CSK – THE EMOTION
Chennai is a city and Madras is an emotion. When it comes to IPL, CSK is not just another team, but an emotion and Thala Dhoni has been the torch bearer of millions of emotional fanatics/bhakts such as myself.
This franchise has managed to etch plethora of thrilling, emotional memories in our minds. When I used to be home back in India, I never missed a home game or a match against RCB at Bangalore. The Dharamshala finish by Thala to Albie’s 28 run over of Kohli…The no-ball victory over RCB and Kohli’s reaction, thala’s re-definition of captaincy by placing a mid-off and a long-off for Pollard in the 2010 finals, master stroke with Ashwin opening the bowling in 2011 finals to blow off the Gayle storm in just the 3rd ball of the 1st over in their chase (this was my last game in person at the stadium.dearly miss being at the stadium)..the list goes on & on like a never ending saga. Although I am on the other side of the globe today (in the US), the CSK fanatism within me never died. Just keeps growing on me with every passing year. Have been the lone CSK supporter amidst Mumbai natives and supporters (roommates and colleagues). To top it have a wife who grew up in Mumbai (now turned into a CSK avid supporter).
The recent one that vividly comes to mind is the 2018 opener vs arch-rivals Mumbai. I was with my wife and her friends who are from Mumbai and were supporting Mumbai Indians obviously. With us missing out on 2 seasons for the wrong reasons, the haters were waiting as always to pounce on us during our comeback season. The dad’s army mocking was irritating to say the least. But kept reminding myself that thalaivan irukuraru..1st match..MI put up 165 in 20 overs and we were struggling at 118/8 in the 17th over. As everyone I too thought we were out of the game especially with Bumrah having 2 up his sleeve. But as Thala had informed Watto “We are CSK and this is what we do here”, Bravo pulled a rabbit out of the hat. We snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Remember the goosebump moments of those 2 overs where Bravo kept smacking 6’s off Bumrah especially the one over long off. Remember the elation in Gavaskar’s commentary as well as the people watching the game with me when Bravo got out. When the injured Kedar Jadhav scooped one over fine leg for 6, I remember the thrill and excitement which only a CSK fan would know about & understand. Marked the beginning an epic comeback season for our team. Eventually we were the Champions.
Certain people, sports, teams in life connect with you and makes you relate to them. CSK the team taught me some valuable life lessons like self-belief, hard work and never to give up. Thala Dhoni showed the world how to manage work and personal life, always maintain one’s composure and more importantly be a simple and honest human being. If Rajnikanth is for Cinema, CSK and Thala Dhoni are for cricket in my books.
I decided that this legacy will continue within my family in the generations to come. My son Advik is a born CSKian and the youngest Dhoni fan. The legacy will continue forever.