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Home Fan Zone Bone disorder couldn't stop this Chennaiyin FC fan from cheering for his...

Bone disorder couldn’t stop this Chennaiyin FC fan from cheering for his team

If I ask you how far you will go in the name of purest love? Especially if your preoccupation luxuriates on football

Maybe, never miss a single match telecast on television? Or even better, catch the live hysteria from the stadium in person? Even when the risk of fracturing bones is soaring high. Born with a congenital bone disorder, Rajaraman, 23, managed to visit the stadium in Chennai for the first time when his favourite club played Mumbai City FC on October 27. Once the crowd got its mojo, he says, he became oblivious of his wheelchair and soaked in the atmosphere. Suffice to say that your passion for football might never amount up to the level that supermachan Rajaraman has displayed. 

It was a wonderful experience at the stadium. That experience is what I want for every differently-abled football enthusiast. I have watched matches on TV, but like other fans, I was always hopeful of watching a match live from the stands and extend support to my favourite club. I knew it would be difficult, initially, my mother was hesitant. She has had to bear the entire burden of my deformity since birth. But then I convinced her, and eventually convinced myself.

Hailing from Chennai, Rajaraman suffers from a congenital bone disorder since birth that restricts mobility with a continual risk of bone fracture. But his deformity has not been able to eat into his love for the sport. He is thankful to the Supermachans fan club for acknowledging him and offering to help him. “The fan club has been really supportive of me. I would not have made it to the stadium without their help. It was very comfortable for me,” he averred.

Also read: Chennaiyin FC fan club launches orphan campaign through matchday poster

Rajaraman, now pursuing his Chartered Accountancy course from his hometown, had always dreamt of watching a football match live in a stadium. The obsession with football began at an early age for him, Rajaraman’s dream would have probably never seen the sunshine had it not been for his unfaltering passion for the sport. 

I was born with multiple fractures in the body. Doctors were afraid that I would not be alive for more than six weeks. But I lived. My skull was like a pillow, if touched, the hand would go inside. Things started becoming normal after treatment. I had 150 plus fractures in my body. It is really difficult for me to move around. Every time my bone breaks, I have to go visit the doctor. My mom has been my support system. Without her, I would have not have existed. She has had to sacrifice a lot to keep me alive.

rajaraman with his mother
Rajaraman with his mother at the Marine Arena stadium where Chennaiyin FC played against Mumbai City FC on October 27.

But sometimes, things just have an interesting way of falling in the right place. From home confinement to a lack of job opportunities, people with disabilities are most often treated with indifference. But luck seems to have done its bit in Rajaraman’s life. “All through my life, by God’s grace, people have always wanted to help me. By embracing my limitations, I have been able to turn it into my biggest possible strength. I have never let my disability diminish my hope because I always believed that there is a way around,” said he.

“I, too, dream of kicking the ball one day. It is just a way of emulating something that you have grown up watching. I believe I will fit perfectly well in the role of a winger,” he throws away a grin. The Chennaiyin FC squad may not have had the best outing at the Indian Super League, but the signs are certainly optimistic for fierce loyalists like Rajaraman. On being asked what his message to other disabled youngsters would be, he avers, “You should believe in yourself. Never let go of opportunities. Success is more important than the path you chose. I call it the end destination. Maybe not the way you exactly wanted, but you can still make it there.”

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