T (no first name) Wignesan


The Little Master, Sachin Tendulkar


At Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai,
The Little Master chose to say good-bye;
His Rembrandtesque canvass hat shading eyes,
He whispered thanks up to high-open skies.

Gods spurned earth but as living Avatar
Though Sachin was not from Superman star,
Yet rolled cork and leather, he hit so far
Which soared not from willow but from his roar.

And when his bat was laid up for the day
After ferrying his side to safety bay,
He donned his landscape painter’s sunshade hat
And took his long-on stance as humble brat.

A twelve-year old watched India lose the Cup,
At thirty-seven roused his side, backed up
To the topmost crest in cricketing tide
And put one voice in a people torn aside.

A whole nation woke to the cry: Tendlya:
Beggar, Brahmin, Bhai and even infidel.
All drenched in the tide of common feeling
For one novelist’s second book breeding.

Only five-foot five, strong neck in between
Body made to withstand pace bowling steam:
No bumper nor full toss cowered him down
Not even that mean ball bled his nose brown.

At Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai
The Little Master chose to say good-bye,
His Rembrandtesque canvass hat shading eyes
He whispered thanks up to high-open skies.

Then the nation held its breath at ninety-nine,
While Sachin knocked nineties, not the last nine
To make that long-awaited world history,
Until Bangladeshi ODI test victory.

Over heads of cover and point with off-lifts
Elegant leg glances through long-stop rifts
Straight drives above umpires’ dreamy heads
Dashing pulls past gaping square leg dreads.

Back to back boundaries and easy singles
Late cuts through second slips’ shocking bungles
Then the home-stretch past the century post
When India at last roared in burning thirst.

Myriad mrthangists thumped the beat
Plaintive senais by the million broke out neat
Temple bells joined in the merry festival:
Ton-up! O! Ton-up! No more survival!

But the Champ had other ideas in sight
Like the fastest one day fireworks of might,
So he flashed his blade all over the tight field
To rob the world of its remaining shield.

Now he says forty is not really old
Cricket’s not the only thing to be sold:
To be a god in Hindustan is not all
To be a PM is not given to all.

Not one vote will go to the other men
Not one voice will be raised against batsmen
Who put the nation on the map of runs:
The man with the bat is the man who runs.

At Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai
The Little Master chose to say good-bye:
His Rembrandtesque canvass hat shading eyes
He mumbled something to himself between sighs.

© T. Wignesan – Paris,2013

Submitted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Edited: Saturday, January 25, 2014

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