How much can one love his superhero?
If you’ve seen the latest Bollywood flick, ‘Bombay Talkies’, you’ll get an idea, with the last segment of the movie that shows an Amitabh Bachchan aficionado forcing his son to go all the way to meet the superstar. The son manages to do so after spending days on Mumbai's roads.
Twenty-six-year-old Devender Kumar’s story is similar. A local commentator from Jodhpur, he manages brief capsules on local radio channels for a living and passion.
He is a die-hard Virender Sehwag fan and that’s made him suffer. Devender spent last June at Sehwag’s academy in Jhajjar, Haryana, trying to meet him.
Just a glimpse
“I saw him from a distance as the guards did not let me meet him. Fortunately, the Jhajjar district jail showed mercy. They gave me chaar chapaati (four breads) and dal. On occasions, they even allowed me to sleep inside. On other days, I’d sleep by the roadside,” said Devender.
He then went to Sehwag’s home in Delhi but found he was away in Jaipur for a shoot. “I handed a letter to Madam (Mrs Sehwag, perhaps) for him.”
During Monday’s net session, he couldn’t keep his eyes off Sehwag. There were five men from the Anti-Terrorism Squad posted for Sehwag’s security.
“With Sehwag (who is out of the India team), there is still this government directive for ATS just like for Tendulkar and Dhoni,” said one of them.
However, even the man in uniform took mercy on Devender. “Jaao… mil lo (Go… meet him),” he said, and added, “We can bend a little for such crazy people.”
Devender surged forth but all Sehwag offered was a dry hello.