Why would a cricket-lover miss Peter Roebuck on the day a cricketing legend announced his retirement? Well, only Peter Roebuck could have written a tribute with character matching the man, Rahul Dravid. But, I should not be disappointed. Lord Krishna comes to my rescue (see below).
Words that come to every one’s lips when they think of Rahul Dravid are ‘intense’, ‘passionate’, ‘dedicated’, ‘team-man’.
It was good that Nirmal Shekhar in THE HINDU called him an altruist. Mukul Kesavan calls him a stylish trench warrior. This blog post in CricInfo.com puts his cricketing achievements in perspective, especially in the period 2001-2006. They are staggering. For once, numbers do justice to the person behind them.
The above post links to a post in ‘Guardian’ where the writer Rob Smyth calls him the sort of person that parents would like to see their sons grow up into. As a father of a 10-year old son, I can only keep nodding my head until some one tells me to stop. The post by Rob Smyth is worth reading in full.
The post contains important nuggets of information: Steve Waugh asked Rahul Dravid to write the foreword for his autobiography. (It is one great acknowledging the other in his own way and for the right reasons. Peter Roebuck asked Harsha to write the foreword for one of his books. That was one great cricket writer acknowledging the emergence of another. Only the best are the apt selection for the best).
p.s: Harsha’s tribute to Rahul Dravid is simple, understated and sincere.
Dileep Premachandran has called Rahul a man with yogic powers of concentration. No surprises there.
The Wikipedia entry on Rahul Dravid has this nugget:
He is one of the few sportsmen who could rightly be called The Gold Standard and that is not for his achievements on the field. In fact, that is because he did not allow Dravid, the cricketer destroy Dravid, the man. That is the true essence of ‘Sthitha Prajnan’ (hard to put it in English) that Lord Krishna talks about in Bhagavadh Gita:
“Sthitha Prajna is the concept, discussed in the Sankhya Yoga of the Gita, of a free being who lives in this world and appears to be like anybody else. A Stitha Prajna is one whose mind has become absolutely sill, quietened, tranquil.
When all desires of the heart have rested and the heart finds joyous satisfaction in itself because it has found that all joy exists within independent of external factors, then one is spoken of as a person of steady wisdom, a Sthitha Prajna.
A Sthitha Prajna, does what is necessary for the betterment of humanity with a completely tranquil mind, unperturbed. A person whose mind is tranquil will not react to situation in a way that causes harm to others because he sees everybody as his own self.” [Link]
It is both easy and correct to mention here that one wished that there were more such men (and women) of character in Indian public life. That is not to say that Rahul Dravid should enter public life. That is entirely his call.
Nonetheless, in all the discussions of macro, markets and models, what is often missed are morals and character. Without that, collapse of cricket teams, societies and nations is a matter of time.
Rahul Dravid will be missed as much for his character as he would be, for his cricket, on the field. God bless him!