For nearly a quarter century, when Sachin Tendulkar played cricket in front of half the world, he did nothing for a moment that would make us laugh at him. As long as it was cricket, actually as long as it was the real world, he did everything right. Even when he stood on the field with his hands on his waist, one thought that is the way to stand on the field.
But when ads would come on featuring him, he could make us cringe. His peers, too. It bothered us a bit to see them this way, but we understood money.
They had a limited time in the sun, and the match fees was modest, so they needed to endorse products. But then, many of them are still at it. They have all retired as very wealthy men, and they have been consecrated as legends, and they continue to ham in bad ads flogging products like mutual funds and engine oil.
When I see Tendulkar now, I wonder why a sporting icon would wear a costume that I somehow remember as a red onesie and flog an app to sell used cars? How much money is enough for legends to quit doing this? I am not saying there is anything wrong in icons appearing in ads. This column is an expression of my own incomprehension at why legends who took great care to be elegant and correct when they played their sports, do not seem to care about a loss of dignity appearing in mediocre ads. For very wealthy men, who are also national treasures, how much money is enough money? When we look at the phenomenon without sanctimony, and when we look at the world not as a problem that needs to be solved, but as plain evidence of what people are, we can begin to see an aspect of life that is not intuitive.Read more on livemint.com