Thursday, June 12, 2008

Why I look at the sun -K. Srikkanth

Looking directly at the sun gave me an undeniable lift

By Krishnamachari Srikkanth

(From "God and I" column, Deccan Chronicle June 12, 2008)

Born in a middle class Tamil Brahmin family, it was only natural to wake up every morning to Vedic hymns. School was no different. We started our day with Sanskrit slokas. I vividly remember a poem sung in praise of the Sun God. I was in Class 5 and really wanted to know the meaning of that poem. My teacher explained that Sun is the only god visible to all of us. The reason why I always looked directly at the sun before facing a ball was probably because of this. Many believed that this would ruin my eyesight, but to me it only got better. It gave me an undeniable lift.

My parents were pious. Because my family was deeply religious, the sentiments got embedded early. To this day nothing has changed. I still perform my one-hour pooja in the morning. It was difficult during my days as an active cricketer. However, I used to chant a few phrases when I was at the crease.

It was a routine for me to visit the Guruvayur temple before embarking on a cricket series. It was not only for the major games, I used to be there, if I found time, even before a domestic game. It gave me that special feeling. I must confess my belief in God never diminished even when the going got tough both on and off the field. In fact, it kept me going and made me a stronger person.

In 2000, my grandmother suggested that I should start visiting the temple of our family deity on a regular basis. It is a Perumal temple near Cuddalore.

Believe me, things only got better from there on. I believe in hard work, but God’s grace is equally important. My faith has never ceased in the power above. The various pictures of deities I had in my kitbag would easily outdo the number of batting gloves in them. That was the case when I played my first school match as well as the last competitive game I played.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth is a former captian of the Indian cricket team