Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Dear Bal Thackeray,
Do us all a favour and shut up. Seriously. I don't know if you ever did anything good for your precious state, apart from create chaos, but even if you did, I don't care.
I'm not writing as a journalist, Mr Thackeray. Nor as a political commentator and not even as a passionate Indian as such.
I'm simply a crazy Tendulkar fan. Now, we are not to be messed with, Mr Thackeray. We outnumber journalists and commentators and we're nowhere near as rational.
Do you know, Mr Thackeray, on April 24th, 1998, when India played Australia at Sharjah in the Coca-Cola Cup final, I skipped school to watch that match? It was Sachin's 24th birthday and how we partied. He made 134 runs and we won the series. I had posters of Sachin and photos of that match all over my room.
I don't recall anybody staying home from school to listen to one of your speeches.
That is what he inspires, Mr Thackeray. That is how much he is loved.
And how does he do it? How does a short, stocky, squeaky-voiced man rise to this kind of popularity? Maybe because he brings people together, Mr Thackeray. Not by giving long bhashans, but by engaging cricket lovers all over the world to come together and have fun.
He is more patriotic than you will ever be, Mr Thackeray. He has done more for your Mumbai, your Maharashtra and all the un-Maharashtrian bits of India than all your saffron snobbery. Go to Wankhede Stadium sometime when there's an India match on. All the spectators may or may not be Maharashtrians, but they'll be cheering extra-loud when Sachin walks out.
Get over it, Mr Thackeray.
The world loves Sachin. A section of Maharshtra loves you.
Sachin has been 20 years in cricket, is dignified and a damn good sport. You guys destroy greeting card shops and slap MLAs on national television.
You tell me which one of you is the better Mumbaikar.