To the world, he's The Wall but who does Rahul Dravid lean on when he needs support?
Rahul Dravid and Dr. Vijeta Pendharkar's love blossomed far away from the glitz and glamour of the cricket world.
Rahul was born in Indore and grew up in Bangalore (now Bengaluru). Vijeta was brought up across the country after finally settling in Nagpur. Their lives were completely different set on even different paths.
So how did they come together?
It was between 1968 and 1971 when Vijeta's father (now retired from the Indian Air Force) was posted in Bangalore and met Rahul's father. The two became good friends and their families grew close.
The friendship between them remained intact even as Vijeta's family moved to Nagpur. Rahul and Vijeta, too, became friends. And it was the beginning of something special.
Rahul fell in love with Vijeta after having known the family for many years.
According to some reports, close friends of Vijeta's revealed that Rahul had always liked her and would make it a point to visit her every time he was in Nagpur.
Different bodies, one soul
They were vastly different in their professional pursuits: he was India's most bankable cricketer, she was on her way to become a medical surgeon. But, they both lived a grounded and simple life and perhaps that is what brought them closer together.
Both Rahul's parents and Vijeta's parents noticed the affection and it was just a matter of time before the two would tie the knot.
Country's obsession with the woman who bowled Rahul over:
The news of their engagement broke out like wildfire. The whole country wanted to know about the woman set to marry the most eligible bachelor in India. Rahul was the object of admiration of millions of girls and he would frequently get love letters.
A super-private wedding ceremony
Rahul and Vijeta's wedding on 4 May 2003 was a private affair, far from the media's prying eyes. Both of them remained tight-lipped about the preparations, which irked a few fans.
The wedding was held at the AF Headquarters Maintenance Command (HQMC) at Vayusena Nagar.
Vijeta pushed into an alien world
Their matrimony pushed Vijeta into a different world. She was a woman of science and had no idea about cricket.
She even gave up her career as a doctor to focus on the family. Rahul's mother reveals to The Hindu,
Vijeta is a doctor but she gave up her career as she wanted to support Rahul and look after their children (Samit and Anvay). She takes care of the home while he stays focused on the game.
A love that remains stronger than ever
Vijeta's exclusive column on Rahul hints at his simplicity and his passion for his game.
He doesn't care for gadgets, and barely registers brands - of watches, cologne or cars. But if the weight of his bat was off by a gram, he would notice it in an instant and get the problem fixed.
They're also leading examples as parents. Rahul shows up at his kids' (Samit and Anvay) school like any other parent and requests no celebrity treatment.
That's Rahul Dravid in a queue with his kids at a science exibhition.No show off;no page 3 attitude;no celebrity airs;no "do you know who I am?" looks;Queueing just like any other normal parent... really admirable... pic.twitter.com/NFYMuDqubE— South Canara (@in_southcanara) November 23, 2017
Rahul is a complete family man and Vijeta is his equal partner through life's ups and downs.