Sachin Tendulkar – God, in all his glory

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Source: Cricinfo, Getty Images

Most people today get bored of doing the same thing in about 20 weeks. Some go on to complete 20 months before the feeling of monotony grips them. Yet Sachin Tendulkar shows no signs of stopping even after 20 years. People around the world are writing, speaking out, and congratulating Sachin for this remarkable feat but that is not the purpose of this article. This write up tries to bring out the love, respect, and admiration people have for him.

On 5th Nov, India took on Australia at Hyderabad. At that time this particular boy was taking on his mba classes. After his classes finished he sat at the dhaba next to his college for a cup of tea. He called his brother and inquired about the score only to be disappointed as Australia had scored 350 runs. He finished his tea and went to meet a friend. As soon as he reached his destination ( food court in a mall) he got to know that Sachin is batting well and India are off to a good start. As he entered the food court, there were a lot of tables placed outside in the open and all the people sitting there had there heads turned towards one direction. As the boy moved inside he also turned his head to see what everyone was looking at and was pleasantly surprised. The match was being projected on a big screen and everyone was glued to it. The boy couldn’t control his smile and did a little hop skip dance not bothering about the people looking at him. He was getting a chance to see Sachin bat on a big screen while sitting under the stars, he wasn’t bothered about anything else.

It was a perfect evening, one he thought he would remember forever if India won the game. Sachin soon completed his half century and the boy stood up and bowed down to his god. Soon after, Sachin unleashed his full array of strokes and was in the nineties within no time. The boy folded his hands under the table and silently prayed for his idol’s 45th hundred. Sachin got to it without any problem and looked up to thank the almighty and probably wish that his Dad was there to see it. The boy also looked up and secretly hoped for the same, as it was his dad who introduced him to the world of Cricket. As India got closer and closer to the impossible target the boy wondered if what he was watching was actually happening and even  said to himself “Yeh kaisa match jita raha hai Sachin?”.

The friend sitting on the other side of the table was new to this world and was amazed at the reactions and expressions the boy  had while following the match. At times the friend became non existent for the boy, all he saw was Sachin and his strokes. But never before had the friend seen such love, devotion and fellowship for  an outsider and so was not complaining. As the match got closer and closer, Sachin batted better and better. Every cover drive for four and every six over the bowler’s head was poetry in motion. It was as if nothing would stop Sachin(or so the boy hoped). The boy let out a gasp when Raina got out, only to follow it up by saying that India still had a chance till Sachin was there. Sachin got to 174 and the boy like many others started hoping that this would be the day when Sachin scores a double hundred in ODI. Sadly it was not to be as Sachin got out on 175. As the ball went up in the air, the boy’s heart went into his mouth and he hoped that the ball would not go to a fielder, but it did. Sachin walked back towards the pavilion filling the stadium with silence and the boy’s eyes with tears.

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Source: Cricinfo, Getty Images

What followed was one of the biggest heartbreaks in the boy’s life. India lost needing only 19 more to win after Sachin’s dismissal. The boy couldn’t help but think back about the Chennai test against Pakistan where Sachin got out and the rest were not able to make 17. He was numb and couldn’t hear anything. He couldn’t believe that he saw Sachin’s best innings in one days, for a losing cause. He said good bye to his friend with a heavy heart and continued his journey back home on his bike. But throughout the journey he kept thinking of Sachin and how he would be feeling. He was sure that people will again not see the manner in which Sachin batted but instead see that he didn’t take India to victory. Tears rolled down his eyes as he drove against the cool breeze. A strange feeling hit him as he made his way back, the feeling was like being lost without a map because he thought of cricket without Sachin.

It was an extremely sad end to the day for the boy who only hours before couldn’t control his smile and thought this day would be one the best days of his life.

Today when Sachin completes 20 years, it is incidences like these that truly describe what he means to the people. This was the story of one boy watching one innings of Sachin, but there are millions more like him who would have shed tears for Sachin and who today stand and salute this genius. He has given millions of us so many reasons to smile, to cry, and most importantly, to Believe.

(This post was written some years back. For the latest on Sachin: http://opinioncircuit.com/2014/04/18/sach-is-god/)

Now, More Than Ever

One can’t even imagine what it must be like to be Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. To carry the hopes of millions day in and day out, match after match for 19 years is no easy task, but still he has maintained that humble smile( Can’t describe how inspiring it is) and gone out there to give his best each and every single time. Be it the world cup match after the loss of his father, or the latest test match between India and England.

I can say that i was lucky enough to have witnessed it live(even though on T.V) but then i have been lucky several times. I saw him pulverize New Zealand in 1994 when he first started to open, I saw him score over 400 runs in the 1996 world cup, I saw him demolish the Australians single handed at Sharjah, I saw him take India and the hopes of one billion Indians to the final of the World Cup in 2003 and I also saw him play not one but two match winning Innings in the finals against Australia earlier this year. But i have to say its very hard not to rate this 103 not out on the final day of a test match as the best and consider this moment to be my luckiest in the last 19 years.

It is the best because of those non believers who always questioned his effort when India lost a test match or the finals of a one day series. When he came on to the circuit with hundreds in all three domestic tournaments(Duleep, Ranji and Irani Trophy) many said he is just a kid and will not be able to survive infront of the W’s of Pakistan, but he did and how. Then they said that he makes runs but doesn’t make hundreds because he did not have a century to his name for the first 78 one day matches. I don’t even want to begin saying how wrong those people were, 83 and still counting.

Over the years people kept pointing fingers on how he doesn’t perform in big matches, what he gave them in reply is now known as the Sharjha Sand Storm which blew away the Australians. He kept proving his detractors wrong at every step and turn but there was still one thing that he had not achieved, take India to victory with a fighting fourth Innings score. He got the opportunity in Chennai 8 years ago but he fell short by just 17 runs and India lost the match. Needless to say the pain of losing the test to Pakistan was in the hearts and minds of Sachin and his fans alike.

When Sachin came out to bat on the final day with India Chasing 387, the setting was perfect and he did not repeat the mistakes he made the last time. No doubt there was much better support from the other batsmen then there was in 2000 but he was the one who held the innings together on a wearing and spinning pitch. How he played the likes of Swann and Flitoff was just exemplary. How i wished that i was there when India won so that i could hug him and thank him for dedicating all his life to the sport and giving millions around the world a reason to smile and jump in joy (just like he did). And i hope now he has proven to everyone that ‘He plays for India, Now more than ever’.