NEW DELHI: Cricket great Sachin Tendulkar is a foodie but his first experience with Chinese cuisine ended in disappointment and he had to return home thirsty and hungry.
Tendulkar was a great lover of his mother's cooking and it was not till he was nine-years-old that he first tried Chinese food.
In the early 1980s, Chinese cuisine was becoming popular in Mumbai and having heard so much about it, his colony friends made a plan to go out for a meal together.
"We each contributed 10 rupees Â– which was a lot of money for me at that time Â– and I was excited about trying something new," says Tendulkar.
That evening, however, turned out to be disappointing as he paid the price for being one of the youngest in the group.
"In the restaurant we ordered chicken and sweet corn soup as a starter. We were sitting at a long table and by the time the soup travelled to me at the far end, there was hardly any left. The older members of the group had finished off most of it, leaving very little for us younger ones," he says.
But this was not the end.
"The same thing happened with the fried rice and chowmein and I barely managed to get two spoonfuls of each. The older boys had a great evening at our expense, but I returned home hungry and thirsty," Tendulkar recalls the incident in a new book.
Hachette India has brought out "Chase Your Dreams", an adaptation of Tendulkar's autobiography "Playing It My Way", exclusively targeted at children and young adults.
"Chase Your Dreams" is billed as the first children's version of an autobiography by an Indian sportsperson.
It tells the inspiring story of India's greatest cricketer through simple prose, call-outs, inspirational notes and comic visuals. The illustrations enable children to experience some of the defining moments in Tendulkar's illustrious career, the publisher says.
Tendulkar, who was born to a very close-knit Maharashtrian family in Mumbai's Bandra East and lived in the Sahitya Sahawas colony, considers his mother the best cook who would do anything to see a smile on his face.
"She used to make the most delicious fish and prawn curry, baigan bharta and varan bhaat for me, and I owe my appetite and love of food to her," he writes.
Tendulkar tells many things about his childhood Â– his keenness on tennis so much so that he even went around with a John McEnroe-like curly mop and hair band, his love for music, how he got his first bicycle, and eventually his extraordinary cricketing journey.
"My father set me free at the age of 11 when he told me 'Chase your dreams, but make sure you don't find shortcuts to them'," he says.