Remember your first toy? How dear it was to you? Now do you remember how it felt when you had to place it in the closet of old rejected stuff, because you had “grown up”?
Or, remember your first bicycle? Riding it. It was special, right? Because it gave you a sense of achievement. Now that I remind you of it, you have a softly nostalgic remembrance of it?
It is going to be the same. Every Indian who experienced the legend named Sachin Tendulkar will move on, smile, laugh, be normal, unless they see a game of cricket. Then they shall be reminded, of the greatness they saw. With his retirement, the generation of cricketers that made cricket the game it is today has ended.
The man was special, not because of the mound of records he sits upon, not because of the accolades being showered on him, but because of a simple reason. Simpler than most of us can wonder. He gave a billion people a sense of achievement. No matter how sad and gloomy an Indian felt after a particular day, the news of Sachin’s century or another record broken made him identify with the achievement. Sachin did it, for 24 years and did it with a smile. He is possibly at the pinnacle of success and achievement but his strength lies in the fact that on a day when a billions were thanking him for what he had given them, he carried a list of people he credited it all to. Not once, did he say- I deserve it, and that is why he deserved it all.
What remains of cricket therefore for every Indian is the legacy this legend leaves behind. As he made his final walk back, he still raised his bat to thank his family and the audience, something he had always done. What remains for every Indian therefore, is to carry on, with the fond memory of the brilliance they witnessed. It is almost like the feeling of growing up. When you look at that merry go round but cannot go and sit on it because you are too big for something like that. When you cannot eat an ice cream carelessly spoiling your face, because you are too grown up. Its like a rite of passage when there are so many things you have to let go of, because life requires you to move on.
Its like a glorious walk into the sunset, knowing that the day gone by was the most beautiful day you spent, and even though its memories might bring you a tear or two, you should be thankful you experienced it.