Fan of Chivalry, admires a few other things:
Heidenheim. Brussels. Jaisalmer. Allahabad. Idaho. Espoo.
Tilda Swinton. Laura Ramsey. Martine McCutcheon.
High-speed corners, chicanes and, Monte Carlo GP.
"A soldier never quits till he is dead."
- The Iceman Cometh-
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Relationships are multi-dimensional and ask a lot from us. Relationships impose interesting interludes that require one to be at his best in order to make them work! But, complications arise when one is expected to be sincere, at all possible times. Often the minutest asks can crumble people and tether them apart!
Consider a couple of situations: thanks to demonetization, you are standing in an endless queue and just when your chance to swipe some currency from your account arrives, an old woman asks you to let her in first. You agree, seeing her age and respecting her visible weakness. But they shout on you and you’re subjected to verbal assaults.
It is your parents’ 50th anniversary. You haven’t got a salary yet and your brother just wouldn’t care to think of doing something. Only you know how to organize, with the limited funds you had, stemming from secret hide-outs (your pockets, savings et cetera) to ensure you do the best for your parents. But your brother gets the credit for he lies about it and he is believed.
Here’s another: You are sharp, erudite and capable. And, a marketing specialist in an ad-agency! Just when the organization was about to enter into an important pitch-work, the creative team leaves the firm at the outbreak of an acerbic argument with the client-servicing wing. You aren’t the copywriter, nor are you a brand-pro. But, you do all you can to help your seniors and fellow ad specialists to come up with a cracker of a brand strategy, helping the set-up to win the account. As the dark sheep, you held the firm together when none expected you to, when you could’ve dodged those added responsibility. But to your dismay, no one credit you for the job, instead coldly look away from you.
How would you feel? For sure, insulted? Perhaps, broken in spirit. How brutal and thankless is this world!
But truth be told, there’s a lot that a different mind would take of this.
Despair, the most obvious attainment here, is an emotion that can crush you (which it surely can here) as it would and can even dissuade you from doing the bare minimum that you must, in the exact set-up of your job and role.
And that’s where we all need to learn a lesson from a man widely acclaimed as The Wall, the savior of Indian cricket team. The world knows him as the great Rahul Dravid, but in cricketing circles, the elegant batsman is celebrated as the finest ambassador to have represented the gentleman’s game.
Here’s The Rahul Dravid Context To The Aabove Situations
If you apply a recognizable face to each ‘crisis’ situation, then perhaps the only man who wouldn’t whine or complain, crib or criticize about it would be Rahul Dravid. Cricket’s unwavering monk, the game’s best answer on how to handle a crisis and, inarguably, India’s most determined son on the 22 yards is respected as much for his greatness as he is chided by opponents for his stupendous concentration and resolve.
4 years ago, precisely on March 9, 2012, Dravid bid adieu to a sport where his genius-unglamorous alike the Lara’s, Sachin’s, Laxman’s and Ponting’s- found its true meaning.
Having decorated the game with magnificent achievements, painfully accomplished and collected with both grace and calm, Dravid left with astounding statistical accumulation: 13288 Test runs (with 36 centuries), batting average of 52, a total of 149 fifties from both versions and approximately 10,900 ODI runs.
But Importantly, Dravid Isn’t Respected Alone For His Stats
He is hailed for the manner in which he collected his mesmerizing achievements. He plundered runs and struck tall hundreds, time and again, in the face of overwhelming odds and extreme asks of his side. And thus, of his own talent! He was uncomplaining of workload.
There’s a saying, it isn’t about the size of the dog but rather, the size of the fight in the dog that wins the battle for it.
Dravid was a hard nut to crack. And importantly, someone who didn’t complain about the grind he had to go through, often, willingly, for there weren’t many who wanted to do the ‘dirty work’.
There are overwhelming instances: In 2003 Cricket World Cup, the Wall kept wickets so that Saurav’s side could accommodate an additional player in India’s 11 member attack. He crafted so many encouraging partnerships alongside Sachin, Saurav, Sehwag and Laxman, often allowing them to reach personal landmarks before he could even think of. Not that any of these greats were selfish but having a Dravid hold on to an end made them feel at home with the comfort of their skin and of playing their natural game.
