Source: Herald (English Daily in Goa)
You cannot reach 13,000 runs in Test Cricket, 10,000 runs in ODI cricket, become the first and only batsman to score a century in all 10 Test playing nations and hold the world record for the most number of catches in Test cricket beside captaining your country in both disciplines of the game without the determination, discipline and humility of a Rahul Dravid.
Speaking as Chief Guest at the Sharada Mandir Annual Awards function, the former star cricketer started his speech on a humorous note, “Mr Dattaraj Salgaocar should have warned me that the students of this school do so well and receive numerous awards as I would have exercised before coming. As I have retired, it is very difficult for me to stand for so long, giving away the awards.” The humour continued, “As I sat here, I looked back at fond memories of my school days when we had many chief guests come for many functions. I tried to remember their speeches, but believe me I could not remember even one. That takes the pressure off me today because after many years when you look back, you won’t remember what I said.”
On a serious note, the “Wall of Indian Cricket” said, “I would like to pass on to you the three key factors that made a difference to my life.”
He quizzed the students as to what was most important if two people were climbing a mountain. Various replies shot out of the crowd – determination, hard work, oxygen (which Dravid concurred was most important) but he finally said,
“My teacher told me that it was the mountain itself. Yes, in life, it is important for you to find your mountain or that clear goal as it will give you a sense of purpose and you will put in the required sacrifice but it has to be your own mountain, not of your parents or teachers.”
The ex-cricketer stated ‘focus’ as the second factor, “Because goals are of no use if you do not have the ability to stay focused. You are growing up in India with so many opportunities that it is easy to get distracted.” Citing the example of trying to catch many rabbits in a pen, Dravid urged the students to stay focused on catching one. He said, “If things are not working, change your tactics but don’t give up on your goal.”
The third factor ‘patience’ was really impacting. He said, “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!”