Cricket
Harbhajan’s tweets after joining the team have been on point, with plenty of references from Tamil films.

It is not often that someone gets an opportunity to share a close bond with their idol. With the advent of social media, however, this gap has become smaller and the dream does not seem too far-fetched. We follow our favourite stars on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and sometimes, the unthinkable happens! They follows us back (gasp)!

It was one such moment that has now made Saravanan Pandian a familiar name among cricket fans in Tamil Nadu. When his favourite cricketer Harbhajan Singh followed him back on Twitter earlier this year, Saravanan was lost for words.

“As a fan, I was following Harbhajan Singh on Twitter and kept track of all his tweets. If someone were to send harsh comments to him, I used to defend him. I also regularly retweeted his tweets,” says Saravanan when TNM reached out to him over the phone.

An engineering graduate, who has worked in Dubai in the past, Saravanan is originally from Chinnalapatti in Dindugal. While he has been an ardent fan of the Turbanator for many years, Saravanan said Harbhajan noticed him on Twitter and the two even met at a Ranji match in Dindigul two years ago.

Acknowledging Saravanan’s love for him, Bhajji even tweeted that Saravanan was indeed his number one fan in January this year.

Having gained access to his favourite cricketer, Saravanan shares that it was he who suggested that Harbhajan Singh post Pongal wishes from his official page in Tamil.

The tweet praises Tamil people as vibrant, intellectual, hardworking, and pure folks. “I did think carefully before composing this tweet for Harbhajan Singh. I wanted it to be powerful and hoped that people would like it,” says Saravanan.

This tweet turned out be a great success, with the Chennai Super Kings official handle saying, “Thank you Turbonator. We should treat you to some sakkarai pongal.”

This came at a time when Bhajji entered CSK, replacing R Ashwin, who now plays for Kings XI Punjab. So was tweeting in Tamil a way to ease his entry into the team and win people’s hearts? Saravanan comes to Harbhajan’s defence, saying that this was not the intent. “Harbhajan has previously helped monetarily during the 2015 Chennai floods and he has a genuine interest for the language,” he adds.

Harbhajan’s tweets after joining the team have been on point, with plenty of references from Tamil films. 

Saravanan shares that his friends are of great help when it comes to compiling these tweets. “My friends - Nandhakumar, Sujan Suresh, Ramnath, Muthu, Shyam, Surendran - are of great support. They help me by proofreading the tweet. I don't want anything to go wrong, especially when lakhs of people are reading it.”

Quite recently, the exchange between Harbhajan and Sachin on the former’s birthday went viral for one specific reason - they were in Tamil.

As the man behind Harbhajan’s Tamil tweets, Saravanan, who has now quit his job in Dubai, hopes to make it into the world of cricket commentary and compering. “I have a genuine love for the language and I hope to make Tamil people proud. I also think the rich culture of the Tamils should be spread across the world,” he smiles.

In addition to helping Bhajji with his Tamil tweets, Saravanan has also been working on the Tamil and English subtitles for his YouTube show Quickheal Bhajji Blast with CSK.