The Master – One of his Kind

What can I say?

Wishing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you is grossly similar to mortals trying to match the exploits of the sun and moon.

Satellites are a tad shy when it comes to your repertoire.

An icon and a legend of our times, there is no take away between your elite investment on the face of pure and generative cinema, and the sublime quality that came out from your stable, consistently.

Not just great, incredible stories. Stories with soul, enriched with human transcendence and path breaking relevance.

Nayak, Charulata, Aranyer Din Ratri, Agantuk, Pather Panchali, The Apu Trilogy..

Just to name a few. But enough for our goosebumps to last for a lifetime.

Perhaps, even more.

Sir, I take a bow!

And yes, if I can.

Happy Birthday, Satyajit Ray.

An Artist. The Filmmaker. The Auteur.

Sachin..

The name says it all.

I grew up epitomizing you, you were my Guru and inspiration outside family. You are not just a Cricket player, much more to the country as a sportsmen and so much more to millions like me as a Superstar, Master and God.

My childhood was a bouquet of your batting. Your fifties, hundreds and double hundreds used to be my bread and butter. As swashbuckling innings from you would keep the smile intact on my face for days to come and even your 20s and 30s would make me cheer like a kid with inexplicable toys in hand. My scrap books were all you, you were more important than my academics, you were my only reason to get up and watch a cricket match with Chicken pox. Eden, Lords or MCG – doesn’t matter, I will watch the game as long as I see you coming in to bat.

Your batting was my soul, you being in the 11 was good enough reason for me to watch the entire match including the commentary that talks about your replays. Your presence in the field meant adrenaline unlimited for me and the team. You are my ‘Bahubali’ plus ‘The Dark Knight’.
You were Sachin and for me, your name gave me goosebumps.

Your cover drives made me topple with joy, your flick was my life’s sweetest menace, your on drive was a delight to savor and your straight drive made me go crazy. It was not the strokes that made me fall in love with you, it was ‘You’ and the batting in ‘You’ that made all the difference in a world of meandering cricketers. ‘Sachin’ isn’t a name for me, you were my lifeline.

I remember most of your epics, your test centuries, your ODI gems, your World Cup exploits in 1996 and 2003. Your debut, your birthday, your first ODI century – some of the very few dates I remember in my life outside family. For me, they are not dates. They remind me of your legend, your batting, your iconic aura and the magic of God.
As Harsha aptly said – ‘Absolutely Divine’.

I yelled at my mother as I was extremely upset over your dismissal in the 2003 WC final and my mother has still not forgiven me for my innocent burst of anger. At that point, I and India were shut down. And that’s an usual behavior towards any of your dismissals because I never believed that you can fail. And, you taught me to succeed.

Your discipline is a subject of awe for me. Your humility stuns me, your simplicity is contagious and your aura inspires me.

Cricket is still being played, we still have superstars and the game is still very popular.

But, for me, there will never be another Sachin.
And, since, Cricket has never been the same for me.

As the planet says, Happy Birthday!

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When God leaves fraternity, there is an unearthed celebration within the veins of mourning.

I have to admit that his departure from the game will bring a platonic end to the childhood within myself. My passion persists for the game notwithstanding, feels like a great amount of melancholy lies within the era that saw us emerging as world champions as the Master plundered, conquered and steered us through abundant pride amidst crazy chaos.

119 in Manchester, 114 in Perth, 169 in Cape Town, 134 & 143 in Sharjah, 155 in Chennai and Bloemfontein, 141 in Dhaka, 136 in Chennai, 217 in Ahmedabad, 176 in Nagpur, 193 in Leeds, 176 in Kolkata, 241 in Sydney, 141 in Rawalpindi, 194 in Multan, 141 in Kuala Lumpur, 153 in Adelaide, 163 in Christchurch, 160 in Hamilton, 175 in Hyderabad, 203 in Colombo, 214 Bangalore.

These epics were stunning exhibition of his rhetoric dynamics and appetite for big match mantles. Not to forget, his World Cup exploits remain at the helm as he plundered oppositions at a spectacular 65+ of an innings (includes his powerhouse 90-ish against Pakistan and his menacing run in 2003 edition that took the tournament by storm).

Geographies, pitches, weather conditions and opponents bowed for his unwavering blade and wider were his array of strokes. 53 of his tons fetched India sublime victories at an average of just below 60. Stunning and staggering! Yet, our maniac ridden cricketing world asks for more as he continued to deliver with the caricature that defined Sachin-ism.

Cricket will never be the same without him.