5 reasons why I will never read Tendulkar’s autobiography … ever…

I am from the Tendulkar generation, if you do not believe me then please read this.

Most of my young and adult life has been punctuated by Tendulkar memories, you can read  this master piece tribute by sidvee

If you want further proof of me being a Tendulkar fan, then I can tell you that I have even written a poem on Tendulkar.

Having said that, I for one am least interested to read Tendulkar’s autobiography

Playing it my way review

1 – I am a fan of Tendulkar as a cricketer, I was never and will never be interested in knowing Tendulkar off-field. I do not want to know that potentially he was as ordinary in personal life as I am 🙂

2 – I have always believed that Tendulkar was the best when it came to on-field behaviour. I do not want to know that he was not. I do not want to know that he should have spoken about few issues at the right time instead of saving those for his book

3 – The Tendulkar that I worshiped was a humble middle class boy who went on to create history. The Tendulkar I worshiped would never have released an autobiography or created a big media buzz for marketing it. God did not write his own stories, he left it to others to tell those stories.

4 – There are things you worth knowing and then there are things better left un-explained. I never wanted to know that Lance Armstrong cheated, similarly I do not want to know that Tendulkar like all of us had petty issues and problems.For the love of god, He is ‘God’

5 – Tendulkar is no Kardashian and I do not want to know the details of his life. I do not want to know if he likes duck or hates chicken. For the record I went to Tendulkar’s (the restaurant) and hated the menu which included things Tendulkar likes. Just did not make sense to me. I liked his straight drive, cover drive but not his meal choices.

It might come as a surprise to many of you who know me, but I hate the fact that Tendulkar has behaved like the highly paid footballers who release autobiographies at the age of 30 and the again at 40 and then again at 50. I have defended Tendulkar in various debates but I am not sure if I will be able to defend this.

To be frank, I am worried. Since retirement Tendulkar has been in politics, in publishing.. what next? In Bigg Boss? Who knows !!

One thing for sure – ‘that’ Tendulkar will not be the Tendulkar that I worshiped for years.

Tendulkar, Modi and ‘weight of a nation’

‘He has been carrying the weight of the nation for so long, now it’s our turn to carry him on our shoulders’ – said Yuvraj singh after that wonderful evening at Wankhede in 2011. I totally agreed then and I still agree now. Till around 10 days back, Tendulkar was the only man to ever carry the weight of the nation on his shoulders but then happened Modi and now it seems that he is the next one to carry the weight (and may be the last one) I was a Tendulkar fan for most of my life and all of Tendulkar’s cricketing life. I am however not necessarily a Modi fan… atleast for now. That said I do not have any issue with Modi. Having been a lifetime Tendulkar’s fan, It is little scary to be a Modi fan!!

Image courtesy - sandhira.com

Image courtesy – sandhira.com

Here is why – People like me set Tendulkar up for Failure right from the day we started cheering him. I am sure that Tendulkar never told me that he is going to score 100 100s. He never claimed that he was the best batsman in the wold. He hardly every said or claimed anything. I bet Tendulkar was not even as talented as some of his contemporaries. I am ready to go on record and say that a certain Vinod Kambli was more talented than Tendulkar. I would dare say that VVS was more natural than Tendulkar.. Heck I would say that Dravid has more mental strength than Tendulkar. Tendulkar just had it in him to work harder than any other kid around him to make most of what God gifted him. The whole thing about expectations was created by people like me. Fans like me.. We placed our expectations on his (literally) young shoulders. We wanted him to win for us. We wanted him to achieve what we could not. We wanted him to be superhuman. Thank God that Tendulkar was able to carry weight of those expectations, very few could. Tendulkar did not just carry the weight but excelled while doing so. I am sure it was a big burden and I am sure he felt it every day for past 22 years. If you need a proof then take a look at Tendulkar post his retirement, you can see the relief on his face..

Modi’s story might play out in a similar way. Now I may not have followed Modi’s career but I am sure there are more charismatic leaders around him. I am sure that Advani, Swaraj and others have a bigger stature … I am sure there are others in BJP with more and diverse experience.  While that might be true, I am also sure that Modi worked his socks off to reach where he has.. The problem starts now.. If social media is to be believed, the whole nation thinks that there are going to be miracles. Modi is going to win them every match as Tendulkar did ( or didn’t). Modi is going to be the solution to every problem. Just as there was a whole generation made up of Tendulkar fans, we now have a generation of Modi fans.

As a neutral observer and a Tendulkar Fan, the Modi fan following worries me. Tendulkar’s whole career was a fight against those expectations and for the record a lot of neutrals still view his career as a failure. His only fault was to raise the expectation. He in no ways knowingly contributed to the rise in expectations but it just happened.The ironic thing about Modi is that he has actively raised the expectation and now it is a genie out of the bottle. Neither Modi nor anyone else can put that genie back in.

