``Rahul was a very fine person,' recollected Fr Coelho, principal at Dravid's school, St Joseph's Boys High School.
Fr Coelho is currently posted in Gulbarga, in North Karnataka. ``I spoke to his teachers before giving him permission to miss a few classes.
The teachers were unanimous in their praise for him and his academic abilities. They had no complaints at all about him. The sports secretary,
who took a lot of interest in Rahul, too showered praise on him. It was then that I started to closely follow his development as an individual.
``Rahul had no conflict whatsoever with any teacher or student. It was not just exemplary; his relationship with fellow students and his
teachers was ideal and flawless. It was unusual and, in a way, it was unreal,'' said Fr Coelho. The fact that his principal backed him to the
core was a great help. More so as he was allowed to skip the last period of the day also to attend nets in the evening. After nets he once
again would wind his way back home on a crowded BTS bus. Effectively, he was home just for dinner and sleep.
All this slogging paid off when he made the State Under-15 team for the second year in a row. This time, the tournament was in Andhra and,
during the school term. The Dravids were hesitant whether St Joseph's Boys High School with its demands on academics would allow Rahul to miss
classes to take part in a tournament in far away Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh state.