Friday, November 16, 2007

42

I rise from the depths of my own Deep Thought. Is 42 really the answer to everything? I had mentioned once in my old posts on Tendulkar's 35th test century: "With apologies to Douglas Adams, the meaning of life is not 42. It is 35." Am I being made to eat my own words? Tendulkar has had a fantastic year in one day cricket. Over a thousand runs scored, fantastic average, and more importantly the starts that have allowed India to win matches against England, South Africa and Pakistan. The glitch? A small matter of scores in the 90s. Six of them. Three scores of 99 (no other batsman in the history of ODIs has them) and the tally of 90s now reads 16. Its heartbreaking. Tendulkar has scaled great heights as a sportsman this year for me. He has proved that he still has the sublimity of a genius, but is prepared to grind his way through like a journeyman when he needs to. He has the footwork and balance beyond mortals, yet pulls out his grit from deep within when he shows up on the job with two left feet. Eventually, it is not about the runs. It is about the one shot in the innings that might stay with you. It is that single cover drive he hits. It is as if perfection has been defined and achieved at the same time. The one shot that makes something in your mind click because you sense you have seen something special. The one shot, like a straight drive for six off Kasprovich's bowling in 1998 Sharjah, where you can sense that he had that extra second to hit that shot; like he saw it coming and time slowed down a fraction for him to execute it. Genius is a lot of things, but at the end of the day, genius is that which reveals itself to the hungry waiting mortals in a brief moment. For the longer he stays, the more he unfurls. When he does unleash his skills and go through to the 90s, the anticipation of the hundred is heart-pumping. The sight of a forty-second century celebration, helmet removed, arms raised, a look to the heaven is now a sight for the expectant eyes. The century is not for him, it is for us. Having watched him come so close six times in a row this year has been agonizing. It is a comma, followed by a semi-colon leading up to a full stop. Get it Sachin. The answer to our impatience lies in it.

9 comments:

RTD2 said...

I cannot but think jealous thoughts of the man who has the power to yield such a passionate outpouring and a display of such accurate memories of single moments from the past, in boys *cough* men like you :)
What's he got that we ain't got?
Ah wait, that cover drive!

frissko said...

"The one shot, like a straight drive for six off Kasprovich's bowling in 1998 Sharjah"

!!..oh boy...thats what Tendulkar devotion combined with a good memory can do :)...

Radha said...

Watching him get out in his 90s was heart-breaking!
Also shows the kind of scrutiny he is under. The good old performance pressure

sd said...

Actually for me the shot that lingers in the mind *always* is a drive off the back foot at Perth (can't remember the year ...he scored 106 I think) and also the innings in SA with Azarrudin was special...

Actually 90's is not that bad, given his bad form last year. I feared that all was over... heard his 97 was really special... did you watch it?

sd said...

It was in 1991 and the score was 114. I clearly do not have a very good memory:)

Parth said...

@RTD2: Indeed, its the cover drive :)

@Frissko: We devotees have our own cult going on :)

@Radha: That's what makes him so special. No one can begin to imagine the pressure he has played under, especially in the late 90s where he was practically a one-man team

@SD: There are so many special knocks, its impossible to narrow one down. Yet, the century at Perth was ultra special. He used to jump onto his toes to stand up and cut the ball. First Aussie tour and all. His 97 was terrific. I have seen the highlights three times already :)

anand krishna said...

really truly awesome post....i am now your unlisted fan!!!

ps: now sachin plz get it for parth!!

Parth said...

@Anand: Thanks :-) You might be in a club of one!

BookPost said...

I do follow your posts, and this one has poetry just like a tendla shot. His commitment is terrific, people may come up with names like Drsvid, Kumble but nobody can match his commitment to India's cricket. He knows the best way to contribute is simply play the game. Nothing else matters.
This is one guy who has given a place in the solar system of cricket.