Hi Dr. Anjali Tendulkar Ma’am,
I hope you are doing great. Although, I have never known your birthdate but I am sure you won’t mind if I ask you to convey my best wishes to Mr. Sachin Tendulkar on his 40th birthday. I wish the best for him and your whole family, always.
Well, sometime ago (http://abloquacitylab.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/dear-dr-anjali-why-sachin-should-not-retire-now), I had asked you to tell Mr. Sachin Tendulkar to not to retire. Thank you for paying heed to that request (of course you didn’t read this but sometimes thoughts travel out of thin air). At that time he was on 99 centuries. Now such a benchmark is irrelevant. Everything has been achieved. 100 International Centuries spanning over a period of 24 years of representing India. No words are there to describe this immensely huge contribution to the service of our cricketing nation. Now, the question is what’s next? I know you two must have talked it through, therefore, Mr. Sachin hasn’t formally announced yet but could it be that his last International appearance in India is already over? I hope not. The next series in which we can see him again will be in South Africa later this year and very late next year in India. I would just like to mention few things on his birthday which you might or might not find useful. But I still say them as a life-long-fan.
I believe that there are a few major things which act as the adhesive to keep India as one country. Cricket is one of them and Sachin Tendulkar is one of the most important elements in that adhesive. At least for my generation, who were born in the 80s, he is inseparable from life. All our lives as Cricket fans, majority of our discussions revolved around his score. Whether it was the praises or small bit of criticism of the team’s over dependency on his broad shoulders, it all emerged out of Sachin’s runs. Sachin hitting Michael Kasprowicz, Damien Flemming and Shane Warne over their heads and fetching us win Sharjah in 1998 is a small gif etched on our minds. Tony Greig damaging his vocal chords over Sasheen Tendoolkaaa still echoes inside our ears. For me, if I draw analogies to compare India as a country with Indian Cricket Team, if Ganguly was the much needed aggression to succeed, Dravid was the faith and belief in our abilities that we can do well, Sachin Tendulkar has always been the optimism that one day, we shall dominate the world because we deserve to.
How impactful Sachin is, we all know but still I would like to share one small incident. Although it had happened when Sehwag hit his double ton once, but again, Sachin was batting in Dhaka, and was about to reach the 100th 100. In my office, work was going on as usual and the volume of the floor chirping, discussing, on call, was relatively low. Also, almost 80% of the people were hooked to one tab of Cricinfo. All of a sudden, as he reached the 100th 100, the floor erupted. Everyone started clapping and those who didn’t know what the hell happened, were left clueless. The clapping continued for 2 minutes and gradually it slowed down and everyone started working again. This is a small impact he has created in our lives.
Now, the thing I would like to mention is the rise of the haters. We Indians love to hate anything and everything. The growing voices asking him to retire have become louder. People have drowned to such embarrassing levels that they have started to doubt his batting. Those people who don’t even know a thing about Cricket, call him selfish and all. This feels a bit like how Gandhi’s name is treated by people in present times. While people were all in praise for Gandhi Ji all along, but now there are certain groups who are quite vocal and critic of Gandhi’s policies. They put up arguments such as ‘what if’ Gandhi ji had not chosen Nehru over Patel. This has caused some unaware people to have a bit of mistrust and hate for Gandhi ji. Similarly, over the years, Sachin Tendulkar might also have to face this music. I hope he doesn’t let this happen. I hope you don’t let this happen. People have hated Dhoni after he won as 2 World Cups and getting us numero uno position in both ODIs and Test as well, so it is usual Indian mentality.
Second, I would like to say Sorry. Through my tweets, Facebook statuses and Quora questions, I have asked questions against him not retiring. My point was never to doubt his sincere efforts. I just want to be sarcastic with those who blame Sachin for India’s inability to win some matches. I simply don’t hold any authority to even suggest him about retirement. As a fan, I would always like to see him on the strike, hitting the straight drive which enhances the blood on my face’s veins because of non-stop smiling. So, I sincerely apologize for even uttering the word ‘Retirement’ for your husband. I’ll give my letter much needed rest, after all he knows best.
Wishing him many glorious years ahead in life. All the best to your family. I hear Arjun is also doing well. Well, I reserve my opinion about what people might say about him being the next to get India cap, I just wish him the best in whatever he chooses to be.
Thanks for reading.