I never considered myself Sachin Tendulkar’s biggest fan. Whenever Sachin has played well, he’s given me immense joy but when he’s failed I’ve used my share of curses. But whenever Sachin stepped out on the cricket field, the entire country stopped whatever it was doing and watched.
I always wondered how a country of 1.2 billion people showed such devotion towards one man. Initially I thought he was beloved for his role model capabilities. Post the 90s liberation when India opened up to the world, Sachin probably fit a lot of people’s idea of arriving on the world stage. Even after facing personal attacks from the alleged lifting seam incident in South Africa to Monkey gate in Australia to various cricket pundits attacking his lack of form (in the last couple of years), he has maintained a dignified silence.
But it has to take more than humility and modesty to elevate someone to god like status. It has to be that everyone who followed Sachin, immediately think of their youths. Every time Sachin took guard, he carried you back decades to maybe a happier time. That’s why today’s announcement by Sachin has brought a tear to even the most grumpy man in India.
I hope to see you one last time for your 200th test but Sachin, today you’ve made me and the nation feel old.