I’ve got four words for you; India vs. West Indies.
I know, I know; everyone’s still reeling from the shock of it all, wondering whether it really happened. I know I’m still miserably walking around, hoping against hope that I’m going to wake up and realise that it was all some sort of twisted dream.
If you are among the 5% of people in Goa who are NOT into cricket and have no idea what I’m going on about, then let me explain as briefly as possible; India had a semi-final match against the West Indies on Thursday night and India lost [that was a harder to write than you’d think].
It may not seem like that big a deal, but you have to keep in mind a couple of things;
First of all, almost all Indian cricket buffs [and casual viewers like myself] had more-or-less taken it for granted that India would go on to win the entire World Cup and why not?? India entered the tournament backed by a recent win in the Asia Cup and a pretty great winning-streak.
To add to that, the West Indies’ power hitter and MVP, Chris Gayle, was bowled out after scoring a mere handful of runs, which drastically increased both, the odds of India winning as well as the hopes of the Indians watching.
So it seemed pretty obvious to the masses following the match on both sides of the Indian Ocean that Captain Dhoni and team had this one in the bag.
Unfortunately, the night took a shocking turn that left us Indians swearing at our TV sets, surprise and incredulity etched onto our expressions.
More than anything else, it was the sheer unexpectedness of it that felt like a kick in the stomach; even with my limited knowledge of the game, I’d been so certain that we were going to win, whatever it took. So HOW did we lose?
What I [and about half of the Indian population] am facing, Dear Reader, is something I like to call the Gold Medal Paradox.
In simple terms, it’s when one expects a situation to roll out a certain way just because it has in the past and let me assure you that I [and about half of the Indian population] could not be more wrong.
For example, just because you’ve always won gold medals at karate competitions, doesn’t mean you’ll continue to always win gold medals at karate competitions [hence the name of the phenomenon; the Gold Medal Paradox].
Just because India has won a majority of the previous matches this year doesn’t mean we’ll remain on top for the rest of 2016.
Change is inevitable and nobody can be the best or the worst forever. Remember, Dear Reader, life is a fickle thing and everything we take for granted can change in snap of a finger. All that is in our control is the way we respond to that change; whether we allow it to eat us up or whether we fight back and give it our all at the NEXT karate championships.
So the next time you find your class rank slipping, don’t beat yourself up too much. Just regroup, recover and give it your all at the next pop quiz. You never know; the next A+ paper could be yours! On the other hand, the next time you bag the number one spot on the “athlete of the month” list, don’t get too ahead of yourself. A twisted ankle is all it takes for that title to be snatched away [and that’s a lesson I learned the hard way… Ouch!].