Sachin...the nation's hero
Cricket for me is my religion, like for millions of others of my age. I read an article by Siddharth Vaidyanathan about he fab-4 retiring. For me, they were all great. Ganguly, when he would knock the ball out of Taunton would make me fill with pride. Dravid, when he would hit the straight drive, would make me forget my Maths test. Kumble made me adopt a new bowling run-up!
But Sachin is GOD! I stil remember the Sunday edition of HT in 1992 when the probable heroes of WC were featured. Sachin was a 19 year old then. 0 centuries, no records but I could only fathom what he meant for India. I remember the two centuries at Sharjah which I only heard as my TV tube went off ( I later saw the entire match again). I remember Tony Greig literally jumping from the Commentator’s box. I remember that Outlook Year-end edition that was dedicated to Sachin with the caption “IN AN YEAR THAT SAW US FALLING IN EVERY SPHERE, ONE MAN MADE US PROUD” (not verbatim but to the same effect). I remember when he got the Padma Shri, I felt that it was an honour for the Award to be given to THE AWARDEE instead of the other way round.
I still switch off the TV when Sachin is out. I can’t stand his wicket being taken. I recently promised someone that once Sachin retires, I am going to stop watching Cricket. That is true. Who knows how many times the Little Master must have lifted the spirits of thousands of depressed souls. Which other player can come from his father’s funeral and blast a century in World Cup Cricket? Which player can evoke the response of an entire nation when the ball-tempering instance happened? I can vouch for the fact that after Tendlya retires, TV sales will go down. Pepsi and Airtel committed the biggest marketing blunder when they dropped him from their ads. They thought he would be sad/angry/dejected. Hahaha, how naïve of them. He is above brands, above players, above gimmicks, above most things. He is not a part of Indian cricket folklore, HE IS THE INDIAN LEGEND.
Play on my hero, the entire nation is with you. Hit those musical drives, thunderous sixes, amazing hook-shots and scintillating paddle sweeps. Sony, LG, Hitachi, Samsung, Phillips need you to boost their TV sales. WE Indians need you to boost our spirits. Go on Little Master, go on……