For over a decade, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has captivated the world of cricket and over a billion Indians with his incredible ingenuity as captain, wicketkeeper and batsman.
With the hosting of much awaited Ekamra Sports Literary Festival (ESLF) in the capital city, November 2-3, senior journalist Bharat Sundaresan, author of the book ‘The Dhoni Touch’ will unravel the enigma that is the ‘Captain Cool’.
Sundaresan has tracked down the cricketer’s closest friends in Ranchi and artfully presented the different shades of Dhoni – the Ranchi boy, the fauji, the diplomat, Chennai’s beloved Thala, the wicket-keeping Pythagoras – and laid bare the man underneath. The writer has discovered the elusive qualities about the man, who has a magical ability to transform and elevate everything which comes into his orbit with the ‘Dhoni touch’.
The book reveals the life of an ordinary man living an extraordinary life with funny, candid, peppered and delicious anecdotes. The stylish and inquisitive writer has unleashed an array of helicopter shots to produce the definitive origin story of a player and captain who changed the fortune of the sport in his country to some extent.
“Over the years, Dhoni has personally intrigued me as a personality both on and off the field. There seemed to be so many layers in him, very few of which would come to the fore generally. He was an enigma that I personally had wanted to unravel for a long time,” Sundaresan stated when asked about the motivation behind writing the book.
Talking about the new facets of ‘The Captain Cool’ that has come to the fore while writing the book, the writer observed that Dhoni is one of the most pragmatic cricketers to have ever played the game.
“As I delved deeper I realised that the ‘Dhoni touch’ has not only been felt by those with whom he has played or captained, but also everyone who crossed paths with him. His adoration for the fauji (Army) way of life is amazing. His fauzi mindset comes through every walk of life especially in his decision making weather it is cricket or in life. Dhoni enjoys the little joys of life and strikes a very good balance between cricket and his multiple other passions,” Sundaresan narrated.
He took almost a year to write the book during which Dhoni’s career was constantly progressing. “I have to keep constant track on Dhoni’s career and other passions to ensure that the relevance of the content of my book is not impacted,” he mentioned.
Then what was the most difficult challenge about writing the book? Pat came the reply, “I put a lot of pressure on myself to ensure that the book is as refreshing as possible in terms of what the readers find out about Dhoni. I laced it with anecdotes and linked them with each episode of his life… be it his youthful days, whether he is in a shooting range or in a studio, his cricketing career and studio. I have tried to retell some of the stories known about him in a different way,” he explained.
No doubt Dhoni is in the last lap of his career now. But Sundaresan feels that there is nobody except Dhoni who could clear air about the apprehension. “He definitely knows where he will be in the next couple of years. Nobody has quite fathomed or ever will fathom the Mahi way of thinking,” he signed off.
With an author of so much expertise and research on Dhoni narrating his story, sports bibliophiles and Mahi fans must be ready for a brain storming session and it’s ‘captain cooling’ effect.