Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rahul Dravid's Retirement Finally Sinks In

Rahul Dravid - My Idol
Image Courtesy: Google Images
Today, when the Indian Test Team takes the field against New Zealand, one player who has been an important part of my growing up years, the person who I have idolized and worshipped since the past 16 years will not take the field today. Rahul Dravid will not be a part of the Indian Test Team anymore. This will be a very emotional moment for me as I am not used to seeing an Indian Test side without my Idol. Dravid had missed only 3 Tests in his entire career, 2 against South Africa in 2010 and 1 against Sri Lanka in 2005 due to injuries. He was a part of each and every Test Match India has played since his debut in 1996, apart from those 3 matches. So technically, today will indeed be the very first time I won’t be seeing Dravid take the field in a Test Match for India. It has been 5 Months and 2 Weeks since his retirement but the fact that he has retired will finally sink in when India goes out to bat today and the first wicket falls but Dravid will not walk into bat at No.3, that will be very difficult for me to watch. Today will be a very emotional day for every Dravid fan.

I remember when Dravid announced his retirement on 9th of March this year; I was going through the most devastating week of my life. I had to undergo an operation called “Core Decompression” on both my hips for my condition, Avascular Necrosis, due to which I was confined to a wheelchair for the next two months. The day when I got discharged, that is the day before his retirement, I had no clue about the announcement. When I checked my Facebook and Twitter; I could only see posts regarding Dravid’s impending retirement as he had called for a press meet the following day. I almost brushed it off as another rumor and didn’t believe it at first.

But Dravid had indeed called the press meet on March 9th and announced his retirement as gracefully as he has played Cricket his entire career. Even when I heard the words from his own mouth that he is retiring, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t even cry for the next few hours. I had no tribute post ready as I was not prepared for his retirement. It took me a few hours to compose myself to write one final tribute post. It was also my first day getting used to moving around the house in a wheelchair, so it became equally difficult for me to write the post, physically as well as emotionally. I couldn’t sit on the wheelchair for long as my feet would swell nor could I sit on a bed and write the post as my back would give away. In-spite of all the obstacles, I decided to write one final tribute post for my Idol.

I am absolutely proud of this post as I wrote it in the most extreme circumstances, it is the most difficult post I ever had to write, and it incidentally is also my longest post. It took me well over 4 hours to finish the post as I had to take breaks at regular intervals to give my legs some rest. But eventually it did take a toll on me, sitting on a wheelchair for that long isn’t such a good idea, that too a day after getting discharged. After I finished my post, my feet had swollen. I had to listen to a mouthful from my mom for risking my own health while writing that post, even poor Dravid was not spared by my mom. But such is my passion; I had to write that post, I had put in everything into that post but it did hurt me when not many people actually read the entire post. The people who read it and commented on it, I am always thankful but it didn’t get the kind of readership I expected.

Anyways you can read the post here: My Idol Rahul Dravid Retires - A Nostalgic Tribute. Please do take some time out and read this post. It will make me very happy.

Laxman and Dravid during their epic partnership in the Kolkata Test - 2001
Image Courtesy: Google Images
Apart from Dravid, another legend VVS Laxman will also not take the field today for India. He was an absolute magician with the bat, a genius who was part of the famous quartet which also included Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. Laxman made his Test debut a few months after Dravid and Ganguly made theirs, in 1996. He announced his retirement a few days ago despite being selected for the Two-Test series against New Zealand starting today. It is really unfortunate Laxman had to bid a tearful adieu to International Cricket as he was hurt by some of the comments made by former Cricketers in a few columns. As he didn’t want to be a burden to the team and wanted to give youngsters a chance, he gracefully quit from the game.

India had suffered two humiliating series defeats overseas against England and Australia respectively in the past year. We lost 8 consecutive Test Matches. It was our worst performance in over 30 years. Although Dravid was in outstanding form against England, scoring 3 centuries, even though we lost the series 4-0 but Laxman was in dreadful form, managed to score more than 50 only 3 times in eight Tests. In what turned out to be their final Test series against Australia in early 2012, both Dravid and Laxman had very dismal series; it was heartbreaking to see such legends bow out from the game in that fashion. But it takes nothing away from the fact that those two will always remain two of the greatest cricketers to have ever played the game.

Dravid and Laxman bid tearful farewells to International Cricket. Two of the most well behaved Cricketers you would ever come across who epitomized “The Gentlemen’s Game” by being true gentlemen. It is an irreparable loss not just to Indian Cricket but to World Cricket. They will surely be missed. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Raksha Bandhan

The greeting cover, personally made by Logu
I haven’t had much to cheer about in the past one year, struggling to overcome some serious health issues and various other setbacks. It’s been one hell of a struggle all the way. But there have been rare moments even in these dark times which made me truly happy. I had the privilege to experience one such rare happy moment on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan.

My best friend and my dear sister, Logu, whom I truly love and admire, sent me the most beautiful gift, a Rakhi, which symbolizes a sister’s love for her brother and his well-being. Being a doted brother to my beloved sister, I too have vowed to protect her for life. I was very pleasantly surprised when I received her beautiful gift in the mail; I was very touched to read the amazingly wonderful words she had to say about me.

(Click to enlarge the pics)

It is very difficult for me to describe in words what she means to me, she has been an integral part of my life since we became friends more than three years ago. Now, I can’t even imagine my life without her. Logu is the hardest working and the most dedicated person I have seen in my life and also the kindest and the most caring. She had to come up the hard way in life, overcoming each and every obstacle with grit and determination. She has also been my inspiration to fight my own obstacles, always encouraging me and giving me the strength to fight my battles.

Sometimes I feel like I have failed her as a friend and also as a brother. She has always been there for me when I needed it but I feel like I have not been there for her when she needed me. I know she would disagree to that but I sometimes do feel like I have failed her. 

Logu, I promise to be a better friend and a loving brother in future. I promise to take care of you and be there for you when you need the most. Thank you for this wonderful gift my dear sis, I am finally happy after a very long time. Your lovely gesture not only made my day but made my year.
Simple, yet beautiful. The Bond of Protection