[MJR – Noosemakers] Will typists and babblers leave Sachin alone?

20 Mar,2012

By Ranjona Banerji


Bill Dwyre in The Los Angeles Times, in a recent comment on Roger Federer, dismisses trigger-happy journalists of print, web and broadcast as “typists and babblers”. But far more often than tennis great Roger Federer has cricket legend-in-his-lifetime Sachin Tendulkar had to face the firing squad. If the poor man doesn’t score a century every time he plays, out come the guns. O, now he should retire. O, actually, MS Dhoni, Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Akhilesh Yadav and Emraan Hashmi are all better than him. O, India never wins when Sachin scores a century. O, he’s just a selfish beast. Babble, babble, blah blah. The typists and babblers, having no sense of history (or if it comes to that, geography) can’t really compare him to Gary Sobers or Viv Richards or even Sunil Gavaskar. Instead, they cast their beady little eyes around and catch the first person they see. The canteen teaboy, for instance, had he been a cricketer and played for India and scored 99 centuries.


The last few months, especially after India’s scintillating performance against Australia in Australia, have been good for the knife-sharpening brigade. And all focus was on Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 100th century. This nunber was far more important than anything else in the world. The pain of our losses in Australia would have been wiped out if the great man (or selfish beast) had done it. As it happens, no one even has close to 99 centuries in International cricket and getting 100 does not constitute some significant cricketing milestone. But the typists and babblers (thank you, Bill Dwyre) picked on this and stuck to it. “Sachin fails again” were common headlines. Former greats like Kapil Dev called for him to retire.


And then the man goes and does it. No one could believe it at first, so the whiners and those with bad digestion (some bran flakes in the morning a good idea to improve the mood?) got in first: O, it was only against Bangladesh. It would have been better if it had been against another team. (By that reckoning, do the record books discount all India’s victories against Bangladesh or do we hang on to them happily?).


Soon after however, the joy and accolades took over. All the hyperbolic praise poured out as if the last few months had not happened. Kapil Dev appeared on TV with the “greatest” and whatnot pouring out of his mouth in his own brand of English. He ducked the retirement question, heh heh. Other former cricketers made it clear that Bangladesh was a legitimate Test playing country. Former England captain Nasser Hussain pointed out that it wasn’t just about a century against Bangladesh but the other 99 against every top team and top bowler in the world. The headlines now said, “Sachin, Thanks a Ton”, “Man of the Century” and “God of All Things”.


The biggest winner however was Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee whose lacklustre budget got forgotten.


Knowing the tiny thinking capacity of the typists and babblers however, there can be no doubt that they’ll begin soon once again. Sachin Tendulkar however knows that he will recover and decide for himself. As Ayaz Memon quoted from Shakespeare in The Times of India on Monday to describe Tendulkar, “I might call him a thing divine; for nothing natural I ever saw so noble.”


Yes, typists and babblers, you can look up Shakespeare on Wikipedia but don’t read it for too long or your little brains will hurt.


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