When U.S.-based Karan Gandhi sent a handwritten note to cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, he was not expecting the viral fame that would smile upon him after that.

Tendulkar took to Instagram to reply to the letter with a personal message, which is gaining momentum on social media, leading to over 180,000 likes and several hundred comments, at the last count.

Gandhi, in his letter, mentioned that he grew up watching Tendulkar and also missed countless tuition classes to watch him play day and night one-day internationals. The Indian American also wrote that he was honored to be Tendulkar’s fan and how much he admired his “sportsmanship and work ethic on the field.”

He asked Tendulkar for a signed letter from him in return.

Tendulkar wrote: “Thank you for the letter, Karan Gandhi! I’m sure your childhood tuition teacher mustn’t have been too happy when ODI matches were on. :)”

Gandhi wrote that he is a collector of hand-signed letters from people he admires and would cherish one from him, too.

Looking at the various comments on the post, surely Gandhi wasn’t the only one skipping classes to catch the master blaster in action.

One comment read: “no tuition had held on when your ODI is on, we had great time watching all your matches :).”

Another fan wrote: “Even the teacher would be busy watching ur magic with the bat @sachintendulkar.”

Tendulkar, who retired from all formats of the game in November 2013, is currently awaiting the release of his biopic, “Sachin A Billion Dreams,” which brings to the fans unseen aspects of his life beginning from his childhood. It releases May 26. Though a host of celebrities have wished him luck for the film, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s tweet elicited a very different side of the most celebrated sportsperson in India.

“I believed, when you did well, I would too and when you didn’t, I will fail. Like a billion others I miss my guiding light. All the best for the film,” Khan wrote April 19.

Tendulkar, who is very active on social media, responded with this philosophical message: “Zindagi me haar na hoti to koi kabhi jeet ta nahi aur kuch seekhta bhi nahi (Had there been no loss in life, nobody would’ve won or learned anything). Touched by your words like a billion others, love you Shah Rukh Khan.”

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