Sachin Tendulkar turned 39 on Tuesday. India's most loved cricketer might have grown one year older but his passion for the sport he plays, has never diminished. He still trains, bats and is committed to the game as a teenager. The Master Blaster has conquered many peaks in his illustrious 22-year-old cricketing journey and one wonders is there any unfulfilled dream from the Mumbai Superstar.
The highest run-getter in both Tests and ODIs, reached another milestone last month, when he struck his 100th international century against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup on March 16. Most of Tendulkar's records might never be eclipsed, such are his achievements.
As he completes another fruitful year, an Indian fan would want him to carry on batting in both formats of the game. But one wonders how many more years of cricket are left in the great man.
After completing a ton of tons, Tendulkar dropped a hint at even thinking of being a part of 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. When that quadrennial showpiece begins, Tendulkar would be few months shy of his 42nd birthday. It is distinctly possible for him to make that trip.
Last year, when Tendulkar turned 38, he did not celebrate his birthday as Sathya Sai Baba passed away on the same day. Tendulkar, who was close to the spiritual guru, had to go through tough times then.
In 2011, Tendulkar also realised his long-time dream of lifting the World Cup. It was a very special year as India won the World Cup after 28 years and that too on Tendulkar's home ground, Wankhede Stadium.
For Tendulkar, age is just a number. Having played at the international level for more than 22 years, he is still a champion and most followed cricketer in the country. There might be many bright young stars who have emerged in the recent past, but Tendulkar's presence on any cricket field attracts maximum support than any other Indian player.
In the long list of Tendulkar milestones, probably one which he has missed out is a Test triple ton. With a highest score of 248 not out in the five-day game, perhaps fans across India and the world over would love to see him reach that landmark.
Tendulkar has been the reason for many to play the sport and follow. Even at 39, he is an inspiration to budding cricketers. There is a lot to learn from the Little Master.
In the recent days, many in the country are calling for Tendulkar to be conferred with Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. He richly deserves this award. It would be a fitting tribute if the government decides to place Tendulkar's name in that elite list.
Whether Tendulkar gets Bharat Ratna or not, he is already a Jewel of India.
Happy Birthday, Tendulkar.