“Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don’t know, something beyond scientific measures, something that allows him to soar, to roam on territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives.”
“There are two kinds of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar, two all of the others.”
“I don’t know much about Cricket but still I watch it to see Sachin play because I want to know the reason why my country’s productivity goes down by 5% when he is batting.”
”You were a great habit, Sachin”
The first man on the planet to reach two hundred and it’s the superman from India – Sachin Tendulkar, yelled the bombastic Ravi Shastri. I remember the day clearly, India vs South Africa 2010, 2nd ODI, Gwalior. Before this day, I was not a Tendulkar fan. Yes I was obsessed with cricket but not with Tendulkar. I had seen him play, I knew he is the best but was not my favorite. Like most of the Indians, I was much into cricket, cricket being our pastime game. Cricket was to us what smartphones are for the new generation of kids. It was a mandatory game played at every gully of our society.
I remember people saying before that day, “Mujhe nahi lagta ke ODI mein kabhi koi double century maar paega, ye to na mumkin sa hai”. Par jo kaam duniya ko na mumkin lage vahi to mauka hota hai apna talent dikhane ka. And Sachin proved his talent again. He had almost every batting record on his name but not of highest score in an ODI innings (The record was to Charles Coventry of Zimbabwe and Saeed Anwar of Pakistan, both having 194 as their highest score). And that was his day, he added another record to his name.
Holy shit. That isn’t a score we get to make even in our gully cricket, where length of boundaries are even lesser than that of pitch of cricket. How did this happen? That was my reaction. He made me his fan.
Sachin made me stick to the television from that day to November 2013, his last match. Rare were the days when I missed a match of him. And now, after watching 3 years of his live cricket batting, as well as the previous 21 years of highlights on sports channels, I realize why he is the best. I always believe that the world and India specifically, has very few people that are loved by ALL. Even Gandhi, Father of the Nation as we say, has a large group of haters. But then, there rises a man from Mumbai, who becomes a worldwide sensation, and is given an identity of GOD and is loved by ALL.
24 years is a long time to call something a memory, journey wouldn’t be the right word either, only Harsha Bhogle hit the nail when he called Sachin a habit, and the habit had been an enthralling one. There are the lessons I learned from Sachin Tendulkar: Never let success get into your head, strive for the best, be sincere, love and enjoy what you do and never cease to learn. Sachin Tendulkar was, is and will continue to be my teacher of the game called life.
Tendulkar has done a lot of things to people. He gave them joy when he scored a century, sadness when he got out. He made people believe in god when he was in the nineties. He made people believe in unwieldy superstitions while he was batting. But of all, I like the one he made me do. He made me write a blog.