Praising Sachin on conducting himself with remarkable dignity, Rohit Brijnath, the eminent observer of sporting heroes, said greatness in sport is common but Sachin was extraordinary as he wore greatness lightly, and legend discreetly.
Sachin, born with exceptional gifts, became an exceptional player and a cricketing legend. He was also blessed with other non-cricket skills that made him special, a one off. I recall the first time I went on tour with the Indian team in 1992 (to Zimbabwe and South Africa) when Sachin was very young but even then, in a team dominated by Azharuddin, Kapil and Shastri, all eyes were focussed on him.
Celebrity sat easily on him, Sachin never appeared burdened or stressed by attention. Instead he handled it in a natural, effortless manner, with poise and calm assurance. If nothing fazed him at the crease, nothing breached his composure away from it. Even when very young he was always in control, sure of himself; he knew his mind, was clear headed and unshakeable, in a nice manner. Comfortable with his special status, he accepted the honour with grace, did not wear it on his chest like a flash commercial logo.