Sachin Tendulkar took to Instagram today to share a heartfelt note with his 18 million followers. In two paragraphs, the batting legend deconstructed stereotypes around masculinity and admitted that certain beliefs he grew up with need to change today.
His note, addressed to the "men of today, and tomorrow", begins by saying that the men will soon be fathers and husbands, brothers and teachers who will lead by example. "Undoubtedly, there will be times when you fail, and you will feel like crying and letting it all out."
Expounding upon the notion that 'real men don't cry', Sachin Tendulkar continued: "You'll hold back the tears and pretend to laugh. Because that's what men do. Because that's what we are brought up to believe - that men are not supposed to cry."
He then explains the reason that he is writing this is because he grew up believing that crying is a sign of weakness, but has now realised that he is wrong.
"I realised I was wrong," wrote Sachin Tendulkar. "My struggles and my pain made me who I am, shaping me into a better man."
The words, written on top of a picture of Tendulkar wiping away his tears, have collected over 80,000 'likes' in half an hour.
The post has also collected a number of appreciative comments. "You are an inspiration for everyone on field or off field. Your thoughts are so valuable," wrote one commenter. "Beautiful message," said another.
In 2013, a visibly-emotional Sachin Tendulkar saying goodbye to cricket at Wankhede Stadium left thousands of his fans battling tears. His post then continues as he recalls the day.
"I still remember that day on the field. I had thought about it for a long time but nothing could prepare me for that last walk back to the pavilion," wrote the 46-year-old.
"With each step it started sinking in. I felt a lump in my throat, the fear of it all ending... I let go in front of the world, and surprisingly, I felt a certain peace."
He concluded his note by asking all men to move past stereotypes of what men can and cannot do, saying that there is no shame in showing tears.
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