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The Retirement Travelogue! – I

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This piece talks about successful efforts to watch Sachin Tendulkar at the ground, and his unsuccessful run of form between his ODI and TEST Retirements. The search to watch Sachin in sublime form is still on!

The Honda Activa’s fuel bar was below the ‘E’ mark. Not quite the thing to have, when you are roaming on a highway, with no Petrol station in sight. I was, frantically searching for Petrol to fill my bike, and found one at the cross roads at Vagator (Goa). I had stopped my bike to fill petrol, and was reminiscing about surviving an ‘end of the world’ party a night back, and switched on my Twitter stream to see what the world was up to. A news article on it suggested that the world was ending quite contrary to the feeling a night back. Sachin Tendulkar had finally decided it was time for him to bid adieu to ODI’s. I thought Sachin would play on for some more time, but he just chose to end it all of a sudden. The kind of a feeling when you are in a party, five drinks down, you are told that the party is over with no reason. It took a while to recognize the lump in my thought, to recognize that I was staring at my mobile screen, and to recognize that the vehicle behind me was honking, since I had seemingly overstayed my welcome at filling Petrol.

I moved aside to the end of the road, and extended my Twitter feed session, by indulging in the pleasures of a Tender Coconut water. I realized that Sachin had quit ODI’s only, and had not called it quits yet in Tests (and IPL maybe).I casually said to myself, that this was not the end of the world, just when a friend called up to inform me of the news. I said I was surprised that Sachin chose to quit ODI’s, and not tests, where he was struggling for the last couple of years.

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The Aussies were in India in February, and I had made up my mind to go watch him at Chepauk during the first test on Day 2, over the weekend. My Dad fell ill on Friday evening, and I chose to postpone my Chennai trip from Bangalore. Nevertheless, I caught Sachin’s innings on television, and felt bad for missing out his first innings aggression and the pint-sized aggression, that he showed in the second innings, with 2 sixes of the first 2 balls that he faced.

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Having missed the Cheapuk game, I decided will watch the next match in Hyderabad( which I had strategically planned, since my wife’s parents stay in Hyderabad, and a few brownie points from wifey doesn’t hurt). As I made my way to the stadium in Hyderabad, I was told by the policemen manning the ground that mobiles were not allowed inside the stadium. I saw some people burying their mobiles and earphones in the sandy patch on the lane to the stadium. On watching how the police check, I saw them put their hands only up to the shin, and not the feet. I smuggled in my mobile, in my sandals, choosing to tread carefully and not break my blackberry. I managed to get a glimpse of Sachin, amidst the Mexican…err…Machillipatnam Wave, while he was fielding on the cover boundary.  Sachin’s waving back to the crowd, as he was on the boundary, just made us succumb to the mirage that the heat on our heads was lesser. If Twitter had audio capabilities, then the most trended chant of the day would have been #SachinSachin!

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This has been re-produced from an article Kartik had written on his blog.

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