Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Rahul Dravid, Thanks For Everything !!

 October 6 , 2013 10:45 PM :
A fast yorker right up in the block hole and Dravid was clean bold. He was tired. He was clueless. He had an unknown sense of satisfaction. Probably, he was sad that he ended his career by a slog shot. Whatever!! Dravid called it a day.

Life isn't a fairytale. You can't expect things to end on a happier note. I, including millions of Dravid's fans, almost had tears in their eyes when 'The Wall' took a long walk to the pavilion for the one last time. The whole stadium gave a standing ovation to the man who redefined Cricket. The game of cricket lost an irreplaceable icon. And Mr. Rahul Dravid was acknowledging the crowd and players for such a warm farewell. I'm not sure whether he was satisfied, unhappy or had mixed emotions with his exit, but surely I felt very bad. Nevertheless it had to happen and here is a tribute to one of the finest cricketer’s the game of cricket has ever seen.

I have loved playing and watching cricket long before that I don’t remember the exact date. During my childhood, I thought cricket is all about slogging. It’s all about hitting boundaries on every ball. It was during this phase I saw Dravid on screen. Probably, it was during 1997, I hated his batting. Surprisingly (for me), my elder cousin and my father used to enjoy his batting. As days passed, i started understanding cricket better and it was time for 1999 world cup. Rahul Dravid caught my attention. He scored in almost every match with ease. Commentators exclaimed him as the next batting sensation. Unfortunately India didn't make it to the finals, but Dravid became the highest run-getter of the tournament.

In spite of his success in test cricket his strike rate made him not so suitable for ODIs. But he alleviated himself and adapted his batting to suit ODIs.With every game, Dravid was getting better. His temperament, technique and talent were drastically increasing.I started liking his batting. He could play every single shot in the book.The shot selection, defense and stroke play was a treat to watch.After coming to know that he was brought up in Karnataka, I had one more reason to fantasize Mr.Consistent.

Rahul Dravid is perhaps the best bet for No.3 position in any format of the game.He is one of the finest artists who has ever played the game. When India needed someone to keep wickets, Mr.Jammy sincerely accepted the offer. It was a great addition to the team's strength; a wicket-keeper batsmen. He learnt the art of wicket-keeping and went on to do a fine job for the team.With his tremendous batting and wicket keeping he helped India win matches. He became the vital part of the team. The amount of joy in watching Dravid successfully chase runs in ODIs, batting days together to win Test matches is far too difficult to explain in words. His penultimate contribution made him to be unanimously chosen as the captain of Indian cricket team after Dada.

He served as the captain for the team. A cool headed Mr.Dependable did a great job in leading the team. Dravid continued in the lines of Dada. If patience, class and selflessness had another name,it would be Dravid.Unfortunately, India couldn't win the 2007 world cup under his captaincy. The contribution of Rahul Dravid as a batsman,fielder ( a slip specialist), wicket keeper and captain is immense. It would take me a separate post to mention his records. So let me not get into that.

His exit from ODI isn't a great thing to mention. He was dropped from the squad during 2009 and later picked for a tournament against England in 2011. Dravid was also offered to play the only T20 in the series. Rahul beared it all and announced retirement from ODI and T20 cricket after this series.Later he retired from Test cricket in 2012.

Meanwhile, Dravid was part of a splendid IPL journey. He showed the world that he isn't confined to a particular form of the game. His contribution to T20 cricket is commendable. He did a fine job in extracting talent from local boys in RCB as well as Rajasthan Royals. In spite of his contribution RCB didn't retain him in the 2nd auction and RR players insulted him by involving in spot fixing.

Without any doubt Dravid is a class apart.There has never a been a bigger and better servant of Indian cricket than the great man Dravid. He has selflessly served Indian cricket for 16 years.If Cricket is a language,Dravid is it's grammar. He has always delivered his part efficiently. Dravid's batting style will be taught in coaching centers, his leadership skills might be a case-study at some international B-School, he certainly will inspire generations of cricketers, sportsmen, strugglers and commoners,like me. After all, Dravid is a Legend.

