Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Tendulkar Gift

By Gaurav Parab

He did it again. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar made grownups cry like little kids, and made little kids pretend to be grownups, dropping numbers and stats as Tendulkar motored along.

It is time for a confession. As a writer, Tendulkar is one of my favorite subjects. For every time I write about him, I believe I have said everything I have to say. It is perhaps the quickest topic to write about, for when it comes to all things Tendulkar - the heart pumps words instead of beats. However, like all addictions good or bad - one does feel drained after the experience. For after I am done with a Tendulkar piece, I find adjectives replacing verbs and imagination stretching as far as they can go.

Then the prankster pulls off something like this.  One has to reach for the pen.

What does one have to say? The temptation is to pick on his critics, but it has been done before. None more effectively than by the Tendulkar bat itself. Ask Andrew Caddick, or Henry Olonga. Or the hundreds of others whose careers are laid to rest along the way from the Kanga league to Melbourne.

Perhaps it is time to address the South Africans, for they were really smart at Gwalior today. Smart, because at no time did they sledge him. What a shame.  The mind shudders at what he would have done if they had got him mad. So he smiled, looked at Steyn once or twice, as if to say, “You are a nice guy Dale. But this is what I do.” He was almost apologetic after he flicked, cut, drove and shrugged his shoulders every other ball.

Speaking of the Proteas, it is also time to acknowledge their sportsmanship. Well, actually, today we will appreciate everything. The nation is in a good mood today because of that five foot nothing piece of gem. We will even acknowledge that India has a few good politicians. Shibu Soren is a Saint, and the Docomo jingle is nothing but Mozart.

And this is what he does. At the end of the day, the Bandra boy, 200 or otherwise against his name, has the gift that perhaps goes beyond even his talent. He has the gift to make us feel good. Good is perhaps a misplaced word, for deep inside he triggers an emotion that cannot be described. Pure pleasure? Perfect Vibes? I am not sure, but I am willing to stick my neck out and say that if someone else had got a 200, even he was an Indian – we would have felt different. Happy off course, but different!

A Sehwag 200 would have left us amazed. We would have felt happy, sure. We would have burst the crackers too. We would have cracked the silliest jokes about the look on Kallis’ face and the wise cracks that came out of the Sehwag bat. We would have loved Sehwag for who he is, and acknowledged his immense contribution and got drunk.

A Dhoni 200 would have left us in awe. We would have felt proud about this amazing young talent who keeps going on and on. We would have felt vindicated that he is more that a flash in the pan. He was brilliant today Dhoni, and we would have all seen this coming one day. He should bat up the order more often, the experts would have commented.  Dhoni made a world record, we would have texted our friends.

A Tendulkar 200 has left us feeling good in a way, which goes beyond the external and finds a way to reside in our sub conscience. And this is the Tendulkar Gift. His 200, in a funny way, is my 200. And your 200. After all, for the last 20 years, whenever Tendulkar goes to bat, he takes some part of you and me to the batting crease. As he grimaces, we reach for our bodies. As somebody sledges him, the medieval inside each one of us rises.  And when he smiles, we all laugh as an Army on crack. Sachin is me. Sachin is you. He is everything we have achieved, he is everything we want to be.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, thank you for the gift. For twenty years you have been generous enough, and I hope your bag of goodies never runs out.


nightflier said...

Gaurav, after Sachin your blogs about him, make me feel that strange exhilaration!
Keep it up, both of you!
In this case, enough is not enough :)

Amol said...

Very True... Just To Sum It Up , Can't Forget The Era We Lived In..!!!

Phani- A Sports Freak said...

Thank uuuuuu for this!!!! :) :) :D :D

Prateek Agrawal said...

very frankly speaking, ur blog shortened my breath much more than even sachin cud do... kudos buddy... :)

Sachin said...

Great article.

I keep following your blog regularly. My most favorite article still remains as "Leave the Genius Alone".

You just expressed what I thought all the time...

sagar said...

Great article sir!
As become the voice of the true feelings of us about the great man..
Thanks a ton!

IndInman said...

Gaurav, just love all that you write about Sachin.
SRT is a Uniter; whenever Sachin gets a ton, phone calls are exchanged between friends/ family around the world to share the news, to share the happiness, to soak in the SACH vibes...yday was no different Was on MG Road, Pune when Sachin was nearin his 200, one could literally have looted all the stores there; all eyes were glued onto Sach, unknown strangers hi-fived, and did a jig after the milestone...just wish, Sachins bag of goodies never runs out.

Vikas said...

Gr8 work... Truly Sachin is God

Ishu said...

Hey, just chanced upon your blog. Really well-written, enjoyed it thoroughly. Did you grow up reading Nirmal Shekar too? :)
I loved the part where you describe each of Sachin's centuries almost as a personal achievement. Very true. Yesterday's amazing performance was the same - a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction - our Sachin has done it again!
Hats off to God. Years and years later, people will be talking about this moment. And I'm just glad I saw history being made.

yamini said...

Hi Gaurav,
Read your blog after quite some time. You have done what Sachin does for millions of Indians; Expressed our feelings for the God of World Cricket through your blog.


TechShankar said...

I like your post. It was Fantastic amazing performance by Sachin.
Congrats to Sachin Dear Little Master.

Have a look at here too..

Sachin Tendulkar's Rare Photos, Sachin's Kids pictures, Videos

Gaurav Parab said...

Thank you all for writing in.

Like a friend of mine commented on his Facebook page, Tendulkar is Impossible!

Bang On. I am not sure why the MRF bat deal did not come through, but Adidas sure got their money's worth. He truly is Impossible.

Diwakar Sinha said...

I read your piece four times...very powerfully written indeed. :)

Amit Sonawane said...

Simply superb yaar…!!!!

I read all your posts regularly.. and this is by far the best of all (according to me)
Sometimes I feel that I am reading an article written by very famous writer. Keep it up..

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, thank you for the gift.
And… Thank you for such a nice post.

vishal said...

Amazing Gaurav... This is the best article about Tendulkar that i have ever read.. thanx n congrats Gaurav for dis article.. Vishal Bhatia

Neha said...

As gavaskar said, 'there is a little boy in him that still wants to play, play and play' Its that attitude in SRT that probably gets you , everyone :)
nice post!! blogrolling you, if you dont mind!!

Himadri said...

:).. Sachin brings a smile to our faces adn delight to our heart. and so did your article. A master-post (we all know and FEEL .. it is SO much more than just a post :) ) for our Little(!)-Master. -
Like a befitting priestess of a mighty God.

And .. i can sit here all smiles.. looking at the screen ..for hours, i think, instead of being able to pen down my love and pride for Sachin, and admiration of this post in the comment. but that wont do.. so. Thanks and God Bless, Sachin.
and you. keep spinning magic- the world's watching. and reading :)

meta said...

this is d best piece of writing after Sachins 200.
U rock!!
NEERAJ Mahajan

Saurabh Nyalkalkar said...

You put words to what we feel! Amazing work! :)

Scattered Thoughts... said...

some worshiper you :) But hey can't argue the fact.. he is a legend for sure..

Surferosh said...

fantastic piece man !!!
worth reading :)

Umesh Karthy said...

some of your SCMHRD friends directed me to your blog.. awesome writing.. have just begun to read you.. :)

on the match day.. i said to my friend... "we are watching something really special.." and it was...
before that i always had the opinion, tendulkar was not invincible.. but now its changed..