Passion. It’s a lot rarer than we might think. Most often its mistaken for Drive, of that there is plenty. The professional who puts in 90 hour weeks, the sportsman who trains for the better part of each day, they’re all driven. Passion is so much purer. The pursuit of an activity or an endeavour, not because of what it leads to, but for the sake of the pursuit itself. The means is the end, in fact, there is no end. We come across it all too fleetingly in our daily lives. At the time I write this, I’m having a hard time thinking of any everyday examples from my personal encounters that can be categorized as passion. And it was one such clear example that got me started on this post.
L Rama Krishna (RK to us) had it. He one of those I made acquaintance with at ISB. I first met him during one of the dinky little indoor cricket matches played with a tennis ball and a couple of bats that had seen better days and also during ’07 application-review sessions. A rake thin structure, a bushy moustache, any guesses on his age would fall in the 40 – 50 bracket. It was his enthusiasm that you noticed, be it when he batted, bowled or even more when he fielded.
It was later, on seeing his email addressed to the student group id, inviting those interested in playing for the ISB cricket team, I realized, his interest in the sport was combined with significant talent and experience at the club level. As is my wont, I set aside brightly burning assignment submission deadlines, trooped off to tear around a mostly grassy field, lobbing a 165 gm leather sphere, waving a block of wood and called it therapy. My cricketing endeavours are all well-documented on this blog, a little too well-documented for some. We played half a dozen games against teams from various companies, lost all except one. But, dang, did we have fun. The game we won was our last at ISB.
Placements rolled by, term 8 parties did too, the next ISB batch moved in. Over 8 months after graduation, RK sent an email talking about his new role on the office of admissions and financial aid. I congratulated him and asked him how the cricket was going, for good measure adding in brackets “(was part of the 06 cricket team)”. His response was a good 1-page long, talking about how good the current team was and how they’d won 3 out of 4 games that season.
What will always stay with me is his chiding opening to his response “How can you think that I’ll forget you? A cricketer doesn’t forget his teammates.” As if to prove his point, he went on to recount, in commentator-detail, a couple of shots I’d played in one of our games.
RK passed away on August 13th 2008. Rest in peace buddy. Here’s to always being teammates.