Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Operation Pendulum

Quite often I have faced this question, about me being calm, patient and me facing almost every situation with a wide smile. Today, am on my way to reveal that secret of mine, also a little tribute on my part to the man to whom I owe this quality. A man admired and idolised by a huge part of the world for some other quality he acquires, I opted his patience to be admired (I do admire his most known quality too and believe I can remotely be an ounce of what he acquires).

It was not very long ago, I was very young then. There was arrogance in all I do, and there was impatience and impertinence. I remember that day very clearly, January 17, 1997, one of the most special days of my cricket playing days.  It was a match day as we call it. We were divided into two teams to play against each other for selection purpose. And before going into the match, it was made clear to me, however good or bad I perform, my selection is impossible, I was ripped of my wicketkeeper’s slot, asked to vacate my no 3. position and bat down the order to make things more clear. A lot of things were running in my mind, I didn’t know, what was the feeling, all I knew is, I have to go in and play. At the end of the opposition innings, we were needed to score 173 runs within a day and a little to bat on.  Our innings started, and within 7 over’s we were reduced to 28 for 2 wickets.  And that same moment, my impatience erupted again, so much so that I went in to bat without even looking at who is in next. Thankfully we tackled the rest of the day without any further damage, and I could remember the ball hitting me twice on my wrist, the pain (it was a January afternoon) and the tough looks at the dressing room.  The pain was horrible, and the discussions were such that I would not go in to bat the next day because am injured. At that point of time, I started to think the same.

And that was day, while at home, I put on the television, I saw a legend emerging to trigger a change of scenario of Indian Cricket for next decades to come.  That was the second day of 3rd Test between India and South Africa being played at Johannesburg. I saw a gentleman named Rahul Dravid, scoring a patient; gritty and hardworking 148 against a scintillating South African pace attack and change my life forever. For I started to believe in the power of patience and hard work. Next day was my day probably (not talking about my heroics here). I headed to the dressing room, padded up, and yes waited for my batting partner to get ready (one thing I never used to do before!) and went out to bat. We batted the whole day, sailing towards the target, and to my awe I never attacked the ball, even if it was a wayward one. And just when we needed 3 runs, my excited batting partner came up to me and said, “It’s your game mate, hit it!!!” It was only then, I gathered all my strength and hit a stellar six. And as I saw some of my young teammates running towards me, I stood my ground, strangely, for a person known for his after match reactions, screams and antics.  Later, when we all walked backed to the dressing room; I saw tough looks being changed to its smoother replica. I packed my kit, looked at the celebrating team and walked away holding my head high, and promised myself to never enter that particular dressing room ever. And that was the beginning of what I am today, patient and calm.

I don’t know, if someone whom we have never met, or have a very remote probability of meeting in this life can ever change someone’s life forever. But this gentleman named Rahul Dravid unquestionably did change my life forever. Take a bow Sir! Probably you played a pauper when the Prince was roaring, played the second boy of Indian Cricket when the God of Cricket was hitting them to the stands and played the second fiddle when the Very Very Special was building monuments, but for me you are a true hero, not only for all the cricketing skills you master and your contribution to Indian and World Cricket, but for all the times of patience, consistency and calmness, for all the times I could look up to you and regain my self belief. Take a bow Sir!

P.S. I’m sure, the ‘my story’ part of this write up is very confusing. What I want to denote through this is not my heroics but a small message that actually inspiration can be gathered from anyone and anywhere. We just have to look around to see it smiling at us.


Ritu Srivastava said...

first time, i liked your blog, not becoz that the blog has been written by you, but becoz it is about my favorite player & love RAHUL DRAVID ....

Priyankee Saikia said...

It's true... life's lessons are learnt from fleeting events as well as from major incidents. Nice work.