The pros and cons of being the other Sachin Tendulkar

Written by Shahid Judge | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 10 2013, 06:43am hrs
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 isnt the only thing they share. Both hail from 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 cricketers father) at Kirti College, Dr Sachin Suresh 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 what was remembered the most easily.

The name helped during oral exams too. Professors are usually stern during orals, but when theyd ask me my name the environment would lighten. The exam became so much easier.

He worked seven years in Kerala, five of these at Kochis Medical Trust Hospital. It was when he returned to Mumbai that he realised a major drawback his name doesnt 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 cricketers 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 doctors secretary. They often ask me to get autographs and photographs.

Dr Tendulkar adds, My wife, Sarika, tells her friends shes married to Sachin. Its an old joke now. He adds, My friends used to show other people their contact lists with my name, saying they know Sachin Tendulkar. That prank didnt work, since my voice was different.

He isnt a keen follower of cricket, though he played at school. Somehow Ive 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.