'15th November' is a very special date in Indian cricket as on this date Sachin Tendulkar played his last inning and on this very date, 24 years back, Sachin made his debut.
When Tendulkar arrived on the ground, to play the last match of his career, and the way the team members of West Indies and umpires greeted him warmly, made me nostalgic and a bit emotional.
That moment took me many years back....
When, one day, my friend told me that "There's a new cricketer 'Sachin Tendulkar' and he is awesome!"
When I saw his photo for the first time.
When, while returning from school, I saw a notebook hanging in a shop. There was a young boy standing in it with a bat and it read 'Sachin Tendulkar'. I went to have a close look, then, inexplicably bought it. It stayed with me for a long time, always, and saw me following, enjoying and cherishing everything about him.
When, like everyone, I fell in love with him!
When, everyone knew I was an ardent fan of Tendulkar.
When I saw him biting his nails and felt good that we both shared this habit and I shouldn't be scolded for that.
When I pasted a large poster of Tendulkar in my room even though I hate sticking celebrity posters on walls.
When, one fine Sunday, I heard everyone calling me fervently. Clueless and confused, I went to the room where everyone was gathered (Still calling me) in front of the television. A tall man was talking to a lean, meek young boy. The young boy was Sachin Tendulkar and the programme was "Cricket with Mohinder Amarnath".
When with my newly developed interest in cricket, I used to get up @ 3 a.m in the month of February to watch the 1992 cricket world cup and my uncle helped me understand the game.
When I felt nervous when Tendulkar was on strike, and silently prayed for his big score.
Sachin Tendulkar is a passion. He is a feeling. An Era! There is no replacement for Sachin.
Actually, my interest in cricket burgeoned with Sachin Tendulkar and it seems to diminish with his retirement. These days, I don't watch cricket much (Except Sachin's innings. Of course I watched every bit of his last inning!) but it's hard to believe that the master has finally said goodbye to international cricket and his incredible fan following.