M S DHONI – The Journey you know, the man you don’t.

M S DHONI – The Journey you know, the man you don’t.

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The tagline of M S DHONI – The Untold Story is “The man you know, the Journey you don’t.” But, let’s face it. We all know the journey; no one knows the man. And I mean, literally no one. Frankly speaking, I have not watched the movie yet. It has failed to intrigue me on an intellectual level. So, I do not stand to comment on the movie itself. What I can comment on is the story portrayed in the movie. But, that’s an argument for later.

Sticking to what I think should have been the tagline and mood of the movie – “M S DHONI – The Journey you know, the man you don’t.” I can only speculate, as a fan, as to what really goes on in Dhoni’s mind as a captain, as a player and as a wicket-keeper both, on and off the field. First, let me justify my tagline. Ask a person and he knows that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a small-town boy who made it big through sheer struggle, persistence and talent. Everyone knows he was a ticket collector who went against the odds to pursue his passion and became a National hero in the process. However, if you ask that same person on how Mahendra Singh Dhoni, arguably the greatest captain of the Indian Cricket Team yet, does what he does, that person is bound to go blank. In fact, chances are, he must have never even given a thought to it.

While these movies serve as a good dosage of drama and inspiration to many, they lack in originality and promoting cognitive thinking. Yes, movies are not meant to do the latter. But, I think if it can do the former along with the latter, what’s the harm! The movie, I learned, has failed to include several defining storylines. Also, the movie has failed to answer these questions – “What in Dhoni’s mind goes right that help him achieve things one only dreams of?” “What makes him different than others?” “Does he imagine things or does he meticulously think of them?” Let me make an amateurish attempt to answer these questions.

M S DHONI – The Journey you know, the man you don’t

Needless to say, Dhoni is not conventional in his thinking. His thinking is more towards instinct-based. The USP of Dhoni’s captaincy is his team selection policies. He sticks with players he thinks are worthy even though they don’t perform. If that is not a confidence booster, I don’t know what else is! Everybody blamed him for ‘CSK quota’ when he persisted with Ravi Ashwin and Ravi Jadeja after repeated failures. Rest, as we know, is history. As a leader, it is important to take tough decisions and face the consequences should they backfire. M S Dhoni led the team in failures and remained in the backdrop during success. If history is any example, Dhoni wasn’t and still isn’t afraid of making the tough calls during and between matches.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a Captain, a wicket keeper, a finisher, a batsman and shoulders that burden more than a billion hopes. Yet, he somehow manages to fulfil all those roles. Sorry, I take back my words. Not somehow. Unlike his captaincy, this aspect of his career is very well planned. As much as his decisions are instinct-based, are his thoughts organised. He expresses through results, not through reasons. Throughout all this, he manages to maintain a comic side to himself.

Is that what makes him the man he is? Probably not. There’s more to that 1.75m tall piece of meat than what can be deciphered. M S Dhoni is that encryption which has no decoding key. Yes, a computer reference. Every cricketer who has made it big has gone through struggles; Sehwag used to walk more than 15kms to the ground; Sachin had no money to buy a pair of spikes; Rahane’s parents couldn’t afford Rickshaw money and so his mother used to walk him to the ground while carrying his younger brother; Ravindra Jadeja’s father was a watchman and could not afford his cricket training. This list can go on and on.

This is why I think that a cricketer, or any sportsperson for that matter, should be associated more with his thinking than his struggles. Yes, struggles make a person strong, but the thinking pattern is what defines a person. Struggles transform you into the person you are today but only your attitude can help sustain it, or even improve on it. Struggles don’t identify a cricketer. The manner, in which he thinks, does! As difficult as it sounds and to justify the title I have used, once again, a peek into Dhoni’s mind would have been a better tribute to him.

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