They are two great sportpersons who are often spoken of in the same breath when Indians discuss who should get the Bharat Ratna. Tenali Rama Reports decided to get Sachin Tendulkar to interview Viswanathan Anand, as soon as he returned home to a warm, or rather hot and humid welcome in Chennai, aka, Madras nalla Madras.
Sachin Tendulkar : Welcome back, Anand. Congratulations.
Viswanathan Anand : Thanks Sachin. Congratulations are due to you too.
Sachin : Me? Why?
Anand : On your 100th hundred.
Sachin : Oh. Oh. I thought you are referring to my new hairstyle.
Anand : Ah, well that too looks cool.
Sachin : Tell me, it was a very tough World championship, it went down to the wire …
Anand : (laughing) Now that was a Ravi Shastri line, isn’t it? Yes, but I went through at the end like a tracer bullet. (laughs) And in the end, Viswanathan Anand was the winner. (laughs)
Sachin : Aila. You follow cricket so closely. I will tell Ravi. He will be flattered.
Anand : To answer your question, yes it was tough. I opened with 21 Bxg3. Then I tried to open out with 22.Ra3 and then tried to break out with 27.Rxb7. Gelfand replied with 28.Qxh6. In the other game, my second suggested I open differently with C3.
Sachin : (interrupts) Aila. Chess and cricket are so similar. I also sometimes open with Sehwag, sometimes with Gambhir, sometimes with Richard Levi. Like your second, Dhoni suggested the rotation policy so everytime my opening was different in Australia.
Anand : Ya ya. I am not finished yet. So C4 moved to e6 and bishop moved two places ahead and tried to checkmate.
Sachin : (interrupts) Anand, Anand. Forget all this. Are you an attacking or a defensive player?
Anand : I am an all-rounder.
Sachin : Don’t say that. The media will then call you another Ravinder Jadeja.
Anand : Another Ravi? Does he play chess?
Sachin : Aila, no. He also plays cricket. Hey, I remembered you did not congratulate me for becoming an MP.
Anand : Oh ya. Congratulations. Now you are an Elder.
Sachin : No, I am younger to you.
Anand : (smiles) What are your plans?
Sachin : I am going to lobby for the Bharat Ratna.
Anand : (surprised, eyebrows raised) Really? You are being rather candid, I say.
Sachin : Why not? I am an MP so I think I can talk about it and I think it will be richly deserved.
Anand : But won’t it be too awkward to say I want the Bharat Ratna
Sachin : Why? Why? I am an MP, I will speak in Rajya Sabha and say Anand deserves it.
Anand : Oh my. You mean you will lobby for me? Oh my, I am touched. No, I am embarrassed. No, I am overwhelmed. No, I am at a loss for words.
Sachin : You said so many words just now. My friend, you are a Bharat Ratna. I will lobby for you. This is Tendulkar’s zubaan for you.
Anand : What is zzzzzz ban?
Sachin : Tongue. I give you my tongue .. err.. word. I promise I will lobby for you, Anand.
Anand : Thanks. Can I now tell you about the moves I made against Gelfand?
Sachin : (ignoring Anand’s request) And on that wonderful note, we come to the end of this interview. Thankyou Anand.