Dravid, my hero : Samavartha Sahil
Today when the U-19 cricket team of India holding the World Cup rushed to Rahul Dravid, my hero and the coach of the U-19 team, my eyes became moist.
This is only the second time that in my life that I had tears in my eyes while watching cricket, the other moment being during the 1999 semifinals between South Africa and Australia where after a brilliant fight South Africa had to make way for Australia into the finals.
Rahul Dravid has been my cricketing hero for over two decades now and when in his captaincy India lost horribly at the World Cup in West Indies my heart got super anxious because the Captain, my hero Dravid, would receive criticism from all over. When in 2011 under the able leadership of Dhoni and mentoring of Kirsten team India won the World Cup, of course I was happy but there was a slight sorrow for my hero, undoubtedly one of the finest cricketer in the history of the game, was not in the team and was not seen in that moment of glory under the fireworks in the vast sky.
Today on the third day of the second month of the year 2018 those two aches have gotten healed.
What a moment it is when you see the man of the series say, "We are luck to have Dravid sir as the coach," to hear the winning captain acknowledge in his award acceptance speech the contribution of Dravid and see the team playfully dance behind Dravid while he spoke to the camera! And of course them running to him with the trophy and handing it over to him and jumping around him.
There is no doubt that Dravid deserved all of this and all of this also shows what Dravid is. But to get a complete picture of Dravid one has to highlight what he said when he spoke to the camera after the match. He said it is embarrassing for him because he seems to be taking the limelight. It was not a performance it was not a pretense. One could see the truth in the moment when he said that and the humility of the man. It was reflected also in his actions. Dravid stayed back in the pavilion till the boys had done celebrating their victory and stepped into the ground only after the boys had their moment of celebration. Even after the boys made him hold the trophy he disappeared in a moment and let the boys live the moment with the trophy.
Even when everyone, from the commentators to the team members to the anchors made his contribution obvious to the world, Dravid made sure he would do all he could to not make it about him.
It looked like the team would carry Dravid on their shoulder but probably it is the spirit of Dravid which must have taught them, not through words but by living, that a team should always stand together, be it in defeat or in victory. The greatest lesson Dravid seems to have made these boys learn in to have their head on their shoulder and never loose gravitation of reality.
In his word to the camera Dravid also said, "May they have more and better memories," pointing at the journey ahead and also wishing better for the youngsters. In that moment my hero sounded like the wisest man who ever stepped on the cricket field. It was a pure moment!
Dravid, my hero, today my love and respect for you has touched infinity and eternity.
Love you, Jammy! We dont carry you on our shoulders but carry you in our hearts!