tough period, Dhawan noted, “I loved that competition. But I was not competing. When you start competing, you also start comparing. And that leads to jealousy and acrimony. Why compare and why to compete needlessly? I was living my dream by playing cricket and I told myself that I had to change my thinking. I felt very light and enlightened as I prepared myself for bigger challenges. I looked within and faced the world with hope. I am glad I could live my dream.

A file picture of Dhawan with his family. The dashing opener keeps himself busy, doing little chores in the house, training, reading, playing with the children and eating together, during the current lockdown.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Confined to his home, Dhawan has ways to remain active and focused. Other than his regular exercises, he has made rapid progress in his new love — playing the flute. “I can play a melodious tune for you. I can engage you with my flute as I can with my batting (laughs). I take my flute lessons seriously. I also meditate without fail. My flute also keeps me lively. Spirituality has transformed me. It is a different journey. I don’t waste time in doing WhatsApp and chatting. I have begun to enjoy the nature. It keeps me positive and happy.”