Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cricket is No Longer my Religion, Sachin is Still My God

After two decades, you can’t reduce Tendulkar’s contribution towards my happiness to a stupid stat. The pull out advertisements, the congratulatory tickers on TV, the ghost written articles by former greats means the machine that has fed on Tendulkar’s exploits and his failures is as strong as ever. Amidst the hyperbole that leaves a taste of dry vomit in the mouth – the truth, I repeat, is his contribution cannot be reduced to a stupid stat.
For more than a year, Sachin Tendulkar did not score a century. It is a condition he shared with many international cricketers. Coincidentally, India also lost many cricket matches during this period. So the ad club (Can’t score a single run, can write a magnum opus on how it is scored) got together in a dark room filled with Kachwa chaap smoke, and pored over the record books for the next big campaign. A hundred hundreds! Concept: How do you describe Everest’s height without comparing it with something smaller and insignificant? A hundred hundreds! Even the ridiculous Asia Cup can be sold on that one.
A destination was created for the man who built the road. And the more he struggled, the more they said it was important. It would be the thing that will define him. Then they wrote the 1000 word tribute and filed it away. Easy money. Just a matter of time. Tell the shop floor to start making the special edition bottle.
Oh how the prankster struggled! The three digit score just won’t come. And so a unique situation was created with a batsman walking into the ground and spectators counting backwards from a hundred. The ninety nine before were forgotten. The one after became everything. When he did not get it, the experts said it is the only thing that occupied his selfish mind. Scientific opinions indicated the missing hundred brought the Indian team and the Greek economy down. Viru can’t comb his hair, Gambhir can’t take a piss, Mamata has become a human headache, and Kingfisher just won’t fly. Sachin, get your act together and score the freaking century.