‘Today’s cricketers are amazing, they know everything, but still you find a few cricketers, they have a talent, but their mind is not there.’
A cricketing legend, one of India’s greatest captains and greatest all-rounders, Kapil Dev in a candid interview with Neha Dhupia on her chat show, No Filter With Neha. Part 1 of a fascinating chat:
Kapil Dev talks about his time through the lockdown
Oh, I think, wonderful.
I am a positive man, I always look for something out of wherever, whichever situation I am and I feel I am looking at the positive side by spending time with my family all the time.
I never spent time in the garden so I am doing gardening, I am doing so many things which I have never done in my entire life.
So, I say I have become more disciplined where the food comes.
So, every day I am not crying, what a rough time, what a horrible time, no.
It’s a time, you can only enjoy your week if there is a Saturday, Sunday also.
So this is what happened to us.
You know there is a difficult time but a beautiful time, wehave seen all and good time will come but this is also a good time.
Kapil Dev talks about fitness during the lockdown
No, I think discipline of your food is the most important.
Once you cross certain age, I personally feel the food intake is very very important.
So, you have to reduce your food intake.
That’s what I did I have become much more disciplined on the food and I don’t want to put on weight that’s the only thing I prepare in last three months.
Kapil Dev talks about a fundraiser for Covid relief
I think, first of all, you understand, people like us we just show our face and the people are important who are giving the money and I am playing golf and raising funds, No, it’s the organiser who was trying to use us, that’s fine, it’s okay, I won’t take credit.
I will just say, we have given our time for the event and that’s it.
They are people who are looking up to something beautiful coming out and they are ready to pay the money, why not.
Need of the hour is today, people like us should give maximum time for helping other people.
Kapil Dev talks about his golf skills
I will just correct you there, I am not the best golfer.
Yes, among cricketers you can say that I am the better golfer, not the best golfer.
God has given talent to everybody so I think perhaps God has distributed, on sport side, little more talent to me than other people.
If you have to say the same thing Kapil you have to write this big essay for somebody, I don’t think so, I will make hundred mistakes.
So, you have to find your talent and try to work for that and I would say, God is kind and has given me talent on sports.
Kapil Dev talks about being careful about getting injured
First of all, today’s cricketers if they are getting injured, I would say, they are playing almost 10 months in a year so the injury will come more you play more injuries can come.
People like us was little kind also, 50% body come from your parent and rest you work on that and try to make.
As long as you know your own strength is very very important.
I think I realised a little early that this is my strength and I don’t have to cross that and if I cross that line, I will get injured so in the first series to Australia, I got injured, after that I realised I have to work on my certain muscles and certain part of my body and God was kind again, I would say I got injured during off season what we used to say, we used to play 5-6 months cricket, rest off season was very very important for me.
I used to work so hard, not during the season.
During the season only performing.
Off season when there is no cricket, I used to do so much exercise and that’s where I used to get injured and time to recover that.
So, I would not that I never got injured, of course, I got injured but God was kind I got injured when there was no cricket.
Kapil Dev talks about those old cricket days and fitness
Every individual cricketer has to look after himself.
Yes, yes and no, I mean we were strict, certain people come out they were very conscious about themselves and sometimes certain people used to just play to have fun, to travel.
So, things keep on changing time to time.
When we enter, our age group enters, I think we were more disciplined in a sense ki we have to play much longer because this is your passion.
If you keep yourself fit, you can play longer.
And some of the cricketers were there looking for the evening, what is going to happen in the evening, and including me, I was to look for the evening also but again, you used to get scared, darr jatey the ke kuch ho na jaaye.
Every individual is different, today lot of people, new generations spend time in the gym, we didn’t have those facilities, we didn’t have mechanical things what these sports people today have.
We didn’t have those types of clothes also, neither the shoes, but human bodies are such, they adjust themselves.
I would say, today’s cricketers are amazing, they know everything and they apply, but still you find a few cricketers come out they have a talent, but their mind is not there.
Kapil Dev on being a ladies’ man
Hello hello, let me put it that way, I am a ladies’ man, no not at all.
I was the last person who used to say yaar sab ladkiya baki players ko dekti hai hamari taraf dekte hi nahi.
I was not good looking and neither I will consider myself good looking.
Mere mein itna guts hi nahi tha ki main unse baat kar saku.
Ek chotisi story hai, jab mein 14 saal ka tha, toh my sister studying in college at that time, uska cycle got punctured and she said, ‘bhaiya please mera teek karva dona.
I went with her to the cyclewallah and I said yeh thik karna hai and that cyclwallah said, which I haven’t forgotten in almost 45 years.
