India’s cup of joy and emotion overflows!


Sachin Tendulkar holds aloft the World Cup with one of his long-time fans, Sudhir Gautam, April 2, 2011 Sachin Tendulkar walked out of the changing room and gestured to Sudhir Gautam to come up. Gautam is the thin, pale man with a shaven head and body covered in the Indian tri-colour. He is the man you would have seen recently with a miniature replica of the World Cup hanging atop his head. For at least half a decade now, Gautam has been Tendulkar's biggest fan, waving the Indian flag and blowing his conch shell at every venue Tendulkar plays. Today, Tendulkar decided to repay Gautam for his devotion.

No sooner than he realised Tendulkar was calling, Gautam jumped the electronic advertising hoarding and then skipped up the 30-odd stairs on to the corridor of India's changing room. All through his short journey he screamed in delight. Tendulkar shook hands with him, then embraced him and finally asked one of his team-mates to get the World Cup trophy. Zaheer Khan brought the cup outside with utmost care and held it tight. Gautam virtually snatched it out of the hands of the tournament's joint-highest wicket-taker. But Zaheer held on to the crown still. Eventually Gautam lifted the Cup with both hands as Zaheer let go. As soon as Gautam lifted the Cup and screamed "India", Tendulkar could not help but smile. He even clapped and was joined in appreciation by a few of his team-mates.

It was a day when the common man felt he was part of something special. A day when cherished dreams were realised !

It was a day the common man felt he was part of something special. A day when the common man thought he had achieved something remarkable. A day when cherished dreams were realised. The first Saturday of April 2011 will remain unforgettable for a generation of Indians. Even as Gautam became the envy of people like me, as he freely slipped in and out of the most sought after place in India, the team's dressing room, the players' families milled around, participating in the celebrations. Dhoni held his wife Sakshi close to him; Virender Sehwag hugged his wife Aarti and son Aryavir; Ashish Nehra's wife wore a replica of her husband's team shirt as she moved in and out of the dressing room. Gary Kirsten's wife Deborah joined the rest later. Yuvraj Singh, returning from the media conference, started shaking his leg as he entered the dressing room. On his way inside, he had let out a screeching noise of jubilation.

The tempo in the dressing room had remained positive through the day and by the time Dhoni hit a spectacular six over long-on against Nuwan Kulasekara, it had become a well of joy. As soon as Tendulkar found a private moment with his wife, Anjali, he embraced her tightly. It was a poignant moment. He knew how much she had sacrificed to support him. On the field, during the victory celebrations, he had hugged Yuvraj, the man of the World Cup and buried his head into the allrounder's broad shoulders. Yuvraj had already declared he had dedicated the victory to Tendulkar. Virat Kohli had delivered the line of the evening when he said that for 21 years Tendulkar had shouldered the dreams of a billion Indians. Today youngsters such as Kohli and Suresh Raina carried Tendulkar on their shoulders during the lap of honour. Tears came easily to Tendulkar then.

On my way to try and sneak in to the team hotel (a ultimately unsuccessful attempt), I passed a family of street dwellers - a husband, wife and two kids. All of them were fast asleep, immune to the sound around them. I wondered how they could do that. The answer lay in what the man was wearing - the blue India shirt. Perhaps he had slept in the hope that India would win the Cup. Perhaps he dreamt about it. When he wakes up, the dream will have been fulfilled. Tomorrow, all of India will wake up to a new feeling.

Article credit - Nagraj Gollapudi, Asstt. Eeditor at ESPNcricinfo

Update : I noticed a Facebook fan page of Sudhir Gautam (Choudhary), so if you want to get more of his updates, you may join him here - , and if anyone finds out a video where he was seen with Sachin please drop me a mail or leave a comment here with the link, I’d update and credit you too. Jai Hind!

13 people read and said:

Simran said...

Each and every info you mentioned here..Thanks for sharing!
I am so happy that even I can't express my excitement! :)
Love you team Indiaaaaaa !!

Abhishek srivastava@ varanasi,Delhi said...

today is the great morning of my life , every indian have a dream to got worldcup by India and today our dreams come true. It is the biggest achivement of our great team.
love u India nad the man who dreams come true of every indian.

Abhishek Srivastava

Dhruva Mathur said...

one of the best articles I have read. Truly amazing. I am so happy that this I feel like I am on top of the world. Every Indian would be feeling that way.

Phoenix said...

beautifully written and truly spoke... each word echoed the sentiments of a billion who waited, hoped, prayed and willed India to win.. to make its mark and ultimately to lift the cup which had been a dream of 28 years.. a dream that we came close to but it had always eluded us until now...

wonderful piece of writing.. direct dil se :)

A grain of sand said...

beautiful write up! more so, because of its content than its style(not demeaning style in any way). and true,It was always for Sachin!:)

Alka Gurha said...

Interesting inside info.....the game unites us like nothing else.

Simran said...

Something for you, Sourav ..
Do check it (Click here )

Nivedita Thadani said...

wonderful article. Thanks to you Sourav for bringing this up here.
Coming to the Indian team,
I felt all the players were so humble, and are so proud of Sachin. I hope this gesture will remain for ever for the team and the teammates in their heart.
Congratulations to the team and the whole India. We are proud to be Indians and we keep on proving ourselves (Even though its not necessary always) when ever required.

Pramoda Meduri said...

Most awaited victory it is .. I too felt the same abt tendulkar in case of sudhir gautam..he deserves it .. wrote similar one in my blog about this duo.. pls check >)


Priya Chilamkurthi said...

awesome :D

Unknown said...

History was created!

Beyond Horizon said...

That is why Sachin is called the God of cricket, I guess! Such a sweet gesture for a common man. A day, the moment to be cherished!

It was never about 'Me' or 'You', It was always about 'We' 'INDIANS'

From now on along with the memory of 1983 World Cup in hands of KAPIL DEV, We will cherish 2 April 2011, the World Cup in hands of M.S.DHONI too...

Navneet Singh Chauhan said...

Hello Sourav.

A nice post indeed. I have seen this guy a many times. And Sachin himself has became his fan.

Sachin has really done good job by honoring him. This is what makes Sachin different from other sportsmen.

Well, I have found a video as you were looking for. Have a look, if its fine you can use it.

Best Regards,
Navneet Singh Chauhan