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VVS and I were roomates for four years while we were a part of the Hyderabad team and we also played for the same club. Though we used to be in a double-room, I used to allow him to stay by himself most of the times. He preferred staying in his shell early on, and on his own.
Though he stayed by himself, Laxman would be the first person to talk to you, if you were having a bad day. I remember I was having a tough time back in the 1993-94 season, and he never let me feel down or depressed. He would keep telling me it was too early for you to quit, and he played a huge role in me continuing.
For a quiet man, he loves to laugh. And has this big open-mouthed laughter, which is really contagious. He loves to bond with people but takes some time to open up. He loves to talk cricket mainly.
I have never seen him upset or angry, even when he has had an off-day on the field. The word anger does not exist in his dictionary. The only time I have seen him angry ever on the field is during that famous run-chase against Australia at Mohali when he had a go at Pragyan Ojha. I think he was as surprised as we were. I remember we gave him a lot of grief about that, and we all kept imitating his actions that day when we met him after that. And all he could say was, “Did it look that bad on TV? Did it?”
(As told to Bharat Sundaresan)