By Aditya Mehta
Sachin Tendulkar is an iconic name in the world of sports, but there are so many other things that are staggering about him. For such a mega achiever, he is an inspiringly humble human being, a perfect role model in life. And he has been like this since his early days, going by what one has read about him. He has amazingly kept his personal and professional life apart and yet maintained all his relationships well.
I have seen Sachin many times, but one of my fondest memories is of a One-Day International at Lord’s — probably the first time I saw a cricket match abroad. An uncle of mine who lives in Belgium is a massive fan of Sachin. He bought a ticket for the ODI and we drove from Belgium to London to watch Sachin play.
Personally, I am very technical person, a perfectionist in a way. I always try to achieve perfection in all aspects. When I see Sachin, I see perfection. There is a comfort on his face when it comes to the perfection. That is what catches my eye most about him. Every movement of his is poetry in motion. I try to live my life like that as well.
I met him recently at the Sports Journalist Association of Mumbai (SJAM) Awards. It was fantastic occasion as I got the award of Sportsperson of the Year. Sachin was being felicitated for his remarkable feat of 100 international hundreds. That was the time I got to meet him face to face even though I didn’t get a chance to speak to him. He gave a very inspiring speech and I felt like as if he is speaking directly to me. It was very emotional. He shared what he had learnt over the years, what sports gave him.
Sports and cricket will be incomplete with Sachin Tendulkar. Every sport requires a genius, who sets the bar high for the rest of the world to catch up. That is what Sachin has done. His contribution to the game is so massive that level of game has gone up. People who aspire to be great have to play the game like him and acquire his qualities.
For me, it is all about watching Sachin play. It could be any moment of his, any performance of his. It doesn’t matter how much he makes. He could get out on a duck or score a double century. To me watching him play or face even one ball is a great feeling. If I watch cricket then it is because of Sachin Tendulkar.
— As told to Sudatta Mukherjee
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(Aditya Mehta recently became the first Indian to reach the final of a snooker ranking tournament — at the Indian Open. In 2009, he won the gold in Asian Indoor Games team event and earlier in 2013, he became the first Indian to win the gold medal at the World Games)