Meet Virat Kohli's super fan who has 16 tattoos
- What makes Behera's support for Virat Kohli unique is the fact that he has as many as 16 different tattoos on his body, all dedicated to the Indian captain
- Behera waited for five years to meet Kohli and his dream finally came true ahead of the Vizag Test against South Africa
- With a dream to meet Virat, Behera had travelled to many venues before this
The likes of Sudhir Gautam and Hari Saravanan waving the tri-colour, chanting “India...India” at the top of their voices is something we have all seen. Gautam is a super fan of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, while Saravanan is a massive supporter of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. But joining them now is a Virat Kohli fan, Pintu Behera.
What makes Behera's support for Virat Kohli unique is the fact that he has as many as 16 different tattoos on his body, all dedicated to the Indian captain.
The 31-year-old Behera booked a train ticket and was soon was on his way to Vizag.
A contractor by profession, Behera, reached the port city a day before the match and his long awaited dream of meeting Kohli came true.
“When I reached the venue, I somehow managed to get inside the stadium. When Kohli came out for training, I took off my shirt. There were some fans around to see the Indian team. They all started to cheer. 'Kohli..Kohli' was being heard everywhere. That scene drew the attention of many in the stadium,” an excited Behera told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.
“There were some officials and journalists who have been watching me coming to various venues and struggling to meet Kohli. They all helped me to meet the captain,” he said.
Behera was stunned as well as emotional when Kohli, after finishing his training and pre-match conference, asked security to let him enter the players' are, which is cordoned off.
“Kohli waved his hand and asked me to come inside. He was smiling. I was shirtless. He shook my hand and hugged me. I couldn’t say a thing in front of him. I started crying and said ‘I waited for four years sir. Thank you, sir’. He hugged and patted me. He consoled me saying ‘it’s ok...it’s ok’,” an emotional Behera recalled.
“He saw all the tattoos and counted them. He was saying ‘wow...wonderful’. He checked every tattoo. He was so so happy,”
“Virat told me he will meet me soon,” Behera said.
With a dream to meet Virat, Behera had travelled to many venues before this, but had failed to meet the Indian captain.
“I cannot forget that day in my entire life. A big dream that I had for a very long has come true. I am so happy. The feeling of meeting Virat is yet to sink in. I was trying to meet him since 2016. I put in all the efforts on various occasions but failed to meet him. I am really thankful that I got the opportunity to meet my God,” an emotional Behera told TimesofIndia.com.
“I want to be known as Virat’s super fan.”
Behra’s first tattoo was Virat's name and his jersey number - 18 on his back. The 31-year-old sat for as many as 14 hours to get those tattoos inked.
“I picked up an infection after getting the tattoo. May be the ink which was used didn’t suit me. I was scolded by the family for that, but I didn’t stop there. I was adamant about impressing Virat,” Behera said.
Apart from Virat's name and jersey number, Behera’s body also has tattoos of Kohli’s’s face, the BCCI logo and Virat's Test cap number - 269
He also has a tattoo of Virat paying tribute to Sachin Tendulkar by bowling down (Kohli scored a 37-ball 55 to help India beat Pakistan in front of Tendulkar during a World T20 match in 2016), Kohli blowing a kiss to Anushka Sharma and the Under-19 World Cup (2008)
Along with those, Behera has also got the following inked on his body - Kohli’s three World Cups (2011, 2015 and 2019), an image of Virat's childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma, the ICC World Cup logos (2011, 2015 and 2019) and the National awards Virat has received.
“I have been to Vizag, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Delhi and Chennai to meet Kohli. I have travelled by train, since I cannot afford flight tickets. Sometimes, I sat near the toilets in sleeper coaches. I have also travelled in general coaches. The journeys were tough but that doesn't matter, because my dream of meeting Kohli came true,” he said.
Behera is now waiting to meet Kohli again and wants to take an autograph of the Indian captain on his chest.
"When I meet him next, I will get his autograph on my chest and will get another tattoo inked. This is my ultimate aim," Behera said.
Behera's love for cricket and Virat though is not just limited to himself. He has an infant daughter and he wants her to grow up to be a cricketer one day.