You can easily mistake him for any other mid-25, average office-going guy. But when he is in his costume and with a bat in his hand, he turns out to be a priest by profession and a cricketer by passion.
Meet Hari Prasad, a priest who performs puja at Sri Mulukantamma Devi Temple, Madiwala in Bengaluru. Hari has an interesting story to share on how he became a priest and a cricketer. He loves doing both, as the job keeps the kitchen fire burning at home and the passion helps him get his adrenaline rushing and satisfy his craze for cricket.
Hari has two elder sisters and his parents had prayed to god that if the next child is a boy, they will make him a priest to serve the Almighty. And Hari’s parents were blessed with twin boys. And both of them are priests now.
And how he turned into a cricket lover? “Well, one day in my childhood, I was just passing by and saw a huge crowd surrounding a TV. I saw India-Pakistan match was going on. People were going berserk seeing the match. Then, I saw Sachin Tendulkar taking a catch of Inzamam-ul-Haq to dismiss him and the crowd erupted in joy. It was then that I got hooked on to cricket,” recollected Hari.
And since then he has been playing cricket as a hobby. He finally got the chance to play cricket in a professional tournament when a group of priests launched Brahmin Premier League in Bengaluru. The league also offers participation from other castes, regions and occupations and people from different walks of life.
So, how Hari finds time to practice for the tournament? “Yes, it is difficult sometimes. But we manage to set aside time. Sometimes, we go straight in dhoti to practice as we have no time to change,” Hari Prasad, who is playing for Vipra Thandava in BPL, said.
Hari said he is happy with his life as a priest, but people are not often open to giving brides to people from his profession. “I’m my own master, not working under anybody. We were born in poor family, but now we are doing well. However, when it comes to giving brides, people prefer those who are in corporate jobs and doing well financially,” he said.
However, he said he will continue his passion for cricket as long as possible. “I will not stop playing cricket for anything, that’s for sure,” he said.