Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid
My chemistry mam used to say to us in class if we were slow in doing something, “Don’t be the RDS.” RDS was her acronym for Rate Determining Step. Every chemical process can only be as fast as the slowest step. If I was slow in understanding something, it spoiled the speed of learning of the entire class. It was her way of driving the concept into our thick heads!!
Let us talk about a herd of buffaloes. The herd can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. When attacked by a tiger, all of them run. The fastest buffaloes escape and the tiger ends up catching the slowest one. This is nature’s way of enabling the herd to move faster as well as helping the tiger get its food.
Recently, I read this and was reminded of RDS. If the older players step down, it would help Indian cricket move ahead much faster than its present rate. Sachin can play a few more years and hit 10 more centuries, everyone knows that. VVS and Dravid can play more matches and make more runs, yes. But, greatness doesn’t lie there!! Greatness, henceforth for them lies only in graceful retirement.
Shouldn’t they be putting the Indian team ahead of themselves and retire? Don’t they profess in every press conference that they love cricket and that they would do anything for it? When it comes to giving their careers a full stop for the sake of the game, they aren’t able to do it.
Very often, I hear people saying, “He knows when to retire”. This is just the last rant of an obsessed fan. We all know that they don’t know when to retire, so don’t give me that crap. Some players say that they are really enjoying their game and see no reason to quit. They would do well to remember that they need to retire when people’s enjoyment in watching them begins to wane.
Why stay behind and become the RDS? Why make everyone feel, “ivan eppoda teama vittu povaan?” I am unable to put their decision to continue with bad form to anything other than fear of facing life beyond the cricket field. The braveness that they showed when facing the world’s best attack, they aren’t able to show at this juncture. They are terrified of the future!! That is what happens when you live too much in the present. When one walks looking at one’s own feet, instead of looking ahead, one feels giddy and mostly falls.
The greats of the world know not only when to begin and how to do well, but also, when to stop. I want these cricketers to be remembered for that kind of bravery and greatness. I doubt if that will happen though!