India is a big and a diverse country with many religions, cultural groups, different languages, diverse belief systems and ways of life. If one is to go across the length and the breath of what is now the most populous country in the world, you probably wouldn’t find a single human being who would not be aware of the name Sachin Tendulkar.
So, what makes or has made Sachin Tendulkar this Demigod figure having such cult following.
663 international appearances, close to 35,000 international runs, 100 international centuries. These are mammoth numbers without a doubt.
But numbers… what are they, really ?
Numbers are part of a sport. They are determine factors of sport. Without them, measuring an individual achievements will be close to impossible.
But, ultimately ‘numbers’ are a human construct. They are, of course, of enormous importance to sport, but they aren’t tangible and they aren’t palpable. You can’t feel a number. Numbers don’t evoke emotions. Numbers don’t make you cry. Numbers don’t leave an indelible mark on your life.
Numbers alone didn’t make Tendulkar a god in the eyes of a billion. There is a more deep rooted love for the man that has transcends Generations and will keep on doing so. He has always been something more important then a cricketer. He has been a good man.
Some might argue, that no doubt, Sachin’s been a great player but he was over-hyped.
Well, playing at the highest level for 24 years, with the pressure of not just failing or loosing the game, but also the pressure to meet the immense expectations of a massively cricket frenzied nation. A country, where life slowed down and stopped when maestro used to come into bat, people expecting him, and only him, to win the game.
And if he failed, or gets out, TV sets were switched off, grounds used to go half empty, productivity at workplaces used to reach a nadir. Dealing with all this and yet imparting – grace, humility, excellence, hard-work, passion, patriotism, respect, diligence, purpose, direction, focus, hope, belief, concentration, perfection, attention to detail, balance team work, honour, improvisation, failure, sacrifice, honesty and dedication.
If all these are traits of being over-hyped, then Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has been worth the hype and so much more.