Well, its an absolute coincidence that I pick Rahul Dravid as #MyRoleModel for this blog post.
To prove that point, i am not going to wax eloquently about his famed dependability.
I am going to bat for other facets of his persona - which, to me, have not received as much acclaim as they should have.
In the 'go-getter', instant gratification era we live in - and easily Rahul Dravid endured Indian Cricket's richest era - Rahul is a rare fan of patience.
This blog post beautifully captures his shot on patience:
My wife and I have built a new home with a lovely garden which houses lovely bamboo trees. I got reading on the Chinese bamboo and learned that the tree takes 5 years, 3 months to grow to its whole height of 80 feet. Yet, for the first 5 years, you only see a tiny green shoot, but in the next 90 days, it grows into a full-fledged tree. But in those first 60 months, it is growing its strong network of roots underground, to support the tree. In an era of instant gratification, we settle for shorter trees, but remember patience has its reward. These are your years of growing that strong network of roots but be sure when you finally achieve your success, people will call it “overnight success”. If only they knew of the Chinese bamboo!
India is a deep-rooted patriarchy, ask us women.
India, well, most parts of it, still is in awe of 'alpha men', brimming with ego.
Rahul Dravid, to me, not only lived through a very tough era for him in Indian Cricket, often appearing to be overshadowed by his more showcased peers but demonstrated how 'ego' can successfully make way for "(w)e go". This is my original coinage (hmm.. guess should copyright it) because I have observed him for a very long time, as a player.
Dravid has certainly been the David in the David & Goliath story of his era, if you will.
Now, converting ego to (W)e go did not mean playing a meek second fiddle. He was not afraid to stick to his principles and put team over individual when he thought it fit - remember the famous 'Multan declaration'?
For a test match genre original, he did remarkably reinvent himself and adapted to abridged, flashier versions of the game - that often catapult form over substance. Yes, I am talking T20.
He did not give up or cave in when T20 set in & had his phase(s) of struggle in One Day Internationals (ODIs) as well. I think, as a tribute to that, I should end this blog post in T20 style .. keeping it succinctly brief hereon .. though I started this blog post in Test match style.
Well, he not only has a strikingly clean face, but also an image that is among the squeaky cleanest for his peer group.
I especially mean the personal side in an era when some of his peers were locked in multiple digressions.
Rahul is an anti-thesis to your 'in your face' leader. The way he synthesized 'Rajasthan Royals', the IPL team he captained, is worthy of leadership story-telling.
Not a marquee outfit to start with (they didn't splurge on all big name players), he worked on each individual - optimizing strengths and marginalizing development needs - to make sure the sum total of the team is much greater than its parts.
Articulate & bespoke:
I have always admired Ravi Shastri for being, probably, the best articulate & bespoke Indian cricketer, after Tiger Pataudi.
Rahul took that baton over for his generation of Indian cricketers. He comes across as shy at first, but once he finds his comfort zone (I have observed it during his stint with sports broadcasting, of late), you can hear him articulate the sanest things about the game.
Well, remember, we are to end in T20 style. So, that rings in the innings close - hope you liked reading about my 'alter' take on Rahul Dravid as #MyRoleModel.
I am writing about #MyRoleModel as a part of the activity by Gillette India in association with Blogadda.com.