You have scripted many a match. Now, you are at a stage where you have to script your future. Have you started working on it?
I don’t think at this age I need to do that. I know there is a lot of anticipation. When I feel it is appropriate to let them (fans) know, I will let them know. Because I think I’ve been saying this for a long time that when I feel that the time is right, I will let everyone know. As far as my knowledge is concerned, it’s very simple and I don’t understand where is the controversy. When I feel like telling it, I will. Simple.
Do you think the country is too sentimental when it comes to you?
I can’t be judgmental. I have had such tremendous support and for that I consider myself really blessed. So, I’d much rather think about the kind of support I’ve received over the years and cherish those moments right now, and I don’t need to think otherwise. When I start thinking otherwise or when there is anything, I will let you know. So where is the rush?
You are almost about to play your 200th Test match...
I think we should not jump too forward. Right now, I’m preparing for the Champions League T20. We’ll see after that what’s in store.
You lived your dream by winning the 2011 World Cup. Are you dreaming of playing one more?
No, not really. As for the team winning one more World Cup, not only me but all the fans want the team to win the next World Cup, and the ones after that. Why not!
Over a period of time, has your aggression reduced or increased? You’ve become more mature...
As you become more experienced, you find different paths to the same destination. You learn more with time. I don’t think I’ve seen or met anyone who was the same when he started and retired. There is always a change. Not just in cricket, but in general as well. As long as the change is for the good, which allows you to have better control over things, it’s good.
It has been 24 years since you’ve started playing international cricket. How did you manage to keep such an image, especially at an age wherein cricket is facing so many problems?
Put very simply, right from my school days when I started playing cricket, whatever was the noise outside when I’ve performed well, we always had a simple celebration at home. Just a box of sweets was offered to God. It has always been like that.
I was never overwhelmed when I performed well or anything. It was never like that. My brother had started an unwritten law at home that how much ever the world was singing praises about my performance, we would move forward, think about our next game. And this habit is something that has stayed with me ever since.
I’ve had a simple lifestyle and a simple upbringing. My dad kept setting different examples for me to follow. There are many things I’ve learnt from just looking at him. I’m just following that and if you see, I’m living a very balanced lifestyle at home.
Whatever role you have taken, nobody has ever pointed a finger at you. There’s so much load on your shoulders, with people worshiping you as their God. You cannot afford to go wrong?
Everyone makes mistakes. Had I not made mistakes, I would have never got out. It’s OK to make mistakes, I don’t think there is any batsmen who has never got out. I don’t think anyone should call me God. That name should be reserved for God himself. I just go out and enjoy my game and that is how it should be.
How does one become a Sachin Tendulkar?
It is all about your own identity. Not only in cricket, but generally in life. Everyone should have his/her identity and for that you should be passionate about what you like, fall in love with it and then work as hard and as sincerely as possible. I always believe that dreams do come true but you have to chase your dreams.