Life lessons from KKR's IPL 2021 campaign: Eerie silence to streets brimming with joy

Rahul Tripathi emerged the hero for KKR in the IPL 2021 Qualifier 2
Rahul Tripathi emerged the hero for KKR in the IPL 2021 Qualifier 2

On Wednesday evening, 123-1 had become 130-7 and all of a sudden, the Bidhan Sarani-Vivekananda Road neighbourhood in North Kolkata, a hub of many traditional pujas, seemed eerily silent. Till a few minutes before that, I could hear overlapping music blaring from each pandal with people braving the thunder and lightening to go pandal hopping.

As the Delhi Capitals were scripting a miraculous fightback, there was a strange stillness to the night. Arrive Rahul Tripathi. He has been an unsung hero for the Kolkata Knight Riders this season, and with Sunil Narine holing out in the deep, Tripathi was back on strike against Ravi Ashwin, who was on a hat-trick. Ashwin bowled the carrom ball and Tripathi just stayed back to lift it over the bowler's head for a match-winning six.

Three different things happened within seconds of the shot being played. Conch shells pierced the still air and it was as if the three pujas surrounding my house had all of a sudden come alive. Second, the music had started to play again and the tea stall owner next door had opened his shop at midnight, hoping to serve the pandal hoppers. Third, the city had turned scenic with lights from each of the pandals making the night sky that much more colourful. It was, after all, a radiant Ashtami night.

Belief, the perfect addition to KKR's IPL 2021 campaign

Rahul Tripathi's six sealed the deal for KKR against DC
Rahul Tripathi's six sealed the deal for KKR against DC

The KKR campaign in IPL 2021 has many life lessons to it. First, it is a lesson in how it's never say never in life. Just like the second covid wave, KKR’s campaign was all doom and gloom in April and May. But come September, they are a different team with a very different mindset. Things do get better after all.

Second, it is about self belief and how it rubs off on the people surrounding you. The introduction of Venkatesh Iyer has made Shubman Gill and Tripathi very different players with far less pressure on them. Finally, even without Russell, KKR never lacked the self belief associated with champion teams. It is the perfect life lesson for us all as we try to come out of the pandemic.

While we need to be vigilant, we also need to push ourselves to get our lives back. And despite all the negativity around, none of us can ever give up. The journey isn’t over yet for KKR. So also for each one of us. Chennai is still there standing tall. Covid too isn’t all gone. But we can surely see a light at the end of the tunnel.

We now know that things do change and that’s the only constant the world needs at this point. KKR has made our pujas in Bengal that much better and in doing so, has given each one of us a new lifeline.

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Edited by Prasen Moudgal
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