Just like Tendulkar, Modi will have to carry the weight of a nation on his shoulders.. I am sure all the Modi fans will be more than happy if Modi retires after 22 years with similar successes / failures as Tendulkar…

Dhoni, Modi and ‘Sense of Occasion’

Sense of occasion – I for one definitely don’t have it, if it helps (me) even the great Sachin Tendulkar never had it.. In recent history, there are only 2 people who have really stood out when it comes to having sense of occasion – MS Dhoni and Narendra Modi

It is one thing to promote yourself in the batting order in a world cup final, it is another thing to have the audacity to clinch the win with a six, but it take someone with a great sense of occasion to hold that pose long enough for the cameras to capture the moment in all it’s glory.

The world might forget so many things about that world cup final but the one thing they will never forget is – Dhoni holding his pose after the winning shot. That was drama and triumph at it’s best. He had written his own fairy-tale.

Tendulkar never had that.. He was never one for having a great sense of occasion. His timing was limited to the cricketing sense of the word. Very rarely has Tendulkar been fortunate to do great things on great occasions. In fact some of his key milestones have been cursed by irrelevant matches or inferior opponents. A case in point is his retirement .. I bet Dhoni will retire at the most opportune moment and will do it in the same style as he won the world cup.

Fair enough …  Tendulkar had the talent and a place near to God, Dhoni has sense of occasion ..

That brings me to Mr. Modi. Mr. Modi reminds me a lot of Dhoni.. Beyond all the other similarities, both of them have a great sense of occasion..

Just like Dhoni, Modi has a knack of doing and saying the right things at the right time(at least till now). Case in point is his inaugural address in the Parliament. He has said great things throughout his campaign but today was his ultimate test. Lot of eyes were on him and many were betting on him to slip. He didn’t. He even managed to get emotional at the right time and even shed few tears. Just like Dhoni, he nailed the moment (atleast for now)..

There is however a slight difference between Dhoni’s world cup moment and Modi’s speech today. Dhoni had reached his Mount Everest and Modi is just starting his trek !! I just hope that Modi still has the sense of occasion when and if he reaches his pinnacle



To Yuvi, with love….

Dear Yuvi,

This is a confession, rather a series of confessions. I am not sure if this will make you feel better but I hope that this does not make you feel worse

To Yuvi - with love

image courtesy – Wikipedia

I am one of those who cursed you from the bottom of my heart when you were at crease struggling to get bat to ball

I am one of those who have hardly won a match in gully cricket but feels entitled to have opinion about all cricketing matters

I am also one of those who were sad to witness your legacy being spoiled by a single innings

I am also one of those who do realise that even the best finisher in the game was not able to hit the ball in the last over

I am also one of those who laughed at all the FB statuses mocking you

I am also one of those who gave my support to you on public forums

I am also one of those who concluded that your career is now done and you should never be included in the Indian team

It is the same me who relived all your glorious innings while others were questioning your efforts on the pitch

It is the same me who tried to convince your supporters that your best days are behind you

It is the same me who missed a nights sleep because India lost the match

It is the same me who by now has forgiven you

I am a fan of your talent but unfortunately for you I am also a fan of Indian cricket.

I have a very short memory and a shorter temper. In past I have not spared Sachin Tendulkar so I doubt you stand a chance.

But don’t take me seriously, cause I hardly give myself that luxury.

I am a nobody.

I am just a face in the crowd who will cheer anyone who can win India a match and crucify anyone who  can’t.

It’s nothing personal !!

Your’s truly

India cricket fan

Why you should not have confessed Lance !!

Why you should not have confessed Lance !!

Lance Armstrong

They say that Life in itself is a spectator sport. Sports are in essence all about spectators and their belief. We cheer losing causes and we celebrate miracles. When nothing is going right in our lives we look to our teams, our stars and our idols. We win when they win! We cry when they lose and most importantly we believe in them. We believe that they are playing for us and fighting for us. You are threatening to take away that belief from us.

belief is the only thing that makes us get up at midnight and switch on TV. belief is the only thing that makes us angry when something is said about our idols and belief is the only thing that makes an otherwise boring life bearable. Trust us, it hurts to know that our idols lied, cheated. It hurts much more than loosing a close match or a disastrous performance.

