Hundreds of people have written about Sachin's retirement, and this is the one I liked the most, at least of all that I have read till now. Maybe because it directly resonates with the age group that I belong to.
He probably is the first player I can remember whom we can easily address by his first and last names, almost as if he is a member of the family, or a dear friend. I know that my father is probably a much more avid fan of Sachin than I am, but I can say that I grew up with Sachin.
To remember, very vividly, the period when cricket in India literally was synonymous with Sachin, and that people would switch the TV off in despair when he got out.
To write "MRF" on a bat that the local carpenter made (which in hindsight looked more like an ice cream stick).
To have had utter belief in him (and a few others) when match fixing rocked the scene.
To defend him to those few infidels who bayed for his retirement during those lean patches.
At the Youtube age, to watch his various innings and get goosebumps.
There are many greats in cricket, but there will always be only one Sachin.*
(*Yes, I DID stop short of calling him the God; Not because I wouldn't love to, but because it has been cliched)