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Batting for Sachin

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STEADFAST FAN Saraswathi Vaidyanathan. Photo: M. Karunakaran
The Hindu
STEADFAST FAN Saraswathi Vaidyanathan. Photo: M. Karunakaran

Saraswathi Vaidyanathan is 87, but reels off facts and figures about her favourite cricketer Sachin Tendulkar effortlessly

As 87-year-old Saraswathi Vaidyanathan leans back on the couch, you almost expect her to pick up a pair of needles and start knitting. Instead she reaches for the television remote and surfs channels, only to stop at one telecasting cricket. There's a smile and a prayer on her lips — Sachin Tendulkar is at the crease. A Tendulkar fan and probably the seniormost member of the cricketer's fan club, she says, “I have been watching Sachin play from the time he started. He was 16 then. Twenty years later, he still does everything right.”

From Ranji Trophy to International cricket matches and IPL, Saraswathi watches them all. Though cricket is her passion, she also watches other sports for “time pass.” “I watch tennis but don't understand the game well. I like Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and John McEnroe,” she smiles. It was because of her late husband that she developed an interest in sport. Before television arrived, she was glued to the cricket commentary on radio.

Saraswathi may be frail now but her memory remains as fresh as ever. She effortlessly rattles off Tendulkar's records and match figures and like a fond grandmother refers to him as chota bachcha. As I quiz her about his achievement, she says, “As of now, he has 314 runs in the IPL. Mumbai Indians have played 7 matches and won 6. In ODIs he has notched up 17,594 runs and in Test matches he has scored 13,447 runs…” “Do you remember the '93 Hero Cup match against South Africa?” she asks and adds, “In the last over, they needed 6 runs to win. The situation seemed impossible. Lekin yeh bachcha took the ball from Azharuddin's hand and bowled, resulting in a run-out and conceding only 3 runs. We won,” she claps.

Sceptical of the statistics available on the Internet this octogenarian keeps track of her favourite cricketer's achievements in her own way. Tiny scraps of paper with all the scores painstakingly written in neat handwriting are tucked away along with other prized possessions that include a couple of books on the cricketing genius gifted by her grandson. She secretly pulls out a few bits and shows them to me ensuring I handle them with care. All of a sudden, she chuckles. Saraswathi's face is bright with enthusiasm as she narrates another incident. “After the1998 Sharjah Cup, Shane Warne said he used to get nightmares about Sachin. Sachin ko ‘Man of the Series' ke liye car mila.” Here, Saraswathi's son interrupts, saying, “She is very sure some day Tendulkar will meet her. Once when she was asked if she wanted to meet her grandchildren in Australia, she said, “I don't want to meet anyone, I only want to meet Sachin Tendulkar.” Saraswathi now looks coy, blushes and says, “If I ever meet him, I'll tell him to keep playing with confidence and keep entertaining us.” And with that she goes back to telling me more anecdotes about the Little Genius and his numerous records.


Sachin meets SaraswathiApril 5, 2010

helpout the old lady to fulfill her wish. i am also very glad to meet with sachin tendulkar.

from:  Nehpal Singh Rathore
Posted on: Apr 29, 2010 at 11:14 IST

It was really nice to read the article and to see Saraswathi aunty's dream of meeting Sachin come true.

from:  Radhika
Posted on: Apr 8, 2010 at 12:14 IST

It is a strange feeling that I experience when someone talks or writes about Sachin. I feel proud of everything that he has achieved so far; it makes me feel as though I have achieved all his records and milestones. I become very emotional when I read articles like this about Sachin. It would be a great feeling for the Grandma that she wouldn’t have been able to express, after meeting Sachin.
This rendezvous of Sachin and the lucky Granny is a show of humanity and benevolence by this very great,
Ingenious Nurturing Devotional Inventive Affectionate Noble sportsman, which is worth a salute.

I request Mr. Ravishanker not to post negative comments on such consecrated happenings

from:  Deepak Raj
Posted on: Apr 7, 2010 at 14:22 IST

Thank you very much THE HINDU and Priyadarshini. All Sachin lovers are really touched by your deed of making Saraswathi Patti meet Sachin. We are all happy. Please do keep up the good work.


from:  Padmini
Posted on: Apr 7, 2010 at 12:23 IST

Really she deserves it and with this act Sachin proves how humble he is and how he respects his fans...Truly Sachin is a legend.

from:  yaswanth
Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 at 20:05 IST

May Mother India be blessed with Sachin Tendulkars and Saraswathi Vaidyanathans. :-)

from:  Kiran Koundinya
Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 at 16:39 IST

Saw the pic in today's BusinessTimes that Sachin indeed met this incredible lady..She is so lucky.

from:  deb
Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 at 14:58 IST

I was truly touched when this meeting finally took place. To me, this is one of Sachin's greatest ever acts.

from:  Dr . M. P. Manoj
Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 at 14:17 IST

Am happy she was able to meet Sachin. I so want to meet her now :)

from:  Swaram
Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 at 12:36 IST

A special thanks to Priyadarshini who let the ultimate dream happen for the the grandma .... Keep the good work up ..

from:  Vivek Nair
Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 at 11:55 IST

Thanks so much for all the feedback. The Hindu made my Grandmother's dream come true. I am sure most of you would have already read this here's a link to the article just in case.

from:  Jagdish
Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 at 10:43 IST

Amazing!! Mrs Saraswathi Patti is a role model to senior citizens and proves a point that, life is still interesting after 85 years age.

from:  Prasanna Kumar
Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 at 06:51 IST

Well done Hindu, by arranging a meeting between Saraswathi paatti and Sachin:

from:  Sankar
Posted on: Apr 6, 2010 at 06:42 IST

First of all, thanks to The Hindu for letting the world know about this great fan of Sachin.

