Kohli, have a heart
Virat Kohli makes news, on and off the field. The latest incident, where an innocent fan has been asked to "Leave India" comes as a bolt from the blue. One is not sure what the provocation was behind the Indian captain reacting in such a terse manner.
It is well known when you are a celebrity, there is nothing called a private life. In all these years, Kohli must have realised, whether he is inside the cricket stadium or at a restaurant or at the airport, he is a huge public figure.
For someone who has had his way with matters relating to cricket, including the ouster of coach Anil Kumble, Kohli has been lucky. To say that he is lucky as a batsman would be uncharitable as his grammar of batting is something which few can copy. For sheer dexterity, defiance, and audacity, he has been like the proverbial Bull in a China shop.
Sadly, when it came to remarks from a fan, who Kohli was answering in a purported video, the "Leave India" comment has caused a huge uproar. Coming a few days before Deepawali, this was very upsetting for millions of his fans around the globe.
Kohli has been trolled on Twitter and his attempts at making peace have not been very fruitful. The problem with fans is they are very emotional. When Kohli soars, so do the fans. When Kohli is going through a bad phase, his fans still back him, not mock him.
Kohli should know all this. To say that an innocent fan must quit his own country was not foolish, it was stupid. One is not sure who handles his Twitter account. There are many instances when superstars hire professionals to deal with such things. One gets an impression Kohli himself is using his Twitter account so he should not have wasted time in sending a sorry note earlier.
The relation between a superstar and his fans is an intense one. In most instances, the fan does not even get to see his idol regularly. The darshan, so to say, is in own space. In the old days, fans would cut photos from newspapers and magazines and then stick it on the wall.
These days, when high-end gizmos are there in plenty, fans look at Kohli on phones, laptops, and so on much more frequently. It's no exaggeration to state they spend so much time tracking what all Kohli does in his daily life. His marriage with Bollywood star Anushka Sharma has given him added responsibility and as a leader of sorts for many Indians, he is constantly under the scanner.
Just sample this, Kohli's fitness regime and his vegan diet is also a fad. People may not be able to bat like Kohli, but they can certainly imitate his facial contours beard, intense looks and style quotient. Kohli, too, needs to know he owes his fans as much as he owes his sponsors.
There are any number of high-end products he is endorsing and this brings him the megabucks. Kohli should not forget it's the end user whom the advertisers are aiming at. From the car he possesses to shoes he endorses, there is multi-billion figure attached with each of these Kohli deals.
For someone who grew up in west Delhi, the streak of arrogance was always there in Kohli. Nobody minded it, as other Delhi cricketers before him also had that swagger. Just that this time, it's gone beyond the limits of tolerance. Kohli has himself said he has been a fan of AB de Villiers.
Nobody has criticised him for that as there is no dearth of Indian celebrity cricketers who are still idolised in the world today. Kohli may have again been a bit odd earlier in his observations that he is a fan of German tennis star Angelique Kerber.
One does not need to go too far to actually find out what is the relationship between a superstar and fans. In Hollywood or Bollywood, despite the famous actors and actresses moving away from arc lights, they still have a huge fan base.
Kohli launched his app recently and as a commercial venture, it will be a huge hit. The man who turned 30 recently need to understand just as he has brought about a certain maturity in his own batting, he needs to be very careful while dealing with questions, comments from his army of fans.
One bad shot has caused him great anguish. He needs to take fresh guard and cut out the aggression, at least while dealing with millions of humans who love him so dearly.