The Stoic Struggle of Being Gautam Gambhir


The Stoic Struggle of Being Gautam Gambhir

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


n a cloudy day in July, my eleventh-grade physics class was disrupted by rumours of Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir coming to our school. Of course, my friends and I found our way to the basketball court. There, on a podium, in the middle of the court, with some media members and sixth graders forming the audience, Gautam Gambhir revealed the trophy for the first ICC World T20. Gambhir, still close with the cricket programme of his alma mater, Modern School, had recently replaced Virendra Sehwag as captain of the Delhi Daredevils, and had returned to his old stomping ground for his first major public appearance since the announcement.

A rather routine, dull presser was followed by the excitement of a major scuffle. The kids in audience went loco for autographs in the pre-selfie era. There was a crowd of sixth graders and older girls chasing him to the parking lot. I stupidly tried to play the cool, distant type, but the rest hunted him down to his car, where he signed some Daredevils paraphernalia before being whisked away by Amit Mishra in a bottle-green Maruti Esteem. My sister managed to score an autograph, which she gave me. I put it in a drawer and forgot all about him, much like the country.