A dream of a man becomes a way of life of a billion people.The strokes of a person on a cricket field brings out gamut of emotions out of a child.The disappointments of a human bring out the tears out of a grown man.The success of a man invigorates the emotions of what its like to be successful to million others. A man alone does what democracy couldn’t do- Unite a nation. This man is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
As they say, we are take birth to do a certain task. Sachin realized what this task was. It you look at that task in simple way, it was to play cricket, he did that in a brilliant way but in course of doing that, he shaped lives of a billion people. He gave people the joy which no other thing could have provided. There are so many casts and creed in India, but when sachin played, there was no muslim, no hindu in them, they were all Indians hoping for just one thing, cheering just one man, praying for him in temples, worshiping him like god, crying for him in his despair, and shouting the words which would ring in ears of each one of us until we die, the words Sachinnn, Sachinnn…
Prodigies are always there, but few of them go on to become legends. There is no bigger truth that the phrase ” There is no substitute for hard work”. Even If you are a prodigy you have to work day in day out to reach your potential and stay at the top which is exactly what Sachin did. Never gave less that 100 percent even If it was a 3 day warm-up tour match or a world cup final. You know a child is special when you start hearing his name in media when he is just beginning his teenage years. Fast forward a couple of years, the boy was decimating the best bowlers of the world.
The light which everyone saw in that curly haired boy, slowly became the beacon of Indian cricket. Come 1998, he established himself as one of the best players ever to have graced the cricket field. There were numerous great innings which he played , it is difficult to choose a single one, but If you look at all the factors, one stood out for me.
136 vs Pakistan in Chennai. Pakistan had come to India after 10 years for a test series.India were chasing 271 in 4th innings which is always a difficult task. India were 2 wickets down for 6 runs when he walked in. Pakistan had two undisputed great fast bowlers in Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and one world class spinner Saqlain Mushtaq. He scored a century on that day suffering from back problem throughout his innings, but his determination, his hunger kept him going. One bad shot when India needed 17 to win, he got out and India lost the match. It was a heart-wrenching moment for us and Tendulkar cried a lot that day as it came to be known later. With that back pain he played but it was his will power , his never say die spirit, his hunger to win for India cheered him on. I was a child then, but I knew back then what this great man had done.
If you are an Indian and If you are ardent fan of cricket, you should not have missed the opportunity to watch him live at the ground. I was fortunate enough to witness him score his 99 century and he was at his vintage best that day.He tore apart South Africa and I was happy not only because I saw sachin score his 100, but also because the way he scored those 100 runs. That was the sachin I also knew and I always liked, charging bowlers and hitting them out of the park, but a journey is never a moonwalk, it always has some potholes.
Injuries disarmed him of the arsenal he had, he stopped playing lofted shots so he could prolonge his career. Critics attacked him whenever they got the slimmest chance. But he stood firm and stayed true to his capabilities and worked on his strenghs. He was dilligent, he was intelligent, he was worked so one day he could fulfill his dream of winning the world cup. That day came in 2011, and when that happened, the dream had become the dream of the whole nation. I cried that day, not only because it made me forgot the horror of 2007 world cup and the heartbreaking loss of 2003. but also it was the happiest day of my life.
So,What will I miss as Sachin has retired now. I will miss the immaculate On-drive. I will miss the the straight bat high left elbow back foot punch through the covers, I will miss the front foot cover drive which pierced the fields, I will miss the leg glance which made ball fly to the boundary. I will miss the thunderous pull shot which went out of the park so many times. I will miss the anticipation of what genius you would produce when you came out to bat at no 4. I will miss the fear when a ball went past your bat and opponents appealed for you to be given out. I will miss the bunks of the school, college days when I stayed at home to see you bat. I will miss shouting your name as loud as I could till my throat went soar. I will miss the eternal joy you have provided me Sir Sachin Tendulkar.
Thank you for my making 23 years of my life so special.