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Sachin Tendulkar's biggest fans fall silent as the Master Blaster departs

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 A stringy, shirtless fella named Rakesh, a Sydney investment banker when not chasing his beloved cricketers around the country, who right now sits, if only briefly, between leading chants for Sachin Tendulkar.

And isn’t that a fulltime gig?
Songs about Sachin the Diety. Sachin the Chosen Son. Even a little ditty that simply goes Saaa-chin, Sa-chin (clap, clap) Saaa-chin, Sa-chin (clap, clap).
Yep, if anyone understands the allure of The Little Master, anyone who can explain Tendulkarism the religion, it’s gotta be this fella who, in 14 years, has stood at the centre of those five painted Indians with a ‘D’ on his guts.
Who since 1999, has never missed his countrymen in a Test Down Under. Never missed a day.
Who right now tells you now his favoured moment of any Tendulkar innings, incredibly, is when the legend isn’t on strike. “Because even the thought of him getting out,” he shrugs, “it makes me a nervous wreck”.
So when the unthinkable eventually comes, when Tendulkar falls agonisingly short of that elusive 100th hundred, Mr D and the rest of his buddies fall silent.
Same deal for Sumit Grover, a Melbournian who, sitting to my immediate left, explains with head bowed that “when Sachin gets out … your soul …”
Certainly it’s a strange place, this Swami Army.
For a start, there’s two of ’em. One boasting 3000 members, a website and shirts on sale for 30 bucks (although we should warn an Indian size XL will resemble bodypaint on any Aussie bloke who weighs over 100kg).
Then, bizarrely, there’s the Swamy Army. A smaller posse who, seated four bays away, enjoy no official strip but the occasional sideways glare from my mob.
But, geez, you gotta love ’em all.
For while Aussie hill dwellers are more likely to discuss Lara Bingle curves than Harsha Bhogle commentary, the Swamis still mix some of sport’s greatest laughs with, despite whispers to the contrary, $6.60 schooners.
And, okay, so they’re flat out compiling a beer snake with lunch done. But the limited liquor consumption is more than offset by the chanting. The self-depreciating humour.
By that constantly raucous stream of every imaginable stat from Border-Gavaskar results to how many minutes Tania Zaetta boasts in Bollywood film.
But then, well, Tendulkar falls. Gone. And their souls …
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/cricket/sachin-tendulkars-biggest-fans-fall-silent-as-champ-departs/story-fn67w6pa-1226238442436

PK

A Sachin follower, Sachinist.com is my brainchild, Meeting Sachin is something I always look forward to

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