You’re not the God, well that’s what they call you isn’t it? Nor are you an angel in disguise,
But if there’s a batsman utterly inimitable , then you are that… Whether on the 22 yards or when one closes their eyes.
In a sport driven by the Sultans of swing and chest-thumping Yorker specialists, you settled the discussion- one better between the ball and the bat- often with that straight drive
You arrived before Brian Lara did and you lasted well after The Prince exited. Brett Lee suggested you’re the best, Wasim Akram salutes you, and Shane Warne says, “he comes first and later, sunlight!”
The gentle judges toward the on side, the caresses toward the covers. India flew a long way, and along with it world cricket, thanks to your records journeying many a mile
100 hundreds, nearly 16000 runs, Some collected with absolute rigour, and the rest, as if you just wanted to have some fun.
A career that may have spanned nearly two and a half decades, but lasts to this day. Ask the toddy tapper in Chennai, the ethical hacker in Bangalore, the Bollywood-lover in Delhi, or the Chaiwalla in Bombay and they’ll tell stuff about you that even you may have forgotten yourself.
The critics may rant ‘you played for the records’, as if there’s a need to doubt that you put the team always ahead of the self. But let naysayers be, for every word counts,
Whether or not your the greatest or not, the phrase – Sachin…. Sachin- travels faster in every stadia, perhaps more than the speed of sound. Batsmen there’ll be many and heck, there really are quite a few. The Williamsons are stunning the world, the Joe’s becoming the Root cause of troubles,
With AB gone but not forgotten, and Kohli giving batting a Virat definition. But it is Tendulkar, the name that signifies cricket. Wherever it is watched, on black and white TV sets in the hinterland, or on high-definition
On that note please note Mr Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. That you may have retired in a manner termed official. Having hung those boots that made milestones as we know them.
But you won’t be allowed to rest, let those magazines say what they want, let every drop of ink be churned on any piece of cricketing journal.
For there’s but one force of nature that’s admired like no other for giving us a taste of subliminal- whether in Sharjah, SCG, The Oval, Wankhede- for such is its stature
Does that bat still sing? Calling out to you to reach out for it and hold it in your hands?
Does the scoop over slips remind you of the many times you toyed with bowlers as if to say there are many slips between the cup and the lips?
Because to this generation you’re a cornerstone, to the one before, it’s idol, and who knows, to those who’re yet to be birthed in cricket…
You could be the bridge that adjoins the divided, a reminder that perseverance can counter them all.
For where there seemed holes even in the impregnable technique of The Wall. There was this little genius who rose tall above one and all
Happy 46th master-blaster