Book review: Chase Your Dreams

The illustrated autobiographical work that caters to the inquisitive minds of the Master Blaster’s young fans in a manner that is both engaging and educative.

Chase Your Dreams By Sachin Tendulkar Hachette India ₹299

Chase Your Dreams

By Sachin Tendulkar

Hachette India

₹299

Autobiographies are meant to reveal the character of a person — the early struggles, the success of yore and a swansong — all combine to put a career in the context of the times it is lived. Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Chase Your Dreams: Young Reader’s Edition’ is an autobiographical work that caters to the inquisitive minds of the Master Blaster’s young fans in a manner, that is both engaging and educative.

The 246-page long book is interspersed with trivia about this generation’s most complete batsman and coupled with “Sachin’s Super-Tip” — again peppered through the length of the text — where Tendulkar shares his tips for success, hits the right chord with its intended audience.

Perfect presentation

It’s easy to forget, among the slew of closely analysed stories on Tendulkar, that a young reader’s edition is as much about the presentation as it is about the person being presented through the story. And that is the strength of this book — the key moments from Tendulkar’s stellar career is portrayed in the comic strips with snappy headings like — ‘Adventure with my Bicycle’, ‘Battleground Centurion’ and ‘The Sandstorm Innings’ — which make it easily relatable to the reader.

The nuggets of insightful information — Tendulkar’s various injuries, his trysts with different oppositions and hunger for success — are a testament to the biggest cricket icon who has shouldered hopes of a nation for over two decades.

The family man

The chapters where he talks about his children, wife and parents; the ‘message from Sachin’ where he throws light on how he ‘landed into cricket from a tree' - He writes, “This came at the end of a long string of mischievous escapades in which I played a leading or supporting role...” - Instances like these humanise the batsman, who for the most part of his career, has been treated as the God of cricket.

There are also some interesting and more importantly, easily comprehensible, takes on batting. On focussing on one end at a time, for example. Tendulkar says, “As a batsman, if I’m not consciously worrying about my footwork or my backlift or my wristwork, then I know that I’m in the right space. There's no time to think about both ends at the same time.”

Master storyteller

For a cricketer, who has made a living out of destroying bowling attacks, to be able to break down the skills to a bare minimum for the young followers, was a must and the book ticks that box.

Playing It My Way — the original autobiography — was criticised for being too reticent in its content; however, it’s this quality moulded with a refreshing depiction of Tendulkar’s life that makes Chase Your Dreams an enjoyable read.
 

From the tome

We each contributed 10 rupees — which was a lot of money for me at that time — and I was excited about trying something new.

In the restaurant we ordered chicken and sweet corn soup as a starter. We were sitting at a long table and by the time the soup travelled to me at the far end, there was hardly any left. The older members of the group had finished off most of it, leaving very little for us younger ones.

The same thing happened with the fried rice and chowmein and I barely managed to get two spoonfuls of each. The older boys had a great evening at our expense, but I returned home hungry and thirsty.