” I added, “Sir, the last year you were given out due to a wrong replay against Deccan Chargers, I spotted it first.” Tendulkar’s eyes lit up, “Oh you were the one! (Yes, I was surprised and I wrote an article and sent it to the website).” He continued to oblige other people with autographs and as the crowd built up, I felt I had to go.He hardly gets a moment of privacy and I had to play a small part in not burdening him further.I was sitting in the Garware Pavilion and Tendulkar took his position at third man, very close to the stands where I was seated. I could go and tell my friends that Tendulkar had waved to me alone in the midst of hundreds of people!
As I walked away, the whole moment started sinking in.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.As a 14 year-old, it was my first experience in the stadium and was waiting to get a glimpse of my hero.He didn’t contribute much with the bat in the first innings, but there was one incident during the Australian innings which will remain etched forever in my memory.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.In the distance, I could see Tendulkar surrounded by an army of kids, all demanding an autograph from the maestro.I approached the convoy and with shivering hands and stretched the autograph book towards him.“Chase your dreams, because dreams do come true,” Sachin Tendulkar, after scoring the historic 100th international century.Growing up in India in the 1990s, I was no different from the millions of Tendulkar fans.