The social media venom was unbelievable. More than 50,000 vitriolic hits on Twitter questioning my intelligence just because I did not know who Sachin Tendulkar was. I thought Indians loved me. I had been to their country a couple of times, they draped me in expensive saris and got themselves photographed with me. Their champion Sania Mirza boasted she would beat me in straight sets provided I was in a sari and she in tennis clothes. Possibly I would be holding the sari in one hand and the racquet in the other.
Never knew not knowing Sachin was a crime in India. I talked to my colleagues in the circuit, all were ignorant on the Sachin factor and the facts, tens of thousands of the ‘runs’, a century of centuries, thousands of matches, honours galore, something called ‘Bharat Ratna’ and a seat in Indian Parliament. That is something.
No wonder my ignorance about this Indian god appalled Indians. It seems I have become as much a hated figure as some Pakistani cricketer called Javed Miandad who hit a last ball six off Indian bowler Chetan Sharma to win a one-day match in Sharjah. (See, I have done my homework, mugged up this line after talking to an Indian cricket fan.) But it is strange that this fanatical worship of Sachin has led to this hatred against me because till now I was their favourite tennis player. They flocked to the courts because of the ‘Love All’ factor. The Indian fans always sat behind me too, watching intently as I served. And then they would tell friends details of what they saw, which brought in more crowds.
This was not the only instance of their ‘love’ for me. This year after Wimbledon decreed allowing only white suits for players on the court, I received more than 5,00,000 tweets from Indian male fans advising me on the colour of the frilly lace I should have on the fringes of my knickers. Mind you, the Indian fans were well-informed about the game. Many of them quoted how ‘Gorgeous’ Gussie Moran of the US, in the 1950s, became famous on the courts after displaying her lacy knickers. Is this why Indians watched tennis even then?
Look, I am not bothered over the Twitter abuse because in my heart of hearts, I know I am more famous than Sachin. In fact, how many Indian cricket fans would demand seats with a ringside view of his backside? Unlike my case, where was the passionate interest on Sachin’s backside and the colour of his underwear, which I hear was clearly visible under the white trousers. In a nation of cricket lovers with fans betting on every aspect of the game, how come no one thought of betting on the colour of Sachin’s undies?
The Mumbai-based satirist is the creator of ‘Trishanku’; E-mail your secret diarist: vgangadhar70 [AT] gmail [AT] com
Apropos the Secret Diary of Maria Sharapova (Jul 21), I don’t know why this game of cricket has such a stranglehold on the nation. As a Hollywood actor put it, “Sachin Tendulkar is world famous (SIC) in India”. If only we had taken to the game the world plays. Swami Vivekananda rightfully observed, “First of all, our young men must be strong. Religion will come afterwards. Be strong, my friends, that is my advice to you. You will be nearer to heaven through football than through the study of the Gita.”
H.N. Ramakrishna, Bangalore
Both Tendulkar and Sharapova are legends in their respective games. So what if she doesn’t know him, it’s no sin. It’s time Indian fans moved on.
I don't understand what the hoopla is all about ???.Both Sachin Tendulkar and Maria Sharapova are legends in their respective games.If Sharapova doesn't know about Sachin Tendulkar is it some kind of a sin? There was no need to make such a fuss . It is time for indian fans to move on .
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT