India’s Gift to the World

While some strive to achieve glory despite all their human limitations, some are bestowed talent so immense that the world simply cannot help but take notice. Then there are those rare few who are endowed with prowess beyond wildest imagination and yet somehow manage to stretch the limits by sheer hard work, perseverance and above all humility. They are whom I’ll call divine!

Imagine a sixteen year old (or any teenager for that matter) playing a sport and getting the chance to represent his country. If he fails to grasp his chance, neither has he the comfort of money to fall back on, nor has he got the shoulders of a father figure to gift him a second chance. The worst case – he would have had to risk being called a failure in his chosen sport (for the rest of his life) and simply exist with great despair in his heart.

Thankfully this wasn’t just another kid! The cricketing career of Sachin Tendulkar stretched from that day on, for another glorious 24 years. In this span of time his achievements on the pitch are no lesser than the conquests of an emperor. He vanquished his foes, never bowed down, never took a shortcut and won it all. In short a true superhero!

That career, sadly today, came to an end. Millions shed tears when he said goodbye. But we should realize that that was merely Sachin the cricketer signing off.

To me Sachin is not just a person, but a concept that we needed so desperately in our lives. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, to me, was not defined by mere numbers.

He was not sent down to show us how to play a text book square cut or an immaculate straight drive. He was not chosen to teach how many runs can possibly be scored between those 22 yards. He was gifted to us so that those who dared to dream something positive, will know that it can be achieved, no matter how tough; those who were drifting away in their lives will have a ray of hope; those looking up desperately for a sign from above will have an idol to worship – human nonetheless.

What we’ve been doing all these years (albeit unknowingly) was to simply acknowledge the greater good in a person; something that we’re all meant to achieve for ourselves in our own lifetime. That a person can stay out of misdemeanor of any sorts in two decades, when they were in a position of absolute power and owned the thoughts of a billion people, is indeed remarkable!

Tendulkar may have been born in India but he was a gift to the world. His life has carried an inherent message that we’ve all sub consciously observed and appreciated. While it was his passion for the game that created the unbeatable records, his attitude and character are the traits that made him the legend that he is.

He’s made it simple for the millions of parents who want to make their kid realize the importance of not losing level head and learn the significance of hard work. All they need to say to their kid is, “to create a good name for yourself you’ve just got to have a dream, work hard and stay humble. The rest will follow. Take a leaf off Sachin’s life“.

Here is a man who had the good heart to remember and talk about his parents, teacher, kin, peers and fans amidst all the heady awards. I am in awe of the simplicity when he recollected and thanked his childhood friends and his own wife and kids in equal measure.

Here was a guy who wouldn’t hesitate to walk back even given a poor umpiring decision, but yet would find it impolite if he forgets to wish someone in his farewell. In between all that blinding fame and work pressure, here was a kid who never once lost his way while facing the real ‘bouncers’ of life.

Fare you well Sachin. You’ll be missed in the Indian lineup, but rest assured, your true fans will never forget the way of life you’ve shown – a path which many of us would have otherwise thought as impossible.

Say anything about his records and you may have an argument. But think twice before questioning his divinity or you’ll be Tendulkar-ed!

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