By Sanjay Jha
( An extract from the article Sachin Tendulkar , Nothing Else from the book ELEVEN.)
( Written in November 2009 )
In 1989, I was 28 years. Since then, to use a cliché, change has been a constant. I remember Rajiv Gandhi’s dimpled smile and earth innocence in his handsome countenance. LK Advani’s rath-yatra and VP Singh’s caste card was to change India’ political future and electoral logic. Manmohan Singh’s breakthrough liberalization policy and partial devaluation would bring India into the global sphere, even as we watched Jimmy Connors make a dramatic run to the semi-fi nals of the US Open at the age of 39 on Star Sports, on a satellite channel. Dr Prannoy Roy dazzling us with The World This Week and Newstrack with Madhoo Trehan. Aamir Khan play the charming tapori act in Rangeela and Shah Rukh Khan winning a near-billion hearts with his inimitable romanticism in DDLJ. Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes capturing grand slams. Harshad Mehta and Ketan Parekh, stock market booms and woeful scams. Kargil. A war. A nuclear test. Malls, multiplexes, mobile phones and MS Dhoni. Marathi manoos and Abhinav Bindra. A new India. A new tomorrow.
But somewhere quietly right behind them all, rising unobtrusively into the endless skyline above, towering away and beyond into the blue skies, that same young curly haired boy from Bandra. Sachin Tendulkar. Nothing else.