Tendulkar opens up about his mother Rajni

Sachin Tendulkar had never spoken at length about his mother. Yesterday, at his first media interaction after quitting the game, he did. “I requested the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) to schedule my last match in Mumbai because my mother had never seen me play.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar addressing the media yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK

I wanted that to be a surprise for her. But thanks to you guys (media) she got to know of it. This match became really special to me,” a beaming Tendulkar told the media at a five-star hotel.

Tendulkar took personal interest in making arrangements to bring Rajni Tendulkar to the Wankhede for his farewell match. He ordered a ramp for her wheelchair to reach the President’s Box and chose the seat from where she could get the best view of the match.

“My mother was extremely happy (with his 74 in his last international innings). It was difficult for her to travel. She sat for some time on the first day.

Rajni Tendulkar
Rajni Tendulkar. Pic/Rajesh Shah

I was a little worried whether she could sit for a long time, so for safety, I had also requested the Mumbai Cricket Association to keep a room for me in Garware Club House, but she preferred watching each and every ball.”

After the presentation ceremony on Saturday, Tendulkar went to the President’s Box to meet his mother and other family members who were seated there. “When I went to see her, I could see it in her eyes what it (retirement) meant. It was a controlled reaction. She spoke through her eyes and I could pick that.”

Here’s to all mums...
The iconic cricketer dedicated his Bharat Ratna award to his mother. “I’m humbled and honoured to be given the Bharat Ratna. This award is for my mother because of all the sacrifices she made for me right from my birth,” he said.

Sachin Tendulkar and Rajni
Sachin Tendulkar with his mother at the Wankhede on Saturday. Pic/Prakash Parsekar

“As a child, it’s difficult to understand life. You don’t understand what your parents have to go through to make you happy. It is only when you grow up, you realise all these things.

“That’s why I feel this award (Bharat Ratna) is for my mother. I would like to go a step further. Not just my mother… but like my mother there are millions and millions of mothers in India who sacrifice thousands of things for their children. So I would like to share my award with all the mothers for all the sacrifices they have made.”

Tradition and the Tendulkars go hand- in-hand. “Like all Indian families, we just bought a packet of sweets and offered it to the Almighty and thanked the Almighty (after a good performance). “Even yesterday (Saturday), my mother told me I have kept sweets in front of God,” he said. 

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