Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tendulkar and my bread

It seems that there is no dearth of cynical people in our country. I am appalled by the long chats and messages which have flooded the home page of my facebook this afternoon, deliberating and questioning the greatness of Sachin Tendulkar’s double ton at Gwalior yesterday.

There is a possibility that many of you may have already seen these “intellectual exchanges” as those who participated are our common friends. But for those uninitiated let me tell the gist.

While the world is celebrating Sachin Tendulkar’s double ton, the first man to do so in the history of cricket, these intellectuals are trying to drive home the often repeated point that we Indians are idol worshipers. Instead of saluting ‘Sach’ a towering performance they have raised two new objections over the master blaster’s golden innings.

Here is the first one:
“Sachin was agitated when Dhoni was scoring runs for the team and this establishes that he was playing for his personal record,”:
Now, that’s typical of these hypocrites. Tendulkar’s 200 effort was for self and the 60 odd runs by Dhoni were for the team? How?.

Sadly, this is not for the first time that I have heard this absurd argument. In the past too whenever Tendulkar had it big, I have heard them saying: “It was not in the second innings” ; “ It was in Asian sub continent,” “This was the first one away but the bowling attack was weak,” “ Pata wicket hoti re”. . etc etc

There is a tribe which takes pleasure in antagonising our heroes. They do it with a deliberate purpose. Firstly, it helps them to stand out, people look at them in awe..hey here is someone who is talking something different than the lesser mortals.

I had thought that Tendulkar’s 200 has silenced these critics once for all. It was not to happen. They still feel that Tendulkar looked agitated while Dhoni was scoring and that he desperately wanted strike for carving a yet another personal record.

To me Tendulkar never looked agitated. Tendulkar was as clam as a champion should be. It is another matter that thousands of his fans were agitated since Dhoni kept him away from strike for three final overs. Anxiety had gripped all of us (Tendulkar fans) and we are not denying the fact that at that moment we were more interested in Tendulkars one run and not Dhoni’s sixes.

And, why not? Had Dhoni given Tendulkar the strike early, he would have easily scored 215-220, a near impossible target for the next generations of cricketers. We are happy because even after these odds -- including the one posed by Dhoni, which got averted thanks to the brilliant fielding by South Africa -- Tendulkar managed to keep his date with the history. He scored half the runs on the board and was given man of the match, I think that’s enough to settle your first objection.

Second: One ‘intellectual editor’ has commented that we Indian’s create god out of men. He has reportedly said that we have turned Tendulkar into a “gladiator” but he and his records will not help the people in India win their daily battle for bread!.
Now, this is something very very cynical. Unfortunately, my socialist friends are writing paras and paras supporting this non-cricketing argument. Going by this logic they may even hold Sachin guilty for the malnutrition in Melghat.

My dear critic we perfectly know that watching cricket will not give us bread nor any other materialistic pleasure. Do you really want to know why we watch him bat? The answer is very simple: It makes us happy. His hundred instills in us a sense of pride. A sense of satisfaction.
Dear ‘intellectual editor’ you may not be able to fathom this pleasure because it can not be compared with the pleasure one gets after pigging around.

True. “Gladiator” Tendulkar and his records will not help me and hundreds of his fans to win our daily battle for bread.
But my dear friend life is not all about winning bread.
Had that been the case we would be still living in caves as tribal’s.
Abhijit Atre


Abhijit said...

There will always be critics - either of Sachin or someone else - may be even of you and me. There will never be a time that 'all critics have been silenced' because that is the nature of things and a thing of nature - to have more than one point of view. Let us respect those who differ and point out to what supports our point of view, rather than 'criticise' the critics - and become one in the process! I agree that Sachin is a great batsman, and there have been times when he has had bad patches. There may never be another Don Bradman with an average of 100 - but due to the nature of improved bowling attacks, Sachin may well be an equal with even half the average. He was cramping a lot towards the end - a sign that he is aging, but his performance was masterful no matter which way you look at it. If someone else feels that it was not so.. live and let live is what I would say.. but to your point of view, if 90% of the 100 crore desi janata (and crores of NRIs and others more) agree with your viewpoint, do the voices of these critics matter?

vishwas kothari said...

Whether Sachin was agitated or calm is a matter of interpretation and `unending' debate considering that only SACHIN knows within his heart whether he was agitated or calm when `captain cool' was on strike. The REST is all plain speculation and interpretation whether one is a Sachin fan or not.
There can not be two opinions about Sachin's 200 being a towering feat. By all yardsticks he is the greatest ONE-DAY player.
But, not enough to silence the so called critics (here again subjectivity comes as to who is a critic and who should say whether xyz is a Sachin critic and on what basis__just for showing the mirror: No 300, forget 400 in Test and 500 in a first class match. I thought, Test Cricket is the ultimate cricket for it tests the endurance. This is not to comment on Sachin's batting skills or prowess that are right there at the top but...)
Having said that, I feel there is other side to the story about this so called cynicism over Sachin's stature as an `ALL TIME GREAT'. For, we i.e. the normal cricket lover and yes, the die-hard Sachin fans, tend to get extremely emotional and unreceptive to cold facts, when it comes to judging the Little Master II. Hence any view divergent to what Sachin's fans feel, gets immediately branded as cynical. By that yardstick, even a Kapil Dev is a `cynical' for having said that Sachin is the greatest player of his generation rather than `all time great'.
And yes, Sachin and the Don played in entirely two different eras. The Don survived two world wars and still ended up with a batting avg of 99. He survived the bodyline series. Remember there were no thigh pads, helmets and other protective gears and the bowling was as lethal in those times as it is in the present times.
Somewhere I also read that the Gwalior stadium was quite small compared to say a Melbourne or Sydney.