Seabiscuit is a captivating book. There are books that take hold of you, don't let you close the pages even as the clock is ticking away and give you a sense of exhilaration as you triumphantly complete reading the final chapter. It doesn't make sense since you know the story from the blurb and have already seen the climax of the movie based on this book.
Laura Hillenbrand's writing transports you to the racing tracks of 1920s and 30s. She takes her time building up the story and it is only halfway through the book that the four main characters - the horse, the trainer, the jockey and the owner - come together. The time taken in detailing each character is well spent as you start identifying with the quirks of each one of them. This is a real life story, but reads like fiction - unbelievable but true.
As I closed the book at 3.00 AM, I was excited and could hardly go to sleep. At that ungodly hour, thoughts form in random patterns. A thought suddenly popped up. Sachin Tendulkar is the Seabiscuit for my generation of Indians, born in the 1970s. When all else was bleak, he was the dazzling light that gave us a sense of pride. I know the analogy isn't perfect, the India of 80s wasn't as bad as the depression era America; Sachin was a thoroughbred from the start, not a difficult one as Seabiscuit was. At the twilight of his career, in which he has innumerable useless records but the elusive World Cup, Sachin is in the same position as Seabiscuit was in its final Santa Anita race. Win it for us Sachin, let us relive the glorious moments of 1998 once more.