Sachin Tendulkar: A mortal who attained ‘divine’ status

When Sachin Tendulkar retired in November 2013, he said he would miss the fan chants of ‘Sachin, Sachin’. But does he? Be it the star-studded charity match at Lord’s, or the World Cup final in Melbourne, ‘Sachin, Sachin’ have emphatically proved that the aura of the maestro rings around the cricketing world.

On the eve of his 42nd birthday, the Mumbai Indians — the Indian Premier League (IPL) team he has been associated with since inception — played Delhi Daredevils at Feroz Shah Kotla at the latter’s home ground. For a close to capacity crowd, what mattered was the presence of Tendulkar as ‘Sachin, Sachin’ reverberated at the Kotla.

This writer was all of three years old when his father introduced him to Tendulkar on a grainy television set for the first time. Since then, the deep metaphor of connection weaved the game to my soul, and Tendulkar remains attached to it. Perhaps it will take some more time to come in terms with the fact that the name of ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ at No 4 in a batting order list in Test is missing. Especially for the millions like me whose life has gone parallel to his career and or whom heroes meant He-man, Batman, Mowgli, Shaktimaan and Tendulkar.

Personally, I have never been comfortable referring Tendulkar as God. I felt his achievements were undervalued the moment we did that. God is divine and possesses celestial powers. Tendulkar is an ordinary mortal with extra-ordinary achievements. And that’s what makes him way above mere mortals. He deserves our highest respect, but not the respect that is offered to the Almighty. So I thought.

But things changed after his retirement. I understand the oft-said statement: ‘If cricket is a religion in India, then Tendulkar has to be the God.’ The adulation he receives every time he steps on to the coliseum makes me wonder if that’s how God would feel in Heaven, with billions praying and chanting his name. That’s reverence. The adulation Tendulkar gets is pure love. The kind of love few mortals get.

His fans apart, he is still a huge brand. He is still the toast of social media. He is busier than ever gracing occasions. Sachin Tendulkar has retired as a player, but his aura remains bright as ever. What a man!

 

More from this writer:

Is Virat Kohli the right man to take Team India forward?

The Six Super Over finishes in Indian Premier League history

10 people who will do well to emulate Kieron Pollard and tape their mouth

 

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India’s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sports marketer, strategist, entrepreneur,  philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it’s cricket which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and rivu7)