Yesterday I had a strange dream…(don’t tell me all dreams are strange). I saw Sachin Tendulkar in it. He was boarding a bus that I was already in. Now why would somebody who is an awesome cricketer and incidentally has made millions of dollors (or crores of rupees) have to board a commoner’s bus? Well, I didn’t ask and he didn’t tell.
Though strange, I don’t think it is difficult to understand why I saw him in my dream. We have been pounded in the media about his declining form, the (in)famous booing off Mumbai field, and from every street expert. The whole thing was playing in my mind almost wherever I went.
When I woke up the next day and remembered the dream I had, it made me think. I wondered what I would say (which was indeed I wondered even in my dream; apparently I didn’t speak to him even in dream) to him if ever (in the randomest possibility of nature) I meet him. (I’m happy with the uncertainity of the universe; it will give me a chance to meet him, albeit a very small one)
I think the first thing to say would be “Thank you!” For all the years of entertainment he provided for us. The inspiration he gave and still gives to youngsters to pursue their dream. Also the sort of dominance he had on the players. Some might eagerly grab on what I said, ‘he had’ and not ‘he has’. Well since I can only see the past and tell conclusively, I say ‘he had’. Whether he has in him still or not, can and should be answered by none other than him. He is the judge, the force and the inspiration behind himself.
People say that he did not produce a gem of an innings where he single handedly won a game for India. They judge him by all sorts of statistics, figures and match results. They ask if he has ever done something Kapil Dev did in 1983 World Cup. But let them ask again how many times could he himself repeat the feat? They forget the kinds of innings he had to play through, the kind of team he led during his brief stint as a captain and the kind of gluing force he exudes in the team.
All in all let the Man, who made himself, who strode out in every match with just not his own expectations but also of countless cricket fans, who marvelled at his timing, at his ‘perfect’ straight drive, his cuts, his pulls and the inventor of the ‘paddle sweeps’; decide which way he ends his career. If it be now, or few years later.