For a man used to “living out of a suitcase”, former India spinner Kartik Murali has “adapted” to a life indoors. The cricketer has lost little time in accepting the situation and also strictly adhering to lockdown rules.
“This is something that has never happened in our life. Can we fret or fume about it? Do we have control over it? From day one I never panicked. It was acceptance of the extraordinary circumstances.
“Focus was on ways to curb it now that the outbreak has happened. I have always been an outdoors person — golf, cricket, travelling — but not anymore.
“For the sake of the world, I have to stay indoors. I may miss my golf, but that is the smallest thing in the larger scheme of my responsibilities to the planet,” he says.
“It is a luxury to be at home, remember the homeless stranded all over the country. There will be issues to sort out in future, but now the challenge is to protect yourself and others. It pains all of us to see so many people struggling.
“I am shocked to see people venturing out for walks as if these are normal times. If you want to walk, walk inside your house. There is a compelling reason why the authorities want us to say at home. You can read, connect with friends, family and yourself. You can do what you could not for so many years,” Kartik said in a chat with The Hindu.
He spoke of his “respect” for people working to keep others safe. “My heart goes out to the health workers. To the doctors. To all the people providing essential things risking their own safety. I pray for them daily.
“I firmly believe that prayers and faith can move mountains,” said Kartik, who has made arrangements for the families of the domestic helps employed by him.
Time spent in isolation while attending to injuries in the past now helps him cope with the lockdown.
“I have had several injuries that kept me in isolation. When I had my knee and shoulder operated on I could not move out. I once got hit in Pakistan and I have had jaw-bone surgery.
“Once I was in bed for two months. The back injury kept me out of the 2001 ‘V.V.S. Laxman-Harbhajan Singh’ series (against Australia). All those occasions were spent at home,” he said.
Things to do
A voracious reader — like Sunil Gavaskar, W.V. Raman and Deep Dasgupta — Kartik has a few books to finish.
“I am currently reading The Lone Empress on the life of Jayalalithaa [former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister]. Next will be Half-Lion on P.V. Narasimha Rao [former Prime Minister]. I also have a list of movies to watch. We can all find ways to be busy. Stay at home, please.”