As a cricket fan, I can tell you that I was deeply hurt and almost gave up on cricket when Cronje confessed and Azar was implicated. I still get worried when I hear rumors about matches being fixed. I feel cheated. You might think that I represent sports fans who are unforgiving, trust me I am not. I can safely say that majority of sports fans are forgiving. We are ok in our idols getting arrested, being politically incorrect, cheating on their wives, showing signs of cannibalism, going bankrupt, changing loyalties for money among many other things. There is one thing we as sports fans cannot tolerate is you as our idol cheating while representing us. You went one step ahead. You cheated and made us believe that you did not. You achieved greatness and became a role model for so many with your inspirational story. You let all that happen while you knew you were cheating.

You should at least have had the decency not to go on world television and confess. I would have been better off not knowing the fact that you were doping. At least I had a reason to believe in something that seemed too good to be true for a long long time and believe me I want to believe in miracles. I want to believe that Bolt, Woods, Thorpe, Phelps, Tendulkar are results of dedication, application and talent. You were one of them and now you just told me that it was not the case. You told me that you could not have done without doping. You are taking my heroes away from me.

If ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ was to come on the Opera show after retiring from ODI cricket and announce that his bat had a gadget fitted that always attracted the ball to the middle of the bat, I would almost consider committing suicide.You are making me replace my belief with doubt. You are taking a part of me away from me and that is just not acceptable. That is the betrayal of the highest order. You cheated is one thing but you had the audacity to keep doing it and then admitting it. For everyone’s sake you could have at least not confessed !!

Surendra Phatak
A stupid sports fan

तुम क्या जानो के तेंदुलकर हमारे लिए क्या था !!

This is a poetic tribute to Sachin Tendulkar and a generation that loved him

एक जमान था जब हम २ सवाल पूछा करते थे

एक ‘स्कोर क्या हुआ है’ और दूसरा ‘तेंदुलकर है’ ?

आज तेंदुलकर नहीं तो पहला सवाल पूछने का मन ही नहीं करता

और इंडिया कितने भी रन बना ले , आजकल हमारा दिल नहीं भरता !!

तुम क्या जानो के तेंदुलकर हमारे लिए क्या था

हमेशा की डूबती हुई नय्या का वो एक ही तो सहारा था…

तेंदुलकर हमारा ख्वाब और हमारी सच्चाई भी था

और क्या बताऊ तुम्हे वो हमारे दर्द की वजह और हमारी ख़ुशी का इन्तेजाम था!!

तेंदुलकर के रिटायर होने पे तुम खुश हो सकते हो

तुम्हारे पास द्रविड़, गांगुली, लक्ष्मण, धोनी, युवराज, रैना जो थे…

पर हमे माफ़ करना, हम गम छुपा नहीं सकते

क्यों की आज की दुनिया मैं अब और तेंदुलकर नहीं बनते !!

तुम क्या जानो के तेंदुलकर हमारे लिए क्या था

वो हमारे सब सवाल और सब सवालों का जवाब था…

सच कहेता हु यारों दुनिया के हजारों Goliath थो के लिए

हमारे पास हमेशा वो सिर्फ एक ही तो davidथा!!


दिसम्बर २०१२

There is something about Sachin… that only my generation will understand !!

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar (Photo credit: R@VITH)

May be this generation would not understand the Importance of Tendulkar to our generation – those who started following Indian cricket before the Ganguly era.

There was an era before Ganguly started swinging his shirt from the Lords balcony .. An era before Indian won a test match after conceding a follow-on … An era before the advent of Ganguly, Dravid and VVS

Today even I do not switch off TV after Sachin gets out cause I know there is Kohli, Raina, Dhoni, Yuvraj … But there was a time when I used to. This was the time when we thought Manoj Prabhakar or Nayan Mongia was good enough to open batting for India…

I understand the relief that this generation feels after Sachin’s retirement from ODIs… There is logic to that.. There is a lot of young talent waiting in the wings. That was not the case when Azar was captain of the Indian Team.. This was the pre-96 era when Dravids of the world were still making their debut.. That was the reason why Tendulkar had to wait for so many years to win a world cup cause we never had a good enough team to play around him..

Tendulkar gave me and every Indian cricket fan hope and pride in a time when there was none… He was the only good thing about an Indian cricket team with an aging Kapil and a pedestrian bowling attack.. And that is where the term of ‘carrying the weight of an entire nation’ started .. He literally was the Indian Cricket team and he did make us proud numerous times be it the desert storm or the 117 against Pakistan..

He was the one who always stood between India and Defeat .. He was also the one who stood between embarrassment and Indian Team…. There were others who showed talent but never had Sachin’s discipline ; a case in point is Vinod Kambli … So that is why my generation just had Sachin… We did warm upto Ganguly, Dravid , VVS and now Yuvi, Kohli, Pujara but for my generation Sachin was always the First Love and I am sorry but you can never forget your first love

Thank you for all the Memories Sachin

Just a cricket fan
Surendra Phatak