Hashim Amla Goes Zen

I loved his post-match quotes, highlighted on Cricinfo:

“I have learnt, after passing that stage of thirst and mental fatigue, that the limits we put on the body and mind can, and at times must, be challenged,” Amla had once said while talking on the gains he derives from fasting in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“Our emotions when myself and Morne were out there were enjoying it more than anything,” Amla said. “I took a lot of confidence from Morne and Parnell who told (me) they were more comfortable at certain ends so that made my job easier to farm the strike. It just was a lovely experience.”

Amla’s talking about cricket as if it’s a meditative session, a wonderful analogy to behold in the modern, fast-paced world. Perhaps it’s easy to mock — yoga, anyone? — but not if you witnessed his resolute calmness.

His innings also put me in mind of Albert Camus’ famous essay, The Myth of Sisyphus, a Greek tragic figure compelled to roll a rock up a hill for eternity. Camus sees him as a metaphor for human existence — we struggle for meaning without end — but still sees reason for happiness:

I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain! One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night filled mountain, in itself forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

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