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Being a champion means touching lives of others

What does it mean, being a champion? As Novak Djokovic showed with his gesture, there is more to life than just winning. Gautam Gambhir writes.

india Updated: Jun 03, 2014 02:30 IST
Gautam Gambhir

So we’ve done it. It’s twice in three years now that my team has won the IPL. Just after the finals on Sunday someone asked me what does it mean being a champion? I can’t remember, but I gave some random reply as I was rushing for the mandatory press conference.

Later on as we were in the middle of our team celebrations at Bangalore’s ITC Gardenia hotel, I saw Shah Rukh bhai happy as if he’s won the Oscar. He kept thanking me for what he claims is “ultimate pleasure for him and his daughter”. I wondered if that is what it means being a champion?

As the party was on, I was on the phone with my family, collecting all their wishes. They seemed to have rediscovered their voice. Ever since my exclusion from the India team the conversations on the phone were almost on a silent mode and generally in monosyllables. So is that what it means being a champion?

Good habits

I don’t drink or smoke, not even beer. It seems during the celebration party a few prospective mums-in-law liked me for that. One of them remarked: “no drink, no smoke, you are a perfect role model Gautam. If I had a daughter I’d have hijacked you for her.” It is safe to assume that aunty ji was a little high. I think I blushed at the comment but only for the “perfect role model” part. You can trust me that I pretended I didn’t hear the other part. I wondered, is that what it means being a champion?

The question was disturbing me as I sat in my hotel room with my little cousin Ekansh who was in Bangalore to watch the final. He was giggling while watching something on his i-pad. I asked him what it was. He passed on the tab to me. It was a Novak Djokovic video on Youtube.


I think it was French Open and perhaps rain had held up play. A ball boy was holding an umbrella to the tennis star. All of a sudden Djokovic gestured to the little boy to come over and sit next to him. As he sat, the tennis star took the umbrella from him and held it over the little boy’s head. The boy seemed to be living a dream as crowd went hysterical.

The boy’s moment got even better as Djokovic held a drink in his hand and gave one to his “guest” too. The two went “Cheers” as the moment once again got crowd’s loud approval. I saw the video again and then again.

I think I had got my answer. This is what it means being a champion. When you touch the lives of unknowns you become a champion. And that champion resides in everyone. It’s just a matter of finding him.

For all our sixes and fours on the field those brilliant catches I don’t think we touch the lives of others the way we should. Yes, we’re bringing smiles on the faces but we’re being paid heaps for that. There is room to do a lot more. There was room to be a champion.

Anyway, I was hungry and ordered my usual preferences on room service. “Your order will be delivered in 15 minutes Mr Gambhir,” the lady on the intercom said. I was startled.

“What happened today? You normally take 40-45 minutes,’’ I said. There was no reply but merely a giggle at the other end. Perhaps the hotel service had got more prompt for the champion KKR captain. Surely the lady didn’t know what it means being a champion.

The writer is the KKR skipper
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