The Legend Hangs His Boots
There are few moments in history which come to be counted as watershed – these are those rare moments when time seems to stop to catch its breath and to grasp the magnitude of the occurrence. The announcement of retirement from test matches by none other than the God of Indian Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar, after he plays his 200th match in Mumbai is one such watershed event which will be ever remembered in history for its significance, consequence and force. Henceforth, the world of Indian cricket will no longer remain the same.
A day was decided when this was going to happen yet the nation wished this never to happen. Finally, the moment arrived and the master came out to call it a day. Instantly, a billion plus hearts stopped beating, a billion faces went somber and a billion voices went calm. After all, a living legend had chosen to walk into the pages of history leaving the nation emotionally orphaned.
The man who dominated the Indian cricket for nearly two and a half decades, is not only a cricketing hero but is a sorcerer who has taught a generation of Indians to stand erect on their spine, to stare into the eyes of mighty opponents and to hold their heads high with masculine pride; he’s leader who humbled the arrogance of dominating power and inspired the billion-plus nation to be aggressive and confident by shedding their inferiority before the global powers; he showed the nation how to be assertive leaving aside the humbleness of the Nehruvian era.
He’s among the few Individuals of the modern India who could be counted to have cast such a magical spell on the lives of the people that changed them forever. During many of the moments of despondency in the nation, he’s been the reason to cheer up; he’s gladdened the hearts of millions and brought smiles on their faces. Many will say it’s a chance but the resurgence of India coincided with the arrival and rise of this diminutive man from Mumbai. He’s helped the new India acquire confidence and self-believe which gets reflected into the character of the young generation. His legacy is amply visible in the present generation of the cricketers who reflect the confidence of the world champions. Many of these rookies have grown up watching him play and hold him to be their idol.
In the arena of the sports, he was nothing less than a prophet who proselytized millions into the sect of cricket converting the game into a religion. Gradually, he became the latest addition in the pantheon of divinity as his fanatic fans proclaimed him god. Success defies the law of gravity as it goes straight into the head. Yet, the anointment of god never got into his head and the man remained as humble and grounded as possibly the god could be. He’s of course the chosen son of god.
His accomplishment on the field has been an epical saga of valour and masculinity. He enjoyed playing his game and dominated the best of bowling attacks. The winner shows his character in adversity. He showed his true prowess against the most fearsome opponents. He went on playing the game and records kept tumbling one after another. By plundering his booty on the field, he re-constructed the record books and added voluminous pages into them. Statistics always stood in his way by bowing its head in subservience. He has been the lord of cricketing records and statistics.
Today it is a difficult moment; it’s difficult to imagine Indian cricket without him. It’s hard to believe that the proselytizing prophet of this game has made up his mind to hang his boots. He’s carried the faith of millions on his shoulder for all these years and fulfilled their aspirations. Who will the nation look up to with the same faith in the moments of despondency?
The god has chosen to walk out of our lives.
Krishna Kumar@ThoughtPourri 2013