Tuesday, 13 March 2012 18:31
Contributed by James Roy
There’s an old adage which says, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ I never quite understood what this meant, because for me, one would only wish for something one wanted. So while I joined the chorus demanding Dravid’s retirement, why is sadness the most potent emotion I feel right now? I don’t think it’s because I’m writing this piece for free. There’s a reason why the Indian team has a tough time giving seniors the boot, if I may be so crude to call it that. It’s because we share an emotional bond with them far beyond the understanding of some other teams. Jammy’s retirement is exactly what Indian cricket needs right now, but the heart wants him to stay on.
My account, is based on what I have seen on telly, read in the papers, and heard from a few of his millions of adoring fans. Interspersing this piece with sad jokes is the only way I can keep myself from tearing up. Forgive the really bad attempts at humor, if any.
Rahul ‘The Wall’ Dravid. A man who loved Indian cricket so much that he gave his all for it. More often than not, made to do what he did not like doing, Dravid was ever the symbol of dignity and team spirit. He seemed like a man who was proud to represent his country, but not arrogant about it. One of the best in the game, but never felt above it. A perfect balance of Yin and Yang. A perfect gentleman. It could be due to my limited vocabulary, but words fail to describe a man who toiled so much to fulfill the hopes of an entire nation. Fame and fortune worth much more than what he eventually got had been stashed away in the coffers of destiny when he burst onto the international stage in England. No one, save God could stop that from happening. Alas! God was present in the form of SRT. Dravid’s greatness was sometimes shrouded by the magic of SRT. Tenacity, however, was one of his greatest traits, which he showed by redefining himself in One-Day cricket. Unflustered by what surrounded him, he went on and did what he does best. Played cricket. Never one to be bothered by the lack of recognition, Dravid went on to build a career that has earned him, not just respect and adulation, but a special place in the hearts of every cricket lover. In the Indian team, he was akin to the nerd in college who was bullied to do people’s homework. Except he wasn’t bullied, just asked. Being the ever so nice guy that he is, he never declined. But like the bully who enters the real world for the first time, the Indian cricket team asks itself the same question... S***, who now? Though the Indian domestic circuit has thrown up some exciting no. 3s, just like Rahul himself did, it is going to take a while before someone becomes another Wall. It could be a while before someone plays that elusive back foot square cut off a leg spinner that takes us to a test victory in Australia, partly because it could be a while before Australia finds a decent leg spinner. In a time of flamboyance and extravagance, Dravid showed that dogged determination can never go out of style.
Erudite and well-spoken, Rahul Dravid delivered a speech at the Bradman oration on some of the pressing issues in the world of cricket. A disciple come to deliver a message, he was heard by everyone. The words he spoke were not inane mutterings, but syllables that heralded the truth to all and sundry. This spiel wasn’t the kind where people fell asleep, but where slumbering people sat up and paid heed. Like the majestic cover drive he played so often, the oration exemplified his technical correctness. A final feather in a hat he wore humbly.
The screen blurs in front of me as I write this final paragraph dedicated to a man even an Alzheimer’s patient will never forget.
O giver of hope, we bid thee adieu,
Best wishes, for an innings anew.
A nation weeps, as a hero resigns,
Still a beacon, that always shines.
Rahul, Jammy, Dravid, The Wall;
Au revoir! From all.
Many will argue about the perfect timing for Dravid’s retirement. For me, there can never be a perfect moment for something that wrings the heart so much, depriving it of its zest. Before this, if it already hasn’t, turns into an obituary, Rahul Dravid…..Farewell and God Speed old chap!!!
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 February 2013 18:31
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