Silenced was the only emotion I felt with the recent passing of my Mother for I did not know how to feel and struggled further with finding the words to communicate the grief or give proper tribute in her honour. Strange, when you have had your life so occupied by a bastion of Love and indeed one that gave breathe to your being and with it a chance to strive for the stars.
Though as I stood at her final send off with eyes transfixed on me and a tribute that I had remembered word for word in my mind it just felt hopelessly inadequate in being able to give true respect to her place in my Life. Duly I just acknowledged that and just let my heart speak so people could immerse knowing that her Life was her true legacy and words in this moment were truly irrelevant.
That is how I feel now as the great Indian Rahul Dravid has announced his retirement from International Cricket with my words in no way being able to give justice to his Legend
It would be easy to roll out figure after figure and statistic after statistic to show how truly iconic as a batsman this great number 3 was, but like my words, the figures do not in anyway tell his true tale. Despite the fact that they depict a batsman that is comparable on many levels to the best in the games history.
A true bank ability entity at the crease in a game of joyous uncertainty with his most respectable quality being his ability to rise against over whelming odds. He often is overlooked in a Team widely regarded as being one of the best batting line ups in the games history with the immortal Sachin Tendulkar taking most of the fanfare from him. I tend to believe that the steel and balance that Dravid's 'Wall' like batting gave to the line up indeed added a few percentage points and hundreds for all around him in the line up which in itself tells a tale.
Think of the poor bowlers and the sheer mental and physical duress they experienced in the 16 years of 'The Walls' career in trying to remove the virtual unmovable!
So many tales could I type about his batting mastery that was built on impeccable technique, Zen like temperament and the occasional glimpse of real attacking flair seen in his majestic elegance,
But a greater and more apt testimony to Rahul Dravid is found in his profound meaning in so many other manners.
You could write a book on his meaning to India as a Nation and its Team with his charismatic demeanour in its ranks being so under played. Widely regarded as a great batsman, but rarely mentioned as the Indian go to man whenever circumstance needed a man to Captain in time of crisis or fulfil other roles such as keeping, opening or I am sure he even was adept at doing the Teams cooking and laundry when pressed into service.
He was never a Johnny come lately in these roles burdened on him either with him doing them with a dexterity matched by few others. Even in the regrettable times of Guru Greg Chappell's time as Indian Coach when he was made to assume the leadership he did it with a real surety amid the chaos going on around him and never the semblance of a murmur of discontent from Dravid ji.
You can imagine billions of tears welling in Indian eyes trying to reconcile the gravity of his departure, but the same could be said Globally with him being universally respected for all of the aforementioned qualities.
Further homage to him is given by the fact that he more than anyone upheld the ethos of the 'Gentleman's Game'.
No one played it tougher that Dravid, you saw that in the flame of determination in his eyes that resembled Hells fury in its intensity, but he never transgressed or even threatened to sully the games image in an age of disrespect.
A Gentleman in every regard and a true Statesman in the history of the game who walks away from our immediate lives today but will never leave our hearts