To state bluntly, I have never been a Sachin Tendulkar fan. But I do hasten to add this lack of idolatry on my part doesn’t, in the least, reflect scorn for his excellence par, playing abilities but comes with a high degree of appreciation of his instrumental contribution to Indian cricket.
Evaluating on a hypothetical fandom scale, it comes to mind that a positive outlook towards a player – any player, for that matter – becomes the primary consideration for potential fandom. But in my case, looking beyond the factors of positivity and appreciation, there seems to be only redundancy. Not for the player himself, but for the whole element of being yet another cog in his idolatry wagon-wheel.
As an iconic figure, Sachin’s presence dominates not just the Indian fan circuit, but also the international fan community as well. While majorly, this has impacted irrefutably – affirmatively, of course – the downside appears to be the core focus pouring on from all sides on just that one man, which brings me back to my redundancy contention as a fan. My point being, why do I have to be the cricketer’s fan when the scales are already tipped hugely in his favour?
Construed as a criticism, the intended critical aspect isn’t aimed to reflect on the player, but on the tremendously exaggerated hyping carried on about the player by the media. And there again, the question arises – is this hugeness in the media hype native only to India or does it pervade amongst the international media persons as well?
Association by numbers is a common phenomenon when it comes to sport stars. In terms of the person in context here, this concept of association of numbers is fine-tuned, thoroughly befitting his professional stature. But enter the influence of media, the result of add-ons to the numbers’ affiliation, including even those potentially likely to associate, turns out to be chaotic. And no matter the organised nature of these chaotic absorptions, the effect of the bedlam caused remains as potent as ever.
The transformations from hot-shot favourites to pariahs don’t take long in the sporting world just as fickly, words starting with ‘H’s’ get replaced with ‘Z’s.’ These quick-fire changeovers, compounded by the heady rush of tautology supplied by the media, further act as a personal deterrent in the whole Tendulkar fan paradigm, while making me an oddity among those cricket fans, who swear by his name.
And this is where the next query arises. The query of the right application of one choice from the triad of ‘want to, need to and have to.’ Although similar at times in their usage, each of these three words contains a world of difference in terms of their semantic application. Between the denoting of desire in the former and the purposeful inclination to carry out the latter, it’s the middle terminology that forms the crux in most of life’s day-to-day, decision-making. Motivated by necessity, irrespective of one’s interest in fulfilling the necessity, the ambit of ‘need to’ underscores the subject of reconciling unlike no other.
It’s perhaps here, that I flounder. The distinct of lack of choosing between want, need and having to makes it difficult for me to reconcile with the whole epitome of being a Tendulkar idolater. But, even as I admit this, I can’t help but wonder about the pressing need to choose one amongst the three alternatives and even in that, whether I personally am motivated to want to do so.