Thank You Sachin

Its been a while since I wrote something on this blog. But then, some things need to be written. And that’s that. I am here. To say one more time. #ThankYouSachin.

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In a way, you can call him my first ever crush. That sounds inappropriate coming from a guy, but its true. You stay up all night to be with him. You would probably be ready to give up your precious bicycle to shake hands with him. And not wash your hands for days after that. You wait eagerly to watch them in action. Say something. Something. Anything. Their arrival (on the pitch) is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Their departure, the worst point of your day. They become the reason why you stick on to a match. The only time I managed to get an autograph was when he came to Ranchi to play in a double-wicket tournament (do double wicket tournaments still happen these days?).

I have a distinct memory that defines my relationship with Sachin. But the memory that I am talking about is a couple of years before Sachin debuted. It was the India-Australia league stage match of ’87 world cup. India lost to Australia. Steve Waugh had done what he always did. Came to bowl the death overs to sound the death bells of the opposition. Somewhere you liked Steve Waugh. Somewhere you hated him. At that time, I was 7 years old. Our room (me, bhaiya and didi) had posters of Srikanth, Gavaskar Kapil and co. We lost by 1 run. After a pretty awesome start led by Gavaskar, Srikanth and Sidhu. We had a usual middle order collapse. Our number 10 batsman in that match was Manoj Prabhakar, who eventually opened the batting for India at a later stage! We still lost. I pulled down the posters of Shastri et al. Tore them down.

Being someone who started watching most of his cricket around that time frame, I always thought that we had a spineless and a 50% team. 50% of the team was there on merit, while the rest where there because we did not have anyone better. The older players had started fading, and newer ones were few. The flashy shastri of Benson & Hedges had given way to a walk-stop-walk-stop Shastri by then. Colonel was slowing down. Gavaskar, Srikanth and co were exhausted. And we celebrated mediocrity. And victories over Pakistan, as and when they happened.

And then came Sachin. In 1989. The exhibition match. The four sixes of Abdul Qadir in the same over. I felt good. Then NewZealand. 82 of 49. Somewhere, Perth had happened. And I was growing a spine. For the next decade, he became the reason I watched matches. I switched off television after he got out. I hated people like Jonty Rhodes or Adam Bacher. I hated people like Harris even more, bloody part-timers who got him every once in a while. I rejoiced Olonga badgering, even though I knew that the previous one was a one-off fluke. I created revenge stories in my head. And the ultimate high of that hit-over-the-midwicket off Shane Warne. Or, that straight six of Kasprowicz in Sharjah. And that straight drive. And that paddle. And that drive. And then the nudge. That flick off the hips. That manoeuvre. That lofted shot over the wicket keeper. That hunger for that single. That back. That tennis elbow. That heavy willow. That stance. That looking towards the sky. That late cut. That playful leg break. And the number of times I played those shadow shots in the house. In the neighbourhood. Tried to. Still try to.

Our hopes created many Robins for this Batman. And we blamed everyone else for the times when India failed while he fought on. Gradually, we started blaming him. We blame the Gods, don’t we. For the pain and suffering in this world. So, we blamed him. But did not feel good about it.

We wanted him to retire earlier, because we didn’t want him to die a mortal. The sudarshan wielding Krishna who was shot by a mortal’s arrow. Sa-deha Swargyatra.

And now he does. It doesn’t matter what he did in the last year or two. Because we are ungrateful like that. Because we forget that the Indian Cricket team of today is, in fact, his legacy. And of a few others who get forgotten when a moment like this comes (Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Kumble…). There may be more who may end up scoring more, better, faster, more consistently, more frequently. The game will change and the players will too. Yet, there will be none who can be Him. And there will be none who will impact a sports in a nation like he did. So, lets celebrate the One. The Only One. #ThankYouSachin.

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Kohli summed it up for me when India won the world cup last year – “He has carried India for 20 years, so now it is time we should carry him.”

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Image courtesy: Dailymail.co.uk, Firstpost, NDTV

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

2 Responses to Thank You Sachin

  1. a football match never stops even if it rains! Nobody runs with a huge thick polymer sheet to cover the turf! Rather the soccer players look all the more wildly sexy with their wet look and muscles flexed visible through the drenched jerseysThe match still goes on and on until the ball floats.

  2. romechopra says:

    Check this out

    A short film!

    Hope all is well. I Was told by mutual contacts, that I should share this viral independent bollywood film with you. The film is meant to reach out to kids who are living in different countries than their parents. The lesson: “Here is my tribute back to my parents and family. Lesson for all…for those out there who are missing their parents or just always feel like they are constrained by their parents..these feelings of independence are fleeting and when you actually obtain independence you miss the constraints you once had. My name is Rome Chopra, and I am currently pursuing my education while also helping my passion at the same time. I wanted to share with you my first ever short film. I have been making films and starring in them since I was in middle school. In this film, I acted, directed, and edited the piece. Now in my final year in college, this is my first attempt at something large scale. It was filmed in Hounslow west and various parts in London as well as New Jersey. I currently live in the United States. I am applying for Masters of Finance programs in Europe, so we will see where I get in and what my next steps are. My hope is to go to try my luck in Indian cinema by the time I am 24- currently I am 22. Here are my stats: 5 feet 9.5 inches, 158 Pounds Brown eyes, Black hair Athletic build I would love some feedback/ criticism. I hope you keep me in mind for future projects, as I am a serious aspiring actor/director. Check out my monologues below to see more dialogue content. I can speak hindi. I am looking to get my content in front of people who recruit. I am looking to get recognized for my work and hopefully something works out from there. My short film has currently gone viral and received 40K views on Vimeo, since it released a week ago. Please share with anyone you know who can help me reach my dreams further. VIRAL Short film: https://vimeo.com/78098866

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