Annual day celebrations at a school reminds us of our own school days...esp if we were active in the extra-cultural activities like drama, music, et al. Similar is a feeling when annual day function is held at the school of our children, when they have to juggle between studies/tests and practice. ( At least our school days were less stressful). The excitement among all children and us, parents, hit a new high when the news of this year's chief guest was confirmed. Kapil Dev, one & only...! Memories took me to my school/college days..!
Kapil became a popular cricketer when he started playing for India. Those days, The Hindu, Sportstar, Sportsweek, etc were the source of all news and analysis. He became an icon when his brilliance, both as a player/all-rounder and captain, enabled India lift Prudential Cup. The brilliant match-winning knock against Zimbabwe ( ironically, we are out of tri-series courtesy them!)... The brilliant dismissal of Viv Richards in final...He is one great player, who has given as much back to the game... very few have made such a difference!
A caricature of him, with the cup, was the sole picture on my room-wall for a very long time, as I struggled with my maths, physics earlier and then commerce! He was not from a metro, did not speak fluent english, was not flamboyant... many of us could identify with him. He inspired a few generations of professionals and achievers,not few fast & medium pacers!
As I walked, or limped thanks to a sprain to the venue at school, I thought... Kapil was fit throughout his playing career.
We were seated,eagerly waiting for him. He walked in, to a roaring reception of a packed house...So many of us were overwhelmed by his sheer presence. The tall, dark and handsome, also fit even now, Kapil revived memories of our own school/college days, when we were TDH&Fit ( certainly not now, at least most of us parents in the audience!)
He sat through the program encouraging the students and staff. We were just happy to be in his inspiring company.Kapil gave a short, but a very inspiring speech:
Most of us (NRI's) would have gone through similar struggles in our early lives, just as Kapil did. But all differences end there. Kapil worked very, very hard and reached the pinnacle. We were not as focussed, committed! If Kapil could reach the top, each one of us could have reached, in our respective fields too... A little more goal-orientation, hard-work, sincerity, prayers.... would have helped!
One key difference was he could pursue his passion and many of us could not, as we did not have the financial security or our parents would not risk ( not to blame our folks, as we would have perhaps done same if we were in our parents' shoes)
But, our children are better off. Their parents have some amount of financial security. Many of them will be encouraged and supported to pursue their dreams. But, how many children will reach the top ? How many of them will identify a passion, work very hard, keep up the focus and will reach the top, maintaining impeccable value-system....!? Like a Kapil, Sachin, Vishy Anand, Dr Kalaam, Nrn Murthy, Pt Jasraj...real Indian icons...
Even if a few students reach such levels of Total Greatness, Kapil would be the happiest for his humble contribution( inspiration). Their alma mater will be proud. Their teachers will be happiest. Parents would have done their duty. May God bless and guide our beloved children...
A big thanks to DPS...
Thank you, Kapil Dev!