Rahul Dravid is playing his last match today. At the Ferozeshah Kotla Grounds. In Delhi. I stay in NCR and I'm not going for the match that's in my city. Am I not a true Rahul Dravid fan?
Life's been busy. A nine-hour job where I only write political stories, elections coming up, election dates being announced, I didn't keep a check on the venues of the CLT20 matches. When the semi-final came, it was between Rahul Dravid's Rajasthan Royals and MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings. Not at all underestimating RR, but somehow CSK had always made it to the finals. So that uncertainty kept me waiting. And second, I'll confess that till the eleventh hour, I didn't know that the final was being played in Delhi. Pretty clear, I have no tickets for the match today. I did make efforts yesterday, but no luck.
It was in January this year when I went all the way to Jaipur to meet Rahul Dravid. Today, I'm not even being able to go to watch his last match that's in my city. Honestly, the tickets left for the match are not the ones I can afford really. But I'll watch it on TV.
All said and done, I'm still hoping I'll get to see more of Rahul Dravid. May be as a commentator, may be in my office as a cricket expert, my hopes remain high.
Today, as Rahul Dravid plays his last match, I'll pray he does the best, I'll cheer for his team to win and somewhere down the line, I think he'll win this one. He deserves to.
Looking back at my craziness for Rahul Dravid, I wonder how life has changed. I'm grown up, I do not collect Rahul Dravid's pictures like I used to, when I was a school-going girl. I don't run around telling people that Rahul Dravid is the best.
But still not as grown up. Now, after meeting Rahul Dravid in Jaipur, thanks to my friend and colleague Ruchira Singh and our Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, I realise that the Dravid fan in me will always stay. I may enjoy watching youngsters like Virat Kohli or Cheteshwar Pujara, but no one ever beats Rahul Dravid, the control that Dravid has on his game.
So what was it like when this little girl who kept telling the world that she'll meet Rahul Dravid one day, finally met him. It was the Jaipur Literature Fest 2013 in January. I came across a Rahul Dravid session scheduled on Facebook, and so did Ruchira, another crazy hardcore Dravid fan. And guess who the session was with. Rajdeep Sir and we were elated. Ruchira spoke to Rajdeep and we went to Jaipur, mind you, only for Rahul Dravid. We attended the session but couldn't manage to meet him in person as the whole world wanted to meet him. But Rajdeep sir became our blessing in disguise. He met Rahul Dravid over a cup of coffee and invited us too. Finally, I met Rahul Dravid in a way I never thought I could - a nice, calm chat. I was star struck. I couldn't hide my excitement and just couldn't stop smiling and getting pictures clicked. But he respected it all. Rahul Dravid, indeed, is a gentleman. While me and Ruchira were excited, he spoke to us with great calm and charm. As cool as he has been on the field, so is he in person. That indeed was one of the biggest and best days of my life.
I'm sure many more such meetings will come. The man may not be playing more cricket, but for the great player that he is, he'll speak good cricket and teach good cricket. I'll see much more of him.
I confess, even if I'm not going to watch today's game from the stands, I am as crazy a fan of Rahul Dravid as I was and I will remain one. I haven't mentioned any of Rahul Dravid's cricket career moments here. You can read them in my previous blog post on him here
You can also read my review on a book on Rahul Dravid here
For all that life may bring, I shall remain a Rahul Dravid fan.