A day with doughty Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir_DC_01.jpg

Gautam Gambhir is no ordinary member of the pack of IPL millionaires. He has a mind of his own and he does not mind speaking it. Spending a day with him in Chennai-Madurai on his visit to a couple of schools was a revelation.
Maybe, all of NextGen of the cricket world may not be as bright as Gambhir but it's clear they may be different from their uncertain prede cessors of the previous millennium when the selection axe and financial uncertainty seemed to affect their outlook and confidence.
A difficult question came up in an interaction with school children in Tiruvallur, near Chennai. What did Gambhir think of the situation on the border? Ten times out of ten cricketers would have ducked the question with the same instinct with which they let bouncers go.
But Gambhir was bold enough to say “What happened is sad. Jawans can't be killed on their own soil. Imagine the kind of motivation soldiers would need to be posted on the border“
And how should India act?
“Stop talking to Pakistan. The time has come to take some very tough decisions.“ He said it with the decisiveness in the manner of confident youth. But then Gambhir may also be considered an exception in the crowd of toiling cricketers. Long before he first wore the India blue and much before IPL transformed the lot of players, Gambhir was a rich kid, his dad being a prosperous businessman. His background and his awareness shows in the variety of subjects he is willing to discuss.
Gambhir sprang the name of Shaheed Bhagat Singh when asked whether he had a hero. No, he had no cricketing icons he looked up to when young, just the revolutionary Bhagat Singh who fought the British. The spontaneous answer in many Indian cricketers to the question of who his favourite ODI player was would probably be Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Not for Gambhir who rates Shane Watson of Australia and Rajasthan Royals as the best 'instant' cricketer.
But then the background to that could be the tensions between India's most successful skipper and the opener that went public soon after the World Cup win.
While Dhoni soaked in the praise for his up-the-order aggression that settled the match, the top scorer of the innings felt team work had done the trick. “A captain is only as good as his team,“ Gambhir stressed when probed.
Not the type to curry favour in order to make comebacks, the Delhi lad who lives in the neighbourhood of the Gangaram Hospital, is convinced Test selection will come when the time is right, which will be very soon is his guess.
A lover of the Delhi Metro rail, Gambhir spoke of how much the infra transportation project had done to ease the lives of Delhiites. “How much the Metro means to life in the capital will be known if they so much as shut it for a day,“ Gambhir says.
“The stations offer protection, from the heat in summer and the cold in winter, so too the travel in the coaches. Going by DTC bus in any part of the year is uncomfortable. They should have a Metro in every city,“ he says with that idealism of the young who can recognsie what represents the common good. By that token, Bengaluru is not a favourite of Gambhir although he visited the city a lot in his early career days when he trained at the NCA.
“Today the traffic doesn't move. You are stuck inside a car for hours. The Metro project is slow. Imagine the impact on city life if anyone going out can connect by Metro. There would be far less motorcycles and cars on the roads. Again, the problem in India is demand outstrips supply even before the infra can be put up. We have to plan for the cities because that is where most of India will live,“ he says with a logic that cannot be questioned.
He was unfazed by a manic day which began with a crawl in morning traffic to Shree Niketan School in Thiruvallur and then weaving in and out of the traffic to make it to the airport on time for a just after noon flight to Madurai. A positively paranoia-inducing drive to Natham for a visit to the NPR Group of Institutions and back just in time to make the flight to Chennai and on to Delhi would have told on anyone. Not on the doughty opener for whom it was all a day's social service to inspire the youth of today to dream big for tomorrow.
While frequent conversations on the mobile may have thrown light on how much of a family man he is, queries every few minutes to know the score in the Ashes Test were privy to his passion for cricket.

Post new comment

<form action="/comment/reply/250368" accept-charset="UTF-8" method="post" id="comment-form"> <div><div class="form-item" id="edit-name-wrapper"> <label for="edit-name">Your name: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="60" name="name" id="edit-name" size="30" value="Reader" class="form-text required" /> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-mail-wrapper"> <label for="edit-mail">E-Mail Address: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <input type="text" maxlength="64" name="mail" id="edit-mail" size="30" value="" class="form-text required" /> <div class="description">The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.</div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-comment-wrapper"> <label for="edit-comment">Comment: <span class="form-required" title="This field is required.">*</span></label> <textarea cols="60" rows="15" name="comment" id="edit-comment" class="form-textarea resizable required"></textarea> </div> <fieldset class=" collapsible collapsed"><legend>Input format</legend><div class="form-item" id="edit-format-1-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-1"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-1" name="format" value="1" class="form-radio" /> Filtered HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Allowed HTML tags: &lt;a&gt; &lt;em&gt; &lt;strong&gt; &lt;cite&gt; &lt;code&gt; &lt;ul&gt; &lt;ol&gt; &lt;li&gt; &lt;dl&gt; &lt;dt&gt; &lt;dd&gt;</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> <div class="form-item" id="edit-format-2-wrapper"> <label class="option" for="edit-format-2"><input type="radio" id="edit-format-2" name="format" value="2" checked="checked" class="form-radio" /> Full HTML</label> <div class="description"><ul class="tips"><li>Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.</li><li>Lines and paragraphs break automatically.</li></ul></div> </div> </fieldset> <input type="hidden" name="form_build_id" id="form-5b247c02ea00cc3be92e7c6298e48514" value="form-5b247c02ea00cc3be92e7c6298e48514" /> <input type="hidden" name="form_id" id="edit-comment-form" value="comment_form" /> <fieldset class="captcha"><legend>CAPTCHA</legend><div class="description">This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.</div><input type="hidden" name="captcha_sid" id="edit-captcha-sid" value="64405356" /> <input type="hidden" name="captcha_response" id="edit-captcha-response" value="NLPCaptcha" /> <div class="form-item"> <div id="nlpcaptcha_ajax_api_container"><script type="text/javascript"> var NLPOptions = {key:'c4823cf77a2526b0fba265e2af75c1b5'};</script><script type="text/javascript" src="http://call.nlpcaptcha.in/js/captcha.js" ></script></div> </div> </fieldset> <span class="btn-left"><span class="btn-right"><input type="submit" name="op" id="edit-submit" value="Save" class="form-submit" /></span></span> </div></form>

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

No Articles Found

I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.