Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An open letter to SRT



This, sir, is admittedly not a good time for you.

It’s clear to all of us. It’s evident by the way you take guard. No longer are you very worried about the sightscreen. That flat backdrop that no other batsman noticed but seemed to bother only you. Perhaps because the bowler on the other end didn’t. Perhaps because it was the same colour as surrender. And then there are other signs. No more do you so keenly adjust the front of your pants, that ungainly yet absolutely masculine of gestures – a man among the breathing bodies, a hero by right, a Spartan intent on victory and uninterested in looking pretty. Your eyes have changed too. The twinkle has given way to something a little more serious, a little more wary and dare I say, even bewildered. The other day, you even raised your bat as if you wanted to hit the ground after getting bowled. To those who’ve seen you so much, it was less anger or frustration. You were perplexed. Beaten perhaps, in a new strange way.


If this isn’t a good time for you, it’s very bad for us. We who remember what it was like, not so long ago. We who have missed flights but not fights for you. We who have turned living rooms into stadiums and stadiums into bull rings. We who have seen you wield the willow like it were Thor’s hammer and the Reaper’s scythe fused in one. We who were the chant, the clap and the scream to your straight drive, backfoot-punch-through-the-covers and the uppercut. We who felt like all was right with the world by just watching you walk out to bat. And now, we’re just as flustered.

Yes you’re 39 now, and so it’s natural for that dirty R word to chase you like a dogged left-arm spinner. Some weeks ago, an impolite, smug and self-righteous journalist cornered you into talking about it. His smile said that he was proud to have persisted with a line of questioning that decent news-people would have abandoned much earlier. It was uglier than asking a man his salary or a women for her birth certificate. It was even more deplorable because of the way he asked it – like he’d paid for your pads when you were 12 and so you owed him an answer. He then clung on with a Rottweiler’s tenacity and got you to say, “I’ll be taking things series by series”. And now the England series is on, and while you’ve gotten out to some of the better balls, the scorecard does make for unhappy reading. So I’d like to say a couple of things here. Call this ‘Frankly Speaking’, Version 2.0. There are lots and lots and lots of us who still believe in you and always will. There are lots and lots and lots of us who are waiting for you to come good – and know that you will. If fandom isn’t new for you, neither is criticism. And over the course of a long career, nor are lean patches. So hang in there. Or take a break to iron out a few things if you have to. But don’t jump to retirement yet. I’d also like to remind you of what you’d said earlier, on this same terrible topic. That the final call would be yours alone. I know you didn’t mean the selection committee but mass opinion. Please do not get so tired of the situation that you end up listening to those who know no better.

I don’t have an issue with objective appraisal but there seems to be a gleeful call for your head, a kind of public gloating that I can’t understand or accept. It’s not like everyone else in the team is playing exceptional cricket. But then, you’re used to being singled out. Even at the height of your powers, there were some for whom you weren’t good enough. So it’s very easy for them to ask for your head when your cloak of brilliance is wearing thin. Truth is, superhuman talent is intimidating because it looks super human. Your fallibility tells them that you’re flesh and blood after all. It tells them mistakenly, that you’re just like them. So I have this to say to you, and them. Your time in the sun may be running out, sir, but theirs never came.

Pause also, in this dark hour, to allow yourself a smile. Remember what you’ve really accomplished. You sir, have done more than change the way the game is played or inspire a future line of warriors. You’ve also managed a much tougher thing than scoring a hundred hundreds. That is a staggering statistic, but one that limits you to 22 yards. To roughly quote Rohit Brijnath who said this of Federer: “Others can win but not like this.” Many can dispatch a ball through the covers but none can do this. You have made children finish their homework early, adults forget their cares and the ailing feel happy to be alive. (Though it must also be said that you’ve made the perfectly healthy call in sick at work). You’ve made waifs walk like their bellies were full, you’ve given struts to weak men and made India unite in a non-violent way reminiscent only of Gandhi. Here, sir, is the true measure of your contribution. This sir, is your real Impact Index.

I’d also like to remind you of another fact. While cricket may be the only life you’ve known, it still isn’t life. It’s sport. A game. Something simple and (yes) silly at the heart of it. So in whatever time you think you have left – please shut everything else out and go enjoy. Be happy as a 16 year old. Don’t defend, but offend. Have a ball. Have many. Play like no one’s watching. And get that twinkle back.

