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Howdy Guys ....I am Savi………your host for this permanent column…….at ‘yehhaicricket.com’

Here I am, back again with some more spice and some more crazy stuff to share with all of you. Well it all happened one night.......

MY MEETING WITH FANS

At around 8.00 pm the area around Jawaharlal Lal Nehru Stadium was lonely and quiet. The stadium lights were shining brightly  but the road from Gate no. 1 to Gate no. 2 was dead dark. At gate no. 2 a young kid was yelling at his mother " Mamma please hurry up, the match has already started, I don't want to miss the rest of it". 

The match I am referring to is the Yashpal Sharma benefit match between Sachin XI and Kapil XI played at Delhi. The scene inside the stadium was a crowd of around 8-9 thousand people, shouting at the top of their voices, 'We want sixer', 'Hey! cameraman please cover me', 'I love you Sachin', etc. Such was the belief of these die-hard fans that they had come to support their 'Heroes' even in a match which was not of international status and at a time when temperature soared to 38.6 degree Celsius under the heat of lights. 

If you believe me 'fans' are a bunch of crazy people...............nothing was visible from the sitting arena, yet their enthusiasm was at its peak. It was even difficult to differentiate one player from the other, commentary was not clear and in a span of three hours all I managed to make out was the name of only one player- that's it.

Sweat was trickling down my cheeks, the stadium was so noisy that it was difficult talking to the person sitting right next to you. It was becoming intolerable for me as sitting their was like sitting in the middle of an asylum surrounded by different kinds of mad fools. So I got up and started moving towards the gate totally determined to leave. When I was about to get out, someone called me from behind and I could not believe who I saw. 

Well I am not going to share it with you right now. Watch this space to know what happened thereafter. It is a wait of just a week. 

Well the person who had called me from behind was my friend who is a photographer by profession. In fact he is the official photographer of the Indian Cricket team. He took me to the ground where the match was being played  (area behind the ground level panel). I was given a chair to sit, on which I made myself comfortable. The match was quite visible from this position. 

The player fielding right in front of me was 'Vinod Kambli'. He seemed to be quite a friendly person as he was obliging the children with autographs after the finish of each over. He was even trying to have a look at the audience as if searching for something. I don't know what? (Well, at least we know the secret of his bad performances i.e. spending too much time on things not related with cricket) 

After the drinks break got over Kambli shouted ' Abey Main Idhar Hoon' and took off his cap to show his bald head which has now become his identity ( He was trying to correct the commentator who had called someone else as Kambli). 

The crowd seemed to be pretty pleased and happy inspite of the match fixing scandal. Next to me a group of 12 boys were sitting on the ground and were cheering their favorite cricketers to the best of their ability.

Next to me about 12 boys (aged between 12 to 17) were sitting on the ground (a grassy patch) and were cheering their favorite cricketers to the best of their ability. There was so much enthusiasm in them despite the heat that it urged me to speak to them so I turned towards them and questioned – 

Ques: Are you aware of the match-fixing scandal?
Reply: ‘YES’ 

Ques: Still you came here, to watch this match which is not even of International status?
Reply: We are here to see our ‘Heroes’ not the match. 

Ques: Are you studying?
Reply: ‘No’…….I don’t like studies. But I read Cricket magazines. I am a big follower of ‘Cricket Samarat’. You ask me any question from that magazine and I will answer it. 

I really pity these fans, who would do just anything to have a glance of the man they idolize- the man, who might not give him/her a second look, who might just walk away in his own proudy air without thinking of this fan, who is responsible for taking him to such heights. As is said," Masons build palaces but when it comes to their own self the blue sky is the only roof they have". 

The game was almost on the verge of completion, when the electronic score-board became operational . By now the crowd was standing, clapping and cheering the players. To me it was the same enthusiastic crowd as it always existed. There was no sign of anger or hatred towards the game. 

At the podium, the scene was something like this- Cameramen  were busy adjusting their coils and machines, photographers were ready with their cameras, policewala's and wali's were scattered all around and whoever from the crowd tried to enter the restricted area, received few blows of the good old Danda as a Momentum / Trophy. The players too were busy setting their hair (might have to face the camera, well can’t afford to look Baaaad), chatting and laughing, girls too started queuing up to see their heartthrobs. I too stood at one corner, quietly observing each movement. 

One of the players happened to be my friend, so on seeing me he waved. I waved back in response. I was least aware that someone was watching…!  

A police girl standing next to me was observing me very carefully. The moment I looked at her she asked, “Do you know him?” I nodded in positive. She said,” I am a big fan of Ajit Agarkar. Can you tell me where is he? I quickly glanced at all the players and then told her softly where he was standing. 

In-spite of my repeated efforts she could not locate him. By now around 8-10 police girls stood by me and requested me to point at him. These girls were from South and Ajit Agarkar was a favorite of all. It was pretty awkward but I agreed and pointed towards Ajit – “Vo Raha, in that Red T-shirt”. I think I was 'loud' because the very next moment everybody was staring at me. I was very embarrassed and decided to leave the ground at once. 

Well Guys that was the end of that day and I am convinced that fans definitely are a bunch of crazy lots…..! Because of them I too made a fool out of me……..but you know what……they made me famous and that too among the cricketers. 

                                                       Thank you and bye 

No Wait! I forgot to tell you something………Kapil XI won the match and Sachin XI lost ….wonder when Sachin will start winning!!!

Okay guys........I will be back soon with more sizzling stuff from my diary !  

                                                                 


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