After Championship glory last summer, Essex should now focus on white-ball cricket

The battle lines have been drawn and the stage is set for the English cricketing summer to begin. Last year, Essex turned things remarkably to lift the county championship after 25 years. What worked well for them was a fresh and exciting breed of homegrown cricketers including the likes of Jamie Porter, Dan Lawrence, and Nick Browne. Jamie Porter topped the list of wicket-takers by picking up 75 Championship wickets in  13 matches at an impressive average of 17.

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Love in the times of insecurity…

Today, allow me to talk about love. Love isn’t the easiest thing to do.  A lot has already been written about love.  Playwrights such as Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet)  Garcia Lorca (Blood Wedding) have written volumes about love. It is perhaps one of the most abused words in the Oxford English dictionary. If pop culture is taken into consideration, then every second film we get to see has an element of romanticism. But I am not trying to describe the way in which the entire concept of romance is portrayed on the big screen, and neither do I want to describe the kind of love that inspires renowned lyricists such as Gulzar sahib and Irshad Kamil to write heart-warming lyrics.

As a guy with a thin and lean built, I would like to write about a 24-year-old guy who struggles with insecurity and physical disability, a guy who has never had the privilege of dating a girl. Let me tell you what happens when a moron like me falls in love.

For the most part of my life (well, I am just 24), I was an introvert (I still am), but when love finally happened, I tried all that I could to live up to the expectation. I tried to materialize a date, but that didn’t work out. We tried reading a good book, containing romantic quotes and saying, but that didn’t work out either as she liked Instagraming and Whatsapping more than anything else. I tried cooking (well, boys do cook). I cooked an omelette, but eventually gave up the idea because she didn’t like it at all. Shortly after the break-up, I realized our excessive and rather unnecessary involvement in each other’s lives and careers had led to emotional attachment. The consequences were bound to be catastrophic.

I tried playing the typical Indian romantic hero, but I was scared. I wasn’t worried about her leaving me. I feared that my physical disability would make me unlovable. I was anxious. I was worried that she was tolerating me out of obligation. So, I started hiding behind work and online shows.

I must admit I am shy. I am shy of eating in front of too many people, quite unlike the guys who can eat without getting nervous. I am an introvert. I prefer sitting at home instead of going out and drinking beer with friends. I hate traveling long distances simply because I know I’d get tired pretty soon.

I would love to go out on an adventure with a lovely young lady if ever I get a chance. I would love to go out on a dinner date, and would love to eat sitting right in front of a lovely young woman if ever I get an opportunity. But somewhere at the back of my mind, I know that I am a lonely, boring, and an emotionally fragile guy. Every single day, I have to deal with an enormous amount of regret and guilt for not being able to deal with people. Many of you might think I am pessimistic, but I strongly feel that I am a bumper package full of sadness and boredom. I am not saying this because I am pessimistic, but because of my previous encounters with women (or girls), which, in all fairness, have been disastrous.

I have been in love and I know it is not tailor-made for a loner like me. To be honest, I think I have reached a stage where I wholeheartedly accepted my disability for I know I’d be consumed by my disability one day, but till that happens, I’d happily live with it.

Falling in love with me is difficult. My mood swings like a pendulum and I can’t help it. I find it quite hard to believe that I can be at the receiving end. But despite despondence, I try to get a bit closer to it. I’d like to be prepared for it when it comes looking for me.