A Letter to Sandesh Jhingan by a Kerala Blasters Fan

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If there’s one person in Indian Football on whom you can bet your life on to make a last ditch tackle, it’s Sandesh Jhingan.

If there’s one person in Indian Football on whom you can bet your life on to play his heart out on the pitch, it’s Sandesh Jhingan.

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If there’s one person in Indian Football on whom you can bet your life on to put his body on the line, it’s Sandesh Jhingan.

If there’s one person in Indian Football on whom you can bet your life on to lay down his life for the team, it’s Sandesh Jhingan.

An absolute fan favourite in every part of India but more so in Kerala, Sandesh, to everyone’s surprise, decided to leave the Kochi based club and start a new adventure. At the moment, no one knows the pros and cons of the decision, but what one knows is the void that is has left in the hearts of the Kerala fans, a void that can never ever be filled again. Here’s presenting you an open letter to Sandesh Jhingan by one of his greatest fans:

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Dear Sandesh,

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The moment I heard that you are leaving Kerala Blasters, it sent chills down my spine. I could have never expected something like this even in the wildest of my dreams and to see this actually happen, pins me to the core.

I can vividly remember your first game with Kerala Blasters. It was against Chennaiyin FC at the Marina Arena and I can never forget that day, for a star was born that day, a star that would shine in our hearts for years to come. That day, you made an instant impact as an aggressive, spirited right-back who behaved like a veteran from the very moment you took the field. Although the result didn’t favour us that night, one thing was clear enough. It was clear that you were going to make history as one of the best players to ever defend the Kerala colours. Even that day, your tenacity and willingness to put your body on the line stood out and nothing has changed 6 years later.

What has changed in these 6 years is your status at the club. After 6 fascinating seasons and 76 appearances for the club, it is definitely safe to say that you are a Living Legend, one whom the club supporters will never forget. Your impeccable attitude towards the game, both on and off the pitch should become a part of the Blasters Folklore- the ultimate example of what an ultra-professional sportsman can achieve thanks to his endless desire, sacrifice and inner strength.

During these six years, you guarded our goal just like a mother guards her child. Simply put, you have been one of the best ever defenders to grace not just the Kerala Blasters but the whole of the Indian Super League, with your warrior like spirit matched by none other.

Whether you were marking the legend Diego Forlan or the ever present Sunil Chhetri, we always felt that you would ultimately have the upper hand when faced with difficult challenges. Rather than crumble under pressure, you always rose above adversity and found a way to come out victorious.

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Your fearless attitude and never say die approach towards the game made us fall in love with you. We can never forget the incident when you carried on playing against Bengaluru FC after a head injury, with a bandage on. Such commitment towards the club was something that made even the haters stand up and take notice.

We have seen you savouring glory, screaming at unfocused teammates, crying in desperate pain and picking your team up when they needed it the most. I honestly don’t think that you can even imagine as to how much you mean to the millions of Kerala Blasters fans around the world, many of whom hadn’t even heard your name when you are picked up by the Kerala Blasters in the draft, back in 2014.

Well, the day has arrived. As much as I didn’t want it to, it has. You are leaving. It’s the law of life, but it is tough for me to even imagine a Kerala team without you. If I look back and remember the two finals that we lost, the first image that comes to my mind is you in absolute shutters. Every time I felt that if there is one person who’s even more disappointed than me, it’s you. I consoled myself every time when you said that one day, the trophy would be ours. I believed you every single time because I could see that you mean your words every time you took the field for us. Now that you are leaving, my dream of winning the ISL trophy might just remain a dream forever.

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My generation and those who came after do not know what the club will be like without Jhingan in defence branding the captain’s armband and the number 21 on the back of his shirt. I think that nothing will ever be the same without you.

We met six years ago. You were just a kid back then who had fire in his eyes and the willingness to conquer the world. From day one we have had a great relationship, both on and off the field. Seeing you take the field for us was like seeing a lion moving towards his prey. Seeing you on the field would always give me a sense of assurance that in case anyone makes a mistake, you would always be there to save us. But now, you are no longer there. My very own Guardian Angel has gone missing.

My Guardian Angel : You will be dearly missed. The fortnightly trips to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium will just never be the same without you. I am not sure as to whether the trips will even take place or not. Luckily for us, your legendary efforts have generated a titanic amount of positive memories which we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

But, I had always hoped that you will retire right here, in front of all of us. But, as the saying goes, Nothing is permanent. So, as you are set on your new adventure, I wish you all the very best in whatever you do and a big Thank You for everything you did for us.


Your fan.

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