I am done reading Yuvraj Singh’s debut novel, ‘The Test of My Life: From Cricket to Cancer and Back’. I got hold of its copy a bit late. The novel was released on 19 March 2013. But no complaints from my side. The Cricketer has not let his fans and readers down.
When we think of Yuvraj Singh, a party-lover and a spoilt young man’s image pop in our minds. He is a very good lollypop of the Indian media. A regular item on the news. Be it print or broadcast journalism. But Yuvi has proved his point again successfully and bared it all in this book.
This book, as the title suggests, mainly focuses on his fight against Cancer. He humbly acknowledges his friends, relatives, doctors, nurses and fans who proved to be his useful companions throughout his battle against the chemotherapy sessions. To tell the truth, I have just heard or seen Cancer on TV or read about it on newspaper. My grandma was diagnosed with stomach cancer way long back before my birth. So I had no firm ideas about tumors, Cancer, Chemo etc. But the book gives a clear cut picture.
Readers are allowed to have a glimpse of a Cricketer’s young life. Yuvi calls his own father a ‘Sher’, the one who was chiefly instrumental in introducing Cricket to the young prince in his childhood. If Yuvi would have been given his own way, he would have ended up as a tennis player or a skater. Yograj drew up a hell of a hard training schedule for his son. Day in and night, he practiced harder. So much that Yuvi’s mother often warned her husband “you are going to kill my son”. Later comes the exciting part where Yuvi debuts and different matches he goes on playing for the country. No where in his book, he discusses about his previous or future girlfriends/partners. Nothing about Kim Sharma or Deepika Padukone. But yes, he do tells that once he had played a character of a husband in a play at school. The play was titled 'Naukar Biwi Ka'. He fervently hopes that it does'nt happen with him in real life.
Yuvi writes about his diagnosis period. How he kept on delaying the treatment due to his busy schedule. He played Cricket while puking and running temperature every day. He played the world cup and won the Man of the Tournament trophy while a tumor thronged his lungs. Finally his mother and friends put an end to it. His doctors gave their orders when the harsh word of C was explained to him in a clinic. He goes to Indianapolis and goes through the chemo sessions. While reading about his pains and hard life, I was a bit shaken myself. His struggle to win over his greatest opponent is in depth described. There are many heart-wrenching moments but some that brings a swift smile on face. Mr. Prankster continued playing his tricks which left his friends laughing loudly and leaving his room in the hospital with tears in their eyes till the end. Some sportsmanship that was!
When the chemo therapy is finally over, he goes through a fitness training at NCA to recover his old body and mindset. He is overwhelmed by the huge response he gets in India after his recovery from Cancer. He decides to set up his own charity and has named it YOUWECAN.
The book has many pictures at the end. Some shows Yuvi shaving off his head after suffering from hair-loss. Some are clicked while posing with loyal fans who end up outside his hospital after they come to know that he has checked in. There are pictures showing Shabnum Singh, his mother and Yograj Singh, his father in their happier times. Overall the book is worth reading and offers an insight into a not only hard injury-prone life of a Cricketer but also some of the proudest moments of a Cancer survivor.