Kolkatan Entrepreneurs hit the ball!

So I’ve spent two hours thinking, “How do I begin explaining today’s Startup Saturday Cricket match experience?” There are several moments which could define the beginning – when someone randomly proposed the cricket match as an event in addition to our regular meets, when we received a positive response when we announced the event at the July Edition of Startup Saturday, when we relentlessly tried to arrange for the equipment for the event (bats and wickets are the last thing you find in your storage now after the advent of Ipads, Xbox and video games) or even when some, if not most, of us woke up to a drizzling early morning to reach the field.

In each of these probable beginnings, there exists a spirit of enthusiasm and excitement. I mean it takes true courage to wake up on an early Sunday morning, with threatening dark clouds looming in the sky, for a cricket match!

Four such sleepy heads reach the field nearly an hour late from the scheduled time to find heavy rains watering the uneven grassy field. After driving across the city to finally reach our destination, we wondered “is anyone else coming or are we the only one!” The continuous rain made us ask ourselves, how we can make the best of the situation. Innovative as we were, we discovered potential breakfast joints in the vicinity, played a short match of cricket under the shade encompassing an area of not more than 100 sq. ft. and by the time we exhausted our options, Lo! The rain stopped! And that was not all, more compatriots came in from all directions – the match was on!

Our idea of an ideal pitch was a penetrable ground for setting wickets, an even surface for (intended) spin and a hard ground for proper grip. However, what we had in front of us was a stoned jagged surface topped with high growth grass with several muddy puddles. Nonetheless, our good old gully cricket experience provided us simple solutions. The wickets were laid using brick pieces and we defined our boundaries in such a way to include most of the even space available to us.

Doubling the people count from the initial presence of four, eight players comprised two teams of four people each. Rules were simple (and adaptive as play progressed) – four batsmen, four bowlers, four overs per match. For some were playing after as long as 7 years, they became aware of their nonexistent muscles and further aware of their existent accumulated adipose tissues. Fit or unfit – the joy of the game was at its peak for all.

Despite the intervening drizzles and mild-heavy showers, the energetic bliss of each appeal and the argument which came with it and each stroke engaged everyone so intensely that external forces mattered very little. Wickets were uprooted, balls were blasted, bats were wildly swung, vigorous appeals were made, arguments on cricket rules were contended, chests were thumped, disappointments on absurd shots were expressed, collective efforts to find the ball occasionally lost in the dense grass were made and yes, plenty of pictures were taken.

The four match series left us gasping for air and water. The clouds cleared the sky and the sun shone yet again. Permeate with satisfaction from the entire experience, we hoped that we make such events regular as they offer a change from our mundane schedules, a means of physical exercise and most importantly, to bring in positive energy.

Recollecting the experience today, I cannot but help to correlate with an entrepreneur’s journey when he/she starts up. Just as the dark clouds at the beginning of the day, several doubts and uncertainties loom over the objective even before he decides to step in the field. Albeit the entrepreneur musters up the courage to start and enter the field, he faces showers of obstacles and hardships as he moves forward. However, with a positive mindset and strategic use of available resources, he can indeed swerve through these complications. Overtime, as additional resources chip in, teamwork comes into play; with varied minds on the job, different yet simple solutions are formulated to the most intricate of problems. Just like a snowball rolling down a mountain gathers more snow and increases in size, so does the growth of the firm enhance once it gathers momentum. Such growth offers, to all associated with the venture, the feeling of divine success, the satisfaction of which is unmatched to the visionary, the HeadStarter!

Mohit Baid is a volunteer at Startup Saturday Kolkata since June, 2012.

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