Call it a surge of emotions or some deep thinking about how man held the imagination of an entire nation – as Sachin plays his last test, I am left contemplating about the man who I have shared my childhood with. Why me? We all have grown up with him. There is a collective loss of childhood as Sachin retires. Ironic, that this is the same man who taught us that you don’t have to leave your ‘child-like’ enthusiasm for a sport. I believe it is this one quality that has made Sachin truly brilliant. 24 years later, he still pursues his game like a child.
To me, he is the man who truly embodies the spirit of Stay A Child Forever…
Okay, let’s begin by saying…we grew up watching Sachin Tendulkar. Whenever we watch cricket, we will tell you with pride (and nostalgia), “We lived in the time of the great Sachin Tendulkar.” So live with it.
Just like our parents boasted of Gavaskar, Vishwanath, Holding, Sobers…we will fill you with stories about Tendulkar. And yes, Dravid, Ganguly, Kumble, Sehwag…and all those greats who retired before you started watching cricket.
It’s perhaps too early to say if you will ever play the sport. We hope you do play it someday, in fact any sport at all. Just for the ability of unleashing your energy on a game, for harnessing your strengths, to accept your weaknesses. Playing a sport will teach you about winning. It will teach you to accept defeat. It will push you to work harder. Most importantly, it will teach you to compete not just with your competitor, but with yourself first. Playing a sport teaches you resilience, fortitude and builds strength…less physical, more mental. You will know what it means to follow a discipline. You will understand the true meaning of love and respect. Only he lasts who loves his sport and respects it.
It is not about the talent which you naturally have. It is more about the talent that you can acquire. You will have to be humble, because it is the one thing that will see you through your highs and lows. It will push you to work harder. To challenge yourself every time you fall. Being a sportsman, you will have to reinvent yourself, because somewhere along the way there will be hurdles. There will be someone who will discover your deepest weaknesses and beat you. As you grow up, you will discover the voices in your head. One voice will tell you about those who watch you play, those you compete against, those you play with. Another, a little quiet voice will tell you about yourself. It will tell you what to do. If you are a sportsman, you will learn to listen to that faint voice…always.
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