Sachin Tendulkar has mostly celebrated his birthdays in a quiet manner and away from the public eye over the years. On the eve of his 38th birthday too, the Little Maestro chose to make the occasion special in his own way by fulfilling the wishes of physically challenged soldiers based in Pune on Friday.
Special on Sachin's 38th B'day: Sachin@38
Since his cricketing commitments made it impossible for Tendulkar to meet them personally, he interacted with the soldiers undergoing rehabilitation at the paraplegic centre in Pune's Khadki cantonment via a video-conference which was lively and invoked lots of laughter.
While the jawans asked him several questions, Tendulkar too had a few to ask one of them being, "When you (soldiers) go out on a mission there are no retakes. Where do you get the courage from, especially at times when it is a matter of life and death? To which, the jawans replied, "Whatever we do as soldiers is with the responsibility of serving the nation and when we are at the front it is about that and nothing else matters. One doesn't even think about whether you'll stay alive or not." The answer had Tendulkar moved.
On a lighter note, a jawan asked him about his trips to Dehradun and if the hill station was one of his favourite. Tendulkar said, "I have been there only once but the television channels keep showing the same footage. But it's a very nice place and I loved the long morning walks in solace there."
He was also asked about his love for tennis to which Tendulkar quipped, "For me as a kid the choice was between tennis and cricket and I feel that I didn't make a bad choice. Though, I still love tennis and watch it whenever I get time."
About every kid wanting to play cricket and be like him, Tendulkar emphasized that it was for every parent to allow their children to pursue their interests. "Children have their own choices, they should be encouraged. For the kids, it is important that they pursue their dreams with devotion."
Tendulkar promised to pay a visit to the jawans. "I would like to play table tennis with you and would like to learn to play basketball when I come to meet you," he said.
Tendulkar also cut a cake and exchanged bouquets with the soldiers on camera.