What do Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona and Indian cricket master Sachin Tendulkar have in common, besides being gods?
They’ve both sold themselves.
In 2009 – at around the same time that Tendulkar was uncomfortable with fans touching his feet – Kraken Opus announced that their next project would feature Diego Maradona:
The first 100 copies of the latter book will contain a sample of Maradona’s blood and his hair. Inside there is a depiction of his DNA. “Not only are we telling you the story of your god; we’re taking you inside the icon,” Mr Fowler said (The Sunday Times).
This year it’s Sachin’s turn.
Luxury publisher Kraken Opus mixed in a pint of Mr. Tendulkar’s blood with paper pulp to create the signature page for a book celebrating the renowned batsman’s career. The 10 limited-edition copies, which comes out in February, cost $75,000 each and have already sold out (Wall Street Journal).
As revolting as I find the idea of a publishing house “telling you the story of your god,” I can’t say I have much sympathy for the ten people who spend 75k on it either. But I suppose that’s just an example of how disposable income can exaggerate the deification of celebrities.
As I read this, I couldn’t help thinking about how appropriate such a venture would have been for M.G. Ramachandran, Tamil film star-turned-politician who has been similarly deified, and whose speeches and addresses began, “En Rathathin Rathame,” or “blood of my blood.” Perhaps the introduction to his Opus would have begun, “En Rathathin Rathame, itho en ratham!”