Dravid called it a day on 16 October,2013. Mr.Dependable didn't get the due respect and limelight. He retires from international cricket without any major trophies. But trophies doesn't make a difference to a true champion.A man without any controversies is hardly found these days, but Dravid stands as an exception.I feel extremely proud to say that I'm a huge fan of Dravid for all he has done for the country and for the game of cricket. I like him not just as a cricketer, but a man of substance. His behavior off-the-field is appreciable. Cricket wont be the same without him. In the arena of international cricket, Dravid will be missed for sure.

Hoping to see Dravid in some new avatar soon. May it be as a commentator or a coach or a selector or an administrator.

Wish you all the best ,'Jammy'.

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Friday, October 4, 2013

A Journey to Remember : Episode 3

Hi! Here is the next episode of the story. To read the previous episode Click Here

The bus conductor shouted, "Hello, jaldi kijiye"

We were still discussing nonsense in the dhaba.

I said to her,"Chalo, we'll get inside the bus and then talk"

She nodded and we were back inside the bus.

Aditi: "I am asking you for the last time, don't you love me??"

Me: "No, Aditi. You are just a good friend of mine"

But I wasn't sure whether I had any feelings for Aditi. I was in a 'confused' state.

Aditi: " Rahul, I have always had feelings for you. But I can't wait more. I have started liking Siddharth. He is a nice guy to be with. I guess, it's right time for me to approach him"

I was stunned. I almost had tears in my eyes,but i managed to look composed.

Me: "Go ahead. Do whatever you feel like doing."

Aditi: "Will you do me a favor?"

Me: "Ohh, come on. Don't be formal."

Aditi:"Promise me."

Me: "Ok. I promise."

Aditi: " Please tell me about Sid's previous relationship. I just want to know everything about it.Who was that girl? What was the reason for their break-up? Why was Sid so sad when he joined our company?"

Sid joined our company a year ago. He had ended his relationship with his girlfriend and was very much depressed.

Me: " Nope. I cant' tell all that. Sorry.."

Aditi: "You just promised me. I won't leave you"

Me: "Wait  for few days, I'll tell you"

Aditi: "No, I want to know that right now"

My cellphone started ringing. I was about to answer the call, but she snatched my phone.

Me: "Aditi, don't act like a kid. I'll tell you what happened. But it's a very long story"

Aditi:"I'm all ears"

I told her what happened a few years ago. I hadn't told these things to anybody in this world. I always avoided from remembering and discussing those events which shook me. 

Me: "Aditi, I was in a relationship in my college.Her name was Shreya. I never told you about her but today I'll. I met her at the fresher's party just because of Sid. Somehow Sid was responsible for this relationship. After fresher's party i was hesitant to talk to her. We used to exchange 'smiles' and 'hi-looks'. After a week, luckily we both were in the same group in Labs. We started having long conversations during the lab hours. 

The day had come to exchange our phone numbers.In lab, she told,"Rahul, I'll be going to my cousin's wedding tomorrow. I won't be able to write the record as i'll return by sunday evening. Just give me your phone number. I'll collect it from you so that I can attend Monday's lab".
Pleasure knew no bounds as I dictated my phone number and she noted it on a piece of paper. She said," I forgot to bring my cellphone. I'll text you later" and kept that paper in her purse.

It was high time for me to show my intelligence. I thought of asking the lab record from a senior in my department so that I can write it in a decent manner.
I called Sid and said, "Hey, I need your 3rd semester Digital Electronics record. Could you please bring that tomorrow". 
He replied,"Bro, what' wrong with you? Writing lab record n all."
I said,"Just like that."
Sid replied,"I'm not sure I still have it. But I'll search and get it for you."

Next day Sid came with a lab record.
I acknowledged him,"Thanks a lot,dude"
He said, "Bro, I couldn't find mine. So I borrowed it from my friend. I'll convey your thanks to her"

I prepared the lab record with great anxiety and at most care. It had to be the best. As it was sunday, I played cricket with my friends till late evening. I was checking my mobile once in a while expecting Shreya's call. We all had dinner and still i didn't get a call from Shreya.
I slept off early in the night.

I got a call from some unknown number. It was already 11.00PM. I was even lazy to say hi, when i heard Shreya's voice," Hey Rahul, it's me Shreya.Sorry for troubling you."

Thanks for your time.Drop a comment and let me know how you felt. See you in the next post.

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