I do not know if India will win this contest. Quite honestly, I do not even need to know. All that lingers in my imagination right now is the smiling and content face of Sachin Tendulkar giving his first post 100th century interview to Ramiz Raja and saying something remarkably simple and remarkably true.
"Chase your dreams."
The Master Blaster, who now is aptly dubbed the Azeem-o-Shaan Shehenshah of the Cricket Cosmos, is a national inspiration- least to say. And the only thing he had to share with a nation of a billion people who prayed for this moment fervently was simple aphorism. Chase your dreams. Simply because, dreams are meant to be chased. Remembering with humility his long wait of 22 years to hold in his hands the first World Cup India could call its own, Sachin delivered a gazillion sixes right to the heart of his frenzied worshipers. Here is a living legend, who said he had a dream, but also had the indispensable patience, perseverance, diligence and dedication to go after those dreams till the moment they came true. And come true, they did. A nervous, praying, fast breathing world was witness to it. I've lived the moment, I wish to cement it in my memory forever.
A friend of mine is walking down to Ugrasen Ki Baoli, not particularly in a mood to celebrate, since this ton came against Bangladesh, who until recently were tagged cricketing minnows. The skeptics, as always, are around, digging reasons as to why today should not be Sachin's day, or more simply- Sachin Day. The fanatics are out too, relaunching with fervour their campaign to demand Bharat Ratna for Sachin. What do I think? I only think of that man, that greatness personified, and the kind of thoughts that will be flashing through his head. I placated my friend by quoting a tweet- "Worry not, Pakistan ko 101 ka shagun de denge", but honestly, who cares! It was important that this ton come against a nation like Bangladesh, because for all reasons one might find to belittle the very God of Cricket, one must not forget it is his very first ODI century against Bangladesh. Before reaching his 100th hundred, Sachin also glided past another milestone, that of maximum number of fours in ODIs. The Little Master has now struck 2000 fours in one days, trailing behind him is Jayasuria, with only 1500 to his name.
All these jazzy facts are but only a few entries into the whole record book that Sachin has gifted us with. The fact that he still maintains his composure with grace and amiability only goes onto add sheen to his accepted greatness. What happened today is no mean feat. A record par excellence it shall forever remain. When I saw his picture in yesterday's tabloids with his iconic mop of curly hair styled out into a suave new tuft of straightened hair, the man, as said the fashion experts, looked a whole five years younger. To the self proclaimed Cricket Gurus, today he proved that not just in his looks, but also in his strength and skill in cricket, he is a young-brave-heart. The Master feels as if a load of 50 kilos has been lifted off his shoulders. In a nation's eyes, he flies high. He does not need anyone's approval, or decorations. He was, is and shall remain The God Of Cricket. Today, as a nation we party. And why not, the Cricketing God himself has united us.
(Written with emotions gushing inside me. That is what his greatness can do to you)