Sometimes, in order to find a direction to live your life into, you look for some people as role models and inspiration. Sometimes, you find those people and you just want to be like them. And you try to put all your efforts and all your energy for it. I know it may be called as trying-to-copying and not-being-yourself, but you enjoy trying being like them, although you don’t always succeed. But you enjoy your efforts and that time and you just go on doing it.
I don’t know how many times it happens to you, but it happened to me and I just want to share my story as a tribute to the two persons—Sachin Tendulkar and Paul Walker. Trying to follow them formed a major part of the person who I am.
Chronologically, first comes Sachin. If I see in a general sense—in view of newspapers, digital media, publicity and fame—Sachin is the most famous, most admired and has the largest fan following ever. But when it comes to my personal experience, ironically, all the people with whom I talked about Sachin, there were only around 5% of them who really admired Sachin. Others say that he played for himself and similar crap. That’s why I used to wonder how he rose to such a height.
In my childhood, all my friends either liked Saurabh Ganguly or somebody else like Sehwag, Yuvraj etc.who had more powerful shots or higher strike rates and who weren’t slow in their nervous nineties.
But I admired, loved and was devoted to Sachin. Sachin was Cricket and Cricket was Sachin for me.
It was largely because his career started even before I was born and he was at the peak of his career when I came of age to understand cricket. In those days i.e. 1997-98, I thought that test cricket was a kind of practice matches, played in order to prepare for the one-days which were the real cricket for me. Only later I realized that they are just different forms of a game and are complete in their own sense. What a fool I was!
But in totality it’s just feelings—no matter how they came into existence. And I loved Sachin. I supported him even if he was slow—some say it was selfish—in his nervous nineties. Even if his being slow cost a significant chance of loss, no matter what, I loved Sachin. I respect Rahul Dravid as well and admire him for his effort and feel bad that he got far less than what he deserved in terms of retirement ceremony and media and fan focus. But when it comes to Sachin, it’s a different level altogether. With many of the others, I could only sympathize while, with a few, I can empathize too. But with Sachin, I don’t have a word which means “beyond empathizing”. It’s like I have lived Sachin.
I could never imagine that Sachin would ever retire. When people over various media started–directly or indirectly– suggesting him to retire, I used to fear. I could never imagine Cricket or Indian Team without him.
But the day came and he retired. It was a test series which looked like West Indies was specially selected as a weak opponent so that Sachin could retire with glory. That’s what my analytical mind says. But my heart says, “Fuck you. It’s Sachin”. And that’s the answer to the all logical shits that comes in the way of Sachin.
I was in my office on the day he retired and could not watch his last innings. I later saw his last speech on YouTube and I cried that day. His last speech “My life, between 22 Yards for 24 years” still reverberates in my ears.
After his retirement, I couldn’t not follow cricket for months. Although I do follow it these days but the feeling is not the same. I keep missing him and Dravid. Virat, Dhawan and Dhoni are no Sachins and Dravids for me.
I wish his last test series were with South Africa or Australia. And I hope even if India had lost, Sachin would have struggled. I would have loved it. But again, my heart says to me—Fuck you.
So when I see this ad where Sachin says that this year’s IPL is going to be the toughest for him, I also feel the same way even if I did not follow IPL much in the past, but then it was a pleasure even just to know that Sachin still played.
Why I felt like following him and trying being like him—in terms of a person, off course—was his strength even after being a little and young man, his being tough even after opponents understating him in the beginning, his answering with bat even if he could answer with words, his being a gentleman even if he could have afforded to be even more aggressive than how Virat Kohli is nowadays, or simply he is just a darling in totality.
The other person was Paul Walker.
It was his characters played in the movie “The Fast and the Furious” which attracted me and I wanted to be like his character in the movie—not in terms of driving, fighting and spying, but in terms of being cool in pressure and handling the complex situations just like he does in the movie. I just wanted to be like him, in real life, in more real and easier situations unlike that of the movies’.
The character suited him so perfectly that it got stuck to me. It was the time, when most of the young guys used to have either dumb-looking small short hair with side partition, spikes or long weird hair for a haircut. For me, Paul’s simple and sober hair style was the smartest and the most stylish and I still try keeping it like his (although they don’t turn out to be). I also bought Converse shoes, red t-shirts and black jeans, just to adopt his style. I somehow got a t-shirt with Paul Walker’s photo printed on the chest and it became my favorite. Now, it’s 6 years old and I am still wearing it fondly.
Unfortunately, one morning, I came to know that he passed away. It was a shocking news for me. It was like one part of who I am has died and that space had become vacant. And I still feel that.
Unlike Sachin in the field of Cricket, Paul was less popular and lesser known– in my friend circle, at least. But I felt good about it for there was no one to criticize him. And this is because there are a very few people I met who recognize him as a big star.
Days after his death, his new film released– Hours. In Hours, he played one of the same characters—cool and good at handling situations with a different kind of charm. I liked the movie and loved his character.
Now, I find it hard for me to convince myself that I won’t be able to watch Paul’s new movies in future and there will be/is another actor whom the character of being cool like those of Paul’s will suit perfectly.
Just like, despite there being Varat Kohli, there will never be another Sachin, similarly, there won’t be another Paul.
Love you Sachin.
Respect for Rahul Dravid—because I can’t help mentioning him!
As far as being myself is concerned, at this stage of my life, I have realized that trying to copy some cool and good things from a role model is also a part of being yourself.
P.S.: This was my first blog attempt. I hope it was intriguing.