“A film on Sachin Tendulkar is just what youngsters needed”, Lata Mangeshkar

“A film on Sachin Tendulkar is just what youngsters needed”, Lata Mangeshkar

Asia’s Nightingale and the pride of the Indian film industry Lata Mangeshkar is very happy that a film on the life of Sachin Tendulkar is being released this week. “Sachin’s story is very inspiring. His dreams as a middleclass boy in Maharashtra came true. His success represents the realization of the collective dreams of all aspiring young people. His life teaches the young to aspire to greatness without knowing what greatness is. His story had to be filmed,” says Lataji.

Reminiscing about her long association with Sachin Tendulkar Lataji says, “I first saw him play at Sharjah. I remember a sandstorm hit the stadium. But Sachin stood his ground. He sat there with his cricket togs on waiting for the storm to pass. In him I saw the determination to excel that I always admire. I remember some years ago on Sachin’s birthday on 24 April I was invited to his friend Raj Thackeray’s home to meet him. I had taken a figurine of Sai Baba because I got to know Sachin is a Sai bhakt.”

A huge cricket fan Lataji’s love for the game goes back to her childhood. “My father Pandit Dinanath Mangeshkar was a cricket fan. I guess I inherited his love for the game. I remember I watched my first live cricket match at the Brabourne Stadium when I was 15. I sat in the cheapest stalls with a family friend and clapped like crazy. Later many of the cricketers like Veenu Mankad, Vijay Hazare and Sunil Gavaskar were family friends. They’d come home for meals. I remember once just before a big match I had invited the Indian cricket team home. I had made gajar ka halwa for them. After they won the match Dilip Vengsarkar came to my building on Peddar Road and shouted up to my flat that the gajar ka hawla had worked.”

Says Lataji, “I am very fond of many cricketers specially Sunil Gavasakar and Sachin Tendulkar. Among the international cricketers Gary Sobers was always my favourite. He would be so confident about his performance that he’d be making plans for after the match even before playing.”

Ponders the Nightingale, “Sadly we steal our sportspersons’ confidence by demanding too much from them.”

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