And when – and may that day never come – if you do decide to put that bat away, please know that many, many, many of us retire with you. Yes, we’ll cheer an India victory, follow the odd game and even gasp when Kohli tries a Tendulkar. But it will be with the detached eye of the sports follower, the Indian who wishes the best for his nation. It’ll be mostly through online scorecards and corridor banter; no longer will TV seats be grabbed like prized lottery tickets and no longer will life move in slow motion.

This is not to say there will not be other champions. This is only to say that a generation that grew up and grew old with you will have nothing left to give to those who try and follow your small giant footsteps. Our time too, will be up.
  
Saachin Sachin!
Ram Cobain

P.S.
If you notice the prefix “sir”, this is deliberate. Many summers ago, my brother and co-believer Gaurav Dudeja and I decided to anoint you Sir Sachin Tendulkar. This we felt did not require the Queen’s permission. It was ours to give freely but we were stingy about whom we chose to give it to. We’ve given it to no one else.

(Picture Source: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images AsiaPac)

101 comments:

LowLifeStormCloud said...

Macha,
Well written and it made a sceptic like me to believe that Sir Sachin is not one inning or 10 matches, but he is the goddamn game.

Venkata Ramanan S said...

Kudos man! Kannula thanni vachunden.

Rahul said...

Awesome one buddy .. tendulkar rocks

Bala Bugs! said...

You, the true fan of the great man. Two things: When SPB stops singing, I'll stop listening to Music and When (if) Sachin retires (forcefully), I'll stop watching Cricket.

Vargus said...

Absolutely brilliant! Sarcasm at its best!! Both the pros and cons would be sated. :)

Sri said...

Brilliantly articulated what millions feel about Sachin. We loved his batting exploits but we idolized him because he made us believe. There will never be one like him ever again.

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

Awesome writeup man. I was almost crying reading this.

Sethu Maathavan said...

Awesome writeup, SRT will sure get a 100 if he reads this before going to bat :D

Harshad said...

Ram. His Majesty could not have evoked anything less magnificent from his truest fan I know. This is an incredible piece. You with your words have left me with the same feeling he has with his bat. And yes, I cheer for you both.

Haresh said...

Omg.. had a spell bound read. Well written. Moved to tears. True sachinism. Cant imagine cricket without sachin.

Vindo said...

Best ...

Shekhar Deshpande said...

It's the naked, sad but amazing truth about a generation - when he retires, we retire. For years now, an early exit of SRT has meant a decline in TRP - but it will fall off the cliff once he goes.

Kiwi said...

Reading this for 10 mins...The only useful thin i have done so far in the day..

Archan Khandekar said...

Very very well said; one of the best fan pieces I've read for a very long time...

Archan Khandekar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheikh Binoy said...

Awesome one... Started with some doubts where the topic is going... But after reading it fully, I must say, I enjoyed it really and we all wish him to play loooongerrrrrr... :)

Buddha said...

Very well articulated. You reminded me of my school days when I could bunk school to watch him play. I was/am so crazy, that I feel Gautam Gambhir doesn't suit that MRF bat sticker :D

Sahil Kaul said...

Well said mate. He should play his natural game and express himself! Very well written!

Sahil Banga said...

Very well voiced, the words every Indian would be eager to utter. Cricket without Tendulkar, sorry, Sir Sachin Tendulkar, would be devoid of any charm. It's so heartbreaking to see the master not getting his touch back, and the old swines lamenting about his retirement, most of them saying in unison that he should have retired by World Cup. Had Sachin been in form since then, would they have said that? Anyway, it's just a matter of time. Sachin will rise, absolutely. After all, he's the best sportsperson (undoubtedly) India has ever produced. And he will never let his country down (forget about fans).

Simply Satya... said...

Dude I love you... You have voiced almost everything scattered in my limited brain stack on this topic...if there is anything left... I don't want to dig it. someday I ll read that too, in your blog. God bless man. Brilliant writ

saurabh said...

brilliant.. you just summed up everything we all feel about him... everything... this article was different, there isnt any use of the stats.. not even a reference to any innings of Sir's , yet you make us stop and relive His Glory days.. and yes even I blive that the Phoenix shall rise again from the ashes... keep writing

sjashish said...

Superbly composed.
Moved to tears..The man wid d golden bat and his charming innings make me cry wen ppl say such sarcastic things abt sachin..

sjashish said...

Superbly composed.
Moved to tears..The man wid d golden bat and his charming innings make me cry wen ppl say such sarcastic things abt sachin..

Soumitro Mukherjee said...

So true man!!

