Mahendra Singh Dhoni is second to none. A man who has touched the lives and hearts of millions almost all over the world, three generations ensnared by his magic. For us all, it is the end of an era. Truly Captain Cool, we will miss you.
We have seen his countless helicopter shots, his classic style of wicket-keeping, and his ability to make anyone and everyone perform on his watch. His flowing hair (and then not), his charming humility and Zen like calm in the face of triumph or trial. Witnessed him break record after record and make new ones that will be difficult to. Seen the respect his teammates have for him, his fans worship him like they would a superstar.
Dhoni’s decision to retire comes at a time when the country is struggling to find small happinesses. A time when the world is beset by the pandemic, a time of strife and sorrow. Untold grief at losing one’s own, despair at losing our heroes—whoever they may be, and earnest prayers for the afflicted unknown. And in the midst of all that there are those who have fallen prey to vicious crimes ― Sushant Singh Rajput for one, whose murder has shaken the very conscience of the nation.
Sushant Singh Rajput’s name is synonymous with that of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. While we have watched the Dhoni of Team India innumerable times and been mesmerised by his play, his untold story was told to us by a shy youth from Patna who worked day in and night out to make sure that not a single emotion or truth was left out in the reel life telling of one of our greatest cricketers.
And voilà, suddenly, Dhoni became family. We wept for his failures, we rejoiced at his victory.
The hard work for the role came easy- Sushant Singh Rajput idolised MS Dhoni, having identified with him at a level that many would empathise with — they both came from small towns, loved cricket and while Dhoni was already there, Sushant was, like his idol, trying to made it big on the basis of sheer talent. The similarity between them had another facet ― that of love for their mothers. While Sushant’s is much talked about, Dhoni’s became apparent when he chose to announce his retirement on the date and at the exact time of his mother’s birth.
On hearing of Sushant’s untimely death, Dhoni, to put it in the film’s director Neeraj Pandey’s own words, was “shocked, shattered and morose.” That was all that we heard. Not a word other than that.
Being rendered speechless by sadness and the complex going-on’s for the last couple of months is typical for a man like Mahendra Singh Dhoni. A man — emotional, sensitive, quiet, seeped in values from a traditional family, would react as such.
Also, his position as an apolitical sportsman may have stopped him from commenting lest it be misconstrued, since the political and Jihadi mafia imbroglio grows murkier day by day.
You’re now free from those shackles Mahi. This is the time that Sushant and his family and fans need you more than ever before. Your one tweet, post or statement may well help tip the balance on the side of justice for Sushant Singh Rajput.
It goes without saying that Sushant Singh Rajput will go down in history as one of the finest actors to have graced the silver screen in such a short time.
So if you feel for him Mahi, let us hear it. Let us reaffirm our belief that a legend such as you, honest and true to his country, his game and his people, will lead once again for justice in a murder so foul.
As a fan, as a citizen of this country, I appeal to your heart. Millions are looking towards you, hoping you will now share our anger at the tragic fate of this super-talented, philanthropic young man- barely five years younger than you. Someone you were obviously close to, someone who delivered your untold story with such precise passion that it became impossible to separate the reel from the real.
Let Sushant Singh Rajput in death have your backing Captain Cool, just as he, in life had yours in ensuring that your story went to the people, truthfully and honestly. He deserves at least that.
Whatever your stance may be, Mahinder Singh Dhoni, please give it a voice.
Please, please speak…