Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sachin - Personification of a destiny

While the nation debates the appropriateness of awarding the Highest civilian honor to Sachin Tendulkar; I, for one, would want to merely acknowledge that the honor was given to a man who skillfully played a sport with a great amount of decency and pride for many years without unduly succumbing to the perils of sycophancy and measureless wealth that came with it (a rarity in our age and times). I also believe that Sachin happened to be playing the right game at the right time. There is no doubt in the fact that the game of cricket has seen more talented sportsmen, playing under more adverse circumstances than him; and it also an equally true fact that the Dyan Chand’s, the Milka Singh’s, the Ramesh Krishnan’s, the Sunil Gavaskar’s, the Viswanathan Anand’s glimmer as bright stars in their own firmament; but Sachin is fortunate to have been living in India and played Cricket at a singular time, when historically, a couple of catastrophic changes affected the perceptions of common man in India. Let me explain…

The last couple of decades have opened the global media to general public. Firstly, the phenomenal advent of television paved a way for socially encrusted middle class Indians to participate in the glory, fame and adulation of sporting heroes in different parts of the Globe. The Pele’s, the Mohammad Ali’s, the Abdul Kareem Jabber’s, The Borg’s and the McEnroe’s – to name a few became household names , and the gnawing sense of a not having a sporting hero in our own country of over a billion people had them waiting with bated breath for somebody to shine in the global arena. Secondly, In the mid-eighties, the maverick Australian Kerry packer changed the way Cricket was played by introducing Glamour, color, flamboyancy and creating a glimmering stage for this hallowed game to be played. The picture perfect broadcast, the breath taking slow motions, the largess of Audi cars and American dollars catapulted the game for a Gentlemen’s weekend amusement to a radically competitive game that could propel a sportsman to dizzy heights of glory and power. Indians have been playing the game of Cricket for as long as anyone has cared to play it, and the country has produced some of the most gifted and artistic individuals the game has ever seen. So, in the world of Sports, the only hope for an Indian to get on to the Global platform had to be in cricket. The stage was perfectly set for this young Mumbaite: Gifted with prodigious talent, a mature mind and almost an exaggerated sense of humility, the young man lifted his game to sublime levels, and with each step, he became the heart throb of the nation. His achievements became a ‘Freudian” consummation of a nation’s unconscious desire and for twenty odd years, every time the Sachin held his bat and walked contemplatively to the batting crease, he held the heartbeat of a nation in his small hands. The country wanted a sporting hero, and Sachin gave them one; the nation wanted an unblemished personal life, and Sachin personified that role model; the game needed a man to rise beyond the Bradman’s ,Sober’ s and the Boycott’s, and Sachin phenomenal talent fructified into records that now seem virtually unbreakable. In all, the nation needed a Sachin Tendulkar and the forces of History produced one for us…

Hence, Ladies and gentlemen, the nation acknowledges this short man with the Bharat ratna, whose diminutive frame has become the vehicle for consummating the wide eyed dreams of a generation. But now, we must move on. There are other fields of Human endeavor that require our energies and focus. And let us derive our strength from the fact the Globe is now open for us to excel in all fields. Let’s have the grit, the talent and character to raise ourselves above the ordinary and not worry honor and recognition. Let us dig deep to tickle our own dreams, and probably like Sachin, each one of us are at the right place at the right time The law of civilization vindicates this………

God bless…..