The pros and cons of being the other Sachin Tendulkar

TendulkarDr. Sachin Tendulkar at his clinic in Mumbai. (IE Photo: Amit Chakravarthy)
Over the years, Sachin Tendulkar the plastic surgeon has learnt to live with the advantages and drawbacks of sharing his name with Sachin Tendulkar the cricketer.

The name isn't the only thing they share. Both have roots in Ratnagiri and were born in Mumbai — the surgeon in 1978, five years after the cricketer. "My father, Suresh, was a student of Ramesh Tendulkar (the cricketer's father) at Kirti College," Dr Sachin Tendulkar says.

He describes the advantages: "The good thing is that nobody ever forgets my name. When I was in college, I used to give presentations during conferences attended by over 100 top plastic surgeons. My name and speech were remembered the most easily."

The name helped during oral exams too. "Professors are usually stern during orals, but when they'd ask me my name the atmosphere would lighten. The exam became so much easier."

He worked seven years in Kerala, five of these at Kochi's Medical Trust Hospital. It was when he returned to Mumbai that he realised a major drawback — his name doesn't easily turn up on Google when patients try to check his credentials. "When they type 'Sachin Tendulkar', a million links on the cricketer appear instead," he says. "When they type 'Dr Sachin Tendulkar,' links on the cricketer's wife, Dr Anjali Tendulkar, show up. I constantly tell people to type 'Dr Sachin Tendulkar plastic surgeon'."

For friends and family, the name has been a source of amusement. "I tell my friends I work with Sachin Tendulkar," says Raveena, the doctor's secretary. "They often ask me to get autographs and photographs."

Dr Tendulkar adds, "My wife, Sarika, tells her friends she's married to Sachin. It's an old joke now." He adds, "My friends used to show other people their contact lists with my name, saying they know Tendulkar. That prank didn't work, since my voice was different."

He isn't a keen follower of cricket, though he played at school. "Somehow I've never had the urge to watch matches. When cricketer Sachin Tendulkar made his international debut, I was 11, so there was little inspiration for me to play cricket," he says. "Medicine was my true calling."

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