Dhoni plays Cupid
Roses and candle-light dinners are passe; here's the latest way to woo your fiancee - get your photograph clicked with Indian captain MS Dhoni. Ravindra Singh Saini, a 23-year-old, die-hard fan of Dhoni did just that, and it's wedding bells for him now.
Saini's parents had fixed his marriage with a girl from Himachal Pradesh, in an attempt to quell his craze for Dhoni and cricket. But a locket with Dhoni's picture around Saini's neck annoyed his fiancee, who issued an ultimatum: "Meet Dhoni, get a photograph clicked with him and then come for marriage."
And then there was no stopping Saini. He sold off his small shop of CDs and cassettes in his home town for Rs 15,000, left home and arrived in Ranchi on July 23. He set up camp at a hotel, tried to gather every possible detail about Dhoni and his friends, and visited one of the captain's contacts every day hoping his dream would be fulfilled. But as luck would have it, his money soon ran out and it was time for him to head back. But then a glimmer of hope - news that Dhoni could soon be home. Saini decided to give himself a couple of days, going hungry and even sleeping on the pavement.
And in the end his love triumphed. When Dhoni heard about the story he didn't waste any time in getting ready for the shoot. The light of the flashbulbs then captured Saini's dream: the photo that would hopefully capture his fiancee's heart.
Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo