During the spring of 1990, a seventeen years old teenager boy Sachin Tendulkar happened to meet Anjali Mehta, a 22 years old medical student and the daughter of a seven time national bridge champion – Anand Mehta. The first meeting took place on the international airport of Mumbai when Sachin was returning from his first overseas tour of Cricket. Attraction immediately sprouted in both the hearts but Anjali, five and a half years older to Sachin, was taken by surprise when after the friendly association of a few years, Sachin proposed to her. Despite liking this boy with sky in his eyes, she was in two minds about such a big decision of her life. However Sachin’s true love for her triumphed over her initial hesitation and she acceded to his proposal. She had never taken any serious interest in Cricket, a sport which was another name for Sachin’s life. But now she started it and then realized that by ignoring Cricket and Sachin’s achievements in that field, how grave an injustice she had thitherto been doing to him.
However loving is one thing and making your love reach the desired destination of marriage is another as far as the traditional Indian society with its conservative mindset is concerned. Sachin’s family members were happy with his progress in the field of Cricket but they completely rejected his idea of marrying a girl who was five and a half years older to him. Sachin had always respected his elders very much but then was the time to revolt and be adamant for the sake of bringing about love and happiness to his life. He did not listen to anybody and put up a question how it really mattered if his sweetheart was so much older to him. The way his love had brought Anjali to his side, the same way it made his family members to give in and the marriage finally took place on 22.05.1995 when Sachin had completed 22 years just one month back and Anjali, now a pediatrician, was 27 and a half years old. Now this happy couple has two lovely kids – Sara and Arjun.
By the time of his marriage, Sachin had completed less than 6 years in international Cricket and his illustrious career spanned for further 18 and a half years before ending on 16.11.2013 and bringing him the most prestigious honour of India – Bhaarat Ratna, himself being the youngest recipient of this honour. Anjali’s love deserves a lot of credit for this extra-ordinary achievement of his.
The mantra of the young generation of India is – Zid Karo Duniya Badlo (be adamant for what you think right and change the dissenting world to eventually come to your side) . Sachin did it. Had his family members not understood his feelings and the need for Anjali’s love in his life and prevented that marriage, could Sachin become what he ultimately became ? No ! It’s the love of Anjali and the happiness to find her in his life that re-energized him at that time and later also again and again to overcome the difficulties, the troubles, the lean patches and the odds to emerge triumphant on every testing occasion.
When these developments were taking place in Sachin’s life, another youth – Jitendra Mathur was struggling hard in his life to reach some milestone in his career and pursuing his dream to become an IAS officer. This 24-25 years old youth, i.e., myself was feeling in love with his childhood buddy and wanting to make her his life-partner. Since the girl who was pursuing her doctorate in Chemistry at that time, also belonged to the same caste, I was almost confident that the parents of both the sides will agree for the marriage. I had struggled hard during my childhood and studenthood but my dedication and self-belief to make it big in life enabled me to get my C.A. degree with the help of a sponsorship by a Kolkata (or Calcutta) based charitable trust. My love for the girl was one-sided but like Anjali was for Sachin, she also liked me very much and did not mind becoming my wife provided her parents agreed for that.
Since we had studied together in the same classes during our primaries, we were born in the same year, i.e., 1969. However after proposing only, the fact was thrown at my face that she was 3-4 months older to me. This fact was resented by not only my mother but also many others who had nothing to do with my life and had done nothing for me during my struggling period (except taunting and pouring salt on my wounds) . This fact of herself being a few months older to me got connected with some other negatives and as they say – when everything is going right, something may go wrong. I was almost sure to get her hand in marriage because we were from the same caste, I was an eligible bachelor by all means, she liked me very much and her parents had always appreciated my dedication to move ahead in life despite the odds being against me. But! The marriage proposal died an untimely death and one day she asked me to stop meeting her as the marriage desired by me could never take place.
Life never remained the same for me. Now during my forties, after losing a lot and suffering several defeats in my life and career, I cannot help contrasting myself with the Cricket legend who was fortunate enough to get what he desired and deserved. Had he been deprived of the happiness he badly needed to live as a human-being, he could have never been able to concentrate on his game and achieve what he achieved in later years. His parents and relatives would have deprived not only him from becoming a great Cricketer and eventually Bhaarat Ratna but also the sports world from several landmarks by stopping his marriage with Anjali. Today does anybody really care for the fact that Anjali is a few years older to Sachin? No! Then how could the fact which is immaterial today, be material at that time ?
Unfortunately, most of the times in my life, I was associated with several such people who only wanted to get something from me but did not want to give anything to me and even allow me to get something on my own as well. Taking Sachin’s example, I just appeal to all the parents, wives, husbands and other kins of talented people to allow them to get some personal joy which is a must for a human-being. Please allow your talented boy or girl to get a pinch of happiness and enable that good one to become great. If you make him / her suffer defeat in his / her own house itself, how will he / she win in the tough outside world ?
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