First, you have to be happy within to spread happiness and joy all-around. “Love yourself and you will start loving others. Feel the charity within you so that you can share happiness, money and time with the less fortunate ones in the world,” said former India cricket captain Kapil Dev Nikhanj, while receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from Rotary at the zone institute, Mahabs 21, in Chennai.
In a spontaneous chat with RI Director A S Venkatesh, the Haryana Hurricane said, “when you call it a ‘lifetime achievement award’ does it mean that everything is over and there is nothing more for me to do now? With your love and affection, I want to do much more in life. After retirement from cricket, I understood that life is more than just sports.”
Praising Rotary’s service activities for the disadvantaged in the community, he said his own charity Khushi is ‘distributing happiness’ among people and “I am fortunate, and humbled that god has given me the opportunity to fulfil my passion. When my daughter asked me what I wanted her to become, I told her that it is impossible for her to carry the same passion with which I played, so she should do what she wanted in life,” he recalled. The parents’ job is to guide their children in a mature way so that they can achieve what they wish for in life, he said.
With your love and affection, I want to do much more in life. After retirement from cricket, I understood that life is more than just sports.
Venkatesh asked Kapil what went through his mind on two memorable moments at the 1983 World Cup cricket — when India was down at 17 for 5 against Zimbabwe, and Kapil came out and smashed 175 not out, to take the team to a stunning victory; and the second innings of the finals after the team scored a modest 183 total. “The team is your family and having been raised in a joint family, I looked after my team’s interest. God has created for everyone certain days where nothing goes wrong. Those were my days, I enjoyed them.” As a family, Rotary can move mountains in their journey forward, he opined.
Movie ‘83’: Fingers crossed
Like others, Kapil is looking forward to the Kabir Khan-directed Hindi film 83, a biopic, starring Ranveer Singh as the cricketer and slated for a Dec 24 release. “I have not seen the movie. We, including Sunil Gavaskar and Srikkanth, have presented our side of the action at the 1983 World Cup finals. But I am keeping my fingers crossed. Ranveer came to my house and placed three cameras in front of me for a couple of days.” Initially, the player was a bit hesitant, but later on felt okay as Ranveer, the protagonist, was modelled on him.
After retirement from cricket, Kapil took to golf “as I will be playing with only a few people around me. Mom advised me not to do anything in life other than sports for ‘you don’t know anything else’.”
A style icon
Is it a conscious attempt by Kapil to change his appearance every few years like sporting long hair or wearing a turban like a sardar, asked Venkatesh. “Small, little changes are beautiful as long as they don’t hurt your wife. Also, I want people to talk about me,” he quipped. At the Q&A session, the query “How do you manage stress playing at the highest level” got the heartwarming response: “Representing your country is not pressure, but pleasure. You play for fun, following your passion… that is my life.”
Rotarians are spending so much time and money for others in the world. I am ready to endorse Rotary’s literacy campaign and will go miles to do that work.
Complimenting Rotarians for the great service they were rendering, Kapil Dev urged them to keep-up the good work. Rotarians are spending so much time and money for others in the world.” Replying to another query, he said, “I am ready to endorse Rotary’s literacy campaign and will go miles to do that work.” Venkatesh announced that three heart surgeries for children will be sponsored by Rotary in honour of Kapil Dev’s presence at the institute.
Picture by Kiran Zehra