Sachin Tendulkar. The Phenomenon!
I should consider myself lucky enough to have been able to watch Sachin Tendulkar deliver his farewell note. Those words will remain etched forever in the minds and hearts of the millions who watched him speak about his journey. As he incredibly put it ’My journey of 24 years between the 22 yards’, as emotional as it was, as difficult as it was for him to hold on to his tears, as difficult as it was for us to get a grip and stop the tears flowing, it was speech befitting the Grand Finale, at the end of his glorious career. He surpassed our expectations yet again by delivering the best.
This post is not going to be about his achievements. I’m sure I don’t have to highlight it, again. The man’s statistics have been speaking for themselves. No, I’m not going to do that. Nor am I going to walk you through the highlight performances of his career. I honestly haven’t had the patience to watch an entire inning of a cricket match, expect perhaps for the T20. This is about something else. This is about Sachin, the human being. Apologies for the term human being. Or, let me word it this way. This is about the Sachin and his human-like attributes.
The man of great character!
While he was addressing a few kids at an event, he had mentioned that choosing one’s profession is not the most important of all, but what comes before is that one has to aim to become a good human being. The character first and then the profession. I certainly believe that the man has stood by his words through his journey. It was a treat to the eyes and the ears to watch him speak and listen to him addressing the world. Such humility, such modesty, such gratefulness. I’m not sure if I would ever get to see all of that in one person. You need not have known Tendulkar enough or you needn’t have watched all his performances, but his farewell note stands testimony to the wonderful human being that he is and would indeed tell you that he is indeed a man of great character.
Someone had remarked on Twitter, that if an individual had even one-tenth the fan following that Sachin had, it would be hard to find that person with his feet on the ground. Despite being called the God of cricket, he started off by thanking his wonderful parents. Despite being acclaimed the International Superstar in the field of Cricket, he was more concerned about his coach’s compliment after the last game than what the rest of the world seemed to say. Despite his huge fan following, he felt bad that he had missed out spending quality time with his family. Despite sections of the media shamelessly demanding his voluntary retirement, he thanked them for supporting him all along.
One simply doesn’t spend 24 years playing for a country unless his name is Sachin Tendulkar. It was only fitting that he received such a wonderful send-off, both from his team mates and his fans. For placing India in a prestigious position in the International cricket arena, for making the best of the best stop and admire the way he played his shots, for giving his utmost and yet not being able to win a match, for everything else. The Master Blaster truly deserved all the adulations and eulogies that came his way. Rather, the words would have been proud that they were being associated with someone as great, yet someone as humble as Sachin Tendulkar.
When reality strikes
The clock still keeps ticking. People pour out their emotions. There comes the end of an era. Yes, we will miss him. But time does play in a very weird way. Tomorrow, as the world learns to accept reality and move on, we will get back to our life. The nation would go back to its routine. The cricketers will have to cast their emotions aside and keep playing. Cricket aficionados will still keep mentioning Sachin’s name now and then and so will the commentators. And then slowly, as another generation comes into action and as another era slowly begins, we learn to move on. All of us. Yes. Each and every one. That’s how time works for us. For all of us, except for one person.
This is the very person who chose to retire from his innings when he was at his best. The person who could never have dreamt of a more perfect ending, by winning the last matches in all formats of the game. We miss him, but he would miss the game more than anyone else. The entire nation would have been moved to tears and felt emotional at that moment he uttered his thanks, but I cannot imagine what he would be going through when the reality finally settles on him that he wouldn’t be playing at the crease. Yes, it was his decision, a very conscious and thought out decision. All the time, he knew he would have to face it. But one can never be prepared for something like this. And when the time actually comes to step away, if we feel bad, imagine how he would be feeling.
For someone who said that cricket is his life and it’s like his oxygen, the days following the last game would definitely be tough. It would probably be the toughest days of his life. At this juncture, all we could do is to pray for him. To pray to God to keep him in good health, give him strength and bless him in his future ventures. To pray that he continues to inspire people and be the Ideal Role Model not just as a cricketer, but as a wonderful human being.