Friday, May 02, 2008

Sachin descends from the Wall (and its not Rahul Dravid).

I stay on a campus in North East Mumbai. The premises are owned by the Institute, and we have been living in our current place for about 15 years. Very recently, our house appeared in a list of houses marked for painting, and today, the painting was initiated in a massive mess of shifting stuff here and there, bags, heaps of stuff, books, and many other things.

The way things work, is, that there is a contractor who hires temporary chaps to do the scrubbing and painting and finishing work. These guys also help the residents move their things from room to room as and how required.

I have an older son and a younger daughter. Due to the relative inertia (and refusal to organize rooms), of the last fifteen years, the childrens' rooms have been studded with, among other things, posters of the Solar system,Human Genome, Human Body, Healthy Bones in young girls, cute dogs, Hritik Roshan, Sunil Gavaskar, tigers, Dalmatians, and last but not the least, a massive poster of Sachin Tendulkar from about 10 years ago.

The entire morning was spent trying to save some of these precious posters, scraping paint of walls, cupboards and any number of suitable flat surfaces. A bunch of Hrithink Roshans got scratched and torn in the process, and were duly crumbled and thrown. There was better success with Solar systems and Bones. Sunil Gavaskar was laminated and hung, so he survived the cellotape trauma. (We have 2 generations of cricket mad members).

Mornings in India are a busy time as people go off to work, lost things are retrieved, various household help types appear at regular intervals, and I got called away to the front door while this room clearing was going on.

Fifteen minutes later, having just finished with the caller, I was taking a breather and having a look at the newspaper, when one of the elderly painting-and-scraping-types appeared, reverentially holding a huge paper expanse in his hand. Smiling, anticipating my question about the sheet contents, and puffed up with a sense of pride that he would reserve for one of his own children doing well in life, , he announced, "Sachin Tendulkar!"

Of all the posters and stuff, scratched, scraped and yanked of the walls, here was something, that this gent, carefully detached, using his nails, cutters, blades, and even one of the painting colleagues,rubbing water over some edges; this poster was not to be spoiled.

A smiling Sachin Tendulkar, in his trademark batting stance, almost 4 ft by 3 ft , now sits , spread out on the living room sofa, for the duration of the room painting.

Makes you wonder.

Here is someone who manages to unite folks, irrespective of age, social status, economic strata, injuries, IPL, deep fine legs, silly points by Harbhajan types, centuries, ducks, crores, runs and anything you can think of. I can't think of any one in politics who can claim such support.

Having said that, I fervently hope Sachin doesn't join national politics after his retirement. In one of my more optimistic moments, I have often felt he would be a great Ambassador to Australia.....

(Come to think of it, if ambassadors were decided by holding a referendum with voting in both India and Australia, it is quite possible, that he will win by a landslide)

Anyone listening ?

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