Sachin Tendulkar India
Sachin Tendulkar walks onto the field in the first day of second Test against the West IndiesBCCI

It was 3.30 pm in Mumbai when the moment the entire country, and then some, were waiting for finally became a reality. For an hour-and-a-half after that, everyone was captivated -- oohs and ahs rang out in the crowd at the Wankhede and every other fan watching the match in front of the TV or sneaking a peek on their computers at the office.

The frenzy began following the wicket of Murali Vijay - no fan in India would have been sad to see that wicket go - poor old Vijay for the second time in two Test matches, he has had to walk back to the pavilion watching the gleeful faces of the crowd.

As Sachin Tendulkar walked, no, charged onto the pitch the ovation that he got from the Wankhede crowd cannot be explained, and it will definitely be something that would have made that ice-cool veins of his heat up just a tad.

The way Tendulkar blocks out the crowd once he takes guard, though, is quite remarkable - nobody does it better than him, and nobody has had to do it as much as him over the past 24 years.

The intent to not get bogged down to the bowlers was there from ball one, and was even more evident when he got off the mark in his third delivery, catching the inside edge of the bat while going for a slog sweep down to midwicket.

The roar for that single was louder than any that followed the previous 17 boundaries, and an even bigger cheer was in evidence as Tendulkar drove down the ground for his second single.

The first boundary of his innings - a wonderful rock back onto the back foot for a square cut through point - sent the crowd into ecstasy.

A couple of deliveries later, and a gem off the front foot followed as Tendulkar drove one wonderfully through the covers for his second boundary.

Fans got to see just two boundaries in 24 deliveries from Tendulkar in Kolkata; well, they had three to savour in Sachin's first 15 balls as a pure extra cover drive saw the jaw of 33,000 people at the Wankhede, and a billion more at home, drop in awe.

Tendulkar was now in the mood - the 38 not out in 73 balls that he made, which included 6 boundaries, was vintage Sachin.

It was almost like he said - OK, this is probably my last innings and instead of getting weighed down by the pressure and expectations, why not just go out there, play freely and see where that takes me.

Took him to a position of real comfort, grace and elegance it did, as Tendulkar breezed his way to that 38, capped off by a quite awe-inspiring on-drive off West Indies skipper Darren Sammy.

When Sachin Tendulkar plays a drive straight down the ground in style, you know he is in form, and once that ball thundered past the left of mid-on and onto the ropes, you knew you were witnessing a Little Master in prime form.

Credit must also be given to Cheteshwar Pujara at the other end, who did not seem overawed by the occasion and calmed the nerves of Tendulkar to a great extent by batting serenely.

The early momentum given by the openers - Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay - never dropped as Tendulkar refused to be kept quiet by the spinners, like he so often has in the past year or so.

The intent, the most important aspect for Tendulkar 2013, was there. If he can keep that attacking intent zooming the same way that it did in the final hour-and-a-half of the first day's play against the West Indies, then that hundred that every single person has dreamt of might just become a reality.

Bring on the second day on Friday, and onwards we go for another masterpiece from the greatest cricket artist of the modern era.