June 22, 2021
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In Lockdown, Kapil Dev Draws Closer To Nature; Feeds 'Unseen' Pretty Birds In His Garden

Legendary India cricketer says prevailing circumstances are man-made, but is hopeful that "this time too shall pass"

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In Lockdown, Kapil Dev Draws Closer To Nature; Feeds 'Unseen' Pretty Birds In His Garden
The coronavirus-enforced sabbatical seems to have turned Kapil Dev, 61, more philosophical, as he talks in terms of the man-made illness that has crippled the world, and the unlimited powers of the Almighty.
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In Lockdown, Kapil Dev Draws Closer To Nature; Feeds 'Unseen' Pretty Birds In His Garden

Like every Indian, legendary Kapil Dev, too, is confined to his home due to the Coronavirus-enforced lockdown, but he is discovering and appreciating the richness of the nature. This includes some pretty, colourful birds that descend in his garden and that he has never seen since relocating to Delhi about 30 years ago. Besides, he takes part in domestic chores, like handling his wardrobe, attending to his pet dog, and, at times, reliving India’s epochal 1983 World Cup triumph, a conquest that he led from the front like an astute general. 

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The Corona virus-enforced sabbatical seems to have turned Kapil, 61, more philosophical, as he talks in terms of this manmade illness that has almost brought the world to its knees, and the unlimited powers of the Almighty. Still, he maintains his typical positive outlook towards life, saying “yeh waqt bhi guzar jayega (this time too shall pass)”. 

Kapil informs he is not following a fixed schedule these days. He, nevertheless, now has a lot of time to spend with wife Romi and daughter Amiya, 24. “My life is simple. I wake up late these days, do my daily exercises, and then some domestic chores. I do things that I’ve never, only because I never got the opportunity. For instance, I take care of my clothes, fold them, and keep them properly. I’ve never swept the floor, but I now sweep and take care of my garden. It doesn’t make a difference. Despite having a domestic help, if you want to do something you can do that,” Kapil revealed in an Exclusive chat with Outlook. 

Kapil says outdoor engagements have kept him away from gardening over the years. “I never got the opportunity to indulge in it. And how could one get the opportunity when there are people at home to take care of things while you go to office to earn livelihood? But, now, one is not thinking about money; it is a question of life [due to Corona onslaught] and looking after your health. It is also an opportunity to be with the family and talk with each other. And it feels so good,” says the mercurial former all-rounder. 

After being confined to home for two weeks he ventured out on April 4, but only due to an emergency. “I went out of the house for the first time in 14 days and that was only because my dog was not feeling well and I took him to hospital. He is better after taking the medicine, and if he feels unwell, I will again take him to the doctor because I wouldn’t call my driver,” he informed. 

Kapil prefers to see the positive side of the enforced lockdown. “One good aspect is that I get to see a variety of pretty birds that I hadn’t seen in Delhi all these years. These small birds visit my back garden. They are just a few inches long and are of different colours -- black, yellow, and pink. I see them two-three times daily and I enjoy the sight. I feed them so that more could come,” says the man who captained India to the 1983 World Cup title. 

Apart from watching birds, Kapil at times also watches videos that his friends send on his mobile. “For instance, in Chandigarh, the city where I was born, deer and neelgai are straying into the city. The other day a leopard strayed into someone’s house in Chandigarh. I had never thought such things would happen, and that’s why I say we [human beings] are in jail now and animals are free and enjoying themselves. But all this is our own doing. We know what the Almighty has given us -- sun, sunshine, clouds, rain, and breeze etc. But we obviously don’t know about His plans,” he says, probably referring to the invisible Corona virus. 

“This [illness] is the doing of the humankind. This was bound to happen, if not today maybe after 50 years. When you misuse the brain given by the Almighty this happens. Technology can take you forward, but if someone with a mischievous mind uses the same technology he can take you backwards as well,” avers Kapil. 

Like the way he played his cricket, Kapil remains positive. “Due to the lockdown everywhere the temperature of the entire world has changed today. How birds and animals are coming out. If we don’t run after money, we can make our lives better. There is life beyond earning just money,” he says philosophically. “I am very calm and happy at home. There’s an Urdu line that goes like this: ‘yeh waqt bhi guzar jayega’. When you say this in good times, it won’t sound good, but when you utter the same line in bad times it sounds so good.” That is Kapil Dev for you, positive at all times. 

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