Rahul Dravid's remarkable ability to compartmentalise his quest for excellence in two different spheres was, perhaps,
a talent he inherited from his mother Pushpa. She handled two post graduation courses simultaneously during her student
days and later pursued a doctorate in art and conducted numerous exhibitions even as she taught in an engineering college.
It was a trait that Rahul picked up very early.
Indeed Rahul's academic excellence has seldom been talked or written about even as his cricketing acumen has received widespread attention.
Father Eugene Lobo, his principal at St Joseph's College of Commerce, currently with St. Aloysius in Mangalore, spoke enthusiastically of Rahul's
stay in the college. Two of his teachers, Mrs Lily David and Mrs Vaz helped him a lot. The former, in particular, was a pillar of strength as Rahul
and his dad openly acknowledge. TN Narasimha Rao, the economics lecturer was another who backed him.
``He was intellectually very good. All the teachers liked him a lot. Although we were a co-educational college with 30 to 35 per cent girls in each class,
Rahul never allowed that to sidetrack him from his pursuit of academic or cricketing excellence,'' said Fr. Lobo. Rahul helped the institution in many ways.
When his Hindi teacher Amanula needed money for medical expenses, Rahul willingly contributed his mite.
In fact an interesting aside to this came from Fazal Khaleel: ``we were studying in II PUC (pre-university college, equivalent of 12th standard) and had a
class party at a friend's place. The whole class was coming to the party. We had also invited some other girls. It was the first party we were having with lots
of girls around. Naturally we were all excited. Rahul badly wanted to come to the party. Now these were day parties, during class hours (when parents thought the
students were at class rather than partying). But Rahul also had a BUCC (KSCA senior division league club team) game that day. He wanted to be at the party and we
all tried to get him to skip the match. However on the morning of the party he called me up and said he was going to play the match instead. He was so torn by the
urge to be at the party and his love for cricket that he said he would catch up with me in the evening and wring all the details of the party out of me.'
``Rahul's great gift was to absorb everything he read. He had time to read just once and he had to retain that in his mind,' said Fr. Walter Anrade who returned
as SJCC principal. Although Fr Andrade was not the principal during the five years Rahul was in SJCC, he was the principal before and after Rahul's stint in college.
Anrade was very well liked by sportsmen in college, particularly cricketers as he went out of the way to prop them up. ``I knew Rahul well. His parents had spoken to
me before zeroing in on Commerce as his degree. I was very proud of him and spoke of him as a role model
for the other students. He was very good in cricket, excellent in studies and very well behaved. What more can any teacher ask?'' queried Anrade.