The day he retired - A tribute to the Wall

Sunday, March 09, 2014 Rahul Das 6 Comments



Mohit, Akshay, Kiran, Midhu, Pranesh, Ravi, Shravan and Kartik. For all those memories, I dedicate this to you.

Please do not judge this blog solely based on this article. My emotions get the better of me when it comes to Rahul Dravid.


Now let’s rewind to this very hour, on this day, exactly 2 years ago.


March 9, 2012: Dravid gestures after announcing his retirement at a press conference in Bengaluru
Image Courtesy: The New York Times


I vividly recall refreshing my mobile browser repeatedly while I ate quietly in a corner of the mess away from my friends. Former India Captain Rahul Dravid had on the previous night, called for a joint press conference along with President of the BCCI N Srinivasan at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. At 39, following the disastrous tour Down Under where he was bowled 6 times in 8 innings, there was little doubt as to what his announcement was going to be about. Dreading the inevitable, I decided to skip classes that afternoon to focus on following the live feed.

Dravid, to me, was more than just the second highest run-getter of all time (at the time of his retirement). He was more than the self-effacing gentleman we had gotten used to hearing about. More than the unwavering resilience we have associated him with. He was, a part of my childhood. I had grown up idolizing him ever since I was awestruck seeing that clenched fist and scream of delight at Adelaide when I was 10. Like his other loyal fans of my generation, I too had grown up forging memories while watching him sacrifice everything he could in the best interests of the team. My friends at the Good Shepherd dormitories making fun of us, his fans, whenever he jumped to defend those bouncers, locking up the warden and using our duplicate keys to open the TV cupboard, waking up at 3 am during our ICSE board examinations, not to study, but to watch more of his sublime cuts in New Zealand… If there was one thing watching Dravid had taught me, it was standing up and achieving the impossible when the chips were down. And achieve the impossible we did, despite getting caught countless times at my hostel in Chennai! Climbing onto the roof and applying Physics concepts to fix TV cable wires, climbing over the walls of the hostel to visit hair salons, slipping under our desks in class and sitting there for hours listening to the live commentary, perpetually devising new tricks to avoid getting caught, the heated debates we used to have…

Whatever vestiges of hope I had left vanished the moment Dravid began his address. He had, right in his first sentence, announced his retirement from international and domestic first-class cricket. The fact that he made this decision while resisting the temptation to score heavily in the upcoming home series and have a clear lead over Ponting in the all-time highest run-getters list (Remember the IPL that followed? He was still in his element then, mind you.) only made me respect his greatness even more. Unlike cricketers who had stood by doing nothing when sports organizations fought over their fairy tale send-offs, Dravid was a man who would've politely but sternly declined the offer of being asked to play a farewell match. Tears trickled down my face while this strange mix of nostalgia, shock and awe hit me that afternoon.

I could keep writing about him, but I’d rather pen my thoughts to commemorate the rest of the Dravid Days of the year. It might have been two years since he hung his boots, but the legacy that this man has left behind will be remembered for a lot more than the runs he had scored. SoSpeakUpNow! and shower your tributes for the legend here!


On a personal note, it would be a dream come true for me if he happens to read this post someday!


6 comments:

  1. Dravid days it seems! You are mad rahul!

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  2. Haha! I take pride in being his fan, Siddharth!

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  3. Yea cos you never skip classes otherwise :P

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    1. Siddhant.. Tributes only please? :P

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  4. Praising dravid is good butJust don't mess with sachin dude.

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    1. Unlike cricketers who had stood by doing nothing when sports organizations fought over their fairy tale send-offs

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