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In the early 90s, the world saw a fine young lad a toddler then in comparison to the

great Cricketing giants whose batting provoked gasps of admiration. He was being
compared to the legendary Sunil Gavaskar by the media. Obviously, it was not to be
taken seriously, as the media were known to be notorious and often accused of being
geared towards selling sensational stuff. Being judgmental about people too early and
then supporting their claims with ostensibly inept standards of journalism was typical of
the Indian media. Moreover, their hyperactive statements, on most of the occasions,
were huge on headlines and pitiable on details. However, in spite of all this, people
wanted to believe every word the media had to say simply because this man was
different. After the-then-18yr-old scored a century in Perth 91-92, where the pitches
were known to be the bowlers backyard and the visiting teams graveyard, Merv
Hughes told his captain, This little prick is going to score more runs than you, AB (Allan
Border)! His prophecy, as we all know, certainly turned out to be right.
He was an extraordinary character who despite being almost a midget strode like a
colossus and contributed to the cricketing lore like never before. Pundits predicted that
he would break every record in sight and named him the little master. His detractors
waited patiently for his failures and pounced on him at every possible opportunity
offering sharp criticism. In fact, many comments were suffused with severe abhorrence
that couldve consumed any mortal being. He, however, was always phlegmatic, for he
knew that he had the ability to turn things around. He never wanted to be ordinary and
was relentless in his vision. Furthermore, his ambition to achieve the impossible was
very un-Indian for that matter. Indian Cricket needed an avenger, a man with a vision
and a sense of mission. It needed ownership and enterprise. He gave us exactly that. He
salvaged our cricket from the swamp of ignominy time and again and rehabilitated its
spirit. He forced us to believe that we could be Kings too!
At his peak, none could match the sensory pleasures that he provided through his
majestic elegance. Being an intelligent bloke, he was doubtless aware that talent when
amalgamated with a sense of tenacity, intensity and confidence would make for a
winning formula. He did fail miserably on occasions but time and again made a
comeback of staggering proportions to mesmerize billions. His ability to stand up and be
counted was purely because his approach to the game always seemed to be marked by
composure and candor. His greatest eulogy of course came from the great Sir Don
Bradman who on record once said that the mans style of play was very close to his own
and made him reminiscent of a bygone era where the Don once existed.
Without an iota of doubt, the last 23 years of his career has been nothing less than
boisterous, breathless, prudent and seminal not to forget chaotic and crass at times as
well; nonetheless fully alert and alive to the spectrum of threats and prominence. This is
why it is so distressing to see how he is being reduced to a commoner by bowlers not
even one-tenth of his stature. Being an ardent fan ever since knowing him, I fervently
wish that he gets to hang his boots at his own free will rather than being booted out!
Theres always a hope that his form might return, and his fans would be the happiest if
it happens but that seems highly unlikely at this juncture. His career has now reached
almost a nadir and a majority of his followers who considered him to be god have now
resorted to blatant blasphemy, which is excruciatingly agonizing and something which
should never happen to a man of his caliber!
With every century he looked at the skies thanking the lords and probably asking them
to test him further with worthy opponents who could stop him. It seems that his wish
has finally been granted, that perhaps he has met a foe, albeit in a different form, which

he may never beat: Time. Long live the maestro Sachin Tendulkar! Thank you for all
that youve done for the country and for making us Indians feel good about ourselves.