Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sachin !!!!

Sometimes luck reallllllly favours you… and this was one of those situations… this post is all about how I met Sachin Tendulkar when he came down to Chennai.

Already the opportunity to meet such celebrities comes very rarely, and now that I’m studying in Singapore, chances become even more remote… haha..

So when I came to know that Sachin’s in Chennai, I did not want to miss the opportunity.We were going out for dinner on Wednesday (17th May)…to a place close to Hotel Taj, where Sachin was staying.So I told mom that I wanted to try my luck at the hotel.So off we went - my mom, my cousin Radhika and me.We entered the lobby and went to the reception and asked about Sachin.But as expected, the receptionist said that he didn’t know whether Sachin was back or not.We asked him what time Sachin generally returned, to which we didn’t get any satisfactory reply either.I know the hotel people are told to do so for security reasons, but we didn’t look like any terrorists either!!!! Haha.. I don’t know about my mom and cousin, but I was feeling really stupid standing there asking the receptionist about Sachin. No other crazy fans like me seemed to be there. Hehe…

The receptionist however, told us that we could leave him a written message and he would have it delivered to Sachin’s room.I really didn’t feel like writing anything because I didn’t think they would even send it to him.But because we had taken the trouble to go all the way to Taj, I thought I might as well write the message, I didn’t lose anything!!

So I started writing… I said that I was a great fan of his… And that I study in Singapore… So it’s such a coincidence that he’s here in Chennai when I’ve come down too for my hols…And I requested him for a snap with me.I was wondering how he would reply to this message (If at all they sent it to him and he even read it!!!) So I left my name and cell number.

My dad was waiting for us at the club so my mom said let’s go.We asked the watchman though, whether Sachin had returned from practice.And he told us that he had come back forty minutes ago!!! We were all excited all over again… So mom went back to the receptionist… but he said that even if Sachin came back 40 mins ago, he might have gone out again.. So mom just made him send the message to Sachin’s room, which he surprisingly did. I had absolutely NIL hopes… I made up my mind to camp in MRF the next day…(!!!) and do whatever to get Sachin’s autograph…

We went to the club and started having our dinner. However faint my hopes were, I constantly kept looking at my cell…Hoping against hope that a miracle would happen.. Haha..But it seemed very stupid to expect Sachin to even pay any attention to my message, leave alone responding to it!!! He must be getting loads of fan mail.. My dad kept saying that it isn’t possible to go to a hotel and expect to get a famous personality’s autograph… But what kept coming to my mind was that once when the Indian cricket team was saying in the same hotel Taj, my friend Sinduri went with her family and got the entire team’s autograph… I then happened to look up at the sky and I saw one single star up there… just one… So I told mom, dad and Radhika jokingly that that star was a ray of hope… and so something would definitely happen…hehe…

Almost half an hour had passed since we had left Sachin that message.. Then suddenly my phone rang… and it was an unknown number… local Chennai number… and my heart started beating faster… I still didn’t expect it to be him or someone from the hotel, but I still felt..."What if??"

I answered the call and the voice on the other side asked me if I was Arushi. And the next thing he said was “This is Sachin here. You wanted a picture with me right?” I was like ooooooooooh myyyyyy gooooooodddd… I simply couldn’t believe my ears… was it really him? I started jumping with surprise and joy… and all the people around me were wondering what was wrong with me…but I didn’t care !! I was speaking to the master-blaster on my phone!! And he had called me up!! Something truly unbelievable!!! He then went on to say that I could meet him the next morning at 9 a.m., at the lower lobby, Taj, next to the gym. I said “Thank you soooooooooooo much” and then continued jumping around. I’m sure the others must have found an 18 year old jumping around very funny… but I couldn’t help it!!!

Radhika and me just kept saying one thing… “He acccccccccccccccctually called!!!!” I was so excited that I called up my friend Rishabh (my senior at NUS – another of Sachin’s greatest fans) and told him about it. He couldn’t believe my luck!! I told him he could join as well, and he was more than happy. The next thing was to call up Radhika’s younger brother Rishab ( Ooops, same name… haha…well, one difference though – This Rishab doesn’t have an “h” in the end!!) and tell him the good news. He was shocked… and I heard later that he was jumping around the whole house too!!

All of us were only discussing one thing that night… That Sachin was a very sweeeeeeeet and humble person. Truly great – as a cricketer as well as a person. And of course, Radhu and me kept adding our little line “He acccccccccccccccctually called!!!!” Haha… I thought I woudn’t be able to sleep that night… (But I did manage to sleep quite soundly.. hehe..).. I kept thinking about the fact that he actually called me back!! I thought of the various things I could have said to him over the phone…But you know, when you suddenly get a call and the person says, “Hi, this is Sachin”, how well can your brain actually function?? Haha..

Well, so we all got dressed next morning, got our autograph books and cameras ready and set off to Taj to meet the World’s greatest batsman!! RishabH said that his uncle would also be coming along. So the five of us reached Taj way ahead of time and went down to the lower lobby. RishabH had brought a bouquet for Sachin. While we were waiting near the gym, the hotel’s security staff came up to us and told us to wait at the Main lobby and not at the lower lobby. We tried telling him that Sachin himself had asked us to wait there, but he did not listen.So we went up the stairs and waited at the landing. We thought that if we went to the Main lobby, we would definitely miss Sachin. Then at around 9 o clock, we peeped down and saw Sachin standing right there!!! But by the time we went down, he had gone for breakfast. I started to wonder if we would even be able to meet him…We started cooking up filmy dialogues like “Sachin, tumne hamein dhoka diya hai”!!! Lol.. We then went outside the place where he was having breakfast, and his security guards told us that he would be going to the gym after breakfast. And so, once again we were asked to wait at the lower lobby (which faced the gym).Luckily for us, this time nobody told us to clear the place!! So we waited patiently for Sachin to finish his breakfast... we were wondering how much he would actually eat, for he was going gymming after that!! After five mintues, the guards told us that he was coming!!! Oooooooh... As he was walking towards us, wearing a cool red coloured tee shirt and black shorts,carrying a big green plastic ball,all of us gaped with our mouths open, not believing our very eyes.. To say the truth, Sachin was looking really smart – much better than in photos!!

RishabH gave him the bouquet wishing him a speedy recovery, while the rest of us started clicking snaps.All of us wanted a snap with Sachin alone… So poor Sachin posed patiently till all of us finished. He then started signing autographs for us. He was very serious throughout.. and smiled only once for the photo. The only words that came out of my mouth were “Autograph please”!!! For the rest of the time, my mouth was wide open in awe… haha!!It all happened very quickly – we took snaps and autographs and then he took leave. He started walking towards the gym, and I continued watching him till he opened the door and disappeared!!!

It all happened very quickly… but these memories are going to last a lifetime…

The next thing I had to do was to tell all my friends and put up the pictures as my display picture on MSN, orkut, etc… Most of my friends didn’t believe me, especially that fact that Sachin “acccccccccccccccctually called” me up!! But when they heard the excitement in my voice, and saw the snaps, they finally believed me. Throughout the day I kept getting scraps on orkut asking me whether I had used Photoshop or done something fishy with the photo !! Lol…Well, even if I was in their place, I wouldn’t believe it!! And people kept asking me how I got his number… And I had to explain the same thing to each one… that I left my number… and he was the one who called!!!

Well, whether people believe it or not, the fact remains that Sachin did call me up… and we did meet him!!!! Yay!! Oh my god… dreams do come true!!!

The Little Master!