Abraham Benjamin De Villers, This One’s For You
Written by Shriya Rajachandra
There is an air of calmness around me. The drops of rain fall gracefully but have a tinge of aggressiveness in them. Every drop falls with ease and a dash of determination. They look beautiful, but I know they can cause havoc if required. I say to myself, “they can’t be real.” I am in awe of their performance, for I can’t stop looking at them.
Watching him play is akin to this experience. Like the drops of rain, he dances around the field gracefully, strokes the ball with aggression. He looks beautiful but is a source of havoc for the opposition. His blue-ish eyes hold the determination and his presence blows a wind of calmness around me. Again, I say to myself, “he can’t be real,” and I can’t stop looking at him. I grew up with this experience.
Every time I’d come in contact with this ordeal, the practical side of me would say, “it is going to end soon, you know.” The ‘immersed in emotion’ side of me would counter it with “not happening, relax”. I lived in this constant turmoil so ‘the end’ felt a long time away.
Today, he announced his retirement from the game of cricket. I now realise that ‘the end’ was playing games, all along she was sitting on the horizon, camouflaged with the false hope of ‘not anytime soon.’ My heart is heavy and my soul is in need of a hug.
Twitter has spent this afternoon addressing him as a magician, an individual from planet Mars, a legend and the greatest of all time. The world knows his glorious past and words will never do justice to account for his performance. A bowler’s nightmare, fast as a flash on the outfield and a nice man who led his team from the front – he redefined the game of cricket. He was and is simply the ‘unreal’.
Call me crazy and dramatic but it is a heartbreak. A heartbreak I knew was on its way but never prepared for. He is going to be around but the game is never going to be the same. He gave us his all and being a part of his era has been life’s greatest privilege.
I close my eyes and travel to a stand in Chinnaswamy Stadium where he is on the field and the crowd is chanting ABD. I’m covered in goosebumps. I open my eyes, tears roll down my cheek. I realise that he bestowed upon us the power of travelling back in time, and experiencing his greatness by simply closing our eyes.
My heart is heavy, my soul is in need of a hug but I hold onto the memories made and celebrate the era of number 17.
Abraham Benjamin De Villers, the greatest of all time, retires.
(Photo Credits: BCCI)