New Delhi: He has squared off against the most fearsome of pace attacks all over the world but veteran Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar jokes that it is nothing when compared to facing his wife when she is upset! In the Marathi book 'Samvad Legends Shi' (Conversations with Legends) by Dwarkanath Sanzgiri and published by Majestic Publications, the 39-year-old batsman, who has spent over two decades in international cricket, opens up about things other than cricket that have shaped his life.
While talking about helmets and when exactly he started using the equipment, Tendulkar, while being interviewed in London, was asked in a lighter vein who was more fearsome, an enraged fast bowler or an upset wife? "You have already got me in trouble here. Well I am away from home so I can say an upset wife," the diminutive right-hander joked.
The celebrated cricketer also spoke about the people who contributed to his rise and apart from his father and elder brother, Tendulkar detailed the part played by three women, including his wife Anjali. "Let me start with my mother. I think you know no one can take her place. She made sure I was fed well so that I could run around you know every day to practice for hours and hours to come back and my mother being a working lady she had to go to office and work number of hours and then come back, look after the family," he recalled.
"It was really difficult and you know inspite of all these stresses and a notorious child like me to have a smile on your face required a lot of courage which she managed and you know she is a very very strong lady...The second lady in my life has to be my aunt. I stayed for four years with my uncle and my aunt," he said.
"Because when I started playing cricket as I said earlier that I had to change my school and from my house to get to my school I had to change two buses and then to get there and then come back and again go for practice was just too much of workload. So, finally the family decided that I stay with my uncle and my aunt. Their house was walking distance to where I practiced and literally 10 minutes away from my school," he added. The trio included his wife Anjali and Tendulkar credited her for giving him a new perspective of life.
"...last but not the least my wife. I met my wife in 1990 and she's known me now for 21 years and it's a long time. She's been through all the ups and downs in my career, all the difficult phases where I had lot of injuries and there was a time where my body was just not holding up.
"It was a difficult phase for me and she was right there with me, sort of giving me a different side of life where teaching me to think differently when I was injured, down and low. She actually taught me to thank for what the god has given me and for what the god has not given me; you know not to complain...So you know just to look at life differently has been a huge difference to my career. So I want to thank her as well. So these women have played a significant role in my life," he said.
Tendulkar said but for his family's sacrifices he would never have scaled the heights that he did in his career. "...honestly speaking my contribution and whatever I have achieved makes everything look small because what my family members have done for me, the sacrifices have been immense, massive; without this huge force with me I am nothing.
Honestly without my brothers, my sister, my parents, my uncle and my aunt, not to forget who played a significant role in my life. "It was because of my brother Ajit that I started playing cricket and then the constant encouragement from my parents and my brother Nitin. I think at the age of 10-11 when my actual talent was spotted and my brother Ajit took me to my coach Ramakant Achrekar," he said.
Talking about his father, Tendulkar recalled how the late Ramesh Tendulkar gave him the freedom to pursue his cricketing dreams. "...he realised that this (cricket) is my passion and this is what I want to be and I had scored some big runs so all he demanded was 35 per cent from me; he said 'I know what you want to be in life; you don't find short cuts there but here you can get me 35 per cent';
"'if you bring 36 per cent, I will kick you out of the house because I am really not expecting 36 per cent, I just want you to pass but whatever you want to be in life don't find short cuts there and that advice was big one for me'," he recalled.