Sachin@50. Eh Dil Mange More.

In the movie Die Hard 4, Bruce Willis and a young hacker arrive at the hacker’s friend (Frederick “Warlock” Kaludis)’s (another hacker) house to find the location of the villain who is trying to steal the entire financial wealth of the country and download the data into his laptop. “Warlock” helps them to find the location by isolating the power grid where the current consumption goes berserk as you would imagine when you try to download terabytes of data. Today the consumption in any grid goes north with an increased activity in crypto mining.

In the nineties, the power consumption across all the grids in India surged with one single event., with the arrival of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar at the batting crease. Some 200 million households switched on their television sets to watch Tendulkar bat. Such was his mesmerising presence, everyone was glued to the idiot box. Children, home makers, college professors and even people whose only interest in cricket started and ended with Sachin. There were only two questions people asked when India played. What was the score and how many did Sachin score. This was on a team sport where eleven members played the game.

As I sat to write this blog, I realised that I can’t probably write anything about Sachin Tendulkar that is not written about him already about a dozen times. Let’s put it this way. He has scored in 34,357 runs international cricket and there must be more more articles, videos and documentaries than the number of the runs he scored. So what an amateur blogger can possibly write about him? I will share some stories which I have read about the man and not the cricketer.

I am convinced just as millions of others that Tendulkar is so famous not just because he is the greatest cricketer of the Modern Era. But also because of his conduct on and off the field. He was humble and polite and spoke respectfully of every one.

The first story was narrated by an air hostess. Once on a flight, Sachin asked for a soft drink. The drink was bought in a glass and Tendulkar asked the air hostess the brand of the drink. She told him what the brand was. And Sachin politely refused the drink and said, “This is not the brand I endorse. I don’t want tomorrow’s papers to be full of stories on how I endorse Brand A but drink Brand B.”

The next was during the shooting of a commercial, again, for the soft drink brand. The ad shows Sachin sitting on a pile of stones with a bat in hand playing some stokes in the air and children arrive to watch him. Someone suggested that Sachin should have a stump instead of a bat and play those stokes. Sachin refused it saying that would show that he is bigger than the game. He is not, and such messages should not be conveyed. Years later, during his desert storm innings, on the eve of his birthday, Tony Greig would go on to comment, “Tell you what. One day, he may walk out to bat with stump and I am sure he will do well.”

The third was a contract for an automobile more precisely for a motorcycle company. TVS motors went through a slump, recovered and made a very good bike ‘TVS Victor.’ The story goes like this. Sachin and the promotor of TVS Motors finalised a deal for Sachin to become a brand ambassador for the company. The terms were agreed but the contract was not made. The discussion happened in Mumbai. On the same evening the owner of India’s largest selling motorcycles met Sachin and expressed his interest in Sachin becoming their brand ambassador. Sachin told him that he had just agreed to be a part of another motorcycle company. The owner then asked him if any contract has been signed. Sachin said, “No, but I have given my word.” End of discussion.

All these instances happened when Sachin must have been in his twenties. His maturity level was much beyond his age. Imagine how difficult it must have been for him when he wanted to a have a peaceful dinner with his family he had to either go in disguise or fly all the way to a restaurant in London. As a newspaper puts it in today’s headline, when Sachin did well India soared, when he failed, her spirit sank. He must have understood this very well but that never changed the way he batted or the way he behaved off the field.

 The arrival of Tendulkar at the World stage coincided with the growth in India’s prosperity  after the Economy opened up. Thus, most of us could relate important instances in our careers with Tendulkar’s achievement on the field. I still remember listening to Commentary on a pocket radio when Sachin scored his first century in Old Trafford. I was running an important trial in a paper mill in a small town in Orissa. From then on, most of the milestones in my professional life, over the next decade, happened when Sachin achieved something on the ground.


Sachin Scoring his First Century – Old Trafford, Manchester

I normally shy away from approaching famous personalities for a small chat or an autograph or in today’s world, taking a selfie. I believe that this is an intrusion in someone’s privacy. I have made three or four exceptions to my own rule. Once I was walking along with Mother Theresa in Kolkata Airport. I just walked to her and sought her blessings. Years later in Pune airport I saw Kapil Dev (still my Number 1 Hero in Cricket) walked to him and said hello. Few years back I saw Mr. Sunil Gavaskar near a baggage carousel, went to him and said how he was our sporting icon during our school days. When I said this the great man said, “Thank You Sir.” I spoke to both Mr. Kapil Dev and Mr. Gavaskar many years after they retired from the game. But I made the biggest exception to my rule when I saw Sachin Tendulkar.

