Posted by Fenil Seta
Ahead of his part-docu biopic’s release, Sachin admits there’s direct connect with Mr Perfectionist
Shilpi Sampad (MID-DAY; May 13, 2017)
Your film is called Sachin – A Billion Dreams. What were your cricketing dreams when you were growing up?
The first was to play for India and then chase it with a bigger dream — winning the World Cup. It took me22 years, but I got there.
How did you react when the makers approached you for the film?
My initial reaction was no (smiles). I said I can’t act, I don’t want to act; I am a sportsperson, not an actor. So, it took them a while to convince me and to let me know I have to act. Because everything in my life has been documented, there are no made-up stories… there is no way to rewrite a script to show I have made extra runs. They (makers) felt no one knows what went on in my mind during the highs and lows [of my career]. So, we needed to show that to as many guys as possible.
What went on in your mind every time you went in to bat with a million people chanting ‘Sachin, Sachin’?
It was exciting and I actually liked that people had expectations from me. It’d have been terrible to walk into the middle with no one expecting anything from me.
For any sportsperson, encouragement and expectations make for the best tonic. Does it have a personal angle too?
Yes, people will get to see more than what they have seen for 24 years of me on field — my private life, my family and my friends. We dug out some really good footage that no one has seen.
Apart from your brother, Ajit Tendulkar, your mother has been a big inspiration too…
Huge. She’s the reason I started cooking. After my morning practice at Wankhede Stadium, I’d rush home by train or bus and be really hungry and tired. Before resuming practice at noon, I’d stand by her in the kitchen and have an early lunch and then fall asleep. While doing that, I observed her cooking.
Are you an expert cook now?
Well, I can cook. I like making baingan bharta, fried fish, prawns and lobsters.
Getting back to the film, did you discuss it with your coach, Ramakant Achrekar?
I didn’t. The discussion was mainly with my family and everyone was comfortable with the idea.
Do you plan to venture into filmmaking at some point?
We haven’t even released this film! (laughs)
If you could pick an actor to play your role, who’d it be?
Whose name comes to your mind?
Aamir Khan, maybe?
Well, whenever I have asked journalists this, they have all named Aamir because there is direct connect. Aamir has done Lagaan (2001 film on a do-or-die cricket match). He’s a great actor and a wonderful person.
Do you miss the buzz of international cricket?
I was in the middle of action for 24 years. And the kind of farewell I received, it was really special. I’m happy with the way things are going. Few exhibition games here and there are not a bad idea. I’ve completed a full circle and couldn’t have asked for more.