‘Proud to be VVS' parents'

The champion's family...Laxman's parents Dr. V. Shantaram and Dr. V. Satyabhama with the Test cricketer's wife V. Sailaja and their two children, Sarvajith and Achintya.-V. V. Subrahmanyam

“Before the second Test, I just reminded him of the faith he has in himself, the gurus and God. ‘Now you have to show it and prove it,' I said. Generally, man proposes and God disposes. But by the grace of the Almighty, even He seemed to have wanted a similar result,” says Laxman's father Shantaram. By V. V. Subrahmanyam.

While millions of Indian cricket fans and the entire Indian team look to V. V. S. Laxman in a crisis, Team India's most dependable batsman himself looks up to his parents — Dr. V. Shantaram and Dr. V. Satyabhama — to seek their blessings before every match.

So, what exactly did Laxman's mother tell him the day before the recent Durban Test?

“I just told him not to get out quickly. Try to remain unbeaten and this, in the process, will help the team's cause,” revealed Satyabhama.

“What amazes us all is his ability to take both success and failure in his stride. And more importantly, even at this stage of his career, after every failure he makes real efforts to solve the problem areas,” she says with pride.

“Before the second Test, I just reminded him of the faith he has in himself, the gurus and God. ‘Now you have to show it and prove it,' I said. Generally, man proposes and God disposes. But by the grace of the Almighty, even He seemed to have wanted a similar result,” recalled Shantaram.

“We and his wife (Sailaja), like many of our countrymen, are proud that Laxman rose to the occasion and played his part in India's famous victory in Durban. But credit must be given to captain Dhoni, team-mates and in particular to coach Gary Kirsten. He had really tuned up my son's game before the series,” Laxman's father explained.

What's the one quality in Laxman that appeals the most to Shantaram and Satyabhama?

“His crisis management is amazing. He seems to love and enjoy challenges; they get the best out of him. Laxman has proved it again after almost a decade (since that majestic 281 against Australia in 2001) that he is indeed a very, very special cricketer,” said Shantaram.

According to his parents, Laxman, before he left for South Africa, exuded “rosy optimism” about India winning the series in South Africa this time. “He takes pride in being a member of the No. 1 Test team in the world,” Shantaram said. “So his contribution to India's win was a great honour for all of us. No doubt, this was possible because of God's grace.”

“We are proud to be VVS' parents,” said Sathyabhama. “We all believe in the Nishkama Karma (Bhagavad Gita). And so does Laxman. We hope that he goes on to serve the country as long as Mother India wants him to do so,”.

Surprisingly, Laxman's wife, V. Sailaja, did not watch his wonderful knock in Durban. “By the time I found time to watch the game, he had got out,” she said.

The Man of the Match award and the great Indian win were considered Laxman's biggest, advance birthday gifts to his young son Sarvajith, who celebrated his birthday on January 1, 2011.