Dear Mr Dhoni,
I am not a cricket fanatic and never considered cricket to be a religion. The last world cup I followed was in the year 1996 when Ajay Jadeja had thrashed Waqar Yunis of Pakistan for four sixes in an over, but the defeat at Eden Gardens(Kolkatta) shattered a 13 year old's dreams of India winning the world cup. I was 13 then and I am 28 now, times changed, teams changed, matches were played but I was indifferent. Then came a phase where there were a series of allegations against the players for fixing matches and that was the last nail in the coffin for me. According to me Indian Cricket did not deserve all the attention it got and the Indian cricketers were definitely not the Demi Gods they were made out to be. I could never understand why was cricket equivalent to religion in India, and could never fathom what was the 'Indian Cricket Mania' all about , until the night of 2nd April 2011! That fateful night answered all my questions and made me wish if it was possible to make cricket THE only religion in India. That night I experienced euphoria,pride,patriotism,and felt united with my country and its people like never before. Everywhere I looked I could sense similar emotions, it was as if a set of emotions were being passed through a xerox machine over and over again.. People from all walks of life belonging to diff religions,caste, creed and regions were celebrating being an INDIAN! For that moment no one was different, everyone was one, everything was one, the emotions,the tears of joy,the rapture, was all one and it was all for one reason...INDIA! 2nd April made me realize what it means to win as a NATION!
I want to thank you and your army of eleven men for making a 28 year old woman feel as hopeful and innocently passionate as a 13 year old girl again, for instilling a belief that not every man can be bribed, for making her realize why cricket is CRICKET in India, for giving 1.24 billion people a reason to forget their individual identities and unite as a country to celebrate, and for making the world get up and see that leaders indeed are made of a different metal altogether.
I was not born when India won its Independence, but for me 2nd April 2011 was as close as I could get to feeling what those alive on 15th August 1947 would have felt. I want to thank you for making me feel nothing else but just an INDIAN again!