When there was news about Sachin’s autpbiography coming out, I was not among those who shared it on Facebook with the tagline – “God!!! Bless me with three kids and a hefty dowry”.
It’s not like I am not a Sachin fan. But the hyperbole around him just makes me a little wary of discussing anything related to Sachin. There are essentially two discussions on Sachin.
One that he is the greatest ever. He is the greatest batsman, the greatest player of any sport, the reason why the earth rotates around the sun, the very reason for the Big Bang. And on the other side, there is the argument about how he wasn’t really a matchwinner, how he slowed down his innings near a century, and was a selfish player.
As a cricket enthusiast, you are sandwiched between these distinctly opposite opinions, with nothing to do except pick your nose awkwardly, waiting for the debate to end. As Indians, we cannot have an objective debate on Sachin Tendulkar. Take for example the time when Indians attacked Maria Sharapova on Twitter because she didn’t know who he was. That’s how much we love cricket and Sachin. We love cricket and Sachin so much that we call Maria Sharapova a fucking whore for not knowing about our Gods. Yes, we are a little Talibanish when it comes to Sachin Tendulkar.
An autobiography is supposed to reveal something about the person that the world is unaware of. But what really is there that we don’t know of? Whatever it is, I am sure Sachin has no intentions to reveal his personal details (may be if it was Vinod Kambli…). Sachin’s life has been written about, spoken about, hailed, and enumerated by thousands of kids who dislike their Maths teachers across the country.
And through the many years that I have known him, Sachin has come across as the ideal boy, the ideal father, the ideal patriot – the nation’s Shravan Kumar. With such a huge baggage on his shoulders, I doubt he is going to be name dropping at this juncture of his life. Sachin has been upright, honest to a fault, and has never showed any signs of anger, disturbance, or aggression. In short – a very boring sort of person.
There have been numerous books on him, and each of them has toed the line that the grand Indian narrative has of the man – the perfectionist, the God-like talents, the humility, the enthusiasm. How much more of it can one take?
I certainly can’t, and have decided to give it a miss.
There’s also the fact that Sachin is never likely to talk about match-fixing. He will never reveal what Azharuddin and Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar discussed between matches. He will never talk about how he never went public against these men who were accused of throwing matches for money, floundering the chances of the nation that he so dearly loved.
And one can’t really blame Sachin. He has been the poster boy of the nation. In his success, India roared. In his failures, India mourned. It is highly unlikely that he would want to ruffle any feathers at this stage of his life (he’s only 41, and yet isn’t it strange how we talk about him like he’s an old man?). And this refusal to ruffle any feathers is probably the one big reason I will give his book a miss. Unlike Shoaib Akhtar, who gave lesser fucks than his batting average, about issues like this.
And then, there’s the biggest reason I will avoid the book.
It has been scripted by Bore-Yeah Majumdar.
For those of you who have lives and do not watch the IPL, Boria Majumdar is Arnab Goswami on steroids. He doesn’t attack his guests or interviewees, choosing instead to attack your brain with his examples, explanations, and rhetoric that could put a T-rex to sleep in minutes.
I fail to understand why Boria Majumdar was selected to write the autobiography. He’s hardly a cricketer, and quoting statistics is hardly the reason people are paid to speak about a sport. And as if his rhetoric isn’t coma-inducing enough, there’s the portion where he begins talking about cricket’s technicalities. Tune in to a news channel after a match, and you’ll find the man talking about Virat Kohli’s stance being problematic, and how Piyush Chawla should attack the stumps more often. It’s all a bit too much to take. Boria Majumdar makes Arun Lal seem like Groucho Marx in comparison.
When the reviews of the book began to trickle in, all my fears about the book were proven right. Sachin has conveniently given important issues a miss, has remained more or less reverential to everybody in the cricketing fraternity (even if they were throwing matching under his nose as the captain). And Boria Majumdar has stuffed so many numbers and statistics in the book that it is being prescribed as a textbook in universities.
So there you have it.
I grew up in the era of Sachin Rajya. I bit my fingernails when he batted, prayed for him to do well.
And yet, I don’t think I am going to be reading his autobiography. I am reading Naseeruddin Shah’s autobiography though, and I laugh out loud every morning after breakfast, leading my roommate to believe I am completely mad.