21 June, 2021

Finally, It Weighs Like A Ton

Tendulkar lends the diasporic Indian’s self-image a vital physicality

Illustration by Sandeep Adhwaryu
Finally, It Weighs Like A Ton

Sachin Tendulkar’s greatest contribution to the self-image of the diasporic Indian is to enable the construction of a new narrative of self-description. Our constructed individual selves have invariably drawn upon community and nation: its achievements, flaws and shortcomings have become ours. Freud and Marx both devoted considerable intellectual energy in emphasising the change in selves wrought by changes in self-description. Sachin is the agent of such a change in the overseas Indian’s self-description and consequently, his self; he helps write a story about ourselves considerably more satisfying than the one afforded thus far.

The diaspora has perhaps become numb and blase about the usual Indian success stories of cardiac surgeons, mathematicians, venture capitalists, software entrepreneurs, perhaps even Booker prize-winners. These are achievements of the mind, triumphs of the mental. But we are corporeal beings too, who might hanker for physical excellence; a self-image that does not do justice to such aspirations is...

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