I am heart-broken, absolutely heart-broken! I don’t know how many of you guys saw the just concluded cricket match between India and Australia, I just finished watching it, and we lost by 3 runs, that too chasing a mammoth 351 to win! (Warning: This post is meant for cricket lovers)
Very sad indeed, but that’s not the only reason I’m heartbroken, in fact that’s the lesser reason. The greater one is because I probably watched one of the greatest ODI innings of all time and still saw the hero ending on a losing side- a tragic hero of mythical proportions. Yes, I’m talking about the man himself- Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar!! I always thought I would write a post on him the day he retires (Yes, guys, I know it’s a blasphemous thought, but something that’s a matter of when, not if!). Those of you cricket lovers who missed today’s match, or gave up watching after Australia got 350, you have probably missed probably the greatest, and the most poignant innings of all time, by the man most people consider the greatest cricketer to have walked the cricket field after Sir Don.
I saw Sachin brushing a teardrop when he was called to speak after gathering his man of the match award, and that in itself told me a lot about the man. This guy has been playing cricket for 20 years, holds every record conceivable to mankind, demands and commands awe and respect from the entire cricket fraternity, makes millions a year and yet a loss in a one-day game in a bilateral series prompts him to shed a tear! A lot has been spoken about this man, there are still some morons existing who are quick to point out his deficiencies and failings. Sure, he is human after all! But not a mere human, a first among equals, and that too by quite some margin!
We live in a cynical world. A world where, strangely, we have forgotten to find passion in our lives (A small exercise: When was the last time any of us jumped around with joy, or cried with happiness?), where we don’t trust each other or sometimes even ourselves, where we seem to have internalized a lot of the negativity we see around us, where the erosion of values (its situational at the best of times, and thought to be totally unnecessary at the worst) is matched only by the lack of heroes and idols- someone we can truly look up to. It is in this world that the importance of people like Sachin increases, for this guy epitomizes all that people strive to achieve in their lives, in whatever field, and still retaining the humility and simplicity as well as love for one’s motherland that is a lesson for every one of us. A lot of us tomorrow are going to be successful in our lives, to attain wealth and power and status in society. But we would do well to look carefully at this man and understand the importance of keeping a level head on our shoulders, and at the same time living with passion and believing in ourselves as well as the world around us.
I would end this by observing that we, the cricket-loving junta, are a lucky lot. We have seen a lot of great Indian players at their prime over the last 10 years- Kumble, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag. But nobody has given us greater pleasure, nobody has taught us to believe more in ourselves, and nobody has evoked greater passion in our hearts than a certain Mr. Tendulkar. Its been a privilege, sir! Rock on!!