That’s how Sachin Tendulkar does it. For Sachin Yadav it’s not so easy.
‘Sachin! Sachin!’ his friends shout as the ever-cheerful lad hobbles out to the wicket leaning on his bat – if he lifted it he’d fall over.
Our Sachin can’t stand unaided. His legs don’t work, so he settles down on the ground and works out his line from an imaginary leg stump. All too easy for a fellow who can’t move his legs to be out lbw. Given that he can’t stand, we suggest Sachin be spared the lbw rule.
He looks quite appalled. ‘If I am playing cricket I want to keep all the rules.’
Sachin wants to be a professional cricketer when he grows up and is determined to make it happen. Sometimes he grows discouraged when the difficulty of his situation weighs on him.
Recently he wrote a poem.
neither friend nor enemy I have,
nor fear of dying, nor wish to live
seems that while god gave me life
he made me forget how to walk
sure, he gave me a body,
but forgot to fill it up with life
I myself have now forgotten
whether I’m alive or if I have died
when misery is taken to be
happiness and happiness sorrow,
this we call everyday life
when pain dissolves in laughter,
this is called Chingari
the love shown by Apa and Didi*
and all the folk at Chingari
has taught me to love my life
His legs may not support him, but Sachin has the heart of a lion.
*Apa and Didi are nicknames given by the children to Rashida Bee and Champadevi Shukla, the two Bhopali women who won the 2004 Goldman Prize for their work with the Bhopal survivors and gave every penny of the prize money to start Chingari.
Update, June 2014
Sachin is now too old to attend Chingari and so left the care of the Rehabilitation Centre a few months ago. He went with the wishes and blessings of all of us whom he touched with his integrity and heart.
This week Tabish sir went to meet with Sachin to see if he was keeping well. Tabish reports that he found Sachin in good spirits indeed: he has now started a business of his own selling pappadums in his neighbourhood.