Exclusive : Bhajji - Cricketer, Singer, Producer, and Great Human Being

Walter Nandalike
Daijiworld Media Network

Kundapur, Feb 2: 32-year-old Harbhajan Singh Plaha, popularly known as 'Bhajji' is among the most exceptional talents Indian cricket has ever seen. Not only has he troubled the best of batmen the world over, he played an instrumental role in India's 2011 World Cup win too.

The cricketer who was in Shiroor for the foundation stone laying ceremony and the annual day of the famous Green Valley School spoke exclusively to Daijiworld and shared a few things beyond cricket.

The young Sardar, who is currently out of the Indian squad, enjoys equal popularity among the young and the old. Thousands of young students, their parents, well-wishers gathered to see Bhajji on Friday February 1. Though his press conference was delayed by more than an hour, the media fraternity patiently waited.

His press meet was official, and no sensational questions were asked or answers. He was confident of making a comeback in the Indian squad 'soon'.

"I am working extremely hard, I will do my best to return to international cricket at the earliest. I will be playing Irani Trophy on February 6 in India A side. That could be an important match for me," he said.

No doubt, for some time, Bhajji was in the news more for non-cricketing reasons than for his exploits on the field. Yet, one needs to meet him personally to appreciate his humility. His approach towards children and youngsters was amazing to the least, as he humbly and with great patience accepted photograph requests. He obliged everyone who wanted to click photographs with him.

Sadly, people still haven't forgetten his on-field controversy with Aussie Andrew Symonds and off-field controversy with Sreesanth. During the press meet, a question related to the issue seemed to have annoyed him, and one could see the hurt in his eyes. "What the media reported was not fully right," was what he felt.

"God gave me an opportunity to represent my county as a cricketer. I gave my best, still, my best is yet to come. Competition for a place in the side is tough, but nothing is impossible. Hard work always pays off," he told daijiworld.

It was a special moment when he approached the students of Dena Special School in Shiroor. His eyes spoke volumes of his soft nature as he hugged the children, gave them flowers for posed for photographs. It was a heart-touching scene as the humble Bhajji made the special kids happy and brought smiles on their faces. It was a moment they would cherish for a long time to come.

Talking about the upcoming Australia series, Bhajji felt that India could easily beat Australia. Absence of Ricky Ponting, Hussey and some other players will surely affect Australia, and they are not great players of spin either, he said.

"Once upon a time, they had all eleven star players. Right from Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne to Glenn McGrath — they were unbeatable as a unit. Ricky Ponting was a class act as well. It will be difficult for the Australians to replace them," he said.

Bhajji the Singer and Movie Producer :

Perhaps, not many know of Bhajji's talents off the field. He has turned a singer, and a good one too, with his recent "Ek Suneha" Punjabi song (his first) becoming a super hit with over 400,000 hits in YouTube within 72 hours of the launch. The video has a great message to mankind.

"I am just reciting lines that portray a very strong message about the true essence of being a Punjabi, and not what a Punjabi is generally thought to be by stereotypes. It's an inspirational message for all," he said, adding that the deep meaning in the lyrics is what made him take it up.

Bhajji is also planning to produce to two Punjabi movies, as singing and cinema are his hobbies. "I will be producing two comedy movies and I am also in touch with some top actors in the Bollywood and Punjabi film industries," he said, adding that the movies will be released outside India too.

When asked if he was also interested in acting movies, he said, 'Cricket is my passion and my first love. I will not act in films. Movies will be as just another interest and nothing more. Cricket will remain my first priority."

Bhajji conveyed his gratitude to Syed Abdul Khader, managing trustee, philantropist, and NRE entrepenuer who has converted Shiroor into a educational hub with Green Valley School, through whom he got an opportunity to visit the coastal cities and to interact with students of the Institute, and also with the special kids of Dena school.

"Meeting those special kids was a heart-touching moment. My love and prayers will always be with them," Bhajji said.

Bhajji's friend Syed Abdul Khadar who brought him to Shiroor says that Bhajji is involved in many charity works in Punjab and elsewhere, but Bhajji humbly refuses to let people know about it. "It is a part of our lives, and our duty too. I will continue my duty, but do not want to talk about it."

Video : Bhajji's song with strong message