Dravid Teaches Us To Be Selfless, Courageous, And Large-hearted
On India’s treacherous 2007 World Cup campaign, he was the captain in the tournament, presiding over in a reign wherein he became the first Indian captain in so many years to win a Test Series in South Africa. Unfortunately, in the heart-crushing loss to Bangladesh, where Sachin, Sehwag and others failed, Dravid held an end, watching his ship being sunk by bay pirates. He could do nothing except take the blame of the loss willingly on his own.
He was derided, and still is, for declaring the infamous Multan Test match with Sachin batting on 194. Not that it was technically stand-in captain’s decision with injured skipper Ganguly conveniently ducking under cover, leaving Rahul to face the music, much of it coming from the legendary Sachin, who, by the way has confessed that he never played for ‘personal milestones’. Never-mind then that the Mumbaikar chided to Dravid who had been thinking, as always, for the team.
Later in 2011, Dravid, in a team and amidst a set-up with Tendulkar, VVS, Dhoni, Yuvraj, Gambhir, Sehwag found himself once again in a familiar situation: averting the onslaught of Anderson, Broad, Bresnan, Swann and Tremlett that his own ‘glorious’ failed to combat. He not only struck 3 painstakingly wonderful hundreds, magnificent ones at the face of outright modesty, but kept wickets, opened innings and even came out to bat for a record second time on a single day, when India’s old foes English enforced follow-on. Interesting then that the boys or men who felt pride at being ‘selfless’ for Team India never threw up their hands when the side needed a makeshift opener, at times with Dravid opening with Sehwag and with, Mukund. There was no Tendulkar or Dhoni who pushed them up the order with India’s mainstay, the ‘Wall’ deciding to do his best, when most needed.
Why We Must Hail Dravid
When we play for a common goal, in cricket, for team’s glory, individual goals must be surrendered. For Dravid, there was one goal: India’s victory. For that, if he needed to, he would, any day, uncomplainingly, walk on broken glass.
Siddhu feels that too. Chappel has regarded, “team in trouble who do you turn to, Dravid”.
We must hail Dravid actually by not subjecting him to sobriquet of respects as we have so beautifully worded in his honor, while silently we all disregarded him as a somewhat boring, drab player who was too slow for our fancy and too silent to ever generate action and hype.
We forgot that in his calm, controlled and sagely working around a crisis, destructions for India were averted.
That we must, come together, to rescue our own- be it family, friends, organizations- in crisis should be the learning one must draw from Dravid’s book- an arduous journey in self-examination and a pivotal case-study of remarkable selflessness and restraint.
Dravid Teaches Us Exemplarily
That we can, by virtue of our actions, larger-than-life when needed, help sail an embattled unit toward safer seas is the key! Dravid did this time and again, collecting mighty respect even from enemy-camp.
That we must allot peace and harmony a greater presence in life over self-glory should be thought about. That way, we leave behind an indelible footprint in whatever we chose to do.
That we must focus, especially at times when none expect us to, must be an honest attempt and an execution which should be demonstrated with daring and guile and never by verbatim is the parallel we draw from Dravid, the monk who resorted to peace and equanimity, overlooking the bloodshed wanted by his opponents. Not since Sir Don, as a man, been so respected as he has been adored for his goodwill, nature and epic sincerity.
Dravid’s Wall: A Brick-By-Brick Process Of Achieving Monumental Success
There are plans, short-term goals and eventual journeys, all encompassing sojourns that only the unrelenting undertake to scale greatness. Dravid was cricket’s journeyman and in the process of achieving results, often a lonely soldier. That, in the end of fighting for India in a 16 year long career, he ended up saying, ‘I have failed at times, but never stopped trying’, makes us want to thank this colossus more than we could ever have, for regarding everyone in his journey for their effort, no matter the real help received.
An acknowledgement is greater than a forced award. For that and more, Rahul Dravid must be thanked and looked up to for perhaps re-writing rule books of Cricket’s bible, a sacred text of patience, determination, sagely abstinence from lust (for money, pride, stature) and for fulfilling everyone’s purpose, in his case- his unit.