Mindís demons slayed, ex-cricketer Strang heals with yoga, Gita
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He slings back the camera hanging loosely from his right shoulder. He shuts his eyes, takes a deep breath, and gently sways his hand in an up-and-down motion, letting the air out through his mouth. "This is the kriya, the action, to release your ego... divinity lies beyond," he says to the Zimbabwean woman hanging on to his every word as she imitates his actions.
Lesson over, he borrows a cigarette, saying "shukriya" with folded hands. As the woman leaves, she is presented with her new-found teacher's media accreditation card. It says, "Name: Bryan Strang, Designation: Sri Krishna."
Some would say Strang hit rock bottom after his cricket career (56 wickets in 26 Tests and 46 wickets in 49 ODIs for Zimbabwe between 1995 and 2001) ended, but the former left-arm seamer is personally convinced the ups and downs of his life are all part of a roller-coaster process of soul-searching.
For the 38-year-old from Bulawayo, the prison cells, bloody wounds, alcohol-related problems, manic depression, suicidal tendencies and self-inflicted injuries of the recent past have now been replaced by a deep and sincere spirituality.
"I found God and it changed my life," says Strang, as he stubs out the cigarette butt. "I was angry with myself, my country and my life. By the time my career fizzled out, the revolution took ground in Zimbabwe.
"It was a terrible time in our lives. I was a white man who believed in harmony, somebody who wanted to be a monk in the Himalayas before I got fascinated by cricket. But all that changed when our lands were taken away from us. My anger made me rebel against the law," he says, a faraway gloominess in his eyes.
The result was that he kept getting thrown in jail, which only increased his angst. "It was a misplaced sense of judgement," he says. "I believed I should stand up against the law because it wasn't my law. Then the alcohol took control. Nothing in my life made sense, there were broken relationships, and lots and lots of anti-depressant pills. I was put on Valium to be calmed."
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