Sunday, March 11, 2012

The last gentleman of the game

This has to be one of the most overwhelming day in the past twelve years of me following Indian cricket. Rahul Dravid has finally called it a day putting his test cap to rest and the time has come to bid farewell to the man who taught me what it takes to be a sportsman.
Rahul Dravid made his test debut before I started following cricket. I must have missed the first four years of his career by the time I got into cricket. I can't seem to remember why I chose to follow Dravid. One of the only reason that makes sense is that I didn't want to follow Ganguly who had already gained much popularity and was my elder brother's favourite. Silly does it sound but I am thankful to it. 
I remember well how the nickname 'The Wall' used to be bent backwards to make fun of him. 'The Wall' who shielded the Indian innings from its downfall often was also ridiculed for his lack of scoring quick runs. These taunts had always been with me as a Dravid fan, but soon I grew thick-skinned to it. Because Dravid was never about letting the ball fly out of the stadium, he was all about the grit to stay in the middle and make pedestals out of crumbled pitch. But, I am not here to talk much about his cricketing side. I am sure pundits have flipped his long career pages many times. I want to talk about the Rahul Dravid who helped me be what I am today. No, he didn't teach me his elegant square drive but he gave me his battling guts to go the distance. 
In the year 2004, Dravid's biography, written by Vedam Jaishankar was published and I had picked one copy of it from Patna book fair. Through this book, I got to know about the Dravid who studied in bus to make time for his cricket practice, skipped parties to work for his commerce exams and practiced his shots relentlessly like air guitar even when waiting on the airport. It inspired me to pull out my lab books in a jam-packed auto to study when traveling back from school. I couldn't do it for long but I tried to. 
I know I am going to miss those grueling test match sessions with Dravid taking the flak on a menacing pitch. But, I will walk with the legend thanking him for keeping the sportsmanship alive on and off the pitch. 


  1. I knew you were an admirer of Dravid but now i can co relate your so serious demeanour...your studying on auto...not joining us to watch 'What's your Rashi'...Grit and dauntlessness call for falling into the footsteps of the one you look up to as an inspiration....good!

  2. Fabulous piece.. Very heart felt and sincere.