Superman Sachin – Is he for real??
Sachin Tendulkar is seriously scarey - can the man do no wrong?? He is perhaps the only icon left in India that nobody but nobody can criticize without inviting the wrath of a billion people. What is there not to like about a guy who appears to be perfect in all respects? As a sportsman, he has no equal. As a family man, his conduct has been exemplary. His charmingly reticent wife, Anjali’s delightful interview in the TOI, said it all. As a son, the whole cricketing world watches him looking skywards to pay a silent tribute to his late father. As a father himself, he is around his kids on a priority basis…. whenever he himself is around, which is not often.As a friend… well…. if one forgets Vinod Kambli’s tiny squeak of protest, he has his loyalists. As a team member, he says he has always batted for India not for himself. As a sought- after model, he has made a lot of companies very wealthy by endorsing their products over the years . And as a living legend, he is acutely aware of the responsibilities that go with such a lofty position and discharges them with dignity. If anything, Sachin is too good to be true! He never loses his shirt – literally or metaphorically ( unlike Ganguly). He remains almost unnaturally cool under annoying circumstances ( early or unfair dismissals). His memory is elephantine (apparently, he can recall every ball ). He doesn’t get provoked, no matter what. He is super careful with his words ( impossible to catch this guy off- guard). He is unfailingly respectful towards his seniors, aloof and correct with juniors. He has managed to stay miles away from controversy, personal and professional. No known ‘lafdas’ , not even as a teenager with raging hormones ( his lust was reserved for the willow). A noble and faithful one woman man.Last week, he even sorted out the ‘asli Marathi Manoos’ debate brilliantly by boldly declaring, “ Mumbai belongs to India.” All along, Sachin has led his life with enviable discretion bordering on boy scout conduct. Does the man have NO vices at all?? Minor ones?? Innocuous ones? Does he breathe, live and dream cricket – just cricket?? Has he ever let his hair down? Got drunk? Danced on a tabletop? Flirted with a stranger in a distant land? Cracked a dirty joke? Broken even a single, teenie weenie rule? Ever?? If the answer is ‘no’ to all the above, that makes Sachin the closest any human being has ever been to becoming Superman – the Invincible One. A God-like creature. The ultimate sacred cow.Wow!!! The halo is intact. And may it remain that way.
We live in excessively cynical times. We refuse to believe there could be hi- profile celebrities out there who are genuinely ‘good’ people. We go in search of flaws and scandals, because we are looking for something to knock the idol off the pedestal. Look at what’s happening to Andre Agassi ( not in the same league, even so). The only other global sportsmen to come anywhere close to Sachin in terms of stature and reputation are Tiger Woods and Michael Schumacher. I had tweeted about conferring a Bharat Ratna on Sachin - it is the only national honour left for a man who has won the unconditional love of over a billion people. The response has been overwhelmingly in favour of the Master Blaster. Who says a recipient of the Bharat Ratna has to hit 70, 80, 90 to win the country’s highest civilian award? Sachin at 36 has hit 100. Several times over. Why not give it to Sachin while he is peaking and in a rare position to reach even greater heights in future? If we want to activate the minds of the youth of India and spur them on to achieve excellence, Sachin’s the guy to hold up as an inspiration. Superman Sachin. Only the cape is missing!!