People play to enjoy the sport, to channelize their energies in the right direction and to satisfy their need to compete. Professionals on the other hand have various other responsibilities bestowed upon them by their supporters. Carrying the hopes of the nation and inspiring people being the foremost. Handling pressure is something that a professional learns over time but the trait of inspiring people is something that cannot be learnt or acquired, you have it or you don’t.
After having watched Sachin play for over a decade now, I can safely say that he handles pressure very well. With the expectation of the entire country riding on his shoulders, he just doesn’t seem to show the slightest of glitches in his stroke play.But it is his second trait(that of inspiring people) that amazes me the most.
The power to inspire resides with a few. And if used in the right way it can lead to masses worshiping you. Sachin Tendulkar is worshiped not only because of his power to inspire but because he used his humility and perseverance to gather respect for the entire nation on the global front.
At a time when India was struggling to deal with the benefits of independence and was suffering from a financial upheaval, Sachin showed us that even we could be world beaters. He instilled a belief amongst the public of India that even we could be the best at something. A small man with a magic wielding willow in his hand put India on the global map. He destroyed opponents not with aggression but with class.
Cricket is not just a religion in this country, it is more.Where religion has been dividing the country since partition, cricket seems to be doing just the opposite. You might have had the worst day at office/college but a Sachin Tendulkar straight drive is enough to shrug off that disappointment. That is the kind of healing power the man possess. His performances on the field acting as a balm for the common man and allowed him to deal with the grievances of his day to day struggles.
So how do deal with the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar? A person who through his work has had an ever lasting impression on the lives of over a million people. Do you cry over it? Or move on? Do you stop watching the sport altogether, or do you hope for more of such gentlemen to take up the sport.
The answer is quite simple. Every sportsperson plays the sport not just because he loves it but also so that he can spread the love for the game amongst others who witness him play. Sachin instilled this love for Cricket in the 90’s kid. He showed us the beauty of the willow meeting the ball. The 1983 World Cup victory did set up a huge fan base for cricket but it was Sachin who made people fall in love with the game because of the artist that he was. So by no stretch of imagination would he want us to give up on our love for the game because of his retirement.
Coming to his last day on the cricket field. Sachin gifted us with the most magical 74 runs of his career. The serenity with which the bat met the ball was a treat to watch. It was a day of mixed emotions, the joy of watching him play some exquisite strokes and the fear of him departing forever. When Darren Sammy took that dreadful catch , the entire nation came to a stand still. The man walked, teary eyed, looking up to the sky ,still not able to digest the gravity of the moment. A man who had showed us how to dream, who had inspired us to become better individuals was retiring from the sport that he had made his very own.
He played for 24 years but those 24 years changed our lives forever. Thank You Sachin for making us proud, for making India proud.
This brilliant video paying tribute to the real Bhagwaan of India 🙂