When The Week called up Sachin on the day he returned from Sharjah, his wife, Anjali, conveyed his unwillingness to give interviews. But the next day, in the middle of his lunch Sachin himself took the call and reluctantly agreed for an interview the next day. At the Wankhede Stadium Sachin was seriously practising with Mumbai teammates Vinod Kambli, Abey Kuruvilla, Ajit Agarkar and others for the forthcoming Ranji match against Gujarat.
Sachin gave the interview outside the men's locker room. He apologised for not being able to offer a seat "I can't take you inside as you will not be allowed," he said.
Though Sachin keeps to himself in public, he could be heard joking and laughing inside the locker room with friend Sanjay Manjrekar who calls him 'Tendlya'. The great batsman was taken aback by this interview because not much was asked on cricket!
Many feel that Sachin is the only
hope for India. So much of adulation...
I just feel that I have been very sincere and honest in the past and I hope I continue to do that. It is very important that I realise the priorities in my life. It is also probably because of my family background, the way I was brought up. It has certainly helped me. Even today they look after me and ensure that my feet are on the ground.
Are you scared of the high
I think I should just concentrate and not worry about these things. Hopefully, things will go right and as long as I am sincere and honest nothing will go wrong.
Most people say that Sachin doesn't
have any drawbacks...
I don't think negatively. I only like to look at the positive aspects of life and that's how one should be. Nobody is perfect and everything doesn't always go according to plan. Ups and downs are always there and one has to be prepared for them and accept the facts of life.
Is there anything you want to work
on? Any regrets?
Not really. I am pretty happy with my life. I am just keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that everything goes on smoothly.
Do you believe in God?
Yes, very much. I pray regularly. I always have this pendant with me which has a framed picture of God.
Whenever you score a century you
always look skywards. Do you thank God?
I look upwards and thank God for helping me. Whatever I have done in life I better be thankful to God for it, because there is nobody as powerful as Him.
You are a firm believer in Saibaba.
Very much. I have been to Shirdi once.
Where do you get your physical
Nothing special. Whatever training we do here really helps. Other than that we do some training in the gym, like the weights and other exercises. All that really helps.
You are a private person? You hate
people touching you?
I am a very private and reserved person. Many get the impression that I am very arrogant and rude but I cannot go on my own and talk to somebody. I really value my privacy.
You can't take your wife for a
dinner without people bothering you?
It is difficult at times. But you have got to cope up with that. That is the price one has to pay and one is prepared for that.
How do you relax? Is music a
therapy for you?
I enjoy my music. It relaxes me and puts me in a good mood. It prepares me for the next game.
It is said that your passion after
cricket is cars?
I just like cars. That's it. Nothing more than that. That is what I do off the field. It is my own personal thing. It is different from the cricket field and leave it to that.
You are being approached to endorse
many brands. Does it worry you that people treat you only as a
Nobody treats me like that. That is what I do off the field. As far as it is not tampering the game I am quite okay. I am pretty sure about what I am doing.
The Pepsi ad shows Sachin as the
people's cricketer. Are you that accessible?
It is not a question of being accessible or not. I really don't get the time to meet my friends. The schedule is very tight. Life is going to be like this for the next few years till I play cricket. And there are only a few years for a cricketer. The maximum you can go up to is 40. So there aren't many years left. And then I have got the rest of my life to enjoy and do whatever I want and meet whomever I want.
There is Sachin the cricketer, the
father, the role model. Do they all blend together?
My family life is altogether a different issue. I have always kept it a very private affair and I don't want that to be public. Everybody is watching whatever I do on the field. Sometimes when I don't perform well they desperately want me to do well. They pray for me and wish me well. I appreciate whatever is happening and my different roles.
Boris Becker once said that during
a tournament he failed to communicate even to his wife. Do
individuals perform better when left alone?
That's not my thing. Every human being is different. I am not disturbed by all these things. They don't interfere with my performance. We are all made differently. There cannot be one rule for everyone.
Your father is a creative writer.
Do you write?
I am not much into writing. Whatever I do is here, it is with my bat and that's how people recognise me. Whatever I am good at, I should stick to it.
Will you ever write an
I have not thought of it now. Maybe in future...
Who is your role model?
I would like to follow in my father's footsteps. In cricket, certainly it is Gavaskar. What he has achieved so far, I would say any youngster should blindly follow that.
Do you consider yourself as a role
I have not really thought about all these things. It is up to the people to decide what they feel about me. I am no one to decide.
A public figure should also be a
Yes. Once you become a public figure you have to forget about so many things. You have to just concentrate on the game and lead a very disciplined life. Which is what I am trying to do.
If you were the Prime Minister of
India what would you do?
Well, I would stick to cricket. I think I am good at cricket so I don't want to take up anything else for the time being. I am very happy with what I am doing.
How patriotic are you?
I am very patriotic. I feel all Indians should be. They should to do whatever is required for the country.
Do you hate losing to Pakistan?
I hate losing because I am playing for India. It doesn't matter whether Pakistan beats us or Australia or New Zealand. India shouldn't lose. That is what is important.
What do you aspire for your
She is too young. I should let her live her own life.
You must be rarely finding time to
be with your daughter?
It is very difficult. You can't do much about it.
How do you handle female adulation?
Do you feel shy when women fans come close to you?
No. I feel the same with male and female fans. I am mature enough to treat my fans and their gender doesn't matter. They are my well-wishers and they pray for me. I really appreciate them from the bottom of my heart. Good wishes always help you.