The Wall of Indian Cricket Retreats! Joy of Hindi Cinema Vanishes!

Fondly called the ‘Wall’ or ‘Mr. Dependable’ Rahul Dravid retired from international and first class cricket on Friday, the 9th March, 2012. Early morning the same day ‘Joy’ Mukherjee of Hindi Cinema (not called Bollywood in his time) passed away at a Mumbai hospital. These two events are not linked, but may impact a large mutually inclusive community to which this writer belongs.

The news was doing the rounds almost the whole day on Thursday that Rahul Dravid had called a press conference at noon the next day. Almost all in media knew what it would be about and the preparations began in earnest.

Rahul Dravid, the consistently No.3 batsman in India’s test matches and in one-day internationals too to a large extent, announced his retirement at a press conference in Bangalore around noon. The end of an era.

For the last 16 years we had been watching him, witnessing him and adoring him in all of India’s cricket matches here or abroad. We always looked to him for guiding India—first to safety and then to victory. A batsman with a solid 55+ average in away matches, 80 century partnerships with Sachin Tendulkar that is a world record and in all 80 century partnerships with 18 different partners, the world record holder for most number of Test catches taken, only the second cricketer in total Test runs scored, a good fielder plus a wicket keeper in need and solidity that was never questioned.

And, the superb cricketer had only a brief aberration in the recent Australian tour. He was the star in the previous away series in England. But age was not on his side and since all senior players did miserably in the Aus tour the heated controversy of ‘seniors Vs juniors’ must have pained him. When the Indian cricket Board dropped him or picked for one-day cricket at will Dravid retired from that in 2011 in disgust. A true artist with the bat just cannot take on politics. We are going to miss him terribly. Whenever we had to go out on some work in between watching matches we used to be assured if Dravid was at the crease. We salute the Great Cricketer and wish him all well for the future. 

Joy Mukherjee, one of the greatest classic romantic heroes of Hindi Cinema of the sixties, called it a day at the age of 73. His main attraction was his immense likeability. You just could not help but like him dancing or jumping around or just delivering dialogues. His disarming smile and a bright-jubilant countenance filled you with joy instantly without you knowing about it. His unorthodox acting antics, dress code and gait appealed enormously to the younger generation of the bygone era and even now. In this he can be realistically compared with the energetic Shammi Kapoor and the stylistic Dev Anand.

By the early seventies fitting roles for Joy Mukherjee dried up and he left acting focusing on film-making where he was not a huge success. Slowly, he faded from public gaze, but lived on energetically in his movies. If his movies like ‘Shagird’ or ‘Lovein Tokyo’ are screened or shown somewhere you are drawn in irresistibly compelling you to relish it one more time.

While grieving for his demise we get assured by the fact that he is immortalized in his movies. So, who can stop us from enjoying an evergreen super-hit song ‘Japan…love in Tokyo’! This might even inspire the Japanese people solemnly observing today the first anniversary of the dreadful Earthquake-Tsunami that killed nearly 19,000 in 2011.

 Let the ‘Wall’ and ‘Joy’ inspire all to better times.


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