Monday, September 14, 2009

The GOD of India's most followed religion

The cafeteria was filled to capacity. Everybody (like me) had made it a point to time their evening snack break perfectly. I somehow managed to find a vacant chair and grabbed my seat immediately.
(Obviously) a cricket match was running live on the TV and though you expect people hanging around in the cafe during a cricket match, especially one featuring India, there was more crowd than usual.
One of the commetator reminded the viewers that in his career the batsman on strike has been dismissed 17 times in the nineties, and that too 3 times on 99. A slight uneasiness spread amongst some of the guys. He was now on 98. To stretch things a bit further, a 5 minute drinks break followed. As if we were made to earn every bit of joy and ecstasy that we were going to experience in a few moments.
Finally, the drinks break ended. A single was taken to get him on 99. His partner obediently took a single to bring him back on strike.
And then...without any further delay...and to huge cheers of every single person present in the cafeteria, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, aka GOD, took an easy single to bring up an unbelievable 44th ODI century.

And as the celebration dies down, the cafe has started to empty. What's this...the match hasn't ended yet...but whose come to see the match anyway..what they DID come to see, they've been able to. And now they have office work to get back to. The evening snack break can't be stretched anymore. There are mails to attend to, managers to report to (who have managed to get back to their desks only slightly ahead of their reportees). But on such days, even managers seem to time their break when Tendulkar is nearing his hundred :-)

Few other round the world have the capacity to invoke such joy in people. Few other people in the world are revered and loved so much. Few other people in the world are criticized and asked to prove themselves time and again (and they do, even though they don't really need to...probably victims of the standards that they set for themselves).
Tendlya is all that...and much more than that. He is way way above all of it. A great sportsman..a great human being.

By the way..Tendulkar meanwhile has also inched closer to another landmark...17,000 runs in One-Day cricket. Just another landmark that is....

Towards the end of innings:

People have gathered again in the's time for an early dinner's good for health you know.
Sachin hits a beautiful inside-out six. Very unlike himself, he reverse sweeps the next ball for a four. The crowd cheers. A cafeteria employee carrying dishes somewhere nearby probably trips and a tray of dishes falls. The crowd cheers even more. Sachin repeats the shot. The crowd goes wild. Sachin tries to repeat the shot for the 3rd succesive time but is dismissed LBW. But the people have got more than their share of the entertainment and they applaud all the way on his way back to the dressing room.
India, meanwhile riding on Yuvi's half century post a commanding 319-5. You can expect a few good knocks in SL's reply... but the total looks too much to be overtaken. And India hopefully look good to win another tournament. But the day has already been made !!!