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I’ve read a hundred odd tributes already. Each of them, gold. Dissecting this man to pieces, mostly good; sometimes bad.

This post is not a tribute. This is just a bunch of memories that I treasure from my childhood. I cannot quote a Sharjah 1998 or Chennai 1999. My memory is not that good; it has faded further after the birth of kids. Yet, there are certain things that are etched in my mind like it happened yesterday. This post is just about that.

I don’t know precisely how or when I came to know about Sachin. It was a given that people who watched cricket, knew Sachin too. Like millions of others, my dad too gave us the introduction to Sachin. I can’t recall how or where. All I can recall is the well-fit helmet on the head. All I can recall is the MRF bat. All I can recall is the walk every time to the pitch. All I can recall is the head looking at the sky to locate the sun. All I can recall is the chant, ‘Sachin… Sachin!’

My brother, though younger, was my cricket-mate. He had no one else to speak the intricacies of  cricket but me. And, sometimes, had to bear me over-reacting to the game. But for him, I wouldn’t have idolised this man. My brother used to sit down in the same position for hours together during the match. ‘I need to pee urgently and they are not breaking for ad!’, he’d complain. Sometimes, he would just press his little toe and sit down on the floor. ‘Otherwise, he’ll get out!’ Such was our level of superstitions.

Have you ever got caught at college for having a brought a transistor to listen to cricket commentary? I have. And, even after that continued to listen to cricket scores and only got ‘idhu-urupudadhu’ stares from the HoD. Thanks to Sachin.

Sachin makes you forget the present. Makes you live in a trance of ecstasy. Doing that to millions is not a joke. Doing that to millions over 24 years is a miracle. Sachin has performed that miracle.

I knew of sandstorms only from Sachin’s Sharjah match. I knew of the word called ‘nightmares’ from Warne having them bowling to Sachin. I knew of ‘tennis elbow’ only when Sachin got it. I knew that one man can give joy to the world of millions, this only from Sachin.

The last two and a half days, I’ve watched cricket like I did during my childhood. The memories came flooding for no where. Sachin is synonymous with childhood nostalgia. I wanted to switch off the TV when Sachin got out, knowing fully well he’s already passed on the baton to tremendously talented hands. I had tears streaming down my eyes when the match ended. ‘My Sachin will not play anymore!’ I cried for a full hour thinking of the happiness he’s added in my life. And, wondering why our journey has to come to an abrupt end. I couldn’t see him touch the ground to worship the pitch that he loved all through his life.

There are a lot of cynics out there who ask, ‘Has Sachin died for you to make such a fuss?’ No. Sachin has not died. It is only cricket and a part of our childhood that has.

Thank You Sachin, from my heart. For all the awesome memories. May you have a fulfilling after-cricket-life!

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