Graham Bensinger, a well-known American journalist, is known for interviewing star players. He also won an Emmy Award for his interview with Mike Tyson. Bensinger has interviewed Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar on his YouTube channel ‘In Depth’.
For seven days in India, Tendulkar visited his childhood home, Shivaji Park, his current charity, and various other places.
For the readers of Prothom Alo, a brief summary of the interview is given here, where Tendulkar’s life and philosophy outside of cricket comes more than cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar: Really. In 1994, we were in New Zealand. After that innings in Auckland (72 off 49 balls) I also played a good innings (63) in Wellington, all in all I was in a good mood. He chose a good time to tell me (laughs)!
He said, ‘I think we should get engaged, what do you say?’ I said, yes, I’m ready. He said, ‘In that case I’m talking to my family, you talk to your family.’ I said, sorry, it won’t happen to me. I can’t tell my parents back home. You have to talk to two families.
Tendulkar: (shrugs) I don’t know … I look weird! My parents knew Anjali, she came home occasionally. But why was I feeling weird. So I told him, if you can persuade the two families, in that case if you say tomorrow, I am ready to get engaged tomorrow.
Tendulkar: To listen to a song. It turned out that I was listening to music, listening intently, the beeping sound of phone calls or messages … I was very upset about it. That’s why I kept a phone just for the song.
Tendulkar: My mother used to cook very well. That’s why I used to take recipes from him when I went out with friends. Then there was no mobile phone, that’s why (pointing finger at the head) everything had to be built into this computer.
Tendulkar: To increase stamina! It was up to us to decide whether to drink water at the beginning of the exercise or at the end. But only once. During that break, I would go here (to the temple next door) and drink water from this tap.
There was a belief that this water gives me extra energy, there is a different energy in it. The power that will take me to my dream is to play in the Indian team.
When I came to drink water, I would pray to the gods in the temple. I did this until the last match of my career in 2013. Sometimes I would come at different times, at four in the morning, at three … when no one was around, so that I could pray in peace like me. I used to do this before going on each tour. I used to come here before every international match before leaving home.
When your name appeared in the newspaper at the age of 12, did it further your commitment to take up cricket as a profession?
Tendulkar: It’s not a profession, I always call it my passion, my life. Many have asked me how I did something at that age. But it seemed to me that I was in a different state of mind at the time. My own world. I made that world for myself. I was so engrossed in that world that nothing outside influenced me.
My brother Ajit was the reason I came to cricket. My understanding with him was that when the rest of the world talked about the match, we would start thinking about the next match.