Sachin – The seen God, and the unseen man
There was a time in the history of human civilization when the fear of the unknown inspired the birth of the divine. An unseen force created then by man to explain the unfathomable phenomena beyond our control. A belief then inherited down by generations for centuries, transforming this myth to a legend. So much so that God today demands a special place in the heart of humanity as the eternal hope, path and promise to salvation, redemption from suffering, reason for joy, as the one father for this world-family.
Over the evolution of man, in the modern age, when rationality is a highly rated possession, divinity has acquired its obligatory share of critics. However, as much as this topic remains a favourite for the philosophy forums, religious debates and the eternal tug-of-war between science and superiority; as a lyrical artist of this era, ‘divinity’ to me is a matchless metaphor, none more deservedly in the context of sport.
For each of our sports, we have these unexplained phenomena. Those mystical magicians who captivate on all platforms, fierce gladiators who promise hope in the darkest moments, triumphing against all odds, subduing all challenges with grit. Indeed, the messiahs of a new dawn uniting a world of divided opinions and incessantly in quarrel. Their lives are a script of history that the future times would be forced to envy as a golden age. Verily Gods without a robe!
Cricket’s God needs no introduction!
‘Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar’ has shared the altar with the holy trinity, worthily demanded a fair place in the hearts of a billion followers, moved a million with his every move, struck a chord with his every stroke, brought a smile with every mile he laboured past, inspired a future cricketing culture with his every cap, influenced innumerable lives who imitate his every act.
In a single format of the colours alone, he’s done more than what people could achieve through a combined excellence in all formats. As if his genius wasn’t enough in arguing for his greatness while batting, he once even picked up the ‘Castrol Best Bowling Performance of the Year award’.
But then again, probably by glorifying him in the domains of supernatural, we might fail to acknowledge the achievements of the man he actually strove to be!
He silently runs an orphanage, giving a dream to 200 orphans in the suburbs of the city of dreams, acknowledges the desperation of a billion passionate supporters back home, standing up to promise and deliver. He never fails a request on his tour to drop into any place to give a little joy to the underprivileged. Burying the sorrow of his loving father’s demise, he turns up in time for national duty. Diligent and disciplined, he’s a restrained recluse in the colourful world of glitz, goods and glamour.
Having done everything in his capabilities to give us that single reason to smile, today, probably he has even sacrificed his passion to play a little longer because we seemed restless and cribbed impatiently in our quest for a little sensationalism.
Agonizingly, the most tragic part of his story is unfortunately this last chapter of his illustrious career. As his proud family, once too happy to carry him upon our shoulders for 23 years, we failed when it mattered most. Not that he sought to live off our sympathies or past laurels. For an enigma unto whom silence itself would be a dishonourable gesture, imagine walking out hearing a home crowd booing his failure.
As followers of sport, let’s in the least, learn to bid farewell to a sportsperson in honour. For whatever reasons, declaring ‘Good Riddance’ vehemently while seeing him walk out is a hypocritical and derogatory phrase. As true passionate sport followers, each of these players makes our day and hence deserve a respect in their sunset, and certainly more so a legend like Sachin!
Let’s not be disrespectful to the man and his selfless offerings for want of a little attention or in resent over his over-adulatory fanatics. Complaining that he’s become larger than the game is a black spot on his dedicated performance. For, that wasn’t what he set out to achieve in the first place.
Probably, his only curse is that he belongs to that category, unto whom ‘greatness is thrust upon!’
If anything is to be given to this humble man in this late hour when he walks timidly into the darkness, it’s an immortal place among the stars in gratitude for the memories he gave us.
Thankfully, he’s not yet completely done.
Today, as we mourn in the exit of this seen God, let’s not forget to stand and take a bow in respect to the unseen man!