Can sports and science mix so wonderfully? If you pour them both into a bubbling beakerful of commerce, of course. A 'book' on iconic cricketer Sachin Tendulkar is due for publication in February. So where's the connection between sports, science and commerce? It lies in the emphasis we just laid in the previous sentence on the word 'book'. For what will be on sale — ten 'readers' already having pre-ordered it isn't only a biography of Tendulkar but the bits and bobs and dribbles of the world's greatest batsman himself. The 37 kg, 852-page, $7,500-a-pop special edition of Tendulkar Opus will have a 'signature page' mixed with Tendulkar's blood into the paper pulp. For all of you who remember their Jurassic Park, this could mean making a clone out of Tendulkar's DNA — and perpetuate the legend well after he's gone into the Great Dressing Room in the Sky.
The publishers have dipped into the fact that Tendulkar is, as they say, a “religious icon”. A book with an icon's bodily fluids is as close to those old religious relics of hair and bones that a modern worshipper can come to. This is a wild guess, but one can suppose that the ten people who've deposited their 35 lakh-plus for the book are Indians or from the Gulf region — in other words, 'readers' whose tastes are on the high range of over-the-top.
Previous 'luxury' books from the same publishing house include 'bios' of Manchester United, Maradona, Michael Jackson and Michael Schumacher. For cheapskates with a Tendulkar fetish, there will be 1,000 copies of a 'regular edition' of the book for $2,000-$3,000. The proceeds of these, unlike the ten 'deluxe'n'blood' editions, won't be going to Tendulkar's charitable foundation in Mumbai. But then, these ones won't have the master's cloneable blood.