Friday, March 09, 2012

It had to fall...

...glad I checked out before it did.
Of all things cricket, I hate to admit it, but Dravid's batting was the anti-emotion of my early adult life. Every piece of real estate in my heart and mind had been taken over by the "How could it be Dravid?" brigade. Call it the "Sachin zone" or "Who gives a F%^&? station" that completely took over, but now when I look back at that time, its an almost non-answer to an even bigger non-question;

Dravid had to exist for me to love the sport;

And now that he's decided to hang up his boots, and as I sense in the not-so-far future the fall of the other greats; as I watch the cricketing landscape evolve into what can only be described as a "soulless cabal of witless wannabes", I dont think the frames, the sounds and the action from the landmark games he played can ever be imagined again on the cricket field. There will def be close seconds, there will be other rivalries and there will be other greats; but the games he played in were special because of everything happening around him; Rivalries like Sachin-Saurav-Laxman-Dravid, great Australian teams that had McGrath-Warne-Waughs-Taylor, have to admit those were some special times;

What made them even greater was that he just stood there (almost like Forrest Gump);
ball after ball, over after over, innings after innings, series after series.

He just stood there.

Man, was that an annoying sight to not get anywhere in a game. After all, his style was orthogonal to the expectations of any spectator. You play to win, or you get out of the way. It should be that simple. But call it patience, call it stubbornness or whatever; here was a guy who would stand there and play his elegant strokes for no results. A very "non-profit" way of looking at the world, for the "ideal" of playing the "perfect" game. Match after match he would dig himself into a hole, and then get out of it; a feat certainly worth the applause.

The reason we talk about him today was because the team he played for, India, almost always was in a hole. In fact it started off in the Marina trench in most matches and he def rescued it more than a dozen times.

Again, its the contrast that helped highlight his contributions. The perfectionist in the midst of circus freaks.

Debates will never end; comparisons almost inevitable. Is it Sachin or Saurav? Is it Laxman or is it Dravid?
To be honest, almost all of them have gone, so am not sure what the point of all of it was? Soon, there will be others. The point I am trying to make is, we all grow up truly believing in "ideals" and the ones who set them. We take a moment when they decide to move on, a deep sigh. Flashes of all their achievements pass by; flashes of all the times you supported them against a crowd also come up. And then we carry on with our lives.

This is that moment for me. Didnt take too long.

What I fear more is the moment that will soon arrive. I have to stock up on some Vicodin for that.

Its going to be brutal.
Thank you Dravid for all the wonderful innings you've played. and all the avoidable arguments as well.


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