Please be a bridge by connecting this Saraswathi Patti and Sachin for heaven's Sake. She truly deserves it. Please do make it happen.

from:  Padmini
Posted on: Apr 5, 2010 at 15:26 IST

I request The Hindu to let Sachin know of this Grandma...that's enough..he will definitely go and meet her, irrespective of how tight his schedule his...

from:  Sundar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2010 at 15:44 IST

It would be so nice if a meeting is arranged between this wonderful grandma and Sachin. Perhaps during the MI vs CSK IPL match?

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Apr 4, 2010 at 10:13 IST

I am thrilled to read this article but I will have to say that at the back of my mind I can expect that there are even lot more elder fans of Sachin than the mentioned lady (amaa ji).
I wish somehow time comes that every right person on earth gets a chance to meet Sachin .

from:  Rajat
Posted on: Apr 4, 2010 at 04:25 IST

Thanks to THE HINDU...Excellant Article, Some sort of personal happiness reading this.. A proof to say "Age no bar" to enjoy cricket. hope by now the MASTER BLASTER would have given appointment to meet the GRAND (MA) Fan of Cricket....

from:  Vijayavasudevan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2010 at 03:29 IST

Nice piece of refreshing report.Good work.Hope Sachin meets this cricket enthusiast very soon.

from:  rao
Posted on: Apr 3, 2010 at 12:18 IST

Almost unbelievable! Of all the Sachin fans, everyone would cliam to be a bigger one but hats off to the biggest one! And just imagine, she does not want to meet her grandchildren but SACHIN! I hope she does soon and we get to read about it! I would be so happy that I would gladly give up my chance of meeting him, if ever I get one.

from:  Deepak Bhargav
Posted on: Apr 3, 2010 at 10:58 IST

Wonderful article.. I imagine myself to be Sachin's greatest fan ( don't we all :)) but I think she and Mr.V.Narayanaswamy are the greatest fans...

Ravishanker, just because there are issue like inflation and poverty, do you stop brushing your teeth in the morning? I heard that there is a newspaper in Israel that always reports positive news in the front page and all the negative news at the back... And researches have showed people who read the paper in the morning are more efficient than others... Agreed that poverty and hardships are there, but learn to appreciate goodness when and where it exists - as in this case of Mrs.Saraswathi Vaidhyanathan.

from:  Sriram
Posted on: Apr 3, 2010 at 09:25 IST

Cool grandma!!!

from:  sai
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 23:12 IST

Wow! I am sure Tendulkar would like to meet her when he gets to know this. The ability of Tendulkar to bring joy in lives of so many people is what makes him the most special. Gran'ma rocks!

from:  Piyush Paretkar
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 21:40 IST

I could not believe my eyes when I was reading doubt Saraswathi is the greatest fan ever. Now I see the statement coming true "I have seen god... he opens for Indian cricket team"..salute gram'ma

from:  Bhavesh
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 21:25 IST

I like this.....really nice... :)

from:  Ankit
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 20:44 IST

I bow to Ms. Vaidyanathan. Even Sachin would be proud to have a fan like her. Hope she can get to meet him. Cheers, Gran'ma.

from:  Amit
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 19:35 IST

If The Hindu can help Saraswathi help her meet Sachin Tendulkar, That would be great. She truly deserves it..

from:  kamala natarajan
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 19:17 IST

This too is one of the great achievements for Sachin to have fans from all age groups just like God is followed by the people of all age groups.

Really,this very much proves that SRT is God of World cricket.

from:  Jubin Mehta
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 19:13 IST

Great article.. Tendulkar has the brilliance to touch so many hearts around the world..!!

from:  Rohan
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 17:44 IST

This one proves that Sachin is a one step ahead of Don

from:  Arun Ramajayam
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 17:37 IST

Sachin is the only player who has fans from all age groups from all over the world. He deserves it and also this grandma deserves to meet the great cricketer who is considered as the 'God of Cricket' of all time. Long live Sachin....Proud to be an Indian...

from:  david Jegan
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 16:35 IST

Enjoy Saraswathi Vaidyanathan, you've been blessed to watch the career of one of the best batsmen of the modern era. Regards from Aus.

from:  cnqaus
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 16:16 IST

I hope Sachin reads this. He will be more than willing to meet his elderly fan of his. But I request The Hindu to make the meeting happen as the woman says that is her only dream.. Please.

