Mother’s Day | She was the strength behind my rise: Kapil Dev

On international mother's day, Kapil Dev talks about his mother, Raj Kumari, stood by his resolve to become a fast bowler.

Kapil Dev with his mother, Raj Kumari Nikhanj.

For Kapil Dev, his coach in Chandigarh, Desh Prem Azad, was the “world.” He shaped his cricket. But Rajkumari Lajwanti, his doting mother, shaped his life. It was a “wonderful” relationship as the mother stood by her son’s resolve to become a fast bowler. There was resistance from his father who wanted Kapil to concentrate on his studies. But Kapil had set his eyes on the India cap. He had seen a poster of G. R. Viswanath and just wanted to play for India. The biggest support came from his mother, who stood by him like a rock.

Ensuring her Kuckoo received a healthy diet, Kapil’s mother also encouraged the boy to give his best on the field. “Kuckoo, you are a growing boy. You want to be a fast bowler,” she would repeatedly remind him as Kapil remembers in his autobiography, Straight From the Heart.


Kapil talks fondly of his mother’s contribution, like the time when he was to leave for Bombay for a camp and she supported his demand for some pocket money. “Eat properly, beta. Don’t you ever move out alone. It’s a very big city,” she implored. Kapil did not forget and returned to Chandigarh with a burning desire to play for India. Within three years, he had accomplished his dream.

“Ma was precious to us all. I would look forward to her affection and guidance. She was the greatest cook on Earth and I have fond memories of how she would serve me hot and fresh food. She was the strength behind my rise as a teenager who wanted to bowl fast for India.”

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