Being part of India’s T20 World Cup open bus parade will remain an unforgettable, tiring, and once-in-a-lifetime experience. I joined the enthusiastic crowd, got super lucky to form a hand chain, and walked alongside the bus, close enough to touch it. That was a surreal experience amidst chaos and chants everywhere.

Throughout the parade, I kept thanking each player I got a glimpse of, and many acknowledged me as they could literally hear me due to my closeness to the bus. I kept calling for Virat, and SKY on the bus replied, saying he was on the other side. Although I didn’t get to catch Virat’s eye right then, it was thrilling to be acknowledged. Rohit Sharma also acknowledged my thank-you gestures with a thank you.

As the parade continued, Bumrah, Arshdeep, Kuldeep, Jaiswal, Pant, Siraj, Jadeja, Axar, and Pandya waved towards the side I was on, adding to the excitement. I kept staring at all of them while holding hand chains with crowds pushing from one side and police from the other.

I got a constant glimpse of Dravid the coach, and I thanked him a lot. Also, Jay Shah acknowledged me when I kept screaming for Virat, replying with a smile, “aayega,” which was quite funny.

When Virat finally appeared on the side I was on, his presence was electrifying, even though I couldn’t catch his eye. I kept staring and screaming his name, and he was just two hand lengths away from me. Maybe next time, a one-on-one chat with Virat will happen with no cameras around. He’s the reason I’m smiling amidst my life challenges.

The climax was when Rohit and Virat lifted the trophy right above my head—a truly “wow” moment.

The wait was long, about three hours before the parade started, plus another hour during the parade, leaving me and every fan exhausted and fatigued. But the continuous one-hour glimpse of the team made it all worthwhile. By the end, I was worn out but elated, having been part of such a monumental celebration.

Fans, please do take care and rest as it was one hell of an experience for all of us too. Take care.

At the end, it goes without saying that the police had the most tiring job, managing such an unmanageable crowd; they even got their lathis out a few times. With my closeness to them, I made sure to thank them and make them smile as much as I could. Kudos and heartfelt thanks to the police and all volunteers. Take care.

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