I've always believed calling a living person as GOD is not acceptable. God is something which can't be seen or touched, its something which can only be felt. But there are moments when even that strong resolve is broken. When you see a heavenly painting by an artist, when you see a brilliant guitarist ripping it apart in a concert arena, when you see men/women with a large heart helping millions of poor, when you hear a gifted musician at his peak, when you see a sportsman at his best...Yesterday was one of those days, which made me break that resolve and call Him GOD of cricket and fall at his feet.
Memories came rushing in as he crossed the 170 mark yesterday. The only source to know the score was the mobile and the 'secret' web page that our company forgot to block. And I was in the laundry after a fight with the security regarding a new idiotic 'policy' from the company. The wait for 200 took me back to school days, specifically to that innings of 186 not out against New zealand. We all crowded together in a house near our school. The drawing room was filled with us with the house owner craning his neck somewhere behind, just to catch a glimpse of that majestic innings. We watched almost the whole innings, bunking period after period and the lovable house owner played happy host. It was a small disappointment when he couldn't break Paki Anwar's record. We all went back hoping for the day when Sachin will score a 200. Almost a decade has passed since then. I can still recollect what all I did on a day when Sachin played majestic innings like this. Such innings of rare brilliance as the 98 against Pakistan in the 2003 world cup, when I rushed back from the maths tuition class to watch it from first ball. Many many days like that when all that mattered was Sachin scoring a century. Such is the influence he has on the life of an average Indian. A sad day at office or a boring day at school turned into an unforgettable day. Unremarkable days made remarkable and memorable for ever just because a man decided to unleash his genius on the cricket ground. Moments when sports ceases to be just that and becomes LIFE.
As he crossed 200, the phone started ringing non stop. Everyone wanted to share their joy with their near and dear ones. Among those calls were, two calls from friends in school whom I haven't talked to in a long time. But with whom I've watched many a matches in that house near school. And together we had waited for many a centuries and walked back dejected. Also have jumped together elated at many of his achievements. And it took Sachin again to take us back to those days, talk to each other and share the joy. Sachin is more than just a sportsman, He is a feeling that unites many a million minds. He united more Indians together, more than any RELIGION could. Somewhere down the line someone may overtake the 200, some may score 250. All those numbers may tumble one day. But, some things will remain unbroken...the feeling of unity that Sachin brings, the sheer batting perfection that he unleashed and that down to earth character. Taking it all in his stride, he marches on unchallenged, India's marathon man. 20 years, we graduated from lollipops to blackberrys...but He remains there, where he truely belonged...at the top...
SO bye bye to Paki Anwar from the record books. Its been a pain seeing his name there on top!! :D
your crusader Praveen