Me and My GOD




It is fast approaching times and the D day is just 5 days away. The day when Indian Cricket congregates and celebrates its greatest hero, The day when the most followed sportsman in the subcontinent is turning on yet another birthday in the sport field.

Most of the current younger generation was not born when he started his test career. Rest like me, had been toddlers while a cherub faced teenager brushed aside a bleeding nose to take on Imran, Wasim and Waqar. While most of his age mates where still pondering over the next calculation in mathematics book or the next release of their favourite flick, here was a guy solid in his approach to prove the world that he belongs there.

He had scored his first international ton even before the Indian nation gave him a ticket to exercise his voting right. As he grew up so did the nation’s approach on the game and the game itself grew. Today he stands as a towering light in the game that is inseparable from the national scene. And so is he!

For those of us who spent our teens in late ninties, world could not have been much greener. He scored and we soared high in our imaginations. Warne was humbled, Mcgrath was concquered, Akram was tamed, Waqar was washed and who else did manage to stand against his might

I remember still vividly cutting my class on Standard V, just not to miss the first half of the India Vs West Indies match in 1996 world cup. It was around the same time that he was started to be seen as a batsman to gloat. His cover drives and on drives still lingers in our mind. That cut to third man off Simon Doull to bring up his century against the Kiwis in 1995 is etched in the memory.

There used to be days of debate about the better batsman between him and his friend from the Carribean. While the Calypso King was a poet in motion, our man is a science. A graceful science that wedded traditionality with innovation. While his cover drive and square cut are copy of text book shots, he improvised his techniques to introduce paddle sweep, slog sweep, upper cut and fine glance.

The golden period of late nineties was followed by the age of equality. For around a three quarter decades, he symbolized Indian batting. But towards the end of the decade, his two good friends joined hands and soon another one came completing the square. The square that made India stand high in cricket. The square that made the opponents shriek in fear.

Time and again his compatriots threatened to steal the mace from him. But he stood ground, rooted firm and established the fact that he is wonder boy created to bring joy and happiness. Nothing united India as he did. Even after playing 2 decades, he still was the highest scorer in 2011 world cup and that said the truth of what he means to this nation.

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The last two years had been black. We did get glimpses of what he can do with some fine knocks but the omnipotent shots are missing. His repertoire is still intact but the defense has loosened. He still scores with the same freeness and clarity but the reflexes have slowed down. And that is a sign for us to remember that he is mortal too.

But is he truly mortal? Well I don’t know. To me he is simply immortal and will continue to be so until my life ends. There have been justified calls for him to hang his boots. His returns in the recent time itself call for such a decision. But he is persisting for some unknown reasons.

Does he want to upgrade his record and make it permanent for another 30 years atleast? Well if that is the key behind his continuity, is his record not safe already? Does he want to earn money more and more? Anyone following him for a considerable time will laugh at this. Does he fear being left in anonymity? Even if such a thing is to happen, his records will get people back to him.

What else could be behind his continued efforts? It should be the unbound joy and peace he gets while meeting the ball with the meat of his bat. The inner sense of calmness that gives him the divine pleasure when he drives the ball through the covers. The feeling of well being he achieves when he runs a single.

Let us give him his time. After all he has given us so many days to rejoice. So many days to remember and feel happy. Now let us endure this pain of watching him getting out to bowlers who would barely dream his wicket. The old fellow will still show glimpses of his hay days and those will be the gifted days for us.

Do I want him to retire? No, A big no. Will we ever ask our parents to leave the home, just because he is old? Will we ever throw out our ailing grandpa? Will we ever cut the friendship with a friend just because he is no more effective? Certain relationships are there for life and so are ours with him. He does not know me or my fellow brother following him. But he does know there are millions of us looking at him with pride and awe in life.

Dhonis and Kohlis may come and be knighted this day. But to match him in the career is something no one else can do. Every cricketer followed today is walking on the platform that he created. He made the game household in India. He made the game to be on top of the Indian entertainment and sports industry. He symbolized the game in India.

This is not a verse written in joy but rather in grief seeing so many kids questioning his game. He is Bhisma to Indian cricket and he will remain the Krishna of the game in India. This is not a edited piece but rather a random accumulation of my thoughts. My love, my admiration, my respect, my pride I have on him. To me and to lakhs of my fellow brothers he will remain a God figure. A part of our life.

I know his days are coming to an end. I don’t know if it is really bad to hear his retirement announcement. Infact it may be good news to him and his followers too in a sense. But that day, I will feel losing a part of my life. The part that always kept me happy. The part that made me glow in pride. Happy Birthday Master! No matter you play or retire, I have loads to say to my grandson, half a century later if I last that long. Am proud to be a SACHINIT!!!

Author:

Dr.Arvind Subramanian is a Dental Surgeon from Chennai, India. A native of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu he, like most other youngsters of India, he is a fanatic fan of Tendulkar and a hardcore Cricket buff. He has a great interest for Writing and writes on various subjects from Medicine to Arts and Culture to Cricket. He is also a good classical dancer and performs on various Sabhas and Art Centres often and is also an orator He is about to pursue his higher studies in his field. You can find him in Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1409700718

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