For Bravo the Lion is not the King!

"I miss Chennai. CSK. Champions," his first words after getting the mike. A journalist then asks him if Gujarat Lions would be the new CSK. "There will never be a next CSK. There will only be one CSK," he replies.

Dwayne Bravo grooves to his 'Champion' song with fans.   -  PTI

Two twentysomething guys, perambulating on the ground floor of the Forum Vijaya Mall on a lazy Wednesday afternoon, spot people hiving near a makeshift dais at the mall’s usually vacant centre area.

“Dei… iru da… adhu namma Bravo va? (Hey… hold on… is that our Bravo?),” asks one to the other, both craning to look beyond the crowd, at the dais.

It was Dwayne Bravo, indeed. Their Bravo. Their Super King. The one who entertained them with song, dance and cricket for the past five years. Chennai Super Kings is no more… at least for another two years. The memories, along with its social media accounts and fans, however, will remain.

“Dei aama da! Bravo machi! (It is Bravo!),” says one as he takes out his cellphone and switches on the camera.

“What was Dwayne Bravo doing in Vadapalani on an unassuming Wednesday afternoon?” The thought would have crossed their minds.

He was there to promote Golden Goose Sports’ Ultimate Sports Coaching, a coaching camp for the aspiring Dhonis, Kohlis, Sanias, Sainas et al.

But it doesn’t matter. He is here again! In their Chennai. In his Chennai. His favourite place in the world apart from Trinidad and Tobago.

The phones are out. Cameras are ready. But a picture of him won’t be enough. Selfie. They need a selfie with him. But there is an assorted crowd of bouncers, securitymen, journalists and organisers standing in their way. They crane and turn their phones in different angles, hoping to get them and their Champion in the frame. That will be a testimony for this moment, which they will share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and with family, friends and probably their future generations.

People near the dais increase. It’s like you spill sugar and suddenly there are ants all over the place.

A middle-aged woman sneaks in and clicks a picture from a metre away from Bravo.

“BRAVO IS GONNA SPEAK NOW,” hollers the compere.

The crowd’s response is varied. These three shouts are, however, the top three: 1. “CSK… CSK” 2. “DHONIII” 3. “CHAMPIONS”.

“But before I hand the mike to Bravo, I want you to do the Champion dance,” says the compere. The “CHAMPIONS” shouts increase.

The song plays, the people dance, and Bravo smiles. The smile widens. Then, he gets up to dance as well. The crowd loses it. Even the onlookers from the third floor join him. The Champion dance was contagious throughout the World Twenty20. After that thrilling blockbuster final at the Eden Gardens, it has become an epidemic.

“I miss Chennai. CSK. Champions,” his first words after getting the mike.

A journalist then asks him if Gujarat Lions would be the new CSK.

“There will never be a next CSK. There will only be one CSK,” he replies. Screams of “Dhoniii” and “CSK” again.

“But I hope the people of Chennai will support Gujarat Lions,” he says, “We have five players from CSK team. I am excited about the new team… the new franchise. But there will never be another CSK.”

“There will never be another CSK.” That’s what the crowd wanted to hear. That’s what the media will use in their headlines. That’s exactly what the twentysomethings expected Bravo to say.