Sharadashram Vidyamandir is a landmark in Mumbai and everyone knows why. Photos of the Dadar school, its playground and the classroom in which Sachin Tendulkar sat, have been published and republished several times.
But, not many are aware that the school building houses a room that has a collection of rare Tendulkar pictures from his early playing days.
The third-floor room is rarely opened for anybody other than the school’s staff and students. The school wants to keep it private as allowing general public inside their premises would lead to chaos.
The pictures, most of which have been clicked by veteran photo journalist Prakash Parsekar, include some candid shots of Tendulkar. (Only two pictures on display were clicked by a couple of other photographers).
There is one of Tendulkar posing after his Ranji Trophy debut; another has Tendulkar being received by his father, Ramesh Tendulkar, and other well-wishers after he returned from his first county stint in England.
Parsekar, who has covered Tendulkar since 1989, the year the legend made his debut for India, says it has been an honour covering Sachin all these years. “I have never shot him outside Mumbai though,” he adds.
Sharadashram’s cricket coach Naresh Churi, who took up the initiative to have a place dedicated to Sachin in the school, faced hiccups while setting up the room.
“We wanted to have some rare photos of Sachin and I approached a few photographers. But most of them demanded a very high price for the pictures they had shot. We couldn’t afford that,” says Churi, who then spoke to Parsekar, a close friend. “He readily agreed to share the photos he had clicked and didn’t demand any money.”
Parsekar sent some 200-odd photos of Tendulkar to Churi, who then picked the best 20 from them.
“The idea was to have a place where we could display some of Sachin’s best pictures from his early cricketing days,” says Churi.
“We let our students visit the room. It acts as a great inspiration for them to do well and follow the path of success that Sachin took.”
The many moods of a young Sachin
Here, we have for you some of the rare photos displayed in the room dedicated to Sachin Tendulkar at Sharadashram Vidyamandir.