VVS Laxman's honest tales steal the show
Fadu News 2018-12-06 04:08:00
NEW DELHI: He came, he saw and he conquered. This is how one would sum up the book launch of VVS Laxman's autobiography - 281 and beyond - in the Capital on Tuesday night. Laxman's batting was without a fuss and the book launch too was just like the kind of person he is - simple, uncluttered and honest. A galaxy of stars from yesteryears like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Murali Karthik, Ashish Nehra to Irfan Pathan were amongst those who came on to the stage to share their experiences with the Fab Four. All of them had one thing in common to say - Laxman is the best human being who played for India.
At the time when cricket is losing its sheen and the word gentleman's game is losing its relevance because of cut-throat competition around the world, Laxman is like the "Last of the Mohicans". Not only that, those who didn't take the stage for group discussion but were in the audience like RP Singh, Abbas Ali Baig, Madal Lal, Ajay Jadeja, Nikhil Chopra, current selectors Gagan Khoda and Sarandeep Singh, couldn't have agreed more on Laxman's gentility.
Laxman doesn't hide his emotions and Tuesday was no different. Even the purists would call him the modern day 'Yudhisthira'. There is absolutely no pretention. When the likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, Harbhajan and Karthik shared their honest tales about Laxman, the man himself sat still, looking up and bursting into laughter once in a while agreeing with his teammates.
There is so much flow of honesty about his stories. Right from not being able to make it to any of the World Cup teams, missing the team bus only once and that too in South Africa, lecturing the young ones in the locker room, playing the role of batting coach with the tail-enders, feeling low on not winning a Test series in Australia, his power nap during lunch break after a quick bite, showing his clannish side while insisting on sharing the room with Sadgoppan Ramesh, bring honest about his mind-set while batting in different positions in India's Test team, asking the team to pack bags and leave Australia after the 2007-08 Sydney Test, feeling absolutely negative about losing in England and Australia towards the fag end of his career to sharing some great qualities of MS Dhoni and Sehwag who are not affected by failures.
This was the same Laxman who never spoke much during his playing days and carried tremendous dignity as a batsman. Once during the 2007 World Cup, when Laxman was asked to respond to his axing from the Indian ODI team off-the-record, he promptly replied at Kotla: "I don't talk off the record." From there on, the only thing that has changed about this man is that he has become a little talkative - thanks to his broadcast contracts. This also resulted in Laxman, now, reaching out to the masses. And his book is just another medium.