Spending an hour with Tiger Pataudi was often a matter of trying to get a reaction from granite; he could put you off not by what he said but by what he didn't. And spending an hour with Tiger Pataudi could also be a pain in the gut because he could make you laugh until it hurt.
And that is what Pataudi was: aloof yet witty, plain but direct, regal yet casual. He was so many opposites that eventually you stopped trying to classify him.
He was the man you could weave legends around: being hit on the jaw by Andy Roberts, then hitting Vanburn Holder for a straight six, then hitting four fours in succession in front of 90,000, hitting 85 at the MCG, which Ray Robinson described as one of the gutsiest innings ever at that ground, becoming a legend in the covers - and to think that he did all this with only one eye. Sunil Gavaskar described it well: if you want to appreciate the genius of Pataudi, spend a day with an eye closed and then try to light a candle.