On a lazy Saturday evening, a high-end shopping mall in south Mumbai suddenly came to life, as word got around that Sachin Tendulkar will soon be in the building. As the Master Blaster walked in, we realised that he isn’t called the ‘God of cricket’ for nothing.
Hundreds of fans chanted “Sachin! Sachin!” as he entered the mall. Clearly, the reverence is intact. Here, we talk to Sachin about his life post retirement, being a family man, his fashion statements, and more.
It has almost been three years since you last played for India. Do you miss playing cricket?
I think 24 years is a long time to be on the field. Whatever I had to do, I did, and I feel happy and satisfied with it. My career was a good one. The way people gave me the send-off, and responded during my last game, was something really special. So, I am content. There are no regrets. I can’t complain at all, and, so, I am a happy person. I am thankful to God for keeping things this way. The least I can do is appreciate everyone’s support, and feel grateful.
So, now, what is a usual day for Sachin Tendulkar like?
There is no routine as such. Earlier, there used to be a set routine, wherein I knew that at a certain time, I would be in the gym, or at a particular time, I would be practising, etc. But now, it depends on what my schedule and my engagements for that day are. It’s nice to be able to break certain routines, and start afresh.
Are you more of a family man now?
I was always a family man (smiles). But now, I have more time for them. It is nice to be able to come back home. Although, I have been travelling extensively, the beauty is that I am back home again. Even if I have to travel to Delhi or Hyderabad, I am usually home in the evening, or if there is an overnight stay, then I am back the next day. Earlier, there used to be long tours, so things used to be difficult. We had to plan my children’s school holidays, and make other such arrangements to get them on tours. So, things were surely tough at times, but I had chosen my field [of work], and I am still passionate about cricket. Now, I get more time [with my family], and that is a blessing.
Now that you don’t have to stick to the Indian team jersey, and the official suit, do you pay more attention to your style statement?
For me, fashion is all about what I feel; it entirely depends on the occasion. So, a pair of jeans is good if you are meeting your friends, and a semi-formal outfit is perfect for a meeting. But if there is a big event, you would want to be in a nice suit. At home, you can, sometimes, be in shorts too. So, it all depends. Eventually, you have to feel good about yourself. When you look at yourself in the mirror, you should be a happy person with a smile on your face. Then, it doesn’t really matter what someone else thinks about you. I have always believed that I need to be comfortable [in whatever I wear]. Nothing else matters.
Do you get fashion tips from your daughter Sara or your wife Anjali?
Of course, after all, we are one family (smiles). I do ask for their opinion. I ask them whether a particular shirt matches my trousers or not. Sometimes, I get different kinds of reactions from them when they tell me, “No, this doesn’t go well with your personality.” Then, I have to consider other options. But it is fun to do all that, as you always treasure such moments with your family.
How did you decide to come up with a clothing line?
When Arvind Fashion Brands got in touch with me, and came up with the idea of starting a new venture together in the second innings of my life - my first innings was on the field – we kept thinking about what we should call it. Since I have spent 24 years wearing the colour blue (the colour of the official Indian cricket team jersey), and the whole of India identifies with the colour, so we thought why not take that off the field, and get people engaged. So, we thought it’s True Blue that people should identify with.
Your docu-drama will release soon. Are you nervous or excited about it?
I am not nervous about my docu-drama. I am not an actor. Whatever has happened in my life is already done with. And that is what is going to be shown [in the film]. I used to get nervous whenever I used to go out to bat. But I used to like it, since that nervous energy helped me bring out my best [on the field].
Recently, a film based on Mohammad Azharuddin released, and MS Dhoni’s biopic, too, will hit the big screen this year. Are you interested in getting a full-length feature film made on your life?
Honestly, I haven’t thought about it. I don’t have time to think about all these things (smiles).