Life will never be the same again. Switching on the TV right after getting up, happened for the last time today. In less than 5 minutes, I was in tears. If you did not cry today, you will perhaps never cry in your life – for all the rest of us mere mortals, our reactions were involuntary on seeing God himself cry in front of 1 billion people! The day when Sachin Tendulkar would finally retire from playing cricket has come.
I do not have much to write, all of you can write in much more and in finer detail, but here are a few moments that will always be close to heart!
- Sachin’s fighting century at Chennai when India lost to Pakistan
- His century against Kenya right after he lost his father
- Sachin being declared Shoulder-Before-Wicket to Glen McGrath in Australia
- Sachin’s 5-32 and that juggling of the ball against Australia at Kochi
- The Pepsi – Aila Sachin – ad
- Geoffrey Boycott and Tony Grieg’s commentaries when Sachin would bat
- Indian team carrying Sachin on their shoulders around the stadium after the World Cup 2011 win
- Obviously the one last time he went back to the pavilion in his last test match, sensing he would not get another chance
- The final farewell he got at the end of his last test at Wankhede, when he cried before smiling back to wave at the crying crowd at the stadium
But one memory which would remain etched in gold, has to be the back to back centuries he hit against the Aussies in Sharjah, way back in 1998, and Shane Warne’s interview following that series.
I am just glad to have grown up with Sachin :) Way back in 1996, I had purchased a Times of India publication on Sachin Tendulkar, that was a heavy hard bound book. I think he is perhaps the only sportsperson in the world to have played almost 18 years as a superstar, that is almost 75% of his sporting career! Few things that everyone would remember about him for ages to come will be his humility, his calmness, his respect for the game, his respect for his family, for his fans, for his nation! A sportstar of his stature, who consciously never endorsed tobacco or alcohol brands inspite of the humungous amounts of money being offered to him, never changed till the end of his sporting career from what he started with – his values.
After an emotional 30 minutes watching his farewell, it is this sentence by his wife Anjali that really made me smile and realise that Sachin is actually just one amongst us – ‘Even the little time when he is at home, he is busy pointing at leakages here and paint peel offs there on the wall’.
I will miss waking up at 4am in the morning to watch that India-Aus test match in Perth, shocked to se India 4/52, but glad to see Sachin still at the crease! I will miss watching your game Sachin, we all will!