..and few weeks back, it happened… at last. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar became the highest run getter in the history of test cricket, and the only man to cross the 12000 run mark. As Alfred Victor Vigny has said, “Greatness is the dream of youth realized in old age” I remember writing this about 3 years back, and sparking off a Gavaskar-Tendulkar debate then. And inspite of that, I still consider Sachin a greater player than Gavaskar. But thats just my perspective, and this post is not intended to start off that debate all over again.

As always, it is the standards that the man sets off the field (Adam Gilchrist can take his stories down under) – including the locker room and press conference chats, that amaze me. His teammates talk about his indefatigable spirit and his joy in playing the game. While his fans were cheering him, and his critics were throwing stones at him, was he looking forward to this milestone, if not playing only for it? At 16 years, when he played his first test in Pakistan and fell to Waqar for a mere 15, did the boy Sachin know that he would make the 11000 plus runs that would make him a unique persona in world cricket? When Merv Hughes told Border that ‘This little prick’s going to get more runs than you, AB’, how did he know? When a person is doing exactly what he is meant to do, does the clarity reveal itself to himself and others?

At a far lower plane, many of us have achieved those little milestones, the ones which we had looked up to in awe, and wondered whether they were achievable at all. I remember, about 7 years back, hearing about my project guide’s salary and saying that if I got that kind of money, I wouldn’t mind stagnating after that. And now i look back and smile at myself, because i realise how time changes everything. I also realise that I can keep setting higher figures up, and god willing, perhaps knock them down. But most importantly, I realise that when life brings us to that point of our imagined future, there will be happiness, but perhaps not joy. Like ticking off a box in a things to do list, as opposed to a whoop of sheer delight. Unless, I am doing what makes me happy, so that the inevitable reaction to achieving a milestone is joy, and there is simply no reason to contemplate such things as destiny and my reason for existence, except for saying a thank you.

Is that cynicism brought on by the loss of innocence ? Or are the likes of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, ironically named after Sachin Dev Burman, a legendary music composer, blessed by the cosmos to tread only on the exact path destined for them, while I continue the search, hoping I haven’t “missed the starting gun”

until next time, “the post is over, I’ve nothing more to say:)