Justin Langer’s Dharavi experience: When luxury meets reality! | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Lucknow Super Giants head coach Justin Langer divulged that he was left profoundly humbled during this year’s IPL after visiting his team’s physiotherapist Rajesh Chandrashekhar‘s modest one-room abode in Mumbai’s Dharavi slums, where he encountered a stark contrast to the opulent lifestyle he has been accustomed to.
The experience served as a poignant reminder of the disparate realities that coexist within the city, juxtaposing the extravagance of the cricketing world with the austere living conditions of those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to support the team’s success.
LSG failed to make the playoffs after a mixed run in the league stage of the IPL.
“After a life of living what I would now define as extreme luxury, I was humbled like never before seeing how other human beings live their day-to-day lives,” Langer said of his experience in a post for ‘The Nightly’.
It all started with Chandrashekhar’s insistence on giving Langer a haircut.
“At first, I thought nothing of the invitation, but as the days moved into weeks, RC kept asking me if I needed a haircut.
“Eventually, I relented to his offer and within minutes he was knocking on my door, manned with clippers, scissors, and a spray bottle full of water,” he recalled.
Langer recounted that their discussion delved extensively into Chandrashekhar’s life experiences. “His story blew me away,” Langer remarked, expressing how profoundly impressed he was by Chandrashekhar’s account.
The conversation provided Langer with a comprehensive understanding of Chandrashekhar’s background and the events that had shaped him. Langer found himself captivated by the narrative, which left a lasting impact on him.
“RC told me that he lived in the slums of Mumbai and that he had earned a lucky break as a masseur for the local football (soccer) team. From there one thing led to another and that is how our paths now crossed,” he said.
“…I asked him what it was like to live in the ‘slums’.”
Langer said Chandrashekhar told him that his house was the size of the bathroom of the hotel they were staying in and he lived there with his mother, father, brother, sister, and brother-in-law. Chandrashekhar’s father works as a helper and his brother is a hairdresser in the local salon.
“The bathroom in this luxury hotel we were staying in was nice, but as I looked around, it was about the size of my laundry here in Perth,” Langer said.
“It was therefore incomprehensible what he was describing to me.”
Langer said a day before his last day in India (May 24), he asked Chandrashekhar to take him to meet his family at his home.
“‘You want to visit my home?’ he asked with a surprised look on his face,” the former batter said.
“My brother was in India watching the last two games of the IPL, and he was as fascinated as I was as to see a world which is so removed from our reality that we would have to see it to believe it.”
Langer and his brother went to Chandrashekhar’s home the next day.
“We were guided through tiny alleyways, like a maze of very narrow passageways between concrete houses. And like most mazes, it became instantly apparent that it would be very easy to get lost in this hidden community.
“Each lane was narrow, just wide enough for two people to pass. The alleyways were dark because just above us were the overhangs of buildings and tangled power lines,” Langer recalled.
“When we reached the door of RC’s house, we removed our shoes and walked into the humblest abode imaginable.”
He described the scene inside the house which was “four by five metres in diameter.”
“…the first thing I saw was a single mattress on legs, not unlike a makeshift massage table. In one corner was a tiny kitchenette, with a stove and small fridge. Bundles of onions and cloves of garlic lay in bags under the miniature kitchen bench.
“The six family members had one shelf each for their clothes,” he said.
“What struck me about our visit to RC’s house was that while they seemed to have nothing, they also had everything they really needed to be happy.”
(With PTI inputs)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GreenLeaf Tw2sl