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A tribute to Sachin Tendulkar

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Sachin TendulkarEvery generation needs a hero. A hero they can back, a hero they can fall back on and a hero who can cheer them up when everything else in the world seems to be going against them. The generation changes but the tendency to find one’s hero remains steadfast. People say, “The incidents that occur during your childhood tend to accompany you for a long time.” Those incidents can be a fight with your friend or having ice cream with your grandfather. For my generation, those imprints are of the memories that Sachin Tendulkar started to create when we were kids. And yes, the impact will be everlasting.

463 ODIs (50 overs) appearances, 18,426 runs with 48 hundreds and 1 double hundred have an ability to create a story that will create impact. Not that I detest numbers. For one, they can tell the future generations a story. For my dad’s generation it was those numbers that unfolded them to Bradman’s greatness. Thankfully, the web world and technology has progressed since. So much that the generation next to mine won’t be bothered what their grandparents needed to. But these numbers can sometimes be too tricky an affair to understand. Although they are very breath-taking; even more so in Sachin’s case, they sometimes don’t tell the story with a sense of finality.

I was two when he started off and a time when TV sets with cable was still a luxury for a middle class family. It was that time when my generation’s idea of watching cricket was more about having fun and feeling good and less about getting analytical and logical. Fast forward to 2012. As much as I was aware that the retirement would occur soon, it has shaken me up. Not that I don’t get emotional, but I felt numbness yesterday.

Like every other Indian, I too was concerned how these last 12 months have been for Sachin Tendulkar. The troubled times against England and New Zealand bothered me as much as it did to any cricket fan. And I sometimes failed to understand this pick and choose policy. But as the news broke out that the game against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2012 was his last ODI game for India, all those questions that logical minds voiced took a backseat. They must have thought it was prudent to do so.

Sachin since the beginning did us in with his ever so visible ease through the crease. And although immensely special, he always seemed like a common guy’s hero. He inspired my generation so much so that many of us aspired to be like him. While Raina, Kohli, Yuvraj and few others found their niche in the team that Tendulkar played in, the man himself made sure that he continues to be an inspiration even for those who chase excellence outside cricket.

I am 25 now. Sachin has retired from ODIs indicating that the Test retirement is nearer than ever before. The journey of a rookie has reached to a point of a senior statesman. From a curly haired adolescent to a straighten hairdo mature. From an unabashed attacker to a measured aggressor. The man himself has grown and so have we. No matter how old we become, how matured and logical we get, Sachin Tendulkar will continue to be our childhood hero who never went away. Thank you for the memories Tendulkar. A very big thank you.



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