Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar turns 44 on April 24 and his birthday is one of the most important days on the calendar for a certain fan in Bihar. He is known world over for being an arduous Tendulkar fan waving the tricolour while donning Indian colours and text that reads ‘Miss U Tendulkar’. And as the legendary former India captain turns a year older, Sudhir Gautam has plans to travel to Mumbai and meet Tendulkar – something he has done many times in his life.
The day bears more importance for Sudhir than any other day on the calendar for he celebrates it every year – with or without Sachin. If Tendulkar is travelling and unavailable, Gautam gathers up his friends and cuts a cake just like he would for his own birthday. But this time the Master Blaster is in Mumbai and Sudhir isn’t going to let a chance to celebrate slip by.
“I will be taking the train on Saturday and reach Mumbai on April 24th in the morning. I have a gift ready – a bouquet. A friend shared it with me during the Hyderabad Test (India against Bangladesh) and I liked it so much that I got it from him. I have added my own touch to it by adding pictures of him as a child, as a youngster, as a batsman growing up and pictures of him now. These are all my memories of Sachin. I was actually thinking of what to gift to him and this came as a very good idea,” he said.
Gautam won’t be alone in travelling to Tendulkar’s house in Bandra. There are fans from Baroda, Chennai and Ambala also travelling to Mumbai to try and get a glimpse of Sachin but no one holds more reverence for Sachin than Gautam does. “I will be painting my face and body once again. Will go to Nerul, there is an artist there who will help me with that. I have to figure out the plan because I have to get the body paint done, go to Sachin’s house and express my wishes and then make way to Wankhede Stadium (where Mumbai Indians play Rising Pune Supergiant in the on-going IPL). I will get body paint wishing him birthday on These other fans will also go to his house but can’t enter the house. If he allows, then yes they can. But only after asking his permission otherwise not.”
Last year, Tendulkar’s birthday didn’t come on a joyous note with MI losing to Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in the capital by 10 runs. “Last time we were both sad to celebrate because Mumbai lost to Delhi and he came back home directly after the match. There was no mood to celebrate,” he says.