Mission Tendulkar, Mission Mars

Nov 07 2013, 12:55 IST
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SummaryTV generated enough hot air around Tendulkar’s 199th Test to propel him beyond the stratosphere

If CNN-IBN is to be believed, one particular gentleman travelled in reverse all the way to Kolkata to watch Sachin Tendulkar explode, hopefully take-off from his last Ranji Trophy innings against Haryana. If the DD News reporter was to be believed, the PSLV-C25 fired on all cylinders, had a “lovely launch” and “everything [was] going nicely” at ISRO headquarters. Welcome to Mission Tendulkar and Mission Mars Orbiter.

The latter was pure rocket science and for a change, we had some feel good news on TV. Tuesday afternoon, the countdown to India’s “rendezvous with the mysterious planet” (NDTV 24x7), broadcast live, was as exciting as the countdown (“1 day to go”) to the final game at Eden Gardens for that “son of India” (Sourav Ganguly, Headlines Today) — his 13th at the venue, more than any other Indian cricketer, revealed NDTV 24x7. (See how much information you can glean from TV?)

As the clock ticked 14:38:00, India’s most ambitious space adventure blazed a new trail. It was so powerful that the timer on the right hand side of the TV screen — and the commentator’s voice — trembled. Truly. Lift-off was “normal”, said our awestruck DD friend, “very fantastic... very nice”, clearly, he was lost for words to describe “this beautiful performance” (rather like a dance?).

Words are not failing our TV anchors, sports anchors, correspondents, former cricketers now cricket analysts or the Indian public as they celebrate Mission 199. On the contrary, TV is generating enough hot air and hyperbole around Tendulkar’s retirement to propel him beyond the stratosphere and deposit him on Mars. The first man on the red planet? That is not rocket science, “it’s a joke”, according to Dinesh C. Sharma (CNN-IBN), who insisted that settling human beings on Mars five years from now is impossible.

Well, if you believe everyone and everything you hear on TV, a “global” space mission may be possible (BBC World) but there will never be another Sachin Tendulkar — although Virat Kohli is already being hailed as his successor in ODIs by Star Sports’ commentators and Sunil Gavaskar (NDTV 24x7). It’s all so confusing.

Ever since Tendulkar announced his departure, each aspect of his game and personality is being examined under a loving magnifying glass: “Sachin#Sachin” says it all (Star Sports). “Thank you, Sachin” says it even better (CNN-IBN). “Mahanayak ki Maha Bidai” paid homage to Kolkatans’ lavish farewell to

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