So The Bradman Oration 2011 was orated by Rahul Sharad Dravid. That he is the first non- Australian to deliver his speech on such a prestigious occasion speaks volumes about the man- THE WALL, himself. It may be noted that it was not Sunil Gavaskar or Kapil Dev or Sachin Tendulkar who delivered the speech. Probably they may do it in the coming few years. But as we as a nation revere and sometimes even worship our firsts, this is one first that surely we all should be proud of.
Jammy, as he is fondly known to his team-mates, was a bit jittery, finding himself on foreign land, just like he is at the genesis of any of his batting innings; in the first ten minutes he shuffled from one foot to another, like he does with his back and across movement when he comes in. But as he settled in, he was at his fluent best, laying stroke after stroke, caressing the audience with the mere expanse of topics that he covered, just like his vast repertoire of shots.
Over a better part of the hour, Rahul enthralled the audience at the National War Memorial and all over with not only the matter included, but also the earnestness and the chivalry with which the speech was delivered. I personally feel that cricket cannot have a better ambassador, for Dravid embodies the fundamentals that the game possesses and thrives on! A gentleman to the core, he took us from the appositeness between India and Australia, from the times of the British rule to the youngest progeny of cricket – the T20, in a way that few other would have been able to achieve. He drove home his views on betting, issues faced by various formats of the game and also the colored vision with which the world watches Indian Cricket Board, and to a certain extent, India as a whole. No one, I believe, could help but agree that India really is a the prime picture of unity in diversity.
What was touching to watch was the honesty in his speech. Even as he cracked a few jokes, mostly self- depreciative, what we saw was that he felt shy at the audience’ reaction. He felt out of place maybe, but he stood the ground as he, more often than not, does. It also gave a slight but definitive insight of Rahul Dravid- the common man. An intelligent, down- to- earth and a congenial man, who is a body of dedication to his profession. A calmness surrounded him, which gave our consciousness a deep feeling of steadfastness, meticulousness and the well – rooted care and love that he shares for the game. It showed that he truly is a student and a servant of the game, wanting it to grow, flourish further than its already dissipated roots!! He reminded us though, time and again, that the occasion is cricket, not him, not the next match, not the nations, but the game as a whole, which we Indians follow almost as our religion, as our kin.
Even though he has not been a celebrated figure for a better part of his 15 year career Dravid has come to the fore in the recent past with his exquisite display of batsmenship. He has always been the anchor to the rocking Indian ship and has performed par excellance on unhindered and unconquered turfs. However so, his career can be a tunnel lamp for not only budding cricketers, but also anyone who is willing to take the cue and translate his cricket career to a macro picture; the paths of life. He exemplifies hard work, persistence, sacrifice, decency, modesty, unpretentiousness and above all unwavering dedication to his field. Principles that spell SUCCESS and CONTENTMENT as well. Talent is a virtue of the few and most of us have to gruel in our everyday life to get through. In such times, this oration comes as a twinkle in the sky on a hazy, cloudy night. Probably the answer lies in who he is. Probably being a servant of the game is better than being the master.
Till next time and hoping all do take the cue.
In river deep veneration for Rahul Sharad Dravid.
This is the Sciolist.
This is the Sciolist.