Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Rahul Dravid received the Test cap#207 for India.
Considering we have 206 bones in our skeleton, all of us can consider his legacy to live on as an omnipresent  207th bone in us...perhaps somewhere on our vertebra.

He left nothing to chance, nothing that he was aware of and could do something about. Quality assurance principles in full display. 

For an engineer / designer working in the engineering consultancy world (i.e. my profession) what would be the equivalent of Rahul Dravid's cricketing career ?

Let me try. 

This guy would be 
 - getting his left  (logical) brain medically checked every quarter for peak condition, 
- doing finger and eye exercises everyday to mitigate excessive work in front of the PC, 
- attending personal lessons outside office to learn new software every year, 
- staying awake till midnight to read project / schedule management lessons, 
- preparing in solitude for 10 minutes before each video conference / client meeting to ensure the issues are all 'loaded' into his mind and notebook, 
- starting on time and finishing on time, every time...
- cleaning toilets from time to time for the sake of office when the washerman is off duty
- taking action as safety floor manager against a senior colleague, if only for evading safety measures on floor despite previous warning
- trusting a new partner to be one of those foul-mouthed-but-good-hearted angels - only to realise later that the assessment was incorrect...
- backing his struggling but trusted teammates even as the partner and the employer would pressurise him to sideline them
- manning the security desk on a festive weekend to allow the security guards a few hours off
- and recognising that doing any damn work for the office team does NOT come in the way of his becoming the preparer of the 2nd highest number of EPC deliverables in the history of the game, while also registering the highest number of input data handled ever in EPC projects. 

Read on, and also remember the incidents he has earlier gone through, to check out:

Mrs. Vijeeta Dravid, his wife, on Rahul's single minded devotion to perfection in cricket:

When I travelled with him for the first time, in Australia in 2003-04, I began to notice how he would prepare for games - the importance of routines, and his obsession with shadow practice at odd hours of day or night. I found that weird. Once, I actually thought he was sleepwalking!
Now I know that with Rahul's cricket, nothing is casual, unconscious or accidental. Before he went on tour, I would pack all his other bags, but his cricket kit was sacred - I did not touch it; only he handled it. I know if I packed only two sets of informal clothes, he would rotate them through an entire tour if he had to and not think about it. He has used one type of moisturising cream for 20 years because his skin gets dry. Nothing else. He doesn't care for gadgets, and barely registers brands - of watches, cologne or cars. But if the weight of his bat was off by a gram, he would notice it in an instant and get the problem fixed.
Cricket has been his priority and everyone around him knows that. On match days Rahul wanted his space and his silence. He didn't like being rushed, not for the bus, not to the crease. All he said he needed was ten minutes to himself, to get what I call his "internal milieu" settled, before he could go about a match day.
When we began to travel with the kids - and he loved having them around during a series, even when they were babies - we made sure we got two rooms. The day before every game, the boys were told that their father had to be left alone for a while, and Rahul would go into his room for his meditation and visualisation exercises. On the morning of the game, he would get up and do another session of meditation before leaving for the ground. I have tried meditation myself and I know that the zone he gets into as quickly as he does - it takes lots of years of training to get there. It is part of the complete equilibrium he tries to achieve before getting into a series.
In the last few years he worked doubly hard to make sure he played the game in his best physical condition in the toughest phase of his career physically. He tried to understand his body and work on his limitations - he was able to hold off shoulder surgery despite a problem in his rotator cuff because he found ways to keep it strong. When I was pregnant with Samit, we spent two months in South Africa to work in a sports centre that focused on strengthening Rahul's shoulder. Because he sweats profusely, he has even had sweat analysis done, to see how that affects his batting. He found that Pat Rafter, the former Australian tennis player, had a similar problem.
To get fit, he went on very difficult protein diets for three months at a stretch, giving up rice, chapatis and dessert altogether - even though he has a sweet tooth. He wanted his batting and his cricket to benefit from his peak fitness, even heading into his late 30s. He has been to see a specialist in eye co-ordination techniques, for eye exercises for the muscles of his eyes. If there was a problem, he always tried to find answers.

Abhinav Mukund, Gen-Y teammate during England'2011 tour:
There was one game where the ball flicked his shoelaces and he got out in England. You could notice the next day that he had changed his shoelaces and tucked them in deep. When you say that the man leaves nothing to chance, that is the biggest example of that.

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