Sachin Tendulkar’s 100th hundred has left Indian cricket—and the man himself—in a state of exhausted relief. Now that it’s done, he will hope his road ahead will be simpler. There’s the IPL over the next two months, all body parts to be kept in sync for the new Indian season. A chance to put the English in their place, the prospect of batting alongside a new No. 3 in Test matches. And ODIs? After the Asia Cup, who knows how many more? That is the way his life is, anyway.
Outside this world is another ecosystem—entities whose interests lie in finding more Tendulkar-centric magnets to keep their wheels greased and moving. Along with fans who dreamt the dream and a media which stamped impatient feet because their pages and packages were ready, an entire industry chewed its finger-nails: brand managers, advertisers, media planners, marketing men, TRP hounds. Coca Cola sat on more than 7 lakh special edition gold cans in the wait from 99 to 100 from their ‘Happiness Ambassador’.