“This book all in all is pretty dry, but for some strange reason in the end it still made me cry”.
It perhaps is my little way of being privy to the journey of the hero we have revered so much. The book in itself traverses his journey in finest detail. It starts with his childhood and ends at that speech he delivered at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai last year.
For most of us in our thirties and forties this book has very little to offer. There is a sense of Deja Vu, while reading this book in its entirety. You will at times feel the book is a cricket coaching manual when it covers the timeline of the man series after series.
In the early chapters of the book, even though we knew most stories it still was an engrossing read. The pains he and his family took to ensure the man played for India indeed was a very fascinating one.
The book written by Boria Majumdar has its moments. I pick my top five that really got me emotional and five moments through this fantastic read that put a smile on my face.
Laugh Out Loud.
1) Vinod Kambli (Yes! He did find a mention) and Sachin were batting in a school game when all of a sudden Kambli started to fly a kite in the middle of the game. No wonder his career went nowhere.
2) During his Yorkshire stint, Sachin almost got a ticket for speeding. He misread the instructions by the traffic cops to land himself in a soup.
3) Remember the Sydney test? Remember he applying too much cream on his face? Looking like a clown? Well if he went in with the original, he would have looked much worse. Read the book to find out why?
4) A true romantic at heart. The story of how he made Anjali pose as a journalist and cut small chocolate pieces at his home. Definitely is a high point in his personality.
5) Try imagining Sachin pluck flowers from the vase, put in his hair and dance all day? Well! He actually did that with his wife when he was awarded the Bharat Ratna.
Being Sachin Tendulkar.
We always new it wasn’t easy being in the man’s shoes. Yet somehow he defied odds to play for so long and left an indelible impression on our minds. These are my top five moments from the book that made me feel, that I have chosen the ideal role model.
1) The number of times that man went through the needle; others would have been crucified by now.
2) We as fans should feel stupid, carefully reading at his final season scores, yes he didn’t score a hundred yet had numerous fifty plus scores that helped the team win. So obsessed we were, that such knocks didn’t even find a mention in the media.
3) “Aap bahut bhaari ho yaar’ said Yuvraj as he lifted Tendulkar after the World Cup celebrations.
4) Remember the Old Trafford hundred? And the champagne he got? Being a minor could not drink it. Well he preserved it and popped it only on Sara’s first birthday.
5) Sachin sat alone in the dressing room after the speech at Wankhede. Virat walked up to him and said ” My dad gave me these threads as a kid” the ones Indians wear around their wrists for good luck. I wanted to give it to someone special. He touched his feet and burst into tears. Goosebumps anyone?
A lot has been said about this book in the media, yes it indeed at times felt a little mundane while reading it but one must understand this book is not just for our lot, who has grown up watching him play. It’s for the future, who will know the man now only through hearsay and possibly through ‘Playing it my way’.