Playing It My Way

SACHINNNNN SACHINNNN! I am writing a review of this book for a few reasons.

  1. The Man in this book is my idol, my demigod, my inspiration, somebody from whom I want to imbibe values and learn the art of humility.

  2. He is, by default, the most loved Indian sportsman. Yes. I have no doubts about it.

  3. He has achieved almost everything from nothing.

  4. His mere presence onscreen, on paper, on the field makes me experience goosebumps.

Such is the guy, whom the Indians and cricket enthusiasts refer as The God of Cricket while the rest know him as Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. There is something intriguing about his personality that instantly magnetizes the opposite person. His down to earth nature, humble approach and simplicity bowl you over. Technically speaking, I can go on and on about The Master Blaster, The Batman of India, The Bharat Ratna recipient. They say, “Actions speak louder than words.” This man befittingly remains an apt example for this proverb. Coming back to the book review, here’s what it’s all about.

Plot: The very first sentence, in the acknowledgements section of the book, captures your eyes, heart and mind as well. I haven’t come across a writer/author/narrator who first acknowledges/dedicates his/her book to the common man/the buyer/the reader and then the people who revolve in his life. The first impression shows ample gratitude from this man!

The book highlights the highs, lows and highs again of this man, by this man himself. It is the journey of a boy from a humble background who went on to play 200 tests, 463 ODIs and a T20I from 24 long years, making and breaking records of all sorts that remain almost impossible to achieve in the near future. He talks about his mischievous nature during childhood, his family, his coach and the sacrifices of all sorts that were collectively made by the people involved in his life, to realize a common dream – that of watching him represent The Indian Cricket Team. He vividly recollects the memories of learning the game, his first tour and his beloved wife Anjali, his best and worst times, the ecstasy of winning the coveted  Cricket World Cup 2011, the pain of losing the games, the controversies, his fight against the wrongs and about his teammates. Most importantly, he talks about what went wrong during his captaincy stint. By the end of this 400-page book, an ardent Tendulkar fan remains satisfied to have read about this great man!

My Take: This book is strictly for the fans of Tendulkar who wish to follow his footsteps. The only disappointment that remains inside me is his minuscule account on match-fixing. I wished there would have been a broader view on that particular episode. At times, the book merely doles out statistics which can be accessible on the internet as well. The Farewell Speech at the end of the book remains the most pleasurable read.  Above all, for an avid reader, this book remains an autobiography of the most celebrated Indian cricketer while for an ardent Tendulkar fan and his worshiper, this book remains BIBLE!

Peace, Poetry and Power

Bhavin Shah