Forty-five years ago, today, a boy was born in the Tendulkar family. He was named by his father after his favorite musician, Sachin Dev Burman. You must have guessed it by now, the cricketer to whom this piece is dedicated to. Sachin Tendulkar, ladies and gentlemen, is the heartbeat of this nation. He is the country’s favorite son. It is his birthday today. It is no less than a festival. In a country where he is revered as a God, his birthday celebrations across the length and breadth of this country are also taken to similar proportions.
Sachin is the perfect role model to look up to for all the kids growing up, in more ways than one. His passion and dedication towards the game are second to none. He took up this sport at a very young age and when most kids were struggling to decide a career path, he was already making headlines in the world of cricket. Many would argue that he was a gifted cricketer and that he had a Midas touch when it came to batting, but it would only be a reflection of their incapability to further their own cause.
Sachin Tendulkar’s, if anything, is a story of extra-ordinary work-ethic, as Harsha rightly puts it. Agreed he was gifted, but then who isn’t? He was lucky in the sense that he recognized his gift pretty early and he worked hard enough to make sure that he maximizes what he could do with that talent. Sachin gave hope to a billion people who thought it was the end of the world when Gavaskar announced his retirement. In Sachin, people found their savior, a hero who would invariably take India over the line.
There was so much to learn from him, from his conduct not just on the field, but off it as well. In his long career, spanning 24 years, there hasn’t been one incident which could potentially damage his integrity. It speaks volumes about the spirit with which he played his game. He was said some nasty things in the middle but it was his bat that did all the talking for him. After a certain point in his career, the opposition would just target others and leave Sachin alone. Such was his demeanor and class.
Sachin became the poster boy of Indian cricket and the multinational companies wanted him to endorse their product. However, he didn’t let it get to him as had been the case with some of his teammates who got distracted enough to had their careers derailed. Sachin was a national icon and was celebrated wherever he went.
Sachin’s life has been an open book. With the release of his autobiography and more recently his biopic, people have gotten a peek into his personal life as well and practically, everything there is to know about Sachin is out in the open. His life is a lesson and could well serve as a handbook for those who want to make it big in their field of choice.
Here’s wishing the Bharat Ratna, Sachin Tendulkar, a very happy birthday. He made us realize that if we work hard enough, we can one day see our dream come true. He is no less than a folk hero of sorts. I feel blessed to have been born in a generation which saw him become the icon which he is now. His legacy will make Indian cricket richer and his legend will be told for generations to come.