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A time to wait

The value of some revered spirits (the alcoholic variety) grow exponentially with time. But sometimes, patience is more than just a virtue, it is self-inflicted torture. Just as all eyes, tongues and analysis are centred on Sachin Tendulkar’s magnum opus, one’s mind must think back to all times that this wait could have ended.

For when a triple figure is a run or two away, a lot of things seemingly change. The audience doesn’t leave their seats. People who didn’t know a match was on suddenly put life on hold for the century to materialise. The commentary gets focussed. Suddenly, a landmark, a career revival or a stamp of authority is waiting to be written. When it doesn’t occur, all hell breaks loose. 
At the drop of a hat, the match is junked and everyone returns to find succour in their humdrum existence, where heartbreak can be kept at a safe distance. Crowds are stunned into abject disbelief. Television sets go from being the harbingers of hope to being what they are – idiot boxes.

Some few years back, a seemingly irritating trend crept into the master’s batting – that of getting out in the nineties. This malaise haunts many a batsman. Maybe, just  for one day, he should trade mind space with Virender Sehwag, who of all the things, got his triple century with a six. But then, the shot Sehwag played when on 195 in Melbourne some 5 years back may make him think twice. Or maybe he should listen to his son, who advised his dad to smack a six each time he got close to the magical mark.

There is so much he has waited for. A world cup won in the fifth attempt. Being part of an entity that reached the number one spot in tests – 18 years after he played his first international. Unpredictability gives sport wings, creates stories worthy of being told and retold generations from now and creates an aura around those that were fortunate enough to be in the centre of it all.

It may happen in Sydney. It may not happen in this series.

Still, we have to wait. For magic finds you when you are least prepared for it.

PS: This was written before India's disastrous tour of Australia in 2011-2012. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar finally scored his 100th ton on March 16th, 2012. 


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