The people asking for his retirement are way too vocal... Good to have someone stand up for the other half (or maybe 90%), and say pretty much everything we want to tell him...

And yeah, Screw Arnab Goswami! \m/

Aniket said...

Really awesome post!!!
Feels good to have people around who still believe in Sachin and his greatness.

rajendra strikes said...

It gave me goose bumps. An awesomely composed, sarcastic, yet plain reply those whose question "The Man's" ability. He is what he has done and not what he has not done. No other cricketer born on earth would make such an impact on the game.... I admire you till my last breath whatsoever follows from now.. Jab tak hai jaan......

ernesto dhileeban said...

Usually I wont read or I wont finish a blog.. But this time I end up in the last comment. Its really brilliant stuff.. And ya it touched our deep emotions. Respect.. Sachin ..

Sunil said...
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Sunil said...

This sums up everything I feel about SRT when people criticize him . Didnt have the ability to put it to words. Thank you so much for writing this .
As long as he plays, He shall continue to Unite a billion hearts with nothing more than a stroke of the bat.

Jayesh Joshi said...

Master Class just like the man himself!!! Hail Sachin!

Amruth Kumar Juturu said...

Oh my god.... it's an extra ordinary article... thanks a lot for this post... :)

puneet kale said...

Absolutely brilliant

Yogesh Daramwar said...

Sir Sachin Tendulkar is and will be the only one Master, Blaster and God of Cricket. No one can replace HIM.

Rohan said...

Whoever you are, thank you. You've made my day. Last few days have been tough. Glad to know people still believe in my God. Thanks man.

manav said...

so true bhaiya :):) n really nice artile ..well done

rajat said...

buddy you have let out the feelings of million people around the globe what they feel for sachin...!!! I wish our own god cricket takes his time out to read this article dedicated to him.....ofcourse the never comes when he hangs his boot but thats the fact that one day. i too who just love to play this game and only love to watch those elegant straight drives will retire watchin the game...good job buddy.....

rajat said...

buddy you have let out the feelings of million people around the globe what they feel for sachin...!!! I wish our own god cricket takes his time out to read this article dedicated to him.....ofcourse the never comes when he hangs his boot but thats the fact that one day. i too who just love to play this game and only love to watch those elegant straight drives will retire watchin the game...good job buddy.....

rajat said...

buddy you have let out the feelings of million people around the globe what they feel for sachin...!!! I wish our own god cricket takes his time out to read this article dedicated to him.....ofcourse the never comes when he hangs his boot but thats the fact that one day. i too who just love to play this game and only love to watch those elegant straight drives will retire watchin the game...good job buddy.....

keshab said...

Awesome use of stats, sachin's status and condition now and then, english dictionary and the feelings millions of fans have right now...kudos to sachin for his contribution to cricket..Hope he is allowed to retire on his own..

JiBy said...

Superb!!!

JiBy said...

Superb!!!

GG said...

You bloody people are just the "THALI KA BAIGAN"...who like top licks the boots of rising sun only...for the true lovers of SACHIN he is always most respected man & sir..


GO ON SACHIN...THIS IS JUST ANOTHER TINY OBSTICALS...SUPPORTED BY YOUR SO CALLED FANS...LIKE THE WRITER of this post

divyanshu said...

You made me cry, man!
I have never read something like this before. Sir Sachin Tendulkar, Don't even think of retirement. Please!

Teach us again that how to stand and survive when everyone out there says... 'Your time is over'.

Harisankar said...

Dude.. I get emotional about lots of things..This was one of the most moving, sensible and an absolutely in your face post that I would ever read.. Thank you bro, for keeping that hope alive in me,.. I am gonna do everything to make this viral..:)

Aarti said...

Every word here is a tribute to the little master. Sachin's retirement will be last nail in the coffin of childhood like us born in 80's.. people who have not seen the game (and may be do not wish to see it) without the maestro.

Salil Khurana said...

Its not the easiest thing to express every kind of thought going on, not in one, but millions of people. It's even more staggering to realize that there are millions who think EXACTLY like you.

Amazing read.. Sir Sachin, please get back to enjoying the game.. We have seen enough of you and have enough videos of your game to last us, but its time you get back to enjoying the game and play it like a 16 year old again, before that accursed day finally comes when you hang up the gloves forever.

Kanishka said...

Very well written - finally something that aptly echoes the feelings of unflinching Sachin loyalists. I totally agree that once Sachin retires, those of us who have grown watching him play will only hold a cursory patriotic interest in India's exploits. Maybe I will just move to supporting cricket rather than any team - a sad, unthinkable day it shall be!

arjun vazirani said...

