By Shaina NC
The first time I met Sachin Tendulkar was at the Mumbai Airport lounge a few years ago. We were having a conversation with Irfan Pathan. It was there that I realised that the man was extremely uncomplicated in the way he spoke and in the way he came across. However, back then, we didn’t spend a long time and I was in awe of the great man, who looked extremely young for his age.
It was at a house party that Nita and Mukesh Ambani had thrown last year to celebrate Tendulkar’s 100th century that I actually got to see the humility of the man. He made efforts to initiate conversations. Be it with the elderly people present at the party or kids, he had a way of making everyone feel comfortable in his presence. Even as he was the most popular figure present at the venue, he made no show about it. I believe that comes from his middle-class Maharashtrian roots, to which he is still grounded. The humble nature of the man was extremely evident on that day.
I knew for a fact that he didn’t bother about attention. A couple of years back when we were in Sri Lanka to raise funds for education of girl children, I had made a request to his wife Anjali, asking her if she could ask Sachin to donate his bat, which could be auctioned to generate funds. And within no time, we got an affirmation. This is not something one would see often among popular stars.
There were no questions asked as to what will be the process, what will be the returns or anything of that sort. The moment he knew it was for charity, he gave his possession away without a fuss. With charity, it has always been the case with him. He doesn’t think twice when it comes to a good cause.
His humility is something that continues to stand out and makes him an ideal role model.
— As told to Aayush Puthran