Shouts of Dhoni, Dhoni reverberated as one of India’s most loved cricket icons, M.S. Dhoni entered the auditorium of a suburban multiplex to launch the trailer of his biopic Dhoni along with actor Sushant Singh Rajput. Dressed formally for the evening in a grey blazer and black tie, Dhoni looked sharp and stylish to the core in gelled hair and a two-day stubble.And like it happens on the cricket field, the theater was jam packed with Dhoni’s fans ranging from the young to the old all of whom trooped in to watch the cricketer in flesh and blood. And Dhoni sure didn’t disappoint them.
Reversing usual press conference precedents, the makers converted a press meet into a meet and greet session with fans promising media a chance to ask questions to Dhoni only to renegade on their word later. As Dhoni left after ending his Q&A session without addressing the press, a large section of scribes angry at already having waited for more than two hours for Dhoni staged a walkout as a mark of protest. However, the ones who were left impressed were Dhoni’s legion of fans who had flocked the cinema hall. And the India T20 skipper did field some interesting ones from his admirers.
When asked what the game of cricket has taught him till date, Dhoni answered, “Cricket is a great leveller. If you are not humble, it teaches you to be humble. When you are going through a lean patch, it so happens that during that time the best bowler of the opposition team ends up bowling to you and the worst fielder of the team will end up diving to catch your shot.”
When quizzed about his life’s mantra, Dhoni said, “I try to keep it simple. I am somebody who lives in the present and I don’t think too much about past or future. I take learning from my past and you need to have goals for the future but the most important thing is the present. The effect of our present will be seen on our future. You have to find motivation from either family or friends or people around you. For me, my country is my biggest motivating factor.”
Among the audience was also a die-hard young female admirer who complimented Dhoni for his good looks before asking what she should do to keep her cool during exams. In his inimitable way, Dhoni advised, ” When you get your exam paper in hand, it is already too late. If you have studied hard for the entire year, you will know the answers. So it is important that when you attend your classes daily to be attentive and learn a little everyday. When I was in Class 12, my exams coincided with my matches. I had to give my exam, take a train, go, play and come back. I was scared to tell this to my father. Finally, I mustered courage and told my him about it and very coolly he replied, “If you have worked hard for a year, a single day will not make any difference. Similarly, if you haven’t worked hard at all for a year, again a single day will make no difference.”
Dhoni also recollected his mind’s turmoil when Pakistan’s Misbah-Ul-Haq mistimed a hit that landed straight into Sreesanth’s palms helping India win the first T20 World Cup. “When I saw the highlights after coming back, it almost felt like that ball was on it’s way to a four. In reality, when Misbah played that shot, I saw the ball going up slowly. And then I noticed Sreesanth standing at short fine leg. And while he wa waiting to catch it, he wobbled thrice. And I was thought if he drops this one, god knows what will happen. But as they say the easiest looking catch is the most difficult one to take because when you see a ball everything else like what will happen if you drop it and things like those flash before your eyes. That is why I say being in the present is important but our mind does take us back and forth. So I feel that was one of the toughest catches.”The Ranchi star also faced a bouncer when a reporter, the only one lucky enough to get a chance to ask a question shot, “In India, actors are playing cricket, cricketers are entering politics, politicians are watching porn and porn actors are becoming stars. What will be your next step?’ To this Dhoni replied, ” That’s a difficult question because you have given me multiple options. When I was growing up, there were only two options in my life. Play cricket and study. When at the age of 18, I got a job, there was security in the sense that even if cricket doesn’t happen, I have a respectable job in hand. Out of the many options that you have given, I will have to see what is positive and what is negative and which role people will like me. I will look into it later. Right now I am playing cricket and would like to focus on that.”