Aisa hi hoon mein

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Enough of Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar - Thank you Sachin

If I remember correctly, my Cricket memories are since 1981, during a India England match where Sandeep Patil hit 6 fours continuously, next I remember is 1983 World Cup final which me and my sister watched it on 2 TVs, one with sound and another was with picture. And my journey started as a Cricketer, actually watching Cricket and also playing. My Cricket heroes that time were Sunil Gavaskar, Shrikant, Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev, Kirmani, Azhar etc. Another most memorable cricket moment I had before Sachin was Javed
Miandad's 6 on Chetan Sharma's ball. I first read about Sachin Tendulkar when he and Kambli played a very long innings during their school days and discussed with school friends, can we even score 50 runs partnership. I really don't remember his debut, but started noticing him through matches and reading about him in newspaper.

My first match with Sachin - In 1991, South Africa visited India for a 3 match ODI series, 3rd match was in Nehru Stadium in New Delhi. Me and my 2 other friends, Navdeep Arora and Vikas Maheshwari, bought Rs. 10/- ticket to watch the match. We were excited for few reasons, our first cricket match, we got the ticket very cheap, a day & night match, and chance to watch all cricket players. India batted first, Ravi Shastri, Shrikant and Sanjay Manjrekar played very well, everybody in the crowd bashing Shastri even though he scored century. Sachin already earned his name by that time and when it was a lot of shout when he came to bat (not like Sachhhhin, Sachin though) and unfortunately he got out very cheaply, not a big disappointment though during that time, but we were delighted that we watched him on the field. India lost that match even after a high score - 287.

My next match with Sachin - It was India / Zimbabwe Test match, my friend Vikas had a press card, me, Nitin and Vikas went for that match on the last day, enjoying the match sitting in the press box, Kambli scored double century in that match. After the match, we somehow got entry in to the player area, there we saw Sachin very closely along with Azhar, Kambli, Jadeja etc. We were very much excited Watching Sachin so closely along with other players, a memory to remember always.

World Cup 1996 match between India and Srilanka - Me and Nitin bought ticket for the match but due to over selling of ticket we were not able to enter the stadium, we were trying our best to get inside. While waiting in the line, we got a huge push from the back and Mathur fall down, few people were lying on top of Mathur, I somehow managed to pull Mathur out by pulling his leg. We tried entering via Ambedkar stadium without any luck, after sometime, we got to know that India is batting first, that means Sachin will be opening. I said Mathur, we should get inside somehow, we saw couple of barricades outside the gate, policemen moved the barricades for some people to get them inside, I shouted, Mathur bhaag, we gate crashed and started running, couple of policemen ran behind us. As Mathur is taller then me he were in front and I was behind him, policemen swing there batons and I got hit by 2 heavy batons - "Latth", one on my shoulder and another one on my thigh, but we could not stop running and entered the stadium. Everywhere it
was "Sachhin - Sachin", he was playing brilliantly and scored his highest of that time 137. Unfortunately, India lost that match too. I came out from the stadium with a swelled shoulder and leg but was delighted that we saw one of the best innings of Sachin. And we all know the story after that that India lost in Semifinal with Srilanka, I was among millions of Indians who were crying after seeing Kambli crying.

India Pakistan 1999 Match - Kumble 10 Wickets - I bought the season ticket for that match, I did not go for the first 2 days as I had to go office, third day I pleaded my boss that I must go today as Sachin will be batting, by the time I reached stadium, Sachin was going back to the pavilion scoring cheaply, but I managed to see him on the field. This match we all know that remembered because of Kumble's 10 wickets.

