Saturday, April 2, 2011

02.04.2011, rendezvous with the destiny

It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man
who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while
so that his place shall never be
with those timid souls
who know neither victory or defeat.

---Theodore Roosevelt

It is this being in the arena quality that separates you from everybody else. To me an honest trier who unfortunately was always surrounded by lesser talent or those lacking the iron will needed to succeed at the highest level. Yet, you being there coincided with the 'New India' gaining confidence as a country and the youth of the 90ies. And you are still there inspiring the kids of those younglings of the 90ies.

I still remember that dreadful semi final against the same opponents where when you went so did the will to get into the finals of the most important event in the cricketing world. The trend continued for another 5-6 years.
Things did start changing at the turn of the century when that very very special innings and 'more than a bridesmaid' effort changed the face of the team. It was the beginning of the rise to the numero uno.

You still kept inspiring the new generation of cricketers and virtually carried the team to finals of the south african bonanza. Unfortunately the first over of both the innings sealed the fate of the match. Was it the pressure of performing batting second, chasing the 359 against the best team, or you wanting to finish the game in the first over itself? We will never know. Given your tacit approach we may have to wait till you hang the boots. Will that be the day today? Who knows. However nobody wants the dream to end. Not the greedy viewer like me. However I'm sure it will be you who will call it right. And will prefer to end it like one.

Will that be a 100 of a 100?
I hope.

Will that be the 'cup that counts', the only missing feather in your cap, the one cup which inspired you to play for the country!
Oh, how I wish. For finally you have the team that has the iron will to fight it out, that thinks and believes it is a team sport.

In any case a simple thank you is in order irrespective of the outcome of today's rendezvous. Thank you for inspiring a generation wishing for a son like you, inspiring generations to have the self belief to succeed at the highest level.

And a big thank you for being SACHIN RAMESH TENDULKAR for I believe what Prem Panikar has written once -
If a Tendulkar didn't exist, we might have had to invent him.

Dr. Prashant Khapane

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