The Test of My Life by Yuvraj Singh was the last book read or rather heard by my Uncle who was diagnosed with Fourth stage of Liver Cancer. I read the book to him. He was almost at the last stage of his life. And was suffering from the after-effects of chemo. He survived nine months after the chemo. The book has a real positive affect on his behavior. He started living for small happiness and tried hard to bring smile on other’s face. This became his goal for rest of the remaining months.
Well this is how I read the book The Test Of My Life. And was surprised how well it has been written just like Yuvi’s clean sixes. I never found Yuvi to be very articulate when giving interviews or match presentation and always eat words in his mouth. But many people are very good expressing themselves with pen and paper. Yuvi seems to be one of them.
Writing books has now become a medium for celebrities to put forward their side of the story in front of common people. Yuvraj Singh has been no exception. Through this book Yuvraj grab the opportunity to thank every single person who had helped him in his difficult time fighting the deadly disease and also didn’t miss the chance to lash those who tried to grind their own axe.
Early detection is key to the cure of cancer. Yuvraj Singh remained in the denial phase for almost a year. He kept ignoring the symptoms his body was showing. Something which we all do. But Yuvraj survived as he is an athlete and trains his body well and eats well which became the main reason why his cancer did not went beyond the stage of cure.
The book is more of the memoir than an autobiography. It covers the period from the time his first symptom appeared till his return to the cricket once again. He tells about his cricketing life when the cancer symptoms appeared yet he choose to ignore it as there was something more important playing in his mind that was World Cup which was around the corner. He kept coughing and vomiting through out that period.
Reading the book made me think how players overlook their fitness in order to be the part of the team. For them clearing the test for selection is important than anything else or say playing for the country. Just want to be gentle as sports person really goes through a lot, sacrifices a lot, sometimes plays in utmost pain, something which is not seen when they play, something which media doesn’t cover. Yuvraj Singh took the opportunity to pen all those things. Seriously now even I feel media and we as fans tend to be slightly harsh on them but we also worship them as heroes.
Yuvraj writing style is unique or may be it has been planned to be written in that manner. He used to mention one important event in the book and then goes into a flash back mode describing all the circumstances and trail of sequences which led to that event. The entire book has been written in this pattern.
The way he starts with describing weather to his personal condition both physical and emotional does not makes me feel even once that I’m reading a book written by a first time writer. He had penned everything so well. I was reduced to tears while reading effects of chemo on his body which were quite similar to that of my Uncle’s. Or rather more severe in my Uncle’s case.
May be my Uncle died of Cancer but he never gave death the satisfaction of victory as he died fighting, he died with a smile on his face. and left never to give up message for everyone in the family. Very similar to Yuvi. Yuvraj fought and comeback, just like natwest series 2002 final where winning chances were dim but Yuvi and Mh Kaif fought gallantly to win the series with flying colors.
There is also an insight about Yuvraj Singh childhood and his family life which was also good to read. I have read a few sportsperson autobiography and something common among all of them is that they are very active physically, full of energy, not afraid of getting themselves hurt, high capacity of absorbing pain and of course love for sport.
The Verdict: After reading the book I felt that there are many people who has survived cancer just like Yuvraj. They should also come up with their part of the story which could help others to detect cancer early and fight with the disease. The book is a must read.