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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Cricket

On a getaway, Sachin warms hearts in cool Mussoorie
Firoz Mirza, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, November 23, 2013
First Published: 01:46 IST(23/11/2013)
Last Updated: 01:54 IST(23/11/2013)
On a chilly Friday morning, Sachin Tendulkar spent time with fans, sharing breakfast and signing autographs. (PTI photos)

Mussoorie has been one of Sachin Tendulkar’s favourite destinations. While the maestro has frequented the place for the past couple of years, his current stay holds greater value for him as well as the residents of Uttarakhand.

For Tendulkar, his visit to the hill station with wife, Anjali, and close friends is an escape from the emotions that would have flooded him as he bid his life between the 22 yards a fond farewell.

But for the residents, who are yet to come to terms with the torrential rains that wreaked havoc in the state earlier this year, Tendulkar’s visit could signal the start of a special bond. The Uttarakhand government, in this period of adversity, is looking up to Tendulkar to be the shining light.

“Officer on special duty (OSD) to the chief minister met Tendulkar today (Friday) and invited him for lunch or dinner. As far I know, the Uttarakhand government wants Tendulkar to be the brand ambassador of the state and it will be discussed in the meeting once he confirms his dates,” Manmohan Singh Bal, chairman of the Mussoorie municipality, told HT over the phone.

Besides, the Mussoorie municipality chief also invited Tendulkar to be the chief guest at the winter carnival, scheduled between December 24 and 31.

Still the early bird
Meanwhile, as goes the saying ‘old habits die hard’, Tendulkar’s day starts quite early even when on vacation. The desire to remain fit stands out as he goes for a walk at around 6.30 at Landour, the uphill town where he is put up.

As has been the practice during his previous visits, Tendulkar didn’t forget to meet the students of Woodstock School. In fact, he also played badminton and tennis with them.

Tendulkar also visited his favourite eating joints and was mobbed by fans at one place, and that eventually forced the restaurant owner to call the police for help!

While patiently obliging his fans with photographs and autographs, Tendulkar had an eye on the ongoing Ashes series. He took leave of his followers, telling them he needed to go back and watch the first Test.

After all, can you ever take cricket away from the Master?


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