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Sakshi Dhoni in disguise

by Gaurav Sethi

With my instructor, Ravi Dhoni
After a two day sabbatical from the gym I return buoyed by a win last night. I’m upbeat enough to wear that sexy black-red Delhi Daredevils T circa 250 B.C.  Moving in with a Viv Richards’ groove, I meet my late morning instructor, Ravi – he is perceptive enough to ask me, “Aap Delhi Daredevils ko support kartein hain?” (You back DD?) My snide side is put on hold, replaced by a nod.

Ravi goes on to declare his love for CSK. Ravi and I pose for a photograph. I inform him of a possible piece on his love for CSK. Previously Ravi led me to write on Che Pujara.

I now know if I’m to write more on cricket, I have to train more with Ravi. His shallow insights into cricket stir my somewhat even shallower ones.

Today is chest-day. I’m on the butterfly gig now. Ravi has reduced my efforts on the first two sets by pitching in on the weights. On the third set which is by far the toughest, I’m unaided – Ravi takes flight on an MS Dhoni-ramble. “Mai Dhoni ko bahut like karta hoon…Dhoni jo hai….Dhoni ki ek baat…”

Could he be Sakshi Dhoni in disguise?

Ravi hasn’t been to the Kotla this IPL. There just aren’t so many free tickets floating around this season. Two came my way for Delhi’s game against Mumbai.

Too young for commitment
After a lunch-for-champions, 12 year old Vasu and I, many years’ old, were dropped just shy of the Kotla. Vasu, resplendent in a cap, only he and the Mad Hatter could pull off, stood in a queue that snaked across the Great Wall of China. I felt good about dressing down – if you can’t dress like an Arab for day IPL games, dress like me (shorts, loose sleeveless T below a loose shirt), as for the ladies, check out Sakshi Dhoni’s wardrobe for the IPL games.

The girls behind us talked so much serious cricket I wanted to chat them up. But I was with Vasu, and settled on a more stoic Uncle demeanour instead. As for Vasu, he was minding his queues – and spotted an Aunty and her beti slide into the line. This bothered him and the girls, generalisations of Delhi-attitude were hurled. More intrusions, more generalisations.  Mother of a kid who resembled a bandaged Kumble craved leniency. “If you’re fit to watch an IPL game..” one of the righteous girls snapped.

It took an hour to make it to the thoughtlessly designed North West Stands – 2000 bucks to romance a pillar?

By the time Sehwag came on, I vacated my crummy seat to stand with the uncensored ground in view. Sehwag scored and scored and scored. I barely moved a heel, soaking in as much of Sehwag’s batting as I could in an IPL game. Going by most informed voices, Sehwag’s international career is over.  What do they know that they’re not telling us? Why can’t Sehwag make a comeback? I can’t help but think that Sehwag’s end, if indeed it is that, has more to do with reasons other than his lack of batting form. How else do you explain the finality?

And with this belief, I stood and stared at Sehwag, each run, each move. Who knows if there will be a next time? 

Who ripped into my Viru?
While Sachin returning to his mark at fine leg led to a wave of Sachin! Sachin! hysterics, it took coaxing from the DJ to nudge the crowd into a short spurt of Viru! Viru! Think I joined in. At least I hope I did. Did Aarti Sehwag join in? What am I driving at – am I Aarti Sehwag in disguise? Ha, guess all fans have this recurring moment when they believe they love that one player more than anybody else. 

I know this girl on twitter, @Dravidoholic (Foram), and I’m quite sure she’d like to think of herself as Mrs Dravid. She had this dream: she’s dying and her last wish was to die in Dravid’s arms, which she does -

I can’t say if Instructor Ravi has been dreaming of Dhoni but Sehwag hasn’t visited my bedside yet. A stray thought: what will become of us if we guys get serious about women’s cricket? 

Foram with her Lord and Master

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