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'Cricket is something very, very special to me. It has never been about owning this or that car and the other things that come with this life.
An obsession with money or worldly matters was always thumbed down. My only dream was to wear the Indian cap and the Indian colours. In that respect, my childhood dreams have come true.'
'My father, who died in 1999, was never a cricket fan, not at all. He was a writer and a poet: he taught Marathi, my mother tongue, at the local university. But he understood exactly how to get the best out of me. He always encouraged me and told my mother that he had full faith in me.
It was probably reverse psychology, but as I got older I felt like I could not misuse that trust. He warned me against taking short cuts and told me to just keep playing, despite the ups and downs. My parents taught me that it is important to live every day of your life with grace and honour. When it came to choosing between cricket and going to university, he said: "You can play cricket, I know that is your first love, so go for it."
'I was the only one supporting John McEnroe -- everyone used to call me "Mac" because I styled myself on him. I made my father buy me the same headbands and sweatbands and even grew my hair long. You wouldn't believe the pictures of me from that time.
I was also extremely naughty. Very, very difficult to handle. I had a nanny who used to run after me virtually 24 hours a day, because I never wanted to go home.'
'My big sister gave me a bat after returning from a trip to Kashmir, which is known for its high-quality willows. It wasn't the best bat, but it was like a piece of gold to me.
I used to imagine myself batting for India, hitting fours and sixes, the people cheering. I used that bat until it broke.'
Sachin's mother Rajni recalls his childhood.
'He was a very mischievous boy. He used to love my food. I especially remember, whenever I used to prepare Aamraas and Poli [Mango pulp and Chapati], he used to stand near the window and shout, 'Look mother what's happening down there', and as soon as I used to go near the window, he would enter the kitchen and eat the Aamraas and Puris.
His feet are still firmly on the ground. He still is the same person and longs to spend time with the family. That is the best part about him. But I still get worried when he goes out and is surrounded by a huge crowd. It makes me feel so uneasy.'
Sachin Tendulkar acknowledges his wife Anjali's contribution through the years.
'She has been like a protective wall for me. She is the one on whom I can take out all my frustrations, pains and sorrows, but she has always stood by me and I am grateful for that.
It has helped me become a lot more patient.'