This should’ve come up when Sachin retires, but the voices of people calling for his head has risen so loud that my sorrow of bearing witness to it, needs to be vented which would of-course fall pathetically short of describing the one who immortalized a game of mortals . An awfully simple tribute to someone, simply awesome.
He is reportedly selfish, getting behind the volley of records, plays for tons and puts his team at stake for his trivial goals, plays badly while chasing and mostly lets the team down when there is a wild chase! Some may be true but yet he is beyond all comparisons and the criticism of other mortals of cricket, because he is undoubtedly the Immortal. You know why?
When he goes out to bat, people switch on their television sets and switch off their lives. A well-disciplined nun, a school head master, a train driver, a fighter jet pilot, an operating surgeon or any one for that matter who are destined to carry on with their hectic work schedule, pause by for a moment, the moment when Sachin is on 99. In India, Sachin can really make time stand still.
A little nudge for a single from the boy-wonder lifting his hands and his heavy-duty bat in the air, thanking his father and GOD, the stadium erupts with applause. The nation seems to come back to life !
Yes, one raised finger when Sachin bats can break a billion hearts. The hope that surrounds the people’s thoughts when he is at the crease has never ceased to grow. Every time he walks out to bat, like the expectations on the Indian team, the expectations of the billion hearts on Sachin to score a century, keeps lingering! A lion that steps into the ground setting the crowd into unimaginable expectations. The crowd just roars not just at home but wherever Team India plays.
Before the arrival of the sub-continental hard hitters ,he was the one source of light that could raise not just the runs on the board for the team, but also the run-rate. He announced to the world the arrival of a brutal force to the game.
The more you see him, the more you want to see him. When he bats , you feel like he’s gonna score a century anyway and wait for that to come by. Scoring a century is not a chilling work at all. It’s like scoring a centum in a mathematics paper. One single mistake and the elusive 3 digit number would be gone. He made centuries look like a child’s play. You tend to forget time, hunger and any other work that creeps up. You stay put in the same place till he scores a century, fearing that a shift in place may bring in the unforeseen bad luck! There is no really better sight to watch on the cricket field than to watch Tendulkar bat. If he is not the best batsman in the world, then you should like to see the one who claims to be the best. You should see his face and look deep into his eyes asking him “do u really deserve to call yourself that?”
Yes,( I can hear you saying) Kohli is doing a good job and he can even better Sachin’s records but he can never be another Sachin who gave us a myriad of emotions for over 2 decades.
You can watch him bat for hours together, imagining what’s going on inside that cranium, that can define precision and focus, like a man possessed , working with absolute craftsmanship, carving a shot, delivery after delivery that can become a lesson for years to come.
What sets him apart? He wants to be the one to set the pace. He has to be on top. That’s the buzz about him . He never gifts his wicket to any bowler. Every bowler has to run for it. He prays to stay fit to be there, to run harder, to do what he is the best doing at, give his best to the country. He suffers when he fails but the nation suffers too, leaving millions with a long face and thousands with moist eyes. His jubilation is the celebration for everyone too ,again with many shedding tears of joy.
To him cricket is like the breath of air. He yearns for the glory and he strives to earn it. Every single heart that loves cricket would love to see him succeed, would love to see the smile on his face, when he does succeed! And that smile would still remind you of the child you saw 23 years back. If he has had the longevity, it is because God wanted to watch him play.He had lived up to the words “cometh the hour,cometh the man” .
Once he retires we won’t feel the pain of seeing him get out, the joy of waiting for his century and the tears of watching him roar. Cricket would be still alive but a lot less colorful. Let him choose, when to hang his boots! Please!
-Dr.Meenakshi Sundaram A.S.