Superb...!!!! Sorted a fried Friday afternoon..!!! Evening articles on Sachin are as good as watching his highlights..!!! refreshing as ever.!!and would like to add my fav quote -

Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don't know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat., people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives"

Rajkamal Gupta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SHIV said...

pal its from d heart of Billion people:) it was so expressive.........am 1 of them 2 retire from watchin it

Rajkamal Gupta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rajkamal Gupta said...

@ sachin loyalist/admirers/fans:
Hang on !! Things may turn around!!
A win-win deal can be made!
As a token for some benevolent action and for the well-being in body and spirit for both BCCI and sachin conspiracy theory can be hatched!! Nahh..for dam'n good.. kill the pitch!! Make it dead and the dead should speak for itself!!
BCCI atleast should give him the opportunity to score runs on flat tracks and thus he can cement his place again in the team. That would again enrich the game and healthy cash flow ensured for BCCI in the event of higher TRPs and sponsorship deals !!
-Well wisher of the game and not individual worshipper!!!
Rajkamal

Indian said...

He did play like he was 16...hit a lofted shot over the mid on and tried the same in the over...He is still 16 in his heart and will always be...
Sachin and all of us (his fans) are connected and will be connected even after this life...its eternal bond of love and pride...
Don't worry...he will not retire soon...he will retire when his brother says to him..."Well played"...and Ajit has not yet said it and not going to say it soon...
It will be proud moment for all of us...

Kaushal said...

wat a piece o writin wit a lot o truth n emotions..
a real tribute to d MASTER..
thanks for such a wonderful one..

sumit bhardwaj said...

Made my day dude..thnx..very well written and articulated
moved to tears reading this!! true sachin fan like me :)
May sachin get to read this once and realise how much we love him..

Jagan said...

someone shared this link with me, and I read this, got tears in my eyes...Am sharing this on my FB wall.. amazing writing..and every bit of it is true.. Thanx from a sachinist to another :)

Anil Agashe said...

Beautifully written! great read!

Anil Agashe

Harshal Ashar said...

Brilliant & heartfelt....

Manoj said...

Well written !!

Gaurav Duggal said...

awesome! Truly delivers to my emotions

Gaurav Duggal said...
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Deeps said...

Awesome one... Hopefully it reaches the god

Amit said...

You have voiced what millions of fans out there have felt..Excellent articulation of our feelings!..:), Thank you!..Sachinnn! Sachinnn!!..

TechQuila said...

Very well written, for people like us who have grown up with God, we just can't imagine that such an inauspicious day of the dreaded R word could even come :(

Shravan Kousik said...

Thala! :'(

Maddy said...

Left me spell-bound and, my eyes were wet when I finished reading this. Kudos.

timon said...


Sachin is cricket

Kunal Mali said...

I don't know who you are but this brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate your kindness and audacity to call Sir as Sir.
Sachin, Sachin

Shailendra Shetye said...

hey buddy superbly written...it seems...oks not seems...but surely this has come straight from the heart!! :)

Dhara said...

I was never an ardent follower of cricket, or any game for that matter. I was your typical 'girl' girl before with nary a care for sports. But if there was one thing I understood and respected was the phenomenon called 'Tendulkar'. My brothers and uncles nearly always gave in to my demands , except on 'Tendulkar' days. The TV was always for them then. Now that he is going through a lean patch, I want to shout out loud and tell THE MAN to hang in there and tell him that there are millions who are rooting for him; even 'don't-care-about-cricket' girls who grew up with him and today don't fail to tune in to a match just to watch him play. this had to be written. brilliantly. just like him. Thank you!

Awi said...

This is the SACHINISM!!!!!!!!

Anshul said...

The article captures the "greatness of Sachin".. which we all know is not easy.. Awesome.

Anshul said...

The article captures the "greatness of Sachin".. which we all know is not easy.. Awesome.

pankaj said...

what an awesome write up man...

Dhara said...

I recently came across your blog entry on the hoopla about SRT's retirement. Finding it well-written, I forwarded the article to my brother, who like you is a Tendulkar believer .His reply would have given the best of maggi-making skills a complex- it was that fast!(he owns a restaurant and I truly believe him to be Superman's brother for he juggles a zillion things around on an average day). The mail simply said that your writing had made his day.Interest piqued (for my brother is not a man easily impressed), I continued reading your other blog posts and found myself cracking up on a lot of them. I could totally relate to the 'multiple ID' syndrome on all those matrimony sites and I hope that Gayatri has a tall, dark, handsome and single, non-attached brother somewhere. Please tell him I said yes ;-) But jokes apart, your blog posts and poems are exceptionally well-written. Please keep up the good work and Congratulations on the baby. Cheers!

