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     On the drive he would tell me, “Don’t waste your time playing insane games with these kids. Cricket is waiting for you at the nets. Practice hard and see what magic can transpire."
     "We need to have proper career orientation. Your personality plays an important role in choosing the type of career you want. Choose something you enjoy and really want to do and you will be successful."
     At that time, I hated being dragged off, but as I look back, I feel sheepish about my actions and can only admire Achrekar Sir’s farsightedness.
     Sir also punished me on one occasion when trying to teach me a very important lesson. Once, I bunked my daily evening practice to watch an inter-school cricket match not anticipating that Sir would be there. He was angry and he said it wasn’t for me to come and watch other people play for, if I practiced hard enough, one day people from across the world would come and watch
me play. Had it not been for Sir, I would not be the cricketer I turned out to be. He was a strict disciplinarian and did everything he could for me. I owe myself to him.
Sachin states that Achrekar sir was very strict when it came to keeping up the practice. When one is young, they do not realise the seriousness of life or the necessity to practise incessantly. Sachin, like any other young boy of his age likes to fool around and have fun with his friends. He is completely tired because of the practice, and therefore takes time off, going about his older routine. But as a coach, Achrekar has more experience as he had also started by eleven years old, like Sachin. He could empathise with Sachin because of this. He would drag Sachin out of the crowd of friends and take him back to the practice session.
Achrekar sir imparts his wisdom on Sachin as he sees the potential in him. He says that one must not waste time doing things that do not give any benefit in life. If Sachin were to play only in the streets, he would not have reached the position that he is now. He would have disappeared just like millions of other boys who did not know the right way to express or build their skills. Achrekar sir says that one must always utilise one's skills and project them in the right direction. So he asks Sachin to practice cricket in the right place, in the nets. He also says that if he practices in the right place, magic will transpire, such that his skills and efforts will be rewarded. He says that one must never while away time at a young age. It is the age to have a proper career orientation and work towards one's goals. When one chooses something that one enjoys the most, and it benefits other people and oneself, then all that one has to do is shape their personality accordingly. Being lazy, aloof and careless will not help achieve things. One has to accept that struggles and sacrifices are part of the journey.
Gully cricket
Sachin was too young to understand this philosophy, but after being the world's best cricketers, he could only thank his coach for guiding him in the right direction. He had also been punished for skipping practice one evening to watch an inter-school cricket match, where he was not expecting his coach also to be present. Achrekar sir very clearly says that if he practices hard, other people would come and watch his match and he would not have to go about watching and clapping for others. If not for his guidance, Sachin recalls that he would not have reached all these heights.
Words with difficult meaning:
InsaneNot thinking logically, crazy
TranspireTo happen
OrientationA person's knowledge or interest towards a particular field
PersonalityThe different qualities of a person
SheepishFeeling silly
FarsightednessTo think about the future
AnticipateTo wait or look forward
DisciplinarianA person who believes in firm discipline
State Council of Educational Research and Training 2019. Term 1 English Standard - 9. Learning the Game - Sachin Tendulkar (pp. 1 -17). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.