He said ‘Memsaab, aap jaiye ye naukar ko chod jaiye, teek karke mein isko cycle de dunga‘.
So I understand where I stand and I haven’t forgotten because usko cricket ka nahi pata tha, he was just a simple guy on the street thinking that teek hai yaar mundu ko bhej do ye mundu cycle teek karva ke le aayega and my sister got so upset, she said ‘tum teek tarah bhi nahi, ek toh tum ho bhi nahi good looking aur look at kapde bhi aise dalte ho‘.
So I realised where I stand.
So, if somebody says you are good looking — never.
Ha, good cricketer you say, I will take that.
Kapil Dev on cricket as a career — then and now
In our time, making a life out of cricket wasn’t there.
Now it’s okay, parents bring their kids to the ground, hamare time mein toh thappad padte the, chalo zyada khelne ja raha hai, 24 gante khelta rehta hai.
So, I think things have changed, when you made yourself through sports then parents recognise yes ability hai, talent hai, he can make a life out of that.
But in the beginning, I won’t say my mother knew cricket, my father didn’t know what is cricket.
24 gante lakdi ke sath khelta rehta hai, so what one can say about that.
Kapil Dev on his passion for cricket
Every young person, a boy, wants to play cricket and sometimes you don’t know ki your end result is you have to play for the country, who bohot late pata chalta hai.
As a 13-14 year old you just want to play and aaj kalki jo research hai, bacche badi badi baat karte hai ki nahi I was 10 years old, I want to play for the country, humare time nahi tha, humare time yeh thaki humein khelneko mil jaye.
Humare time toh ye thaki humein khelne se roka jata tha kyuki allowed hi nahi tha.
Sabhi rokte the, hum toh school ke bag me bhi apni white shorts leke jate the ki chori se change karlenge jaise aajkal ladkiya ghar se kapde alag dal ke jati hai aur raste me disco ke kapde dalti hai.
I mean that’s okay, that’s fine, this is what used to happen and we used to take our shorts, who jake fir hum change karte the raste me, so chori se hum cricket khelte the.
Shayad uss samay itni knowledge parents ko bhi nahi thi, hume bhi nahi thi.
Hame sirf passion tha and that’s what we used to do.
Kapil Dev talks about his wife Romi being ‘culture’ and he being ‘agriculture’!
Romi’s father in 50s studied in Harvard, grandfather 100 years back studied in Oxford.
Hamare liye school mein hi jana bohot badi baat thi, college bhi mushkil se pahunchte the, so I said that these two people we met, ek toh cultured hai, total cultured, ek total agriculture hai, hamari toh 7 Pushto me kisi ne city nahi dekhi thi, suddenly after the Partition we came to the city.
So I did make a statement, I said there is lot of difference, but this statement was made for cricketer.
I said I come from a very agriculture background, all the cricketers who played with me, they come from a very high cultured, because uss time sirf cultured people hi cricket khelte the, agriculture nahi khelte the.
Toh I said something like that.
Maine inse bahut kuch sikha, shayad inhone mere se agriculture nahi sikha.
That was the statement.
Kapil Dev on what Romi’s father said when he said he plays cricket for a living
Romi’s father was okay, understand that okay cricket khelta hai, but Romi’s grandfather unko tha ye question aisa hua ki unse pucha gaya ki jab my father-in-law talked to his father ki ladki ke saath yeh ladka hai, kehte kya karta hai, kehte cricket khelta hai, who toh thik hai par karta kya hai??
Woh puche ja rahe hai, old man must be 90 years old, they said ki kya karta hai ladka, cricket khelta hai, who toh thik hai par karta kya hai?
Uss samay cricket mein life nahi thi unn logo ke liye jo aaj se 70 saal pehele the.
Woh toh khete hai cricket toh sab khelte hai thik hai par aur kya karta hai?
Aaj kal koi IPL khelta ho toh usko puchne ki zarurat nahi hai ki kya karta hai, IPL khelta hai meaning uski saat pushte sudhar gayi.
Kapil Dev’s infamous proposal
We were travelling in a car and that time an Amul ad was there.
Amul had come out with a great ad.
So, instead of ‘couple of these’, they said ‘Kapil of these make all the difference’, with my two teeth coming out with a butter.
So that ad, it was very funny and I said to my better half I said, ‘Rom, iska photo le lo.’
She said ‘Kyon‘?
I said ‘bachon ko dikhaenge.’
So she said, ‘Are you proposing?’
I said ‘What’s it sound like?’ That’s what happened.
Feature Presentation: Ashish Narsale/ Rediff.com
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