Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | March 15, 2009

Meeting Sachin Tendulkar

To day when we were having our regular walk on a busy Queen Street, all of a sudden we bumped into the Indian cricketers.

Indian cricketers are bigger stars in India than any sports team in any country. Sachin Tendulkar is world’s greatest cricketer and an Indian. Cricket may be played by only handful of countries, but the number of people who associate their momentary joy or sorrows with Sachin Tendulkar is at least a billion.

In Auckland, they were not mobbed and were not under a security cover. Just few admirers (approximately 15) were around them. Most of those admirers were children.

For all these years, every body has hailed Sachin Tendulkar – world’s greatest cricketer, as one of the gentlemen of the game. I have always believed that so for whatever I have seen him on the ground. To day I found out that it is true in real life too.

We all know how in India, if you give the slightest importance to anyone then the person instantly becomes arrogant. The more the people show their affection towards the so-called celebrities the more out of reach he (or she) goes. I agree that their security is a prime concern etc but whenever they appear in interviews, you feel their sense of arrogance more often than not.

The kind of adulation that Sachin has been receiving over the years is incomprehensible and he is the best in his area of work. Even with all that under his belt, and enough achievements, Sachin Tendulkar came across as a modest person.

He looks and talks like a saint to be honest. I have seen him on the ground but here it was different. I was standing next to him, talking to him.

I went up to Sachin and shook his hand. I told him that I wanted to thank him for the kind of entertainment that he provides us. I wished him luck for his future. He thanked me in return and asked me, how am I doing? Of course, he asked that because he had nothing else to ask, but Sachin’s behavior was a pleasant surprise.

In India, I had a similar experience 8 years back when I met Vishwanathan Anand during an event. He too, appeared to be a modest achiever.

The cynics may hate Sachin’s status and the kind of adulation he receives but as far as I am concerned, my respect for him went up lot higher after seeing his conduct. He is a successful person but for some reason has his feet on the ground.

We met and talked to nearly all the cricketers but the other cricketers made us feel that they were some “great gifts” to the world. Thus, it was nothing special seeing them but we shall always preserve the memories and photographs from our meeting Sachin Tendulkar. Yes my photograph does give an impression of I being shamelessly excited. Could not have helped it! In fact, I am still a bit embarrassed at myself and that is why I am putting up the pictures out here but I was very happy nevertheless. A windfall grin is nothing to be ashamed of I am sure.

Sachin is cut above the rest. No wonder he is one of the best Indians. We returned happy after an extra-ordinary afternoon walk.

Isn’t it astonishing that he did not need go to high school, college and university to learn such good behavior? His behavior is something which takes his achievements beyond the cricket record books.

Sachin, after so many years of playing cricket perhaps for the first time, I actually felt you deserve all the adulation that you receive. Your modesty makes you a true achiever.

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Responses

  1. Can I publish it at my blog? And give a link on my facebook?

  2. I am sorry Alka, but not this post please. I get very embarrassed. I don’t want people to get a feeling that I am either bragging or were shamelessly chasing a celebrity. Please don’t mind.

  3. 😦

  4. This is a fine first-person account of one of the greatest Indians of our time. I don’t see anything in it for you to be embarrassed, Tonmoy. But where are the picutures?

    Like most Indians, I respect Sachin Tendulkar and our cricketers who have proved beyond a shade of doubt that Indians can be at the top of the world. If we are a more confident nation today, compared to 40 or 50 years ago, we owe it partly to our cricketers.

    Besides cricketing skills, as you have observed, Sachin is a wonderful person. We can learn from him that it would be stupid if our minor successes went to our head. There are others too. From Saurabh, we can learn how to fight back when we are down in the dumps. The best of them all is perhaps Sunil Gavaskar. I tend to believe, with my limited understanding of the game, that he was not as gifted as, say Gundappa Viswanath or Salim Durrani. Yet, he achieved what he achieved by dint of hard work, grit and discipline. He is one of the few role models I have, because he shows me what an ordinary person (like me) can achieve.

    Having said all that, I feel sad when our great cricketers cannot think of better ways of using their colossal wealth than opening eateries! I fail to understand why they cannot do a fraction of what Steve Wagh does for the underprivileged in India. I fail to understand why they can’t help public awareness campaigns regularly instead of promoting crass consumerism.

    Finally, if you allow me to end on a personal note, I gave up two old and awful habits in 2008: smoking and watching cricket on TV. It’s such a huge time waster. I do follow the game on newspapers though.

    Sorry, my comment might be longer than your original post. Look what age does to a normally sane person!

  5. Luckyy u r dude..
    We nvr gt dis oppurtunity, hope sum day ll c dis legend.
    you wrote really well n true he is d great in n out of the stadium


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