Hardships are an inevitable part of our lives and how we deal with them in the long run really defines us. When young Yashaswi Jaiswal had to climb mountains of struggle to fulfil his dream he didn’t flinch nor did he falter. His unwavering spirit is an inspiration for us all.
Jaiswal was 11 when he moved from Uttar Pradesh to Mumbai to follow his passion for cricket. His father, a shopkeeper in Bhadohi, allowed his youngest son to make the big move as it was hard for him to feed the family.
In Mumbai, Jaiswal’s uncle couldn’t let him stay with him as the house wasn’t big enough for an extra occupant. To find a roof over his head, the young lad started working in a dairy shop. But he was kicked out for there soon after.
Meanwhile, his uncle was the manager of Muslim United Club and upon his request, Jaiswal was allowed to live in the tent. “This was after I was asked to leave the dairy at Kalbadevi. After playing cricket the entire day, I would get tired and go to sleep. One day, they threw out my luggage saying I do nothing, don’t help them and only sleep,” he said to Indian Express.
The tent became his home but his family back in Bhadohi were kept in the dark about his hardships. He sold paani-puri during Ram Leela at Azad Maiden to earn money but there were times when he had to sleep empty stomach. “During Ram Leela, I earned well. I prayed that my teammates would not come there for paani-puri. Sometimes they did and I would feel bad serving them,” he said as reported by The Better India.
“I always used to see boys my age bringing food or their parents had big lunches with them. As for me, it was — khana khud banao, khud khao. (make your own food, eat alone). No breakfast. Catch hold of anyone around and request them to buy breakfast,” he further added.
It was local coach Jwala Singh who gave the boy the training he needed. “He must have been around 12 years and I saw him facing an ‘A’ division bowler with ease. I could relate to him. When I also came to Mumbai from UP, I didn’t have a house to stay in. No godfather, no guide. He is gifted. He has 49 centuries in the last five years,” said the coach.
17 years old now, Jaiswal’s struggles have borne fruit as he found his rightful place in the Mumbai Under-19 team. He is a middle-order batsman now and is all set to join the India under-19 team for the Sri Lankan tour.
The team’s coach, Satish Samant believes that he will be the next big player from the team. “He has this ability to read a bowlers mind and adapt to a situation. Most under-19 players get tempted to play too many shots too early. He does not. The other thing is, he does not have a smartphone, is not on WhatsApp. This is rare for a teenage cricketer these days. He is cut off from social media. He has talent and if he keeps focus like this, he will be next big from Mumbai player,” he said.
When asked about the difficulties in cricket, Jaiswal replied, “You are talking about mental pressure in cricket? I have faced it daily in my life for years. Those have made me strong. Scoring runs are not important. I know I will score and take wickets. For me, whether I get the next meal or not, that’s important.”