New Delhi: For Sachin Tendulkar, becoming a successful sportsperson had never been the most important thing in life. All through his journey as one of the world’s finest cricketers ever, the Master iterated what his father had told him — everything in life is temporary and to be regarded as a good human being should be the priority.
On Friday evening, when a host of medal winners of the Commonwealth Games assembled at the Vigyan Bhavan here, for the felicitation accorded to them by the sports ministry, they listened in rapt attention when Sachin addressed them.
“My father gave me advice and I think this is the right stage to pass them on to you,” said Sachin.
“When I started playing cricket, my father told me that if you are a good cricketer you will play for 15 years. If you are very good you will play for 20 years, but what after that?
“Remember, everything in life is temporary, my father had said. What is most important is to be a good person in life. He would say ‘I would be happy if somebody walks up to me and say that your son is a good cricketer, but I will be happier if someone tells me that he is a better person.’ I think it is important to accept everything in life with humility and stay grounded.”
Tendulkar did not stop here. He paused and then said: “My father had another advice for me. Everyone will not like you always. There will be obstructions but the energy should always be focused on doing the right thing and not to get distracted. He told me to follow my path and chase my dream.
“He used to say, in the end, you will find that those hands, who were trying to pull you down, would join hands to say you are great. When you start doing good in life, expectations do go up.
“You performance will be judged by everyone, including your oppositions. But none of them can judge your inner satisfaction. If you give your 100 per cent and your opponent still wins, then that is fine... Don’t ever feel frustrated,” said the Master.
Tendulkar, who came as a special guest along with 2004 Olympic silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, had some encouraging words for the medal winners.
“My sisters and brothers you have made India proud,” Tendulkar said. “It is a great honour for me to be here. I watched some of the events in the Commonwealth Games with great interest… You exceeded all expectations. Being a sportsperson, I know what it needs to be here. Congratulations to all the medal winners,” he said.
Tendulkar also picked para-powerlifter Sakina Khatun from Bengal and Tripura gymnast Dipa Karmakar for special praise. “I would specially like to congratulate Sakina Khatun and Dipa Karmakar. Sportsperson from rural India have to struggle a lot. Above all, you have chosen disciplines which are not popular in India. I want all of you to be successful, so that when somebody watches your events, the person will ask others to be like you,” he added.
Sakina spoke to Tendulkar during the prize distribution. “I told him I am from a poor background. He assured me of help in near future,” she said.
India bagged 64 medals in Glasgow and Sachin hoped the tally would double the next time. “The next time we sit down here, I hope the number of medals will be double. As sportspersons, we have dreams and we chase those dreams. In my case, when I was a youngster, I wanted to play cricket and I chased that dream,” he said.