'I don't eat. I don't answer phones. I don't even move when Sachin is batting.'
Wife Anjali Tendulkar is Sachin's lifeline; he depends on her for almost everything.
These were the headlines for the interview with Anjali Tendulkar in the Times Of India today morning. We watch Tendulkar in the TV playing (cricket) matches after matches, travelling throughout the world, in advertisements, in interviews....I was just wondering when he will adjust time to spend with his wife and two beautiful kids. When I read the interview, I was able to feel how much Anjali had supported Sachin through the years.
She is the best wife who loves him and stays in the background to take care of the family, so that Sachin can concentrate in his passion, cricket.
Now, some excerpts of the interview from TOI:
How easy or difficult is it to be Mrs Sachin Tendulkar? How do you cope with the pressures?
ANJALI: For me, it's very easy because I've known Sachin for 19 years now. I understand him so well. So whether I am his girlfriend or his wife, it's the same thing, just an extension of that bond. I don't find it very difficult and I'm used to it. Maybe, it's also because I've not known any other person in my life except Sachin. Of course, there are many challenges and difficulties to being his wife but the whole family, including my children, has learnt to deal with it.
Any regrets at all on the home front?
ANJALI: The only regret, even though we've learnt to cope with it, is that he's not at home most of the time. I think even Sachin has realised this, now that the kids are growing up fast. Sara is 12 and Arjun is 10. We sometimes wonder where all the years have gone. Since he used to be away most of the time when they were growing up, now he tries to come home as much as possible. If a match gets over early, he'll come home, stay overnight and then leave again in the morning. Though he's trying his best to spend more time with the family, sometimes he's not at home for birthdays, special occasions or even for the kids' annual day at school. It matters a lot to the kids.
Have you ever grown tired of waiting for Sachin to return from a tour?
ANJALI: It's always been like that. These days, whenever he goes on a long tour, we usually try and plan a short holiday with the kids. Maybe during the school vacation or something. There's no other option for us.
Don't you regret the fact that Sachin's fame prevents him from being a normal father?
ANJALI: It's been like this from the beginning, so you accept it. It's part of life even for our children. They know their father cannot do certain things. So we take the trouble once every year and go somewhere where he can be a normal father. Like in London, he takes Arjun to the park to play. Even there people recognise him, but they don't mob him and give him his space.
Please go back in time to when you met Sachin for the first time...
ANJALI: (Laughs) We've not really told many people this. I first met him at the Mumbai airport when he returned from his first tour of England in 1990, after scoring his maiden Test ton. In fact, when I first saw him at the airport, I didn't even know who he was. It was purely by accident! I was there to pick up my mother and Sachin was arriving with the Indian team. That's where we saw each other for the first time... we had a courtship of five years and got married in 1995. We had got engaged a year before that in 1994 and that was in New Zealand.
Do you believe in destiny?
ANJALI: Yes, it is destiny and I believe in that.
You could have been a very successful doctor...
ANJALI: I loved medicine and a lot of people often ask me if I'm wasting my education. I don't think so. Though I loved every moment of my studying days and my days at the government hospital, it then came to a stage when I realised that I could not be married to Sachin and also have a full-time career. It wasn't possible because he depends on me for almost everything. It was my decision. I thought I should be at home with him and make everything perfect for him.
In his childhood, brother Ajit did everything for Sachin, sacrificing his own interests. I thought I should do the same. Besides, mine would not have been a 9 to 5 job. I'm a paediatrician, so if there's a patient calling me or someone admitted at odd hours, I have to make myself available. With Sachin not around and me with two kids at home, it wouldn't have been possible. I took a decision and I have never, ever regretted it.
Have you ever driven the Ferrari?
ANJALI: When Sachin got his Ferrari home I asked him to show me how to change its gears because they are near the steering and move with the fingers. To my surprise, he said, 'You don't need to drive my Ferrari.' In fact, I needed to know because at times we need to move it when he's not around. It actually happened once and we couldn't move it. I've been longing to drive his Ferrari.
Have you and Sachin ever thought about what life is going to be like after cricket, or how long he intends to play?
ANJALI: People often tell us that we ought to start thinking about what he's going to do after cricket. But I feel that when you are playing, you need to focus 100%. You cannot even think of what you'll do after cricket. So I always tell Sachin not to think about it. I tell him, 'It doesn't matter, surely you'll find something to do, you have lots of interests.'
Also, maybe we can just take some time off and travel the world and then look ahead. I always insist that he should not worry about the future. At the same time, he will be at a total loss because his whole life has been cricket.
Hats off to Anjali Tendulkar! Really, Sachin is lucky to have her in his life!daylight.com