Gurgaon: When Yuvraj Singh posed for the shutterbugs clenching his fists, with the black shades, the clean-shaven look resembled a champion boxer just before his heavyweight bout, but dig a little deeper and one could gauge what a roller coaster ride it has been for him in the past few months.
It wasn`t about cricket anymore, it was his "Journey back to Life" as Lance Armstrong would tell you.
"My thoughts have changed. I became popular because of the game, had fame and money and everything in life. Now, it`s the presence of my family and friends that`s the most important thing. Money is important but more important is happiness and staying healthy," Yuvraj said in a pragmatic tone, answering to a query whether his philosophy of life has changed.
The battle against cancer has taught him that there is more to life than scoring runs.
"Earlier, I would think about scoring runs, taking catches, would bother about what you guys would write. Now when I would make a comeback, all these things won`t matter. I would play with less stress," he said.
Someone asked if he would ask God why he was in the current situation, the answer came in a flash, "Did I ask God why he chose me to be the Player of the Tournament (of the World Cup)? Then...."
Lance Armstrong`s book "It`s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life" has been a bestselling motivational book and Yuvraj has started penning down his own thoughts too.
"I will certainly write a book. I have been writing and penning down my thoughts. My book will certainly come out one day and will help motivate people and make them think positively."
But his stay at the medical centre in Indianapolis also broadened his horizon about people who are affected by cancer and who fight it out.
"There used to be a lady who put flowers near my bed. Then I learnt that she had pancreatic cancer. But she was such a chirpy lady, full of life. Unlike me, she had hair. She would tell me that she has gone to Oakleys outlet. Then there was a gentleman whose wife has been taking chemotherapy sessions for the past 10 years. Americans are mentally very strong people. It`s amazing that they are so positive," said Yuvraj.
He thanked the Indian students who came to meet him in large numbers in the US with the national flag.
"It felt that I was in my own country. Someone waved the national flag and I felt that I was back playing World Cup final at the Wankhede."
First Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 18:21