Well as Ravichandran Ashwin was celebrating his birthday a day before yesterday, let me tell you about the time when I met the spin king back in 2017. It was on 25 October 2017 and my exams were barely a month away. I hadn’t even started my studies but still, decided to travel for some work. While I was with a few of my friends in Bandra Kurla Complex, we decided to watch the Ranji match between Mumbai and Tamil Nadu which was going on at the same place. To our fortune, Ravichandran Ashwin, the legend himself was playing that match (Fun Fact: India was playing the second ODI against NZ in Pune during the same time).
Post the end of day’s play, as Ravichandran Ashwin came walking near me I got really nervous as he is my favourite Indian player. As a matter of fact I still remember backing him like anything during my childhood days in 2011 and 2012. It was like I was living the dream. When he came near me I nervously went to talk to him. Shockingly he turned out to be really chilled out and he was all cool. When I started speaking to him he suddenly looked at me and said “Nee Tamil aah?” Meaning “Are you a tamilian?” To which I replied yes. As my Tamil isn’t as strong as it’s supposed to be, I tried to stick to English.
After a few minutes, I thought I’d ask him for a picture. However, before I even asked him for it and before I could even complete my sentence he said “You want a photo? Haha sure, come come” it was such a surreal moment for me as this was probably just the second or third time a celebrity obliged for a photo before even me asking for one. After clicking the picture, I wished him all the best for all his future endeavors and he sweetly smiled and wished me the same.
What shocks me to this very date is the fact that how could a legend like Ashwin be so down to earth? In the second picture you can see a candid me looking at the offie. While that was just a candid pic and wasn’t intentional that pretty much sums up the Ashwin fanboy within me. My picture with Ashwin is still one of my most prized possessions to this very date and for me, it’s worth billions. As destiny had it written, he played against Sri Lanka just a month later and became the fastest bowler to pick 300 wickets in Test cricket. No matter what, Ashwin is one of my favorite players as well as one of the greatest bowling all-rounders I’ve ever seen or met.