from:  Sameer R K
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 15:51 IST

Yes, it would be great if Sachin meets Mrs.Saraswathi Vaidyanathan. Hope The Hindu can play a part in that....... I also hope that Mr.V.Narayanaswamay, who is 90 years old and has commented here gets to meet Sachin.....

from:  Rajesh NJ
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 15:40 IST

O sweet granny, I am 24 and have known Tendulkar ever since I know this world and admired him through thick and thin.But recording every run he makes. I am sure even Great Sachin himself will be humbled by your love for the game

from:  Reventh
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 15:08 IST

There is an IPL match against Mumbai on April 6 and 'god' would be visiting Chennai. Now, how do we make sure that 'god' meets her this time itself. And I hope she meets him again during WC 2011:)

from:  Balaji
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 14:18 IST

Many times I feel that we all are lucky to have Sachin..But now i feel that Sachin is also lucky to have the love and affection of so many this grandmother ofcourse..

from:  J.J. Prakash
Posted on: Apr 2, 2010 at 03:16 IST

I'm sure that every one is elated to hear about this grand mom. One more feather in the cap of "The Hindu" for bringing out such great stories! A good break from daily grind of reading about inflation, poverty, dynastic rule, criminalization of politics, and the like. I too join the other esteemed commentators - please do ensure that Sachin is flown to Chennai to meet with this wonderful lady. We all owe it to her.

from:  D. Chandramouli
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 21:39 IST

Nothing can be as great as her passion for cricket & our own Little Master..... I wish her voice should reach to sachin..... she really deserves that special moment with him......

R u Listing Mr. Tendulkar ????

from:  Nikhil
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 16:46 IST

Really refreshing article.. I have always considered myself to be a very passionate Sachin fan, but after reading this article i know i have miles to go. This lady really deserves to meet Sachin, please do arrange one if possible or just forward this article to Sachin's mail id, i believe he will be more anxious than her for the meeting after reading it.. Hope the GOD never ages at all for there are a lot of mortals waiting to get a glimpse of him taking guard in the field.

from:  Manoj
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 15:59 IST

ok.. i think these are unwanted sainath points out we have lot of issues like inflation, poverty etc to report.

from:  Ravishanker C N
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 13:48 IST

My Sister's mother-in-law is 94 and great follower of cricket. She will not miss any match and sits before TV right from the start till the end of the matches. She too will reel out statistics recall the historical moments of the matches. She is related Krish Srikkanth and she could not travel to attend his son's wedding held recently. She rued herself, for the reason that she missed the opportunity of meeting the legends who attended the wedding.

from:  Balamukundhan
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 10:41 IST

Please help this ardent fan to meet Sachin. A very interesting article.

from:  Puneeth M. N.
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 09:59 IST

It would be great if sachin sees this article and meet the cricket loving grandma very soon.So her wishes comes true and sachin be blessed by grndma to acheive more wonders.

from:  Tamizhselvan.V
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 09:26 IST

My request to Hindu is that, please arrange a meeting between sachin and this woman.she would feel happy if you do it.

from:  S.Raj Bharath
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 09:19 IST

I am a big fan of Sachin myself. Needless to say i guess. I really wish this lady gets to meet our Hero. If Sachin is reading this article i wish he goes himself to thank her. I think people like her and their blessings are silently helping Sachin score and become what he is today. We all love Sachin n we are proud of him.

from:  Sv
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 08:12 IST

The Hindu,please arrange for the granny to meet Sachin.
It would truly beautiful.

from:  arp
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 06:37 IST

One of the best articles read ever since I am following cricket and sincerely request The Hindu to make sure She meets Tendlya.

from:  AG
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 04:37 IST

Wonderful article!
Yes Hindu....Please arrange for a meeting between "God" Sachin and this wonderful lady.
What a wonderful world we live in!!

from:  Ramu
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 02:35 IST

I second what have been said above. I'm waiting for the day she meets him and the photo gets published in The Hindu.

from:  Balaji Sivaramakrishnan
Posted on: Apr 1, 2010 at 02:14 IST

I hope Sachin reads this article and finds time to meet this remarkable lady.

from:  m satwalekar
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 23:47 IST

Amazing indeed .I am sure after hearing saraswathy paatis desire sachin himself will seek an appintment to meet her. Hindu should let sachin know this.

from:  ramesh.r
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 21:34 IST

A truly "modern" lady who deserves our admiration. I am 90, yes 90 and one of Sachin's silent admirers. May God bless Tendulkar.

from:  V.Narayanaswamy
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 19:57 IST

Long time since I came across a refreshing article as this.

from:  Pawan
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 19:36 IST

If The Hindu can help Saraswathi help her meet Sachin Tendulkar, That would be great. She truly deserves it..

from:  Vee
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 18:56 IST

Can you please arrange for a meeting between Sachin and this extraordinary woman and chronicle that. That would be priceless.

from:  Ramesh N
Posted on: Mar 31, 2010 at 17:28 IST
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