May 2000 - Goa - This is the most memorable part of my life and not just mine but my wife's Dimpi too. I love to narrate this story all the time to everyone and I must mention it here. We were on vacation in Goa in May 2000 and were staying in Heritage Village Club Resort in Southern Goa. One morning I was reading newspaper and found that Sachin was in Goa, I said Dimpi how nice if we could meet Sachin in Goa. We went out that day and came back in the evening, while entering the resort, few kids were trying to peek into a house opposite to Resort, I asked with curiosity as what is there. Someone told me that Sachin is staying there, we were excited to hear and tried to peek, but no site of Sachin. After some time, me and Dimpi came to the TT room, we entered the TT room with a surprise that Sachin was playing TT with his friend, it was hard to realize that Sachin is so close to us, I ran back towards the room to get my camera and camcorder. When I tried taking picture of Sachin, Sachin stopped me saying, "Wait, let me finish the game". After sometime he finished his game, then Dimpi asked him he can play some knocks with him, he accepted and played, I captured that in Video (I do not have it in digital form), my hands were shaking. After few knocks, he said do you want some pictures, I nodded my head and then he went near the pool table for a pose, I took couple of pictures of him then with Dimpi and myself. We were still in shock, he was sitting in the room, talking to the resort manager, then I went to him, asked for the autograph and some tips on batting. He pleased with the autograph and said just play your natural game and listen to your coach. We waited in the room till he was there and keep watching him. We were so excited to see him that we called everyone at home that night, and phone bill was of Rs. 2000. We will never forget this and I am sure nobody will ever.

I did not watched any match of him in stadium for next 7 years as I was in US, but followed him and India team all through my time in US. There were many people who use to criticize him, being his fan and like other fan, I use to fight back with them. 2003 world cup was awesome, we use to watch the matches all through the night. When we were kids and use to play Cricket, we always wanted to be like Sunil Gavaskar. In 2003, when my 1.5 year old son took bat in his hand, I took a picture and wish that he becomes like
Sachin Tendulkar and this picture will be remembered as kid born with the bat (a typical Indian father :)) One of my American colleague once asked me about Cricket and he said I am sure your favourite player would be "Saachinn"??

Next I saw Sachin in couple of IPL matches in Bangalore, that was in 2011 and 2012. It was always delighted to see him on the field, did not matter to me whether he scores or not, but just wanted to see him bat or field or bowl. As like other Sachin's fan, I use to fight / argue a lot with people on his form, batting, injuries, his centuries related to win etc. etc. I remember his 200 score in the ODI, I took my son for his eye check-up, we were waiting for our call in the lobby. TV in the lobby was showing the India / SA match, Sachin was about to score 200, I was praying that doctor should not call until Sachin completes his 200. And it seems everybody was waiting for the same, eye hospital was stand still and everyone was glued to the TV in the lobby, people were bashing Dhoni when he was not giving strike to Sachin, everybody got stand up and clapped when he completed his 200.

And then come his retirement time, first he retired from International T-20, then from ODI and now from test. Everybody knew that it is coming, but no body in this country wanted to accept that. We always use to joke that there will be a day when Sachin will be playing with his son in an international match. Sachin announced his retirement, what a grand farewell and announcing Bharat Ratna for him is giving the right honour to the person like Sachin.

Thank you Sachin for living with us for past 24 years and even more than that in our memories.


  • Amazing Blog Upanshu!!... I still remember you narrating the Delhi match episode and the blows you got from police :) worth...

    Suresh Kalidindi

    By Blogger Suresh Kalidindi, at 9:08 PM, November 17, 2013  

  • Super

    By Blogger Suresh Kalidindi, at 9:09 PM, November 17, 2013  

  • Very nice Upanshu Bhai. That Goa incident, I guess, every one knows :-)

    I think more than a talented and hardworking player, Sachin stands out because the way he carried himself. I listened to his Goodbye message in Lansdowne. We were having our office trip and we landed at the hotel around 12 noon and just remain glued to the TV in the lobby. I do not remember a single incident where either he misbehaved or spoke negativity, it is amazing that for such a long long career he was never in news for wrong reasons. Salute.

    By Blogger Nandan Jha, at 1:31 AM, November 18, 2013  

  • Upanshu, Had tears in my eyes again reading your blog. He is indeed special.
    Ashish Gupta(your college Junior)

    By Blogger Dilli wala Detroiter, at 12:21 PM, November 18, 2013  

  • Thanks a lot Suresh, Nandan and Ashish for liking the write-up and encouragement. I wish I would have more moments to share.

    By Blogger Upanshu Singhal, at 10:46 PM, November 19, 2013  

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