No Indian sportsman has ever received the kind of adulation and admiration
like Sachin Tendulkar. But in 2008, he suffered a bad patch of mediocrity,
and critics stridently demanded his retirement. Sachin bore these barbs stoically,
focusing more on bouncing back. Then came the Mohali test where he notched
up a gritty 88 runs against Australia and surpassed Brian Lara to become the
highest run getter in the history of test cricket. Later, commenting on the
criticism he faced during his slump season, Sachin remarked that when people
threw stones at him, he converted them into milestones.
"Hellooo Aunty", I said, with exaggerated mirth, but I
was filled inside with suspense and tension. For the
past four days I couldn’t reach the landline or the cell phone.
All I could do was helplessly stare at the relentless stream
of pictures on TV, images of flood water inundating the entire
city of Chennai and causing unimaginable human misery.
With every snippet of news I grew more anxious.
One of the most genuine nuggets of advice I received in my childhood was
from a cousin who told me that I could learn much more from losing than
from winning. I stared at her with disbelief. I had just won a series of
awards and was basking in the light of these victories. People were praising
me to the skies. And she talked about the benefits of failure. It was not only
irrelevant but quite confusing to me.
A mother has a natural bond with a child but a father has to build one.