12 April, 2021

The World Is His Wankhede

A generations-spanning giver of joyful pride bows out. Thank you.

Reuters (From Outlook 25 November 2013)
The World Is His Wankhede

Like thousands of other cricket-crazy Indians, I am making a pilgrimage to Wankhede stadium this week to watch Sachin Tendulkar play his last game in India colours. Unlike many, I won’t be holding a ‘god’ placard. In a country where godmen notoriously have feet of clay, I remain deeply suspicious of human divinities. I have travelled to bid farewell because I genuinely believe,  with Tendulkar, we are in the presence of sporting greatness. To be in the crowd will be to share in the collective joy of being part of a city, a community, indeed, a nation, which has lived almost vicariously through the achi­e­vements of a little boy from Sahitya Sahwas who has become a true legend. A sapling we saw flower in the maidans who has grown to be a banyan under which we all now seek shelter from the big bad world.

In the age of hyperbole, the word ‘great’ is often widely misused. Last year, CNN-IBN in partnership with Outlook had carried out a public poll to discover the ten greatest Ind­ians since 1947. Tendulkar was the only...

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