Okay, okay, enough said about Bombay’s crazed, mazed traffic problems. We are moving on now, though briefly, we might add. Because other earth-stopping occurrences are happening in our back yard. And our blogging fingers are itching.
Oh, gosh! We don’t know how to take this. We sat watching the farewell ceremony and wept. We wept more than Sachin did. As did many who were present. Why? Don’t ask us. In twenty-four years we heard the name Sachin nearly a billion times. A friend told us of a boy who was hitting sixes like there were no tomorrows. Another said that a Sunday was reserved to watch Sachin bat and do nothing besides.
We saw the boy wonder soon after. He was a ball of energy, his shots came with ease, his eyes were intense. The way he backlifted and sent a ball sailing over the umpire and the other batsman to the sight screen was a study in graceful motion. The way he cut, flicked, hooked, were so natural that one seemed not to notice unless one went into the field. We cheered; we frissoned with a feeling of love for the small guy. It had become a habit, to watch Sachin do it on the pitch.
A Star was born!
We were a callow youth then. A cricketer, nevertheless, captain of our school’s Green House. We scored the highest runs in a match at one time and we remember it well. The score wasn’t much, around fifty, and we had scored twenty-four runs, the highest. Nonetheless we lost the match. But what we still remember is the excitement around the ground. My friends were yelling at my every shot and egging me on to greater things. But we fell at twenty four, and the match was lost.
What is it staying on the crease for so long? Ask us. There was a thrill passing through us every moment, an elation that gave rise to risky shots. In fact, we were carried away by the adulation. If it was so traumatic for me, it might have been a hundred times traumatic for Sachin. Imagine the thousands watching on the ground and around the world. He could have lost his head.
But the young boy didn’t. That was his best quality. He is a specimen, a role model for every youth in this country. After the farewell we saw a program where Sachin spoke to some kids. He said his father told him “Become a good human being first, and then it will remain with you for ever.” Kambli didn’t make it, he got carried away. There were greater talents like Anil Gurav (read how he lapsed into inebriation here) at that time, he also didn’t make it.
But, in the internecine, scandal-mongering world of cricket’s nether world Sachin did, because he was a good human being, and thus became a great cricketer.
But Sachin made it because he had a level head over his shoulder and was a good human being. I would like to ask the younger generation: “Are you a good human being before everything else?”