Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ok … just a couple of unscientific impulses written in a moment of rare euphoria of witnessing India becoming the World Champions of Cricket.

April 2, 2011

Chasing 275 against Sri Lanka in the World Cup final today, Sachin Tendulkar edges one lazily to Sangakara off Malinga and India loses the second early wicket in just the seventh over. On any given day, India can normally pass off as an unusually noisy nation - but I can imagine the most silent 2-seconds in our nation's history.  It could have been the hush that swept and sunk a billon hearts. A primordial doubt is born in all our minds out of this unpleasant moment that we might actually lose this match and the world-cup after an amazing run through out the tournament. When he got out to Malinga, I bet there was a part of his conscience that scoffed at him and his misfortune, and that which convinced him for a brief moment,  to agree with what everyone else believed - "Good-bye Sachin. Good-bye India". But, hope is a wonderful thing, you know. I sat numb with my fingers crossed, lips tight as my mind flashed a quick montage of anxious mental images alternating between the fearful instances Indian batting collapses and glimpses of victorious chases. At the end, stellar performances from Gambhir and Dhoni ensured that India chased the total in relative comfort and eventually become the World Champions.

It's not about him. It's about him

Sachin Tendulkar could have not asked for a more perfect fairy tale ending.
The man is 38 years old. He is still a glorious class-act. He holds virtually every record that could ever possibly be held by a batsman in the history of the game. He outlasted his own peers long, long ago and has played in 6 world cups. With such an illustrious resume and nothing else to prove really, wishing to see him being a part of a world-cup winning squad was something the entire country dreamt for him - even if many think it's merely emblematic. This was his last chance. And when he failed to contribute in his last world-cup innings, it wasn't the end. Instead,  it was beautiful poetry. It was a powerful symbolism that screamed that it's no longer "Good-bye Sachin. Good-bye India". Instead, it's more of a "Good-bye Sachin. India is in safe hands now". The young team India proved to themselves and the world that they could do it without/inspite of the little master. The world-cup final victory is a delightful metaphor of redemption and relief for Sachin for he can rest assured that he is no longer responsible alone for a billion prayers. The mantle has been passed. A new era in Indian cricket has dawned and this time it seems real. He can now retire as  he pleases - as a contended and a happy man. Some of you would like to downplay my emotion but I K-N-O-W that there are countless times India won without Sachin's contribution. But, you see, the sub-conscious is never about the facts. It takes it's own sweet time to stop sinking your heart when Sachin gets out - and I am sure you know what I mean by that.

Much has been written about Tendulkar's prolific talent, the glory, the grit and the genius of the little master. My humble words cannot add more without escaping redundancy, but I will say this: You have to be in your 20s today to truly appreciate what he is. You have to be in your 20s today to have the cherished experience of witnessing his career unfold as you are growing up as a child. He was the star on the TVs as we played cricket on the street. As kids, we all wanted to be like him. We grew up with him as our real life super-hero. And today, as 20-somethings, we all seek his dedication and desire to excel in our lives.

He defined batting. He defined success. He defined determination. He defined the hopes of a nation. He defined what it means to exceed expectations. He even defined humility. He ensured that there will be no one like him ever. Every generation must have it's heroes - I am just glad we had him. Thank you, Sachin.

Congratulations to Team India. We really bled the right shade of blue today.


lazykidarr said...

Excellent write up! Now Sachin can retire with his head held high!

rohankpr said...

Nice! BTW, insomnia too gives a certain high, probably the apt time for research as well ;)

Sash! said...

@lazykidarr: thanks, chinku ... :)

@rohan : yeah ... any state of mind which is a little hatke is useful for research - insomnia, alcohol and even the pot that got so many nobel prizes :P

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