When Sachin Tendulkar walked back unconquered at the end of the first day’s play, he raised his bat towards the president’s box above the dressing room.
It was a salute to his mother, Rajni, who had come to watch him play for the first time.
It was a high-pressure game for the man, but there was no shortage of inspiration.
The reason why Mumbai was chosen as the venue for Tendulkar’s final appearance on a cricket field was because he had slipped in a request with the BCCI to allow his mother to watch him play.
“This is the first time I have come to a stadium. Now I know how it feels like in here. I am so happy to be here watching him play,” Rajni told the Hindustan Times, seated at the centre of the president’s box.
The unflinching eyes glued to the on-field action, she appeared to relish every minute of her son’s farewell sitting comfortably in her wheelchair.
The likes of Ajit, Arjun, Sara and Anjali Tendulkar were just a couple of seats away. Like the caring daughter-in-law, Anjali made her way to Rajni to check if there was anything she needed.
Rajni’s first brush with live cricket was often interrupted by guests wishing to show her various Tendulkar memorabilia. But there was no glimpse of irritation, maybe as all of it only filled her with further pride about her legendary son.
As Tendulkar walked out to bat, though she could not give a standing ovation like the rest, she applauded her son.
“I am going to try and come for each of the five days, I really want to for my son,” she exclaimed.