Warning: This is a blog that lacks intellectuality. My levels of IQ stand as lofty as that of Paris Hilton's pet pomeranian and my knowledge of current affairs is as deep as Mandira Bedi's of cricket. I mostly ramble about the trivialities of my everyday life, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, friends n family, movies, cricket; basically thoughts that would enter the mind of any Sita, Gita or Rita.

Note: I was busy drooling over the pages of Playboy during my English classes in school. So please bare with any grammatical blunders or the obvious lack of classic literary writing. (I was a little confused between the selection of 'bear' and 'bare' in the sentence above so I resorted to my favorite inky-pinky-ponky routine)

If you happen to pass by, feel free to register your presence. coz yeh duniya bahot chhoti hai aur yeh zindagi bahot lambi. Kya pata, someday somewhere, you and I might end up discussing about it over a cup of garam garam masala tea.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Aaila !

When Sachin plays, big-city roads are easy and trains and buses ply empty at rush hour and the markets take a beating...
When Sachin plays , busy, ambitious executives ignore their calls and cancel their appointments and avoid their clients and miss their deadlines...
When Sachin plays, college Common Rooms are dense and tense and hushed as an entire generation sits on pins and needles...
When Sachin plays, school-yards are silent and playgrounds are deserted because those who normally make such a racket imitating their hero are all too busy watching him make batting look so ridiculously easy...
When Sachin plays, fathers who want the news and daughters and mothers who always want soft stuff and brothers who fight for action, for once all agree on what to watch...
When Sachin plays, India forgets its differences and divisions and teeters between tensions and exhilaration and breaths and laughs and cries as one, as its heart fills with pride and joy...
When Sachin plays, all else is irrelevant...

Written above is what I had read in a sports magazine a long time back. But it is something that holds true for eternity. Just today morning when I saw him come to bat at the Adelaide Oval, getting up at 5:30 seemed all worth it. He was once again greeted to a standing ovation. The respect the man draws all over the world is truly astounding. No other recent player(maybe Lara to some extent) comes close to that. Watching him come out to bat made me a bit nostalgic. It reminded me of India's '92 tour to Australia. I was hardly 7 when this little boy who was not even 20 came out to bat at the WACA. I did not know much about cricket back then, but I found something very crickety romantic about him. It was indeed a treat to watch a guy 5'4" stand tall to the fast bowlers. The world could not help but take notice of him. The little boy had become a man. It was just the beginning of what was to come in the years thereafter.

He has come a long way since that innings. He has broken like a zillion records but what has been more satisfying is the way he has achieved them. Australia too have broken records but we all know how much they have lost on the way;they have lost the respect of the people. They might be a cricketing powerhouse that keeps on producing mechanical champions but they no longer have role models. Sachin on the other hand has been an ideal ambassador for the gentleman's game and the perfect role model for millions of budding youngsters the world over. There have been many legendary cricketers who have done wonders on the pitch; Shane Warne for instance. The man who revived the art of leg spin bowling in an era when youngsters wanted to steam in hard and tear apart batsmen with pace. He made leg spin look catchy and sexy. And that was his greatest contribution to the game of cricket. But if a boy walked up to his dear daddy and told him that he wanted to be like Warny, the father would have to impart some wisdom on what-to-dos and what-SO-not-to-dos of Warny's life. And there would be quite a few things on the not-to-dos list. Not being too friendly with bookies, always making sure that mommy does not make you take pills that might ban you, making sure that your SMS text messages have the correct recipients, and who knows what not. Sachin has not only been a great cricketer, but more importantly, the greater person. A champion on the field, and also off the field.

Speaking on cricketing terms, he is always a delight to watch. No matter if he is on song like against Pakistan in the world cup or crafting his way against Australia at Sydney(his highest Test score). Even when is he is playing a defensive shot, there is something very authoritative about it. The way he brings down his bat, the perfect manner in which his elbow is lined up, the way his front foot moves to come in line with the ball; its a picture-perfect image for any textbook on cricket. And then there are his signature shots. The backfoot-on-the-up cover drives and the straight drive past the bowler. Aah.. life seems so beautiful at times like these. Just if you could have Harsha Bhogle in the commentary box. That would be like the icing on the cake.

I just have 2 wishes when it comes to him. I want to see him take India to a World Cup ODI victory (even more than I want to see India win the world cup). Its not that I am not patriotic or anything but its just that India has been blessed to have the most complete batsman of all time and it would be the most fitting tribute to India's favorite son.
And whenever he decides to call it a day from Tests and ODIs, I want him to play Twenty 20 cricket. I want to see the no-holds-barred vintage Tendulkar once again. To see the helplessness in the bowlers as he tries to innocently ridicule them. To see him come charging down to the fastest of bowlers and mercilessly pull them through mid-wicket, to stand tall and effortlessly play the upper cuts over the keeper, to have the audacity to slog sweep spinners against the turn, to have the class to hit them inside out over the covers, and all the while innovating with his blade the way one cant imagine.

When I try to recollect moments from the past, a couple of 'em vividly come to mind. The 2003 World Cup clash against arch rivals Pakistan. The stage was set. And he decided to make it his own. Not only did he play an electrifying innings, but he gave us one of the most memorable moments in history - sending the ball sailing into the crowd over backward point. It was one of those 'I was there' moments. Everyone who was present at the ground and the millions who saw on their TV sets will tell their children and grandchildren - I was there.. I was there when the little master smacked the man they call the 'Rawalpindi Express'.
The other one that flashes across the mind is the Sharjah blitzkrieg. The back-to-back hundreds against Australia. Oh, and the look on Warne's face. The utter shock out of sheer helplessness. There was a sandstorm in Sharjah but far greater was the impact of Tendulkar who stormed the Aussies. I still remember the instance when Tony Greig was on commentary and Sachin had just hit another six. And all he said was 'What a player'(in his typical style with all the excitement in the voice). They are 3 very simple words but they sum up everything. And they are words that you don't hear about other players that often.

If I had to pick a batsman to pay my money to watch, there would be no second thoughts. Yes, I know that Lara-on-song is a class apart, but he does go through in-form out-of-form patches. (And when in-form he more than makes up for the lean patches.) But Tendulkar is always a treat to watch.

When Sachin plays, the world watches in awe.. India comes to a standstill...
Go commit whatever crime you want.. It will go unnoticed.. Because, even the Lord is watching...



Please note: this post has not been inspired because of news that Gordon Brown wants to honor him with knighthood. It has only been written out of my love for cricket and my most admired sportsperson.
Today is one of my best friend's birthday. Happy birthday dear. And Sachin just made a hundred. Hows that for a birthday present :)

2 comments:

kanika said...

I m truly deeply touched.. three words for u.. "what a friend".. thanks so much.. :-)

Sanchit said...

awesome :-)

 
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