An evening that touched hearts

An evening that touched hearts

For some, life is interspersed with plenty of happy memories with a few sad ones. For some, failures in their chosen field become piercing memories.

Cricketer Ashwath Aiyappa, belonging to the second group, breathed his last tragically in 2014 just when spirituality was slowly starting to heal the wounds caused by great ambition and resultant failures.

A talented cricketer who struggled to rise through the ultra-competitive ranks, Aiyappa’s short journey of life was remembered on an emotion-soaked evening at the KSCA on Thursday evening where his book -- titled ‘When Gold Bowls A Googly’ -- was launched by his parents Anitha and Raghu.

Like millions of young kids who aspire to become big when they hold the bat, Aiyappa too dreamt huge when he played his first cricket game in primary school at Lawrence School, Lovedale, Ooty. After 10th standard, he moved base to Bengaluru, enrolling himself into Irfan Sait’s KIOC before travelling to Mumbai years later to slug it out in the gruelling world of cricket.

While all those hard yards earned him praise and pats on the back from a few coaches and players, Aiyappa could not catch the eye of the selectors as he repeatedly missed the bus owing to a combination of factors. By the time he realised he hadn’t achieved his dreams, a lot had been lost, forcing him to pen his thoughts on how to cope with failures, with spirituality as the healer.

“Most books capture successful stories but very few capture the journey of failure,” Aiyappa had recorded in what was supposed to be an audition before the actually launch sometime last May. The recording, which was discovered by his parents later, was played out during the launch function.

“My book captures the other side of the story that has not been told often. I realised I couldn’t achieve the goals -- as a cricketer -- that I had set out as a young kid. I consider myself as a failure. The book speaks about spiritual intelligence. I’m not asking you to accept my ideology, but don’t reject it downrightly,” he had said.

Sadly, Aiyappa could not live to tell the tale after having penned it down with great emotion. While trying to save his elder brother Dr Akhil Kutappa from drowning in the Chiklihole river, Aiyappa too got sucked in, leaving his parents devastated.

“Ashwath was a very ambitious person who never gave up,” said Sait, with tears rolling down his eyes. “He left to Coorg because he wanted to cast his vote. He believed that his vote counted a lot. I’m not sure if his vote made a difference, but his passing away has made a big difference to me. His death has left a big void in my life.”

The function, attended by the Karnataka Ranji Trophy team and his spiritual guru Sri M among others, recalled the siblings’ lives that brought a tear to almost everyone’s eyes. The book, priced at Rs 250, is available across many bookstores and online portals.

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