India's favouritest son is leaving the battleground. For good. There have been several strong voices postulating that he should have retired immediately after our World Cup triumph. Well, you can't blame him. The man that he is today and the boy that he was have only one thing in common: they see themselves doing nothing else but playing cricket. He's 40 now and there is very little doubt left in anybody's mind that we'll never be able to replace him. Interestingly, his meteoric rise coincided with the economic liberation of early '90s and it's a fitting tribute to his endurance that he has had his highs and lows just like our humble Rupee did over the years. But he always made a comeback. Unlike our Rupee. Although his 100th century tested our patience like nothing else, he made sure he dictated his own exit. In style. The way he played the game. With respect. So it's OK to go overboard with his swan song. However, is it perfectly fine for the media to go overboard with Sachin's valediction? For argument's sake, let them have a field day on his past, present and future. Besides, the sort of impact this pint-sized sportsman had on our psyche is beyond quantification. I used to be a huge cricket fan during my school days and to me, Sachin was greater than God. (And this was before Mathew Hayden called Sachin God and the phrase struck.) Akin to millions of my countrypeople, i often used to watch matches only to witness his innings. I remember having this huge lump in my throat when Shoaib Akhtar castled him on his very first delivery to the maestro. I don't think i would have felt that much sadness for anybody else's failure. Moreover, he wasn't anyone else. He was Namma Sachin, to borrow my dad's words. (After so many years, that grief is being successfully being gifted by Roger Federer every other month.) As a consolation, Sachin went back to the pavilion. Head held high with a bit of disbelief—sans theatrics—touched with a tiny grin that said it all. But then, the kind of pressure he performed under was unrivaled. Try going to work assuming that your output is going to affect a billion unknown souls. He did that for nearly a quarter of a century. There are several more reasons why it's perfectly fine, even for the media, to go overboard with a farewell that we deeply feared. For a nation that not only lacks but also needs heroes, he's a rarity. To those who don't think so, find a replacement and then we'll talk. He may not be a saint so to speak (not that he claimed to be, anyway) but at least he never once tweeted during working hours. Unlike the rest of us.