Today, at Vakola Masjid in Santacruz (East), Mumbai, Yusuf Pathan walked in for the Friday Namaz. He was dressed simply, in a white shirt and a blue pair of denim. He looked peaceful in his newly grown beard, Mashallah! There was no air around him. He walked in the mosque like a common man looking for a place to sit. He sat 2 rows behind me.
As soon as the prayers got over, he decided to leave. No sooner did he reached the gate and wore his shoes, than a few men surrounded him for an autograph! "Yusuf bhai, one autograph please." "Yusuf bhai, please step out and click a photograph with us." The requests poured in with a Dolby surround sound effect!
And Yusuf replied, "Please let me go!" Now when I looked at him uttering those words, they were only out of humility. He was visibly embarrassed as if the paparazzi caught him with his pants down! His 'please let me go' actually meant, "I have come here to pray just like you guys. Why are you acting so strange. Did you forget we are in God's house?"
He hurried away to the Toyota Innova waiting a few metres ahead and jumped inside. Little kids started knocking the window and grown up men waved their hands. All Yusuf did was, bow down to tie his shoe laces and embarrassingly lifted his hands up without looking at the crowd.
This was indeed a humbling experience. Why? I have seen minutely famous personalities acting like superstars when they are around common people. Forget them, when we ordinary common folks achieve something, we act like royalty. And here was Yusuf Pathan, arguably the greatest Indian hard hitting batsman, showcasing the class associated with real gentlemen.
All I did was, see him walk, read his face and look at his eyes. And the one word to explain his personality was - HUMILITY.
I wish we common folks could learn a lesson from a sporting superstar of this nation.