Sachin Tendulkar - Probably the Single Most Loved Indian
Previously published for Delhilive.com
Each time someone dares to suggest that perhaps it is time for Sachin Tendulkar to hang up his boots (either because of injury of because he was currently going through a lean patch), he springs back with a performance that silences his critics and gives his fans another reason to cheer and indulge in Sachin worship. Even players from opposing sides have only words of praise for him.
And perhaps it is a fact that we Indians have a stark paucity of heroes and champions (athletic and otherwise), that we latch on to our cricket players to elevate to the status of gods; Tendulkar in particular. Witness the time that demented fans went and commissioned paintings of him as ‘God’, as Lord Hanuman. He has also received letters written in blood and people still come up to him, touch his feet and tell him he is God.
Consider what happened when he scored his hitherto unparalleled feat of a double century in one day internationals-
Those that did not watch the innings lamented their misfortune; the blistering 200 off just 147 balls employed Shock and Awe tactics that the Proteas seemed to have no defence against. All the newscasters on TV seemed to have lost their customary cynicism and appeared round eyed with delight. Rajdeep Sardesai said that he would sleep well at night because of Sachin’s spectacular feat.
The always belligerent Arnab Goswami of Times could not hide his glee as he informed viewers that Sachin would get 100 centuries in both forms of the game combined; as though it was a foregone conclusion, which perhaps it is. The anchor on Headlines Today was furious with M S Dhoni for playing so well and denying Sachin Tendulkar strike while the world held its breath to see the latter scale his peak. A Marathi news channel renamed Sachin as Sachin Recordkar.
Even old foe Shane Warne was obviously delighted; and happy that he was not the bowler at the receiving end of Sachin’s pyrotechnics. Sachin is unique in that he inspires the affection not only of his fans and teammates but also his opponents.
As for Twitter it was going crazy on Sachin mania with people speaking in one voice when they said Cricket is a religion and Sachin is its God. Here are some amusing celeb tweets:
Kunal Kapoor: “I finally know what god really looks like!! He is about 5"5, Maharashtrian and plays cricket!! Tendulkar bapa moraya”
Abhishek Bachchan: “You make us proud SACHIN!” and "SACHIN. Master, idol, LEGEND!!! Congratulations!!! What an innings."
Karan Johar: “His name is TENDULKAR and he is a LEGEND!!!”
Some more enjoyable tweets:
- · "Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting, it will go unnoticed, coz even god is watching him play"
- · "Reducing the number of atheists in India since 1989 - Sachin Tendulkar”
- · “The cricket stadium in Blr is named after Sachin. Chinna Swamy = Little Master”
- · “For all of the Don's greatness he only played in Australia or England. Sachin has played even in ladakh!”
- · “Sachin is greater than anything, thank god we are in Sachin's era!”
- · “Well, Sachin Tendular is an anagram of Unshackled Train.”
- · “Sachin 's 200 is more impressive than Mamata's Rail Budget.”
There was a trending topic called #Sachinisgod (and trending even in San Francisco) :
- · "There are 2 kind of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar. Two all the others." ~ Andy Flower”
- · “I think India should have a 200 rupees note with Sachin embossed on it.”
- · “I do believe in God. Has anyone ever seen a mortal hit 200 runs in ODI?”
- · “Some say 'he is Legend', most say 'he is God'. I say, one more time, please”
- · “Tendulkar has the ability to unite a country, lift spirits - ability to function like a remote control on Indians”
- · “*sings in honor of Sacchu* Taareeeeeeeeef karooo kya uski, jisne tumhe banaya?”
- · “People wondering who Sachin, he is Father of #ChuckNorris, inspiration for #Superman and #India 's heartbeat!”