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Starstruck: How Kapil Dev taught me to speak from the heart — Vikram Sathaye

Much before 'Captain Cool' MS Dhoni, it was Kapil Dev who was the heartland hero of India - Vikram Sathaye learns how is it that Kapil Dev won people over.

Kapil Dev Vikram Sathaye cricket

Kapil Dev's bowling action (left) and Vikram Sathaye with Kapil Dev


Vikram Sathaye

Updated: 24 Dec 2021 10:14 AM GMT

This is the story of my first cricketing hero. I met Kapil Dev as a school kid when my Dad introduced me to him in a domestic match he was playing in Delhi.

This was in 1980. I think I imitated his bowling action in front of him.

He immediately had a smile on his face and that made my day, I was simply on cloud nine.

As destiny would have it, 24 years later I was in South Africa as a cricket humorist for the 2003 Cricket World Cup.

We became friends instantaneously as I again imitated him this time, Kapil Paaji had a hearty laugh.

He said he never noticed his mannerisms till I displayed them in front of him.

Much before Dhoni, Kapil Dev was the first heartland hero of India. Dhoni was still fairly educated & had the suaveness of urban youth.

I remember Kapil Paaji telling me then that he hated being judged as a youngster because of his inability to speak English.

However he made peace with the fact and said to himself, my English will never be like the British but one thing I can do is speak from the heart.

He said, if people have a smile on their faces because of my mannerisms means I am doing something right.

Making people happy is a good thing.

Even in his corporate talks, he laughs at himself and that's why he is the darling of the speaking industry. An important lesson to learn, isn't it?

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