|Images are mine, taken from TV|
Sometimes, one has to make the most difficult choice in the world since it is the only choice which is there to be made, with no other choice available. The choice I am alluding to is the choice to walk away, to walk away from something you love, to walk away from something you have held on to for such a long time, to walk away from something you thought you would never have to walk away from, to walk away from something you never wanted to walk away from in the first place, to walk away from the thing which wants you to walk away from it knowing well that it would hurt, even destroy, you in many ways.
But then, life is like that. It does not like it to be taken for granted and if you do so out of ignorance or blithe, it sends a reminder in the harshest manner possible. This is what consumed Sachin Tendulkar on the day he had to walk away from the very 22 yards over which he had spent a greater part of his 40 years. It was a cruel reminder that he couldn't take something for granted and a day would inevitably arrive when he would have to take the hardest walk of his life, hardest because it was a walk away from his life, because it was the walk he never intended to take in the first place, because it was the walk which must have come at the cost of a thousand unshed tears and unexpressed sighs.
In my own personal life too, I have faced situations when I had to walk away from things which were, and still are, very close to my heart. I remember the streak of tear which brushed past my lips on the last day of my college. I had kissed my desk before vacating the classroom never to return to a place I had fallen in love with and had become accustomed to. The tear was a reminder of how I had taken the exuberance of a college ambience for granted. So the pain was foreseeable when that ambience was wretched out of me after my three memorable years of graduation. I cried when I had to end a beautiful relationship and I was lost when I had to walk out of a sweet friendship.
Just when I was beginning to take a few friends for granted, life intervened again and wretched them out of my life! And when Sachin was walking away from the dusty brown pitch for the final time after bending down and giving it an obeisance that spoke for their 3 decades of chaste relationship, he could not suppress his tears. It was then that the gravity of his long walk registered on me. I urgently pressed the red button on my television’s remote, collapsed over the sofa and burst into tears. I cried and cried and cried until I paid off for all the smiles Sachin had given me since my childhood. Ironically, I had only a few salty tears to pay for those smiles. And when I ran out of tears, my heart was left grappling with a void too deep to be ever filled back again. Sachin was gone. Just when I had got used to his presence, life had wretched him too. But no matter how hard it may try, life will never be able to wretch his memories out of my heart. It was a long hard walk back to sunset for both of us. It was a difficult walk but a journey well lived.
Author’s Bio: At 28, Ritesh Agarwal is too much in love with his childhood memories to be christened an adult. A major part of those memories have something or the other to do with Sachin Tendulkar who has been a constant in Ritesh’s life ever since he was ten. When not reminiscing about Sachin, Ritesh spends his time pursuing freelance writing, weaving short stories, teaching high school students and eating tomatoes on the sly after midnight.