I was travelling from Nagpur to Mumbai on an Indian Airlines flight when I spotted Tendulkar sitting two rows in front of me. I was waiting impatiently for the seatbelt sign to go off to approach him. And when it did, I jumped out of my seat, went to him, gave him my boarding pass to get his autograph. It served as my bookmark for many years. Later I saw him waiting near the baggage carousel like everyone else, I went to him and wished him well for the forthcoming West Indies tour.  Again what struck me was his simplicity. There must have been a hundred airlines staff who could have retrieved his bag and handed over to him while he waited in the lounge.  That was the simplicity of the greatest sporting icon India has produced.

I have watched this documentary, Bradman and Tendulkar – The Untold Story of Two of Cricket’s GiantsABC Australia, three times in the past two weeks. Though an hour long documentary, I recommend this video. It will provide a glimpse into the minds of, well, as one commentator puts, the Greatest of Cricketers and The God of Cricket.

Brad Tendul

In the nineties, Sachin smiled at us from a billion billboards across the country. And each time we looked at at his smiling face, our hearts filled up with happiness knowing he was our own. He was part of our journey through our lives. More than a decade after he retired from International sports, our hearts still skip a beat when he see him on a billboard smiling at us or in television when we spot in him in Wimbledon or when you see him walking through security in an airport. The smiles never stop with Sachin. We want to see more of the him.  Eh dil mange more.

Happy Birthday Sachin.


3 thoughts on “Sachin@50. Eh Dil Mange More.

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  1. Thanks Ramesh for writing something I can connect with. Probably, my loss of interest in watching cricket was around the same time Sachin was getting ready to hang his boots. From taking time off work to watch a good match, I changed so much that I don’t know who are the latest best cricketers.
    For us, Sachin and Kapil bacame and remained very special compared to any other players.
    Your idea to capture Sachin beyond Cricket is a great idea. Well written


  2. சச்சினுக்கு மெச்சூரிட்டி இருந்த அளவிற்கு மெச்சூர் ஆன ஆட்களையும் பிடித்திருக்கிறது,தன்னை விட ஐந்து வயது மூத்த டாக்டரை காதலித்து மணந்தது ஆச்சர்யமல்ல அது வெளியில் தெரியாமல் எப்படி பார்த்துக் கொண்டார் என்பது அதிசயமே

    எனது மருமகன் ஒருவன் லண்டனில் MBA படிக்கும் போது அங்கு சொன்ன தகவல் சச்சின் செஞ்சுரி அடிக்கும் போதெல்லாம் இந்திய ஷேர் மார்க்கெட் உயருமாம்,சச்சினின் வெற்றியை இந்திய மக்கள் தங்களின் வெற்றி போல் கொண்டாடினர்

    பிராட்மெனின் 99.96 சதவிகிதம் எப்படி யாராலும் சாதிக்க முடியாதோ அப்படி சச்சினின் 100 செஞ்சுரிகள் சாதனையையும் யாராலும் தாண்ட முடியாது என்றே நினைக்கிறேன்

    இன்றைய இந்திய கிரிக்கெட்டின் அசுர வளர்ச்சிக்கு வித்திட்டவர் சச்சின் என்பதில் எனக்கு மாற்று கருத்தில்லை,அவரை போல் முழு ஈடுபாட்டுடன் விளையாடியவர்கள் மிகவும் குறைவு

    ரமேஷிற்கு ஒரு ஜெயகாந்தன் போல் சச்சினுக்கு ஒரு அஜித் டெண்டுல்கர் வாய்த்ததும் ஒரு வரமே

    இந்திய கிரிக்கெட் சூப்பர் ஸ்டார்களில் மிக சிலருக்கு மட்டுமே சச்சினுக்கு கிடைத்தது போல் தன் சொந்த மண்ணில் விடைபெறும் வாய்ப்பு கிடைத்துள்ளது,அன்றைய அவரின் பேச்சுக்கு கண்கலங்காதவர்கள்

    நாளைய அவரின் பிறந்தநாளுக்கு முன் சரியான நேரத்தில் அருமையாக எழுதியுள்ளாய் ரமேஷ் 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽


  3. Ramesh,
    As usual very well written – One thing about this guy the sucess never got into his head, which doubles the respect in the peoples mind, His dedication to the game is unquestionable.. Though during his playing days , he was not my #1 choice in my list,… very many others (Kapil, Dravid , Kumble etc.,), but I i had highest reagrd and respect for him through gentelman.!!! Long live Sachin.


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