Friday, 7 February 2014

No dream is ever chased alone

Today was a lovely day. Full on happening. Met so many. Learned so much, laughed my heart out, cracked silly jokes (my speciality!!!)…. But that one thing which made it memorable was the seminar with Sir Vinod. He not only had a superb charm in his way of interaction but also, he shared remarkable memories of his childhood with none other than Rahul Dravid. Yes! Our very own great Rahul Dravid!!! Hailed as -The wall.

Vinod Sir is an influential man in his forties with that power of speech which can clutch yours or say anyone’s attention in a jiffy… you can’t be a lazy head when he is around… His choice of words, use of pauses, amusing sentences makes him crowd attention grabber… whatever it takes to make a good speaker, he has all. He had come to take a boring topic with us which he tied spicing up with stories of relevance (the stories of Dravid were very much relevant) and cricket match updates … and I must say his motive of banishing the listeners from sleeping was quiet successful (with majority of boys in)… one of the tales which he shared was about him and Dravid (Ya! I have started sharing the details J, stick your eyes nowhere)… He had gone school with Rahul. He was two years senior to Rahul. They had played cricket together in the fields of Bangalore. All the players practiced in the morning for cricket time 6:00am (say) and everyone used to come by 5 or 10 or at times 15 min late but not Dravid, he used to land on field 15 min prior to the practice time and used to broom the pitch and picked the pebbles off the field unless few others came for practice to start… such was his allegiance and adherence towards excellence of cricketing.

Telling about another incident he said, “During those days buses took lot of time, we all used to wait at bus stop after practice, next to the stop was basketball court where girls played… we never minded waiting you see (we all laughed!!! But he was acted innocent and continued) … but Rahul would not waste minutes standing for bus you see he preferred practicing until the bus came… ”. Here is one person and here we are always blaming time and situations for not being able to do things we love doing… anyways like this he shared how he was apple of every teacher’s eye, always good in studies and worshipping cricket the same time.

He shared how Dravid is great person as he is extremely humble , during weddings and parties they all meet… there he favours standing in line for meeting the bride and groom in weddings and prefers remaining away from media glare… likes no special treatments , no doubt we all considered him wall for being the last classical batsman, acting cemented that held the foundations firm while the flair players expressed themselves in test matches… but It is unlikely that any other sportsman in India has achieved as much as he has and still conducted himself in such an exemplary manner… only close is our own Sachin Tendulkar.

Every cricket fan would remember that in August 2011, when after receiving a surprise call in the ODI series against England, Dravid declared his retirement from ODIs as well as Twenty20 International (T20I), and in March 2012, he announced his retirement from international and first-class cricket. If one looks back and read his retirement speech one will observe a sheer gratitude , love for cricket and a sense in retiring when he could play more , few fragments of his speech are:

….It has been 16 years since I first played a Test match for India, and I feel it's time for me to move on. Once I was like every other boy in India, with a dream of playing for my country. Yet, I could never have imagined a journey so long and so fulfilling. I have had a wonderful time, but now it is time for a new generation of young players to make their own history and take the Indian cricket team even further….. My approach to cricket has been reasonably simple: it was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity, and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I have done some of that. I have failed at times, but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness but also with pride.
After his early (Don’t we all agree?) retirement he appeared in the 2012 Indian Premier League as captain of the Rajasthan Royals… and bid final goodbye to cricket as an active player. Sachin often compared with Sir Donald Bradman and called God of cricket took retirement and whole country wept but when Dravid retired he was given a no famish goodbyehe was the second-highest run scorer and had taken the highest number of catches in Test cricket at the time of his retirement and world record holder for the highest percentage of runs scored in matches won under a single captain, where the captain has won more than 20 Tests. Once Navjot Singh Sidhu Said,” Dravid is A Player Who Will Walk on Broken Glass If His Team Wants Him To”.

I don’t know why I felt so strong on writing about him and my todays experience when we all know that he has been a genuine guy, a person admired…. May be because I liked the fact that even people close to him feel the same and has seen that Dravid which we saw swinging bat in air for his team and staying grounded, marrying the girl of her mother’s choice and always living with dignity on field, off field and in front of media… It is often difficult to maintain the same type of behavior everywhere until that is your true nature… He is indeed one of the best batsmen for the Indian cricket team ever had , The Nice Guy Who Finished First as is even the title of his biography written by Devendra Prabhudesai.

It was a lovely day, indeed !!!

P.S. – No dream is ever chased alone. The title of the post are words of Dravid himself. Couldn’t be any better heading if one is talking about him.
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