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On June 2, 2012, he finally came face to face with the great man and shared a few words.In this article, he recounts numerous experiences over the years and his tryst with Tendulkar.
I instantly grabbed the opportunity to meet him the next day at the specified time. Would I be able to get my 2011 World Cup final ticket autographed by Tendulkar?
As I made my way to Sahitya Sahwas, I was filled with nervous energy. ” As the clock ticked eight, a small gathering waited for the superstar – whose growth they had witnessed from close quarters. Sachin arrived 15 minutes ago and we will only start when all of you’ll take your seats.” Lohitash and I had grabbed two seats well in time and had no worries in finding a good spot.
Not many people get the opportunity to interact with him and shake his hand, and I was one of the fortunate ones to do so.
My excitement level hit a fever pitch as I picked up my cell-phone called every possible person – my parents, relatives, best friends etc.
A few moments later, a smiling face appeared and the crowd stood up to welcome the master.
It was a remarkable evening and the whole essence of the ceremony was that of a man coming back to his roots.I had finally met the man who has remained my hero for years.It meant the world to me as he has symbolised India’s dreams on the cricket field and is a role model par excellence.I first saw him in November 2004 when India and Australia were involved in an intense battle on an infamous turner at the Wankhede Stadium.The first day was a near washout as only 11 overs of play were possible.As luck would have it, he was still standing on the small stage.It was symbolic because, I was looking up to him while trying to grab his attention. “Ohh”, he said, and greeted me with a “hello.” As Tendulkar took my ticket and autographed it, I said “I was there.” He nodded and I continued, “I am a budding journalist and hope to interview you someday.” As he returned the ticket – one that had just become a collectors’ item – he said “Yes, good luck!Sahitya Sahwas houses a number of eminent Marathi writers and poets – the maestro’s father, the late Ramesh Tendulkar, being one of them. Malti Sirsikar also has a flat there owing to her contribution to Marathi literature.As luck would have it, he was put up there for a few days and came across a notice that announced the function.The usually reticent Tendulkar was evidently at ease in the presence of people who have watched him all his life.His childhood friends and neighbours recalled stories of his early days – “the days when it all began” as Tendulkar said.