The article below is written by Madhyama Thakur, a loyal Sachinist! She captures the feelings and emotions of all Sachinists quite brilliantly. Must read!
The Quintessential Sachinist
It was a Saturday. It should have been a usual fun weekend, a day of unwinding for most. Why then did a country of a billion, and the world at large, come to a standstill? Aah..it had to be Him! Only one man has been doing this for the past 24 years….
What new can one say about Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar when adjectives have become cliched and all the phrases already done to death? Talking only about his cricket wouldnt do justice to the phenomena that he is and attempting to talk about his impact on our collective conscience is a mammoth task.So instead, lets focus on the billions who feel a strange enduring emptiness which just wont dim!
We call ourselves sachinists, followers of sachin, not just fans! For we are not just fair weather friends. We have stood by him through thick and thin. When the tennis elbow injury threatened his career and those ‘experts’ had written him off, we retorted at every person who said a word against him. Our reward was his fitting knock against West Indies and a Thank you from the man himself.
Followers, because we dont just follow the game…we follow the man. Of course, those small little numbers about his career are ingrained in our minds and we know every little trivia about the man. We get into major arguments with our classmates and collegues who dont have sense enough to respect sheer class. We know everything about his family and consider Anjali, Sara and Arjun as our own. We all are trained to call Mr Ramakant Achrekar, as Achrekar ‘Sir’. But beyond all that, we think of him when we have nerves before an important event. We take lessons from his every little anecdote.
Our life , even in small little ways , is defined by him. Most of us have the number ’10’ in our gmail Ids or other usernames. When we have to an important exam coming up, we count the digits of our roll number, and if the sum is 10, we feel confident.If not, we make other wild SRT connections. We wake up at 5, if the Australian Down Under tour is underway, and our body clock adjusts everything around. We watch the Pre match show, the whole match, the post match show, all the news channels, read all articles on cricinfo and yet rush the next morning to read the newspaper.
Most of us have bought or baked a cake on 24th of April to celebrate THE B’DAY. Our friends might forget to wish us on our b’days, but they never forget to wish us on 24th April. Needless to say, we have visited temples before sachin plays a big game, prayed with all our soul, made various resolutions, and trembled like a leaf, till he got off the mark. After that of course, god is batting!
We can be mean at times, although we know sachin wouldnt like that… but we afford ourselves that indulgence. When Sachin is batting and the other batsman is bent upon keeping the strike, he becomes the most hated person on the globe. We want India to win, but it hurts us when any other player surpasses Sachin’s score. When India has to chase and the opposition gets out cheaply,a part of us cringes, now sachin wont get to bat for long!! We hate Steve Bucknor, and lately Nigel Llong, for their umpiring errors, or sins as we refer them. We celebrate the 2nd indian wicket of test matches, because it brings our god in our midst.
We had tears in 2003 World Cup when India lost the Final and Sachin was Man of the Series. His dead eyes haunted us for many many weeks. We had tears again during the disaster that was the 2007 World Cup. And we had tears again when a tri color wrapped Sachin was held aloft the Wankhede after the 2011 World Cup. Its not that the World Cups meant us that much. They were important, but honestly, we were content just watching sachin play. As i said, we can be mean at times. But the longing for the Cup in sachin’s eyes just made our souls die a million deaths.
We were shocked beyond belief when Sachin retired from ODI’s without giving us a chance to watch him one last time, say one last goodbye. Most of us stood in front of the TV and cried like babies! For the past 1 month, we have been really philosophical and dazed. We have been trying to find ways of expressing to Sachin what he means to us, and trying to somehow imagine our life without him. Out eyes havent been properly dry since that day. These newspapers, websites, TV channels are hell bent on making us an emotional wreck!
For 24 years we have breathed because of this one man. For 24 years our lives have revolved around him. Every succes has been possible because we followed in his footsteps of hardwork and humility, every failure has been consoled by his thoughts. We have bunked classes, missed work, shouted out his name, at the stadiums & in front of the TV. He made us smile for 24 years and made us all cry when he bid adieu. At least we could celebrate him to our heart’s content and live the magic one last time. Maybe it wasnt him who needed to hear the Sachin…Sachin chant, it was us who had to say it out enough times so that we wouldnt miss the ritual in the days to come.
After 24 years, you hang your boots, leaving us with memories of that poignant speech that made a country cry, and the image of you saluting the 22 yards. Most of us have already vowed never to watch another cricket match again. We just cant bear somebody else take your spot!
BUT its a promise from your billion followers, that you may have retired, but your sachinists will never retire from your service. The fervent discussions, the collection of pictures, the appreciation of articles et al shall continue unabated. We may not be able to follow your game, but who knows, maybe we would start watching Rajya Sabha TV now that your are an MP! We would follow each and every one of your advertisements, and collect the slightest info. And some days from now , when the frenzy has settled and you are ready for a new role for yourself, your faithful army would be right behind you. Because we havent known a life of which you werent a part!
Till that time comes,for teaching us to believe in our dreams & for all the smiles, joy, laughter, tears and emotions, on behalf of Shipra, Duttnath, Neetish, Varun, Vishal, Karthik, Aravind, Sachin Nair, Deepak, Rahul, Anon and a billion other Sachinists,
– Madhyama Thakur