Fandom has no limit in our cricket-mad country. Cricketers are national heroes for many and no justification is required for this fact. They are idols and their followers love them. That being said, there are a few ’dedicated’ fans, a couple of notches above as compared to their regular ‘loyalists’. These are staunch believers who are also generally called ‘die-hards’.
While the term is overly used these days, only a few manage to live up to its reputation just like in the case of the three brothers – Aakash, Chandru and Praveen – who travelled all the way from Chennai to Delhi only with a wish to meet their hero Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The former Indian skipper is currently leading Jharkhand in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. Holding two make-shift play-cards, made with thin chart papers, the trio screamed “Dhoni, Dhoni” standing near the fence outside the boundary ropes during Jharkhand’s game.
“We are here to meet Dhoni,” says Aakash, one of the brothers.
“All three have travelled for more than 2,500 km and have been in Delhi since the last four days just to meet Dhoni bhaiya. He (pointing at one of his brothers) even took leave from his job just to meet our idol, our hero,” he added.
Dhoni owes his popularity in Southern parts, especially in Tamil Nadu to the IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings. He led the side with great success until it was suspended a season ago. The southern fans suddenly were left to deal without his presence in Chennai.
“We are from Chennai,” reads one of the placards and it’s kept close to other which says, “Want to meet u MS Dhoni.”
The brother have been trying to meet him since the last year but all their efforts have been in vain, However, this time around they were hell bent to meet Dhoni. Their efforts in the past couple of included requesting the bus driver of the Jharkhand team to pass their hand written letter to standing near the exit of the stadium inquiring about his whereabouts.
“Is it possible to meet him, did he read my letter, I gave him you saw?
“His questions wouldn’t stop and hope was still not lost. As the Chennai brothers, running out of cash, get ready to head back home Thursday night, they continue to hope of meeting “Dhoni bhaiya” when he returns to “Chennai with the Super Kings”.
However, nothing worked and then Akash, the oldest brother felt that he needed to do something extraordinary. Right after Dhoni hit the winning six and secured a semis berth for his side, Akash jumped the boundary wall and rushed towards Mahi. He reached the center, touched MS Dhoni ’s feet before handing over a letter in a hand-written envelope.
“I have come from 3,000 kms away’, I told Dhoni bhaiya and touched his feet” he reveals. “Dhoni bhaiya said ‘3,000 kms. Really.
“I just took his blessings and not the autograph as the policemen grabbed me. My motive was served as I desperately wanted to share our feelings with Dhoni bhaiya,” says Akash after he was released by the policemen.
Aakash had to cope with a few blows from the security guards for the breach but the young guy fulfilled his dream. The other two, unfortunately, weren’t that lucky.