Sachin Tendulkar’s biopic Sachin: A Billion Dreams is all set to hit the screens this Friday. The Master Blaster tells us what made him share his memories and milestones on reel…
What inspired you to do this docu-feature, Sachin: A Billion Dreams?
I am a private person. When Ravi (Bhagchandka, producer) came to me with this idea, my initial reaction was ‘no I can’t act.’ I’m a sportsman and I will always be one. I told him I didn’t want to act. It took them a while to convince me. It was a story that needed to be told as my fans had not seen many facets of me.
What were the challenges you faced while making this film?
Once a sportsperson always a sportsperson. Through this movie, I was able to relive the best moments of my life and career. Ravi, James (Erskine, director) and the entire team have worked tirelessly and weaved their magic in Sachin: A Billion Dreams. The feature covers my career. Those facts can’t change. But we wanted to give something more for the audience to take back. The question also was how much we were at ease to share. So as a family, we discussed things and agreed upon those parts of our lives that we were comfortable about being out there in the open.
You come across as a shy person. Will we get to see your emotional side too?
We have added rare footage of my life. It will give audiences a new perspective to me as a person. Whatever is shown in the movie is more of what was going on in my mind during the highs and lows of my life, which no one knows about, except me.
What are those highs and the lows?
The high would definitely be the World Cup (2011), which took 28 years to come. The low will surely be not winning it on earlier occasions.
Please share your thoughts when you played the match against Kenya during the World Cup in 1999, shortly after losing your father (the late Ramesh Tendulkar)?
My thoughts were that my father is up there watching over me and he would want me to carry on. That thought in my mind and the expectations of a billion people gave me the courage to bounce back.
Is it easy being a true sportsman and not letting your personal grief overshadow your game?
It is extremely difficult. Only the one who goes through it understands the challenge of resilience after a personal grief. I went through it during the 1999 World Cup. This is life and that’s what being a sportsman teaches you – to bounce back when the going gets tough. You got to get going.
A life lesson one can learn from the game of cricket…
That fitness is paramount for a long journey not only in cricket but also in life.
What is it that you would want the audiences to take back from the film?
Sachin: A Billion Dreams is about my life and about chasing my dream. So dream big and chase your dreams.
A R Rahman has composed the music. What kind of a rapport do you share with him?
Rahman is the master in his field and a close friend of mine. He has infused soul into Sachin: A Billion Dreams with his music.
They say the first game is always won at home. How has your wife Anjali contributed to this phenomenon called Sachin Tendulkar?
I wouldn’t have been able to play for so long and achieve my dreams had it not been for the support of my family.
How would you sum up your life?
My dream at first was to play for India and then to chase my bigger dream of winning the World Cup. It took me 22 years, since I began playing to get there. I am extremely thankful to God for all that has happened in my life. I was in middle of action for 24 years. The kind of retirement I had was special. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for more. I’ve received unconditional love and support from people across the country during the 24 years on the cricket field. It has also been a phase of learning for me as I came to understand the different aspects of life beyond the cricket field. I am thoroughly enjoying this phase of my life as much as I enjoyed my playing career. My second innings is about giving back in some way, and I am trying my best to do that in whatever small way possible. It’s an opportunity to touch people’s lives and make a difference in many different ways.
You are the nation’s hero. Who are your heroes?
In cricket life, I’ve grown up watching Sunil Gavaskar and Sir Vivian Richards. In personal life my father has been my hero.