If you think facing bouncers as an opener from a new ball on bouncy pitches is a worrying proposition for Murali Vijay, then think again. He is not someone who will take the easy way out as his self-inflicted rigours that he put himself through in early years suggest. That has made him the sportsman that he is today.
A Teenager Who Shaped His Own Future
At the age of 17, Murali Vijay left home to discover his future, shortly after he failed his Class XII examinations. He assured his folks that he won't take any drastic steps, like taking his life, and that he just needed to find out what it felt like standing on his own legs.
Troubles The Trigger
Once well off, things however had got tighter after his father’s business faced hurdles, with the family consequently drained financially. It was around at this time that a trigger was pulled - his stressed father dropping a remark that he should become a peon should he shun education - that pushed Murali to chart out his own life.
Hotel Stay With Strangers
After he left home, he found himself living in a hotel room in Chennai, where he slept on the floor. That room was shared by a driver and another man, at least on his first night out of the comfort of his own bed at home. That was his abode for the next six months. He even spent some of his nights at a cricket ground.
Overcoming The Obvious Fear
There were times when he did contemplate giving up his experiment and just head back home, not worry about his next source of income and whether he would go hungry! But he persisted, knowing well that he did have the safety net of his parents should it not work out.
Working And Playing To Sustain
During this time, he worked in a snooker parlour and even got involved in what he described as a "chain business", similar to a pyramid scheme, earning commissions. He didn't ignore his cricket in this period though, playing whenever time allowed. The self-proclaimed 'street-smart' man believed in his survival skills that led him to becoming wholly independent.
Education Plays A Part
It wasn’t as if Murali didn’t value education – it’s just that he wasn’t as good as was expected to do. While his sister nearly got full marks, he couldn’t even reach half that score. “I was not a bad student, mind you!” he says. He did eventually pass his exams and joined a reputed college, which also excelled in sports, particularly cricket. This gave him a leg up to where he is today.