During my time growing up back home in Chennai there was one routine that was done every year. Once school closed for the summer break, my mom with my sister and I would make the trip across to Kerala for a month’s stay at my mom’s ancestral home. My grandparents lived there along with one of my aunt and uncle. As the youngest grand child I knew that pretty much most of my whims & fancies would be catered for there, my grandmother used to ensure it. It’s that unmistakable bond between grandparents and grandkids, and one that I see now between my parents and my niece & nephew.
One summer it was thanks to my grandmother’s insistence that my uncle ensured I was able to watch an ODI game from Sharjah, grainy footage and all in one of DoorDarshan’s channels.
So when I got a phone call from my mom during the summer of 2001 when I was doing my masters in Germany informing me of my grandmother’s passing away, I was heartbroken. When I had left India in Nov’2000 I had made a promise to my grandmother that I would see her next December and now that promise would forever remain unfulfilled. The summer of 2001 – that was the last time I had to deal with a loss that affected me personally.
Until I woke up this morning and saw the words – RIP Phillip Hughes.
It’s heartbreaking and immensely hard to write this down. A life so young taken away so cruelly. I am still struggling to come to terms with the news I woke up to this morning. A life taken away just shy of his 26’th birthday.
I really shouldn’t have stayed at my desk post lunch today. In the morning work ensured my concentration was focussed on it. However once I got to read a couple of tribute pieces I almost lost it at work. It took some effort to regain my composure but I knew then and there that the rest of the working day would be hard to get through. I somehow managed to keep my composure for the remaining few hours and the drive back home was thankfully incident free.
Cricket grounds and cricketers have always been seen as avenues to experience exhilarating highs and lows but not bring the very harsh reality of life and death. It’s all changed after today.
A journey cut short abruptly in the midst of doing something he always wanted to do since childhood. Numb, shocked and while life must move on, the cricketing world is poorer with the loss of Phillip Hughes.