An Open Letter To MS Dhoni After Some Monsters Targeted His Daughter:
You know, when I was that kid, just done with my ISC and was extremely excited to see team India in the finals against Sri Lanka of the 2011 World Cup, my mum told me that chances of India notching up the trophy were bare minimum.
I kind of understand where it was coming from. Another favourite captain of mine, Saurav Ganguly, almost touched the trophy and yet was left a million miles behind. In those days, every single time India clashed with Sri Lanka, we were struck by a landslide in the middle-order and it used to be a massive disappointment.
Even in 2002, when India managed to confine Sri Lanka within a modest total, rain played a spoilsport and India had to be content with the joint championship in the ICC Champions Trophy. From all those pent up tragedies and defeats, probably my mum and my dad couldn’t really expect a glimmer of hope in that awe-inspiring finale.
Being honest, even I lost all hopes when Sachin and Sehwag were removed in no time. Déjà Vu of the South Africa game kicked me hard and tears started rolling down my eyes. However, Gambhir and Kohli accounted for the stabilization of the innings and when Kohli got out, instead of Yuvraj you walked in.
I thought that it was a mistake because you were someone who loved to rattle the bowlers and another hellish nightmare of the 2007 World Cup caught me badly. You were dismissed for a nought by Muralidaran and you literally couldn’t move your bat against the world’s best spinner. I was honestly scared that you attempted suicide.
However, we all forgot one thing that this was the era of new Indians. This was an era of belief. This was an era of hope. This was an era of not giving up without a darned fight. This was an era of daring. When you struck Thisara Perera with the winning blow, I erupted in frenzied exhilaration, screaming at the top of my voice with a broken body as I had a fever that day and with a sore throat. Mahendra Singh Dhoni made it happen. The world was ours.
Similarly, in 2007 T-20 World Cup final, every single time you walked up to Joginder Sharma, my heart skipped a beat. He seemed lost and haywire and yet you seemed calm like never before. I have seen that calm before a storm. Magic happened at Johannesburg that day and you orchestrated the sequence from behind the stumps.
I thought Harry Houdini was the man who could conjure the best tricks in the magical rosters, but on June 23rd, 2013, you pulled off a better one. You drubbed those three lions in their den and stood atop their cadavers with exultations. Yes, Mahi, you pulled off a miracle, a miracle that we would only dream of. The world was ours and we won the most prestigious silverware of the planet in cricket.
Today, when a rapist, or let’s call the man a would-be rapist (that is what they term the ones who give you a rape threat), technicalities you see, he didn’t just threaten your daughter, Mahi. He threatened the integrity of our nation. The nation is already in the midst of so many quagmires and another one gets augmented to the bunch of these rotten mentalities.
Please do forgive us, Mahi because we have let you down. Triumphs and downfalls are the flipsides of the same coin and yet we only want you to see the rosier side of the coin. We cannot simply accept that you have given us unforgettable moments when the nation had none to savour. We always crave for more. We crave for the best.
You know Mahi, this nation has always been the same. She tarnished my hero, Saurav because he failed towards the end, she never recognized Rahul for those inhuman efforts that he put in, she never understood the value of Laxman wherein he proved himself to be one of the finest Test cricketers ever, she simply doesn’t understand.
Or maybe she does, but we the offspring, we are like blood-thirsty leeches. We forget our heroes and we demonize them for a single failure. We have a new weapon now and it is called Twitter. It has helped us to mobilize our hate and fuel our rage at anyone we want to.
We have forgotten the line between humanity and monstrosity. If a six-year-old kid can be threatened with rape, this nation has collectively failed one of its greatest icons.
However, please do not worry, Mahi. Ziva won’t even be touched because we are the same nation who fended off the biggest enemies when the time demanded us to do so. If the slightest hint of malign crosses anyone’s mind, this nation will roar. It will roar like the tiger you are and it will not hesitate to tear apart anyone who will dare put a hand on the modesty of the motherland or your daughter, both to be placed in the same panoply that deifies our Goddesses.
A forever Mahi fan.