God, Sachin and Me
By, Sachin Benny (MACE passout 2013 batch)
When Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from cricket in the uneventful month of October,I was rather sceptical -A magnum opus 200th test against the once mighty Windies (who are better base ball players now),a wonderful event for the all powerful bcci to cash in and even more merrier cause the likes of Sreenivasan and Co. Could now hide under the Sachin cape.sweeping filth under the carpet the BCCI way.
I have always been slow in recognising the things I lose,when my college mates were revelling in nostalgia,I was in self denial mode and it was a history repeats itself moment with Sachin too,the truth hit me on the morning of November 14th-I have spent more hours watching Sachin than I have spend learning(no,my father is not on my friends list).Now for the “I still remember” moment.I got my official name when I was four years old,survived on a dozen nicknames till then.
One fine day my father walks in through the front door with a paper in hand and he says “from now on your name will be Sachin”,I looked at him perplexed and then at my mother with an expression that was supposed to mean “what the hell is that???I want a name like john or James or something”.Then a few days later my uncle asks me what my name is,”Sachin..aaha..sachin Tendulkar aano?”,a question I am still asked.(annoyed).I never knew who this Tendulkar was and I dont remember my first tryst with him,but Im guessing I kind of figured it out from the envious expressions of other kids.
Then there is the “I was there that day” moment.The first ODI at Kochi stadium between India and Australia.My mother had everything ranging from water bottles to pazham puzhungithu packed in one of those iconic jayalakshmi big shpper bags and me and my father set off on our rickety old SD bike,the poor mans Enfield,early in the morning.The roads lined with two wherlers,try colour flags,posters was a sight too behold.We got in on one ticket,cause two was too hard to afford,I have the guard my best innocent face that even my math teacher missed out on,and we were witnesd to Sachins best ever bowling perfomance ever. As I grew up and presumably wiser (or dumber),my views on Sachin underwent sea changes,but the core remained unshaken,I would watch with baited breath,every time the man looks up at the skies and strolls out.My father had insights on cricket that I was to young to have and he stopped following the game after the India/SA fixing,we lost 2000 of his hard earned bucks watching that dirty game,money was not surplus then and he felt betrayed I am sure.
Sachins silence on issues plagueing the sport kind of betrayed my trust too.his silence on the filth that is BCCI and on match fixing Now I realize I grew up with the man.When I was a kid,I wanted to be like Sachin Tendulkar.As I grew up,inch by inch ,I heard people scream his name and proclaim him to be god.And according to mom and the church god does things you as a mere human could never do.I cannot be god,I cannot be Sachin Tendulkar.I think thats the moment I started shelving my dreams,thats the moment I started parting wats with Sachin and became disillussioned with miracles and gods like him.Cause I dont want to be a god to follow my dream.