Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Friday, November 15, 2013

To Sachin, with love

Dear Sachin,

I remember that evening in 2010 when I was nervously strolling around, listening to the commentary on the radio about probably my favourite innings of yours in Hyderabad against Australia. I clearly remember that the highest score by teammates after your mammoth 175 was just 63. Similarly, I remember a match against Pakistan in 2004 in which the second highest scorer after your 141 was a mere 36!! This is the problem with you Sachin. When you play well, when you are on song, everybody including the non-striker just wants to watch you do that. To see you hit those unbelievably mesmerising cover drives, leg glances and pull shots.

My parents tell me that when I was a kid, I used to ask if I ate, walked, talked or even dressed up like you!! We grew up like that. Playing only one sport and praying to only one person, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. If our previous generations had the pleasure of watching your Old Trafford, Sydney, Perth and Sharjah performances, we had the privilege of enjoying your 'Nataraja Dance' against Pakistan in the 2003 world cup, your century vs England in Chennai and your extraordinary innings to help India win the Commonwealth Bank series in 2008.

Thank You for being there Sachin. Every good innings of yours must have inspired lakhs of people. There is a M.S.Dhoni, a Virat Kohli and a Bhuvanesh Kumar in them. Why, your presence in the dressing room is enough for young team mates to enter the ground confidently. Your presence in the team is enough for 120 crore people to watch the match. Your presence in 'Cricket Cards' game is enough for a confirmed win!!

I need not talk about the records you set in Cricket. I am sure they will not be broken any time soon. But yes. They maybe broken in the coming years. For you have shown how to bat well. All the way from a bowler dominated era few years back to a batsmen dominated time now-a-days. But, I daresay that one can only try to break your records but cannot even think of setting new ones. They have to remain envious of you!!

Finally, I want to say that you have not just entertained us with your bat but you have taught us a lot. To be humble, to be ethical and successful(I remember you rejecting a huge campaign offer only because it was a liquor ad) You have taught us to bounce back. To reply, not in words but in actions. Your recovery from the tennis elbow injury is a motivating story. Even now, when you are bidding good bye, you are teaching us to end things in elegance.

Wankhede will be worried. Sydney will be sad. Sharjah will shun away all matches. Lord's will be lost for words for not being able to witness your run flow. Thank you by the way for making your retirement step wise. We can now be in a feel that you got injured and are not playing for sometime. Otherwise, we would be shocked, for who will show us those beautiful cover drives, upper cuts, googlies, flippers and that glowing face. "Whadddaplayer you are!!"

One of your devotees in the religion of cricket.

P.S: Please do not come back as a commentator. We cannot bear to see you as anybody except SACHIN-The CRICKETER!!

This letter is published in The Hindu on 15 November 2013(http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/the-little-master/article5351948.ece). Since this is my first letter that made to the papers and since it is about Sachin, now awarded BHARATRATNA, I am advertising a lot about it!!