Regarded as one of the best batsmen in the history of cricket, Mr. Dependable Rahul Dravid has been a class act on and off the field.
"The Wall" who has had a career free from controversies made sure his bat did the talking on the pitch while his humility won hearts off the pitch.
As the ever-reliable Rahul Dravid turns 46 today, here's a list of instances that prove Jammy is a goddamn treasure.
#1 When he spoke to a terminally ill fan
There are many instances of Dravid’s humility but this one is right there at the top. Taking the time out from his schedule, Dravid chatted with a fan (Ashok Dhoke) terminally ill with blood cancer, over Skype, and apologised for not being able to make it in person. Dhoke's friend narrated the story on Quora.
A year back, my friend was seriously ill with Cancer. He was a huge fan of Dravid. So much that whenever he batted he recalled Dravid's shots and tried to emulate them. One day a couple of us went to see him in hospital. He was being treated for blood cancer.
His condition was critical and chances of recovery were negligible. We used to discuss cricket a lot. Even during his critical condition, when it was extremely difficult for him to utter simple words, he would relish any discussion on cricket. When we were leaving, he expressed a desire to talk to Dravid. We started contacting Dravid from all the possible sources we could.
Though we did not hope that we will get any reply from Dravid. A few days later, one of us got a call from Veejeta, Dravid's wife. Dravid had gone through our emails. She was definitely touched by our efforts and expressed Dravid's desire to have a Skype chat. We were unsure if Dravid could make it because of his busy schedule.
But he did. Dravid talked with my friend in the hospital for almost an hour. He apologized for not able to come in person. The smile on my friend's face was precious. He was beaming with happiness.
Here's the video:
#2 When he turned down an honorary doctorate from Bangalore University
On India's 68th Republic Day, Bangalore University wanted to confer an honorary doctorate on Rahul Dravid but Mr. Dependable turned it down in the most 'Dravid' way.
He informed the university that he would like to "earn a doctorate degree" rather than having it conferred upon him. In a press release, the Vice-Chancellor of Bangalore University said, "While thanking the university for recognizing him, (Dravid) has in all humility declined to accept the honorary degree."
This wasn't the first time that Dravid refused to accept an honorary degree. The cricketer did not show up at Gulbarga University's 32nd convocation in 2014 even though he was among the 12 personalities shortlisted for an honorary doctorate.
#3 When he queued at a science fair
Rahul Dravid's picture of standing in a queue at a science fair had gone insanely viral last year on social media and Twitterati heaped praise on former India great. Along with the photograph, the user wrote:
That's Rahul Dravid in a queue with his kids at a science exibhition. No show off; no page 3 attitude; no celebrity airs; no "do you know who I am?" looks; Queueing just like any other normal parent... really admirable...
That's Rahul Dravid in a queue with his kids at a science exibhition. No show off; no page 3 attitude; no celebrity airs; no "do you know who I am?" looks; Queueing just like any other normal parent... really admirable... pic.twitter.com/NFYMuDqubE — South Canara (@in_southcanara) November 23, 2017
#4 When he trolled commentator Arun Lal by hitting a six in Test match
When you think of Test cricket, you think of Rahul Dravid. The master of defense, once, surprised commentator Arun Lal by hitting a maximum in a Test match.
This happened during the 2nd Test in Kolkata between India and Pakistan in 2005.
India were cruising at 261/2 on the first day of Test with Dravid on 83. Pakistani spinner Danish Kaneria was tossing it up and invited Dravid to go for a big one. Dravid was smart enough to block it as the singles were all cut off. At this very moment, Arun Lal, seated in the commentary box said there was no way Dravid would hit out. Yes, the commentator's curse (in this case a blessing) came true.
And what happened next will surprise you.
#5 When he mimiced the batting legend Sachin Tendulkar
Animated Dravid took the stage at the Cricket Club of India on November 2012 where he launched the book, “Sachin Born to Bat – The journey of cricket’s ultimate centurion.”
Dravid recalled an incident narrated to him by Sanjay Manjrekar. Apparently, the West Zone side lacked quality spinners while playing against South Zone on a turning track. Tendulkar heard Manjrekar and Ravi Shastri’s concern and quickly said, "Main dalega I’ll bowl".
When asked by his team members "Kya dalega?" (What will you bowl?), he replied, "Kuch bhi chahiye dalega, off-spin bhi ya leg-spin bhi" (Whatever is required, I’ll bowl, off-spin or leg-spin).
The reason why the room erupted in laughter was the fact Rahul Dravid mimicked Sachin in his child-like voice.
Harsha Bhogle, who was the host of the event, was quick to enlighten Dravid that his “main dalenga” will be on YouTube within an hour. The video currently has more than 2.7m views on the platform.
#6 When he helped Kevin Pietersen improve his batting technique
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen and Rahul Dravid were teammates for the Royal Challengers Bangalore during the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In a video on IPLT20.com, former England cricketer Pietersen had revealed that he sought Dravid's help on rectifying the defects in his batting technique.
Pietersen referred to an e-mail Dravid wrote to him that helped improve his game. According to Pietersen, the e-mail made a massive difference to his batting.
"Speaking from personal experience, Rahul Dravid and how much he helped me in my career. I owe it to the Indian Premier League that I build an ability to tap in with a genius like that which helped me in my career overcome a shortfall. And then just go from strength to strength and that is thanks to the IPL,” Kevin Pietersen said.
Pietersen ACTUALLY printed the e-mail from the legend in his autobiography.
"In my autobiography, I printed that e-mail from Rahul Dravid and the kindness, generosity and the time he took to write the e-mail and as simple as he made it sound was so beneficial for me. It was beneficial for English cricket too because I managed to sort out a little bit of a deficiency in my technique,” former England cricketer said.
#7 When his selfie with Mohammad Hafeez won hearts across the border
Pakistan’s Mohammad Hafeez had a surprise encounter with Dravid when the duo bumped into each other on a flight to New Zealand.
This happened as Dravid was travelling with the Indian U19 team for the World Cup, while Hafeez was headed with his team for the NZ tour.
Humbled to meet the batting legend, Hafeez later took to Twitter to express his happiness over meeting Dravid.
He wrote, "Met with a man called THE WALL in cricket RAHUL bhai @Im_Dravid he is a great human being always there to talk about cricket & helping u out , honoured to play with him in the Feild & always pleasure to meet U , stay blessed"
Met with a man called THE WALL in cricket RAHUL bhai @Im_Dravid he is a great human being always there to talk about cricket & helping u out , honoured to play with him in the Feild & always pleasure to meet U , stay blessed pic.twitter.com/vCyDwM34YY— Mohammad Hafeez (@MHafeez22) December 28, 2017
#8 When he became the tour guide for Aussie Shane Watson
Teammates in the 7th edition of Indian Premiere League, Rahul Dravid became the tour guide for the then Rajasthan Royals' skipper Shane Watson.
Watson later took to the microblogging site Twitter and shared a photograph of Dravid seated in an autorickshaw.
He wrote, "The great man Rahul Dravid showing us the sights... #BestTourGuide #Tuktuk #onlywaytotravel"
#9 Oh and his appearances in iconic commercials
These ads that will definitely take you down the memory lane.
"Naya hai, phir style maarne lagega". Always consistent, the Wall has remained arrogance-free and humble all his life.
Happy birthday, legend.