Growing up as a kid in Dubai, I had quite a few idols. Till about the age of 15 – I looked at Jim Carrey, Rahul Dravid, Lance Klusener, Michael Schumacher, Ian Thorpe and Sergio Garcia as supposed idols. Arnold Schwarzenegger did definitely have his moments as well. I then grew up as a misguided boy who got into the things that I didn’t have to and well, it affected my education and put a stress on my parents marriage as well. I’d have to say that till then, I was quite the student – a pain in the butt, however, I procured the lofty results my folks required of me.
It did hurt me when I had to choose my university – not having the requisite marks required and only being a basketball player at the time, I was lucky to get a few universities in hand, but because of my nature, my parents didn’t trust me and got me into a university that was close to home. I fell in love in college and married a girl who was a polar opposite of me. She was excellent at academics, was focused, ambitious and I guess, I married her not only because I loved her but because I was in awe of what she had achieved and was yet to achieve in her life. By then I got out of university, worked a few odd jobs till I landed a job that was perfect. I started to play darts at a decent enough level to get me onto the Indian World Cup squad. I lost my mother. Then I quit my dream job to become a professional darter in India of all places. I’ve worn thin my bonds with family, extended family, my wife and my friends.
It has now been more than 5 years since I quite my job and came to India. I’ve trusted the wrong people and gotten hit quite a few times. I live day to day not because I want to but because of the choices I’ve made so far. Looking back now – I have not been able to maintain my marriage nor my ties with family. I have not had a successful career nor does it look like I will. My role models from when I was 15 were people who I still cannot comprehend even trying to follow. Jim Carrey is an actor most famous for “The Mask”, a stand up extraordinaire and one of Hollywood’s greatest comedians – I’ve never acted in my whole life, neither am I funny, trust me on that. Rahul Dravid and Lance Klusener were cricketers and I’ve honestly only played cricket with friends at max. Michael Schumacher is the greatest Formula 1 driver ever – I’ve not even gotten a drivers license. Ian Thorpe was an Olympic swimmer who led the Australian team to various golds till Michael Phelps came along and shattered the record books. Yes, I guess I can swim well. Sergio Garcia is a pro golfer and weirdly, the only time I’ve held a golf club in my hand was at a sports store. I saw the price of the club and I put it back. Arnold Schwarzenegger was well – I guess a mistake – one look at me and you wouldn’t require a second to know that he didn’t have any effect on my life.
I guess the only thing I’ve done so far in my life is take a long time to become an above average darts player. I’ve been in the game for 20+ years. That’s a long time. I see many young players and people talking about how they want to be like me, calling me a role model. It irks me and sickens me that people think like that. It’s just because they don’t know me.
I drink alcohol, I smoke, I don’t eat healthy neither do I exercise. I sleep at late hours and get up late too. I have made the worst decisions possible and haven’t had a professional life. I have mostly lost all touch with my family, my wife and the best of friends that I had from before my decision to take up darts as a career. I have been a failure as a son, husband, brother and person. And no matter what I do now – I don’t think I can patch these wounds back up. The only good thing so far is that my darts is getting better because it’s maybe the only thing I have left and I’ll keep going forth in it even if it means that I lose everything.
I am not a Role Model. Deal with it. Coz I’m not trying to be one either.