Wait till he takes guard in Mumbai
March 30, 2011 7:54 PM Subscribe
posted by vidur (74 comments total)
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"I've never been in a stadium that feels like this one
. Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, people from different castes and classes, speakers of a dozen languages, all citizens in the Republic of Sachin. The stern cops give wide smiles and thumbs-ups. The chant goes from "Sachin! Sachin!" to "Hoo … ha … IN-DI-A!" They are interchangeable."A feeling arises, a rare one, that you are part of a group watching something special. The power of sport is that, on occasion, it redeems the messes we create around it. Cricket can be stronger than the forces changing it. Victories are fleeting, but the poems are what matters. I don't know if cricket is about to be ruined, or if Sachin is no longer needed, if he's retiring or if he'll defy expectations and play 10 more years. These are things we can guess about but never know.
I do know this: I am a fan. I am sunburned but do not care. I lose track of time. That's not a narrative flourish. Hours seem like moments. Rapture comes to the people here. I see Sachin constructing a score, and I understand the planning, and the years of experience, that lead a man to this field on this day, and to the artistry he now holds as part of himself, like a chamber of his heart. We are congregants in a church. We are watching the son of a poet. The stand-up comedian is serious. This is a perfect at-bat, Andy tells me. This is art, and I am lucky to see it. Soon, Sachin will be gone. This feeling will be gone. Right now, it is alive. It has the power of a name, immortal and pure.