Shridhar Pandey said...

Awesome work man!! Just awesome!
I was having goosebumps all along..
I too wrote something (of course not as flamboyant and extraordinary as you have done) on the same lines the other day and it was through that post did I reach you..
so you might want to go through that

http://shridharpandey.blogspot.com/2012/12/okay-no-uterus-no-opinion.html

chandu said...

Thank you...I did have tears in my eyes...but let me tell you that i held them back only for a day in the future that might be dry...thanks for this

Shailesh Gore said...

Very balanced and perfectly written..ggod one mate..had tears in my eyes and I realised it only when screen became blur.

manoj said...

KUDOS MAN

shyam said...

It is precisely the same reason why one compares a Federer to a Sachin. Every article about sachin raves about his achievements as a defense or his current depleting form to justify the urgency to retire. But nowhere did i find such sublime thoughts about how he has changed our way of life. As one of them had commented earlier, I hope if sachin reads this, he might get a century the next match.

Kasyap said...

Awesome..excellent article..loved reading it.

Anshuman said...

Well done man....this made a chill run through me while I was reading this.

Anshuman said...

Well done man....this made a chill run through me while I was reading this.

Rajesh D said...

Best written!!!!! hats off man..we all know the day would come...but the disgrace caused by a bunch of unloyal fans is intolerable.

Soutrik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Soutrik said...

My eyes moistened while reading this... Yes, all of us who belong to the age group of 18-25 started playing cricket with only one person in mind. None of us wanted to become Anil Kumble or Shane Warne or Brian Lara. We all wanted to become Sachin, period. We wanted to copy his stance, his straight drives, his punch through the cover region(not to mention his style of saying "yeah" in the interviews). We haven't seen Sir Don Bradman or Sir Vivian Richards play, but greats were there. Still I haven't seen anybody using the willow with the power of a mighty jackhammer and the finesse and elegance of a ballet dancer simultaneously.

We become tired to cope up with the expectations of our family, girlfriend, relatives and here is this man, coping with the expectations of a billion Indians(apart from the millions of fans from other cricket-playing nations who want their team to win and Sachin score a century at the same time) for the last 23 years.

Rightly said, "Life will never be the same".

lemme said...

I went through the entire write-up, and i never do that.
Sir, true respect for you, and the poeple who follow the sport only to see you.
The fact is that people have expectations, even the critics do. When those expectations are not met-with, some understand being human, some start the blame-game.
A lot of people already talked about your achievements, the fantastic era of cricket that you have given us, and it will always be with us till the end of the time.
It is an honour to see u walking with your bat with a smile on your face, and most of us will always picture u like that in their mind, heart and soul.
To be honest, its been a while that I have even seen a match, caught up in other things in life, but when it came to this write-up, could not go home from work without sharing the thoughts.
Millions follow and respect you for who you are, and will continue to do so, no matter what people say.
U have given your life to this game, heart, soul, tears, sweat and blood......You will always be a LEGEND!

U ARE A SYMBOL OF RESPECT FOR THE NATION, AND I CAN PROUDLY SAY THAT...

Sanchit Parakh said...

Really nice article.awesome work!

shashank khandelwal said...

one of the best lines ever written for sachin...he rocks..!!

Suraj B Khillare said...

I really hope somehow sir sachin gets to read this......... truly reflects the opinion of millions of us........ awesome work!!! well done

don'thaveaclue said...

Nicely written! Captures what many of us do think.

On similar lines, wrote a post reminding those of us who've forgotten: http://outsideedge.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/reminiscing-sachin/

Anshul Singhal said...

amazing write up

Pranay said...

Read this today...The day when Sir has really called it quits...And reading this has made me really emotional..An extremely sad day for every Indian and for World Cricket..Sir please come back..Cricket won't be and wud never be d same without you

Ratika Kanwar said...

awesome write up. Absolutely brilliant. Sums up perfectly the feelings that we all have for Sachin, the man.. the legend.

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Santosh Sundaresan said...

Beautifully written. I read this a long time back and somehow came across this piece once again 3 years later. Shared it on fb as well just now. You aptly sum up what He means to us, even after He is long gone. Thanks for writing this piece. Brought tears to my eyes.

Note the He with a capital H!